Revelation Sermon Series

In God’s kindness, Kenwood Baptist Church voted to call me as their pastor of preaching the last Sunday of March, 2009. The first book I preached through was the book of Revelation. While some might question the wisdom of jumping right into apocalyptic literature, the book of Revelation pronounces a blessing on those who read, hear, and keep what is written in it (Rev 1:3). Those who understand John’s Apocalypse–and live such that they have “kept” what it reveals–are blessed. We went through the book from April to April, and the year’s worth of sermons are linked below. May the Lord bless us with the reading, hearing, and keeping of this word.

April 5, 2009 Revelation 1:1-8 The Blessing of the Revelation of Jesus Christ

April 12, 2009 Revelation 1:9-20 John’s Vision of the Risen Christ

April 26, 2009 Revelation 2:1-7 First Love

May 3, 2009 Revelation 2:8-11 Faithful unto Death

May 10, 2009 Revelation 2:12-17 Repent of Nicolaitan Teaching

May 17, 2009 Revelation 2:18-29 King Jesus Versus Jezebel

May 24, 2009 Revelation 3:1-6 Wake Up!

May 31, 2009 Revelation 3:7-13 An Open Door No One Can Shut

July 5, 2009 Revelation 3:14-22 I Will Spit You Out of My Mouth

July 12, 2009 Revelation 4:1-11 The Throne Room Vision

July 19, 2009 Revelation 5:1-14 The Lamb Standing as though Slain

July 26, 2009 Revelation 6:1-16:21 God’s Plan to Save and Judge

August 9, 2009 Revelation 6:1-17 The Seals on the Scroll

August 23, 2009 Revelation 7:1-17 The Sealing of the Servants of God

August 30, 2009 Revelation 8:1-13 Trumpeting the End of the World

September 6, 2009 Revelation 9:1-21 The Unimagined Horrors of God’s Judgment

September 13, 2009 Revelation 10:1-11 Eat This Scroll (and prophesy the history of the future)

September 20, 2009 Revelation 11:1-19 Bearing Witness til Kingdom Come

October 11, 2009 Revelation 12:1-17 The Seed of the Woman Conquers the Serpent

October 25, 2009 Revelation 13:1-10 The Beast

November 1, 2009 Revelation 13:11-18 The False Prophet

November 8, 2009 Revelation 14:1-13 The Song of the Redeemed

Unfortunately our recording system failed the day I preached Revelation 14:14–20. For this sermon, please see my forthcoming Preaching the Word volume on Revelation. Please let me know if you are interested in funding a new sound system for Kenwood Baptist Church.

December 20, 2009 Revelation 15 Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

December 27, 2009 Revelation 16 The Seven Bowls of Wrath

January 3, 2010 Revelation 17 The Harlot and the Beast

January 10, 2010 Revelation 18 Lamenting or Rejoicing over Babylon’s Fall?

Unfortunately our recording system failed the day I preached Revelation 19:1–10 The Harlot and the Bride

February 14, 2010 Revelation 19:11-21 The Return of the King

February 28, 2010 Revelation 20:1-15 The Millennium

March 7, 2010 Revelation 21:1-8 A New Heaven and a New Earth

Unfortunately our recording system failed the day I preached Revelation 21:9–27 The New Jerusalem

March 21, 2010 Revelation 22:1-9 They Will See His Face

April 4, 2010 Revelation 22:10-21 Come, Lord Jesus

15 Comments

Filed under Biblical Theology, OT in the NT, Preaching, Sermon Audio

15 responses to “Revelation Sermon Series

  1. Your Mother

    When is your book coming out???????

  2. Corbin Williamson

    Jim,

    I’ve been going through Revelation a chapter a week with a high school student I disciple. Your sermons have been extremely helpful in preparing for our meetings. Thanks!

    Corbin Williamson

  3. Jon Canler

    Dr. Hamilton,

    Thank you for posting your audio files for your sermon series on Revelation. As one working through the various millenial positions, I find your premillenial defense to be very thorough and helpful. I do have a question for you though regarding Revelation 19 and 20 concerning the battles that are described.

    Revelation 19:17-18 (ESV) states, “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” These verses are very similar to Ezekiel 39:17-20 where Ezekiel describes the battle of Gog.

    Skip over to Revelation 20. Revelation 20:7-8 says, “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, God and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.” Again, Revelation references Ezekiel 39.

    When I read Ezekiel, I understand this battle of Gog to be one battle. Now Amillenialists argue chapters 19 and 20 of Revelation to be recapitulations of each other, so the one battle of Ezekiel remains one battle for them throughout. How does a premillenialist reconcile the two battles mentioned in Revelation 19-20 with the referenced, apparent single battle of Ezekiel 39? How does one battle become two? Progressive revelation?

    Thank you in advance for any response.
    In Christ Alone,

    Jon Canler

    • Jon,

      Thanks for your note. I know that the end of Rev 19 is close to that passage in Ezek 39, but I think John is merely using the language there and not identifying those events. I say this b/c I think the events of Ezek 37 – 48 match what happens in Rev 20 – 22:

      Ezek 37, resurrection – I would see this as the first resurrection in Rev 20:4-6.

      Ezek 37:24 – David king over them – fulfilled as Jesus reigns for a thousand years in Rev 20.

      Ezek 38:8, 11 – Gog of Magog goes against the restored land (v. 8) and unwalled villages (v. 11) – matching the final rebellion led by Satan in Rev 20:7-10.

      Ezek 40-48 – new temple, which symbolically depicts the new heavens and new earth, fulfilled in Rev 21-22.

      With this, I think the details in Rev 19 are too different from the details in Rev 20 for them to be describing the same thing, and some things in Rev 20 assume the events of Rev 19 (such as Satan being thrown into the lake of fire after the thousand years in 20:10 and the beast and the false prophet already being there from Rev 19:20).

      That’s how I see it. Thoughts?

      Jim

      • Jon Canler

        Dr. Hamilton,

        Thanks for your response. I have a few thoughts/questions concerning your Ezekiel outline. I will say upfront that I lean heavily toward an amil perspective though I’m not 100% set in stone on that. I hope my thoughts don’t presuppose a system on the text but rather let the text form the system.

        First, I follow your train of thought as you tie Rev 20-22 to Ezekiel 37-48, and I fully agree that Ezekiel 37-48 and Rev 20-22 are chronological parallels in that the new temple of Ezekiel 40-48 is the new heaven and new earth of Revelation 21-22 that follows the battle of Gog in Ezekiel 38-39/Rev 20 that comes after the the gathering of the saints in Ezekiel 36-37. Why, though, can Ezekiel 38-39 NOT refer to Revelation 19 too? What would John’s intent be for using Ezekiel 39 language in Rev 19 that is different from Rev 20?
        You mentioned things in Rev 19 that occur prior to Rev 20, such as the casting out of the beast and false prophet, as reasons that the battles of Rev 19-20 are different. As I read Rev 19:11-16, Christ is coming back in judgment as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will come to ‘strike down the nations’ and ‘rule them’ in wrath. The beast and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire, and the rest will be slain by Christ (v. 20-21). In other words, utter domination by our great Lord will come to pass. Now John doesn’t mention Satan/dragon in chapter 19, but that silence doesn’t necessarily mean that Satan was not cast into the lake of fire as well. Rev 19 is simply silent on the location of Satan. Rev 20:10 says that the devil was thrown in the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet ‘were’, but Rev 20 doesn’t give a timeframe for Satan’s casting out after the expulsion of the beast/prophet. It could be a millenium later (premil argument) or it could be immediately following the destruction of the nations in 19:21 (amil possibility), could it not? I just don’t see why the omission of Satan from Rev 19 necessitates that he isn’t cast into the lake of fire until Rev 20, after a 1000 year millenium.
        As an aside, from where do the rebellious people come in Rev 20 in the premil scheme when Rev 19 says that “the rest” were slain by Christ? Would the resurrected saints fall away, a 2nd fall? Would we have glorified people dwelling with unglorified people?

        Second, you see Ezekiel 37 as the first resurrection of Revelation 20:4-6. I don’t know that I would agree. Here is why, from the text I think. Ezekiel 37:1-10 is the event of the bones being raised. Ezekiel 37:11-14 is the explanation of the bones being raised. The bones are the whole house of Israel crying out that they are dried up, dead, hopeless, and cutoff. God then tells Israel that he will make them live. If this Ezekiel text refers to the first resurrection in Rev 20, this text has to be in reference to Christians/believers. But why would believers, even dead believers, be crying out that they are hopeless and cut off? Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 that death is good because believers enter into the presence of God. I would see the picture of the bones referring to a people who are desperately in need of life and salvation, so I would see the dry bones being about spiritual regeneration rather than a millenial, physical resurrection.

        Second, if Ezekiel 37 is the picture of Rev 20:4-6, how do you deal with Ezekiel 37:26 concerning the covenant of peace? I think we would agree that Christ established the new, eternal covenant of forgiveness and peace (Ezekiel 36:33, 37:23-26, Jeremiah 31:31-40) on the cross (Matt. 26:28). Are we to say that Christ is going to establish another covenant with his people when he returns in the millenium?

        Bottom line, I think I would see Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36:16 through Ezekiel 37 speaking to salvation founded on the new covenant in Christ in which God gives his Spirit to ‘all Israel (Rom 9)’ beginning with Jesus’ earthly ministry continuing on this earth in the process of regeneration and sanctification of the saints until Christ returns. Though I would not see these verses beginning in the future, I believe these promises in Ezekiel will certainly be perfected in the future. My understanding of these verses in Ezekiel would be in the form of an already/not yet hermeneutic in that we have already been regenerated/cleansed by the Spirit under the new covenant when we profess faith in Christ though we look forward to the day of perfection when regeneration and sanctification are replaced by glorification/sinlessness and perfect obedience in the new heavens and new earth forever (total fulfillment of Ezekiel promises). I think I would also see Ezekiel 38-39 speaking to Rev 19 and 20 unless there is a definitive reason why I should view John’s Rev 19 language to reference something else.

        I hope this makes sense. Comments? Thanks again for your response as I’m sure you a very busy man with your local congregation, family, and duties at SBTS.

        In Christ Alone,
        Jon Canler

  4. Andrew Cowan

    Dr. Hamilton,

    What commentaries that approach Revelation from the premillennial perspective do you think are the most helpful? (I have Beale’s commentary, and would like to read through it and a high-level premillennial commentary at the same time.)

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention Revelation Sermon Series « For His Renown -- Topsy.com

  6. Jon,

    You write:
    Why, though, can Ezekiel 38-39 NOT refer to Revelation 19 too?

    I think the details between Rev 19 and Rev 20 are too different from one another. My sermon on Rev 20 explains, along with several posts on this blog.

    You ask:
    What would John’s intent be for using Ezekiel 39 language in Rev 19 that is different from Rev 20?

    Perhaps John is using the langauge from Ezek 39 b/c it is language for the triumph of God over his enemies, without meaning to identify the battles with each other.

    You write/ask:
    You mentioned things in Rev 19 that occur prior to Rev 20, such as the casting out of the beast and false prophet, as reasons that the battles of Rev 19-20 are different. . . . Rev 19 is simply silent on the location of Satan.

    Yes, but the chapter divisions are modern, not original, so the location of Satan given in Rev 20:1-3 should not be seen as altogether separate from the end of the battle in what we call Rev 19.

    You continue:
    Rev 20:10 says that the devil was thrown in the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet ‘were’, but Rev 20 doesn’t give a timeframe for Satan’s casting out after the expulsion of the beast/prophet.

    Sure it does! “bound him for a thousand years” (Rev 20:2); “until the thousand years were ended. After that” (Rev 20:3); “And when the thousand years are ended” (Rev 20:7).

    Do you not grant that the text indicates that the beast and the false prophet were in the lake of fire for the thousand years Satan was bound in the pit? That seems to be what the text is communicating, and I think it’s easier to avoid the millennium by appealing to allegory–like Origin–than it is to avoid it by trying to say that the text isn’t saying what I’m claiming it’s saying. Origen knew the text says what I’m saying it’s saying, but he thought the millennium impossible so he allegorized.

    You state:
    I just don’t see why the omission of Satan from Rev 19 necessitates that he isn’t cast into the lake of fire until Rev 20, after a 1000 year millenium.

    Please see again the statements quoted above.

    As an aside, from where do the rebellious people come in Rev 20 in the premil scheme when Rev 19 says that “the rest” were slain by Christ? Would the resurrected saints fall away, a 2nd fall? Would we have glorified people dwelling with unglorified people?

    I don’t know. The text does not address that issue. So my view needs more information, information that the text does not provide. The amillennial view needs the text to say something other than what it actually says.

    You write:
    Second, you see Ezekiel 37 as the first resurrection of Revelation 20:4-6. I don’t know that I would agree. Here is why, from the text I think. Ezekiel 37:1-10 is the event of the bones being raised. Ezekiel 37:11-14 is the explanation of the bones being raised. The bones are the whole house of Israel crying out that they are dried up, dead, hopeless, and cutoff. God then tells Israel that he will make them live. If this Ezekiel text refers to the first resurrection in Rev 20, this text has to be in reference to Christians/believers. But why would believers, even dead believers, be crying out that they are hopeless and cut off?

    I think that John is depicting the new-exodus and return from exile prophesied in the OT. The fulfillment of Ezek 37 in Rev 20 matches other fulfillments of the OT all through the book of Revelation.

    You write:
    so I would see the dry bones being about spiritual regeneration rather than a millenial, physical resurrection.

    But Ezek 37:14 says God will put them back in their land. Is land spiritual, too? If so, that sounds allegorical to me.

    You write:
    Second, if Ezekiel 37 is the picture of Rev 20:4-6, how do you deal with Ezekiel 37:26 concerning the covenant of peace? I think we would agree that Christ established the new, eternal covenant of forgiveness and peace (Ezekiel 36:33, 37:23-26, Jeremiah 31:31-40) on the cross (Matt. 26:28). Are we to say that Christ is going to establish another covenant with his people when he returns in the millenium?

    Already inaugurated, not yet consummated. This already/not yet tension is all over the NT.

    Blessings,

    JMH

  7. Jon Canler

    Dr. Hamilton,

    In using your helpful format, you said:
    Do you not grant that the text indicates that the beast and the false prophet were in the lake of fire for the thousand years Satan was bound in the pit? That seems to be what the text is communicating, and I think it’s easier to avoid the millennium by appealing to allegory–like Origin–than it is to avoid it by trying to say that the text isn’t saying what I’m claiming it’s saying. Origen knew the text says what I’m saying it’s saying, but he thought the millennium impossible so he allegorized

    I whole heartedly agree that the text indicates that the beast and the false prophet were in the lake of fire the thousand years the beast was in the pit, if I read the texts literally as I would a narrative. Here’s my struggle. John is recording for us what he saw from many prophetic, apocalyptic visions. Because of the literary nature and content of the book, I hesitate to read Revelation like I would, say, Deuteronomy or Romans or a gospel. I wholly believe in a grammatical-historical, plain reading of the text hermeneutic, but it seems like such a reading is dependent upon the literary nature of the text. I hope that explanation is clear and understandable.

    Furthermore, and related to the comments just mentioned about a plain reading of the text, I would question ‘then’ in Rev 20:1 or in other similar uses throughout the book. ‘Then’ could be plainly referring to the chronological succession of events described in John’s visions as recorded in chs 19 and 20, but ‘then’ could also be plainly referring merely to the next vision without regarding the chronology of events within the visions. So, I could read that John had a vision called ch 19, then he had a vision we call ch 20. The vision process is chronological for sure, but the events within the visions don’t necessarily have to be chronological with the previous vision’s events. I believe this point is where the recapitulation theme comes in for amils. While many say that recapitulation isn’t sound with a plain reading of the text, I don’t count it out. If one reads 1 John, one will find recapitulation as part of his writing style there. It’s an interesting thought to consider when reading Revelation.

    You write: But Ezek 37:14 says God will put them back in their land. Is land spiritual, too? If so, that sounds allegorical to me.

    I believe the land is in reference to the new heavens and the new earth. Ezekiel 36:35 (ESV) says the land will “become like the garden of Eden.” Ezekiel 37:25 says about the land, “They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.” Garden of Eden pictures re-creation/restoration of the earth as it was prior to the fall. Furthermore, the people will live in this land forever. This current earth eventually gets destroyed; therefore, the land of this age cannot fully meet the ‘forever’ aspect. The land is fulfilled in the consummated economy with the re-creation in my view.

    As much as I love and appreciate our church fathers, I hope I’m not being allegorical like the gentlemen from Alexandria. Such interpretation is unbiblical, dangerous, and worthy of avoidance.

    Thanks again for your comments and the dialogue. I very much appreciate your biblical challenges and comments. I’m very excited about your book coming out, and I hope one day to have you as a professor in hermenutics, OT, and Hebrew if the Lord wills.

    In Christ Alone
    Jon

    • Thanks for your note, Jon, brief replies:

      On the genre of Revelation, as I say here: https://jimhamilton.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/did-you-see-what-hes-doing-in-revelation-1314/, I think we should read the symbols in Revelation in light of one another. So compare one symbol in Revelation with other symbols in Revelation, and this will help us to understand how the symbols relate to one another. The fact that something is symbolic doesn’t mean that it means the same thing every other symbol means.

      As to the visions, I tend to follow Bauckham, who says that the book of Revelation is John’s literary presentation of what appears to have been a single visionary experience on the Lord’s day (Rev 1:9-10). So from what John says, it seems he had one elaborate vision that he then described in his book.

      On Ezek 36-39, according to Schuerer, there was a debate among the rabbis as to whether the kingdom of the Messiah would be realized in this age or in the age to come. It seems that Ezek 36-39 could be read both ways, and I would contend that what is revealed to John shows that the millennial kingdom will fulfill the prophesied messianic kingdom in this age, then the age to come will find all things consummated in the age to come.

      Blessings!

      JMH

  8. Pingback: Links of Interest | God is Better than All

  9. Juan

    Thanks for the sermons. I listen at work and enjoy them.

    Juan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s