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Study Guide Starting with Q and R
Quartering Act (1774) - Part of the Coercive Acts, it stated that people in all the colonies were required to feed and house British soldiers.
Quebec Act (1774) - Part of the Coercive Acts, it extended the boundaries of Quebec, the Canadian province, further south to the Ohio River. Although Parliament may not have intended to use this act to punish the colonies, many colonists considered it a form of punishment, since it gave to Canada land that was claimed by several of the thirteen colonies.
Redcoats - This term was used to refer to British soldiers, often in a derogatory manner. They were called redcoats because of their red British Army uniforms. For the same reason, some patriots also used the term "lobsterbacks" to refer to British soldiers.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Study Guide
Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published in 1792, is often referred to as the founding text or manifesto of Western feminism. Nineteenth-century American feminists revered its author as their founding mother and read and spoke about her works ubiquitously.
Wollstonecraft’s first major work, The Vindication of the Rights of Man (1790), was a response to Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) by Edmund Burke. Burke was one of many British writers and polemicists who entered the impassioned dialogue on the French Revolution, but his work was particularly galvanizing to people like Wollstonecraft and Thomas Paine for its espousal of the view that citizens should not rebel against their government in order to revolutionize its traditions. Wollstonecraft averred that rights cannot be based on tradition, only reason and rationality.
Her Vindication of the Rights of Woman continued these themes and applied them to women. She dedicated the volume to Charles Maurice Talleyrand-Périgord, whose recently delivered speech on education to the National Assembly in France had suggested that women must only concern themselves with domestic affairs and stay out of the political arena.
As she rushed while writing the text, she worried that she did not do the subject justice when she presented the work to her publisher, and indeed, planned on writing a second volume but never did so she wrote to her friend William Roscoe, “I am dissatisfied with myself for not having done justice to the subject. – Do not suspect me of false modesty – I mean to say that had I allowed myself more time I could have written a better book, in every sense of the word . I intend to finish the next volume before I begin to print, for it is not pleasant to have the Devil coming for the conclusion of a sheet fore it is written.”
In terms of the reception of the work, most students and scholars commonly assume—derroneously—that it received mostly hostile reviews. That perspective has recently been debunked by multiple scholarly articles and biographies. R.M. Janes’s insightful article on the subject tells a more complex story: “The progressive intellectual circles represented by the leading reviews reacted positively to demands for intellectual equality, improved education, and reformed manners. Demands for political participation by women or for changes in women’s social behavior were regarded as unessential and absurd. Those elements of the works in question that corresponded to changes that had been in train for half a century were approved those that marked out the direction of more drastic social transformations were rightly though disapprovingly remarked as revolutionary and visionary, if they were seen at all.” Except for one review by a conservative publication, all early views were largely positive. Many reviewers focused on Vindication as an educational tract and remarked upon it approvingly. Political concerns were ignored by liberals and conservatives alike. Conservative publication The Critical Review showed the most awareness of the political implications of Wollstonecraft’s writing.
The later hostility that the work garnered was related to the demise of Wollstonecraft’s reputation in the unflattering light of her husband’s memoirs published about her life and her frequent disregard for traditional 18th-century morality. Her reputation was still problematic throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries but has since been demonstrably less necessary to the analysis of her theories and ideas. Indeed, Vindication of the Rights of Woman stands on its own as a mainstay in university courses on women’s history and feminism, political science, and the history of the 18th century and the Age of Reason. This text has become one of the most influential points of departure in the Western canon.
History is approached differently by different curriculums. Some day I will include some information about that, but for now, I will say this: If your children have to be tested and history is included on the tests, you might need to choose the same path as your local school system, otherwise you will be free to choose how to go about teaching history to your children.
There is not really much here in the history section at this time. I have some reading schedules, printable forms, pictures of presidents, maps, and some book suggestions.
Even though the pages below are described as a schedule for A Child's History of the World, you can still look over the suggested books even if you are not using A Child's History of the World
Click on the book image for reading schedules.
My children and I enjoyed reading the history books published by Christian Liberty Press. We used several of them. Here is a list of the books and a place to shop for them. All of the links go to ChristianBook's online store.
- History for Little Pilgrims Grade Kindergarten grades 1/2
History beginning with creation, includes geography lessons and color pictures. Teacher's manual available
- The American People & Nation grades k-3 [patriotism]
A work text emphasizing God's blessing on America. Includes activities such as coloring, dot to dot, and fill in the blank.
- Our Nation Under God grades 2/3
Reviews creation and government. American exploration and the revolutionary war are also covered in this book.
- History Stories for Children grades 3/4
Stories about historical figures and events in World and US history. Large print, 250 page reader.
- Stories of the Pilgrims Grades 4/5
Originally by Margaret Humphrey, these stories are all about the pilgrims, what they did (spinning, candle making, weaving. ) and their hardships.
- The Story of Inventions second edition, grades 4-6
280 pages, Biographies of inventors and the story of their inventions. (1600's -1980's)
- A Child's Story of America, Second Edition: Grades 4-5
Lots of great stories about America
- Exploring American History grade 5/6
Lots of biographies and stories of events in American history.
- The Story of the Constitution: Second Edition grade 8+
301 pages, American History, the Constitution
- Streams of Civilization, Volume 1 grades 9-12
World history from creation to around 1620 from a Christian viewpoint
- Streams of Civilization, Volume 2 grades 9-12
This one picks up where the first one left off.
Our favorite history text books are published by Bob Jones University Press. These links are for the student text. There is an homeschool packet available if you want the whole set. Linked to CBD
REvolutionary STudy Guide Starting with Q and R - History
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)
Fred Inglis, The Cruel Peace: Everyday Life and the Cold War (1991)
The origins of the cold war are not really that difficult to uncover. Nor are these origins that complex. Here in the west we have the tendency -- not unusual, I suppose -- to place the entire responsibility of the cold war upon the shoulders of the Soviet Union. And so, there have been a few events which have shaped this response. For instance, when Mother Russia overthrew its tsar, made a revolution, became the Soviet Union, unified itself under Lenin and created an ideological structure called communism, the United States could only react with fear and trepidation. The government could not accept the simple fact that a country could exist with economic and political principles so critically opposed to democracy and industrial capitalism.
By 1919 or 1920, the Red Scare had become an American reality. Through the manipulation of public opinion and repression and even physical force, anarchists, socialists and communists were clearly forced into retreat. Socialism or communism in the United States is simply an impossibility -- it is too European for American tastes. It always has been and perhaps always will be. True, there have been socialists and communists in this country well before 1917. And they exist today as well, but only as small pockets of supporters from whom we basically never hear a word. Americans fear revolution. Americans fear change -- real, fundamental social, economic and political change. And what really terrifies Americans are immigrants who desire change through revolution. Again, it's too European. This is an attitude which does have a history and I think if you study the atmosphere of the United States in the late 1840s and 50s you will discover why. In 1848, most European governments were under assault from the left. And when many of these individuals came to this country to escape political repression, they brought their ideas of revolution -- red ideas -- with them.
The French Revolution -- or something on the scale of the French Revolution -- could never have taken place in this country. Radicalism, true liberalism, a revolutionary frame of mind, is an impossibility on American soil. Review the last two centuries of American dissent or radicalism. You will soon notice that it is a history full of examples in which independent thought or direct criticism is most often met with the club or the stick. Meaningful dissent in the United States is an impotent force. Whether that dissent is homegrown or imported from abroad, the results have almost always been the same. So when we speak of dissent in this country today, it is perhaps better to speak of permissible dissent rather than true dissent.
When we turn to the more immediate and tangible causes of the cold war, we must begin with World War Two itself. On July 25, 1945, two months after Germany had surrendered, the Big Three -- Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Harry Truman -- met at POTSDAM in order to discuss the fate of Germany. By 1945, Stalin was the veteran revolutionary, a man who had held the reins of Soviet power and authority for nearly twenty years. Truman, on the other hand, had been President barely three months. The crucial issue at Potsdam, as it had been at Versailles in 1918 and 1919, was reparations. The Soviet Union, as to be expected, wanted to rebuild their near-destroyed economy using German industry. The United States feared it would have to pay the whole cost of rebuilding Germany, which in turn would help rebuild the Soviet Union. So, after all the discussions had ended, a compromise was reached and Germany was to be partitioned into four occupied zones. Britain, France and the United States would occupy parts of western Germany while the Soviet Union would occupy east Germany.
The main issue at Potsdam and for the next two years was who would control Europe. Britain had its chance, so too did France and Germany. Was it now Russia's turn? Or perhaps the United States? Few people ever questioned why Europe needed to be controlled in the first place but in the end, everyone wanted to avoid yet another war. Russia wanted Poland. Everybody wanted Poland. But especially Russia. Historically, Poland had always been the key state needed from which to launch an attack against Russia. The United States upheld the principles of self-determination, principles declared in Woodrow Wilson's FOURTEEN POINT PLAN. For Wilson, nations should have the right to choose their own form of government. Of course, Wilson really meant was America's destiny to make "the world safe for democracy".
The Soviets viewed this demand as unacceptable for it indicated that the United States was really taking too heavy a hand in determining what nations ought to adopt what specific form of government. In response, Stalin went on to create what Winston Churchill, never at a loss for words, dubbed the IRON CURTAIN. For Churchill:
from Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of central and eastern Europe -- Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia. From what I have seen of our Russian friends and allies during the war I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength and nothing for which they have less respect than military weakness.
By 1946, the United States and Britain were making every effort to unify all of Germany under western rule. The Soviet Union responded by consolidating its grip on Europe by creating satellite states in 1946 and 1947. One by one, communist governments, loyal to Moscow, were set up in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Stalin used Soviet communism to dominate half of Europe. Why Stalin did this might not be clear. Was he trying to build an international communist movement beginning in eastern Europe? Or, was he simply trying to protect his borders from any intervention on the part of the United States or the allies? The climax came in March 1948. A communist coup in Czechoslovakia overthrew a democratic government and the Soviet Union gained a foothold in central Europe.
Given the experience of World War Two itself, this division of Europe was perhaps inevitable. Both sides wanted their values and economic and political systems to prevail in areas which their soldiers had helped to liberate. If both sides had accepted these new spheres of influence, a cold war might never have occurred. But the nations of western Europe and the United States still had Hitler on their minds and they soon began to see Stalin as a similar threat.
With World War Two at an end by the end of the summer of 1945, the United States knew that the Soviet economy was in a state of near-collapse. The Soviet Union had lost at least 20 million souls during the war alone and perhaps another 20-30 million from Stalin's decade of purge trials. Thirty thousand factories and forty thousand miles of railroad tracks had been destroyed. All the industrialization that Stalin had promised and delivered to his people with the Five Year Plans had been lost. Truman realized this and remained confident that the United States was in the stronger bargaining position. He surmised that the Soviets had to come to the United States for much-needed economic aid. As early as January 1945, FDR had already denied the Soviet request for a six billion dollar loan. Lend-Lease proved no more effective. In the Spring of 1945, Congress agreed that they would not allow Lend-Lease for any post-war reconstruction in Russia. This was obviously a major shift in policy for under the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, the United States had shipped enormous quantities of war materiel to the Soviets, including almost 15,000 planes, 7000 tanks, 52,000 jeeps and almost 400,000 trucks.
Overshadowing all these initial cold war issues of 1945 was the atomic bomb. The new weapon used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August presented a whole new category of problems. Even friendly nations would have had difficulty resolving their problems -- given the state of American and Soviet affairs in 1945, the situation was positively explosive. The early history of the bomb is interesting. One would have thought that the Germans, with their V1 and V2 rockets, were far in advance of any developments by the Allies. But thanks to Hitler and the Nazis, from the early 1930s onward, there was a steady exodus of Germany's greatest scientific minds. They came to Cambridge in England or to the United States. Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Max Planck (1858-1947), Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) had all pioneered the new physics upon which nuclear fission rested. The Hungarian Leo Szilard (1898-1964) and Danish scientist Niels Bohr (1885-1962) had worked on uranium fission in Germany before the war, but they left as well. In August 1939, Einstein wrote a letter to FDR urging him of the necessity to start work on a new super-weapon before the Germans had developed one themselves.
The Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge became the most important British research center. It was at Cavendish that Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) first achieved atomic disintegration in 1919 and where James Chadwick (1891-1974) identified the neutron in 1932. The first chain reaction uranium fission was achieved at the University of Chicago in 1942. A huge nuclear plant built at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, produced fissionable material in large quantities. Under the direction of J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967)), the actual weapons development took place at Los Alamos in New Mexico.
During World War Two, Roosevelt and Churchill followed a policy that would ensure a nuclear arms race at war's end. Still, Stalin found out about the Manhattan Project and by 1943 had already begun development of a Soviet bomb. After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagaski and the subsequent surrender of Japan, the United States developed a disarmament plan based on turning over all fissionable materials, plants and bombs to an international regulatory agency. The Soviets responded quickly with their own plan which stipulated nothing less than a total ban on the production of all fissionable material. They further added that all existing bombs would be destroyed. Wishing to preserve its monopoly on nuclear weapons, the United States continued to stress regulation and inspection by an independent agency. But the Soviets, in the hopes of neutralizing any United States advantage, insisted on immediate disarmament. Eventually an agreement was reached and the two sides agreed to disagree.
Another cause of the cold war revolved around a relatively new development in United States-Soviet relations. At the beginning of 1946, Truman decided that he was "tired of babysitting the Soviets who understand only an iron fist and strong language." Stalin responded in February with a speech stressing the basic incompatibility between Soviet communism and western democracy, thus inaugurating a new hard line policy. Frustrated, Washington found meaning in a crucial document known as the "Long Telegram." In 1946, the Soviet expert George Kennan, sent an 8000 word telegram to Washington from Moscow. Kennan was a foreign service officer who new Russia well. He understood their history, their culture and their language. Kennan explained the communist mentality in the following way. The Soviet's hostility to the west is rooted in the need to legitimize their bloody dictatorship -- they must therefore believe in the inevitable triumph of communism over the beast capitalism. The Soviets, Kennan continued, would exploit every opportunity to extend their system and therefore could not and would not be converted to a policy of harmony and cooperation. According to Kennan, Russia's policy was:
to undermine the general and strategic potential of major western powers by a host of subversive measures to destroy individual governments that might stand in the Soviet path, to do everything possible to set the major Western powers against each other.
But since the Soviets believed that they had history on their side -- history as understood by Marx's materialist conception of history -- the communists were in no hurry and would not risk major war. Met with firmness, Kennan went on, the Soviets will back off. Eventually published as "THE SOURCES OF SOVIET CONDUCT," in the journal Foreign Affairs and signed by "X," Kennan's observations quickly gave Washington its own hard line and for the next three decades or so American foreign policy could be expressed by one word: containment. In order to quiet Soviet ambitions, the United States now had to embark on a path of intervention, under the guise of containment.
There were two other administrative policies that also helped to shape the future of US-Soviet relations during the early stages of the cold war. Most western European Communist parties were at a peak in the years immediately following World War Two. The French Communist Party, for instance, won almost 30% of the vote in November 1946 elections. In Greece, Communist led guerrillas supplied from Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania, posed a threat to the uninspired government of Greece. The Greek communists attempted to seize power in late 1944, when their tactics of mass slaughter turned off a majority of Greeks. But the communists fought back, aided by Tito, not Stalin. Civil war eventually broke out in Greece in 1946 amid economic crisis. By January 1947, the British informed the United States that they could no longer supply economic aid to Greece or Turkey. Believing that the Soviet Union was responsible for Britain's pullout, the United States decided that they had to assume the role of supplying aid. The TRUMAN DOCTRINE of March 12, 1947 announced aid to Greece and Turkey in the stated context of a general war against communism. Aid in the amount of $400 million was approved by the House and Senate by a margin of three to one. In many ways, the Truman Doctrine marked the formal declaration of the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union -- it also solidified the United States' position regarding containment.
The Soviets accepted the Truman Doctrine's "two rival worlds" idea. It went along with the Marxist-Leninist notion of a world divided into two hostile camps -- one capitalist, the other communist. For Stalin, a final class struggle, determined by the laws of historical development, would mean certain Soviet victory.
In May came the American decision to "reconstruct the two great workshops," Germany and Japan. And on June 5, Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a SPEECH AT HARVARD which would further harden the United States' position toward the Soviets. Marshall proposed a scheme of extensive aid to all European nations if they could agree on how to revive a working economy, "so as to permit," he wrote, "the emergence of political and social conditions in which institutions can exist." There's no doubt which institutions Marshall had in mind -- a free market economy directed by forces not in Europe but across the Atlantic. Marshall even included the Soviets in his plan. But at a meeting in Paris the following month, the Soviets gave their response to the Marshall Plan by walking out. Neither Russia nor its satellite states would take up the offer. Meanwhile, as the Marshall Plan pumped US dollars into Europe, West German economic recovery began to trigger a general European recovery. The Soviets viewed this development as little more than a capitalist plot to draw the nations of eastern European into the American sphere of influence.
1947 was a crucial year in early cold war history. The forces of the free world, it seemed, were rallying to resist Soviet aggression, build up the defenses of the non-communist world and, tackle the problem of European economic recovery with massive assistance from the United States. That assistance grew to something like $20 billion before 1951.
The issue of Soviet containment was also played out in 1949 with the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO. The idea for something like NATO grew from general European fears of renewed Soviet aggression. Hitler was still on everybody's mind. Although Hitler was dead, was Stalin perhaps viewed as the next aggressor? Regardless of whether or not Stalin was hell-bent on world domination, the point here is that he was perceived to be an aggressor in the Hitler mold. Western Europe also needed some guarantee from the United States that they would be protected from any aggression while they began the slow process of economic recovery.
England, France and the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) initiated the organization of what would become NATO by forming the Western Union in March 1948 to get the ball rolling. The main force behind the creation of NATO was not Truman, as you might have suspected, but the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin. By January of 1949, Truman called for an even broader pact which eventually would involve the United States, Canada and ten European nations. The North Atlantic Treaty was eventually signed April 4, 1949. NATO was created with the sole aim of protecting Europe from Soviet aggression, "to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law." There were two main features of the Treaty. First, the United States made a firm commitment to protect and defend Europe. As stated in the Treaty, "an armed attack against one shall be considered an attack against all." Second, the United States would indeed honor its commitment to defend Europe. So in 1950, Truman selected Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) as the Supreme Commander of NATO forces. Four United States divisions were stationed in Europe to serve as the nucleus of NATO forces.
The American public embraced NATO because it offered a way of participating in world affairs and opposing Soviet power in a more indirect way. Americans no longer believed that world security would come through the United Nations -- itself a product of World War One -- but they still held on to the ideas of some sort of collective security with an ideological base. The Atlantic nations were said to be held together by both common interests as well as a common commitment to democracy and industrial capitalism. For western Europe, NATO provided a much-needed shelter of security behind which economic recovery could take place. In a way, NATO was the political counterpart of the Marshall Plan. For the United States, NATO signified that the United States could no longer remain isolated from European affairs. Indeed, NATO meant that European affairs were now American affairs as well.
Despite the apparent advantages of NATO, there were problems right from the start. Neither Britain nor France provided much in the way of military strength for a number of years. France was too heavily committed overseas, especially in Indochina and Algeria. And the British were in the midst of losing even more territories of their Empire. West German military presence in NATO was next to nothing. So, it was the United States which provided the entire muscle behind NATO. It was clearly an unequal partnership which at different times seemed to bother both Europeans and Americans. But what eventually counted, at least in the context of the late 1940s and early 50s, was not the ground forces under NATO control but the American "nuclear umbrella" acting as a deterrent against any Soviet temptation to attack. As it turned out, Eisenhower returned to Europe with tens of thousands of American GIs for the second time in a decade, this time to guard the enemy of World War Two against one of its former Allies. While this buildup continued, NATO forces remained outnumbered many times over by Russian ground forces. But what sustained Europe's spirit and perhaps deterred the Soviets -- who had very little intention of an armed attack on Europe -- was the assurance that such an attack would bring the United States, with is massive resources, into the war.
The western alliance embodied in NATO had the effect of escalating the cold war. Historians are pretty much agreed. NATO was created by an over-reaction of the western world to what they perceived to be Soviet aggression. Once again, Hitler was on everybody's mind. But Stalin was not Hitler. Furthermore, the Soviets were not Nazis. And in the end there was very little evidence of a Soviet plot to invade western Europe. All NATO really did was intensify Soviets fears of the West and to produce even higher levels of international tension.
As the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union grew in the late 1940s and into the 50s, both countries began to rebuild their military forces. Following World War Two, American leaders were intent on reforming the military forces. There were two main goals policy makers had in mind. First, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the armed forces had to be unified into an integrated system. Such a policy of unification was required by the cold war itself. Second, there was also a need for entirely new institutions to coordinate all military strategy. In 1947, Congress solved both issues by creating the National Security Act. The results of this Act should be familiar to all of us today since it established institutions we know take for granted. The Act created first, a Department of Defense which would serve as an organizing principle over the army, navy and air force. Second, the Act created the National Security Council, a special advisory board to the executive office. And lastly, the Act created the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA, which was in charge of all intelligence.
In 1949, American military planners received a rather profound shock: the Soviets had just succeeded in exploding an atomic bomb of their own. The bomb was a fission bomb, created by the disintegration of plutonium 239 mixed with uranium 235. By this time, however, nuclear technology had advanced so far that this sort of bomb, like the one that leveled Hiroshima, was as obsolete as a six-shooter. The first United States explosion of an H-bomb, or hydrogen bomb, took place in 1952. The Soviets announced the detonation of a similar thermonuclear device in August of the following year. This fusion bomb, the product of fusion at extreme temperatures of heavy isotopes of hydrogen, is many times more powerful than the A-bomb. In fact, since it operates by chain reaction, the only limit to its size is determined by the size of the aircraft which is carrying it. A bomber can carry a 100 megaton bomb. The Hiroshima bomb, which killed 80,000 souls in less than fifteen minutes, was about 1/700th as large as a 100 megaton bomb. Because the H-bomb was manufactured from one of the most common elements, enough bombs could be readily produced to destroy the planet several times.
Of course, who would want to do that? This was possibly the most dangerous period for nuclear war. The vast growth in the numbers and kinds of long range nuclear weapons meant the neither the United States nor the Soviet Union could hope to escape the ravages of thermonuclear war. Of course, the massive numbers of nuclear warheads produced actually resulted in a stalemate -- and this was good for everyone concerned. The world shuddered at the thought that the destiny of the globe was in the hands of two super powers, yet the logic of the "balance of terror" worked right from the start. Total war was too dangerous. It would destroy everything. There are no victors in thermonuclear war -- only victims.
In the wake of all these developments a new national defense policy was needed by the United States and it came with a policy document known as NSC-68. NSC-68 was based on the premise that first, the Soviets were trying to impose absolute authority over the world and second, that the United States had to face that challenge. What all this boiled down to was this: no more appeasement and no more isolation. NSC-68 raised defense spending immediately. While the 1950 budget had allocated $13 billion for military spending (about one-third of the national budget and five percent of the GNP), the 1951 budget, dedicated $60 billion for defense (about two-thirds of the national budget and more than eighteen percent of a rising GNP). In the end, NSC-68 stands as a symbol of America's determination to win the cold war regardless of cost.
A. The Spirit-filled life and two other special areas of submission.
1. (Eph 6:1-3) The Spirit-filled life and the parent-child relationship.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
a. Children, obey your parents : The command is simple. Children are to obey their parents . This not only means that children have the responsibility to obey, but parents have the responsibility to teach their children obedience - one of the most important jobs for a parent.
i. We don't need to teach our children how to disobey, because they have each inherited an inclination to sin from Adam - but obedience must be taught.
ii. It is essential that a parent teach the child obedience, so that the child will grow up knowing how to obey God even when he doesn't understand everything or doesn't want to.
iii. This is what all a parent's discipline for a child must come to. Disobedience must be punished, so that obedience can be learned.
b. In the Lord, for this is right : The apostle gives us two reasons for the child to obey the parent. First, they are to obey in the Lord . This means that their obedience is part of their Christian obedience, in a similar way to the wife's command to submit to her husband as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). The second reason is because it is simply right for a child to obey their parent.
i. What it means to honor our father and mother may change as we grow into adulthood, but the principle always endures. The adult child does not owe the parent obedience, but they do owe the parent honor.
ii. "When the bonds of family life break up, when respect for parents fails, the community becomes decadent and will not live long." (Foulkes)
c. The first commandment with a promise : Paul reinforced this idea with a reference to Deuteronomy 5:16, where God promised to bless the obedient child.
i. Christians have normally divided the Ten Commandments into the first four (directed towards God) and the last six (directed towards their fellow man). But the Jews divided the commandments in two sets of five, seeing the law to honor your father and mother more as a duty towards God than a duty towards man.
2. (Eph 6:4) How parents walk in the light: not provoking their children to wrath.
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
a. Do not provoke your children to wrath : Parents certainly have the opportunity to provoke their children to wrath , through an unkind, over-critical attitude that torments the child instead of training them. But Christian parents should never be like that.
i. "The gospel introduced a fresh element into parental responsibility by insisting that the feelings of the child must be taken into consideration. In a society where the father's authority (patria potestas) was absolute, this represented a revolutionary concept." (Wood)
b. Provoke your children to wrath : This harsh kind of parenting Paul speaks against gives an unnecessary justification to a child's natural rebellion.
i. "When you are disciplining a child, you should have first controlled yourself … What right have you to say to your child that he needs discipline when you obviously need it yourself?" (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)
c. Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord : This does not mean merely scolding your children in the sense of admonition . It means to train and admonish. Encouragement and rebuke must be combined with training and teaching.
i. This is a responsibility for fathers . They must not neglect their responsibility to teach and be a spiritual example for their children. It is not a responsibility that should be left to the mother or the Sunday School.
ii. Training is the same word translated chastening in Hebrews 12:5-11. It has the idea of training through corrective discipline. Admonition has more of the idea of "teaching" - both are necessary, though it may be significant that training comes first.
iii. Significantly, both training and admonition are used to describe the purpose of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 10:11). Parents are to raise their children on the word of God.
d. Bring them up : This ancient Greek word was originally used of bodily nourishment as in Ephesians 5:29. But the word came to be used for the nurture of body, mind and soul. The form here suggests "development by care and pains" or as Calvin translated, "Let them be fondly cherished."
3. (Eph 6:5-8) How employees walk in the light: working as servants of Jesus.
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
a. Bondservants, be obedient … as to Christ : As to Christ changes our whole perspective as workers. It reminds us that our work can and should be done as if we were working for Jesus - because we are!
i. "The Gospel found slavery in the world and in many regions, particularly the Roman and the Greek, it was a very bad form of slavery. The Gospel began at once to undermine it, with its mighty principles of the equality of all souls in the mystery and dignity of manhood, and of the equal work of redeeming love wrought for all souls by the supreme Master. But its plan was - not to batter, but to undermine. So while the Gospel in one respect left slavery alone, it doomed it in another." (Moule)
b. Not with eyeservice : We are not to work with eyeservice (working only when the boss is looking) or as men-pleasers (those who only care about pleasing man), but with good will (a good attitude, not complaining) doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men .
i. As to the Lord means that all our work is really done unto the Lord, not unto man. "Grace makes us the servants of God while still we are the servants of men: it enables us to do the business of heaven while we are attending to the business of earth: it sanctifies the common duties of life by showing us how to perform them in the light of heaven." (Spurgeon)
c. Doing the will of God : In Greek culture, manual work was despised and the goal of being successful was getting to the point where you never had to do any work. This isn't how it is in God's kingdom, where hard work and manual labor are honorable.
i. It should be said of every Christian that they are a hard worker and give their boss a full day's work for their pay to do anything less is to steal from your boss.
d. He will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free : Paul relates a final reason for working hard for the Lord. God will return to us in the measure that we have worked hard for others God will not allow our hard work to go without reward.
i. This connects to an interesting principle. When people are born again, their life changes and they become harder workers and less wasteful, and they are blessed thereby and become prosperous. But after becoming prosperous, we often allow our hearts to grow far from God, then god disciplines us with hard times, and then we repent - and then the cycle starts again. This is not a necessary cycle, but it is a common one.
4. (Eph 6:9) How employers walk in the light: treating their workers well.
And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
a. You, masters, do the same things to them : Masters are told to do the same things to them (their employees). The same things are hard and honest work that employers are to do on behalf of their employees.
i. "So the Gospel leaves its message of absolutely equal obligation, in Jesus Christ, upon the slave and upon the slave owner. The principle will do its work. There is no word of Revolution." (Moule)
b. Giving up threatening : Employers are also to give up threatening and other forms of harsh treatment. They do this knowing that they are employees of their Master in heaven - and He judges without regard to wealth or position.
B. Fighting against the darkness.
William Gurnall, a pastor, published his book The Christian in Complete Armour, an exposition of Ephesians 6:10-20. He subtitled the work The saint's war against the Devil, wherein a discovery is made of that grand enemy of God and his people, in his policies, power, seat of his empire, wickedness, and chief design he hath against the saints a magazine opened, form whence the Christian is furnished with spiritual arms for the battle, helped on with his armour, and taught the use of his weapon together with the happy issue of the whole war. In his dedication, he describes his book as a "mite" and a "little present" but it comprises three volumes, 261 chapters, and 1,472 pages - all on these eleven verses.
1. (Eph 6:10) The call to stand against the devil.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
a. Finally: This comes at the end of the letter - a letter that Paul has carefully established our place in Jesus, and then the basics of the Christian walk. This is his last section dealing with that walk.
- In light of all that God has done for you. - In light of the glorious standing you have as a child of God. - In light of His great plan of the ages that God has made you part of. - In light of the plan for Christian maturity and growth He gives to you. - In light of the conduct God calls every believer to live. - In light of the filling of the Spirit and our walk in the Spirit. - In light of all this, there is a battle to fight in the Christian life.
b. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might : Literally, Paul wrote strengthen yourselves in the Lord. He probably took the idea from 1 Samuel 30:6, where it is said that David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
i. The detailed teaching of spiritual warfare in this passage presents two essential components. First, you must be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Then, you must put on the whole armor of God. The two are essential, and much teaching on Christian combat neglects the first. If you take a weak man who can barely stand, and put the best armor on him he will still be an ineffective soldier. He will be easily beaten. So equipping for Christian combat must begin with be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
ii. Before a soldier is given a gun or shown how to fire a missile, he goes through basic training. One great purpose for basic training is the build up the recruit's physical strength. It is as if the army says, "Soldier, we are going to give you the best weapons and armor possible. But first we have to make sure that you are strong, and that you can use what we give you."
c. And in the power of His might: This shows how to get this strength. This does not happen just by saying the words. It is not an incantation or a spell. You can't just walk around saying, "be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" over and over and it will happen. Christianity isn't one of those self-help formulas where you go around saying, "Every day, and in every way, I am getting better and better." Those kind of mental games can accomplish something, but it certainly wasn't what Paul meant here.
i. Might is inherent power or force. A muscular man's big muscles display his might, even if he doesn't use them. It is the reserve of strength.
ii. Power is the exercise of might. When the muscular man uses his might to bend an iron bar, he uses his power. It means that the reserve of strength is actually in operation.
iii. God has vast reservoirs of might that can be realized as power in our Christian life. But His might does not work in me as I sit passively. His might works in me as I rely on it, and step out to do the work. I can rely on it and do no work. I can do work without relying on it. But both of these fall short. I must rely on His might and then do the work.
- I do everything and God does nothing. - I do nothing and God does everything. - I do all I can and God helps with what I can't.
Each of those approaches falls short. The key is for me to by faith rely on His might - and rely on it more and more - and then do the work.
v. In his great series of sermons on this text, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones listed many ways in which he believes Christians wasted their strength. It was as if they had received some of the available might of God, but it simply leaked away like water in a bucket full of holes. These are some of the things Lloyd-Jones thought sapped the strength of the Christian:
- Committing to too many spiritual works or things - Too much conversation - Arguments, debates, wrangling - Laziness - Too much time in the wrong company - Too much foolish talk and joking - Love of money and career - A desire for respectability and image - An unequal yoking with an unbeliever - Ungodly entertainment - A wrong attitude toward or doubting the Word of God
vi. "We have to walk on a knife-edge in these matters you must not become extreme on side or the other. But you have to be watchful. And, of course, you can always tell by examining yourself whether your strength is increasing or declining." (Lloyd-Jones)
2. (Eph 6:11) The command for the whole armor of God.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
a. Put on the whole armor of God : The armor of God will be explained for fully in the next passage but the emphasis is on the whole armor of God . God gives the believer a full set of equipment, and He sends us out into battle with everything we need at our disposal.
i. This ancient Greek word for armor is used in only one other place in the New Testament. In Luke11:21-22, Jesus speaks of the strong man who is fully armed, but is stripped of all his armor when a stronger one comes and defeats him. We know that Jesus disarmed all principalities and powers (Colossians 2:15).
ii. This armor is of God both is the sense that it is from Him, and in the sense that it is His actual armor. In the Old Testament, it is the LORD who wears the armor (Isaiah 59:17). He now shares that armor with us - no wonder we are more than conquerors! (Romans 8:37)
b. That you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil : We express the strength we have in God by standing against the wiles of the devil . Satan's schemes against us come to nothing when we stand against them in the power of God.
i. Stott quoting Simpson: "The tactics of intimidation and insinuation alternate in Satan's plan of campaign. He plays both the bully and the beguiler. Force and fraud form his chief offensive against the camp of the saints."
3. (Eph 6:12) The fact of spiritual warfare.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
a. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers: Paul does not call the believer to enter into spiritual warfare. He simply announces it as a fact: we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but (we do wrestle) against principalities and so forth. You are in a spiritual battle. If you are ignorant or ignore that fact, you probably aren't winning the battle.
b. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood : The fact that our real battle is not against flesh and blood is lost on many Christians, who put all their efforts in that direction. Paul's idea here is much the same as in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.
i. Foulkes says a more literal translation is, Not for us is the wrestling against flesh and blood.
c. Principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places : Paul used a variety of terms to refer to our spiritual enemies. We should regard them as being on many different levels and of many different ranks, yet they all have one goal: to knock the Christian down from their place of standing.
i. Ephesians 6:11 tells us that all of our warfare is combating the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). At the end of the day it is completely irrelevant if the particular opponent we face is a principality, a power, or a ruler of the darkness of this age. Collectively, they are all members of spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. They are all part of a spiritual army that is organized and established into ranks - and under the headship of Satan, the devil, who comes against us with his wiles.
ii. We learn more about these principalities and powers from other passages in the New Testament.
- Romans 8:38 tells us that principalities cannot keep us from God's love. Therefore, there is a limit to their power.
- Ephesians 1:20-21 tells us that Jesus is in enthroned in heaven, far above all principalities and powers. Colossians 1:16 tells us that Jesus created principalities and powers. Colossians 2:10 tells us that Jesus is head over all principality and power. Therefore, Jesus is not the opposite of Satan or principalities.
- Ephesians 3:10-11 tells us that the church makes known the wisdom of God to principalities and powers. 1 Corinthians 15:24 tells us that principalities and powers have an end one day their purpose will be fulfilled and God will no longer let them work. Therefore, God has a purpose in allowing their work.
- Colossians 2:15 tells us that Jesus disarmed principalities andpowers at the cross. Therefore, our victory is rooted in what Jesus did, not in what we do. It isn't that there is no doing on our part - but our doing is the appropriation and application of what Jesus did.
iii. Some interpret the nature of principalities and powers in purely naturalistic terms. Markus Barth wrote, "We conclude that by principalities and powers Paul means the world of axioms and principles of politics and religion, of economics and society, of morals and biology, of history and culture." But this contradicts what Paul says about our battle not being against flesh and blood .
4. (Eph 6:13) The proper response to the fact of spiritual warfare.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
a. Therefore take up the whole armor of God: Paul introduced the idea of the whole armor of God back in Ephesians 6:11. In the following passage he details the specific items related to the armor of God. In this verse, he simply states what the main purpose of spiritual warfare and the armor of God is.
b. That you may be able: Without the strength of God and the protection of spiritual armor, it is impossible to stand against the attacks of spiritual enemies.
c. That you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand: This describes what we use the strength of God and the armor of God.
i. Many Christians have a wrong idea about spiritual warfare. They picture the Christian army as assaulting the kingdom of hell, and on patrol against demons and spiritual enemies. Much of this is based on a misunderstanding of Matthew 16:18: And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
ii. It's easy to see how a first reading of this passage gives the picture of the church as an assaulting army, bombarding the gates of Hell, and plundering Hell and conquering it. The problem is that this understanding is completely inconsistent with the rest of the Scriptures. Nowhere do we read of the church assaulting or conquering Hell in this way.
iii. Instead, we should understand what is meant by the phrase "the gates of Hades." In the ancient world, the city council, judges, and city leadership gathered together at the gates of the city. It was the place where the city life was planned, organized, strategized. It's in this sense that Jesus speaks of the gates of Hades. He means that no satanic strategy, no plot from Hell will ultimately succeed against the church.
iv. Instead of picturing the army of the church seeking out and attacking some kind of demonic fortress, we are to have the idea that Jesus illustrated in His ministry. Jesus didn't patrol around, looking for demons to conquer. That would almost be allowing demons to set the agenda for His ministry. Instead, Jesus knew what God the Father wanted Him to do, He set about doing it, and He dealt with satanic opposition when it arose. When satanic opposition raised itself, Jesus stood against it and was not moved.
v. So the idea is that God has given us a call, a mission, a course to fulfill. Satan will do his best to stop it. When he attacks and intimidates, we are to stand. It is plain that this is Paul's emphasis in Ephesians 6:11 and 6:13. We love an energetic church that advances the Kingdom of God so vigorously that it shakes the councils of hell, but we don't let principalities and powers set our agenda. We do the Lord's work and stand against every hint of spiritual opposition.
vi. God gives the Christian a glorious standing to maintain by faith and spiritual warfare:
- We stand in grace (Romans 5:2). - We stand in the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1). - We stand in courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13). - We stand in faith (2 Corinthians 1:24). - We stand in Christian liberty (Galatians 5:1). - We stand in Christian unity (Philippians 1:27). - We stand in the Lord (Philippians 4:1). - We should stand perfect and complete in the will of God (Colossians 4:12).
vii. The same idea is repeated in 1 Peter 5: Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
viii. All in all, there is a lot bound up in that little word, stand.
- It means that we are going to be attacked. - It means that we must not be frightened. - It means that we must not droop or slouch, being uncertain or half-hearted in the fight (no self-pity is allowed). - It means that we are at our position and alert. - It means that we do not give even a thought to retreat.
5. (Eph 6:14-15) The spiritual armor to have.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace
a. Stand therefore : We can only stand when we are equipped with the armor God has given us in Jesus Christ. Each aspect of this symbolic armor answers to a specific dynamic within the Christian life that enables us to stand against spiritual attack.
i. Paul wrote this while in the custody of Roman soldiers. It was easy for him to look at the equipment of his guards and see how God has equipped the believer.
ii. The order in which the pieces of armor are described is the order in which the soldier would put them on.
b. Having girded your waist with truth : Truth is symbolically represented as a belt which both protects our abdomen and gathers up our garments so that we can fight effectively.
i. Strictly, the belt is not part of the armor, but before the armor can be put on, the garments underneath must be gathered together.
ii. "The soldier might be furnished with every other part of his equipment, and yet, wanting the girdle, would neither be fully accoutered nor securely armed. His belt … was no mere adornment of the soldier, but an essential part of his equipment … it was of especial use in keeping other parts in place, and in securing the proper soldierly attitude and freedom of movement." (Salmond)
iii. When a man sat down and was relaxed, he took off his belt. Putting on the belt prepares you for action, it frees your movements, and it put him in a battle frame of mind. The same idea is communicated by Jesus in Luke 12:35-36.
iv. The belt of truth puts on the Biblical beliefs of the Christians as a whole - what other passages call the faith. Many people believe that the church will never go forward until it takes off this belt of truth, but that is completely wrong. This is armor to have - it is a foundation you live upon all the time, your understanding of and confidence in the basic doctrines of the faith.
c. Having put on the breastplate of righteousness : Righteousness is represented as a breastplate which provides essential protection for the most vital organs. We can no sooner battle against spiritual enemies in our own righteousness than a soldier can effectively fight without his breastplate.
i. This is not our own earned righteousness, not a feeling of righteousness, but a righteousness received by faith in Jesus. It gives us a general sense of confidence, an awareness of our standing and position.
ii. "Thank God for experiences, but do not rely on them. You do not put on the 'breastplate of experiences', you put on the breastplate of 'righteousness.'" (Lloyd-Jones)
iii. We are sometimes tempted to say to the devil "Look at all I've done for the Lord." But that is shaky ground, though sometimes it feels good. It is shaky because the feeling and experiences and doing is so changeable. God's righteousness isn't. The breastplate of righteousness is your best defense against the sense of spiritual depression and gloom that comes against your gut.
d. Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace : The preparation of the gospel is represented as the protective shoes (or sandals) worn by Roman soldiers. No one can fight effectively or effectively go about their business without this equipment.
i. Preparation is a word meaning "a prepared foundation." The gospel provides the footing for everything we do. However powerful the rest of your body is, if you are wounded in your feet you are easy prey for the enemy.
ii. On the shoes: "Josephus described them as 'shoes thickly studded with sharp nails' … so as to ensure a good grip. the military successes both of Alexander the Great and of Julius Caesar were due in large measure to their armies' being well shod and thus able to undertake long marches at incredible speed over rough terrain." (Wood)
iii. Paul has Isaiah 52:7 in mind when he refers to having shod your feet : How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
iv. The idea of preparation is really readiness - we must be mobile, flexible, ready with the truth. This is a place to have in the Christian life, to live in constant readiness and flexibility.
6. (Eph 6:16-18) The spiritual armor to take.
Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
a. Above all: This really has the idea of "in addition to the previous," and it applies to each of the three pieces of armor that follow. It isn't the idea, "this piece of armor is more important than any of the other."
b. Taking the shield of faith: Ephesians 6:13-14 tells us of armor to have. Some of the armor we must wear all the time, and have as a standing foundation. Therefore having comes first. We must be rooted in belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the "combat boots" of the gospel
i. Now we come to the armor to take. These aspects of the armor we take up from situation to situation, as the moment demands. Think about those "demanding moments" in spiritual warfare"
- A flood of depression or discouragement, feeling like a black cloud. - When a relatively insignificant thing gets blown way out of proportion. - An opportunity to speak with someone about what Jesus did for you. - Opposition against a sense that God wants you to do something, to follow through on something. - A sense of panic and helplessness.
ii. In those critical moments, we need to
- Take the shield of faith. - Take the helmet of salvation. - Take the sword of God's Word.
c. Taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one : Faith is represented as a shield , protecting us from the fiery darts of the wicked one , those persistent efforts of demonic foes to weaken us through fear and unbelief.
i. The shield Paul describes is not the small round one, but the large, oblong shield that could protect the whole body. In ancient warfare, these fiery darts were launched in great number at the beginning of an attack. The idea was not only to injure the enemy, but to shoot at him at all sides with a massive number of darts, and thus confuse and panic the enemy.
ii. "Even when such a missile was caught by the shield and did not penetrate to the body, says Livy, it caused panic, because it was thrown when well alight and its motion through the air made it blaze most fiercely, so that the soldier was tempted to get rid of his burning shield and expose himself to the enemy's spear-thrusts. But the shield of faith not only catches the incendiary devices by extinguishes them." (Bruce)
iii. Thoughts, feelings, imaginations, fears, lies - all of these can be hurled at us by Satan as fiery darts. Faith turns them back.
d. And take the helmet of salvation : In the ancient world, this was a leather cap studded with metal for extra strength. Often some kind of plume or decoration was added, perhaps to identify the solider to his regiment. Salvation is pictured as this kind of helmet , protecting essential material. A soldier would be foolish to go into battle without his helmet .
i. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 speaks of the helmet of salvation in connection to the hope of salvation. The helmet of salvation protects us against discouragement, against the desire to give up, giving us hope not only in knowing that we are saved, but that we will be saved. It is the assurance that God will triumph.
ii. One of Satan's most effective weapons against us is discouragement. When we are properly equipped with the helmet of salvation, it's hard to stay discouraged.
e. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God : The idea is that the Spirit provides a sword for you, and that sword is the word of God. To effectively use the Sword of the Spirit, we can't regard the Bible as book of magic charms or tie one around our neck the way that garlic is said to drive away vampires.
i. To effectively use the sword, we must regard it as the word of God - which is the word of God. If we are not confident in the inspiration of Scripture, that the sword really came from the Spirit, then we will not use it effectively at all.
ii. But we must also take the sword of the Spirit in the sense of depending that He helps us to use it. Not only did the Spirit give us the Scriptures, but also He makes them alive to us, and equips us with the right thrust of the sword at the right time.
iii. Think of a soldier or a gladiator in training, practicing sword thrusts and moves and positions. Now, he must practice them ahead of time, and if he is a superior fighter, and has a great fighting instinct, at the time of battle he will instantly recall which thrust, which position suits the precise moment. He will never be able to use the thrust in the fight if he has not first practiced it, but he still needs to make the move at the moment.
iv. Therefore, effectively using the sword takes practice. The great example of this was Jesus combating the temptation of Satan in the wilderness. Luther was another example of this, when he came to any understanding of Psalm 31:1: deliver me in Your righteousness. This helped him understand the real meaning of the just will live by faith.
7. (Eph 6:18-20) How to use spiritual strength and the armor of God.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
a. Praying always with all prayer: The idea is all kinds of prayer or prayer upon prayer. We should use every kind of prayer we can think of. Group prayer, individual prayer, silent prayer, shouting prayer, walking prayer, kneeling prayer, eloquent prayer, groaning prayer, constant prayer, fervent prayer - just pray.
i. We can say that it is through prayer that spiritual strength and the armor of God go to work. In theory, the prayerless Christian can be strong and wearing all the armor - but actually goes into battle through prayer.
ii. Often we just don't pray because we are simply overconfident in our own abilities. Winston Churchill said to Britain in the early days of World War II: "I must drop one word of caution, for next to cowardice and treachery, overconfidence leading to neglect and slothfulness, is the worst of wartime crimes."
b. For all the saints : We can battle spiritually not only on our own behalf, but also on the behalf of others. The soldier isn't only concerned for his or her own safety. They feel an instinct to protect and battle on behalf of others.
c. And for me, that utterance may be given to me : After bringing up the idea that spiritual warfare can be waged on behalf of others, Paul asks his readers to pray for him.
d. To boldly make known the mystery of the gospel : Paul could have asked prayer for many things, but he wanted them to pray for this. He probably has in mind his upcoming defense before Caesar.
i. We could imagine Paul asking for many things, such as relief from his imprisonment or other comforts. But his heart and mind are fixed on his responsibility as an ambassador of the gospel.
e. That utterance may be given to me: The idea behind utterance is clear speaking. Added to boldly , Paul asks for prayer that he might proclaim the gospel both clearly and with a fearless power. It is easy to neglect one or the other.
f. I am an ambassador in chains : Of course, the ancient Greek word for chains meant a prisoner's shackles. But it could also be used for the gold adornment worn around the neck and wrists of the wealthy and powerful. On special occasions, ambassadors wore such chains to show the riches, power, and dignity of the government they represented. Paul considers his prisoner's chains to actually be the glorious adornment of an ambassador of Jesus Christ.
C. Conclusion to the letter.
1. (Eph 6:21-22) The sending of Tychicus.
But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.
a. Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister : Tychicus was an associate of Paul's mentioned in other letters (Acts 20:4, Colossians 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:12, Titus 3:12). He seems to have been often used by Paul as a messenger ( that you may know our affairs ).
b. That he may comfort your hearts : Paul wanted Tychicus to comfort the Ephesians (and everyone else who read the letter) about Paul's condition during his imprisonment in Rome.
Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
a. Peace to the brethren … Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus : Paul concludes the letter as he began it, with reference to grace and peace , two essential cornerstones for the Christian life.
b. All those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity : In sincerity is literally "in uncorruptness." The idea may well be with an undying love. Our love for the Lord should be undying.
c. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity : Paul ends by pronouncing a blessing - his way of helping the Ephesians to walk in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
©2006 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission
The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.
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Politics and Religion
In general, Enlightenment thinkers argued for freedom of thought, religion, and politics. The philosophes were largely critical of Europe’s absolutist rulers, especially of the French government, but there was little consistency: Voltaire, critic of the French crown, spent some time at the court of Frederick II of Prussia, while Diderot traveled to Russia to work with Catherine the Great both left disillusioned. Rousseau has attracted criticism, especially since World War 2, for appearing to call for authoritarian rule. On the other hand, liberty was widely espoused by Enlightenment thinkers, who were also largely against nationalism and more in favor of international and cosmopolitan thinking.
The philosophes were deeply critical, indeed even openly hostile, to the organized religions of Europe, especially the Catholic Church whose priests, pope, and practices came in for severe criticism. The philosophes were not, with perhaps some exceptions like Voltaire at the end of his life, atheists, for many still believed in a god behind the mechanisms of the universe, but they railed against the perceived excesses and constraints of a church they attacked for using magic and superstition. Few Enlightenment thinkers attacked personal piety and many believed religion performed useful services. Indeed some, like Rousseau, were deeply religious, and others, like Locke, worked out a new form of rational Christianity others became deists. It was not religion which irked them, but the forms and corruption of those religions.
Origins of the Revolution
The French Revolution had general causes common to all the revolutions of the West at the end of the 18th century and particular causes that explain why it was by far the most violent and the most universally significant of these revolutions. The first of the general causes was the social structure of the West. The feudal regime had been weakened step-by-step and had already disappeared in parts of Europe. The increasingly numerous and prosperous elite of wealthy commoners—merchants, manufacturers, and professionals, often called the bourgeoisie—aspired to political power in those countries where it did not already possess it. The peasants, many of whom owned land, had attained an improved standard of living and education and wanted to get rid of the last vestiges of feudalism so as to acquire the full rights of landowners and to be free to increase their holdings. Furthermore, from about 1730, higher standards of living had reduced the mortality rate among adults considerably. This, together with other factors, had led to an increase in the population of Europe unprecedented for several centuries: it doubled between 1715 and 1800. For France, which with 26 million inhabitants in 1789 was the most populated country of Europe, the problem was most acute.
A larger population created a greater demand for food and consumer goods. The discovery of new gold mines in Brazil had led to a general rise in prices throughout the West from about 1730, indicating a prosperous economic situation. From about 1770, this trend slackened, and economic crises, provoking alarm and even revolt, became frequent. Arguments for social reform began to be advanced. The philosophes—intellectuals whose writings inspired these arguments—were certainly influenced by 17th-century theorists such as René Descartes, Benedict de Spinoza and John Locke, but they came to very different conclusions about political, social, and economic matters. A revolution seemed necessary to apply the ideas of Montesquieu, Voltaire, or Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This Enlightenment was spread among the educated classes by the many “societies of thought” that were founded at that time: masonic lodges, agricultural societies, and reading rooms.
It is uncertain, however, whether revolution would have come without the added presence of a political crisis. Faced with the heavy expenditure that the wars of the 18th century entailed, the rulers of Europe sought to raise money by taxing the nobles and clergy, who in most countries had hitherto been exempt, To justify this, the rulers likewise invoked the arguments of advanced thinkers by adopting the role of “enlightened despots.” This provoked reaction throughout Europe from the privileged bodies, diets. and estates. In North America this backlash caused the American Revolution, which began with the refusal to pay a tax imposed by the king of Great Britain. Monarchs tried to stop this reaction of the aristocracy, and both rulers and the privileged classes sought allies among the nonprivileged bourgeois and the peasants.
Although scholarly debate continues about the exact causes of the Revolution, the following reasons are commonly adduced: (1) the bourgeoisie resented its exclusion from political power and positions of honour (2) the peasants were acutely aware of their situation and were less and less willing to support the anachronistic and burdensome feudal system (3) the philosophes had been read more widely in France than anywhere else (4) French participation in the American Revolution had driven the government to the brink of bankruptcy (5) France was the most populous country in Europe, and crop failures in much of the country in 1788, coming on top of a long period of economic difficulties, compounded existing restlessness and (6) the French monarchy, no longer seen as divinely ordained, was unable to adapt to the political and societal pressures that were being exerted on it.
Dr. John Killinger Books
Why are so many people drifting away from today's churches? John Killinger suggests that part of the problem is that they have personally outpaced the thinking and understanding of the church, so that they no longer ﬁnd it adequate as a social structure for the celebration of their faith. In their attempts to ﬁnd Jesus and his teachings relevant within the new culture, they strike out on their own or adhere to para-Christian organizations that retain an allegiance to Jesus without the baggage of the traditional institution. Killinger, a former big-steeple minister and theologian, describes how he himself has been forced essentially to abandon the church in order to remain faithful to the beliefs and ideals that ﬁrst drew him into it.
Publisher: The Intermundia Press, Inc. (540) 349-2957 www.intermundiapress.weebly.com
Cascade Books - A Division of WIPF and STOCK Publishers
Hidden Mark: Exploring Christianity's Heretical Gospel
Well-known preacher and literary scholar John Killinger has combined his talents to provide a revolutionary study of the Gospel of Mark. On the basis of textual patterns he discovered in a Gospel long believed to be "naive" and "unstudied," Killinger reveals evidence that the two calming-of-the-sea stories traditionally regarded as miracles are actually post-resurrection stories. This explanation not only accounts for the absence of such stories at the end of the Gospel, where the other Gospels place them, but suggests that Mark might actually be a Gnostic document, as the Gnostics believed in the resurrection of Jesus but did not emphasize his physical resurrection. A gnostic origin for Mark also explains other long-standing enigmas in Mark, including its high opinion of women (the Gnostics had women priests) the annoying stupidity of the disciples (they had trouble grasping the gnosis) the amazing recognition of Jesus' real identity by a blind man and the so-called Messianic Secret (Gnostics wanted to conceal their rites and teachings from outsiders). In this groundbreaking interpretation of the Gospel of Mark, Killinger has given us a reason to reassess the meaning and purpose of the Gospel of Mark
Product Code: P416
What the Blind Man Saw: Sermons Based on Hidden Mark
Hidden Mark, the book on which this book is based, is the most revolutionary new approach to the interpretation of the Gospel of Mark in history. Treating the two walking-on-the-sea stories (and also the Transfiguration narrative) as ressurection stories, not mere miracle accounts, author John Killinger shows how the texts around these narratives support his interpretation and explain why Mark doesn't offer a trditional resurrection story at the end, as the other Gospels do. This book allows us to put Mark under the microscope in a completely new way, so that we understand several age-old conundrums in his Gosper, including the Messaianic Secret, the ridiculous stupidity of Jesus' disciples, the unusual status of women, and the way blind people can see the truth about Jesus when no one else does.
Partners in Prayer: Advent 2009
For years, Partners in Prayer has been a gift to congregations, small groups, and individuals looking to make a connections during the season of Advent. With scripture readings, meditations, and prayers each day, Partners in Prayer will serve as your guide to the coming of Christmas.
Stories That Have Shaped My Life & Ministry
Both as a preacher and as a writer, John Killinger is known particularly for his vivid, life-changing stories. Stories that Have Shaped My Life and Ministryis a collection of 21 stories the author says have greatly altered his own life. These stories include stories he heard preachers tell when he was growing up in a conservative Baptist Church, stories he has read in his long career as a teacher of theology and literature, stories he has encountered in shared experiences with friends and parishioners, and, more recently, stories friends have sent him on the Internet. Killinger first narrates each story in a chapter of its own and then talks about the story, its implications, its possible derivatives, and its connections with other important stories. When he has finished, each story has grown into a special bouquet of stories, illustrating his contention from the beginning that "life is story and story is life."
The Zacchaeus Solution: How Christians Can Reverse the World's Economic Downturn
When pastor Jack Myers and his wife Myralee decide to donate half their life&rsquos savings to preserve the jobs of two staff members about to be let go from their church, they start a landslide of generosity in their church that eventually reaches all the way to Ireland and China . The big Tuesday-night group that meets at the church opts to call their movement &ldquoThe Zacchaeus Solution,&rdquo after the biblical character who gives half his goods to the poor after spending some time with Jesus. When TV journalist Lesley Stahl does a 60 Minutes segment on their activities, the church has to hire additional staff members to answer phones and emails. Eventually President Obama singles out Rev. Myers for a brand new Lincoln Medal, given in honor of the former president Obama most admires. And that isn&rsquot the end of the story. A committee of Scandinavians decides that the whole world is indebted to Rev. Myers and his congregation, so honors him with the most famous prize of all, the Nobel Peace Prize!
The Zacchaeus Solution has been likened to Charles M. Sheldon&rsquos famous novel In His Steps, which appeared during the Great Depression of 1929-1933 and became a best selling novel that taught people to ask the question, &ldquoWhat would Jesus do?&rdquo Both In His Steps and The Zacchaeus Solution fall into the category of books that change people&rsquos lives.
John Killinger, the author of The Zacchaeus Solution, has personally prepared a group discussion guide that can be downloaded for free either from this site.
Order The Zacchaeus Solution from Intermundia Press, Amazon.com, or your favorite book dealer.
If Christians Were Really Christian
Wouldn't it change the face of our culture and the history of the world if we stopped merely saying 'Lord, Lord,' and began to live the way Jesus lived? Not censuring the world or citing doctrines or trying to prop up old traditions. But loving and sharing and healing and dying. It would make a tremendous difference, wouldn't it?
-excerpt from If Christians Were Really Christian
In the world today churches and church members are often diverted from their central mission of loving others and interpreting life through the vision of Jesus Christ. If Christians Were Really Christian shows that with the message we have been given and the spirit of God to lead us we should have led everyone to the kingdom of God.
The Life Death and Resurrection of Harry Potter
Examining all the Harry Potter novels, John Killinger points out the consistent way in which author J. K. Rowling follows the story of Christ in the Gospels with Harry as a Christ-figure. Rowling managed to keep this idea a secret to the end of the series, but was in fact following the Christian narrative from the beginning, which readers will recall involved Harry&rsquos being delivered amid extraordinary signs and wonders, following the death of his parents, to the home of his maternal aunt. Raised among ordinary mortals (or Muggles, as Rowling calls them), Harry doesn&rsquot discover the extent of his true powers until he attends Hogwarts School, where he is taken under the wing of headmaster Dumbledore, who is a sort of supernatural father to Harry and has an extraordinary scarlet and gold phoenix (representing the Holy Spirit) who periodically rescues Harry. The Potter stories appealed to young people all over the world with descriptions of witches and witchcraft, which outraged Christian moralists, who claimed that Harry was a poor example because he often behaved like a real schoolboy, cutting classes, telling little lies, and sometimes acting deceptively. Little did they realize that Rowling was actually following the outline of their own sacred story, a fact made clear in the final volume, where on Christmas Eve a stone statue in Harry&rsquos home town turns into a tableau of Harry and his parents (the Holy Family).
Mercer University Press - Product Code: P390, ISBN: 9780881461626
The Other Preacher in Lynchburg: My Life Across Town from Jerry Falwell
After teaching for a number of years, John Killinger, eager to be a pastor, was offered a church in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was in the 1980s when Jerry Falwell had a congregation there. Falwell had just started the Moral Majority movement and had helped to get Ronald Reagan elected president. In 1983, a Good Housekeeping national poll rated Jerry Falwell the second most respected man in America after Reagan.
John Killinger's new book is in part a picture of Falwell and an exploration of his influence from the unique standpoint of a rival minister who says that the experience of his Lynchburg years is what soon turned him into one of the Fundamentalism's most trenchant and outspoken critics.
This is a fascinating story told with great grace and style about two very differnt men of faith, both struggling to capture hearts, minds, and souls.
Released in 2009 The Other Preacher in Lynchburg is published by Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press ©2009, ISBN-13: 978-0-312-53858-3, ISBN-10: 0-312-53858-8.
Released by Crossroad Publishing Co. in April 2007, John Killinger's book is called The Changing Shape of Our Salvation. After giving a history of the development of redemption theology from the Jews of the Old Testament through the early Christians of the New Testament, and from the early church to the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and modern times, Killinger discusses the radical changes taking place in people&rsquos understanding of salvation since the advent of electric communication and the resultant globalization of our culture. As in his other books, Killinger tells a story: a story that applies to every one of us. Early reviews of the book, say the publishers, are &ldquoraves.&rdquo
God, the Devil, & Harry Potter: A Minister&rsquos Defense of the Boy Wizard, published by St. Martin&rsquos Press, $22.95 (hardback, ISBN 0-312-30869-8) and $12.95 (paperback, ISBN 0-312-30871-X). To order, phone 1-888-330-8477.
Winter Soulstice: Celebrating the Spirituality of the Wisdom Years, published by Crossroad Publishing Co., $19.95 (paperback, ISBN 0-8245-2316-4). To order, phone 212-868-1801.
Ten Things I Learned Wrong from a Conservative Church, published by Crossroad Publishing Co., $19.95 (paperback, ISBN 0-8245-2011-4). To order, phone 212-868-1801.
Seven Things They Don&rsquot Teach You in Seminary, published by Crossroad Publishing Co., $16.95 (paperback, ISBN 0-8245-2392-3). To order, phone212-868-1801
Lost in Wonder, Love, and Praise: Prayers and Affirmations for Christian Worship, published by Abingdon Press, $16 (paperback, ISBN 0-687-04600-9). To order, phone 1-800-251-3320.
Enter Every Trembling Heart: More Prayers and Affirmations for Christian Worship, published by Abingdon Press, $16 (paperback, ISBN 0-687B09395-3). To order, phone 1-800-251-3320.
Beginning Prayer, published by Upper Room Books, $10 (ISBN 0-8358-0676-6). To order, phone 1-800-251-3320.
God&rsquos People at Prayer: Pastoral Prayers and Responses for Public Worship, published by Abingdon Press, $14 (ISBN 0-687-33463-2). To order, phone 1-800-251-3320
Fundamentals of Preaching, published by Fortress Press, $22.00 (ISBN 0-8006-17967). Only $17.60 if ordered online from Fortress. To order, phone 1-800-328-4648.
THE FOLLOWING BOOKS are available from the authors at 5809 Chittenden Drive, Warrenton, VA 20187. Please send check or money order.
Jessie: A Novel
Imagine Jesus as a woman in today&rsquos America. What would she look like and how would she behave? What kind of miracles would she perform? How would she provoke cruel men to brutally murder her? And to whom would she appear after death? This beautiful novel about a beautiful woman is set primarily in the mountain country around Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where Jessie earns her living as an artist. She and her adopted stray, a German Shepherd she calls Columbo because he has a bad eye, are familiar sights on the roads and byways of this lovely territory—until she offends the conservative religionists by painting a series of famous women in religion, including Rosa Parks, whose portrait waves a red flag in front of diehard segregationists. Like Jesus of old, Jessie has her disciples too, women named Roxie, Phyllis, and Joan, who love her and would follow her almost anywhere.
&ldquoThis beautiful story will provide delightful hours of readings,&rdquo says famous Joshua novelist Joseph F. Girzone, &ldquoand many profound messages needed today. I loved the story.&rdquo
Originally $14.95, now $12 plus $5 shipping and handling. Leader&rsquos Discussion Guide and Study Guide (separate booklets) also available at $2 each, plus 50 cents shipping and handling. Often used by Sunday school classes and other groups for engaging discussions. ISBN 1-56977-575-3
The Night Jessie Sang at the Opry
In this sequel to Jessie: A Novel, Jessie returns to life as a country-music singer in Nashville, Tennessee, often called &ldquothe Vatican City of America&rdquo because of its numerous religious headquarters. Propelled into the spotlight by her plaintive voice and original songs, she issues a compelling call to righteousness and honesty on the religious scene. But this is soon met by staunch resistance from a number of highly-placed church leaders. And when some of those leaders turn out to be Mafia figures as well, Jessie&rsquos death is a foregone conclusion. She is killed during a Good Friday concert at the Grand Ol&rsquo Opry. But, as it is with Jesus in the Gospel stories, this isn&rsquot the end of the narrative, for Jessie keeps a date for an extraordinary interview with a persistent reporter from one of Nashville&rsquos newspapers, and the entire city is electrified at the story of her return.
Originally $14.95, now $12 plus $5 shipping and handling. ISBN 1-88730-00-1
Oh, To Be in England! Its Pleasures and Treasures for the First-TimeVisitor
John and Anne Killinger have lived in England several times, usually on sabbatical leave from universities where John taught, and have traveled extensively throughout the British Isles. This chatty, informative book blends interesting historical facts with practical descriptions of where to go, what to see, even where to eat and where to stay. At the end of the book are several suggested itineraries for one week, two week, and three week visits. &ldquoThis book tripled or quadrupled our pleasure in seeing England!&rdquo declared William and Betty Drummond of Dallas, Texas.
Originally $18.00. Now only $12 plus $5 shipping and handling. ISBN 1-887730-052
Bread for the Wilderness, Wine for the Journey: The Miracle of Prayer and Meditation.
A lyrical, descriptive book about the wonders of prayer and the life of prayer. Chapter titles are: &ldquoPrayer and the Wilderness,&rdquo &ldquoPrayer and the Reign of God,&rdquo &ldquoPrayer and the Individual,&rdquo &ldquoPrayer and Community,&rdquo and &ldquoPrayer and World.&rdquo Filled with arresting true stories about the effects of prayer and what it has meant to the author in his own life.
&ldquo[This is] a truly wonderful book,&rdquo wrote Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of the Power of Positive Thinking books. &ldquoI&rsquom fascinated by its logic, its philosophy, and its faith. Besides, it is a human document recording the love and joy which are so apparent in the personality of the author.&rdquo
Originally published by Word Publishing Co. at $14.95. Now $10 plus $5 shipping and handling. Leader&rsquos Guide and separate individual study guides also available at $2 plus 50 cents shipping and handling. Ideal for Sunday school classes and other study groups. ISBN 1-887730-06-0
Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for Revelation
v.1 The word "revelation" in Greek is apocalypse and means "unveiling." This book is the unveiling of Jesus Christ in His relationship to the Church, to judgment, and to what is to come. The route by which the revelation came to John is given here.
v.3 The revelation was meant to be read in the churches. It refers to itself as a prophecy. The various interpretations of Revelation:
(1) The Preterist view: symbolizes the struggles of the Church against Rome.
(2) Historic view: symbolizes the historic problems the Church has had with the world.
(3) Spiritual view: a spiritual allegory without direct application to actual events.
(4) Futurist view: it is a straightforward account of what is to come. (I hold this view.) See v. 19 of this chapter for the key to understanding the Book of Revelation.
v.4 Seven is the number of completeness: seven days in a week, seven colors in a rainbow, etc.
v.5 "First begotten" refers to Jesus being first in prominence, not first in time, to be raised from the dead. Jesus, the faithful witness, is our example to be a representative of God in our walk and in our talk.
v.6 The Church will reign with Jesus during the Kingdom Age.
v.8 Since this statement is also made by Jesus in v. 11, we see that He is eternally co-existent with the Father.
v.10 "The Lord's day" may refer to a particular day of the week, or John may mean "unto the day of the Lord," which would refer to the days of the end times.
v.12 The seven candlesticks refer to the Old Testament tabernacle when Israel was God's light in the world. In the revelation, the Church had taken that place.
v.13 Jesus often referred to Himself as "the Son of man." This term is used interchangeably with "Son of God" in referring to Jesus.
v.14-17 The only description of Jesus in the New Testament is here: Jesus in glory.
v.19 The word "hereafter" is meta tauta which means "after these things." John was to write about what he had seen (Chapter 1), the things which were (Chapters 2 and 3), and the things which would be "after these things" (Chapters 4 through 22).
v.20 "Angel" means "messenger," usually a supernatural being carrying divine messages. The messages of Christ to the seven churches are applied in three ways:
(1) Local application: written to the churches at that time.
(2) Historic application: there are seven periods of Church history.
(3) Personal application: universal message to His churches.
REVELATION 2: EPHESUS, SMYRNA, PERGAMOS, THYATIRA
v.2 "I know thy works"-Jesus is aware of what we do and our motivations.
v.4 The labor of the church at Ephesus was not motivated by love.
v.5 Jesus will not stay in a loveless church.
v.6 The Nicolaitanes established a priesthood over the laity.
v.8-11 Jesus did not call the Church of Smyrna to repentance because He knew they would be purified by the sufferings they would endure. In verse 10 Jesus spoke of death, because many of them were to be martyred.
v.14 Pagan idol worship often involved sexual orgies.
v.17 The white stone is the stone of acceptance, the black stone signifies rejection.
v.20-23 The unrepentant Church of Thyatira (carnal Christians) will go through the Tribulation because of her spiritual fornication.
REVELATION 3: SARDIS, PHILADELPHIA, LAODICEA
v.1-5 Sardis is the dead Protestant church that kept too many of the pagan rituals and holidays of the churches of Thyatira and Pergamos after the Reformation.
v.7 Philadelphia is the faithful Church in the last days.
v.8 Philadelphia has a little strength, places importance on God's Word, and has not denied Jesus as God's Son.
v.10 God's promise to keep His Church from the Tribulation.
v.14 Jesus is the origin of God's creation, the creative force of God.
v.17 The Laodiceans were lukewarm because they trusted in materialism. They thought they were rich and secure, but Jesus said they were "poor, blind, and naked."
v.19,20 The cure for the lukewarm church:
(2) to be zealous for God and to repent,
(3) to open their hearts to God.
REVELATION 4: THE THRONE OF GOD
v.1 After these things-the things of the Church-the Rapture will take place when the trumpet calls, "Come up hither."
v.4 The 24 elders may be specially created beings representing the Old and New Testaments or the Church in heaven. The song they sing in Chapter 5:9-10 is the song of the Church and similar to John's statement in Chapter 1:6.
v.5 "The seven Spirits of God": Isaiah 11:2 describes the sevenfold working of the Spirit in Christ.
v.6 "Beasts" here means living creatures, cherubim (Ezekiel Chapter 1 and 10).
v.7 The appearances of these creatures may represent the four aspects of Christ in the Gospels: lion, calf, man, and eagle.
REVELATION 5: THE SEALED BOOK
v.1 "Book" is "scroll" in the Greek in this verse.
v.1-5 The scroll contains the title deed to the earth. When Jesus gave His life on the cross, He redeemed the earth back to God, but God hasn't taken possession of it yet.
v.9-10 The song of the Church (see Chapter 1:6). This song places the Church in heaven during the Tribulation.
v.11 100 million plus millions will praise the Father and the Son.
REVELATION 6: THE SEALS ARE OPENED
v.1 "Beasts" refers to cherubim again.
v.2 I believe the white horse rider is the Antichrist, because he appears on the scene at the beginning of the Tribulation and wars and famine follow after him. When Jesus comes, peace and plenty will follow.
v.8 One-fourth of the earth's population will die as a result of the opening of the first four seals.
v.9-11 Those who refuse to take the mark of the beast during the Tribulation will be martyred and will ask God to avenge their deaths.
v.13 "Stars of heaven" may refer to meteorites.
v.16-17 Since this time will mark the unleashing of God's wrath, we know His Bride, the Church, will not be on earth.
REVELATION 7: THE REMNANT IS SEALED
v.3 The Lord will not allow the angels to hurt the earth until He has protected the remnant of Israel.
v.4-8 The 144,000 people from the tribes of Israel are simply those the Bible says they are. Various cults try to identify themselves as the 144,000, but God even named the twelve tribes to make clear whom He meant. Ephraim and Dan aren't included in this list of the tribes, but Levi and Joseph are.
v.9,10 These are the same martyrs we saw in Chapter 6.
v.13,14 The reasons I believe this group is not the Church:
(1) John didn't recognize them. If this was the Church, John would know them, because he never had trouble recognizing the Church. He would also have recognized this group if they were the Old Testament saints, because he had seen Moses and Elijah with Christ and knew them (Matthew 17:1-8).
(2) The position of this group in heaven is not that of the bride but that of servants. The Church will be the Bride of Christ and in an exalted position.
v.16 They had suffered on earth during the Tribulation.
REVELATION 8: THE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS
v.2 These seven angels are perhaps the archangels. Gabriel and Michael are two of the archangels.
v.3-5 The ceremonies in the tabernacle were patterned on the heavenly ceremonies.
v.7-11 These catastrophic events resemble environmental pollution.
v.10-11 The fresh water supplies will be polluted.
v.12 The darkening of the heavenly bodies will probably be an atmospheric condition resulting from the three preceding trumpet judgments.
REVELATION 9: MORE TRUMPET JUDGMENTS
v.4 The men with the seal of God on their foreheads are the 144,000 from Chapter 7.
v.6 For five months, no matter how badly injured they are, people will not be able to die.
v.11 Abaddon and Apollyon both mean "destroyer." This is Satan, the king of the demons.
v.14 Euphrates is the river that ran through the ancient city of Babylon. Babylon was the center from which all the satanic cults originated.
v.20-21 The people left alive after these plagues will continue to worship Satan. "Sorceries" comes from the Greek word pharmakia which is the use of drugs for hallucinatory purposes.
REVELATION 10: THE SECOND COMING
v.1 "Angel" means messenger. This angel is Jesus-the description here matches the one in the first chapter. The rainbow symbolizes God's covenant with man
v.2 The little book is the scroll which has now been unsealed it is the title deed to the earth.
v.3 This is the second coming of Christ. Other references to this loud cry are: Isaiah 42:13, Jeremiah 25:30, Hosea 11:10 and Joel 3:16.
v.9 "Eating" or reading the book was pleasant, but digesting or absorbing it was bitter.
v.11 Some scholars believe that this verse indicates that John will be one of the two witnesses of Chapter 11.
REVELATION 11: THE TWO WITNESSES
v.1-13 This passage breaks the sequence of events and tells the story of the two witnesses
v.1 The Antichrist will allow the Jews to rebuild their temple
v.2 The Jews will lose control of Jerusalem for 42 months
v.3 These two witnesses are primarily to the Jews Sackcloth was worn by the prophets as a sign of mourning for the condition of the nation 1,260 days equals three and one-half prophetic years
v.4 Zechariah 4 contains a vision of the olive trees and the candlesticks God explained that He would abundantly supply His power to those who would call on Him. The implication is that the two witnesses will be supplied with God's power in a mighty way
v.5 Elijah was able to call down fire from heaven on those who sought to arrest him.
v.6 Elijah went to King Ahab and predicted a drought. Moses dealt with Pharaoh of Egypt when God sent the plagues. Some Bible scholars think Moses and Elijah will be the two witnesses for the above reasons. Also, in Malachi 4:5 God promised to send Elijah before the great day of the Lord, and in Matthew 17:11 Jesus said that Elijah would come and restore all things.
v.7 Only when they had finished their testimony could the beast touch them.
v.8 The city of Jerusalem will be so corrupt that God will call it spiritually Sodom and Egypt.
v.9 In John's time it would have been impossible for all the people of the earth to see the two dead bodies. Today, television will make it possible.
v.15 We take up the story in sequence again. The kingdoms of the world which Jesus Christ purchased back for God will be in His control again.
v.18 Daniel 12:1-3 also speaks of the judgment of all men.
REVELATION 12: THE DRAGON CAST OUT
v.1-2 The "woman" is the nation Israel. She wears a crown of twelve stars, symbolizing the twelve tribes and reminiscent of Joseph's dream (Genesis 37:9).
v.3 The "dragon" is Satan, that old serpent.
v.5 The "man child" of Israel could be the 144,000 who will be taken to heaven in the middle of the Tribulation. When we next see the 144,000, they are in heaven before God's throne (Chapter 14:3). Most scholars agree that the "man child" is Jesus Christ.
v.6 When the image of the beast is set up in the temple, Israel will flee to the city of Petra.
v.10 Satan is the one who accuses us before God.
v.11 The victory over Satan is won through the blood of Christ.
v.14 Isaiah 16:1 tells of Sela (Petra) as the refuge for the Jews. "A time, and times, and half a time" is three and one-half years.
v.15 The "flood" is an army.
REVELATION 13: THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET
v.1 The beast will rise out of the ten nations of the Common Market ("ten horns").
v.2 "Seat" means throne. Satan will give the beast his power, throne, and authority.
v.3-4 An attempt to assassinate the beast will put out one of his eyes and paralyze an arm (Zechariah 11:17).
v.7 "The saints" refers to Israel.
v.11-15 This "beast" is the false prophet who leads the people to worship the beast and to erect an image in his honor.
v.16-18 The number of the mark of the beast is 666. People will have to have this number stamped on their heads or hands in order to buy and sell.
REVELATION 14: THE 144,000 IN HEAVEN
v.4 The 144,000 follow the Lamb, but the Church as the Bride of Christ will be with the Lamb.
v.6 These angels will preach the Gospel to all people in all nations.
v.7-11 The people will be warned about the consequences of taking the mark of the beast or worshipping him.
v.13 Those who are killed by the beast for refusing to take his mark will be spared from further suffering in the Tribulation.
v.14-20 The Battle of Armageddon will take place in the Valley of Megiddo in Israel. The valley will be filled with blood from the slaughter.
REVELATION 15: THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
v.2-3 This throng may be the 144,000, for they sing the song of Moses.
v.8 These plagues mark the culmination of God's wrath upon the earth.
REVELATION 16: THE PLAGUES ARE POURED OUT
v.2 "Noisome" means running. The burns from radiation are running sores.
v.5-7 The Lord's judgments will be righteous.
v.9 The ozone blanket around the earth is being depleted. Without it the ultraviolet rays will not be filtered out, so people could be badly burned from the sun.
v.12 Russian scientists are constructing a dam in Syria across the River Euphrates. The "kings of the east" will probably be a coalition of forces from China, Japan, and India. They will travel down the dry river bed to reach Megiddo for the Battle of Armageddon.
v.14 The kings of the earth will be driven by demon powers to the Battle of Armageddon.
v.21 A "talent" weighs about 200 pounds.
REVELATION 17: THE PULLING DOWN OF BABYLON
v.1 The "whore" is the false church system that was very powerful and ruled over many nations ("many waters").
v.3 The "seven heads and ten horns" describe the Antichrist.
v.5 Suggested reading for history students: The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. This book connects ancient Babylon with the corrupt church.
v.6 "Admiration" here means "wonderment."
v.7 This church system will help the beast gain power.
v.9 The seven heads are the seven mountains upon which the city of Rome is built. The "woman" (false church) is based there.
v.10,11 When John was writing, the sixth king was on the throne of the Roman empire five had died and one was yet to come. The beast will be one of the seven. Caesar Nero was the fifth emperor of Rome and was called "The Beast" by the early Church. His actions after he rejected Paul the apostle's witness were those of a demon-possessed man. In my opinion, the demon who possessed Nero will possess the Antichrist.
v.12 The "ten kings" are the nations of the Common Market (see Daniel 7).
v.13 The Common Market countries will need a strong leader, so they will give their power to the Antichrist.
v.18 Rome will come to prominence again during the reign of the Antichrist.
REVELATION 18: COMMERCIAL BABYLON FALLS
Though spiritual Babylon is identified as Rome, commercial Babylon isn't identified with a particular city. With the transfer of the world's wealth to the Middle East, some believe that the original Babylon will be rebuilt.
v.1-10 The destruction of commercial Babylon will be swift. In one hour it will be utterly burned. Since the onlookers will be "standing afar off for the fear of her torment," perhaps there will be radiation contamination.
v.20-24 While those on earth are mourning the fate of Babylon, heaven is rejoicing.
v.23 This verse speaks of the merchants. "By thy sorceries were all nations deceived" suggests a Madison Avenue-type advertising which makes people slaves to the acquisition of things.
v.7 The "Lamb" is Jesus Christ, "wife" is the Church, and the wedding is finally taking place.
v.8 The "righteousness of the saints" is their faith in Jesus Christ.
v.10 John was so overwhelmed by what the angel was revealing to him that he began to worship the angel, who immediately stopped him. When the Holy Spirit speaks, He exalts Jesus Christ, never the instrument or the man. This is the sign of the true movement of God's Spirit. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" means that all prophecy has to do with Jesus Christ. He is the heart and soul of the Scriptures.
v.14 This army on white horses is the Church.
v.15 The Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword.
v.19 This is the "war" of Armageddon.
v.20 "Lake of fire" is referring to the Greek Gehenna.
REVELATION 20: THE JUDGMENTS
v.3 "The bottomless pit" is also called the abussos or shaft which goes from the surface to the center of the earth. Hades, in the center of the earth, is where dead men go the abussos is where the demons go.
v.4 Those on the thrones of judgment may be the Church.
v.6 The Church will be in heavenly bodies and, thus, will not be subject to the deceptions of Satan.
v.7-9 Many people will choose to follow Satan, though they will have lived on earth during the reign of Christ. They will rebel against the "rod of iron"-the enforced righteousness that will characterize His reign.
v.10 "Forever and ever" is from the ages to the ages.
v.11-15 The great white throne judgment will not be for the Church.
v.12 The books that will be opened suggests that accounts of our actions are kept in heaven.
REVELATION 21: A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH
v.11 "Jasper stone" is the diamond.
v.12 The number twelve is used often in the new city.
v.16 The new city will be about 1500 miles in a cube, so it may be built on many levels.
v.19-20 These stones were in the breastplates of the Jewish priests.
v.23 God will provide the light source for the new city.
REVELATION 22: THE SOON RETURN OF CHRIST
v.13 Jesus is speaking in this verse. The attributes of God are His, too.
v.19 Any man who adds to or subtracts from this book will be plagued and will lose his place in heaven.
© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.