Mark Driscoll on Revelation part 2

We are preaching on Revelation soon so I am doing some background work on it. Here are my notes on Mark Driscoll’s second preach on the book. They are quite long but not as long as the actual preach. If you want to read it or hear it in its entirety then check it out here:

  • Mark is looking at the book of Revelation thematically from the perspective of worship. That’s a good idea and helps keep the series on track and focused.
  • Worship is what you devote yourselves to, what you give yourself to, invest yourself in. It could be to, a person, work, money sports team, looks, the true God or a false god. (me –I guess it’s more about what we are devoted to most, or ultimately.)
  • You become like what you worship
  • In Romans 1:25 Paul says we either worship the creator or a created thing.
  • We may not recognise the names of the OT gods but they are being as worshiped as much ever!
  • Artemis = god of youth
  • Ashura = goddess of sex
  • Baal = god of money
  • Gad = god of Luck
  • Molech = required child sacrifice ie doesn’t like kids
  • Nebo = god of literature and education
  • NT idols
  • Coveting (Eph 5:5)
  • stomach (Philipp 3)
  • Celebrities
  • ourselves (“lovers of themselves”)
  • “the world is a valley, scriptures are a mountain, and you start in Genesis and you start climbing. By the time you get to Revelation, you’re at the peak and you get to see Heaven, and you get to see Jesus as the object of your worship and adoration. And as we come to Revelation, the whole point is to transform us into a people of lavish worship that enjoy creation, but worship creator, not worship creation.” (me – that’s like my aim in my bible blog project. To climb to the top of bible mountain and see Jesus more fully and clearly)
  • Rev 1:1 – It’s a book about Jesus. A revelation of Jesus. It’s not primarily about the beast, or his mark, or the whore of Babylon, or the four horsemen or the two witnesses, or the sea of blood…It’s about Jesus. “Don’t miss the big E” on the eye chart.
  • Rev 1:2 – God revealed himself to John
  • Rev 1:3 – Blessed are you if you read this book!
  • Why do we worship Jesus?
  • His four year old answered “because he’s the best”. (me – From the outside it can look like Christians worship Jesus because they have to but that is not being a Christian. I worship Jesus because he is the best thing/person ever. Why worship anything or anyone else? Of course we worship Jesus because he is God but it’s just as true to say we worship him because he is good.)
  • Jesus is the “faithful witness“. What he says is true.
  • Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. The first to conquer death. We are his first fruits.
  • Jesus is king, even if the world seems to be winning at times. (John saw this while exiled on Patmos)
  • “To him who,” – what? – “loves us…..We worship him because he loves us. It’s the simplest truth, and sometimes the most easily overlooked. Why worship him? Because he loves you. Your God has inclined his affections toward you.”
  • He has freed us by his blood. He alone can save us.
  • “He has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father.” ie we are made to worswhip Jesus.
  • “Why do we worship God? Because that is the sum total of our life. That our life, as Paul says, is hidden in Christ, and we are priests. You say, “Well, I work a job. I go to school. I stay home with kids.” No, you’re in full-time ministry as a priest mediating God to people who need him, and people whom he loves.”
  • “to him be the glory and power forever and ever.” We worship Jesus because he is “weighty”. (not quite sure where that comes from, I think this verse is also saying that we worship Jesus because he is due it.)
  • The correct response to all this is “Amen” = “I agree” “that’s where my vote goes”, “Yes”, ie Jesus says “I love you “, we say “Amen”.
  • Good to say it out loud! “We have one guy in this church that [always?] gives me an amen. His name is Sam. I love Sam. All right, what would Sam do? Do that. Amen?
  • We worship Jesus because he is coming beck “on the clouds”
  • “Peter says it’s not that he’s slow, but he’s patient, and there’s a lot of people he’s trying to get to, and they’re fairly difficult. Now, we all want Jesus to come back right now. Why? Because we know Jesus. Can’t this be the finish line? I mean, “I’m glad it went 2,000 years. Got me? The end. Everybody else, [blows raspberry] you know, they’re firewood. Forget them.” No. God’s patient, not – he’s pursuing, he’s saving.”
  • We worship Jesus because in Exodus 3:14, the most sacred, holy name of God given in all of the Bible is in Exodus 3:14, where Moses encounters a burning bush, and God tells him go preach, and he says, “Well, who should I say has sent me?” “Tell him that I Am has sent you, the one without beginning or end.” It’s so holy that the Jews wouldn’t even utter this name. It’s so holy that even when they spelled it, they took out the vowels, because they were so afraid of blasphemy, because Jesus is the I Am. Jesus is the one who was in the burning bush speaking to Moses. We worship Jesus because he is the God. He says that he is the Lord God, Jehovah God. It goes on to say, “Who is,” – Jesus is alive today – “Who was,” – Jesus was alive yesterday – “and who is to come,” – is alive tomorrow. Jesus is the beginning and end, he is without beginning and end, but he creates time.”
  • How to worship
  • With song and our whole lives.
  • “in many parts of the world today, if you come to Christ, you will be persecuted and possibly murdered. That’s how we get the Christian concept of birthdays. They used to throw birthday parties after the Christians had died. If a Christian was murdered, the church would get together and the following year they would commemorate their life by remembering their birthday.”
  • (me – now here is an interesting side track. Birthdays do go back way before Jesus and I think had very non-Christian, astrological roots. Egyptian Pharaohs and Roman emperors celebrated their birthdays in a rather egotistical way. Wikipedia says that the idea off birthdays was spread by the cult of Mithras, popular with Roman soldiers. It was not until the 4th Century that Christians began celebrating birthdays which could have had something to do with the Roman Emperors (who loved celebrating their own birthday) being more pro Christian.The bible mentions two birthdays that I know of: Pharaohs celebrated his birthday and hanged the chief baker Genesis 40:20 and Herrod celebrated his birthday and killed John the Baptist Matthew 14:6. Understandably birthdays were not usually looked upon in a positive light in early Christianity.  The third century theologian Origen wrote “…of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below“.

    It could hardly be said that Christians have promoted the idea of birthdays through Christmas as they have often tried to get rid of it, ie the puritans in the 17th Century.

    Personally I think birthdays are a great opportunity to show someone how much they are loved and valued and cared for. I am not too bothered about celebrating my own, but I love valuing my children on their birthdays and thanking God for them. The issue, as is often the case, is not with the outward practice but with the inward attitude.)

  • Mark says the weekend idea came from trying to give both Jews and Christians a day to worship.
  • “The reason we are here on Sunday, is this is the Lord’s Day. This is the little Easter. Every Sunday, when we get out of bed and go to church, we’re reminding ourselves that at the end of time, we, like Jesus, will get out of our graves and we will go to Heaven. On the Lord’s Day, he says, “I was in the Spirit.” You worship the Lord with your lifestyle. You worship the Lord on Sunday.”
  • We worship the Lord by the holy Spirit. “I think John assumes that if you know Jesus, you know what it’s like to be in the Spirit versus being in the flesh”
  • John has church on Sunday even though he is on his own!
  • You worship by “seeing Jesus”. Its cause and effect.
  • He saw the lamp stands which are the church shining out in a dark world, and Jesus was among them.
  • “Soren Kierkegaard tells a great parable. He says that there was once a prince who went out into a field, saw a woman that he loved; she was common and simple. He desired to marry her and love her. And so to win her hand, he humbled himself, put on the clothes of a peasant and went out and took a job in his own field, working and labouring alongside of her, winning her heart so that she would love him. And on her wedding day, he revealed to her that he was the King. That is what God has done with us. We meet Jesus in his humble state and we love him, and then he reveals to us that he is the king and we are a part of his bride, the church.”
  • His feet where like burning bronze. Note that in Daniel’s picture the feet of the statue were of clay. Bronze is made from iron which is strong but rusts and copper which doesn’t rust but is weak. ie Jesus is unbreakable forever.
  • voice like rushing waters….seven stars….sword coming-out of his mouth….
  • John fell down. “Your posture reflects your heart. When a lady walks into the room, a gentleman should stand – reverence”.
  • he placed his hands on me” : Jesus touches people in worship. Hands laid on usually indicates blessing (like when Jesus laid hands on the little children) and  commissioning.
  • Worship is where your wounds are healed.
  • “The seven stars are the angles of the seven churches and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches”. (me – It’s great when the bible explains itself, except there is still confusion as to whether the angles are literal angels. Mark seems to assume they are as he then talks about angels. Other possibilities are that the angel is the senior pastor, a prophet or secretary of the church who would take or receive this letter from John, or the church itself. There are problems with all these explanations. For example the literal angel view would need to explain why the angel is being addressed rather than the church ie “I know your deeds”. )
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