Revelation of Hope – Revelation 8:1-5 – Week 17

Revelation of Hope 

Revelation 8:1-5

Week 17

Rob Covell 
Introduction –  In this Session will begin Revelation Chapter 8, and start the second cycle of Sevens. As I mentioned earlier in this study, the book of Revelation is a cyclical book that tells and re-tells the same account of salvation history, but in varying degrees of intensity and scope.

The first set of Sevens were concluded with the completion of Chapter 7. In Chapter 8, we begin the re-telling of the same story of the first Seven Seals, as the Seventh Seal opens up the cycle of the Seven Trumpets. The Seven Trumpet cycle is told from the perspective of the spirit realm and the spiritual warfare that accompanies the destruction of Jerusalem and whole of salvation history.

Before we move on, it would be helpful to review the first cycle of the Seven Seals.  The rider on the white horse is Jesus Christ who is portrayed as the victorious conquering King.  The rider on the red horse is the Roman Army being led by Vespasian and Titus.  The rider on the black horse was the famine that accompanied the siege of Jerusalem.  The fifth seal brought into view those who were martyred for Christ during the Jewish and Roman persecutions of the First Century, and their intercession for justice.  The sixth seal brought into view the signs of God’s coming judgment to Jerusalem for rejecting the Messiah Jesus Christ.  Then the Interlude brings into view the encouraging vision of those who stayed faithful to the Lord, of both Jews and Gentiles through the great tribulation of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish and Roman persecutions of the Early Church.

The book of Revelation is 3 cycles of Seven, representing the 777 complete view of salvation history from the birth of the Church to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 8:1

a) The silence in heaven is a significant contrast when compared to the glorious DOXA of Chapter 7.

b) This is something we should pay attention to, as it speaks of 2 things as the Lamb opens the Seventh Seal. The first being the awesome reverence of God in the angelic realm. There are many times in Scripture where being in the presence of God demanded silence. See Ecclesiastes 5:2, Job 40:4-5, Psalm 46:10. The second is the angelic realm was in awe of God’s judgments and the scope and power of His decrees. No words can describe the awesome power of what has been decreed by God in terms of the finality of them.

Revelation 8:2 

a) The symbolism of 7 is found throughout the book of Revelation as it is the divine number of completeness, and finality.

b) Trumpets in Scripture are used for 3 main purposes. To sound the alarm of war, to gather the assembly to worship or feast, or as a command to march. In the context of this prophetic book, the 7 trumpets are the alarm of war against those who have rejected Jesus as Messiah.

c) The seven angels were ones that stood before God in addition to the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders. The description of their position as being before God tells us something about their status and mission. Being before the Living God tells us that these 7 angels were close to the counsels of God in throne room and that these angels were set apart for carrying out the decrees of the Godhead.

d) It is important to mention that we see the pattern of seven trumpets in the destruction of Jericho (See Joshua 4:8). This is prophetic picture of the destruction of those who oppose God and His people. In this account also see 3 cycles of 7 symbolizing the totality of God’s judgments.

Revelation 8:3-4

a) In verses 3-5 we see the power of prayer and intercession. In verse 3 we see the altar of incense in the True Temple in Heaven. We see similar scene mentioned in Revelation 5:8. A gold censer was only used on the Day of Atonement. The smoke from the censer came from the sacred fire that never burned out on the altar of incense. Hebrews 9, connects this with the Holy of Holies and our access to the true Holy of Holies through Jesus Christ who is our True High Priest in Order of Melchizedek. See Numbers 4:14 and Leviticus 16:12.

b) Our prayers are incense before God and are pleasing to Him. This verse shows that even the angelic realm partners with our prayers. Prayer is described in Revelation as powerful, pleasing to God and full of ability to accomplish what is being prayed for.

c) Acts 10 gives the account the prayers of Cornelius being an offering before God that released salvation to the Gentiles.

Revelation 8:5 

a) The act of the angel hurling the censer to the earth (GE), describes the awesome power and the force of our prayers.

b) Keep in mind that the destruction of the Land is in view in the Seven Trumpet Judgment. The Land mentioned is the Land of Judea, and specifically the Jerusalem and the Temple. The Old Covenant revolved
around the Promised Land. As Jesus was rejected by the political and religious rulers of Judea, and as Jesus instituted a New Covenant, the Land was worthy of Seven Trumpet Judgments.

c) Peals of Thunder, Rumblings, Flashes of Lightings and an Earthquake are all symbolism speaking of the unspeakable power of God’s throne, judgments and the majesty of His person. We see a similar manifestation in Revelation 4 in the description of the spiritual atmosphere around His throne.

Source Material: 
http://www.livius.org The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   http://www.josephus.org  The Story of Christian Theology, Olsen  G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Early Christian Martyr Stories – Bryan M. Litfin  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

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Receiving the Davidic Mantle – Week 4 – 1 Chronicles 14

Receiving the Davidic Mantle

Week 4

1 Chronicles 14

Rob Covell   

Introduction:

As we continue our series Receiving the Davidic Mantle, we are going to look at a season of David’s life where he was faced down, and challenged by his enemies the Philistines. David defeated his enemy by seeking the face of God, and obeying God’s word thru faith actions.
I want to encourage us this morning by showing us that we can live in the same confidence before God as David did, and by learning from David’s example we can begin to live from a place of confidence in any season of life that we are facing.

1 Chronicles 14:1-2

a)  Hiram – David’s ally and friend. Tyre or Sidon, a merchant people who we very wealthy. (The people of Jezebel’s ancestry) But at this time they were friendly to David and the relationship between the kingdoms as mutually beneficial. Solomon also made a contract with Hiram to provide materials for the Temple. Hiram also built a causeway that connected the mainland with a pagan temple, and enlarged the harbor and city of Tyre. This causeway was later destroyed by the Alexander the Great. This was prophesied in Isaiah 23, Amos 1:9-10, Zechariah 9:3-4

b)  David’s prophetic promises were realized. All of things that the Lord had spoken concerning David’s destiny were realized at this time. Notice that David’s destiny was tied to others, and that David had humility to realize that it was by God and for His people that David was exalted.

c) Our calling and life path in Christ is for the sake of God and others. 1 Corinthians 10:24, Ephesians 4:49, Philippians 2:4 – The beauty of being a part of the Body of Christ is that when we realize the fullness of our call, we not only have the satisfaction of success and victory, but we are a blessing to other people. There are no other people on the face of the earth with the potential that can be realized by the church of Jesus Christ.

1 Chronicles 14:3-7

a)  The Scripture is truthful in its presentation of human weakness and it’s evaluation of the people that God uses.  1 – David’s many wives cost him true intimacy with a woman and robbed him of the covenant beauty of marriage.  2 – David’s many wives cost him his kingdom for a time and lead to the deaths of not only his son Absalom, but lives of many others thru a brutal civil war.   3 – David was robbed of healthy family relationships and did not leave a foundation of security of his children. The sins of incest and sibling rivalry were present in his family.

b) The man after God’s own heart – God used David because he kept coming back to God even in the midst of his sin and failure. The Lord related to David based on His goodness, grace, and His loving-kindness. Psalm 51.  c) Jesus Christ – He is our provision for sin and Hs purity, holiness, righteousness and virtue become ours by faith in Him.  Romans 3:21-22

1 Chronicles 14:8-9

a)  David faced a new level of warfare after he received his prophetic promise of being King over all Israel. The enemy heard of David’s promotion in God and came out to challenge his position as King. This is a picture of not only a natural kingdom being challenged, but also the spiritual warfare waged against the people of God.

b)  Our lives are challenged in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm because these 2 realms are present realities in everyone’s life. Ephesians 6:1018 & Colossians 1:15-17

c) Valley of Rephaim – The Valley of Giants – The challenges of life can seem like giants. The Valley of Rephaim is symbolic picture of facing insurmountable odds in the love, care and strength that God gives. David embraced his call and met his enemy head on. When we have confidence that God loves us, and understand who we are in the Lord, facing our spiritual enemies and the hard seasons of life are possible.

1 Chronicles 14:10

a)  David asks and obeys the Lord. This simple spiritual principle of asking and obeying by faith what God says to us is the foundation for victory in our lives. Hebrews 11 demonstrates that great exploits for the Lord are accomplished by faith in His word.

1 Chronicles 14:11-12 

a)  Faith requires action. David believed that his victory was promised and by faith in God’s word David realized victory over the Philistines. David partnered with God. We partner with God in claiming His reward when preach the gospel, live Jesus, and display the power of the Kingdom.

b)  David also realized the Providence of the Lord as the battle belonged not only to David, but to the Lord. Baal Perazim – The Lord who breaks out – this poetic language speaks of the power of God to deliver His own. David saw himself as an instrument of the Lord. The Apostles believed they were instruments of God and laid a foundation for the church that is still in place after 2000 years. As the people of God today, we have the same capability and mandate of the early church to bring transformation to our nation. Matthew 28:17-20

c)  The Philistines abandoned their gods. The idols of life are always abandoned in the presence of the true King!

1 Chronicles 14:13-16

a)  David’s authority was challenged again. We must know that our authority as believers will be challenged many times as walk thru life. The hardships we face birth perseverance in us and train us to become more dependent on the Lord Jesus for the grace to prevail. James 1:2-4

b) David asks the Lord for instructions and the Lord gives David a completely different strategy for victory. Life is never static and spiritual warfare is multifaceted. David’s faith level was being raised by being asked to face the enemy in a way he was not familiar with.  We can see that this time when David went to face the Philistines it required a greater faith action and a higher level of trust in God.

c)  Notice that David’s victory was greater. The greater the faith challenge the greater the glory for God.

1 Chronicles 14:17

a)  The reward of David’s faith was success and authority. Likewise when we are victorious in Jesus nobility and virtue begin to define us. The Lord makes us famous (spiritually) for His sake. The apostle Paul experienced this is Acts 19, during his ministry in Ephesus, where a whole city was converted by the power of his message of Jesus. Notice in both Biblical accounts that the fear of the Lord descended on those who were hostile to God and His people. God’s people will always be victorious thru obedience to His Word and faith/action.

Revelation of Hope – Revelation 7:9-17 – Week 16

Revelation of Hope 

Revelation 7:9-17

Week 16

Rob Covell       

Introduction –  In this Session we will complete the Interlude of Revelation 7. This is one of the most glorious, encouraging and promise filled sections of the book of Revelation. Imagine yourself as First Century Christian who was enduring the difficulties that the Early Church faced. These verses in Revelation 7:9-17 would have imparted hope, courage, faith and perseverance in your walk with Jesus.

Even today we gain the same encouragement that the Early Church received from this section of Scripture called the Interlude. We may even be more encouraged when we learn that the Great Tribulation is over and the contemporary Church of Jesus Christ will not be facing the Destruction of Jerusalem, the persecutions of Nero, Domitian, and others found in the Apostolic Age of the Church.

Revelation 7:9

a) The great multitude that no one could count – John is seeing the whole collective Church that has overcome the Great Tribulation. We will expound this in more detail when we comment on Revelation 7:14. The Greek basically says that this is a crowd of people that is too big to count. This is an expression to describe the whole mass of people that are in view in John’s Interlude Vision before the opening of the Seventh Seal. The comment is not literal, but a figure of speech to describe a large crowd.

b) From every nation – Greek – ETHNOS – a people group

c) Tribe – Greek – PHYLĒ – those descending from the patriarch Jacob – The great multitude includes the Jews who received Jesus as Messiah. This includes the 144,000 mentioned in the beginning of Chapter 7.

d) People – Greek – LAOS – of the human family, a people group, tribe, etc.

e) Language – Greek – GLŌSSA – dialects or languages used particular people groups.

f) It is important to note that by the mid-AD60’s the Church had evangelized the known civilized world (See Colossians 1:6), so it would make sense that all who endured the great tribulation would have come from all of people groups of the Roman Empire.

g) Standing before the throne and before the Lamb – This beautiful poetic language that describes the position of those who are faithful to God and have overcome the world. To be face to face with the Godhead and see the Godhead in full glory is an amazing thought. They are standing before the throne and the Lamb described in Revelation 4.

h) White Robes – Greek – STOLĒ – outer garments worn by priests, kings or men of rank. White describes the purity and holiness of those who have been saved, and the outer garment speaks of their position as priests before God. Notice they crowd is not described as gender specific. All who overcome in Jesus Christ are arrayed in white and have a priestly function to minister to the Lord before the throne.

i) Palm Branches – This is a symbol of victory in the ancient world. We see a similar display in Matthew 21 at the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. John sees the future of those who have received the Revelation, believed the gospel and have stayed true to the Lord despite persecution, martyrdom, hardships and trials. We should not assume all of the multitude had been martyred, but can assume all have overcome the world through Jesus.

Revelation 7:10

a) We see the interrelated working of salvation of the Father and Jesus. John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Revelation 7:11-12

a) Revelation 5:11 is in view here. Verse 11 describes the glorious angelic assemblies of God, who worship and adore the Living God. The angelic realm is awed by the salvation that was given to mankind through the cross. 1 Peter 1:12 – It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

b) In verse 12 we see the Sevenfold DOXA of worship offered to the Lord. We see this same Sevenfold DOXA in Revelation 5. Seven is the number of completeness. The fullness of the expressions of worship contains these seven concepts. Praise, Glory, Wisdom, Thanks, Honor, Power and Strength.

c) The Amen is the expression of the strongest agreement from the angelic order. It is interesting to note that even angels have emotions and are capable of the deep expression of their hearts in worship toward God.

Revelation 7:13-14 

a) The great tribulation – See Matthew 24:21-22 – “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” – MEGAS THLIPSIS – the large pressing – is used in both Revelation 7 and Matthew 24:21. The Great Tribulation of the Church began with the Jewish persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and continued through the great persecutions of Nero, etc. The good news is that the Great Tribulation ended in the era of the Early Church, and will never happen again.

b) In verse 14 we see the beautiful poetic language of the blood of Jesus making our robes/coverings white. This speaks of purity of the blood of Jesus. See 1 Peter 1:18-19

Revelation 15-17 

a) Before the throne to serve day and night – This is everlasting priestly presence, and throne room experiential worship. This is unbroken fellowship. Many commentators include the whole Church in these promises as we see a parallel section found in Revelation 19:7-8.

b) Spread His tent over them – Psalm 91 promises in fullness are in view here. The Lord is our covering, our shield and loving protector for eternity.

c) Never hunger or thirst – There is no bodily suffering in heaven, or spiritual lack in heaven. How much more should we pray: “on earth as it is in heaven”!

d) Jesus our Shepherd – Greek – POIMAINŌ – to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep, to rule, govern, to nourish, to cherish one’s body, to serve the body, to supply the requisites for the soul’s need

e) Guide us to springs of living water – Jesus fulfills His promise in John 4:13-14 – Jesus is the sufficiency for all who love Him.

f) God (Father) will wipe away all tears – This is metaphor for the caring healing touch from our Father in heaven.

 Source Material: 
http://www.livius.org The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   http://www.josephus.org  The Story of Christian Theology, Olsen  G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North
The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Early Christian Martyr Stories – Bryan M. Litfin  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

Receiving the Davidic Mantle – Week 3 – 1 Samuel 24

Receiving the Davidic Mantle

Week 3 

1 Samuel 24

Rob Covell  

Introduction:

In this session we are going to continue in our series, Receiving the Davidic Mantle. The purpose of this series is to study the life of David so we become rooted and grounded in the grace of God and the love of God. David, understood the goodness of God and lived from the knowledge that God’s primary nature is one of goodness, mercy, and grace toward people. From that revelation of God’s nature and character, David was confident in God’s love toward him.  These 2 revelations were the very things that gave David the confidence to live in a place of trust and friendship with the Lord.

Today we are looking specifically at David’s season of persecution from Saul. These are the years where David learned perseverance, trust and faith in the prophecies about his life that God promised to David. So many of us are robbed of destiny and breakthrough because we partner with the discouragement and hopelessness of our situations that rob us of our faith.

This morning we will receive keys of faith that impart perseverance in our lives to the point where we become overcomers in God, just like David did during the worst years of his life.

Romans 5:3-5 – And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
1 Samuel 24:1-2  

a) En Gedi – on the western shore of the Dead Sea – En Gedi means the fount of the kid – or the birth place of goats. The Dead Sea is the lowest elevation on earth and has a 34% salinity. This is 9.6 times the salinity of the ocean. Another strange feature is that asphalt or bitumen seeps up out of the Dead Sea. It is describes as one of the harshest environments on earth.

b) The allegory attached to this area is as follows. David was driven to the lowest points in his life. Sheep are symbols of prosperity, goats in the negative context are symbols of the unfaithfulness and sacrifice. David finds himself in worst place ever.

c) Saul pursued David with 3000 men. At this time David had approximately 600 men (1 Samuel 23). 1 Samuel 22:2 – Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him. Hebrew – Distress – MATSOWQ – anguish – Hebrew – in debt – NASHA’ – to be beguiled or deceived – Hebrew – discontented – to have bitterness – David was beacon of hope to those who had no hope.

d) We can see that David faced impossible odds against Saul. Saul the jealous, Spirit forsaken king of Israel was after David to kill him in order to rob him of his destiny as the rightfully anointed king of Israel. Saul represents the insurmountable issues of life and the attack of the enemy on believers.

1 Samuel 24:3-7

a) Saul went to relive himself. Our Bible translators wimped out. Look up the Hebrew word CAKAK!

b) David’s men encouraged him to take Saul’s life since Saul was in such a weak state and vulnerable situation. This would have been a humiliating death of a king.

c) The key here is – “for you to deal with as you wish” – David knew that he was anointed king by the Lord and promised the throne. But David realized that if he took destiny in his own hands, it would not be by the Lord’s hands.

d) We are sometimes faced with the opportunity to move on our own and fulfill our prophetic promises in our own strength. When the Lord fulfills a prophetic promise it there is no dishonor attached to it and it is fulfilled supernaturally. To attempt to fulfill prophetic promises, is the place where Ishmaels are made.

e) David cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. Deuteronomy 22:12 – The TZITZIT – cords/tassels at the 4 corners of an outer garment. These were to be reminders of God’s deliverance by the Exodus, and His Covenant to His people. David was conscience stricken because even though he did not destroy Saul, he dishonored Saul’s position as being the Lord’s anointed (king).

1 Samuel 24:8-13

a) David knew the ways of honor, and David knew his identity as one who possessed a promise. David lived from the place of promise and not by the set of his current circumstances.

b) David knew how to wait on God for his breakthrough.  c) David takes the grievance of his trial to the Lord and asks for the Lord’s decree over the situation he is in. Later on the narrative of David’s life, we see the demise of Saul coming from the poor choices he made, and not from David. David was free from offense in his dealings with Saul.

d) Living from the place of trusting the Lord, brings our enemies to the revelation of our destinies in God. In 1 Samuel 24:16-20, Saul confesses David’s righteousness, acknowledges his calling and asks David for a promise to treat his descendants with mercy.

e) We learn 3 things from David’s season of difficulty and trials. A) David waited on the Lord to fulfill His Word. B) David lived his life in an honorable way in the midst of attacks from his enemies. C) David strengthened himself in God and lived from the place of identity and not from the place of his current circumstances.

The Revelation of Hope – Week 15 – Revelation 7:1-8

Revelation of Hope 

Revelation 7:1-8

Week 15

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will begin Revelation Chapter 7. This chapter is an interlude between the Sixth Seal and the opening of the Seventh Seal. In this chapter we see the loving care of God for His people being expressed as He orchestrates the sealing of His people and a time of peace before the destruction of Jerusalem. It is important to mention that the Church of Jerusalem escaped the siege of AD 70 and fled to Pella. Not one Christian is recorded as being killed in the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus prophesied this in Matthew 24.

One thing we can be sure of is that we can trust the Scriptures, and their prophesies. Over and over in Scripture we see things taking place that were fulfilled in history just as they were predicted by the Scriptures. If we were members of the 7 Churches that received the Revelation, we would be comforted to know that the Lord’s word is true, reliable, and that He cares and loves His people through the worst of times. The Revelation is the promise of Gods care and deliverance from all trials and tribulations.

Revelation 7:1

a) It is important to keep in mind the symbolic nature of the apocalyptic writing style of the Old Testament prophets and the Revelation of John. We see the angelic order participating and facilitating God’s decrees and declarations. John is seeing in the Spirit, so we can expect that through this trance state God would reveal vast amounts of understanding in pictures.

b) The wind being held back from the 4 corners of the earth is figurative language describing a set period of time for the purposes of sealing the first fruits of the Jews who received Jesus as Messiah. This was the time between Pentecost and the destruction of Jerusalem.

c) 4 Winds in the OT – Jeremiah 49:32 and Jeremiah 49:36 – these 2 example verses introduce us to descriptive language of the 4 winds as being winds of destruction and judgment from God.

d) Earth – Greek – GE – localized area of a region. IE the land of Judea

e) Sea – Greek – THALASSA – The Red Sea or the Mediterranean Sea

f) Trees – the Roman Army chopped down all of the trees in 15 KM circumference surrounding Jerusalem.

Revelation 7:2-3 

a) Angel from the east or the place of the rising sun – This angel brings a ministry of peace and a declaration of a specified time on which the first fruits of the Jewish Nation would be saved by believing in Messiah. These angels have the ministry protecting the Jews that were saved by believing in Messiah. The weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. From the place of the rising sun or the morning glory comes the promises of God. They are new every day.

b) Having a seal on the foreheads remind us of the phylacteries that the Covenant People wore on their foreheads and arms. See Exodus 13:16 and Matthew 23:5

c) Being sealed on the forehead – This is the most visible place of the human body and it is the boldest place for a mark.

d) Servants of our God – Greek – DOULOS – metaph., one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men – devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests – slave, bondman, man of servile condition – This is the most descriptive language for one who has been completely conquered by the love of Jesus. We can only give ourselves over to the one we trust and know by experience that they love us.

Revelation 7:4

a) The 144,000 – these are mentioned in Revelation 14:1-5

b) The 144,000 is descriptive language for the whole amount of the Jews who believed in Jesus as Messiah during the Apostolic Age of the Early Church. Verse 4 tells us they are Israelites from the 12 tribes. Acts 6:7 tells us that a great many priests believed in Jesus and were added to the Church in Jerusalem. Also more than 3000 were saved at Pentecost, and in addition to these believers were added daily to the Church in Jerusalem in Acts 2:47. There was a significant amount of Jews who became believers in Jesus and birthed the Church from Jerusalem.

c) The 144,000 are Jews and not Gentiles.

d) 12 x12 – 12 is the number of fullness of God’s people (12 tribes), or the government of God (12 Apostles). The number 144,000 imply the conversion of many Jewish people. See Romans 9-11

Revelation 7:5-8

a) This list corresponds to all of the Tribes of Israel that were present during the lifetime of Jesus until the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. All of the official genealogies were destroyed in the fire that burned the Temple. The only genealogy to survive was Jesus’.

b) Notice the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are missing. These 2 tribes were destroyed by their idol worship and apostasy many of hundreds of years before the First Century.

c) The demise of the Tribe of Ephraim – Judges 17 gives an account of a man of Ephraim named Micah who erected a shrine of an idol , made an ephod and obtained a Levite from Judah to be a an illegal priest and led Ephraim into idolatry by forsaking the Tabernacle. Over time Dan fell away from the Covenant and were destroyed in captivity. They reaped the Deuteronomy 28 curses for being Law breakers. See Isaiah 7:8 -for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.

d) The demise of the Tribe of Dan – In Judges 18, we see the tribe of Dan taking Micah’s idols and his priest and continued worshipping the idols until the captivity. Amos 8:14 prophesies their total destruction – “As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria,  Who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’  And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives,’  They will fall and not rise again.”

e) It is historically proved that at the time of the First Century these 2 tribes were no longer a people who could be recognized as tribes of Israel.

Source Material:
http://www.livius.org The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   http://www.josephus.org  The Story of Christian Theology, Olsen  G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Early Christian Martyr Stories – Bryan M. Litfin  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

The Revelation of Hope – Week 14 – Revelation 6:9-17

Revelation of Hope

Revelation 6:9-17

Week 14

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will complete Revelation Chapter 6 and see how this New Testament prophetic letter to the First Century Church was fulfilled in history. To the churches receiving the Revelation, this prophetic vision given to John would have comforted them and encouraged them during the persecutions and hardships that they faced.

It is important to de-mystify the book of Revelation and interpret it in the context of the First Century, Jesus prophesies in Matthew 24 and the history surrounding the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

What we believe about the future flavors the way we live our lives, minister to others, and the outlook we have regarding our destinies or life paths.

Revelation 6:9

a) The Fifth Seal introduces us to the Martyrs that have been persecuted and killed because of the Word of God and their Testimony. The Word of God being mentioned here is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and specifically that Jesus is Messiah. Their testimony is their death confession of fidelity to Him.

b) As we learned in Chapters 2-3, that the Early Church was persecuted by the Roman Authorities and the Jews who rejected Jesus and considered Christianity a Jewish Messianic heresy. In fact the Jews did not consider Christianity a separate religion from Judaism until the Second Century. We know from history that Nero began an empire wide persecution of Christians after the Great Fire of AD 64, and eventually killed the Apostles Peter and Paul in Rome. Some historians estimate that nearly 500,000 thousand Christians were put to death during this time of persecution. Nero was nicknamed the Beast by the Roman Senate and there are accounts of Nero dressing as a Beast and mauling the bodies of men and women as they were tied to stakes. Then they were eventually ignited at night to light Nero’s gardens.

c) Notice that the souls of the Martyrs are under the Altar. This is the Altar of Incense. We see a better description of it in Revelation 8. On this Altar there is no sacrifice for sin. Only the sacrifice of worship and prayer to the Lord. Martyrs who die in Christ are lovingly positioned in the place of deepest intimacy with Him.

Revelation 6:10  a) The Martyrs intercede for the justice of God to avenge their blood. In Genesis 4:10 we learn that blood has a voice. We also know from Leviticus 17:11 that it says life is in the blood.

b) Only the Lord is the righteous Judge. The judgments of God are perfect and holy, true and right.

Revelation 6:11

a) It was mentioned earlier that the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls are the same narrative repeated in increasing intensity and scope of content.

b) The Martyrs were told to wait.

c) They were given a white robe to wear. This is the covering of purity, and innocence. First their faith is pure and true because they did not deny their Savior. Second, loving Christ is no crime and Christian character denies evil and wrong doing. Christianity expresses itself through acts of love, service, supernatural power, and grace.

d) God is slow to anger and full of lovingkindness. We see in Scripture that God gives people time and abundant opportunities to come to faith and experience His love and grace in their lives. Even the Apostle Paul said he tried to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ before his conversion on the road to Damascus.

e) In verse 11, we see that the Lord has a set limit to the number of those that have suffered for His Name. This is an expression of His sovereignty. Jesus pronounced judgment on Jerusalem in Matthew 23:34-35 – Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Revelation 6:12  a) Matthew 27:45-54 says that darkness covered the land and an earthquake split rocks and tore the veil of the Temple in two. The darkness showed creation mourning the death of the Son, and earthquake that ripped the veil in two symbolized Jesus body being the true veil and through His torn body all have access to the Father.

Revelation 6:13-14

a) To properly interpret this section and most of Revelation, we need to interpret it from the position of Hebrew/First Century thought and culture. In prophetic Scripture we see stars, moon and sun referring to governmental power and ruling authorities. We need to go back to Genesis to find the interpretation of this verse. See Genesis 37:9

b) Many times in Old Testament Scripture we see the stars, moon, sun, etc. being symbolic of ruling authorities and governmental powers. See Joel 2:10, Joel 3:15, Obadiah 1:4

c) What we have here is an intense description of the Lord overturning authorities and powers in Jerusalem. There was the destruction of the Old Covenant Temple that needed to fall as it was not useful anymore to mediate between humankind and God, the judgment of the governmental authorities who condemned Christ and denied Him being Messiah and we have the Old Covenant being put to death by the New Covenant that Jesus cut with His blood.

Revelation 6:15-16

a) Josephus gives an account of the leaders and followers who were fighting the Romans during the siege of Jerusalem leaving the city and hiding in the subterranean caves in the area and hiding from the destruction of the Roman army. It was Josephus’ position that Jerusalem was being judged by God for Israel’s rebellion, the murder of James the Just and many other men who were considered holy.

b) We see that no one was able to stand and hide from the wrath of the Lamb as Jerusalem was judged for her rejection of Messiah.

c) Josephus Book 6, Chapter 9, Section 5 – “by God Himself, and fled immediately to that valley which is under Siloam, where they again recovered themselves out of the dread they were in for a while, and ran violently against that part of the Roman wall which lay on that side; but as their courage was too much depressed to make their attacks with sufficient force, and their power was now broken with fear and affliction, they were repulsed by the guards, and dispersing themselves at distances from each other, went down into the subterranean caverns.”
Source Material:
The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   josephus.org  The Story of Christian Theology, Olsen  G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Early Christian Martyr Stories – Bryan M. Litfin  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

The Revelation of Hope -Week 13 – Revelation 6:1-8

Revelation of Hope 

Revelation 6:1-8

Week 13

Rob Covell   

Introduction –  In this Session we begin Revelation Chapter 6. In this chapter Jesus begins to open the Seals of the Scroll that He received from the Father. It is important to note that Jesus received the Scroll of the Redemption of all creation. Through the process of opening the Seals, we Jesus revealing the whole story of the conflict and conquest of Redemption History.

The opening of the Seals and the Blowing of the 7 Trumpets are basically the same narrative, told in increasing degrees of intensity. This understanding of Revelation will greatly simplify and de-mystify the book of Revelation, and will point us to the historical context of the Revelation. Revelation Chapter 1, tells us that the things that are to be revealed in this prophetic book are “near/soon”. So the best way to understand the book is in the context of the First Century Early Church and the geopolitical struggles that surrounded them at the time.

Our main source material for interpreting the 7 Seals and 7 Trumpets are the “first mentions” in the Old Testament, Josephus’ Histories, and Early Church History. Our approach to the Revelation is from the Historist View which is has been a prominent view of the Church for 2000 years, and supported by the whole of history.

As we begin Chapter 6, John’s trance/vision continues in its intensity as he witnesses the playing out of Redemption History.

Revelation 6:1 

a) John receives the invitation from one of the 4 Living Creatures, to come and see the opening of the Seals so that he can report to the 7 Seven Churches what is about to take place in the world around them.

b) The voice of the Creature is described to us as “thunder”. Thunder in the Scripture speaks of the power of God, the Judgment of God, and sudden fulfillment of God’s words. Exodus 9:23, 1 Samuel 7:10, 1 Samuel 12:18, Job 40:9, Isaiah 29:6, Psalm 77:18

c) It is important for us to keep in mind that the Seals are opened by Jesus Christ. Jesus is in control of the whole of world history because all authority has been given to Him, in heaven and on earth. It is error for us to impute that satan is managing the Revelation or somehow dictating the terms of the suffering we are reading about in the opening of the 7 Seals and the 7 Trumpets.

d) In the opening of the 7 Seals we see the progressive panoramic view of the struggle between the Kingdom of God and the inferior dominion of satan.
Revelation 6:2 

a) We are introduced to the Rider on the White Horse. The natural interpretation of the identity of the Rider is found in Revelation 19:11-16.

b) White – Symbol of Purity and Holiness

c) Bow – Symbol of Warfare, Swift Judgment and Power, or Bow of God – See Psalm 7:12, Isaiah 41:2, Lamentations 2:4, Zechariah 9:3

d) Crown – Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is crowned with honor and glory.

e) Jesus Christ is a conquering King by means of the authority of the Gospel, and the spiritual domination of the Church over the forces of evil. Jesus is bent on conquest, because He is in the process of the violent overthrow of the effects of the Fall. He has passion to accomplish the cause of His suffering on the Cross.  f) The city of Jerusalem is also in view, because Jesus told the Sanhedrin that they would see Him come in power and mourn their decision for rejecting Him and crucifying Him. See Matthew 26:64 – Jesus also comes as Judge who removes the Temple (AD 70) and establishes His Church. Matthew 27:25 – All the people answered, “let his blood be on us and on our children”.

Revelation 6:3-4

a) The second Living Creature invites John to witness the opening of the Second Seal.

b) The symbolism of the Fiery Red Horse shows us the nature of its mission. Red is used to symbolize the destructive nature of the devil, and the attitude of hatred and warfare. The red horse is the Roman Army ad their destruction of the land of Judea and Jerusalem.

c) The mission of its rider was to take peace away from the land (earth). The Greek word for land is GE (compare with OIKODOMENE – known civilized world). It commonly means a local geographic area rather than the entirety of the planet. Matthew 24, will help us understand the opening of the 7 Seals. In Matthew 24, Jesus prophesied the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple within the time frame of 1 generation. The content of Matthew 24, parallels Revelation Chapter 6.

d) The one who fulfilled the Second Seal mission was Vespasian and his son Titus. Josephus being an eye witness to the Roman military invasion of Judea and the Siege of Jerusalem gives us a detailed account of the mass scale of murder, bloodshed and warfare the Roman army carried out against the Jewish nation that rejected Jesus as Messiah.

e) We are not waiting for a fiery red hoarse to be loosed in our times as Jesus judged sinful Jerusalem, and removed the Temple because its purpose was fulfilled when the New Covenant was established.

Revelation 6:5-6

a) The Third Living Creature invites John to witness the effects of the Third Seal that Jesus opens.

b) During the Roman siege of Jerusalem, Josephus describes in great detail the horrors of the famine in Jerusalem. “So all hope of escaping was now cut off from the Jews, together with their liberty of going out of the city. Then did the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole houses and families; the upper rooms were full of women and children that were dying by famine, and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also and the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead, wheresoever their misery seized them. As for burying them, those that were sick themselves were not able to do it; and those that were hearty and well were deterred from doing it by the great multitude of those dead bodies, and by the uncertainty there was how soon they should die themselves; for many died as they were burying others, and many went to their coffins before that fatal hour was come.”

c) Josephus writes an account of mother eating her child and the cost of wheat and grain being extremely high during the siege of Jerusalem. It is well worth our time to read about the accuracy of Jesus’ words in Matthew 24, in the account that Josephus documents in his Histories of the Jews.

d) Josephus mentions this account of John Levi swallowing up the oil and wine of the Temple. At this time he and his rebels were living in and plundering the Temple. “While they were fighting for the Divinity, without fear, and that such whose warfare is for the temple should live of the temple; on which account he emptied the vessels of that sacred wine and oil, which the priests kept to be poured on the burnt-offerings, and which lay in the inner court of the temple, and distributed it among the multitude, who, in their anointing themselves and drinking, used [each of them] above an hin of them.”

Revelation 6:7-8 

a) The Lamb – The Redemptive Identity of Jesus Christ as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all.

b) The Fourth Living Creature invites John to witness the contents of the opening of the Fourth Seal. Keep in mind that the land (GE), is concerning a localized area.

c) The identity of the Pale Horse or Green Horse – Greek – CHLŌROS – green, yellow green pale of death. The Pale Horse is Death. Death is the fruit of sin. A portion of the Jewish nation rejected Jesus Christ and suffered the cost for rejecting the One the Father loved, who gave them their salvation. Death and Hades are destiny for everyone who does not receive Messiah.

d) In Mathew 23 and Luke 13, Jesus prophesies that Jerusalem would be left desolate for rejecting Him as Messiah.

e) Josephus documents that the rebel factions in Jerusalem not only killed each other, but killed and robbed the population that was shut in Jerusalem. He also documents that many died from famine and the disease associated with not being able to remove the dead bodies from the city.

f) Number of prisoners taken in the entire war: 97,000. Died during siege: 1,100,000. This large number during the siege was due to the Passover celebration, as Jews from many countries had been in the city for the festival when the siege began. Josephus tells skeptical readers this number is consistent with Cestius’ population estimate under Nero.

g) See Deuteronomy 28:13-68 for a detailed list of punishments for the Jewish nation being rebellious against God.

h) Early Church history tells us that not one Christian was killed during the siege of Jerusalem. There are many accounts that the whole Christian Community fled to Pella just before the Roman Siege – Esuebuis – The first clear reference comes from the fourth century church historian Eusebius. He says that as the Romans approached the city, “The people belonging to the church at Jerusalem had been ordered by an oracle revealed to approved men on the spot before the war broke out, to leave the city and dwell in a town of Peraea called Pella” (EH III:5). – See Matt 24:8 i) Beloved we are not waiting for mass death to come to planet earth as part of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. This mindset robs the Church of her mission, and denies the grace of the New Covenant. Jesus came to give eternal life and abundant life to the world.
Source Material:
josephus.org  The Story of Christian Theology, Olsen  G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price