Foundations – Introduction – Week 1 – The Goodness of God

Foundations

Introduction

The Goodness of God  – Galatians 3:1-14

Week 1

Rob Covell
Introduction: As we start this new series, Foundations we are going to learn the Theology of Revival and Reformation so that as a Community we can steward the movement that is rising up by the Holy Spirit at Refuge. Our destiny as a Church is to redefine the expression of Christianity to look more like the organic, and authentic church of the apostolic age that changed the face of society and culture in one generation.

This summer is going to be a very important season for us because we are going be taught, challenged, and imparted into revival by very powerful men and women who move in supernatural graces that will move us forward in our mission. I want us to be intentional in embracing what God has for us, so that we may know the Lord better and live out our faith in a way that transforms the world around us.

Every community or tribe of people have unique qualities that define them as a people, and those things come from corporate agreement. During the course of this series we are going look at the following subjects that make Refuge Tribe unique and define our unique expression of faith.
1 – The Goodness of God

2 – Dominion Mandate

3 – Supernatural Lifestyle

4 – A Culture of Love and Honor

So we will begin our series in Galatians 3, and explore the Goodness of God displayed to us in the cross of Jesus Christ and the removal of the curses of the Law from us.

Galatians 3:1

a) The Letter to the Galatians is probably one of Paul’s earliest apostolic letters. It was probably written between AD40 and AD50. Paul and Barnabas visited this area and evangelized this region. See Acts 16:6. This area is in modern day Turkey.

b) The controversy surrounding the Galatians Letter revolved around the Goodness of God. When we say the Goodness of God, we are speaking about salvation (soteriology), and the requirements that are necessary to be saved and loved by God. We can say that even in the Apostolic Age the spirit of religion and the demonic demands of ritual over relationship were raging.

c) Those who were disrupting the grace of God that Paul taught the Galatian churches were the Judaizers. This was a group of rabbinic teachers from the Judean Church that were teaching that those who were not Jews had to become Jews first to receive Jesus Christ, and then they could be in relationship with the Godhead. These men were saying they had greater authority than Paul because they came from James the Just in Jerusalem and therefore their teachings superseded Paul’s. See Acts 15 and Galatians 2. The error of the Judiazers is that they mixed the Old Covenant with the New Covenant instead of teaching the ending of the Old Covenant and the establishment of the New Covenant.

d) Paul calls the Galatians foolish or more accurately not understanding – Greek – ANOĒTOS – not understanding or unwise – Paul clearly taught the Galatians the simplicity of Jesus Christ crucified for sin, resurrected from the dead, and established as Messiah who rules and reigns.

Galatians 3:2-5

a) Paul confirms the miraculous expression of the Holy Spirit in their community. This teaches us that it is by grace the Holt Spirit gives us the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. So many of us in Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity are taught all kinds of formulas, works and methods to obtain the gifts of the Spirit or works to increase in them. We miss the truth that is by grace we have them in the first place. We grow in them by asking for more, practicing them, and obeying the voice of Holy Spirit in us. Human effort adds the frustration of works in contrast to the resting in relationship and faith.

Galatians 3:6-9

a) Paul points the Galatians to God’s grace based Covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15. When God gave Abraham His promise, Abraham had done no works, had not received circumcision, but simply believed that God’s promise was true for Him. Abraham’s works were works of obedience that flowed from his friendship/relationship with the Lord after he had already received the promise.

b) Christians are the children of Abraham. This teaches us that the identity of the people of God are those who relate to Him through faith and not Law or genealogy. Titus 3:9 – But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

Galatians 3:10-13

a) Paul reminds the Galatians of the curses and blessings in Deuteronomy 27-28, and the frustration of Israelites when they had to relate to the Lord within the constructs of a Vassal Covenant. Galatians 3:24

b) Faith – Greek – PISTIS – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it –

c) The Law causes us to work for favor from God and receive favor from God by resting in faith.

d) Jesus redeems us from the curse of the Law. See Deuteronomy 28 –

e) Jesus redeems us so that we would live in the promise of blessing. Jesus the perfect Lawkeeper fulfilled the Law and its righteous requirements so that we can relate to the Godhead in the freedom of faith and the blessings of friendship with the Lord.  See Colossians 2:13-15

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Revelation of Hope – Week 21 – Revelation 10 – Rob Covell

Revelation of Hope

Revelation

10 Week 21

Rob Covell
Introduction –  In this Session we will cover the whole of Revelation 10. Revelation 10 is part of a brief interlude between the blowing of the sixth and seventh trumpets. It includes the Mighty Angel and the Mystery of God that is accomplished, John eating the Little Scroll, and continues into Revelation 11 with the Testimony of the 2 Witnesses.
This interlude is consistent with the flow of Revelation as we have seen in the previous interlude of Revelation 7. Revelation 10 is an encouragement to the Church that displays a wide panoramic view of the power of the Gospel, and John’s eating of the Little Scroll that empowers his prophetic assignment.

Revelation 10:1

a) Many commentators have identified this angel as Jesus because of the description of the angel. I do not see that here for 2 reasons. 1 – Jesus is never described as an angel in the New Testament or in Revelation. He is described as the Lamb and the Lion. 2 – This Mighty Angel swears by God Himself. Jesus being a Person of the Godhead would never swear to Himself.

b) The description of the Mighty Angel is described in great glory, size and power. The symbolism describing him tells us something about the authority and assignment of this angel.

c) Mighty Angel – Greek – Mighty/Strong – ISCHYROS – strong either in body or in mind – of one who has strength of soul to sustain the attacks of Satan, strong and therefore exhibiting many excellences – This angel was created by God with mighty power to announce the fulfillment of the purpose of the gospel.

d) Robed in a cloud- This angel is clothed with the glory of God. A cloud is referenced to the glory of God in Exodus 19:16, Exodus 40:35, Numbers 9:19, Deuteronomy 5:22, 2 Chronicles 5:13

e) Rainbow above his head – The rainbow speaks of God’s covenant promises. The angel as a supernatural rainbow/headdress that identifies him as one who has some type of ministry that concerns the Covenants of God. This angel does announce the fulfillment of the mystery of God, which is what Paul describes as the revealing of the Gospel. More to come on this subject when we get to verse 7.

f) Face like the sun – This angel is reflecting the effects of having been basking in the presence of the Godhead. Just as Moses’ face displayed the radiant glory of God, this angel carries this same manifestation, but only in greater intensity. See Exodus 34:35

g) Legs like fiery pillars – The proper word would be feet – Greek – POUS – Often in ancient thought the foot is referenced as being placed on top of the vanquished when this word is used. See Strong’s G4228. This angel is an angel of victory.

Revelation 10:2-3

a) The angel held a little scroll that is a scroll of prophecy to empower John to continue his apostolic ministry. This another reason this angel is not Jesus. This angel carries a little scroll, Jesus possesses The Scroll.

b) The angel’s foot is on the land and the sea. Greek – Ge for land and THALASSA for sea. This references a localized region of the land and the Mediterranean Sea or Red Sea, not the global earth land mass or the totality of the oceans. Having his feet on the sea and land speak of God’s victory over the land of Judea, and the sea surrounding that area. That region may have rejected and crucified Messiah, but the eternal Gospel will be victorious over those who rejected Jesus.

c) Roar of a lion – This is symbolic language for the ferocity of the angels’ message and the kingly authority that backed his voice. Lions were the symbol of kingly power and authority in the ancient world, as the lion is a fierce predator and has no natural enemy.

d) Voice of the 7 Thunders – George Eldon Ladd in his commentary states that the Greek use of the definite article in the phrase “seven thunders” indicates that something is known or familiar to the hearers. Whatever the 7 Thunders are, we cannot be dogmatic in saying. But I suggest that the 7 Thunders are the authoritative voice of decree from God. It would seem to me that the Christians who received the Revelation as well as Christians today would recognize God’s voice that sounds like 7 thunders.

Revelation 10:4

a) Whatever the 7 thunders spoke, we are not privileged to know. The Apostle Paul describes his third heaven experience in 2 Corinthians 12 and tells us that he heard inexpressible things that man is not permitted to tell. Some revelatory experiences with God are so sweet they should not be told. It is proper to keep the secret of Lord sometimes. All lovers have sweet secrets between each other.

Revelation 10:5-7

a) As the angel swears by the Creator God, he declares that when the seventh angel blows his trumpet the mystery of God will be accomplished. We have mentioned before that Revelation is a cyclical, repetitive prophecy that gives us the same narrative over and over in different perspectives and degrees.

b) The Mystery of God – It is always best practice to use Scripture to interpret Scripture. The Mystery of God is not a mystery as we understand it in modern terms. Mystery – Greek – MYSTĒRION – something hidden, hidden purpose or will – In Romans 11:25, Romans 16:25, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:3,4,9, Colossians 1:26, Colossians 2:2, Colossians 4:3 all describe the Mystery of God as being the Gospel. Simply, Jesus Christ and His crucifixion/sacrifice for sin, resurrection, ascension, and second coming. The New Testament explains the Mystery of God in the Person of Jesus Christ and explains the prophecies of the Old Testament in terms of Christ’s first coming, sin sacrifice, power, second coming and the glory of the Church and the eternal kingdom.

c) If we reference the blowing of the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:18 we see the Mystery of God accomplished by the establishment of the eternal order. The seventh trumpet has not blown yet, we are waiting for that one to blow. This is trumpet mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

Revelation 10:8

a) It is interesting to note that this mighty angel suddenly became small enough for John to take the little scroll out of his hand. This highlights how changing and fluid the apocalyptic writings of the Bible are. It is error to interpret Scripture from strict literal interpretations. It is more reliable to interpret Scripture in terms of symbolism, culture, history, and first mentions in Scripture.

Revelation 10:9-11

a) We see a similar encounter in Ezekiel 3, when the Lord commanded Ezekiel to eat a scroll that would empower him to speak the words of God.

b) John’s scroll is sweet like honey in his mouth, but sours his stomach. The word in the Greek for stomach can used for the entire abdomen, the womb, the intestinal tract or metaphorically the innermost part of man where the will is, emotion, the seat of thought or the heart of man. This is a metaphoric expression of the intensity and burden that John was given by God in terms of his prophetic mission in writing the Revelation. As we observe the vison that John wrote in the Revelation it is very intense in terms of visions of God and Jesus, the judgments of God, the spiritual warfare, the descriptions of the angelic order, and many other spiritual experiences that would wear out the human intellect. John could only bear this as a grace from God.

c) This scroll empowers John with the Word of God to complete his prophetic declaration as he prophesies about the glories of the Kingdom of God and the destiny of peoples and nations.

d) The Word of God is sweet. Psalm 119 reminds us of the goodness of God’s Word, and pleasure it brings to us.

Source Material:  Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   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  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

Receiving the Davidic Mantle – Week 6 – 1 Chronicles 17

Receiving the Davidic Mantle

Week 6

1 Chronicles 17

Rob Covell
Introduction:

This week we complete our series Receiving the Davidic Mantle. The purpose of this series is to establish the Refuge Tribe in the grace of God, the promises of God, and the love of God. These truths were the things that rooted David in radical worship, and passion for the Lord. Understanding these truths will establish our community and fuel our revival lifestyle, and our reformation culture.

1 Chronicles 17:1

a) We see David’s heart to honor the Lord and establish his presence in a permanent sacred space.

b) David had been prospered and established by the Lord, and David was thankful and desired to honor the Lord above the way the Lord had honored him.

c) The Lord’s relationship with David teaches us that even though the Lord is transcendent, mighty and powerful, He relates to people in very personal and intimate ways.

1 Chronicles 17:2-3

a) It is the ministry of the prophet to encourage God’s people in the desires of their hearts, and to encourage them in their destinies. It is the responsibility of prophets and ministers to stir up God’s beloved to move in their gifts and unique expressions of faith.

b) Nathan the prophet had no reason to believe that the Lord would not honor David’s desire to build a house/habitation for His presence.

c) Our night seasons are opportunities for the word of the Lord to speak to us.

1 Chronicles 17:4-6

a) God’s habitation is with people not buildings. The Lord moved throughout the community of the Israelites before the Ark was brought to Jerusalem. He was present where He was honored and the worship of Him was offered. Hebrew – bayith – House or Habitation

b) God was content dwelling with the people in a tabernacle/tent. God does not honor buildings, but gatherings of people who are hungry for Him.

c) The Lord never commanded His judges/leaders to build a permanent House, but feed them and care for their hearts and honor His Word. See Deuteronomy 6

d) The Lord brought them out of Egypt – God is the deliverer of His people and the One who always keeps His Word to His people.

1 Chronicles 17:7

a) The Lord had brought David from the lowest place to the highest place because The Lord is good and kind.

b) Faith is the great equalizer. David had learned to worship the Lord in the loneliness of the pasture. David learned to strengthen himself in God and learned bravery and courage when he fought the lion and the bear. The ways of the Lord are learned in the secret place and walked out by faith.

1 Chronicles 17:8

a) The same promise that the Lord made David is given to us. Matthew 28:18-20 and John 17:26

b) When God is with us we should have the expectation that all of the benefits of His presence are present in our lives. 1 Chronicles 13:14 says that the Lord blessed Obed Edom because His presence was in in his house.

c) David’s name is great because of his heart for God and God’s grace, goodness and love; not because of David’s performance. David failed in many areas of the Law, but the Lord relates to people through relationship, not Law.

1 Chronicles 17:9-10

a) Just as the Lord gave Solomon rest and established peace during his reign, but the fulfillment of the promise is found in Jesus Christ.

b) Jesus Christ is our rest, our deliverer, the One who subdues the issues of life and the enemies of His Church.

c) The Lord promises David a house/habitation. This is not a house of brick and mortar, it is a legacy of the generations.

1 Chronicles 17:11-12

a) Clearly Solomon did not fulfill this mandate. The genealogy of Jesus tells us that He descended from the Davidic Line. See Matthew 1:17 and Luke 3:31

b) Jesus established the Kingdom of God, through the New Covenant. His throne is forever. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. Revelation teaches us the power of His rule and reign.

c) Daniel 2:44 teaches us the authority and power of the Kingdom that Jesus Christ rules.

d) The house of God is His people, the Church, the true habitation of God.

1 Chronicles 17:13-14

a) Jesus, the Son of God was loved by the Father because He was the perfect Man, the Second Adam, who kept the Law perfectly.

b) John 15:9 – “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.”  The Lord will never take His love from us. We have been established in the love of Jesus. Romans 8:37-39

c) There are 2 things that mark the Beloved of God – The rule and reign of Jesus in our lives and the eternal love of God.

Revelation of Hope – Revelation 9:13-21 – Week 20 – Rob Covell

Revelation of Hope

Revelation 9:13-21

Week 20

Rob Covell
Introduction –  In this Session we will complete Revelation Chapter 9. We continue the 7 Trumpet cycle in the context of the spiritual warfare in the unseen realms in relation to the destruction of the land of Judea, Jerusalem and the Temple.

The Sixth Trumpet is about to blow and we will see the most descriptive language on the subject of spiritual warfare and the assignment of demons ever found in Scripture. As we continue to read through the Revelation, I want to remind us that we are approaching the Revelation from the Historist View that sees a partial fulfillment of the Revelation in the First Century, and in the real history surrounding the destruction of Judea, Jerusalem and the Temple.

The point of this verse by verse study of the Revelation, is to demystify the book and place it in the proper context of the First Century hearer and prove that the prophecies of Jesus concerning the generation that rejected Him, and His prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the desolation of the land were fulfilled in the First Century. To project the book of Revelation into the future is to dismiss the real history of Jews, the Church, and the prophecies of Jesus, and to engage in a very serious speculation about the future we live in now.

Revelation 9:13

a) The sixth angel blows the trumpet – In previous sessions we learned that in Scripture trumpets were used 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.

b) The voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. The symbolism is important to note here. This is the true altar before God’s throne. The horns of the altar are significant because this was the place where the sins of the community were covered by blood in the Old Covenant Sacrificial System. See Leviticus 4:13-18. A First Century believer would have connected this altar to the earthly altar in Jerusalem and seen its fulfillment in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin. The symbolism of gold represents the Royal Authority of God, and the abundance of power and the wealth of His Kingdom.

c) The voice from the altar that is before God’s throne is authoritative and holds the power of the decree of God. God’s people are covered by the blood of Jesus have access to His presence and throne.

Revelation 9:14-15

a) The Great River Euphrates is the Northern most natural boundary between the land of Judea and the pagan kingdoms of the North, i.e. Babylonians, Assyrians, etc. In Scripture the area of the Euphrates is described as the place where the judgments of God on the land of Israel originate. See Jer. 6:1, 22; 10:22; 13:20; 25:9, 26; 46:20, 24; 47:2; Ezek. 26:7; 38:6, 15; 39:2

b) A First Century Jewish believer would have associated the area as the place where the judgments of God come on the land of Israel.

c) The reference to the angels being bound – Greek – DEŌ – to bind – bound with chains – to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains – or can be used as a metaphor for satanic influence – the same word is used in Luke 13:16 by Jesus to describe the woman who was bent over by satanic influence in her life. These 4 angles can be identified as angels who are in allegiance with satan. See Revelation 9:11

d) Their assignment is to release the hell of war and death on the land in response the Jewish rejection of Jesus.

e) It is important to note that their assignment was at a specific time, day, month and year. If this already happened in history we would have no expectation of anything like this in the future.

f) To kill a third of mankind – The Greek word anthrōpos is used here in verse 15, it simply means people, male or female. When we think of the word in our cultural context we think of the whole human race. This is not in view here. It refers to a large group of people. History tells us that vast numbers of people perished in the destruction of the land of Judea and during the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus says approximately 1.1 million died in Jerusalem alone.

Revelation 9:16

a) The number of the mounted troops – 200 million – Greek – DISMYRIAS – double myriad, an innumerable number – To take this number literally is to miss the point that what is being described is that a vast demonic army will be loosed on the Land, Jerusalem and the Temple. The identity of these mounted troops will be given to us verses 17-19. It is also error to associate this demon army with a physical army, as the clear context of these verses in the taking place “in the Spirit”.

Revelation 9:17-18

a) The symbolism of the demon horses and riders –

b) Fiery Red – A description of demonic anger and the association with the Dragon/satan

c) Dark Blue as opposed the Heavenly Blue hues of God’s realm speak of them belonging to a false dominion.

d) Yellow like sulfur – This is symbolic of being allied with hell as sulfur and brimstone come from hell.

e) Horses with lions heads – Symbolic for the fierceness and devouring attacks that these demons loose on the Land. Horses are symbols of warfare, and power in warfare in Scripture.

f) Out of mouth – No words, only the stench of hell. There is no breath of life in the mouths of satan or demons. The absence of the Breath of Life brings death.

Revelation 9:19

a) The power was in their mouths and tails. Again we continue with the symbolic description of the demon horses. The tails like snakes, continue the symbolism of these demon horses being empowered by the serpent, satan.

b) The Greek word for injury used here is interesting. ADIKEŌ – to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin, – to be a criminal, to have violated the laws in some way – to do wrong – to hurt. We can see from a natural reading of the original use of the word that this would be injurious in terms of sin that hurts the souls of people and bring spiritual death as well as physical death when it is manifested in the natural realm.

c) We are seeing a very descriptive narrative of the spiritual warfare that accompanied God’s judgment on Jerusalem, as this was the generation that rejected Jesus Christ as Messiah. Many times in Old Testament Scripture we see God using the enemies of Israel to be tools of judgment, and then in turn we see God judge their enemies according to what they had done to Israel. We see this same flow in Revelation as satan and his demons are judged are destroyed in the lake of fire. See Revelation 20.

Revelation 9:20

a) The Old Covenant Temple and worship system as devoid of life when Jesus was sacrificed for sin on the cross, raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven. The Temple worship had become useless and the symbolic Temple elements that were to lead Israel to Jesus, became idolatrous.

b) Gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood were all used in Temple worship as either building materials, or materials associated with the Temple instruments.

c) When God is not present, every expression of worship is void and open to the influence of demons. The Temple and the Law at this point had become useless and lacked any ability to save, cover sin, or please God.

d) John refers to Psalm 115 in verse 20.

e) Josephus gives a detailed list of supernatural documented warnings given to this generation to cause them to repent. – See the list below

f) Sign of the Son of Man in the sky – Josephus documented seven signs in detail. The parallel passage here is Luke 21:11.” Fearful sights and great signs from heaven.”

g) A meteor in the shape of a sword hung over Jerusalem for 12 months of which he eye witnessed.

h) On the eighth month of Zanthicus, before the feast of unleavened bread, a light shined around the altar as bright as the light of day for about ½ hour.

i) At Passover, before the destruction of Jerusalem a heifer gave birth to a lamb on its way to sacrificial altar. Josephus documents this in detail. This is the same season in which our Lord became the one sacrifice.

j) In the night, a bronze gate to the Temple that required 20 men to close was blown wide open.

k) After a Passover feast, before the setting of the sun, chariots and armed men were seen in the air, passing around Jerusalem.

l) At Pentecost that same year, the priests in the Temple heard murmuring that eventually came to loud voices that said, “let us depart from here”.

m) Josephus says the most fearful sign, was a prophet from the lower class, Ananus, during the feast of tabernacles before the destruction of Jerusalem, declared all thru the city, “a voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jersusalem, a voice against bridegrooms and brides, a voice against the whole people.” This man was scourged, but showed no sign of fear or pain, he prophesied this over and over, and became casualty in the siege from a Roman war engine, as he prophesied his own death.

Revelation 9:21

a) God’s judgments on Jerusalem were for the purpose of repentance. The Lord gives every opportunity for the human heart to repent. Greek –  METANOEŌ – to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent – to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins

b) John lists the crimes of the generation of those who rejected Jesus.

c) Murders – The crucifixion of Jesus, the stoning of Steven, and the Church – See Acts 2:23, 36; 3:14-15; 4:26; 7:51-52, 58-60

d) Sorceries/Magic Arts – Simon the Sorcerer – See Acts 8:9, 11; 13:6-11; 19:13-15; cf. Rev. 18:23; 21:8; 22:15

e) Sexual Immoralities – The description of sexual sins, rape, and spiritual adultery were all present in this generation. See – Rev 2:14; 2:20; 2:21; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2 [twice]; 17:4; 18:3 [twice]; 18:9; 19:2 – Josephus comments – “These men, therefore, trampled upon all the laws of man, and laughed at the laws of God; and as for the oracles of the prophets, they ridiculed them as the tricks of jugglers; yet did these prophets foretell many things concerning the rewards of virtue, and punishments of vice, which when these zealots violated, they occasioned the fulfilling of those very prophecies belonging to their own country.” – “Neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world.” – “I suppose that had the Romans made any longer delay in coming against these villains, the city would either have been swallowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been overflowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom perished by, for it had brought forth a generation of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such punishments; for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed.”

f) Thefts – This crime in the OT is associated with apostasy– See Isa. 61:8; Jer. 7:9-10; Ezek. 22:29; Hos. 4:1-2; Mark 11:17; Rom. 2:21; James 5:1 g) In the next Chapter we begin another Interlude before the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet.

Source Material:  Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   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  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

Receiving the Davidic Mantle – Week 5 – 2 Samuel 6:1-11 – Rob Covell

Receiving the Davidic Mantle Week 5

2 Samuel 6:1-11

Rob Covell 

Introduction:

In this Session we continue in our series the Receiving the Davidic Mantle. We are going to see the contrast between the grace of God and the Law of God. We are going to be encouraged in our relationship with the Lord as we are going to see just how good the Lord is and how blessed we are to be in relationship with Him.

Through the account of David moving the Ark of the Covenant, we are going to learn the expectation of God’s blessing on our lives.

2 Samuel 6:1-2 

a) 1 Chronicles 13:3 tells us that during the reign of Saul, the leadership of Israel did not inquire of the Lord. Scripture gives us the contrast between the heart of David and the heart of Saul. David’s pursuit of God defined his life.

b) Baalah of Judah means the “lords of Judah”, this was the place where Abinadab and his son Eleazar guarded the Ark after it was captured and returned to Israel by the Philistines. It is also known as Kiriath Jearim.

c) The Ark was the sign or evidence of the Covenant between Yahweh and His people. The end of verse 2 gives us descriptive language that when understood from the Jewish perspective communicates a very personal message. The thought here is that the “Self Existant One” (YEHOVA), who is surrounded by heavenly hosts, and dwells or sits with Israel, and watches over His Covenant. This is very intimate language because it implies more than Presence. It implies that the LORD is actively involved with His people.

d) If we look at the symbolism of the Ark, we see a much deeper prophetic symbolism that points to the New Covenant. The Ark, covered by the mercy seat. The place where the blood of the sacrifice was applied for the atonement for sins. Jesus’ blood was applied to us by the mercy seat of the cross. The Ark contained the mana, Jesus described Himself as the Bread of Life, and promised to nourish us with the bread of His life. The Ark contained Aarons budded staff. This is a symbol of the resurrection life and the guiding hand of God as a Shepherd. A dead stick bringing forth life and being the symbol of Jesus leading us in life. The tablets of stone with the Law was inside the Ark. A prophetic symbol of the New Covenant as prophesied by Jeremiah, where the Law would be written on our hearts. The poles were used to carry the Ark, is a symbol of the being carried in the rest of God. The presence of God over the Ark, is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in us and with us as the One who draws out of us the cry “Abba, Father!” We are the Ark of God in the New Covenant.

2 Samuel 6:3-4 

a) The Ark is placed on a cart. This was not how the Lord commanded Israel to carry the Ark. Exodus 25 gives us the detailed account of God commanding Moses on how to construct the Ark and carry the Ark. In 1 Samuel 5 and 6, the Ark is captured by the Philistines and returned to Israel after their idol Dagon as humiliated and the people were being afflicted with tumors. The spiritual lesson is that those who have no covenant relationship with the Lord cannot live in the grace of His presence.

b) The Philistines returned the Ark on a new cart.

2 Samuel 6:5-8

a) The expression of worship everything to do with heart and not the form. David wanted the presence of God to guide him and dwell with him, but copying the method of those who have no relationship with God when moving the Ark, showed David’s ignorance of the Law.

b) The Ark was to be moved by people not animals and carts, as God’s covenant is with people. It is personal, and moving it with a cart removes God from His people. There is something special about carrying the presence of God with us.

c) The Lord broke out against Uzzah because Uzzah broke God’s Law. The contrast between the Old and New Covenants teach us the distinction between them. The Old Covenant was a vassal covenant, and the New Covenant is a covenant of grace. In fact all of the covenants preceding the Law, were all grace based covenants. In Exodus 19-20, Israel was offered a grace based covenant, and they refused it, so the Lord honored them and offered a vassal covenant that reflected a conquering King who would rule by a set of Laws that either blessed them or cursed them.

2 Samuel 9-11

a) David was afraid of the Lord, but the desire for His presence and blessing gave him the breakthrough later on in verses 12-19 when David obeyed God and brought the Ark to Jerusalem according to the Law.

b) Obed-Edom – “Servant of Edom” – this was not a glorious name. Edom were the descendants of Esau who did not possess any covenant relationship with God and were judged for oppressing Israel. A Gittite was someone who descended from Gath; not a great place t be from in Scripture. Verses 9-11 teach us the grace of God. David and the leadership of Israel left the Ark and the house of someone who had no honor in their society, and God blessed Obed Edom.

c) Where God dwells there is blessing! Our position in Christ as those who have access to the Father give us the access to blessing.  d) David saw the blessing of God on Obed-Edom and it provoked him to faith and desire for the presence of God in his life.

The Revelation of Hope – Week 19 – Revelation 9:1-12

Revelation of Hope

 Revelation 9:1-12

Week 19

Rob Covell

Introduction –

In this Session we will start Revelation Chapter 9. We continue the 7 Trumpet cycle in the context of spiritual warfare in the unseen realms in relation to the destruction of the land of Judea, Jerusalem and the Temple.

The approach to the interpretation of Chapter 9 is from the Historist perspective in order to show us the historical context of the book of Revelation as it was written to the 7 churches in the First Century to encourage them to stay true to the gospel and overcome the persecutions they faced from Jews and Romans.

The book of Revelation is relevant to us today as it teaches us the authority of Jesus Christ as King, His divinity, the authority of the Church of Jesus Christ, the description of spirit realm, angels, the defeat of satan and demons, and the hope of the Second Coming of Jesus and the eternal order that is to come. It is important that we understand the book of Revelation from the context of the First Century, as it keeps us from projecting this book onto our culture and coloring how we view the future.

Revelation 9:1

  1. The fifth angel blows his trumpet and the forces of demonic hoards are released on the land (GE).
  2. The star fallen from heaven/sky – The Greek word for heaven –OURANOS – the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings – This fallen star is satan. Luke 10:18 – And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” We see many times in Scripture where a star is used in the context of spiritual beings as mentioned in previous studies.
  3. The key to the Abyss – Greek – KLEIS – since the keeper of the keys has the power to open and to shut – metaph. in the NT to denote power and authority of various kinds –
  4. The Abyss in Scripture is a descriptive word for the place that is farthest extreme from the dwelling place of God. See Jonah 2:2-6, Luke 8:31 describes the Abyss as the prison of demons, Romans 10:7 describes the Abyss as the realm of the dead.
  5. To summarize verse 1, we see that the fallen star/satan was given authority to bring torment on the land for their rejection Jesus as Messiah. When Jesus was present in the land, the land of Judea was blessed by the benefits of His ministry and teaching. Read Matthew 12:43-45.

Revelation 9:2

  1. The smoke darkening the sun and the sky speak of the spiritual description of not having the light of Life, but being darkened by the darkness that accompanies the demonic realm. We learned in previous Sessions that the sun, stars, and moon are metaphors for rulers, authorities, and powers. See Genesis 37:9

Revelation 9:3-6

  1. Verses 3-6 give us the description and mission of these demons that bring affliction to the people of the land. These woes are worse because they are focused on people made in God’s image.
  2. The Lord Jesus commands protection for His own, as those who are sealed by the Holy Spirit are exempted from tormenting demonic attacks. It is important to mention again that not one Christian was killed in the destruction of Jerusalem. Also, the Book of Acts shows us that Christians may have been persecuted and mocked, but no Christians are tormented and afflicted by demons. We can be assured that though we are challenged by the demonic realm, we are not possessed by them, and the demonic realm does not have the authority to torture a Christian. The level of demonic influence in Christians’ life is determined by our level of agreement.
  3. 5 months – The season of locust invasions in the land of Judea were typically from May to September. Joel uses locusts as a symbolic description of invading armies that will bring destruction to Jerusalem. We also see locust plagues on Egypt as a sign of God’s judgment. In this case we see demonic locusts bring spiritual torment to those who have clung to the Old Covenant, and rejected the New Covenant. It is interesting to note here that Titus focused his attack on Jerusalem starting May 1, AD70 and on September 27, AD70, Titus commanded the city with absolute control. The historical account plainly shows the effects of the demonic spirits associated with rebellion, war, immorality and murder.
  4. Josephus is quoted with describing the level of demonic influence in the city of Jerusalem during the siege. “With their insatiable hunger for loot, they ransacked the houses of the wealthy, murdered men and violated women for sport; they drank their spoils with blood, and from mere satiety they shamelessly gave themselves up to effeminate practices, plaiting their hair and putting on women’s clothes, drenching themselves with perfumes and painting their eyelids to make themselves attractive. They copied not merely the dress, but also the passions of women, devising in their excess of licentiousness unlawful pleasures in which they wallowed as in a brothel. Thus they entirely polluted the city with their foul practices. Yet though they wore women’s faces, their hands were murderous. They would approach with mincing steps, then suddenly become fighting men, and, whipping out their swords from under their dyed cloaks, they would run through every passerby.” Josephus describes other types of demonically inspired drama in Jerusalem – loss of the ability to reason by rulers and rebel leaders, attacking gangs, roving mobs, cannibalism, robberies, wild and unrealistic claims of false prophets, mass murders, executions and suicides.

Revelation 9:7-10

  1. Verses 7-10 retells the scene in verses 1-6 in greater detail and repeats the narrative for clarity and effect.
  2. Horses – war, power in battle, symbol of power in the ancient world.
  3. Something like crowns of gold – “like” – false authority – real crowns of gold are reserved for God’s those who love and serve God.
  4. Human faces – these demons reflect the fallen nature of man without God.
  5. Women’s hair – false covering and beauty, and false glory
  6. Lion’s teeth – the power to tear, false wisdom, and lying
  7. Breastplates of iron, wings and thundering sounds describe their number and their assignment to war against humanity.
  8. Scorpion stings tingle, burn, can cause swelling in the tongue, affect eye sight, but are almost never mortal. Scorpion stings are unbearably uncomfortable.
  9. The mission of the demonic realm is torment, loss of peace, discomfort, and fear to the souls and bodies of people. The 5 months is repeated for clarity. Any First Century Jewish believer would have been familiar with the symbolism of the section of Scripture and understand the locust reference to this demonic attack being released as a sign of God’s judgment on those who rejected Jesus as Messiah, by invading armies of demons that not only inspire the leadership of Jerusalem but the Roman Legions invading Judea and sieging Jerusalem.

Revelation 9:11

  1. Satan is identified in the verse 11 and the leader of the demonic realm. It is important for us to note that he is a created being, not omnipresent, not self-existent, or omniscient. Christians should never error and equate satan with these types of qualities that distinctly belong to the Godhead. See Colossians 1:15-20

Revelation 9:12

  1. The next 2 woes are increasingly destructive and horrible to those who deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The first woe did not include death, the next woe is the spiritual description of war and horrors that accompany war.

Source Material:

emedicinehealth.com/scorpion sting effects and treatment

Josephus.org

David Chilton – Days of Vengeance

The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff

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

Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

The Revelation of Hope – Week 18 – Revelation 8:6-13

Revelation of Hope

Revelation 8:6-11

Week 18

Rob Covell
Introduction

In this Session we will continue Revelation Chapter 8. It is important for us to mention the theological concept of hermeneutics as we continue in this chapter. A hermeneutic is the preexisting bias, prejudice, or world view that we as individuals use to color our interpretations of Scripture. Our hermeneutic drives us to conclusions and interpretations of the Bible that shape our views of the nature and character of God, Salvation, Healing, Spiritual Gifts, Eschatology, The Covenants, and many other important theological positions that ultimately affect even our most simple expressions of the Christian faith.

The hermeneutic I am using in this commentary of Revelation, is one from the Historist perspective, with a Post-Millennial view of the future of Salvation History. It is the position that basically most of the book of Revelation was written to the First Century Church, just before the destruction of Jerusalem, and most of the Revelation was fulfilled in that time. The bulk of the book of Revelation has been fulfilled with exception of the physical return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the Great White Throne Judgment. This approach to the book of Revelation sees the future of the world in very positive light because the Old Covenant was put away by the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70, and the New Covenant was confirmed by the destruction of the Temple, thereby confirming the Apostles preaching of Jesus as Messiah. This approach continues its positive view of the future of the world and the Church because the Judgments of God were directed at the apostate Land of Judea, the Roman Empire and the people that rejected Jesus as Messiah in the First Century. This does not take away from the Judgment of God to come on those who reject Him and His offer of salvation today. Lastly, this view is very positive because it sees the future of world in terms of the mercy of God in the New Covenant, and the Church’s ability to convert the vast number of people in the world through preaching of the goodness of God, and our ability to bring reformation to all realms of society. It is important to mention that this view was the prominent view of the Church until the early 1900’s.

As we learned in earlier Sessions, the 3 cycles of 7, found in the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls are basically the same narrative told from increasingly intense perspectives, and are in relation to the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Roman Empire’s ability to persecute Christians. Chapter 8, is from the perspective of the Angelic/Spiritual Realm.

Revelation 8:6
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 a prophetic picture of the destruction of those who oppose God and His people. In this account we also see 3 cycles of 7 symbolizing the totality of God’s judgments.

Revelation 8:7

a) Verse 7 begins to show us what the angelic spiritual realm looks like when the decrees of the Lamb are carried out by the angels and what their assignments look like in terms of their missions. The book of Revelation gives us an amazing amount of insight in terms of what the spiritual realm is like. No other book of the Bible gives us this much detail and insight about angels and their assignments and missions.

b) We see a parallel between the judgments of the Lord on Egypt, and the judgments of the Lamb on the land that rejected Him. To add to this parallel, Egypt oppressed the people of God, and so did the unbelieving Jews who persecuted the Jews who believed that Jesus was Messiah. The book of Acts gives us many detailed accounts of the Jewish persecutions of believers.

c) The NIV and other translations here use the word “earth”. The more proper translation should be “land”, as the Greek word here for earth is GE. GE – country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, or region.

d) A literal interpretation is not possible here as we see plainly in the text John is in the Spirit, and he is observing angels who exist in the spiritual unseen realm doing things in the spiritual realm that affect the natural realm. The symbolism of hail, blood and fire, are used throughout the OT as descriptions of God’s judgments on those who are in rebellion to Him. See Genesis 19:24, Exodus 9:18, Exodus 4:9, Psalm 58:10, Isaiah 34:6, and Joel 2:30-31.

e) The first Trumpet Judgment was directed at the land itself, damaging it and making it unfruitful in its ability to bless people with provision. Josephus gives us detailed accounts of how the Roman Army leveled the land and cut down all the trees; “for all the trees around the city had been cut down for a distance of 90 stadia (10mi / 16 km).” Josephus, “And truly, the very view itself was a melancholy thing; for those places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country every way, and its trees were all cut down. Nor could any foreigner that had formerly seen Judaea and the most beautiful suburbs of the city, and now saw it as a desert, but lament and mourn sadly at so great a change. For the war had laid all signs of beauty quite waste.” f) Isaiah 40:6 – 8 – A voice says, “Call out.”  Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”  All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades,  When the breath of the LORD blows upon it;  Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades,  But the word of our God stands forever. – These verses in Isaiah add to the symbolic meaning of verse 7, as it uses grass/flowers as a metaphor to contrast the Everlasting Life of God to our mortal lives.

Revelation 8:8-9

a) As the angel blows the Second Trumpet Judgment, we see a huge mountain thrown into the sea. It is important to interpret these 2 symbols properly to understand the text in the context of its hearers.

b) Mountain – In Scripture a mountain is symbolic of nations, governments, and authority. Jeremiah 51:25,42, Exodus 15:17, Deuteronomy 33:19, Psalm 30:7 – Jerusalem is described as a Mountain – Psalm 48:1, Isaiah 2:3, Isaiah 11:9, Isaiah 27:13

c) Sea – In Scripture a sea in used to speak of a mass of people – Psalm 98:7, Jeremiah 51:36, Jeremiah 51:42, Hosea 1:10, Habakkuk 3:15, Isaiah 57:20, Revelation 13:1

d) In Matthew 21:18-22, Jesus curses the fig tree and tells His disciples that that they can cast a mountain into the sea by prayer. This is right after His triumphal entry and during His battles with the religious leadership of Jerusalem, and His prophecy of their destruction for rejecting Him. The fig tree is Jerusalem and the mountain is the Temple. Charles Taylor comments, “There were three parts of the temple: the outer area where the people gathered, the central section where the animals were sacrificed, and the inner part which was the Holy of Holies. When the Roman army had fought and gained ground to the innermost part, this was the point to which the people inside had retreated. Here utter destruction took place and the people in this third part died. Not only did the people die, but the Holy of Holies was burned with fire. By this destruction, those who had made their livelihood by supplying the costly furnishings of the temple (much of this being brought in by ships) no longer had any occupation as far as this place was concerned. Let us go to Scripture for the definition of the term ships “And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate (Revelation 18:19)”.

e) The mountain thrown into the sea represents the destruction of Jerusalem by Gentiles (Romans). The Second Trumpet is a judgment on the Temple and the economy that accompanied it.

Revelation 8:10-11

a) The Third Trumpet Judgment shows us a star, who is an angel, named Wormwood. The assignment of this angel is strike the water supply of Jerusalem. This also parallels Isaiah’s prophecy of the judgment and fall of Babylon. See Isaiah 14:12-15.

b) Wormwood in Scripture is used to describe the punishment of rebellious Israel. See Deuteronomy 29:18, Jeremiah 9:15, Jeremiah 23:15, Lamentations 3:15 – We see a parallel between these verses and the Nile being made bitter by the rotting fish from the judgment of the Lord.

c) Jerusalem had an abundant water supply, as described in 2 Chronicles 32 and 2 Kings 20. Josephus gives us a detailed account of the suffering of the famine in Jerusalem during the siege, and the resulting death, and disease that polluted the water supply to point that is was no longer potable.

d) The Third Trumpet Judgment is a judgment on the water supply of Jerusalem. John is making the point that Israel is apostate and will be judged and destroyed like Egypt and Babylon.

Revelation 8:12

a) The symbolism of the sun, moon, and stars speak of the governmental powers and authorities of Israel. The first mention of the sun, moon and stars being heads of the people is found in Joseph’s vision in Genesis 37:9-11. We can see from this perspective that heavenly bodies are used as metaphors for ruling authorities. Stars are also found in Scripture as symbols of angels and demons. See Revelation 8:10, Job 38:7, Isaiah 14:13, Daniel 8:10, Jude 1:13

b) When the light of Christ is removed from rulers, there is no revelation, and darkness prevails in the hearts of men. The Sanhedrin, and the Temple Priests rejected Jesus as Messiah, who is the Light, and chose darkness instead of His Light.

c) The Fourth Trumpet Judgment is a judgment on the political and religious rulers of Israel.

Revelation 8:13

a)  Verse 13 is a transitory verse that highlights the severity of the spiritual realm in terms of God’s judgment on the land of Israel that is to come in Chapter 9. The trumpet blasts to come are even more graphic and intense.

b) It is interesting to note that this angel is in the form of an eagle. Another indication that we are dealing with a spiritual reality and not a literal one. Even though there are dimensions of these judgements that manifest in the natural realm, we are seeing the reality of the spiritual realm in the section of the book of Revelation.

c) As terrible as the judgment of the Godhead on rebellious Israel for rejecting Jesus as Messiah, God’s judgments are always for redemptive purposes. Revelation 9:20-21 tells us that intentions of the Trumpet Judgments are for the opportunity to repent and turn from sin to God.  d) After the destruction of the Jerusalem and Temple, the judgments of God are ceased until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The judgment of the cross satisfies the Fathers demand for justice in this age of grace.

Source Material:
David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   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  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary