Foundations -Week 3 – The Goodnes of God

Foundations

The Goodness of God

John 14:1-14

Week 3

Rob Covell
Introduction:

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 defines our unique expression of faith. Our Foundations Series this summer, will focus us as a faith community into these things, awaken the inner spiritual life to walk them out.
1 – The Goodness of God  2 – Dominion Mandate  3 – Supernatural Lifestyle  4 – A Culture of Love and Honor
As we continue in the Goodness of God section of our Foundations Series we will see the Goodness of God as demonstrated and revealed in Jesus Christ. Jesus said He only was doing what He saw His Father doing.

John 5:19-20 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.
So when we look at Christ and His works and words we see the heart of Father, and see the clearest revelation of God. It is important for us to understand this because we re-present God to world by our works in His Name.

John 14:1

a) Jesus tells His disciples to let their hearts be troubled immediately after He tells Peter that Peter will disown Him. Jesus is peace, and we access that peace in the place of trust.

b) Troubled – Greek – TARASSŌ – verb – to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity –

c) Trust in God, trust also in me – Jesus is pointing the disciples to His Divine Nature and making Himself equal with the Father. Greek – PISTEUŌ – verb – the same root word as used for faith in the NT – to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in d) Trusting in the Lord is trusting in His promises, trusting in in His Person, His nature and character. It is difficult to excel in faith when we lack the knowledge of God, and believe things that are not true about Him. Looking at Jesus brings the revelation and illumination of who the Godhead is and how the Godhead relates to us.

John 14:2-4

a) In the Father’s house are many rooms. Greek – OIKIA – an inhabited edifice, a dwelling, the inmates of a house, the family, property, wealth, goods – The Father’s house is inclusive and inviting to all who want to dwell there. It is God’s desire to dwell with the multitudes of His children.

b) Jesus actively prepared place for us in the Father’s house by the way of the cross. In John 19:30, Jesus cried out “it is finished.” In regards to the work of salvation, Jesus accomplished everything that was necessary for us to be with Him in the Father’s house.

John 14:5-9

a) Jesus is giving His disciples the most important revelation of concerning His identity. Seeing Jesus is equal to seeing the Father.

b) Matthew 9:35-36 – Jesus reveals the heart of the Father for humanity.  c) John 13:3-5 – Jesus reveals the heart of Father in terms of serving mankind as the Servant who worked salvation and served His creation as an example of love and devotion for them.

d) John 19:17-10 – Jesus reveals the heart of Father in providing the sacrifice and blood of the best Covenant God could make with humanity. The charge of Jesus being the crucified King was hung over His head, in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. Aramaic – the language of religion – Latin the language of Law, and Greek the language of the learned. In these God testified that His Son defeated the religious ritual and Law, the tyranny of the world, and the conquered the wisdom of the wise.

e) It is the nature of the New Covenant to be characterized by forgiveness, reconciliation and mercy for people. Matthew 26:27-28

John 14:10-11

a) The words of Jesus are the very words of the Father speaking to us. The miracles that Jesus worked communicate the very character and nature of God. Jesus is good theology in that everything we would ever need to know about the Godhead is modeled and displayed in Him.

John 14:12-14

a) We will do greater works because we are convinced that it is our mission to present the Father in the same way Jesus presented the Father.

b) Jesus is saying that it not only brigs glory to God when we work His works and display His heart, but that the Lord actually desires to heal, save, deliver and display love.

c) It is God’s heart to act in a totally redemptive way toward people. We will excel in the supernatural when we are totally convinced that desires good things for people.

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The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 12:10-17 – Week 25 – Rob Covell

Revelation of Hope

Revelation 12:10-17

Week 25

Rob Covell

Introduction

In this Session we will conclude Revelation 12 and complete the first section of the Interlude between the Trumpet Judgments and the Bowl Judgments. Revelation 12 contains beautiful symbolic imagery and allegory describing the defeat of satan and his demonic armies in the high realms of heaven and his sure defeat by those who overcome by their faithfulness to Jesus.

Revelation 12 is primarily a wide panoramic view of the spiritual warfare that rages throughout the millennia, culminating in the victory of the Messiah and His Church. We can find tremendous comfort in knowing that we are kept, covered and protected by the Lord in all the times and seasons of our life paths. It is an important realization that the Revelation is primarily a prophecy of the authority of Jesus, the coming glory of the Church at the consummation, and the angelic worship of the Godhead in the realm of God’s presence.

Revelation 12:10

a) In verses 10-12 we are presented with wide panoramic view of the final victory of the Kingdom of God over the demon armies of the devil. I want to point out that in Revelation 12:7, Michael and his angels are on the offense, not the defense in this cosmic spiritual battle between the dragon and the angel armies of heaven. The dominion of darkness is on defense.

b) Now have come the salvation, power, kingdom and authority of God and of His Christ. Verse 10 refers to the overwhelming and decisive victory of the Kingdom of God over darkness. Below we see the definition of this victory.

c) Salvation – Greek – SŌTĒRIA – deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation, in an ethical sense, that which concludes to the soul’s safety or salvation, future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God.

d) Power – Greek – DYNAMIS – strength power, ability, power for performing miracles, moral power and excellence of soul, the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth, power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

e) Kingdom – Greek – BASILEIA – royal power, kingship, dominion, rule, not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom, of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom

f) Authority – Greek – EXOUSIA – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises

g) The accuser – The name correlates to the Hebrew concept for satan as the Accuser of God’s people. The accuser no has no place in heaven to bring charges against the children of God. His assignment has been to accuse humanity before God in regards to the Fall of Man and Mankind’s lack of allegiance to the authority of God in their lives. Now there is no accusation in heaven, only the voice of the Mediator, Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5

h) To summarize the theological concepts of verse 10, we see the following: The complete deliverance of God’s people has come, God’s power is supreme, the Kingdom of God is fully established, and the authority of Messiah is enforced.

Revelation 12:11

a) In verse 11 we have the method of defeating satanic forces. Overcame – Greek – NIKAŌ – to conquer, to carry off the victory, come off victorious, when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one’s cause – The weak ones and accused ones conquer the Accuser

b) The blood of Jesus initiates the power of salvation. See Colossians 1:20 – and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

c) Word of their testimony – Greek – MARTYRIA – a testifying, the office committed to the prophets of testifying concerning future events – The saints overcome by confessing Jesus Christ and His blood Covenant with them. There is no force more powerful than the New Covenant we have in Jesus Christ.

d) Not shrinking from death – Many Christians in the Apostolic Age and in all ages of history have been martyred and not shown fear in the face of their persecutors. The confidence to face death in the Name of Christ is to live in the reality of His love for us.

Revelation 12:12

a) The ascension of Christ instituted the displacement of the devil in heavenly realms and the beginning of the dominion of the Messianic kingdom and the restoration of the Eden (earth) that satan stole through the Fall of humanity.

b) Just because satan was cast away from heaven and defeated in the high heavenly realms of God’s presence, does not prevent the enemy from operating in the earthly realms.

c) Satan operates by agreement in lower spiritual realms, and wages spiritual warfare here by getting as many to agree with him as possible. The Church is waging war for the hearts and minds of people, as people fill all areas of society and determine the way of nations by their collective agreements.

d) The devil’s time is short as compared to eternal/infinite glory of the kingdom of God.

Revelation 12:13

a) In verse 13 the focus shifts from the warfare in heaven back to the warfare of the devil against the Church/Woman. Again we mention that the early history of the Church is full of examples of persecutions from Jews and Romans who were conduits of satanic fury and anger against God’s faithful. We can see many examples in Acts starting with Steven, Peter, John, the Church of Jerusalem, and Paul.

b) Notice the dragon is hurled to the Land. The persecution of the Church began in Jerusalem and then extended through the Roman Empire and finally throughout the centuries.

Revelation 12:14

a) Verse 14 is symbolic imagery that speaks of 2 concepts related to the goodness of God.

b) The first concept in found in Deuteronomy 32. Deuteronomy 32:10-11 – “He found him in a desert land,  And in the howling waste of a wilderness;  He encircled him, He cared for him,  He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,  That hovers over its young,  He spread His wings and caught them,  He carried them on His pinions. – What we see is direct reference to the deliverance of God and His faithfulness to rescue His people.

c) The second concept is the protection/encircling of the Holy Spirit – Moses references the “hovering of the Spirit” over the formless void in Genesis 1:2. Verse 14 directs our attention to the ministry of the Holy Spirit as our covering.

d) Verse 14 also confirms the flight of the Church in Jerusalem that fled the invading Roman Army that Jesus prophesies would come in Matthew 24. In previous sessions we have mentioned that the time, times and half a time are the exact time of the siege of Jerusalem. Lastly it is important to note that what God does in the past is always a possibility for future generations of believers. The Lord is committed to delivering His people.

Revelation 15:16

a) There is a 2 fold interpretation for verse 15. The first part of the interpretation follows the Exodus narrative in that Pharaoh of Egypt sought to send Israel’s seed into the flood of the Nile in order to slay the Seed of Messiah, and Pharaoh’s attempt to drown Israel at the Red Sea. This prophetic imagery is an encouragement for the First Century Church in that the same God who delivered Israel will continue His deliverance in the New Covenant age.

b) The second part of the interpretation is found in history. As the Church fled the invading Roman armies, the Land of Judea absorbed the satanic flood of warfare in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. One only has to read the account of this and see the satanic horrors that were released at that time. See George Peter Holford’s – Destruction of Jerusalem

Revelation 12:17

a) The prophetic imagery of verse 17 draws our attention to the Church being the extension of Israel and the continuance of God’s covenant people. Verse 17 highlights the spiritual warfare that rages between the New Covenant Church and the dragon.

b) It is important to note some truth about the authority of the Church. We wage war in the offensive posture as we conquer the dragon’s dominion by the authority we have in Jesus Christ. As the centuries progress the Church has displaced more darkness and brought increasing glory to God through the gospel, to the benefit of the world. Though we may be attacked from time to time, we are the sure Victors and all of our battles are will end in our favor as persevere in our faith.

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

Foundations – Week 2 – The Goodness of God -His Care for You – Matthew 6:25-34 – Rob Covell

Foundations

Week 2

The Goodness of God-His Care for You

Matthew 6:25-34

Rob Covell

Introduction:

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 defines our unique expression of faith. Our Foundations Series this summer, will focus us as a faith community into these things, awaken the inner spiritual life to walk them out.
1 – The Goodness of God  2 – Dominion Mandate  3 – Supernatural Lifestyle  4 – A Culture of Love and Honor

As we continue our series Foundations this morning, we are going to focus on the Goodness of God and His care for each one of us as Father. Beholding God as Father not only defines what it means to be a father, but beholding God as Father gives us the confidence we need to live life free from shame, condemnation and fear. Seeing God as Father makes us aware to the responsibilities and promises He has made to us, and empowers our faith to trust Him for these things.

The battle for that rages for our hearts is directed at the question; Is God good and can we trust Him? This morning we will explore this in detail and look at the truth in the Scriptures that break open the way into the reality of the love of the Father for each one of us.

Isaiah 63:16

For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us  And Israel does not recognize us.  You, O LORD, are our Father,  Our Redeemer from of old is Your name. (Redeemer, verb Hebrew – GA’AL – to redeem, act as kinsman-redeemer, avenge, revenge, ransom, do the part of a kinsman, to redeem individuals from death, to redeem by payment)

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O LORD, You are our Father,  We are the clay, and You our potter;  And all of us are the work of Your hand. (Potter – Hebrew – YATSAR – verb – to form, fashion, frame, in regards to God, of original creation, of individuals at conception, to frame, pre-ordain, plan (fig. of divine) purpose of a situation), to be predetermined, be pre-ordained)

Matthew 6:25

a) Author: Matthew, Date: AD – 50-60 – The Early Church Father Papias comments that Matthew complied his gospel in Aramaic and then translated it into Greek. Matthew – a tax collector for Herod’s administration, a man faith who left his comfortable life to follow Jesus Christ, a man considered a traitor and sinner by the Zealots and Pharisees, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus– Matthew wrote his eye witness account to prove to Jewish people that Jesus was Messiah and was worthy of worship.

b) Do not worry about your life – Greek – Worry – MERIMNAŌ – to be anxious, to be troubled with cares, to seek to promote one’s interests – Life – Greek – PSYCHĒ – the soul, the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.), the soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body) Jesus is opening up a reality of freedom to us that we step into by placing ourselves in the care of the Father.

c) Body – Greek – SOMA – the living human body, differentiated from the SARX Greek for the earthly nature of mankind that is prone to sin and opposed to God. God designed our body and is faithful to heal it, and resurrect it. Much of what happens in our body flows from the condition of our inner life.

d) The essence of life is not summed up in our possessions, or our positions. Jesus asks “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Jesus is stating that the condition of the seat of our emotions, and the affect it has on our bodies, as it relates to God’s care for us, is central to life.

Matthew 6:26-27

a) Jesus directs the thoughts of our hearts into the care of the Father. As we contrast the life experience of a  bird as opposed to the life of experience of a human made in God’s image; it coveys us into the love of God for us and His commitment to care for us.

b) Every need of the life path of a bird is met by God, and every need of our life path is met by Him as well. We cannot control what is inevitable in life, but we can choose to trust in the love of the Father and His care for us.

Matthew 6:28-30

a)  Jesus continues to contrast the human experience of life to the inferior life experience of a plant; although beautiful, it is fading rapidly and is consumed by fire.

b) Clothing in Jesus’ culture communicated your identity and position in society. Jesus says that the beauty of Solomon’s royal coverings did not compare to the flowers that are clothed by God.

c) Our clothing is not our identity. The Lord is the covering of our life and the One creates beauty in the human experience. Our identity is given to us from Him, and not the world.  d) Little Faith – Greek – OLIGOPISTOS – trusting too little – This is not a criticism from Jesus, but an encouragement to trust more in the goodness of God and His care for you.

Matthew 6:31-32

a) Our lives are not to be consumed with our own efforts in trying to care for ourselves and our needs.

b) The Father – Greek – Pater – the generator, the authors of a family or society of persons animated by the same spirit as himself, one who stands in a father’s place and looks after another in a paternal way, the Father of Jesus Christ, as one whom God has united to himself in the closest bond of love and intimacy, made acquainted with his purposes, appointed to explain and carry out among men the plan of salvation, and made to share also in his own divine nature –

c) The Father is concerned with meeting our needs and understands our needs. The Greek word to know – OIDA – to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive, to have regard for one, cherish, pay attention to

Matthew 33-34

a) The access to care of the Father is determined by our focus. His kingdom, basileia, the realm of God’s power, authority, and presence opens up the river of eternal provision and prosperity of soul.

b) Seek His righteousness – Greek – DIKAIOSYNĒ – in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting – The blood of Christ imparts righteousness to us. The baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers us to participate in the divine nature.

c) We become what we behold. Beholding the greater reality of the kingdom of God, positions us into flow of His goodness. Relating to God as Father, empowers His care.

d) It is freedom to unhook from the inferior reality of the world systems and the worry it gives, and look to the Father for our needs. This is not a withdrawal from the responsibilities of everyday life. However it is living everyday life with an expectation of God’s care for us, as that is His responsibility as Father.

The Revelation of Hope – Week 24 – Revelation 12:1-9 -Rob Covell

Revelation of Hope

Revelation 12:1-9

Week 24

Rob Covell

Introduction –

In this session we begin Revelation 12 and begin another Interlude between the Trumpet and Bowl judgments. As John continues his vision in Chapter 12, we are introduced to the wide panoramic view of the whole of salvation history, the glory of the Church, the victory of Messiah, and the sure defat of satan and his demons by the angelic forces of heaven and the preaching of the Church.

This is an exciting section of Scripture as the symbolism and allegory of spiritual realities and Biblical history are so rich. Time does not allow us to unpack all of the glory in these verses. But my intention here is to stir your hunger to seek the Lord and gain illumination and revelation for yourselves.

I want to continue to remind us that the book of Revelation is one narrative told in 3 sections of sevens, with interludes, that repeat that narrative in increasing degrees and perspectives. I mention this so that we being to see the simplicity of understanding this prophetic vision, and are encouraged by the sure victory of Jesus Christ and His beautiful Bride, the Church.

Revelation 12:1-2

a) The great sign of the woman in heaven – This woman is the Israel of God. That is the people of faith who made up the Old Testament Covenant community and continued as the New Testament Church.

b) We should refer to Genesis 37:9 to help us identify her. The central theme as the people of God being referred to as a woman is common in the Scriptures. The Church is called the Bride of Christ, and the OT people of faith are referred to collectively as a Woman, Daughter of Zion, Daughter of Jerusalem, etc., in Isaiah, Jeremiah 3-4, Ezekiel 16, Lamentations 1, Hosea, and Micah 4.

c) To summarize the woman is the Old Testament Covenant people who were pregnant and bringing forth the Messiah, Jesus Christ in pain. Israel waged warfare with satan and battled his devices to abort the Seed. Consider the following brief list of battles to try to kill the Seed of the woman who would crush satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). Cain and Abel, Corruption of Seth’s bloodline leading to the Flood, Sarah almost being raped by 2 kings Pharaoh and Abimelech, the struggle of the twins Esau and Jacob, the Egyptian Captivity and the destruction of the Hebrew infants, Haman and Esther, the infants in Bethlehem murdered by Herod. It has been a strategy by the enemy to kill the Seed who would defeat him.

d) The Virgin Mary is also in view here as she was the one who conceived the Messiah by the Holy Spirit. It is interesting to note that many of the attempts to kill the Seed by satan, involved faithful women of God.

Revelation 12:3-4

a) The red dragon is symbolic of satan and his illegal dominion. The 7 heads, 10 horns and seven crowns speak of his illegal power as a leader over the rebellious angels who followed him.

b) His tail swept a third of the stars – the stars here are symbolic of the angels who rebelled against God. We see stars as a common symbol for angels in the Scriptures. Job 38:7, Jude 1:13, Revelation 1:20

c) The Interlude Vision is highlighting the reality of the enmity and spiritual warfare that surround the people of God and their destinies as ones who brought forth the Messiah.  d) It is still a strategy of satan to frustrate the victory of the Church. It is our charge to bring forth the Messiah in His second coming by being the Bride who made herself ready for the Bridegroom.

Revelation 12:5

a) Jesus is the Male Child who was born of the Virgin Mary and He ascended to heaven after His resurrection.

b) Psalm 2 is referenced in verse 5.

c) We see a wide panoramic view of the salvation of Jesus Christ from the virgin birth to the ascension. This does not take away from the cross. However, the cross was much more than forgiveness of sin, healing for the soul and body, and the process of sanctification. The ascension is the institution of the enforcement of the Kingdom of God by Jesus Christ through His Church.

Revelation 12:6

a) This refers to the Church of Jerusalem that fled to Pella during the 3.5 year siege of Jerusalem. It is important to be aware that is no historical account of Christians perishing in the destruction of Jerusalem. The Christian community in Jerusalem fled to Pella at that time. They believed the prophecies of Jesus concerning the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 24 and fled when they saw the Roman Army surrounding Jerusalem.

b) The Church was nourished. God always cares for His people in the wilderness. The Lord cared for the Israelites in the 4 year wandering and fed them and nourished them. The Lord cared for Mary, Joseph and Jesus when they fled to Egypt from Bethlehem. The Lord sustained the Church through all of her persecutions and trials as proved by history. The Lord will always care for His Bride.

Revelation 12:7-9

a) The vision abruptly changes and gives us another facet to the spiritual warfare surrounding the reign and rule of Messiah. This is not meant to be chronological but to highlight the gradual defeat of satan and his demons by the angels of heaven throughout the ages.

b) Michael is mentioned in Daniel 10. His name means “who is like God”. He is identified as the guardian angel of the people of God.

c) Satan lost his place in heaven. This is significant because the devil has no access or place in God’s realm. Jesus said that He saw satan fall, and Christ has defeated the dominion, power and place of the devil by His resurrection and ascension to heaven.

d) Satan’s mission is to lead the world astray. It is interesting that the Greek word OIKOUMENĒ is used here, and not GE or KOSMOS. OIKOUMENĒ is used to describe the whole inhabited world. At that time it was the whole of the Roman Empire and her farthest boundaries. The mission of the Church is rescue nations from the enemy. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not without power and we have the clear mandate from Jesus to disciple nations as we defeat the spiritual forces of darkness by the gospel.
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

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 11:15-19 – Week 23 – Rob Covell

Revelation of Hope

Revelation 11:15-19

Week 23

Rob Covell
Introduction –  In this Session we will complete the brief interlude of the Mighty Angel with the Little Scroll, the 2 Witnesses, and complete Chapter 11 with the completion of the Seventh Trumpet in verses 15-19.

As we mentioned in previous sessions the book of Revelation is one narrative, told in 3 sections of sevens, with interludes, that communicate the same narrative from different perspectives and degrees of explanation. As we complete Chapter 11, we complete the second section of sevens with the blowing of the seventh trumpet, which reveals the glory of God at the end of the ages.

It is important note a cultural truth that First Century Christians who were Jewish would find significant. The blowing of the seventh trumpet describes the end of the ages and the consummation of the kingdom of God. This is a direct reference to Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) which is not only the celebration of a New Year, but the memorial of the God creating mankind, as well as the hope of God being crowned King of the Universe at the Last Day with the blowing of the Shofar. With these thoughts in mind, the content of the blowing of the seventh trumpet would confirm the truth, mission and success of the gospel of the kingdom as preached by the Church would be fulfilled. This would be a tremendous encouragement to a Church that was in its infancy and struggling under the Roman and Jewish persecutions of the First Century.

Revelation 11:1-2

a) Seventh Trumpet corresponds not only to Rosh Hashanah, but to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. These verses encourage us that the Lord’s Day is a day of glory for the Church that we should look forward to, not fear. So much of our eschatological thought is negative in regards to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. From the historist perspective we look back in history to see the negative prophesies of Jesus as being fulfilled and we look forward to the end of ages as a glorious day where all things are summed up in Jesus Christ.

b) Loud voices – MEGAS PHONE – Greek – a sound or tone of an instrument or the sound of uttered words.

c) The kingdom of the world – It is interesting to note that GE/Earth is not used here, but the Greek word KOSMOS is used. KOSMOS refers to the whole of God’s creation or the whole of the created order. We worship the transcendent creator God Almighty!

d) We see a transfer of the kingdom of the world, becoming the kingdom of our God. This speaks of the complete redemption of the whole of creation and Eden restored. Jesus being the Second Adam rightly has dominion over all creation.  e) Verse 15 supports Trinitarian Theology and presents Jesus Christ as the Davidic King that rules forever. Jesus will reign for eternity. The eternal kingdom is unending bliss with no opportunity for an interruption.

Revelation 11:16

a) The 24 elders seated on their thrones around the Throne of God unseat themselves and worship God. All powers, authorities, rulers, principalities, and people fall down on their faces in the very presence of God. Philippians 2:10-11 –

b) Greek – PROSKYNEŌ – verb – to kiss the hand, to worship, give reverence, to kneel down, to bow down, and to pay homage and obeisance.

c) Revelation gives us a glimpse into the heavenly realms of angelic worship, and the worship of the redeemed. The revelation of Jesus Christ causes us to worship Him as He is worthy, and His revealing clearly shows us His excellences that cause us to respond with no regard for ourselves. The heavenly elders actively unseated themselves from their thrones, fell down and worshipped God with their spiritual bodies, but with their voices.

d) Unlocked hearts worship extravagantly like angels.

Revelation 11:17

a) We give thanks – Greek – verb – EUCHARISTEŌ – to be grateful, and to give thanks. All worship has the element of thankfulness. The elders are thankful for the full manifestation of the God’s power and reign.

b) From the earliest mentions on church history, communion was called the Eucharist. We would be shortsighted not to see the connection here that the Church celebrates the Body and Blood of Jesus with thankfulness, and we marvel at the redemption of the world through His sacrifice on the cross. We have been crucified with Christ, raised with Him, and ascend at the time of His cosmic judgments at the end of the age!

c) The Threefold Name of God – Lord –  Greek – KYRIOS – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord, the possessor and disposer of a thing,

d) God- Greek – THEOS – The Godhead  e) Almighty – Greek – PANTOKRATŌR – He who rules over everything – Omnipotent

f) To summarize we see the following things in the description of our God. He is the One we belong to, Lord, He is the Godhead, the One and Only, He is Ruler of all things. These names alone should impart fearlessness in our lives no matter the situation we face.

g) He has great power – MEGAS DYNAMIS – total power not only in terms of strength but in terms of the supernatural, and excellency of soul

h) He has begun to reign – BASILEUŌ – to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign, metaph. to exercise the highest influence, to control

Revelation 11:18

a) In the first part of verse 18 we are reminded of Psalm 2 and the foolishness of those who rage against God and choose their own paths instead of His loving paths and eternal care.

b) Judging the dead – This occurs at the end of the age. See Revelation 20:11-15

c) The believers are not raised to a judgment, but a reward.

d) To destroy those who destroyed the land – This not only speaks of the Land (Promised), but all land that is destroyed by the effects of unrighteousness. Sin not only causes a spiritual destruction on the land, but manifests as crime, tyranny, social injustice, and all things that do not reflect the blessings of the kingdom of God.

Revelation 11:19

a) We see the true Temple in Heaven and the True Ark of the Covenant revealed to us and the unstoppable power and authority that emanates from it. Flashes, thunder, lightning and hail all are metaphors for the power and authority of God.

b) The destruction of the temple in Jerusalem did not end the concept of the Covenant of God, but confirmed the New Covenant that more fully reflects His heart, as it is the fullness of His Covenant between man and God.

c) David Chilton Quote – ” The early Christians who first read the Book of Revelation, especially those of a Jewish background, had to understand that the destruction of Jerusalem would not mean the end of covenant or Kingdom. The fall of old Israel was not “the beginning of the end.” Instead, it was the sign that Christ’s worldwide Kingdom had truly begun, that their Lord was ruling the nations from His heavenly throne, and that the eventual conquest of all nations by the armies of Christ was assured. For these humble, suffering believers, the promised age of the Messiah’s rule had arrived. And what they were about to witness in the fall of Israel was the end of the Beginning.”

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

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 11:1-14 – Week 22 – Rob Covell

Revelation of Hope

Revelation 11:1-14

Week 22

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will begin Revelation 11 and study the verses pertaining to the 2 Witnesses. Revelation Chapter 11 is divided into 2 sections. The first section prophesies the 2 Witnesses and the second section prophesies the blowing of the 7th trumpet, which reveals to us a wide panoramic view of the end of Salvation History.

The 2 Witnesses are the most difficult section of Revelation to interpret for any eschatological system, from the futurist pre-millennial view to the historist post-millennial view because of the identity of the 2 witnesses, and the complications of either trying to find their identity in history or their identity as literal persons in the futurist view. In all schools of eschatological thought there is wide diversity of the identity of the 2 witnesses and almost no 2 commentaries from respected theologians agree.

We will approach the interpretation of this section of Scripture within the confines of the symbolism they represent and refrain from attempting to identify them as individuals in the past or either in the future. What we do know is that the Scriptural symbolism is reliable because it is rooted in previous mentions in the Old Testament, and the symbols themselves communicate deep theological truths that we can apply today. As we have learned in earlier sessions the book Revelation is clearly a book of Old Testament symbols that communicated spiritual truths that would have been easily understood by the First Century Christians it was written to.
Revelation 11:1-2

a) In verse 1 we have some internal evidence of an early date for the writing of the Revelation. It is assumed in verses 1 and 2 that the Temple is still standing and in use. The use of the phrase “the holy city” identifies the place as Jerusalem as well as Revelation 11:8.

b) John’s reed/measuring rod is a symbol for testing or summing up the value of something. The measure of something establishes its dimensions and value.

c) We see a distinction between the outer and inner courts of the Temple. The outer court was destined to be destroyed, but inner court was protected from destruction. The outer court represents the Temple in Jerusalem and the inner court the Church in dwelt by the Holy Spirit. The book Hebrews deals with this in detail.  d) 42 months – This time frame corresponds with the time frame the Romans sieged Jerusalem.

Revelation 11:3

a) These 2 witnesses have been given the ability to prophesy. The words authority and power are not in the Greek but have been added by our translators. The word in the Greek is DIDŌMI – to give, to bestow a gift. – the Greek word for witness is – MARTYS – a legal witness

b) Sackcloth – This is the clothing of prophets who were calling Israel to repentance. Sackcloth was black wool cloth and very uncomfortable. It was a used to identify the prophet and his mission. Both Elijah and John the Baptist wore this type of covering. Sackcloth was worn when fasting and mourning as well. The reference to this prophetic garment gives us a clue that the mission of the 2 witnesses is to prophesy against the disobedient and those who reject the message of the Lord.

c) Again we see the 42 month or the 3.5 year reference that corresponds to the time frame of the siege of Jerusalem.

Revelation 11:4-6

a) In verses 4-6 we see direct references to Zechariah 4:14, references to the ministry of Elijah and references to the ministry of Moses.

b) Zechariah 4 – the 2 lampstands and olive trees in Zechariah 4 are Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the High Priest. Zerubbabel laid the foundation of the Second Temple and Joshua re-established and presided over the altar of the Second Temple. They are symbols of authority and government.

c) Verse 5 uses the symbolism of fire from their mouths. This speaks of the symbolism of the power of the Word of God, See Isaiah 30:27, Jeremiah 5:14 and Jeremiah 23:29. To disobey the Word of the Lord in terms of rejecting God’s grace, all will die by that fire.

d) The reference to Elijah in being able to shut up the sky speaks of the witness of powerful prophetic words that confirm God’s message. We can also see John the Baptist’s ministry in view here. Jesus said that John was the Elijah to come.

e) The reference to Moses speaks again of powerful prophetic ministry and judgment of God on Egypt who was rebelling against the will of God by not setting the Israelites free.

f) From simply interpreting the symbolism found in verses 4-6 we say that the 2 Witnesses represent the whole of sum of the Old Testament prophets until John the Baptist and their ministries to Israel. These 2 Witnesses form a panoramic view of the Law and the Prophets.

Revelation 11:7-10

a) The beast from the Abyss – This is the first mention in Revelation of the beast. This none other than Satan and his hateful persecution of the prophets of God. Jesus said that all of the blood of the prophets who were killed in Jerusalem would be on the generation that condemned Him. See Matthew 23:34-35,

b) Beasts also speak of the pagan nations who attacked Israel. See Isaiah 1:9 and Daniel 7:3-8.

c) Jerusalem is now called Sodom, which symbolizes its complete slide from being the dwelling place of God to the being given over to absolute wickedness that demands judgment. The city that rejected its own Messiah now has to accept the consequences of her actions. See Matthew 23:37-39 and Luke 13:33

d) Jerusalem is now being called Egypt, which symbolizes its rebellion against God. Egypt was the place of bondage for God’s Covenant people. Jerusalem was now a place of bondage for rejecting the freedom from the Law that Jesus offered.

e) These 2 Witnesses reflected the sacrifice of Jesus, in that they were lesser sacrificial lambs, who were sacrificed for their prophetic witness to Jerusalem just like Jesus was.

f) There is often a prideful celebratory spirit that inhabits those who throw off the Law of God. It manifests in our culture as a “party spirit” that celebrates sin and loves pleasuring the flesh (sarx).

g) There was celebration at the death of John the Baptist and Pilate and Herod also became friends after they presided over the death of Jesus.

h) Being denied burial was a sign of disrespect for the life of someone. Psalm 79

Revelation 11:11-12

a) Again we see a parallel to Jesus, as He was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Many commentators point to the fact that the whole of the Church will be resurrected and ascend into heaven to meet Jesus Christ.

b) The reference to the sacrificial deaths of the 2 Witnesses for their testimonies and their resurrection and ascension can be symbolic of the whole sum of God’s people from beginning to end.

c) David Chilton writes, “The story of the Two Witnesses is therefore the story of the witnessing Church, which has received the divine command to Come up here and has ascended with Christ into the Cloud of heaven, to the Throne (Eph. 1:20-22; 2:6; Heb. 12:22-24): She now possesses an imperial grant to exercise rule over the ends of the earth, discipling the nations to the obedience of faith (Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 1:5).”

d) We need to adopt a theology of victory when we look at disasters, persecutions and crucifixions; because being in Christ demands victory. Our deaths, either in distress or peace still speak victory because Jesus holds the keys of death and hades.

Revelation 11:13-14

a) The symbolism of the earthquake speaks of the power of God’s authority and His ability to shake what can be shaken.

b) 7000 – 7 the number of completeness – 7 multiplied to 7000 speaks of the utter destruction of those who disobeyed the testimony of the Law, the Prophets, Jesus Christ and the Witness of the Church. We see 7000 being used as a symbolic number when Elijah questioned the Lord and complained that he was the only one left who had not gone astray.
Summary

As we can see in verses 1-14, the subject of the 2 Witnesses is difficult to harmonize with the previous 10 Chapters as well as the rest of the Revelation. In light of all of the Scriptural Symbolism of Chapter 11, I would present that the 2 Witnesses most likely do not represent 2 literal people, but are a composite sketch of the whole of the prophetic ministry of the Hebrew prophets declaring the soon coming judgment of God on Jerusalem.

Source Material:  Hank Hannegraff – CRI – Who are the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11  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