Scandalous Grace – Rob Covell

Scandalous Grace

John 8:1-11

Rob Covell

Introduction –    In this Session we will look at the Scandalous Grace of the New Covenant. This section of Scripture, John 8 1:11 was purposely left out of some Greek manuscripts. In fact, some of your Bibles have these verses in brackets with a footnote, and the Westcott and Hort Greek text actually removes these verses and adds them at the end of the Gospel of John. The Church Father Augustine said that these verses were deleted because the forgiveness offered to the woman caught in adultery was too unbelievable, and that many in the early church did not want to condone adultery. Those who deliberately choose the method of scribal gloss completely misunderstood the New Covenant.

The reality is that Jesus perfectly represented the grace and forgiveness of the New Covenant. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus says that His blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins. It is the glory of the New Covenant to forgive the unforgiveable, cover shame, and to release freedom from the past. Tonight we will see how powerful redemption can be, and how the religious spirit is defeated by grace.

Beloved, if all of the payment for sin was on Jesus Christ on the cross, and the New Covenant is a covenant of forgiveness, then we should be the most accepting, loving, forgiving, and free people on the face the earth. I am convinced today we will all grow in grace.

John 8:1-2

a) Jesus went to the Mount of Olives – Context – The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot – Jesus was present at this festival, and this festival commemorated the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt and their being led by God in the wilderness for 40 years. We find it in Leviticus 23. The people would stay in booths for 8 days and the first and eighth days were special days of rest. In Jerusalem in Jesus’ time, the people celebrated with a water ceremony to thank God for sending His rain and a light ceremony where the whole Temple court of the women would have been illuminated to thank God for leading them by light in a pillar of fire, and giving them the Shekinah Glory. Jesus took these opportunities to announce He was the Living Water and He was the Light of the world. John 7-8

b) It was customary for a Rabbi to sit and teach while others gathered around him. Jesus, God in the flesh, came in humility, and served His people in meekness, love and grace. Phil 2

John 8:3-6

a) In John 7, there was a plot by the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees to arrest Jesus. These religious leaders were not interested in preserving the Law. Leviticus 20:10 was the Law being quoted here. However both parties were to be stoned to death. Their motivation was to accuse Jesus.

b) The religious spirit demands shaming those who have sinned, and uncovers people than rather than covering them. Imagine the humiliation and shame this woman felt. How about the fear of what might happen to her and the damage to her name?

c) The religious spirit brings accusation, shame, humiliation and fear. These are all motivations of the work of the enemy in the lives of people. The religious spirit does not care for the hearts people.

d) Jesus wrote on the ground – This is the first instance we ever find Jesus writing in the Gospels. It is interesting that the Living Torah did not write on scrolls, but wrote in the sands of the Temple courts. My opinion is that Jesus began to write their names and sins in the dirt.

John 8:7-8

a) Jesus is the exact representation of the Father’s heart. It says in John 1 that the Law came through Moses and grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. We see a contrast between the Law that demands an accounting and the New Covenant of forgiveness that Jesus gave.

b) Jesus answers them in a way that brings conviction unto life. Jesus did not uncover them, but by His answer allowed them to consider their own sin. When God brings conviction it is for redemptive purposes.

c) Jesus continues to ignore their demand for false justice, and exposes their hypocrisy. Again Jesus writes in the sand of the Temple courts, and each one of them disperses. I have the opinion that Jesus was writing the things they were accountable to the Law to. It says in Scripture that every sin is forgiven and removed from those seeking the forgiveness. It is fitting that Jesus wrote sins in the sand, which were easily erased by feet, or hands, wind or the movement of the crowd. And not recorded permanently.

John 8:9

a) The older ones go first. Age brings perspective and often tames passions. The younger ones followed the example of their leaders.

b) The woman who was being tormented by the crowd of accusers was left alone with the only One who was worthy to cast a stone. Jesus is the One who knew no sin, yet became sin for us. Colossians says that Jesus disarmed authorities and powers and triumphed over them by the cross. Jesus certainly disarmed these powers and authorities of the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees.

John 8:10-11

a) Jesus was relating to the woman in the light of the redemption of the cross. In John 3:17 it says that Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it.

b) Jesus was demonstrating the whole intent and spirit of the New Covenant in this interaction. Jesus gave her freedom from accusation, condemnation, and from the consequences of her sin.

c) “Go now leave your life of sin” – Freedom gives us a choice, because we are no longer bound by the sins of the past.

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The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 21:9-27 – Week 43 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 21:9-27

Week 43

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will complete Revelation 21 and continue in absorbing the vision of the great cosmic reconciliation of all things summed up of completed in Jesus Christ. The focus our previous Session, Revelation 21:1-8, was toward the removal of all things contrary to the Lord and Him becoming the healing and the fullness of all things.

In this Session our attention is drawn to the healed and whole beauty of the Church in the eternal state as shown to us in Revelation 21:9-27. In these verses we see the whole potential of God’s people from the Old Covenant faithful to the New Covenant faithful fully realized in God.

When we say that God sees us in the light of our destinies and not our immaturity, this is His view of His sons and daughters. We have the opportunity as the people of God, to begin to use the lens of Revelation 21 to see the greatness of the Church, and begin to live from our identities in God. Paul’s appeal to the Church in Ephesians Chapter 1, was that those who know Jesus would understand the inheritance waiting for them in the eternal state.

My heart for you is that as we read through the rest of Revelation 21, the Holy Spirit would illuminate our holy imaginations and help us see the glory that God gave and is giving His people so that we would honor Him and His people with that same vison of glory.

Revelation 21:9-14

a) John continues in a dialogue with one of the seven angels who poured out the last of the judgments of God. The angel shows John the wife of the Lamb. The wife of Lamb is His Church. God has not joined Himself to a city but to people. See Hebrews 12:22 and Hebrews 11:16

b) John was carried away in the Spirit to a great mountain. John is given the highest and healed view of the Church in all her glory. I am sure his ministry was never the same and he looked at the Church with a view of greatness and heavenly potential.

c) The symbolism in these verses point us to spiritual truth about the identity of the Church. To hold a literal interpretation of these verses robs the clear meaning of them and demotes the Church. See 2 Corinthians 5:2, Ephesians 2:2

d) The Church, the heavenly Jerusalem shines with the brilliance of a gem stone because she is precious to God. She is a virgin bride who is pure because she was washed by her Bridegroom by the blood of the Cross. She is transparent because there is no hidden sin in her heart or compromise.

e) 12 gates and 12 angels at the gates. Revelation 7 shows that these 12 gates are the first fruits of the Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah as symbolized by the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel. This symbolism of 144,000 and the 12 are not literal numbers but numeric symbols that point us to the reality that many Jews believed in Jesus and that national Israel was the vehicle by which God revealed Messiah. All of us have entered through the gates of revelation revealed by the Law and the Prophets. 12 and 144,000 are symbolic numbers which speak of the government, power, authority, and reign of God.

f) There are gates on every side because access to God is wide open, and from any direction. There is nothing in the way between Him and His people.

g) Foundations of the fullness for all God’s people are the apostles. Ephesians 2:20

Revelation 21:15-21

a) The city of God, the Church, is a perfect cube. A cube is a perfect object connected by perfect right angles. The symbolism communicates the perfect form of the people of God in the healed and whole eternal state. Again I propose to interpret these symbols literally is to reduce the love God to an object, not to people. 12,000 stadia communicates to us the vastness of the Church in her outreach during the New Covenant Era to convert the world.

b) Walls in the ancient world were the defense of a city. This wall being 144.000 cubits thick points us the impenetrable strength of God’s healed and whole Church. Things which breach the walls of our hearts in this time, will not breach them in eternity.

c) Let’s look at the prophetic symbolism of the gem stones mentioned in these verses. Gold measuring rod of gold and the city of gold like glass speak of the glory and sinless purity of the eternal state.

d) Jasper – Red in color – This symbolizes the passion, desire, emotion, and the love of God. 1 John 4:8, says that God is love. In the color red we see the symbolism of the passionate red blood of redemption of Jesus, and fullness of who God is at the very essence of His being.

e) Sapphire – Associated with diamonds, they are a sky-blue color and are found on the High Priest’s breastplate. The color symbolism speaks of heavenly realms and the reality of heaven and the throne of God. Exodus 24:10 and Ezekiel 1:26

f) Chalcedony – From the agate family of gem stones. This stone is only found in Revelation 21, and it comes in a variety of colors. The prophetic symbolism is the diversity of the nations and people groups who are reached by the gospel of love.

g) Emerald – The emerald is a green stone and is transparent. The emerald rainbow symbolizes the life of God extended to those who are in Covenant with Him. It encircles His throne because a circle has no beginning or end. God is eternal, and His Word and Covenant are forever.

h) Sardonyx – This stone is only found in Revelation 21. It is a white opaque stone with red stripes. It was used in the ancient world for signet rings because it is easy to engrave. The symbolism speaks of the purity of Jesus’ sacrifice, and His scars of love engraved on His hands and the Law of God engraved on our hearts.

i) Carnelian – Carnelian – Orange in color – Hebrews 12:29, says our God is a consuming fire. This is symbolic language for the intensity of His being, the coming fires of judgment at the end of the New Covenant Age, and the purity of the flame of His heart that refines those He loves.

j) Chrysolite – Found only in Revelation 21. It is gold and green mixed gem. It speaks of the glory of eternal life with God.

k) Beryl – Found in Exodus 28:20, Ezekiel 1:16, and Ezekiel 10:9. It is yellow topaz and the prophetic symbolism points us to the glory God.

l) Topaz – Found in Exodus 28:3, Job 28:19, and Exodus 28:17. It is the stone of Simeon and is yellow/green gem. It speaks of glory and eternal life. Job says this gem stone is of higher value than gold in the ancient world. Our salvation is more precious than gem stones and gold and cannot be bought. Simeon means Heard or God has heard.

m) Chrysoprase – Only mentioned in Revelation 21. It is a blue/green/white gem. The prophetic symbolism is the life of God, heavens realms and the purity of His dwelling place.

n) Jacinth – Found in Exodus 28:19. It is a deep purple color and speaks of heavenly revelation and royalty.

o) Amethyst – This gem is mentioned in Exodus 28:19, Exodus 39:12. The Hebrew name is AHLAMAH and in Judaism it is called the dream stone. It is a pale blue color. The prophetic symbolism speaks of the Church being the dream of God’s heart.

p) 12 Gates of Pearl – The pearl is the most precious and luxurious stone in the ancient world. Jesus mentions this gem in Matthew 13:45 and Pail mentions it in 1 Timothy 2:9. Jesus said the kingdom of God was like a pearl that a man sold everything to obtain it. The kingdom of God is within you and your life in God is worth spending all or your energy and resources on.

Revelation 21:22-27

a) There is no Temple because we are the Temple that God dwells in. See 1 Corinthians 3:16. As God is in our midst we live by His light. We have the light of the Lord now in a measure, but in the eternal state we have the fullness of illumination and revelation of God. These verses are the fulfillment of Isaiah 60.

b) The city does not need the sun or the moon. The symbols of the sun and moon from earlier studies show that suns and moons are in the context of government and authority to rule men. There is no need of a man made government because God is ruling in fullness of the eternal state. See Genesis 37:9 for the sun and moon representing man’s authority.

c) God’s glory/presence is the light of life here and in the eternal state to come.

d) The nations will walk by its light – In the eternal state all peoples will know God and see His glory. David Chilton writes. “As the Light of the Gospel shines through the Church to the world, the world is converted, the nations are discipled, and the wealth of the sinners becomes inherited by the just. This is a basic promise of Scripture from beginning to end; it is the pattern of history, the direction in which the world is moving. This is our future, the heritage of generations to come. The gift of His Holy Spirit guarantees the fulfillment of His promise: not that He will make new things, but that He will make all things new.”

e) Nothing unclean enters the eternal kingdom. We are made clean by Jesus’ blood and one day we will all be transformed to His purity, righteousness and justice in the eternal state. Verse 27 points us to the truth that we need a Savior.

Source Material:  Harold Eberle – Father-Son Theology, a Systematic Theology Christian-History.org  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper  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  Wayne Grudem – Systematic Theology

Revelation of Hope – Revelation 21:1-8 – Week 42 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 21:1-8

Week 42

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will begin Revelation 21. This chapter begins the great cosmic reconciliation of the whole of creation. Revelation 21 introduces us the completely healed and whole cosmos that was accomplished in Jesus Christ. Many of us fail to realize the magnitude of our message that we call the gospel. Our message is not only personal salvation, but it is the first fruits of the reconciliation of regions, nations, systems, creation and ultimately cosmic reconciliation. Revelation 21 gives an onramp to the highest Christology in Scripture next to Colossians.

In chapter 21, we find some of the most fantastic, awesome, word imagery and promises ever written in Scripture about the Consummation of the Kingdom and the Eternal State. I ask that you would take a moment to clear your thoughts, ask the Holy Spirit to open up your holy imagination and begin to dream about the description of the eternal state, so that we may live with this revelation in the forefront of our minds. My desire is that we are transformed as the Spirit of God breathes on the text we are about to read.

Revelation 21:1-2

a) Everything has been removed that hindered the fullness of the revelation of the glorious Son of Man. Everything that hindered relationship, everything that stood in the way of relationship with God; the sin, the pain, every lesser love has been removed, every attack of the enemy and demons has been removed. The unrepentant mass of humanity has been removed, and those in Christ have been set free in fullness to enjoy the love of God without shame, weakness, and brokenness.

b) This is complete cosmic reconciliation as the old order of things has passed away and the order of God in fullness has come. The Greek word for new – KAINOS – as respects substance, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of – We can see this is not a newness in a chronological sense, but new in substance and new in a way that has never been before.

c) This is the fulfillment of the Messianic mission of Jesus which is the complete reconciliation of all things. Colossians 1:19-20 – For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 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.

d) It is important to note that we are looking at the fullness of the Messianic mission of the gospel and our inheritance as saints. Presently we are experiencing some these benefits now, and extending the kingdom of God to the point that fullness in Jesus comes and the new order becomes manifest as described in Revelation 21.

e) New Jerusalem, Holy City, Bride adorned for Her Husband are all descriptives of
the Church, the people of God, in a complete reconciled state. As new creations in Christ, our citizenship and destinies are in heaven now, and in the future we come down from heaven and manifest our fullness on earth. We are positionally seated with Christ in heavenly realms, and will one day become fullness in Him.

f) We are beautifully adorned/dressed. We are like our Husband, Jesus Christ, being clothed with His glory, righteousness, purity, and perfection. We are beautiful because we are like Him.

Revelation 21:3-4

a) Now the fullness of the prophetic promises of the Old Covenant is completed. Leviticus 26:11-12 – ‘Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. ‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people – Now we share a portion of this promise, at the consummation we will have unhindered access to the Godhead. We are the New Covenant first fruits of this promise.

b) God will live – Greek – SKĒNOŌ – to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle – This is a description of what God had in mind when He created Eden for mankind. The loud voice from the throne is describing the end result of the salvation narrative of God. All of gospel preaching, co-laboring with God, and our establishment and enforcement of the Kingdom of God is to this end. God desires men and women to live with Him. Christ at His first coming tabernacled with us in limitation; now the Godhead and mankind have oneness in the love of God.

c) He will wipe every tear from their eyes – Greek – EXALEIPHŌ – to anoint or wash in every part, to besmear: i.e. cover with lime (to whitewash or plaster), to wipe off, wipe away, to obliterate, erase, wipe out, blot out – This not simply a tissue to the eyes, this is a renewal of vision from the healed perspective of God.

d) No more death – This is the fulfilment of the Messianic promise of Jesus, which is eternal life, or life that will always be. This is the manifestation of Eden restored, when all corruption is removed from the human condition, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25

e) No more mourning – The Greek – PENTHOS – mourning or grief over death or the human condition. In some way the Lord will resolve all of the loss we have experienced in the old order of things. All mourning over sin, divorce, regret, death, and all things, will be made whole and healed. Just as we experience newness of life now in Jesus, the fullness is waiting for us in the eternal state.

f) No more crying – KRAUGĒ – a crying, outcry, clamour – all of the outrage over the disappointments of life are resolved in Jesus.

g) No more pain – PONOS – great trouble, intense desire, pain – This Greek word points to the truth all pain, physical, emotional, and all pain associated with trouble will be reconciled by Jesus.

h) The old order has passed away – A completely new order has been manifested and all who have waited for redemption will be satisfied in the new order that Jesus Christ established from the cross to the consummation.

Revelation 21:5

a) 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – These things are true for us in a limited way now and the renewal/new creation process is actively progressing to the consummation of all things being summed up Christ.

b) Jesus is making all things new. Just as He worked creation, (Colossians 1:1617), Jesus has the authority to make all things new. This is the whole reason for the covenants of God, the Messianic prophecies, and gospel the Church preaches, in order to partner with Jesus in making all things new. These words are true because He is truth. See John 14:6.

Revelation 21:6-7

a) It is done – Just as Jesus declared that “it is finished”, in regards to the work of the atonement, Jesus declares the completion of what is in the heart of God for all creation; which is the all things summed up in Jesus Christ an healed.

b) Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the A to Z, the all supreme King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

c) John 4:14 – but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” d) Revelation 7:17 – for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

e) Jesus is the sufficiency and will meet any need we have.

f) God responds to and satisfies all spiritual hunger and thirst. Revivals and great moves of God begin with the hungry and thirsty. John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

g) Our inheritance in Jesus is amazing and indescribable in scope. Even the glorious description given to us in Revelation 21 is not comparable to the coming experience we are looking forward to in God.

h) The apex of relationship with God is to live as a Son/Daughter.

Revelation 21:8

a) There is no universal salvation, but salvation is offered to all who would accept the sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.

b) The works of the flesh are listed as the offenses worthy of the second death, which is the sentence of everlasting hell.

c) The issue here is grace versus works. We should look at Galatians 5:16-21for the proper perspective on what warrants eternal separation from God. The questions we should ask ourselves are as follows. Are we willing practitioners of unrighteousness and impurity? Are we immature believers in process of sanctification? Are we willfully rebellious towards the Lord? Are we not living by the Spirit and therefore robbing ourselves of the necessary grace to live in a place of overcoming? There is not perfection on this side of eternity, but there is a grace to overcome for the one walks by the Spirit.

d) It is interesting that the cowardly are mentioned. The word in the Greek means timid or fearful. The Lord is contrasting the conquering champions of the Church/Bride, as opposed to those who have no boldness and courage of faith.

Questions and Answer Time:

Source Material:  Harold Eberle – Father-Son Theology, a Systematic Theology Christian-History.org  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper  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  Wayne Grudem – Systematic Theology

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 20:4-15 – Week 41 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 20:6-15

Week 41

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will complete Revelation 20 and continue our study of the nature of the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ from the postmillennial view point. We will also look at sure and pending doom of satan, and Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the age.

Our introduction to Revelation 20 was very lengthy and detailed, so we will move straight to the text. See the Revelation 20:1-3 Session for a recap of the introduction.

Revelation 20:4

a) “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had authority to judge” – Those who are on the thrones, who have authority to judge is a picture of the Church in her identity ruling and reigning with Jesus and enforcing the gospel of the kingdom. See the verses below.

b) 1 Peter 2:9 –  But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

c) Revelation 2:26 – ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;

d) Ephesians 3:10 – so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

e) Ephesians 1:20 says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, and Ephesians 2:6 says “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”

f) We can see from these Scriptures that the Church has been given identity and the authority to judge the works of darkness by our authority in Jesus Christ. The ones on the thrones and judging is the Church in walking out her identity in salvation history.

g) Those who chose not to worship the beast or take his mark refer the First Century Christians that did not compromise their faith in persecution during the reigns of Nero to Constantine. We must refer back to chapter 13 that identifies the generic beast, the Roman Empire and the specific beast Nero (666). Refer to the Roman Agora of the First Century for a detailed explanation of the mark of the beast.

h) Those who have been beheaded references the martyrs from John the Baptist, to Paul, and includes all of the faithful martyrs of the Church until the return of Christ.

i) Reigning with Christ 1000 years is symbolic of the Messianic age as the Body of Christ enforces the rule and reign of Jesus Christ as we fulfill the Matthew 28 mandate to preach a global gospel. See Mark 16:17-18.

j) David Chilton – “Does this reign of the saints take place in heaven or on earth? The answer should be obvious: both! The saints’ thrones are in heaven, with Christ (Eph. 2:6); yet, with their Lord, they exercise rule and dominion on earth (cf. 2:26-27; 5:10; 11:15). Those who reign with Christ in His Kingdom are all those whom He has redeemed, the whole Communion of Saints, whether they are now living or dead (including Old Covenant believers). In His Ascension, Jesus Christ brought us all to the Throne.”

Revelation 20:5-6

a) The rest of the dead refers to the whole number of the unfaithful from Eden to the Return of Jesus Christ. They do not experience the life of God, and are raised from the dead to a resurrection of judgment and then experience the second death, which is everlasting/eternal separation from God in hell as symbolized by the lake of fire in Revelation 20:13-15.

b) Jesus spoke about hell being an everlasting state of fire in Matthew 9:43. When we speak of hell being an everlasting fire, we must recognize that there are multiple concepts in interpreting the nature of hell. The Scriptures actually say very little about the nature of hell, other than it is described as darkness, fire and eternal. It is my opinion that hell is a spiritual realm devoid of God, and the fire, and darkness being the descriptive of that eternal state of being.

c)  John contrasts the second death to the first resurrection. The first resurrection is connected to the millennial reign of Jesus and His Church. We must ask 3 questions. What is the first resurrection? What does “those who have part” in the first resurrection mean? What does “coming to life” mean?

d) All questions can be answered by allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. Let’s look at what Scripture has to say about coming to life and resurrection.

e) Matthew 8:22 – But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

f) John 3:3 – Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

g) Luke 15:24 – But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ – Parable of the Prodigal

h) Ephesians 2:5 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

i) Colossians 2:13 – When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

j) 1 Timothy 5:6 – But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.

k) 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! l) Romans 6:4 – We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

m) To summarize, we can see clearly that the First Resurrection describes being delivered from spiritual death, and being made alive in Christ. To further this point we can see that we are presently priests of God as the redeemed, and we are co-laboring with Jesus in His resurrection power as we preach the gospel.
The second death will not hurt us. The first death was in Eden and refers to the dead state of the human spirit that is not redeemed. The second death is the death of eternal judgment. Those who know Jesus Christ do not die, but live eternally. The unrighteous exist in a conscious eternal state of death and exist eternally devoid of the life of God. See Revelation 20:10. In addition to this Scripture teaches 1 spiritual resurrection of the believer and 1 bodily resurrection of all. See 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4 -5, and Revelation 20:11-15 for bodily resurrection details.

Revelation 7-10

a) Verses 7-10 point our attention to Ezekiel 38-39. In order to understand verses 710 we will allow the Ezekiel 38-39 template interpret the doom of satan according to the Gog/Magog symbolism found in the text.

b) Context of Gog and Magog – So much has been said about the identity of Gog and Magog that is completely out of context and has caused the Body of Christ to even correlate Russia to Gog and Magog during its Communistic stage of history. Now Russia is experiencing a Christian Orthodox revival and even their President is a confessing Orthodox Christian having converted recently to Orthodox Christianity. Another premillennial inconsistency I want to point out is that this battle comes after the Millennial Reign of Christ and His Church. The premillennial Left Behind narrative places the battle before the Millennial Reign.

c) Gog defined in Scripture – Gog is a person who is a Prince. See Ezekiel 38:2-3. Gog in history is Modern Day Turkey. Magog means land of Gog. This prince was allied with the traditional enemies Israel in Ezekiel 38 and was part of a confederation of armies to destroy Israel. Ezekiel 38-39 is the prophecy of their swift impending doom by the direct Sovereign intervention by the Lord. Their weapons will be used to kindle the fire that utterly destroys them. The army of Gog is described as a vast army similar to the army in described in Revelation 20:7-10 and their destruction parallels Ezekiel 38-39.

d) The clear message of the Revelation 20:7-10 contrast to Ezekiel 38-39 is that just as the historical Gog and his vast army seemed united in the destruction of God’s people, God destroyed them by intervening supernaturally; in a similar way the destruction of satan and all of those allied with him against God’s people will meet the same fate.

e) The camp of God’s people is an allusion to the City of David. This is symbolizes all believers contained the Body of Christ. Christians believe that the Church is the Temple of the Living God, with Christ as its Head, and that we are inhabited as a dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

f) Romans 2:29 – But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. g) Ephesians 2:19 – So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,

h) Galatians 3:7 – Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

i) Ephesians 2:22 – in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God
in the Spirit.

j) We must mention the parable of the Wheat and Tares which teaches that all of humanity will not be converted by the Church, but the Church will co-exist with the unbelieving. By implication in the parable there is more wheat than tares. The Postmillennial view of the advancing kingdom of God never holds to a universal salvation of humanity. What is being presented in Revelation 20:7-10 is that at some time in salvation history, God will consolidate believers and unbelievers in their hearts and the contrast between them will be strikingly evident. At the end of salvation history there will be one last attempt by satan to harm those who love God. But just like Ezekiel’s prophecy template, no harm will come to God’s people because they are defeated in an instant and sentenced to an eternal hell. Lastly the mention of the beast and false prophet refer to the First Century Roman Empire and unbelieving Jerusalem which had become a false prophet the minute it rejected the Messianic message of Jesus Christ and taught a covenant that had been put away by God. The whole of those who reject Jesus in every age have the same fate as the beast and the false prophet.

Revelation 20:11-15

a) Verses 11-15 gives the crescendo account of the end of human history and the end of the New Covenant Kingdom Age. Jesus is now seated on the throne as the Mediatorial Judge of all.

b) Matthew 25:31-32 – “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

c) John 5:27 – and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

d) Acts 10:42 – “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.

e) Philippians 2:10 – so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, f) 2 Timothy 4:1 – I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

g) Nicene Creed – He ascended into heaven, And sits on the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.

h) Nothing is hidden from the gaze of our Lord Jesus Christ at His appearing. At His return those who are alive in Him will marvel at His glory and beauty. Those who rejected Him will give an account for their lives. No one can stand and trust in their own works and be held innocent for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The second death does not hurt the believer because we are covered by His grace. Those who do not believe will be condemned to an eternal judgment. It is important to note that hell was not made for mankind, but the devil and demons. Unbelieving humanity ends up there because of the choice to reject
grave and love. Matt 25:41 – “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

Questions and Answer Time:

Source Material:  Harold Eberle – Father-Son Theology, a Systematic Theology Christian-History.org  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper  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  Wayne Grudem – Systematic Theology

Communion, Healing and the Real Presence of Christ – Rob Covell

Communion & Healing Service

Matt, 26, Matt 28, Mark 16, 1 Corinthians 11

Rob Covell

Introduction

This morning before we experience the Sacred Moment of Communion, I want to share with you some of the Apostolic History of the Eucharist so that we might approach the Communion Table with a greater faith expectancy for a divine exchange with God this morning. The term Eucharist comes from the Greek word EUCHARISTEŌ – which means to be grateful or feel grateful. This word is used in Matthew 26:27 & 1 Corinthians 11:24. That is where the word Eucharist came to us being used in connection with the Communion.

From the earliest sources in history we understand that the Communion was celebrated in the following ways. First there was a divine meal, the Communion Remembrance, and then afterward there was a Love Feast. The Apostle Paul mentions these 2 experiences of Apostolic Christian life in his first letter to the Corinthian Church in 1 Corinthians 11:17-33 as well as Jude in Jude 1:11. If you have been at Refuge to celebrate the Sacred Moment of Communion you will notice that we purposely have Communion and then a meal together afterward. We do this to follow in the apostolic tradition of the Early Church.

It is ironic that the best information we have regarding ancient Communion and the Love Feast afterward comes from Pliny the Younger. Pliny lived from AD61 to AD113. He was a Roman lawyer, magistrate/judge, governor, and historian. He persecuted Christians and mentions them as a significant movement that was threatening the culture of the Roman Empire. Below is a quote from Pliny in his letter to Roman Emperor Trajan.
“After having met “on a stated day” in the early morning to “address a form of prayer to Christ, as to a divinity”, later in the day would “reassemble, to eat in common a harmless meal”.

We are going to look at 3 very real spiritual experiences as we Commune with God this morning.

Healing & Forgiveness

The Power of God in the Gospel Proclamation

Divine Exchange

Matthew 26:26-28 Healing & Forgiveness

a) Jesus took the bread and gave thanks and broke it. The Greek word here for thanks is really a blessing. Greek – EULOGEŌ – to praise, celebrate with praises, to invoke blessings, to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on, favored of God, blessed – We can see from the text that this is more than a simple thanks. It is Jesus pronouncing the blessing, the prosperity, and the favor of God on the New Covenant He was confirming by His death on a cross.

b) Jesus gave His body, symbolized in the bread to reveal to us that He is our sufficiency and He is the nourishment for our soul.

c) We can parallel Matthew 26:26-28 in Isaiah 53:1-12, and find the healing of the whole person in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Matthew 8:17 directly connects the healing and power ministry of Jesus to Isaiah 53 by quoting it.

d) Jesus took the cup and gave thanks – EUCHARISTEŌ – to be grateful or feel grateful. This is the origin of Communion being called the Eucharist.

e) Cups speak of fellowship, celebration and destinies either positive or negative in Scripture. In this cup we recognize our fellowship with the Lord and our being joined to Him in mystical union.

f) Blood is always the vehicle for sacrifice, and forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22 – And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

g) Jesus said His blood was for the forgiveness of sins. The Greek – APHESIS – release from bondage or imprisonment – forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty.

h) Jesus describes the nature of the New Covenant as being a covenant of freedom from bondage or imprisonment and forgiveness to the point where our sins are separated from us as never having been committed. The New Covenant is a covenant of reconciliation of sons and daughters, restoration in every area of life, and the fullness grace. This is our gospel or message of the good news. There is spiritual power potential when we receive the New Covenant reality by faith. It only becomes real when we experience it. Without experience it is theology or religious theory.

Matthew 28:18-20 & Mark 16:15-18 – The Power of God in the Gospel

a) Jesus said He has all authority in heaven and on earth. 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, the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)

b) Mark 16:15-18 – The proclamation of the authority of Jesus is accompanied by power demonstrations that prove the authority of the New Covenant. The mention of snakes and scorpions is in the context of the Church having the ability to overcome satan, demons and the poison of sin in the world. Snakes and scorpions are allegorical in this text.

c) Power and authority flow from the intimate knowing of Jesus Christ. It is grace to us to commune with God, and from that place boldness and confidence in His Word begins to come to the front. As we know the power of forgiveness and restoration that comes from Jesus, we are able to reimage it to those around us.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 & 29 the Divine Exchange

a) The Apostle Paul confirms that Communion was an established Sacred Moment for the Church to experience a divine exchange between believers and the Lord.

b) The proclamation of the Lord’s death is to make known or publicly proclaim the message of Jesus’ death on a cross for the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God, restoration, healing and grace. Greek – KATAGGELLŌ – to announce, declare, promulgate, make known, to proclaim publicly, publish

c) When we come to the Communion table we are making a public statement to not only the natural realm but the supernatural realm that we are in fellowship with our Lord, and have received and are receiving His benefits given to us in His death on a cross and His resurrection.

d) Paul is bringing correction to the Corinthian Church because they are not recognizing the Sacred Moment in Communion.

e) Paul confirms that there is a supernatural divine exchange between the worshipper and God in Communion in verse 29. Paul mentions 3 graces that are available in Communion.

f) 1 – Strengthening – The word weak in the Greek – ASTHENĒS – weak, infirm, feeble – The common context for this word is figurative, and speaks of being morally weak, and spiritually weak. Paul addresses the moral and spiritually weak condition of the Corinthian Church earlier in this letter. Paul is correcting them so that they may draw strength from God in Communion.

g) 2 – Healing of sickness – The word for sick in the Greek is – ARRŌSTOS – without strength, weak, sick – The context for this word is sickness in the body. Here we have Paul connecting the possibility of physical healing being received at Communion.

h) 3 – Life – Greek – KOIMAŌ – Metaphor for sleep, to fall asleep, to be asleep or to decease or die. This Greek word is interesting because it can be used in the context for spiritually being asleep or to literally die. Paul is suggesting to the Corinthians that the life that God gives is a benefit in Communion.

Summary – Real Presence Theology in the Communion –

The Early Church Father Augustine said, “that “no one bears away from this Sacrament more than is gathered with the vessel of faith”, “The flesh and blood of Christ are no less truly given to the unworthy than to God’s elect believers”.

The Reformer John Calvin said, “But those who partake by faith receive benefit from Christ, and the unbelieving are condemned by partaking. By faith (not a mere mental apprehension), and in the Holy Spirit, the partaker beholds God incarnate, and in the same sense touches him with hands, so that by eating and drinking of bread and wine Christ’s presence penetrates to the heart of the believer more nearly than food swallowed with the mouth can enter in.”

The Early Church Father Irenaeus said, “Jesus taught a new sacrifice which the Church received from the Apostles and offers throughout the whole world.”