Complete Joy – Week 2 – Rob Covell

Complete Joy

Week 2

Luke 2:1-14

Rob Covell

Introduction – Beloved as we complete this 2 week series, Complete Joy, my prayer is that we begin to see Jesus the Messiah, as the as the fullest expression of the love of the Father. We desperately need a return to the presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its true essence bathed in the goodness and love of God. That Jesus Christ is none other than the invasion of the grace filled Kingdom of God to bring humanity back into reconciliation with God. All of our faith history is born from the promise of Messiah, His sacrifice for sin, and His Kingdom on earth. Let us transcend the knee deep presentations of Jesus and actually encounter the love of God so that we may return to an apostolic gospel. Christmas is so much deeper than our cultural presentation of Jesus’ birth. Jesus, the Messiah, who came to inaugurate the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God on the earth; to destroy the works of the devil and set free a humanity bound in death and sin. To pour out the Spirit on all flesh to the glory of God.

Luke 2:1-3

a) The gospel of Luke gives a specific time marker for the birth of Jesus Christ. Many critics question that there was ever a historical Jesus. Luke gives explicit details on the timing of His birth.

b) Quirinius – a Roman Governor in Judea from 6AD to 12AD. He was appointed by Augustus Caesar. There was a Roman census taken in 6AD.

c) Augustus Caesar – Born 63BC and ruled the Roman Empire from 27BC to 19AD. Augustus Caesar was the founder of the Roman Empire and established the Flavian Dynasty. He divided the Roman Empire into 10 provinces which corresponds with Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 2:44-45. In addition to this Augustus began the Emperor Cult and was called the Son of God, and the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, titles reserved for Jesus Christ. It is worthy to note that the enemy/satan operates in falsehoods and the counterfeit.

d) Extra Biblical Mention of Jesus – Josephus- “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

Luke 2:4-7

a) Luke points to Jesus birth being in Bethlehem. This fulfills Micah’s prophecy in Micah 5:2 – But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

b) Bethlehem – House of Bread in Hebrew. Jesus the Bread of Life, His Body as the Bread in the Eucharist. Jesus being born in Bethlehem is another connection Him being the Son of David according to the flesh. Romans 1:3 – concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

c) Mary – Betrothed – We discussed the Kosher Marriage Betrothal ritual in the last session. See Complete Joy 1 notes.

d) Mary gave birth in Bethlehem, wrapped him in cloths and laid the Child Jesus in a feeding trough. There is so much symbolism present in these verses. 1 – Jesus wrapped in cloths at His burial. 2 – The feeding trough was made of stone, symbolizing the tomb of stone 3 – Feeding trough symbolizing that Jesus would be bread for the world, to feed on and be nourished in the spirit and be true bread and sustenance to all how call on Him.

e) There was room for Him in the inn. Jesus suffered outside the camp/Jerusalem, and is on the outside of those who are not walking with Him, knocking to let Him in.

Luke 2:8

a) Luke mentions the shepherds in the field keeping watch over the sheep. This would have been in the spring time before the Passover. These sheep were birthing sacrificial lambs to be used for the massive Passover sacrifices. It is interesting to note that Jesus, our Passover Lamb was born around the same the Paschal Lambs were being birthed.

b) December 25 was not a connected to the birth of Jesus until the late AD300’s to the AD400’s. The Early Church did not celebrate Christmas like we do today. The birth of Jesus was not widely celebrated in the Early Church. Easter was the high holy day of the Early Church. The Early Church was forward focused on the demonstration of the Kingdom, the Return of Jesus Christ, and the purity of the Church. Those congregations that did celebrate the birth of Jesus did so in spring and connected it to the Easter celebration at Passover. The Christian Church began celebrating the Birth of Jesus in 336AD, when Pope Julius 1 decreed it at the urging of Constantine. This was to counter the Roman Pagan celebration of Saturnalia.

Luke 2:9-12

a) The angel announces that Christ the Lord has been born. This is so significant because all of Scripture up to this point prophesied this event. Jesus Christ fulfilled, not only the prophetic promises about Him, but He is the Living Word/Torah, the Second Adam, the Savior of Israel and the World. He is Eden restored, and the One who makes all things new. The Messiah is the One who everyone was waiting for. To an observant Jew, this is everything the nation of Israel was waiting for.

b) This angel must have been beautifully endued with glory that shone around them. Glory – Greek – DOXA – splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace, a most glorious condition, most exalted state. This was the presence of God displayed in one of the fullest manifestations in Scripture. All around – Greek – PERILAMPŌ – to shine around. This sight was so beautiful that the shepherds were terrified. Greek – MEGAS PHOBEO PHOBO – This heavenly manifestation was so intense that these shepherds were terrified because the natural man is acclimated to eternal spiritual realms.

c) Do not be afraid – Our natural man maybe afraid, but God’s glory/presence reality is full of grace, love, and acceptance from the Father.

d) Jesus is good news that brings great joy. Christianity needs a new narrative that presents Jesus as the Author of Good News and Great Joy all the people. We need to get back to the message of the Goodness of God in the Person of Jesus. He has been born to us! The greatest Gift from the Father.

Luke 2:12-14

a) In the angelic declaration we the essence of the Christian gospel. On earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.

b) On earth peace – Greek – EIRĒNĒ – a state of national tranquility, peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous), the way that leads to peace (salvation) – This word corresponds with the Hebrew word SHALOM. c) His favor rests – Greek – EUDOKIA – good will, kindly intent, benevolence, delight, pleasure, satisfaction, desire, for delight in any absent thing easily produces longing for it.

d) In the New Covenant age we are in the age of the Father offering peace and extending favor to humankind through the gift of the Son to the world.

e) John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him”.

f) The New Covenant is a covenant of forgiveness of sins, a ministry of reconciliation, and the goodness of God extended to humanity.

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Complete Joy – Week 1 – Rob Covell

Complete Joy

Week 1

Luke 1:26-38

Rob Covell

Introduction – Beloved my prayer this Session for us is that we transcend the typical Christmas presentations, cultural traditions, and knee deep spiritual understandings of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and begin to see the immeasurable goodness of God in giving the Son to the world. In this Session we are going to step into a realm of revelation concerning the Man, Jesus Christ, the supreme love and benevolence of the Father, and the Kingdom of God.

All of our faith history is born from the promise of Messiah, His sacrifice for sin, and His Kingdom on earth. The Father giving the Son to humanity is so much more than a manger, wise men, shepherds and angels. The coming of Christ in the flesh is no less than an invasion of the Kingdom of God, the destruction of the dominion of the devil, and a freed humanity living under a supernatural reality that demonstrates that truth.

Luke 1:26-28

a) The month mentioned here is the Hebrew month Elul, it is 29 days long and is a summer month that corresponds with lands between August and September on our calendar. It is important to note that according to Jewish tradition that this month is considered a preparatory month to prepare ones heart for Rosh Hashanah (Judgment Day of God) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It was customary to blow a shofar every day of this month to remind the community to prepare their hearts for these High Holy Days. The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word “Elul” can be expanded as an acronym for “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). We can see that this month is a transition month that bears the promise that the Beloved would become an Incarnation to save humanity and re-establish Eden.

b) God sent Gabriel – Gabriel means “Man of God”. This angel is an archangel or prince angel that is on assignment from God to accomplish the announcements concerning the Messiah, Jesus.

c) Nazareth means “guarded one”, and indicates to us that God chose this place because Joseph and Mary destinies would be secure.

d) Virgin pledged to married – Greek – PARTHENOS – a virgin, a woman who has never had sexual intercourse, can be applied to a man who kept his chastity and remained unsoiled by the world.

e) Pledged to be married – Betrothal – Greek – MNĒSTEUŌ – to be promised in marriage, be betrothed. This is not be confused with our modern marriage engagements. The Kosher Betrothal ritual would be outlined by the following: 1 – The Bridegroom would probably be around 30 years old because he would need to prove his stability, honor, influence and value as a husband to the Father. 2 – The Bridegroom would approach the Father and ask for a Betrothal Ritual in which the Father, Mother, Virgin Daughter (who would be probably teenager), and potential Bridegroom would sit and discuss all of the Bridegroom’s qualifications for marriage. 3 – There would be 4 cups present. 3 cups would be filled with wine, the Virgin Daughter’s cup would be empty. They would discuss the details and interview the Bridegroom and the Virgin Daughter would listen intently. 4 – If the Father and Mother agreed with the potential Bridegroom, the Virgin Daughter would then either turn her cup over, denying the Bridegroom, or either fill her cup and agree to the marriage. They would read Hosea 2:1920. Mary would have already participated in this ceremony accepting Joseph.

f) Joseph – means “let him add”. Mary – means – “their rebellion”. Joseph + Mary = let him add to their rebellion. That is exactly what the High Priest, Pharisees and Sadducees did in their rejection of Jesus as Messianic King.

g) A descendant of David – This would be King David. This is very important because this is a qualifier for Jesus to be Messiah. See 2 Samuel 7:13.

h) Mary is called highly favored and told that the Lord is with her. Greek – CHARITOŌ – to make graceful, charming, lovely, agreeable, to pursue with grace, compass with favor, to honor with blessings.

Luke 1:29-30

a) Verse 29 tells that Mary was troubled by the greeting. The word in the Greek is to be greatly distressed. I am sure an encounter with one the princes of heaven would freak me out too! Mary was trying to figure out the reason for this visitation.

b) Gabriel reassures her that she has favor with God and not to be afraid. The Lord is so loving to His children in that every person that has been asked to do the impossible has the encouragement “do not be afraid” and “I am with you”. God will always give the grace for all things that He wants accomplish in us.

Luke 1:31-33

a) Gabriel tells Mary that her Perfect conception will fulfill Israel’s destiny as people, and that all of God’s promises to His people will be found in Jesus the Messiah. Jesus (IĒSOUS) – Jehovah is Salvation – There is no other Name by which men must be saved.

b) Son of God – This title for Jesus carries weighty implications. 1 – Jesus would be the Second Adam fulfilling God’s promise to Eve that satan would be crushed by this One. In Jesus Eden would be restored. 2 – Jesus would perfectly represent the Father to people, and in that sense He would perfectly keep God’s Law. 3 – Jesus would be “equal” to God. See John 5:18.

c) Throne of David (Son of David) – Jesus would fulfill God’s promise to
David that he would have a descendant on his throne forever. Jesus would be the obedient Son/King who would be the Messianic deliverer of Israel and world. At this time in history this would have been welcome news because Rome was occupying Israel. d) Jesus’ kingdom will never end. When we look at Jesus’ life we see the exact nature and expression of His kingdom. Jesus birth in none other than heaven’s rule invading the world. See Daniel 2:44-45, John 1:1-4 and 1 John 3:8.

Luke 1:34

a) Mary asks Gabriel how this is supposed to happen given her circumstances. Many times God’s call seems impossible in the natural. It is not wrong to ask how, but our faith is robbed when we discount God’s ability to do it. Zechariah doubted the Lord’s ability to accomplish His purpose in John the Baptist and he became unable to speak.

Luke 1:35-37

a) At this point many skeptics criticize the Scriptures and deny the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. One must consider, if the Godhead is Creator and the Author of Life, that He is naturally supernatural and possess life In Himself, than this is an easy thing for God.

b) If Jesus was not Virgin born than He is disqualified to be a sinless sacrifice.

c) The Virgin Birth fulfilled Isaiah 7:14, and Isaiah 9:2-7

d) Nothing is impossible with God. This is the foundation for greater faith and the threshold of miracles.

Luke 1:38

a) Mary makes one of the most faith-filled statements found in Scripture. “I am the Lord’s servant”.

b) Mary’s submission to the Lord is amazing, in the light that many men of God either questioned, bargained or protested their calls of God.

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 1-21 – Week 44 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 22:1-21

Week 44

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In This Session we will complete the Revelation, as we exegete Chapter 22. I am thankful for all who have invested their time to read and listen to all of the Sessions. My hope for you is that you possess an enduring hope for your future and the future of your generations; that you see the Kingdom of God as expanding and globalizing Christianity, and that you begin to hold the Church of Jesus Christ in the highest honor in light of our destiny as the Bride of Christ.

In addition to this, I pray that the Lord uses this audio commentary on Revelation to stir an honest and grace filled debate regarding the future of the Church that changes the end times narrative (eschatology) to one that is hopeful and victorious and more in line with the traditional apostolic view that has guided the Church for millennia.

Chapter 22 concludes the Revelation and John faithfully reports his prophecy to the 7 churches and to the Church of the New Covenant Era.

Chapter 22 is outlined in 5 movements.

1 – The River of the Water of Life for healing of the Nations

2 – Jesus declaring His revealing/coming soon

3 – The truthful and faithful report of the vision

4 – Jesus’ final words to His Bride

5 – Warning against tampering with the text of the Revelation and the Amen

Revelation 22 concludes the description of the eternal state. What is true in the fullness of the eternal state is true in a limited measure now in the New Covenant Era.

Revelation 22:1-5

a) The angel is the same angel that John has been conversing with since Revelation 21:9. This was one of the angels that held the 7 bowls. The angel is showing John a group of symbols that communicate deep spiritual truth. To take a literalist view here is to miss the importance and the depth of the symbols being presented.

b) River of the Water of Life – This is direct reference to Ezekiel 47, which prophesies the following: Life proceeds from God’s dwelling as symbolized by the water flowing from the Temple. As the water flows away from the Temple, it gets deeper and deeper, symbolizing the effect of the Church moving and redeeming the world by the gospel. The river empties into the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea becomes a body of water teeming with life. This symbolizes the life giving effect of the Church as she spreads out throughout the world preaching the gospel to the dead sea of the people.  The swamps represent the condition of the unredeemed and unrepentant. The leaves representing the healing of all creation comes from God and the trees represent eternal life.

c) The water is crystal clear. The clarity represents the purity, truth and transparency of our message. We do not preach a message of deception, but of clarity and absolute truth.

d) The water flows from the throne of God and the Lamb. This statement implies divinity to Lamb (Jesus) and implies co-equal status to the Son. This is a verse that backs Trinitarian thought. The water of life comes from God, because He is life, and the Author of Life, The Source Code of all creation.

e) Tree of Life – This none other than the accomplishment of the cross. The same Greek word XULON used for the cross in Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; 1 Pet. 2:24. It was a common view of the Early Church Fathers that the cross, that represented death, became a life giving tree as Jesus made atonement. David Chilton – “Early Christian art indicates a close relationship between the tree of life and the cross. The cross of Christ, the wood of suffering and death, is for Christians a tree of life. In the tomb paintings of the 2nd century it is thus depicted for the first time as the symbol of victory over death. It then recurs again and again. The idea that the living trunk of the cross bears twigs and leaves is a common motif in Christian antiquity”.

f) 12 crops – this communicates the never ending supply of life for all who overcome and are written in the book of life. g) There is no curse because the complete reconciling of the KOSMOS to God has been accomplished through the sacrifice of the cross, the proclamation of the gospel, the ministry of the Church disciplining the nations and fullness in the Second Advent of Jesus Christ.

h) We will see Him and serve Him. We will have full revelation and awesome eternal encounters with God in the eternal state. We will be sealed by His Name. See Ephesians 1:13-14. The unredeemed are bearing the mark of their father the beast. We bear the mark of our Father, the true and living God.

i) God illuminates the eternal state. This same thought is found in Revelation 21:22.

j) They will reign forever – The Church will reign forever by its delegated authority from the Lord. We reign now positionally in God, but in fullness in the reconciled eternal state.

Revelation 22:6

a) The angel reiterates the importance of the message to the 7 Churches of the Revelation. We are told multiple times in Revelation that these things will take place soon. Greek – TACHOS – quick and with speed. It is important for us to reiterate that the Revelation was written to 7 real churches, facing real times of tribulation, testing and persecution from Jews and Romans. In the context of their situations and history itself proves that many of these prophecies were fulfilled in the first 40 to 300 years of the Church. Revelation was great encouragement to the Early Church because they needed this type of encouragement to endure to end and lay the foundation that we stand on.

Revelation 22:7

a) The angel speaks on behalf of Jesus Christ, declaring He is coming soon. Greek – ERCHOMAI – coming, to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence, be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto.

b) What is being communicated in “coming soon” is the Early Church’s expectation of an imminent Coming of Christ (not the Second Coming) which would destroy “this generation” of unrepentant Israel and fully establish the New Covenant Church.

c) The Early Church was blessed because she strengthened herself in the words of this prophecy and overcame the persecutions of the beast and reaped the blessing of God that come only from being intimate with Him. Heeding the words of the Revelation delivered them from their enemies.

Revelation 22:8-9

a) John again is overcome by the authority of the angel and his message. We must always recognize that angels are ministering spirits sent from God to minister to us. See Hebrews 1:14. No angel of God ever receives worship or reverence.

Revelation 22:10-11

a) John is warned not seal up the prophecy, but to declare it to all because it was about to begin. Daniel was told to seal up his prophecy because it was a long time in coming to begin or to come to pass. But this prophecy is imminent.

b) In verse 11 we see the condition of the hearts of those who love God contrasted with hard hearts of the disobedient and unrepentant who rejected Jesus as Savior.

Revelation 22:12-16

a) Jesus rewards faithfulness and perseverance. What we decide in the everyday actually counts in eternity. Let us make decisions daily line up with our destinies as Sons and Daughters of God.

b) Jesus is the Alpha and Omega (A-Z) and the Eternal God of Glory. Colossians teaches us that He has preeminence over all things.

c) We washed our robes (coverings/mortal flesh) in His blood and from His cross proceeds life. Through Jesus we access the Life.

d) The sin state of the unredeemed are outside the New Covenant and have no access to the Life of God freely given to us in the cross of Jesus Christ.

e) The angel speaking on behalf of Jesus, repeats that the Revelation is to the 7 churches.

f) The titles of Jesus, The Root and the Offspring of David communicates God’s fulfillment of His covenant to David that Messiah would rule on his throne forever. Theologian E.W. Hengstenberg comments: “Because Jesus is the root, he is also the race of David. In him alone is the race preserved; while otherwise it would have vanished without a trace. The race of David is more than his offspring; it indicates that the race of David should, save for Christ, have ceased to exist. The race of David is here brought into view in respect to the unconquerable strength and everlasting dominion promised it by God (comp. Luke 1:32-33). What he
testifies, in whom the glorious race of David culminates, will assuredly go into fulfillment.”

g) The Bright and Morning Star is a Messianic Title that comes to us in Numbers 24:17-19. The Jewish Christian of the First Century would have been greatly encouraged by these titles of Jesus because is their Messiah and all of the hope of Israel looked toward Jesus, the Messiah Ruler who would come out of Jacob.

Revelation 22:17

a) The Spirit and the bride say, “Come”! The Church in every generation lives with the expectation of Her Bridegroom. It is an indication of the condition of our hearts to long for the appearing of Jesus our Bridegroom God. We can only long for Christ when we are encountering Him continually in our pursuit.

b) The gospel is freely extended to all who say yes. Let all are spiritually thirsty and hungry be satisfied in Jesus. The Greek word – DŌREA – a gift – salvation is freely given grace. No one can buy their salvation or the affection of God. He alone gives it to us in abundance because He is GOOD.

Revelation 22:18-21

a) In these last verses the penalty for not properly scribing the text is given to all who would deliberately add or take away from the Revelation.

b) Moses made a similar statement in Deuteronomy 4:2.

c) This communicates that the Revelation possess the same authority as being the Word of God as much as the Torah does.

d) His grace is with us! Through the ages, all lovers of God will extended grace to endure, persevere and overcome sin, the world and the devil, and to rule and reign.

e) Amen – The highest declaration of agreement. St. Ambrose commented on Amen saying, “What the mouth speaks, let the mind within confess; what the tongue utters, let the heart feel.”

f) May our hearts always Amen the purposes of God and agree with His heart.

Source Material:  E. W. Hengstenberg, The Revelation of St. John 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