The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 24:17-27 – Week 43 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 24:17-27

Week 43

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will complete Acts 24 and complete the account of Paul’s trial and see the deceptive spiritual warfare of satan against Paul between the lines of the text. As Acts begins to wind down, we see the veracity of the Scriptures in full view, because we are introduced to real people, in real time and real places that can be corroborated by real world history. Acts shows us not only the spiritual power of the kingdom of God and the spiritual authority of the Church, but shows us that we are not following cleverly invented stories. We see the Lord working in real time and space through His covenant children to expand His rule and reign throughout the world. We should have the same expectation for the modern church as we read Acts.

Acts 24:17-18

a) Paul continues to make his defense before Felix. The real reason Paul is in Jerusalem was to bless the Jerusalem Church as an act of gratitude towards the Apostles and the Jerusalem Church for the grace that was given to the Gentile world through the gospel of Jesus Christ. See 1 Corinthians 16. The absence of several years was a reference to Paul visiting Jerusalem at the Apostolic Council recorded for us in Acts 15.

b) Paul was ceremonially clean per the account given to us in Acts 21:26-27. He was not causing trouble because the people of God possess peace.

Acts 24:19-20

a) The people who made the false accusation against Paul were from Ephesus, where Paul experienced his highest anointing, and where the Church experienced a powerfully anointed regional revival. See Acts 19.

b) What is in full view here is the spiritual attack from the spirit of antichrist that resists the truth about Jesus Christ. 1 John 4:3 – and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

Acts 24:21

a) When Paul shouted to the Pharisees regarding the resurrection, he was appealing to their belief in the supernatural and their hope in the resurrection. The distinguishing theologies between the Sadducees and Pharisees was the following: The Sadducees believed in the mortality of humanity and that one needed to live righteous in the temporal realm. The Pharisees accepted the supernatural view of the cosmos and believed in eternal life, the resurrection, the judgment and the hope of Messiah. Paul was attempting to build a bridge so that he could preach the gospel in the Sanhedrin. It was the Lord’s last attempt at reaching the religious leadership of Jerusalem.

Acts 24:22-23

a) Felix is done hearing the case and closes the court. Felix is playing a political game with Paul. He knows Paul is innocent, but under the pretense of getting clarity from Lysias, he keeps Paul in custody.

b) The text mentions that Felix was acquainted with Christianity. The word in the Greek means “more perfectly”. Felix seems to understand the nuanced difference between Messianic Jews and Old Covenant Judaism, and uses his knowledge as a political lever.

c) Felix proves Paul’s innocence by allowing him liberty and access to his companions, Luke, Timothy, Silas, and some of the others who came with Paul to Jerusalem from the Gentile Churches.

d) It is important to see Christianity as the Way. The Greek word means a well-traveled way or a course of conduct. There is a distinction between disciples of Christ and way of the world. 1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

Acts 24:24-26

a) Felix and his wife Drusilla make an opportunity to hear more about Jesus Christ, either out of curiosity or under the pretense of learning more about Paul’s case. Drusilla was the sister of Herod Agrippa II and Bernice mentioned in Acts 25. Drusilla was very beautiful and Felix seduced her into an affair with him and eventually became his wife.

b) Notice the topics that Paul preaches about to this couple; Righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Paul presents truth, and he speaks to their need for forgiveness from sin. Presenting truth makes an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to bring conviction.

c) Felix becomes afraid. Notice that Felix did not respond to invitation of conviction which opens up true repentance. 2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

d) As one procrastinates and continues to choose sin, there is never a convenient time to yield to God.

e) Felix was looking for a bribe. Gods’ people never partner with political corruption. Exodus 23:8 – Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent. – Paul would have lost the ability to speak with moral power if he had compromised. Compromising steals your voice.

f) Sometimes our prophetic words are fulfilled in ways we never thought possible. At Paul’s conversion, he received the prophetic word that he would witness before kings and governors. I am sure he didn’t think that he would witness under the yoke of being custody for a religious or political crime.

Acts 24:27

a) Felix continues his political game and Paul is caught as a political pawn. The attack on Paul was directed by the enemy to confine his ministry and choke the
word of God. Paul was sequestered for 2 years.

b) It was expedient for the Roman Empire to gain favor with the Jewish leaders in Judea for the sake of the Empire.

c) Porcius Festus – Festus would have been promoted to governor by Nero in approximately AD59. Porcius Festus was the Roman governor when the Jewish revolt against Rome began. We will learn more about Festus in Acts 25.

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The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 24:1-16 – Week 42 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles Acts 24:1-16

Week 42

Rob Covell

Introduction – This this session we will begin Acts 24 as Paul’s trial before the Governor Felix begins. In Acts 24 we will continue in the Acts narrative and see the following movements in the text:

1 – Paul being accused in a Roman Court of Law.

2 – The tactic of deception and flattery being used by accusers.

3 – The beginning of Paul’s defense before Felix and his accusers.

Acts 24:1

a) Paul stays in the custody of Felix for 5 days and waits for his accusers to bring charges against him. I am sure that Paul is pressing into the encounter he had with Jesus Christ in Acts 23:11 – The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” It is the most difficult times of our lives that the prophetic word encourages us, comforts us and strengthens us. Paul knew by the word of the Lord that this season would end in Rome and not Felix’s courtroom.

b) Notice the company of people who come to accuse Paul. The High Priest Ananias, some members of the Sanhedrin and skilled lawyer named Tertullus. We do not know much about Tertullus from history. But we do know that he was most likely a Hellenized Jew or a sympathetic Gentile, because the trial would have been conducted in Latin or Greek, and many members of the Sanhedrin would not have been Greek or Latin speakers. Paul is being accused by high profile people. They wanted to win in court.

c) We should mention the underlying spiritual motivation manifesting in the natural realm, which is the spirit of religion that resists God and is rebellious towards Him.

Acts 24:2-3

a) Paul is called into the court room alone with no attorney present to represent him. Paul may be alone in the court room, but God is with him. Isaiah 41:10 – ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

b) Tertullus makes his introduction in the court room with lies and flattery. We know from history the following facts about Felix.1 – He was a political appointment that stemmed from his brother serving the Emperor Claudius. Felix is the first person in Roman history to ascend from slavery to the status of free-man and become governor. It was not by merit that he attained this, but by political posturing. 2 – Felix was well known to be a man of the flesh given to all kinds of vices. The Roman historian Tacitus paints Felix in a very negative light (“a master of cruelty and lust who exercised the powers of a king with the spirit of a slave”). 3 – History tells us that Felix was well known for oppressing the Jewish opposition to Rome with massive barbarism, cruelty and scorched earth warfare. Tertullus is basically using flattery to gain favor. Romans 16:18 – For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Acts 24:4

a) Tertullus ends his flattery with “not to weary you further”; I am sure all in the court room were happy to hear this!

Acts 24:5-9

a) Let’s look at the charges against Paul that the High Priest, the Sanhedrin and Tertullus bring against Paul. 1 – Paul is a rebel against the Roman Empire and is the source of political rebellion. This is a serious offence called “crimen majestatis” or injured majesty. This was serious crime that would end in the death penalty. The Romans had a long history of Jewish rebellion and this accusation could have been easily believed by Felix. 2 – Nazarene sect – The area that Jesus was from was known as a hot bed of revolt, and was considered by many in Judea as very bad place to be from. See John 1:46. We should keep in mind that in the First Century there were many false-messiahs and Paul is being accused of being this kind of leader. 3 – The last accusation is against the Temple, which is a blasphemy charge.

b) We know from the Acts narrative that Paul had not done any of these things and in fact, he had not defiled the Temple or started riots, but was in Jerusalem bring a gift from the Gentile churches to the Judean Church, and was paying a vow when he was seized.

c) Verse 9 tells that the others gave a similar testimony against Paul. They are all appealing to the Law, that says by 2 or 3 witnesses a matter will established. Deuteronomy 17:6 – On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

d) If we look at the footnote in the NIV, there are some manuscripts that record Tertullus even accusing Lysias of meddling in a Jewish court proceeding. If that were true, there may have been serious political and diplomatic tension between Rome and Jerusalem. Tertullus is trying inflate the situation by using deception. We know that a violent mob is not a court proceeding according to Jewish Law.

Acts 24:10-11

a) Paul addresses Felix with respect, but uses no flattery to gain favor with Felix.

b) Paul mentions that he was only in Jerusalem for 12 days for the simple reason that his accusers should have brought witnesses to corroborate their story. There would have been many people outside this leadership circle that could verify their report. In addition to this, Felix had Lysia’s official letter to compare their account with his account.

c) Paul gladly makes his defense because he is in truth. Standing in truth always gives confidence and removes fear. It is interesting to consider the hypocrisy of these religious leaders. The Law says, “you shall not bear false testimony”.

Acts 24:12-13

a) When Paul was arrested in Acts 21, he was simply present in the Temple, and he was staying with a man named Mnason in Jerusalem with his apostolic team. There was nothing that these men could prove against Paul.

Acts 24:14-15

a) As Paul makes his defense, he asserts his faith in the LORD, and is a follower of the Way. Christianity was named the Way in the First Century. Greek – HODOS – a travelled way, a course of conduct, a way of feeling, thinking and deciding.

b) Notice that Christianity at this point has not separated from Judaism, and was considered a sect. Paul says that his accusers call it a sect, but Christianity is the fulfillment and is New Covenant that God is using to relate to people.

c) Paul tells Felix that everything he believes is in accordance to the Law and Prophets. This is true because Jesus fulfilled all the prophetic promises of Messiah in the Scriptures.

d) Paul builds common ground with his accusers around the hope of the resurrection and the judgment to come. The Pharisees that were represented in the Sanhedrin would have agreed with Paul. Paul continues and declares his faithfulness to God. Lastly, we should note that Felix was well acquainted with Christianity and was a wise enough to see that this is a religious accusation and not a matter of Roman law.

Acts of the Apostles – Acts 23:12-35 – Week 41 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 22:12-35

Week 41

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will complete Acts 23. This has been a truly amazing chapter because of the intensity of the narrative. Acts 23 comes alive to us when we begin to see the real people, places, and the cultural context presented to us in the color of life. As we complete this chapter we see the following movements in the text.

1 – The manifestation of the religious spirit in the vow, the zeal, the lies and the plot to kill Paul.

2 – The providence of God in protecting Paul and his destiny to stand before kings.

3 – Luke documenting the real narrative concerning Paul and conduct of the Church as a defense for his trial before the Roman authorities.

Acts 23:12-15

a) After Jesus stood near Paul and comforted and encouraged him in the night, Paul is about to face another attempt on his life. The group of over 40 bound themselves to a vow to God to murder Paul. This is a very serious declaration. Numbers 30:2 – When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. Deuteronomy 23:21 – If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.

b) The vow was not to eat or drink until Paul was murdered. They presented this plot to the Chief Priests (political appointments) and the Sanhedrin. Notice the intense hypocrisy of those who stood as God’s representatives before the people, agreeing with the spirit of murder, deception and disobeying the Law. What kingdom are they agreeing with? Jesus said in John 8:44 – You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

c) The spirit of religion often moves in zeal that is motivated by hate and not the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Zeal that comes from the Holy Spirit does not contradict the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, or contradict the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.

d) These men propose that the Chief Priests and Elders/Sanhedrin lie to the Roman authorities so that they may slay Paul. Multiple Commandments are being broken. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. You shall not murder, You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Exodus 20)

e) Did these men die from their vow of fasting until Paul was killed? Most likely not. In that culture the scribes and lawyers made 4 provisions for not fulfilling a vow. 1 – a vow of incitement 2- a vow of exaggeration, 3 – a vow made in an error, and 4 – a vow that cannot be fulfilled because of circumstances. Maybe this is why Jesus said do not make a vow, or swear an oath, but let our yes be yes and our no, no. See Matthew 5.

Acts 23:16

a) We see Paul’s nephew finding out about the plot to kill Paul. Theologians propose a few reasons why Paul’s nephew would be in Jerusalem and find out about the conspiracy. 1 – Paul’s nephew was a student of a Rabbinical school in Jerusalem and was familiar with these men, since Paul came from a family of Pharisees. 2 – Paul’s nephew was in Jerusalem to observe the feast of Pentecost and because so many men (40+) made the vow to kill Paul, it had become common knowledge.

b) Because Paul was a Roman citizen and was not yet charged with a crime against Rome, Paul could have visitors and access to his associates.

Acts 23:17-22

a) Paul’s nephew tells the centurion and he is brought to the commander. The commander agrees to protect Paul because he is a Roman citizen and he is obligated to protect him.

b) What is in view here is the Providence of God, which is God working behind the scenes to work out protect His purposes in the midst of the decisions of people. We should never underestimate God’s ability to fulfill His word even in the face of impossible circumstances.

Acts 23:23-24

a) The Commander moves fast to protect Paul and move him to the seat of Roman law and power in Judea which is the city of Caesarea Maritima. This is a large contingency of soldiers so that the large group of conspirators would be discouraged from attacking them. The horses were an added measure to be able to flee quickly. Notice the extreme measures that are being used to protect Paul. Another indicator of God protecting Paul in the midst of his troubles.

b) Caesarea Maritima – Founded and built by Herod the Great between 25-13 BC in honor of Augustus Caesar. It was a city that boasted amazing feats of civil engineering. The city had a man-made harbor called the Sebastos, that was made from castings of lime/rock slurries. Caesarea had a Coliseum, as well as the raised Maritima Aqueduct and was the center of Roman Administrative power in Syria and Judea. This city was designed to awe the people and display the glory and wealth of Rome.

c) Governor Felix – This man was Antonius/Claudius Felix. He was descended from the Greek line of Arcadian Kings. His brother was the treasurer of Rome to Emperor Claudius and Felix received his appointment as governor of Judea as a political favor. Felix was known for his immorality and cruelty towards the people he governed. He was married 3 times. The first wife was a princess who was
from northern Africa who was the daughter of king Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II, his second wife was a princess of Herod Agrippa I, and his last wife was an unknown woman, probably a commoner because of the lack of information regarding her identity.

Acts 23:25-30

a) As Luke documents the letter word for word, we learn the identity of the Roman commander, Claudius Lysias. In Acts 22, we remember the interaction between Paul and Lysias in regards to Paul’s Roman citizenship. It appears from the evidence of his name, that Lysias probably earned the right to buy his citizenship for being a good soldier. Claudius is a patron name attached to his name, since Lysias served the Emperor Claudius.

b) Luke very carefully documented the letter in Acts for reasons. 1 – To give the readers of Acts confidence that their faith was true and revolved around real people and real history, and not man-made stories. 2 – The narrative of Acts could be used as evidence in a Roman Court that would hear Paul’s case. Namely, the Roman Caesar.

c) Historians all agree that the structure and body of the letter follow ancient Roman government correspondence.

Acts 23:31-32

a) The first part of their 2-day journey to Caesarea ended at Antipatris. This was a small city built by Herod the Great in honor of his father Antipater II of Judea. It was relatively insignificant city, but was built as a halfway point on the road to Caesarea.

b) The soldiers returned and the cavalry continued because after Antipatris, the terrain was wide open plains so the threat of an ambush was greatly diminished.

Acts 23:33-35

a) Lysias placed Paul into the jurisdiction of Felix and Paul was held in custody in Herod’s palace. Herod’s palace was described in great detail by the historian Josephus. It was very opulent and was built to communicate wealth and power. Like all ancient palaces, there would have been a prison attached to it.

b) We may want consider what Paul may have been thinking or feeling as he now finds himself in a situation beyond his control. He most likely took comfort in his encounter with Jesus. These are the times when our faith draws strength from our experiential knowledge of God.

QTI – Covenant Theology – Session 3 – Dave Collins and Rob Covell

Introduction –

In this Session, we will explore and study God’s Covenant with Abraham and use the New Covenant Scriptures to interpret its fulfillment, establish the identity of who God’s people are, and see its fulfillment in Jesus Christ and the Church. Understanding the Abrahamic Covenant is a key that unlocks confidence in God’s people because we gain the confidence of knowing Identity in God.

In this Session, we will use the Biblical Hermeneutic of using the New Covenant/New Testament Scriptures to interpret the Old Covenant/Old Testament Scriptures. Using this method of Bible interpretation will keep us from the error of confusing our understanding regarding how God relates to the world today, who the people of God are, what is the mission of the Church, and what/who is Israel today? Using the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament assumes that the New Testament is God’s last, highest and final revelation of Himself. This hermeneutic also assumes that Jesus Christ fulfilled the whole Law, Israel fulfilled her purpose, all Messianic prophecies (with the exception of His return, the resurrection of the dead, the judgment and the eternal order) have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and that the Church is the Body of Christ, the people of God, and His Church is the representative authority on the earth. Our Session will cover the following theological constructs.

1 – An Overview of God’s Covenant with Abraham

2 – Messiah the Promised Seed of Abraham, The Church, The People of God and the Children of Abraham

3 – God Fulfilled His Promises to Israel

An Overview of God’s Covenant with Abraham

The LORD interacted with Abram/Abraham 5 times and confirms His promise to Abram/Abraham. 5 being the number of grace, highlights to us the nature of His covenant with Abraham, which is completely grace based. Let’s look at an overview of each encounter with the Lord and Abraham, and outline substance of the promise.

Genesis 12:1-3 & 7 – The Lord’s First Encounter with Abram/Abraham

a) The invitation to journey with God. The LORD invites Abram into relationship by invitation into a promise. All faith walks begin with an invitation from the Lord, are confirmed by us through our faith, and end in the promises of God fulfilled in our lives. God promises Abram land.

b) Great Nation – GADOWL GOWY – great in numbers, intensity, loud in sound, in number – nations, people, used in context of describing the Gentiles.

c) I will bless you – BARAK – to praise, to give favor, to be adored, to have divine favor on.

d) Name Great – SHEM – name, reputation, fame, glory, a memorial and a monument.

e) You will be a blessing – BĔRAKAH – a source of blessing, a gift, prosperity and praise to God.

f) “I will curse those who curse you”; The Hebrew word QALAL is used here and means to revile. God is promising Abram that those who revile him or hold him of low esteem, will be judged by God. This is symbolic of the favor that accompanies those who relate to God by faith, and not nationality.

g) Verse 7 – and to your seed – See Galatians 3:16 – The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. – It is important for us to note that the New Testament defines who/what is the seed that is promised to Abraham.

Genesis 13:14-17 – The Lord’s Second Encounter with Abram/Abraham

a) All of the land – Abram receives a promise that includes a land promise. We know that the Israelites did possess the land as God promised. We will explore this in greater detail later in our session.

b) Offspring – Seed – Like the dust of the earth. The Lord continues with the theme of Abraham’s descendants being innumerable. If the Seed is Christ, then those who are like the dust of earth, must be in Christ. See Galatians 3:29 – If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

c) God’s blessing on Abram is not explicit, but implied.

Genesis 15:4-6 – God’s Third Encounter with Abram/Abraham

a) The LORD promises Abram a third time with promises connected to a promised child, Isaac, who is a proto-messiah, and ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Seed.

b) The vast numbers of the offspring of Abraham prophesy the innumerable numbers of people who are in covenant with God. See Revelation 7:9

c) Blessing is implied again in the text. d) Abraham believes the LORD and it is credited to him as righteousness. Through Abram, God shows us that faith empowers and receives from God what we are not or incapable of being. See Psalm 106:31 & Romans 4:3-14

Genesis 17:1 – God’s Fourth Encounter with Abram/Abraham

a) El Shaddai – God the Almighty – This is a compound name of God that implies 2 truths about God. Notice that God calls Himself or reveals Himself to Abram that He is God Almighty. 1 – Hebrew SHADAD – All powerful, or the One who has His hand on everything. 2 – Hebrew – SHAD – Chest, or the breasted One who gives the comfort, care and nourishment of a mother.

b) Notice that it is implied in the text that Abram needed this type of revelation of God because a significant amount of time (13yrs) had transpired since the fall with Hagar and Abram probably needed encouragement in waiting on the promises of God.

c) Blameless – Hebrew – TAMIYM – complete, whole, entire, sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity

d) The Lord is inviting Abram to find his sufficiency in the Lord and trust Him. In light of who God is to Abram, Abram can live in wholeness from that revelation of God. Our experiential knowledge of God empowers us to live from wholeness. See Ephesians 1:17-22.

Genesis 17:2-8

a) Notice that it is God who confirms His promises to His people. This teaches us that the Lord is trustworthy and good.

b) Abram worships in response to his encounter with God.

c) The Lord gives Abram a name change. The Lord relates to us in the context of our destinies in Him. Abram means “exalted father” and Abraham means “father of many”. We have other examples in Scripture where the Lord makes a name change to impart identity, destiny and hope into people’s lives. The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel in Genesis 32:28, the Lord changed Simon’s name to Peter in Mark 3:16, the Lord changed Solomon’s name to Jedidiah, and the Lord will change our names in Revelation 2:17.

d) Notice that God sees Abraham as the father of many nations already. The Lord sees beginning from end.

Genesis 17:9-14

a) Circumcision – It is the symbolism/sign of cutting off the flesh/sin nature, and the sign of the one who belongs to God. In the context of the culture, the circumcised one would constantly be reminded of his moral obligation to God as a Covenant Partner with God. The New Testament parallel to circumcision is baptism.

b) New Testament Fulfillment – Colossians 2:11 – and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; – Philippians 3:3 – for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, – Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love – Romans 4:11 – and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,

c) The eighth day – Doctors note that newborns are better equipped to heal and their blood is developed enough to clot properly at 8 days after birth. God is smart!
Genesis 22:17-18 – God’s Fifth Encounter with Abraham

a) God’s blessing, the promise of innumerable children, power and authority, are promised to Abraham.

Summary – We can see from our review of the 5 encounters that the LORD had with Abraham all have the common theme of grace, faith, and promises of God proceeding from His goodness into the life of Abraham and his children. Abraham becomes for us the father of faith, the prophetic promise through which Messiah would come, and the prophetic promise of all people being blessed by Messiah. The Abrahamic Covenant is purely a grace based covenant.

Q&A

Messiah the Promised Seed of Abraham, The Church – The People of God and the Children of Abraham As we continue looking at the Abrahamic Covenant, we will see that Messiah is the fulfillment of the promised Seed to Abraham. We will use the New Testament to interpret and support our position. We are answering the question; What is the seed of Abraham? A nationality of people (Israel) or Jesus Christ, and the people of faith (Church)? A parallel text would be Romans 4 & Romans 7. However, for the sake of time, we will use Galatians 3 as our guide.

Galatians 3:1-6

a) Paul is addressing a regional Church in his letter to the Galatians. He is specifically
addressing the question we are asking regarding who are the children of Abraham and who are his Seed? The Galatians were being told by the Judaizers/Ebionites that one needed to obey the whole Law, be circumcised and convert to Judaism to be added to Israel/The Covenant, and be saved in Messiah. This position assumes that Old Covenant was not superseded by the New Covenant. The letter to the Galatians is Paul’s defense of the New Covenant superseding and establishing the Church as the Covenant people of God, and not the Law/Old Covenant being the requirement to make one part of God’s people.

b) The gift of the Holy Spirit is the evidence of being accepted by God.

c) Paul makes the point that righteousness before God is not by the Law, but by faith through relationship with God.

Galatians 3:7-9

a) These verses make it very clear to us that it is not national Israel who are the children of Abraham, but the those that believe by faith in Jesus who are the children of Abraham.

b) John the Baptist made these statements about the children of Abraham – Matthew 3:9 – And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

c) Jesus said this about the children of Abraham – John 8:40-44 – As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – Jesus says that those who do not believe in Him as Messiah are not children of Abraham, or children of God, but children of the devil.

Galatians 3:10-12

a) Paul makes it very clear that the Law brings us under the curses of the Law (Deuteronomy 28) because one must hold to the perfectly to be justified by it. Galatians 3:19.

Galatians 3:13-14

a) Jesus fulfilled the Law, paid the price for sin on the cross and redeemed us from the effects of the curse of the Law.

b) The blessing given to Abraham was given all who believe in Messiah, not national Israel/Law Keepers. Romans 2:28-29 – A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Galatians 3:15-18

a) Christ is the Seed and the grace of God has always been the avenue of acceptance to God.

Galatians 3:19-22

a) The Law was a governor on sin, so that we would be pointed to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness and redemption from sin.

b) What is the purpose of the Law? – Hebrews 10:1 – The law is only a shadow of the good
things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 1 Timothy 1:8-10 – But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, Galatians 3:24 – Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:23-29

a) All who believe in Jesus Christ by faith are the Children of God. The purpose of national Israel has been fulfilled by bringing forth Messiah and being the prophetic sign to the world that testified about Messiah. All divisions between God and people have been abolished by faith in Jesus Christ. God has One People, the people of Faith.

b) The collective Church of Jesus Christ is the seed, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and the heirs of God’s promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20 – For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Q&A

God has Fulfilled All His Promises to National Israel The main objection to Covenant Theology revolves around the identity of God’s people, and the promises that God gave to national Israel. Previously we used Scripture to answer the identity of who God’s are. In this section of our session, we use Scripture to answer the question; Did God fulfill all His promises to Israel?

All of Israel’s Promises were Conditional

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 – If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.

Deuteronomy 28:15 – However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

Deuteronomy 28:45 – All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.
See Deuteronomy 28:45-68 – These curses have all been fulfilled in real world history.

All the promises were fulfilled to Israel Joshua 21:45 – Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Joshua 23:14 – “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.

1 Kings 8:56 – “Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.

During the reigns of David and Solomon every single promise that the Lord gave Israel was fulfilled in fullness in regards to their land promises, and material blessings from God.

Q&A

Group Discussion & Journaling
1 – As we have been building the salvation narrative by looking at the Covenants of God, how has Covenant Theology either confirmed or challenged your doctrine?
2 – How has understanding your personal identity in Jesus Christ empowered your faith?
3 – How has the collective identity of the Church changed, confirmed or empowered your worldview in regards to your personal life purpose? Do you have more confidence or less confidence in the mission of the Church in the world?
Homework – Read Exodus 19-24

Apostolic Ministers – 1 Peter 5:1-5 – Rob Covell

Apostolic Ministers

1 Peter 5:1-5

Rob Covell

Introduction – This morning as we commission the Stevenson’s to grow Hope Transformers and expand their ministry and license the Oviedo’s as Pastors of Family Life at The Refuge; I thought it would be important for us to highlight God’s heart for Apostolic Ministers who serve the local Church; and highlight God’s heart for how a Body of Believers who relate to Apostolic Ministers.

Our text this morning is 1 Peter 5:1-7. Understanding the culture and context of the Scripture we are reading helps us develop the correct lens in which to view the text we reading. Below are some facts surrounding this encouraging circular letter from the Apostle Peter.

1 – Written by Peter – See 1 Peter 1:1. The Early Church Fathers, Polycarp, Eusebius, Papias, Clement, and Irenaeus all quote this letter and attribute it to Peter.

2 – The letter was written from Rome shortly after Paul’s martyrdom by Nero sometime around AD64-67. Peter tells us his location in 1 Peter 5:13, “she who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, send her greetings”. Rome was commonly called Babylon by the Early Church. Peter is saying, “the church in Rome greets you”.

3 – The occasion for the letter is that the Apostle Paul had just suffered martyrdom at the hands of Nero, and Peter seeks to comfort the churches in the 5 regions that Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and Mark planted, strengthened, comforted and encouraged. Peter lovingly includes the Gentiles Churches into his sphere of influence when he refers to them as “elect, exiles”.

4 – In Peter, we see a glimpse of ourselves. At times in his ministry he was immature, over-confident, always curious, full of faith, good at failing, at times compromised, restored by Christ, and finally Peter emerges mature, bold, strong and steadfast. Peter was married. Early Church history gives us her name, Perpetua/Concordia. The Early Church records that she was martyred first, then Peter.

5 – Peter was martyred in Rome shortly after Paul. He was crucified upside down. 6 – 1 Peter and 2 Peter were written to the Gentile Churches to encourage them after their loss of Paul, their Apostle, to accept the Gentile Churches as legitimate as ones grafted into the Olive Tree (Israel), and to strengthen them in the persecution that is coming towards them.

In 1 Peter 5, Peter is ending his letter after he exhorts the wider body of believers and focuses on local church leaders. As we endorse 2 couples into ministry this morning we are going to look at what true Apostolic Ministers who serve a local Body, are portrayed in Scripture.

1 Peter 5:1

a) The idea of elders, comes from the Jewish tradition from Exodus 18:2126. The thought of one being an elder, has less to with age, but everything to do with possessing wisdom and maturity in Christ. The tradition of elders in leading the local Church was established by Paul during his missionary trips. Peter would have been addressing men appointed by Paul, Timothy and Silas.

b) Notice that Peter, although he is the foremost Apostle and an eye witness of Jesus’ death and resurrection, writes these local church leaders in spirit of humility and calls himself a fellow elder. Peter was indeed the local leader at Rome at this time. No matter how important we may seem, and no matter how many we influence, we are still servants to the Bride of Christ, the Church.

c) Our local church ministry has eternal glory and weight and faithfully serving the local church will bring glory to Christ at revealing.

1 Peter 5:2

a) Shepherds – Greek – POIMAINŌ – to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep, in the context of leaders and rules – to govern, to furnish a pasture for food, to nourish, to cherish one’s body and care for the body, to supply what is necessary for caring for the soul.

b) God’s flock – Greek – POIMNION – a flock of sheep, in the context of the Church, a local body of believers.

c) Shepherds reflect their Chief Shepherd and know His heart and re-image His heart to the local church. “Under our care”. When we become unwilling we are out of the will of God and should leave ministry.

d) The local church possessed by God, is His Body, and is bought by the blood of Jesus Christ.

e) Christ has no room for those who use the church as a religious hustle, an enterprise, or a marketing platform. Money motivation is not ministry.

f) If there is dishonest gain, then there is honest gain. Honest gain is that which proceeds from the reciprocal generosity of a church body that is well cared for.

1 Peter 5:3

a) Not lording – Greek – KATAKYRIEUŌ – to bring under one’s power, to subject one’s self, to subdue, master, to hold in subjection, to be master of, exercise lordship over. God opposes this type of leadership.

b) The hearts of the people are entrusted to us to care for them spiritually in a way that accurately re-images the heart of Jesus.

c) We are examples – as the local church examines us, they should see Christ-like virtue and true discipleship in our lives.

1 Peter 5:4

a) Our ministries have eternal consequences. Either we receive the crown or give an account. James 3:1 – Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

1 Peter 5:5 a) Peter now shifts the focus from local church leaders to the local church body. When he mentions those, who are “younger”, it is framed in the context of those are not bearing the responsibility of caring for the Church. It does not imply being least, but Peter is making a distinction between those who serve a local body and those who receive their service.

b) Just as we looked at the responsibility of elders, let’s look at the responsibility of the local body.

Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 13:17 – Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 – Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

1 Corinthians 16:15-16 – You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it.

c) Humility is the soil of honor. Humility – Greek – tä-pā-no-fro-sü’-nā – to prefer others in light of our position in Christ. The favor of God flows from posture of humility. The local church body is esteemed and the local leadership of the church is esteemed because both are in Christ, loved by Christ and have value and destiny in Christ.

The Acts of the Apostles – Acts 22:1-11 – Week 40 – Rob Covell

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 22:1-11

Week 40

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will begin Acts 23 and continue in the narrative of Paul’s arrest. Paul had addressed the crowd in the court of the Gentiles, the crowd rioted, and the Roman officials are perplexed about what to do with Paul because he is Roman citizen. The Roman authorities still do not have answers on why the crowd would project so much hatred towards Paul. As they are looking for answers, Paul is brought before the Sanhedrin to give an account to them so that Roman authorities might uncover more information about Paul.

Paul addresses the Sanhedrin and confronts them concerning their hypocrisy, and directly attacks the spirit of religion that is operating in them. One thing we can say about the Apostle Paul is that he was an extremely brave man who defended the faith in purity, and operated in a spirit of power when he was under attack by unbelieving Jews and Gentiles. In Acts 23, Paul moves in the anointing of boldness; something that is lacking in our American Church culture today. We are only bold when we are confident in our calling and confident in God’s love for us. 1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
The content of Acts 23 is so rich, that we will take our time and divide this chapter into 2 Sessions so we do not miss the nuances of the context and the culture in hich the Church was birthed.

Acts 23:1

a) Paul sets the tone as he begins to address the Sanhedrin in a spirit of boldness. The text says Paul “straight at the Sanhedrin”. The Greek – Looked straight – ATENIZŌ – to fix the eyes on, to look into, metaphor for to fix one’s mind on. The definition for the word, gives us a clue that will help us understand Paul’s exchange between himself, the high priest Ananias, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The text is basically reporting to us that Paul stood and looked at them without fear and stared them down. Not in a threatening way, but a serious way communicating that he would not be moved. Jesus looked at the chief priests, the elders and scribes in a similar way in Luke 20:17 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’?

b) Sanhedrin – This was the high court of that ruled on all things in Jerusalem. They met in a place called the Hall of Hewn Stones located on the North wall of the Temple. Their origins are found Exodus 18:21-26.

c) Paul begins by telling the Sanhedrin that he is an obedient follower of God, and that he is sincere in his faith. Paul is not saying he is sinless, perfect, or has a perfect conscience. What Paul is telling them, is that he is a genuine person of faith. Many on this ruling council would know Paul and could have testified about his purity of heart as well as testify to his relationship with Gamaliel. Understanding this fact will give a back drop in which to see the interaction between Paul and the high priest Ananias.

Acts 23:2-3

a) The high priest Ananias struck Paul in anger and outside the context of the Law. Ananias could not dare to think that Paul was an obedient covenant keeper, so he had Paul struck in the face. Deuteronomy 25:1-2 – When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves. The high priest judged Paul outside of the Law.

b) Paul rightly exposes the hypocrisy of the high priest Ananias. The high priest was looked at as God’s representative and the high priest was considered the truest expression of the Law to the people. Paul calling the high priest a white washed wall, is true. This high priest was a corrupt political appointment, and not a son of Aaron. Additionally, this high priest was not obedient to Jesus and denied Jesus as Messiah. The high priesthood had the appearance of purity, but inside he was rotten. The spirit of religion often looks good on the outside, but is corrupt within. Jesus called people like these “whitewashed tombs” in Matthew 23:27.

c) The High Priest Ananias – Ananias was a politically appointed person (Sadducee), who was friendly to the Romans. He was murdered by the Zealots in the Judean revolt. Josephus describes Ananias as one who stole the tithes and enriched himself through the vehicle of the Temple. Paul properly prophesied his demise, as God did judge him as rebel and enemy of the gospel.

Acts 23:4-5

a) It is not possible that Paul did not know who the high priest was. 1 – In Acts 22:5, Paul mentions the high priest and the Sanhedrin. 2 – The high priest would have been dressed according to the customary robes etc. So, it begs us to ask the question; why did Paul say he did know who the high priest was?

b) Paul was calling out the high priest and his hypocrisy by using sarcasm. The high priest was obviously not acting in a way that would truly represent a God loving and obedient high priest. Paul does not back down, but stands his ground. Paul quotes the Law again and exposes the hypocrisy a second time.

Acts 23:6-8

a) Sadducees – This was group that arose during the Maccabean revolt in the InterCovenant period of history, between Malachi and Matthew. Their name derived from the Priest Zadok who was held up as the example of fidelity to the Lord. The Sadducees were made up of the prosperous merchant class and upper classes
of Judean culture. Josephus mentions them along with the Pharisees and Essenes. Their movement was destroyed in AD70 when the Temple was destroyed. Because of their social status and wealth, they were charged with the financial care of the Temple, and they were associated with the political class. The Sadducees were very influential in regards to the operation of the Temple. They were charged with being International Ambassadors, Army Leaders, Collected the Temple Tax from all Jews scattered throughout the Roman Empire, Administered Domestic Political Policies, Mediated Grievances of the Law and were widely represented in the Sanhedrin. Their main theology revolved around fidelity to the Lord in this life and the mortality of the soul. That is why they denied the resurrection of the dead.

b) Pharisees – The Pharisees – Separated Ones – This was a movement in Judaism that was concerned with keeping the Torah, believing in the supernatural works of God, and were open to the idea of Messiah. Because they were a reform movement within Judaism that was concerned about the fidelity of the Law, and were not politically corrupt or powerful, they were looked on with favor from the common people.

c) Paul, a Pharisee himself, trained by Gamaliel, would have been known to many on the Sanhedrin, used this difference to expose the spirit of religion on both sides of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Another manifestation of the spirit of religion is doctrinal disputes and divisions. As Christians, we should model unity because all believers in Jesus can Amen the Nicene Creed. We are much more unified than we realize.

Nicene Creed – 381AD

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy universal and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Acts 23:9-10

a) The Pharisees were open to the possibility that Paul’s testimony about Jesus may have been a legitimate encounter. However, the situation was so intense that Paul’s ability to present Jesus to them was destroyed by the uproar.

b) The Roman authorities step in and re-arrest Paul for his own safety.

Acts 23:11

a) Paul must have been extremely disappointed and afraid because both opportunities to preach Jesus ended poorly.

b) The Lord is so good to Paul. The text says that Jesus stood by Paul in the night and ministered to his fear, affirmed his ministry in Jerusalem, and prophesied his witness in Rome.

c) Jesus is always with us, His beloved. Matthew 28:19-20 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

QTI – Covenant Theology – Session 2 – Dave Collins and Rob Covell

Introduction –

In this Session, we will continue to look at the Covenants of God. As we move through each Covenant we are seeing the progression of the salvation narrative, and learning and gaining more knowledge about God’s nature and character. In this Session, we will study and explore God’s graced based Covenant with humanity through His covenant with Noah. In Noah, we see another representative of humanity, and in Noah we see another “proto-gospel” being revealed. Much of this Session will be review, however, it is important to our development salvation narrative, to understand these subjects thoroughly.

We will continue to our presentation and question/answer format in this Session so that we can build a dialogue of ideas and discuss the theological concepts that are presented to the class. In this Session, we will look at the following:
1 – The Lord God establishing the Messianic Bloodline through Seth.

2 – Noah as the proto-messiah figure that foreshadows Jesus Christ.

3 – God’s grieving over humanity.

4 – The two theological positions concerning the Nephilim.

5 – God’s grace based Covenant with humanity through Noah.

Genesis 5:1-2

a) Genesis continues to present the Lord in the truth that He is a completely benevolent Father/Creator. Humanity is blessed, as a whole collective, through the blessing He gave to Adam and Eve. The text says that God called them “Man/Adam”; this presents to us that all of humanity is represented through Adam. Romans 5:14 – Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 1 Corinthians 15:22 – For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:45 – So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

b) Seth – As we follow Seth we see that the genealogies of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Jesus (in regards to His humanity) all extended from this righteous bloodline. Seth was the 3rd Son, which represents new beginnings or resurrection in Scripture. Seth means “compensation”, which is symbolic of righteous Abel being replaced by Seth. Eve named him Seth as appeal to the Lord’s promise of a messianic deliverer that would crush the head of the serpent/satan.

c) From Seth to Jesus – See 1 Chronicles 1:1 and Luke 3:38. The Scriptural genealogies are for the express purpose of documenting God’s prophetic promises to humanity concerning Jesus Christ. It is interesting to point out that only one Jewish genealogy survived the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD70. That is the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 5:24

a) Enoch – It is important to note that there are 2 Enoch’s in Scripture. The first was Enoch, the son of Cain, the second was Enoch, the son of Seth. We see the symbolism of rebellious man/man of sin contrasted to the legitimate God loving man. This is simply another indicator of the struggle between evil/sin versus a humanity that seeks to please God. We could also draw an eschatological reference between the 2 Enoch’s. Enoch the son of Cain representing those in agreement with the antichrist spirit and Enoch the son of Seth representing redeemed or God fearing humanity. Enoch – “dedicated”

b) Enoch lived 365 years – Scriptural Symbolism – 3 – number of resurrection – 6 – number of humanity – 5 – number of grace = The resurrection of Jesus redeems humanity by grace. Enoch was the seventh from Adam; this is another symbolic number that represents wholeness, being complete, rest, or the number of God.

c) Enoch pleased God and God took him to be with Him. This highlights the truth that the Lord desires the godly to be with Him in His dwelling place. See Hebrews 11:5 – By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. Jude:14 – It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,

Genesis 5:29

a) Noah – Hebrew – NOACH – Comfort/Rest – Notice that people are naming their descendants with names that appeal to Messianic hope. The hope here is that Noah would be a redeemer from the curse on the creation. As we follow the narrative of Noah, he becomes a type of proto-messiah that prophesies its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. See Luke 3:36

Q&A

Genesis 6:1-9

a) We are presented with a theological mystery concerning the pre-flood era in verses 1-9. This mystery revolves around the identity of the “sons of God”. There are 2 theological positions regarding their identity. 1 – The righteous sons of Seth are intermarrying with the unrighteous descendants of Cain. See Deuteronomy 7:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 – The “sons of God” refer to fallen angels/demons that intermarry with human women and produce demonically empowered offspring.

b) The first position begs the questions; Why would this make God so concerned as to judge humanity to the point of complete destruction? Why was the offspring of those marriages super-human or “unnatural”? The text does not answer this at all.

c) The second position seems more plausible because of the extreme measures God uses to deal with this situation. It is clear from a survey of Scripture that the “sons of God” refer to the angelic order. See Job 1:6, Job 2:1, and Job 38:7. See Jude 1:6-7 – And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

d) It is unfruitful to debate the type or nature of these unions. The bottom line is that these unions were demonically inspired and produced unnatural offspring. The strategy of satan here is to corrupt humanity and prevent the Messiah Jesus from being born by a righteous virgin named Mary.

e) “My Spirit will not contend” – The Lord in His wisdom limits the lifespan of people in order to limit the propagation of sin and the effects of sin in society.

f) The Nephilim are the products of the unnatural unions between demons and humans. We must be careful to avoid myths and legends regarding the Nephilim and only receive what the Scriptures present to us. The giants here refer to the demonic offspring in the pre-flood era. The giants on the earth after this refer to those of unnatural height that are rebellious humans, i.e. Goliath. See 1 Chronicles 20:4-8.

g) The Lord was grieved – God is not expressing regret in the text. God in His omniscience knew this would take place. What we see are here are 2 truths about God that are being accented. 1 – God has emotions. See Ephesians 4:30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 2- God wanted to show that grace and mercy always triumph over judgment. Even in the midst of the most corrupt condition of humanity, grace was found. See Romans 5:20

h) Noah was a righteous man and walked with God. The righteous in the land bring the favor of God and make a way for salvation to come. Noah is being presented as a “second Adam” prototype savior/messiah. Noah is a prophetic foreshadow of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 6:11-21

a) The ark is symbolic of that which preserves and delivers from destruction. The ark is an eschatological symbol of God delivering the righteous from the judgment of sin. For the sake of time we will move on in our session and not go into great detail about the ark or its construction. We will simply say that the ark is prophetic symbol of God’s ability to deliver the righteous and judge the wicked.

Genesis 6:22

a) Noah teaches us that obedience to the Lord always delivers us and is proof of our relationship. Obedience flows from relationship with God. Romans 5:19 – For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?1 Peter 1:22 – Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 1 Samuel 15:22 – But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. John 14:23 – Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
Q&A

Genesis 7:1-24 Macro-View

a) Noah “was found righteous” demonstrates that the righteous deliver people and that Noah’s righteousness saved his family (humanity) from the flood. This is another proto-messianic reference.

b) 40 days – 40 represents a time of testing and proving. c) The Lord shut him in – Notice that this could be a pre-incarnate reference to Jesus the Son, similar to Genesis 3:8.

Q&A

Genesis 8:1-22 Macro-View

a) God remembered Noah – The Lord never forgets or disregards His people. Isaiah 44:21 – “Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant. I have made you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15 – “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Hebrews 6:10 – God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

b) Noah came out and built an altar to the Lord. Noah’s response to God’s kindness and grace is worship. Worship is sweet to God and pleases Him. Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

c) Noah re-establishes the knowledge of God and the proper way to approach Him in worship

Q&A

Genesis 9:1-17 Macro-View

a) God blessed Noah – We see the concept of grace in full view in verse 1-3. God blesses humanity in Noah’s covenant and re-empowers the dominion mandate for humanity to prosper.

b) The Lord highlights the sanctity of life in verses 4-6. See Acts 15:20 – Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

c) Blood in Scripture – Blood was the sign of mercy for Israel at the first Passover (Exodus 12:13)

d) Blood sealed God’s covenant with Israel (Exodus 24:8)

e) Blood sanctified the altar (Exodus 29:12)

f) Blood set aside the priests (Exodus 29:20)

g) Blood made atonement for God’s people (Exodus 30:10)

h) Blood sealed the new covenant (Matthew 26:28)

i) Blood justifies us (Romans 5:9)

j) Blood brings redemption (Ephesians 1:7)

k) Blood brings peace with God (Colossians 1:20)

l) Blood cleanses us (Hebrews 9:14 and 1 John 1:7)

m) Blood gives entrance to God’s holy place (Hebrews 10:19)

n) Blood sanctifies us (Hebrews 13:12)

o) Blood enables us to overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11)

p) The Lord makes His Second Covenant with humanity in verses 8-17. Notice that this covenant is a completely grace based and highlights the truth that the Lord is fatherly and benevolent towards people. It is interesting to note that even though mankind has a sin problem, the Lord is still relating to humanity through grace. God is looking at humanity from the position of the redemption and reconciliation that Jesus worked on the cross. See Revelation 13:8 – All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

q) The rainbow is the sign/symbol of God’s faithfulness towards humanity. There are 7 colors in the rainbow. In Revelation 4:3 God’s throne is surrounded by an emerald rainbow. This reveals that God is a God of promises and faithfulness. The rainbow around His throne is a circle, unbroken and never ending.

Q&A

Group Discussion & Journaling
1 – Consider the last 2 Covenants that God has made with humanity; The Adamic Covenant and the Noahic Covenant. In your Journal list the similarities between them, and identify something new that God revealed about His nature and character in the Noahic Covenant.
2 – Reflect on the symbolism of the ark and the rainbow. Ask the Lord for revelation and illumination on what these 2 symbols mean, and tie your thoughts to a New Testament verse.
3 – Pray through the Noah narrative and write down the thoughts, words, symbols, or concepts that minister to your heart. Ask the Lord if there are any areas of your heart that He needs to heal so that you are believing truth about His nature and character.

Homework – Read Genesis 17 and Galatians 3.