Deuteronomy 6:1-9

1. We must teach you the truth of Scripture 6:1-3

A. If Scripture is not unleashed people will languish in folly

1. Scripture’s claim on itself is that it is truth and recounts accurately

the divine work of Jesus 2 Peter 1:16

“I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses.  They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies, and they claim to be divine rather than human in origin” (Voddie Baucham).

2. Hear! 6:4a

This passage is called the “Shema”, Hebrew for “hear”. The reason is that the passage begins with “Shema”, “hear”.

The Scriptures command that we hear what they say. The idea is not just that we hear it out of obligation and then move on to what we or our culture says, but that we hear, assimilate and act on what we just learned.

A. Have hearing ears that lead to heart desire and doing hands and feet

1. Be a lifelong learner

2. Hear only what is right (have a filter)

3. Have an appetite for sound doctrine and not just pragmatic do’s / don’ts

3. Theology matters! 6:4b

The Shema does not begin with pragmatic instruction but with theological truth. The reason is that if doctrine is off then action will be off.

The Hebrew phrase can translate as: “the LORD your God is one Lord” or “the LORD is our God, the LORD alone”.

The point is that there is one God, and their God is the LORD, Yahweh. The point can also be made that the LORD is combating the poly theistic nature of the people and the nations around them.

A. Doctrine matters

1. Teach doctrine to you kids early

2. Don’t wait for the culture to teach doctrine to your kids, it will and likely

already has

4. Go gospel early! 6:6-7

A. We must treasure the Gospel v. 6

B. Begin early articulating the intricacies of the gospel at every turn v. 7

5. Keep the reading of and instruction from the Scriptures as a value and priority 6:8-9

Revelation 7, Salvation and a Glimpse of Heaven

Revelation 7

Pause 1: Protection and Salvation for God’s people and a Glimpse of Heaven

Revelation 6 seems to begin that period Jesus referred to as “Great Tribulation”. Revelation 7 begins to unpack this time period and the righteous wrath of God and the unrepentant nature of fallen man.

There are three pauses in the action in which John explains the place of saints in the vision of what is to come.

Just like when the Lord brought plagues on Egypt and only the Egyptians were harmed again the seals, trumpets and bowls relate only to the unrepentant.

7:1-17

Protection and salvation for God’s people and a glimpse of heaven

10:1-11:14

Protection and suffering of the faithful church

20:1-6

Thousand-year reign

Let me be clear, the church’s protection is not a buffer from suffering but a Gospel rescue from condemnation and wrath.

Let me be clear, suffering awaits the church. Jesus said so.

The church engaged in Jesus’ work will suffer at the hands of evil men, but it will never be condemned by the righteous judgments of God.

So, what about this great time of tribulation that Jesus describes and is depicted here?

Matthew 24:3-31

A. Jesus makes clear a time of tribulation that is distinct from the earlier difficulties of the church v. 21

B. The church is present during this time of great tribulation v. 22 (cut short for the sake of the elect)

C. Jesus describes the period of great tribulation before his describes rapture and second coming v. 29-31

D. Jesus describes the catching up of believers with along with his very visible coming “immediately following the tribulation of those days” v. 29-31

So, what does this have to do with Revelation 7?

Well, the sixth seal signals the end of history and the coming of the Lamb (see 6:16-17).

Revelation 7 is one of those pauses in the storyline that shows the church’s location and status during this painful ending of history.

So, what is God up to?

1. A great salvation in Israel 7:1-8

The sixth seal heralded the end of history in the coming of God and the Lamb. One expects the seventh seal to be opened now and the kingdom of glory to be revealed. Instead John recounts two visions of God’s people in the last days. The first relates to the period prior to the judgments described in ch. 6; the second reveals the redeemed in the glory that follows them.

John’s purpose is to assure his Christian readers (and hearers!; 1:3) that they have no need to dread the judgments of the last times since God will protect them.[1]

The tribe of Dan is missing from this list, and the tribe of Manasseh takes its place. The reasons seem to be: (1) Dan led Israel into idolatry, Jud. 18:30; 1 Kings 12:28–30; (2) therefore God promised to blot out the name of the idolater, Deut. 29:18–21.[2]

Also, Joseph is listed instead of Ephraim.

Also, Judah, the Messianic tribe, is listed first rather than the firstborn Reuben.

Also, the tribes from the concubines are promoted to the top of the list over the sons of Rachel and Leah.

John Hagee – His view of Israel is so pro-Israel that he becomes anit-Gospel

Romans 11:11-29 – All Israel will be saved

A. The church is included in Israel but still distinct from Israel

B. God will save Israel because of his elective purposes not because of their faithfulness

C. God will finish saving Israel when he is finished saving the full number of Gentiles

1. If you love Jewish people groups, go.

2. A great salvation in all nations 7:9-12

A. The Gospel will complete

B. There seems to be a great global persecution of the church and perhaps it is this

persecution that pushes the edges of the final frontier.

1. Difficulty seems to have its place in the Father’s tools for nudging the church

on to the mission (Stephen, Rome, Barbarians, Vikings….)

2. We have to be engaged in the reaching of the nations

a. Take Perspectives

b. Look at www.joshuaproject.net and begin praying for a upg

c. Pray for our upg

3. A great protection from judgment with Jesus 7:13-17

A. Those who have died are shielded from judgment (indeed all in Christ are shielded

from judgment)

B. The intermediate state is a glorious precursor to the inheriting of the Kingdom of

Heaven

1. They are before the throne of God

2. They are serving Father constantly

3. They are sheltered by his very presence

4. They are never hungry again and never thirsty

5. They are never scorched by the sun and heat

6. Jesus will shepherd them to drink living water (full on Holy Spirit uninhibited)

7. No more tears (presumably in sadness)


[1] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 7:1–17.

[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1997), 816.

Revelation 6

Revelation 6

Jesus and Human History

The scroll is God’s covenant with his people to give them the Kingdom and Salvation. Jesus is the only one found worthy to open the scroll by openings its seven seals.

What we see in the coming chapters is not so much information to be placed on a timeline specifically for people to pinpoint specific times in history as it is to show us that Jesus is the one in charge of implementing his covenant with his people, judging humanity and bringing his Kingdom and he does it when it’s time for each part.

The point becomes clear. Jesus is in charge of human history.

Chapter 6 covers one vision that includes Jesus’ opening 6 seals. The opening of the seventh seal is a different vision, so we will study it differently and in another talk.

John, being a good student of his bible (OT), is not making things up.

First, he is writing what he is being given by Jesus.

Second, Jesus is giving John information prophetically given in the text of Scripture already.

“Many complex elements flow together to form the panorama which the prophet now describes.

 

The conviction that judgments will precede the coming of the kingdom of God is rooted in the teaching of the OT prophets concerning the day of the Lord (see e.g. Is. 13, 34; Je. 4–7; Ezk. 7, 25; Am. 5:18–27; Zp. 1–3).

 

John has elaborated and schematized them in a unique manner, but the division of the Messianic woes into several sets of sevens may well be inspired by the doom prophecy of Lv. 26, where it is stated four times, ‘I will punish you for your sins seven times over’ (18, 21, 24, 28).

 

The discourse on the end times in the gospels (Mt. 24; Mk. 13, Lk. 21) contains the seven judgments enumerated in Rev. 6, but the form of the opening four judgments reflects the vision of four chariots and horses in Zechariah (cf. Zc. 1:7–17), adapted by John to convey his message.

 

Note that while the opening of the seals brings judgments, these are but the precursors of the final kingdom of God (seen in the opening of the seventh seal [parenthesis mine]).”[1]

What do we see in this passage about the specifics of Jesus being in charge of human history and how can we take counsel, encouragement and instruction as we march toward the mission’s completion?

1. The first seal 6:1-2

Jesus is in charge of Kings

“Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed:”

(Isaiah 45:1 ESV)

The command ‘Come!’ is directed to the rider who appears at the opening of the seal (the same is true in vs 3, 5, 7).

 

Many interpreters regard the conquering horseman as Christ and link the passage with the vision of the returning Lord in 19:11–12.

 

The only element in common in the two pictures, however, is the white horse, a symbol of victory.

 

Others hold that the rider represents the triumph of the gospel, and cite Mk. 13:10. (2 Thes. 2:7-12 is also interpreted in this light.)

 

Nevertheless, in view of the evident similarity of the four horsemen, it seems more natural to interpret all four as symbolizing judgments.

 

This rider appears to signify an overwhelmingly powerful military force.[2]

2. The second seal 6:3-4

Jesus is in charge of the invading armies of the earth and evil men who pervert peace to advance his purposes and the Gospel (Habakkuk)

By the end of Habakkuk, the prophet is a changed man. He has learned to wait and trust in the LORD who will work out all things to his praise and their good. The righteous will live by faith and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

The rider on the fiery red horse also denotes a warring power.

 

If it is to be asked how he differs from the first, the language suggests that the first rider represents an army invading other countries; the second a general confusion of strife, including hostilities between countries, and perhaps even civil war (… to make men slay each other). Note the double reference to war in Mk. 13:7–8 and parallels.[3]

3. The third seal 6:5-6

Jesus is in charge of the earth’s production and the economic realities of nations and men

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25 ESV)

The rider on a black horse denotes famine.

 

The balance in his hand suggests scarcity of food; the prices quoted are prohibitive.

 

The niv rightly paraphrases the term denarius as ‘a day’s wages’ (cf. Mt. 20:1–2).

 

A quart of wheat would suffice for a man’s daily ration, leaving nothing, however, for his family.

 

Three quarts of barley would go further, but it would still remain a bare subsistence allowance.

 

 On the other hand, do not damage the oil and wine reflects a concern to give priority to such for those who could afford them.[4]

4. The fourth seal 6:7-8

Jesus executes judgment for the rebellion of man through death (Genesis 2:17; Romans 3:23)

The fourth rider is named Death, but it is likely that it represents a special kind of death, namely pestilence.

 

Ezekiel tells of God’s four sore acts of judgment: sword, famine, evil beasts and pestilence (Ezk. 14:21), and the Greek translation renders the last by the term death (possibly John does the same in 2:23, and certainly in 18:8).

 

That Hades was following close behind is a reminder that death does not end life’s story; judgment awaits sinners (cf. Heb. 9:27–28).[5]

5. The fifth seal 6:9-11

Jesus does not waste the death of the saint but rather has ordained that some bear witness to the cross through their faithfulness to the Gospel

The souls of the martyrs were under the altar because they had been, as it were, ‘sacrificed’ (cf. Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6).

 

The thought was beloved by the Jews. Rabbi Akiba taught: ‘He who is buried in the land of Israel is as if he were buried beneath the altar, for the whole land of Israel is appropriated for the altar; he who is buried beneath the altar is as if he were buried beneath the throne of glory.’ In the light of 12:17 the testimony the martyrs had maintained is the testimony of Jesus (see also 1:2 and 19:10).

 

 

10–11 The white robe given to them is likely to be a representation of their justification through Christ in face of their condemnation by the world, and so a sign and pledge of the glory which is to be theirs in the ‘first resurrection’ (20:4–6).

 

This vision of the martyrs is viewed as an integral part of the judgments of the Lord, for the prayer for justice (10) is answered, and the end thereby hastened.[6]

 

 

6. The sixth seal 6:12-17

All of creation trembles at the coming of its Creator King because he comes to judge and rule and save his people

The description of the cosmic signs at the end of the age is drawn from a number of OT passages that speak of the day of the Lord

 

(1. for a great earthquake as a sign of the end, cf. Ezk. 38:19–20;

 

2. for the sun turning black like sackcloth and the moon blood red see Is. 13:10; Ezk. 32:7–8; Joel 2:10; 3:15;

 

3. for the falling stars and the rolling up of the sky like a scroll see Is. 34:4;

 

4. for the hiding in the rocks see Is. 2:10;

 

5. and for prayer to the mountains see Ho. 10:8).

 

These ‘signs’ are indications not that the end is drawing near but that it has arrived (so v 17, the great day of their wrath has come).

 

They (the signs) originally were pictorial expressions of the terror of the universe before the majesty of the Creator as he steps forth in judgment and deliverance (see especially Hab. 3:6–11), and so served to magnify the awesomeness of the Lord in his theophany.

 

15–17 These verses give a sevenfold classification of humankind, ranging from the kings of the earth to every slave and every free man (in other words, everyone who has not worshiped the Lamb).

 

Their cry in vs 16–17 is a counterpart to that of the martyrs beneath the altar. The last day reveals the identity of him who has ultimate authority over the universe and the irresistible judgment of the Lamb; but the end of their exercise of authority and judgment is the triumph of the kingdom of grace and glory (see 21:1–22:5).[7]

Conclusion:

How do we take counsel from Jesus’ rule of human history?

1. We will not be shaken by the changing of kings nor of the removal of kings

A. We don’t get distracted politically

B. We remember there is only one King of kings, Jesus

2. We don’t worship peace and we don’t get sidetracked from the mission if peace is taken, we keep steady and preach the Gospel

A. We have tasted this and had to adjust in our work among our UPG

B. If we loose peace here, we stay on mission

3. We don’t let economic difficulties rob us of Gospel work

A. We invest in Gospel not amenities

B. We live as lean a life as possible so that we are not shaken by economic difficulties

1. Avoid too much

2. Avoid debt

3. Be content with less

4. Use all of what you have been given

5. Take care of God’s creation as a steward

4. We use death as an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel

A. God does not delight in the death of the wicked, but the death of the wicked is just

and Jesus paid the penalty for all who would believe to turn death into life

5. The death of the saint does not deter the mission, but it must spur the mission on

A. God has an appointed number of martyrs. There may be some among us.

B. We don’t run from dying for the Gospel; We don’t run to dying for the Gospel; We just do

Gospel work and trust Jesus’ works and his providential direction of the mission.

6. We worship in joy because the conquering King is our King and he loves us and will never judge us for our sin, he did that on the cross


cf. compare

[1] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 6:1–8:5.

[2] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 6:1–2.

[3] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 6:3–4.

niv New International Version

cf. compare

[4] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 6:5–6.

cf. compare

[5] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 6:7–8.

cf. compare

[6] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 6:9–11.

cf. compare

[7] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 6:9–11.

Revelation Review…What is our Mission?

Revelation

 

Review / Mission

Jesus has given the church a mission.  That mission has to get executed in every conceivable context. The Gospel must be preached in all nations before the end comes (Matthew 24:14). This requires one be in a fallen context while making the Gospel clear in the context. This is done with people who are learning to be followers of Jesus and is messy and not easy.

1. Jesus is the reigning King who rules and walks among his churches

2. Jesus sends correspondence to 7 churches in Asia Minor to equip them for the fight they were in and the fight to come

3. Ephesus is doctrinally sound and not very loving

4. Smyrna is one of two that receives zero rebuke but they are encouraged to endure the suffering that they are about to undergo

5. Pergamum is a church who is in a highly spiritually charged climate and has lost some to death for the faith but many have turned to false teachings and risk having Jesus war against them

6. Thyatira is a church who loves, serves and patiently endures in the faith and they are growing in their works but they have a self-proclaimed prophetess who has led many of the people away from the faith in thought and practice. Jesus threatens to come and send them into tribulation unless they repent.

7. Sardis has a reputation for life but Jesus says they are dead. Their works are incomplete and Jesus threatens to come when they don’t expect it and remove their lampstand. There are only a few there who have remained faithful.

8. Philadelphia is the second, like Smyrna, who receives zero rebuke. Jesus reminds them that he opens and shuts doors for them and he will make their tormenters come and acknowledge Jesus loves them. They patiently endure and Jesus says as a result he would keep them from the time of trial coming on the earth.

9. Laodicea is just a mess. They are useless to the mission and in dire need of Jesus. They have everything but Jesus. Jesus offers them intense fellowship if they will repent.

Why a new church in Rome, GA?

1. Rome is not un-churched but under-churched

2. The church climate is one of a buffet not one of mission

3. The great commission is not complete (teach them to observe all that I have commanded you)

Who is Three Rivers Community Church and how does TRCC address the need?

We don’t want to be the biggest church in Rome. We would like to church Rome.

No doubt, there are going to be tough days ahead. We will face challenges. We will fail. But if we keep Gospel front and center and seek to obey the Great Commission and use Scripture as our manual it will be hard to be off-center.

1. Mission: For the glory of God we will build the church both local and global by being and producing radical followers of Jesus Christ

2. Glocal: The church must be locally and globally relevant

3. Radical Followers of Jesus Christ: Radical – arising from and connected to a root source.

A. John 15

1. Radical Life – a life lived out of abiding in Jesus Christ involving what I see in Acts

a. Communion with God the Father, Jesus the Son and Holy Spirit

b. Community

c. Collision

2. All of the radical life must be generated from the Gospel and feed off of each part

*If one gorges themselves on either part of the Radical Life without participating in all parts they are out of whack and missing the intended cycle of ministry that can lead to effectiveness.

Communion – Those who gorge on communion become part of the church-shopping network that treats the church as a buffet

Community – We don’t have any of those, most of western culture is lacking the biblical concept of “koinonia”

Collision – Those who gorge on this tend to be separate from the life of the church and start new ministries disconnected from the church with no connection to the church for those reached and those people end up not discipled.

a. Communion – Worship is the end, teaching, community and

corporate / private worship are means

b. Community – Connection to other Christians in fellowship

on the same mission

1. Connect Groups

2. CTM (Culture Transforming Ministry)

a. Radical Kids

b. Connect Groups

c. Buddy Break

d. Young Moms

e. Project 127