Redemptive History and Revelation 11:15-19

Redemptive History and Revelation 11:15-19

 

1. Introduction to the Drama of Redemptive History

A. Genesis 1-11 is the introduction to the entire drama that will unfold in the rest of Scripture

1. Creation was glorious and good and made my the hands of the pre-incarnate Jesus

2. The Fall; reign of the rebellious and destructive evil one

3. Humanity, the pinnacle of Jesus’ creation, was caught up in the rebellion as active

participants and were brought under the slave power of the evil one and dead toward                                 Jesus

 

Genesis 3 is one of the most important chapters in the entire Bible because it explains the source of and solution for sin and death.

 

The scene is the beautiful and perfect garden made by God for our first parents to live in together without sin and its many effects.

 

There God lovingly and graciously speaks as a Father to Adam and Eve, giving them complete freedom to enjoy all of creation except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden.

 

The entrance of the Serpent marks the beginning of chaos in creation. The Serpent is Satan according to Revelation 12:9 and 20:2.

 

Satan began by tempting Eve to mistrust God’s Word by changing its meaning, just as he did when likewise tempting Jesus in Matthew 4:1–11.

 

Rather than rebuking Satan, Eve entertained his lies (John 8:42–47) and was subsequently deceived by his crafty arguments (2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14).

 

Satan was so bold as to accuse God of being a liar and tempted the pride of Adam and Eve by declaring that if they disobeyed God they could in effect become his peer and gods themselves. Eve believed Satan over God and chose pride over humility by partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in sin against God.

 

Tragically, we further read that while all of this occurred Adam stood by silently, failing to lead his family in godliness. Adam then joined his wife in sin, which brought shame, distrust, and separation between Adam and Eve, and between our first parents and God.

 

Adam was the representative and father of all mankind, and when he sinned and fell out of favor with God so did every person who would ever live (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:21–22). Consequently, every person since Adam and Eve, other than Jesus, is a sinner, both by nature and choice (Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Isa. 53:6; 64:6; Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:18).[1]

 

“The rest of the Bible is not simply a bundle of divergent, unrelated stories as it is sometimes taught in Sunday-School. Rather, the Bible consists of a single drama: the entrance of the Kingdom, the power, and the glory of the living God in this enemy-occupied territory. From Genesis 12 to the end of the Bible, and indeed until the end of time, there unfolds the single, coherent drama of the Kingdom striking back. In this unfolding drama we see the gradual but irresistible power of God re-conquering and redeeming his fallen creation through the giving of his own Son…This is tersely summed up: “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).[2]

 

B. Cain and Abel: Murder over worship

 

C. Noah and the Flood: Genesis 6:5 and the evil of man

 

D. The command to fill the earth and multiply again: Genesis 9:1

E. The Tower of Babel: Genesis 11:1-4 and the desire to make a name for themselves and         rebel

 

Ultimately, man wants a name for himself, echoing the temptation from the garden, and to take the place of God and rebel against his commands thereby taking glory for himself and not giving glory to God.

 

2. The Grand Story of God’s Glory

The story of the Bible is a story about God more than it is about people.

 

The Bible is not like a “year book”. In a yearbook, the first thing we do is open it and start looking for us.

 

If we treat the Bible like a yearbook we either get radically disappointed or we make the biblical text say things it does not say.

 

The Bible is one book comprised of 66 chapters with one author and many scribes telling one cohesive metanarrative!

 

This one story has many smaller scenes that make up the drama of redemptive history.

 

In order to see how the drama of redemptive history comes together in the biblical stories, we’ll need to work on defining well three biblical terms:

 

         A. Glory

         Weight, intrinsic worth, substance, brilliance and beauty

Psalm 86:9

All the nations you have made shall come

and worship before you, O Lord,

and shall glorify your name.

 

Philippians 3:3

For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—

        

         B. God’s Name

         God reveals himself by name for reference, revelation and reputation

Reference: LORD of hosts, God Almighty

Revelation: the LORD is my shepherd

Reputation: Ezekiel 36

 

 

C. Worship

Worship is communion with God in which believers, by grace, center their mind’s attention and heart’s affection on the LORD, humbly glorifying God in response to the revelation of his glory and his majesty.

 

Worship not only delights and reveals God; it fulfills God’s love for people by bringing them to a place of their highest honor before Him. Humankind is honored when humans worship, glory in and revel in their maker, which is their created purpose. We were made to make much of God.

 

Worship matters because God desires to be known in precision and worshiped globally by people who know him.

 

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever…

 

Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. ‘The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!’ (Ps 97:1). ‘Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” (Ps 67:3-4)…

 

But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish. Missionaries will never call out ‘let the nations be glad!’ who cannot say from the heart, ‘I rejoice in the Lord…I will be glad and exult in you, I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Ps 104:34; 9:2). Missions begins and ends in worship…

 

Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak. Churches that are not centered on the exaltation of the majesty and beauty of God will scarcely kindle a fervent desire to ‘declare his glory among the nations” (Ps 96:3). – John Piper

 

Glory, God’s name and worship come together as key elements in the story of redemptive history.

 

God is glorious and he reveals that to us and it is to our good to glory in God as he is.

 

I would argue this is the grand goal of missions. Show God Glorious as he has revealed himself and invite nations to come and glory in the glorious one.

 

 


3. God Reveals Glory to Get Glory

God’s mission purpose throughout the story of the Bible can be seen in the double direction of God’s glory.

 

God’s mission is to reveal his glory to all nations in order to receive glory from all nations.

 

Psalm 96

Oh sing to the LORD a new song;

sing to the LORD, all the earth!

Sing to the LORD, bless his name;

tell of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations,

                   his marvelous works among all the peoples!

         For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;

                   he is to be feared above all gods.

         For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,

                   but the LORD made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him;

strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

 

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,

                   ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!

         Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;

                   bring an offering, and come into his courts!

         Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;

                   tremble before him, all the earth!

 

Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!

Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;

he will judge the peoples with equity.”

 

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

let the field exult, and everything in it!

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

before the LORD, for he comes,

for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness,

and the peoples in his faithfulness.

2-3 God mandates that his glory go TO the nations

 

7-9 God desires glory FROM the nations

 

World evangelization is the fullest expression of God revealing His glory to the nations with the purpose of God receiving glory from the nations.

 

4. Right Ends and Means

Often Jesus is presented poorly and perhaps, arguably, wrongly as a means to an end rather than the end himself.

 

Man is often thought of as vitally important and God, taking note of this and needing fellowship, saved man.

 

There is purpose beyond salvation itself. God does not save man to save him from hell. This puts man as the end and God and salvation as the means to exalt man for being worthy to save. That’s not right.

 

God saves man for something. God saves man so that man can fulfill his created purpose and that is to fear, reverence, love and glory / exult in God through Jesus Christ.

 

We were made to bring glory, weight to God.

 

Isaiah 43:6-7

[6] I will say to the north, Give up,

and to the south, Do not withhold;

bring my sons from afar

and my daughters from the end of the earth,

[7] everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”

 

In other words: God reveals glory to get glory


[1] Mark Driscoll, The Fall: God Judges, Mars Hill Church.

[2] Ralph Winter, The Kingdom Strikes Back, (Perspectives Reader), ed. Steven Hawthorne, p. 209.

Revelation 10-11 Encouragement for the Church

Revelation 10-11

Encouragement for the Church

 

Chapters 10 and 11 are two chapters that once again introduce a pause or interlude in the Revelation of Jesus.

 

“These pauses are not so much ‘pauses’ in a sequence of events as they are literary devices by which the church is instructed concerning its role and destiny during the final period of world history.”

 

What is the role of the church in this final period of world history?

 

1. Preach the word

A. Sweet – the preached word is sweet because the Gospel is sweet tasting. “Taste and see that the

Lord is good” the Psalmist shouts.

 

B. Bitter – the preached word is bitter because it brings persecution is spoken rightly and lived out.

 

1. This is why people do not read their bibles today.

a. They begin and discover that what they are reading does not match what they

think. So they try to make it say what they think by reading things into it on

super imposing ideas on top of it. Next, they begin to realize that if it means

what it says, then I have to do something else or believe something else. Finally,

they just stop reading Scripture. It’s just too dang painful.

 

What is our primary mission now and then (by the way, this is how we become radical followers of Jesus Christ and build the church local and global)?

A. Preach the word!

1. Know the word

2. Know foundational orthodox Christianity

3. Don’t sell yourself short on what you can learn and know (See D.L. Moody; Bitzer)

a. You have Holy Spirit

4. Tell what you know from the Word in conversation with other people

5. Don’t be ashamed of possessing a biblical worldview. Share it!

6. Count it joy to be treated the way they treated our King

 

2. The protection of and suffering of the church 11:1-3

The fact that John is told to measure the “temple and the alter and those who worship there” indicate that this is not a literal temple, but the people of God who are the saints and are the temple of God (see 1 Peter 2).

 

A. Protection: not in the sense of kept from harm, but protection in the sense that the “harm”       won’t “harm” us. In other words its what Jesus meant when he said not to fear those who can kill      the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear the one who can kill the body and cast one into   hell. Again, they may kill us be they can’t affect our eternal belonging to Jesus.

 

B. Suffering: suffering is part of the call of being a Christian.

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,” (2 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV)

 

C. Suffering will be short-lived

1,260 days is one half of a sabbatical-year cycle (3.5 years) and is intended to communicate the brevity of the suffering of these days.

 

1. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15 ESV)

3. The authority of and indestructibility of the church 11:4-14

The totality of the church is in view here

 

A. The two witnesses and are the two olive trees in Zechariah’s vision (Zech. 3:1-5; 4:6-10, 11,   14)

1. A royal leader to rebuild God’s temple

2. A priest to lead worship in it

 

B. You serve as a priest of God and will rule as kings in the coming Kingdom

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

(Revelation 5:9; Revelation 5:10 ESV)

 

C. Satan will make war on us 11:7

 

D. We are indestructible 11:11-14

1. Jesus will raise us to life one day

2. When we die, we go to be with him so that what Paul says is true, “to live is Christ and

to die is gain.”

 

4. The Kingdom comes! 11:15-19

Revelation 8-9 Prayer and Judgment

Revelation 8-9

Prayer and Judgment

 

Remember, the purpose of prophetic writing is not to entertain the curious, but to encourage the consecrated.

 

Jesus was found as the only one worthy to open the scroll of God the Father sealed with seven seals. The scroll is God’s purposes for history and Jesus began opening the seals and revealing Father’s plans and purposes.

 

We’ve seen that Jesus has been in charge of history and moving history to is climax and conclusion as the one opening the seals at his will.

 

From Jesus’ opening of the sixth seal until now John has been describing this period of “great tribulation”.

 

We’ve seen the great upheaval of the normal functioning of nations and rulers, what Jesus referred to as “great signs in the heavens”. Jesus’ kingdom upsets the functioning of fallen man and the kingdom of darkness. So… In this context, therefore, this poetic language appropriately refers to the great changes that were about to take place in the world, when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed. It speaks of the Son of Man entering into his kingship, and his angels gathering in his new people from all the earth. The fall of the temple is thus presented, in highly allusive language, as the end of the old order, to be replaced by the new régime of Jesus, the Son of Man, and the international growth of his church, the new people of God.[1]

 

We’ve seen a great salvation from all nations and from Israel.

 

Now we turn to the opening of the seventh seal.

 

1. Silent pause to listen

I found no commentators who made this observation. Much has been made about dramatic pause that makes the judgments that are about to come more impressive (Mounce p. 170).

 

Mounce seems to cut this idea off without an offer of reason.

 

There has been much activity through six seals then suddenly the seventh seal opens to quiet and the prayers of the saints.

 

Here is a great and marvelous benefit of the Gospel:

 

That God the Father, Creator of the universe, King Jesus who died and rose, would stop and listen to his creatures.

 

Here is the picture I have in my imagination: A busy father working hard to benefit is children and tagging along in rapture at their father, the children reach up and tug on daddy’s sleeve. Rather than shrug it off as unimportant and foolish questions from a little one, the father stops his vital work and kneels to listen. Why, because that’s his child and he cares.

 

Father is masterfully crafting history for his glory and our good. His work is vital. But when we call on him he does not turn a deaf ear. Rather he hurries to listen.

 

A. Call on him, he is near (see the Psalms)

B. Ask him for all the promised to give (John 15:16)

C. Don’t stop asking him, faith prays (Luke 18)

 

2. Saint’s prayers for right are powerful and effective 8:1-5

6:9-11 shows the saints who have been martyred praying to the Lord and asking how long until he avenges their blood.

 

A. Jesus hears the prayers of the saints abused for justice 8:1-4

B. Jesus responds to his saints prayers for justice by bringing justice 8:5

1. We pray for the salvation of our tormentors and we do not seek their harm

2. We also pray for justice to be done on our behalf

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, [n]“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(Romans 12:19-21 ESV)

 

=======================================================

[n] Heb. 10:30; Cited from Deut. 32:35; [Ps. 94:1; 1 Thess. 4:6]

3. We take courage and persevere because Father has our back

 

3. Father brings fearful judgment 8:6-9:19

The seals, trumpets and the bowls all have a (four + three format). That is four judgments on the earth plus three spiritual / cosmic / heavenly judgments.

 

By what means these judgments come, the text does not say. But whether they come by supernatural causation with no human means or by supernatural causation with human means, one point becomes clear: Jesus is in charge of and is bringing judgment.

 

So, you may interpret these judgments literally or figuratively, just stay as true to the text as possible.

 

In these judgments there are allusions to the plagues of Egypt and that drives home a point as well: Jesus will again bring punishment on those hostile powers that oppress his people.

 

“We are dealing here with that montage of divine judgments upon a recalcitrant world which leads to the return of Jesus Christ as sovereign Lord.”[2]

 

A. 6-7 This is a reproduction of the 7th plague against Egypt (Exodus 9:24)

 

B. 8-9 The result of this judgment is similar to the first plague against Egypt (Exodus 7:20-21)

C. 10-11 Whatever the means of this judgment, besieged cities suffer from lack of water. If taken

literally this could be some large meteorite hitting the earth. But we can’t speculate.

 

D. 12 This plague resembles the 9th plague against Egypt (Exodus 10:21-23). Some say the

darkness could be caused from billowing smoke from cities. Ultimately the cause is the righteous

judgment of the Lamb.

 

E. 9:1-12 Shows judgment being the increase of demonic activity plunging rebellious man into

further depths of sin and depravity as God’s patience draws to a close.

 

F. 9:13-19 Shows judgment in the form of this massive army of demonic hosts authorized to take

life or by invading armies who are unleashed on the land.

1. Either by their own means or by the means of deceiving nations into war

2. These armies are prevented from doing their work by angelic hosts until Jesus

unleashes them

 

G. Don’t miss the Gospel

1. Judgment is just (Jesus has been patient)

2. Judgment is severe (Jesus offered a way of escape and warned that this was coming)

3. Judgment is deserved (our parents chose death for us and judgment is deserved)

4. Repent

5. Follow Jesus like it matters

 

You don’t think judgment is just? Look at how man responds to judgment.

4. Man is woefully unrepentant and Jesus is amazingly gracious 9:20-21

 

 

 


[1] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Mt 24:29–35.

[2] Robert H. Mounce, New International Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI / Cambridge, UK, Eerdmans, 1977) Revelation 8:6-12.

Jesus’ Return, Matthew 24

Signs of Jesus’ Return

Matthew 24 (all of it)

2 Thess 2:1-10

Romans 11:25-26

Some notes of introduction:

 

1. The purpose of prophecy is not to entertain the curious, but to encourage the consecrated.[1]

 

2. Some of what Jesus has to say has direct application to the difficult days ahead for the people of Jerusalem regarding the coming Romans siege of the city from AD 66-70 and the subsequent difficulties. The abomination of desolation described by Jesus from Daniel’s prophecy is fulfilled, in my opinion, by the Roman desecration of the temple with Roman standards and their tearing down of the temple, thus fulfilling Jesus words.

 

Some of what is said here and in Revelation is also future oriented. Remember, we are taking the idealist approach.

 

3. When Matthew mentions that Jesus left the temple, and went on to the Mount of Olives opposite (3), he may have in mind not only Jesus’s withdrawal from Jewish public life but also Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of God abandoning the doomed temple and resting on the Mount of Olives (Ezk. 10:18–19; 11:22–23).[2]

 

4. It’s vital that we not let Jesus’ words by hi-jacked by false prophets not be ashamed of the words of Jesus just because they have been abused by false prophets who make Jesus and us look bad.

 

There are six signs giving in Scripture that point to the coming of Jesus:

 

1. The preaching of the Gospel to all nations Matthew 24:14

 

2. The great tribulation Matthew 24:15-22

In Revelation there are 4 series of 7’s.

 

7 Letters to the churches

7 Seals on a scroll

7 Trumpets

7 Bowls of wrath

 

The 7th seal leads to the 7 trumpet calls for judgment that leads to 7 bowls full of God’s wrath to be poured out. This period is what is referred to as “great tribulation”.

 

If my eschatological schematic works out then this period will come at the end of the church age and precede the catching away of the church and immediate return of Jesus. He will then set up his millennial Kingdom. At the end of that period Satan and his henchmen will be thrown into the lake of fire, the dead not in Christ will be raised to judgment and thrown into the lake of fire with Satan, and there Jesus will rule over all of his Kingdoms forever. The eternal kingdom will be established on a new heaven and a new earth, and we will reign forever with the King.

 

3. False prophets working signs and wonders Matthew 24:23-24

A. Perhaps anyone having exceptional command of “spiritual gifts” drawing crowds

B. Perhaps anyone having the exceptional ability to draw large sums of money spent

on their own desires

C. Perhaps anyone claiming to be able to heal, but charging and limiting who can

come (I’ve always wondered why not just go to the hospitals and heal).

D. Perhaps anyone claiming to predict the day when Jesus will return

E. Perhaps anyone claiming unity of purpose among multiple religions

F. Perhaps anyone claiming unity of religion among multiple religions

 

4. Signs in the heavens Matthew 24:29-30

The words of vs. 29–31 are almost entirely woven together from OT prophetic texts. Verse 29 is drawn from Is. 13:10 and 34:4, where the language of cosmic upheaval symbolized the political fall of pagan nations. The language about the Son of Man coming on the clouds is drawn from Dn. 7:13–14….. (on 10:23; 16:28; 19:28) points to the vindication and enthronement of Jesus (rather than to his parousia). Verse 31 is based on passages that refer to the promised return of Israelites from exile.

In this context, therefore, this poetic language appropriately refers to the great changes that were about to take place in the world, when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed. It speaks of the Son of Man entering into his kingship, and his angels gathering in his new people from all the earth. The fall of the temple is thus presented, in highly allusive language, as the end of the old order, to be replaced by the new régime of Jesus, the Son of Man, and the international growth of his church, the new people of God.[3] (which will include a great salvation from among Jews)

A. There will be a new order of how life works and that new order is the order of God’s

Kingdom (see the sermon on the mount)

B. There will be continual and great global upheaval among kingdoms and nations as

Jesus builds his church among all kingdoms and nations

 

5. The coming of the man of sin and rebellion 2 Thess 2:1-12

A. There will be false spiritual claims v. 1-3

B. There will be an intentional attempt to deceive v. 3

C. There will be a man of lawlessness who will claim to be God and set himself up to be

Worshiped in in the “temple” v. 4-7

1. The man of lawlessness is from the work of Satan v. 9

2. The man of lawlessness performs signs and wonders v. 9

3. Watch out if you are hard-hearted toward the Gospel and take pleasure in

Unrighteousness v. 12

a. God had the divine right to withdraw grace at his timing (Prov 29:1)

D. The man of lawlessness is restrained currently by God v. 7

E. Jesus will kill the man of lawlessness when he comes v. 8

 

6. The salvation of Israel Romans 11:25-29 (Isaiah 59:20; Isaiah 27:9)

A. Israel has been partially hardened until a full number of Gentiles has been saved

B. Jesus will banish ungodliness and take away their sin because of his elective purposes


[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996), Mt 24:23.

[2] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Mt 24:1–2.

[3] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Mt 24:29–35.