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.

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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