Redemptive History and Revelation 11:15-19 III

Hey Guys, these notes are adapted from “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” session two, the one I taught the past semester. If you would like a fuller treatment, please take the course this next winter / spring. It will be the a fantastic semester of learning, and it will not be a waste of your time. Promise!

Here are the notes for this final section:

7. The Temple: God’s Glory for All Nations to See

The temple is God’s way of signaling that people from every nation could encounter and worship Him personally.

Deuteronomy 12:1-14

[12:1] “These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth.

[2] You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. [3] You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. [4] You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way. [5] But you shall seek the place that the LORD your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, [6] and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. [7] And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the LORD your God has blessed you.

[8] “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, [9] for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the LORD your God is giving you. [10] But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, [11] then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD. [12] And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. [13] Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, [14] but at the place that the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.

God desired to establish his name at the temple for his dwelling

How does this play out?

1. God revealed himself by his name

It would be a place of revealing himself to his worshipers.

 2. The temple was a place of encounter (Exodus 25:8)

[8] And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.

3. Solomon’s dedication of the temple made clear this was a place that “all peoples” of the earth can know God’s name / fame / glory (1 Kings 8:41-43)

[41] “Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake [42] (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, [43] hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.

4. The nations come, particularly, the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 9:25)

[25] Three times a year Solomon used to offer up burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar that he built to the LORD, making offerings with it before the LORD. So he finished the house.

There are two ways to travel from Europe / Asia to Africa. Two roads (King’s Highway, International Coastal Highway). All nations had to pass through Jerusalem to get from these continents.

God was moving the good news from Jerusalem to the nations. He began there and is still sending the good news through the nations.

(See The Kingdom Strikes Back, Ralph Winter)

8. Plunge Into Idolatry

Just when it looked as if Israel was going to make God’s name widely known among the nations, Solomon led the way in idolatry.

1 Kings 11:1-8

[11:1] Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, [2] from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. [3] He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. [4] For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. [5] For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. [6] So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. [7] Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. [8] And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.

Idolatry profaned, or made common, the name of international renown that God had sanctified, or exalted, in the view of the nations.

Then began centuries of up and down struggles with idolatry. God finally removed the people from the land, sending them among the nations into a time of captivity known as the Exile.

Isaiah 2:8

[8] Their land is filled with idols;

they bow down to the work of their hands,

to what their own fingers have made.

Isaiah 44:9-20

[9] All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. [10] Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? [11] Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.

[12] The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. [13] The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. [14] He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. [15] Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. [16] Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” [17] And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

[18] They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. [19] No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” [20] He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

9. Gods Persistence and Renewed Promise

God never ceased to pursue His original promise and purpose. The people were brought again into the land, the temple was rebuilt, and a Messiah was expected. God’s word about this restoration is clear; it was all for the fulfillment of His global purpose. Many other expressions of the psalmists and prophets clarify God’s purpose to be worshiped.

Ezekiel 36

God’s pursuit of his people and concern for his name

Isaiah 56:6–7

[6] “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,

to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD,

and to be his servants,

everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,

and holds fast my covenant—

[7] these I will bring to my holy mountain,

and make them joyful in my house of prayer;

their burnt offerings and their sacrifices

will be accepted on my altar;

for my house shall be called a house of prayer

for all peoples.”

God’s concern for his house / temple being a place for all nations

Mark 11:15-17

 

[15] And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. [16] And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. [17] And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

1. What kinds of prayers are described?

2. Who is offering these prayers?

3. Jesus did not just quote this verse. He taught about it during what was likely the most public hour of His ministry (Mark 11:17) from Isaiah 56:6-7.

4. What kinds of prayer did Jesus want to see?

5. This passage is often used to encourage prayer on behalf of the nations. This is fine, but it may miss the point of Christ’s passionate teaching and temple cleansing: the hope that the nations themselves will pray in full-hearted worship.

 10. The Glory of God in Jesus Christ

Jesus fulfilled God’s purpose to reveal His glory to the world in order to receive glory from the nations.

John 17

[17:1] When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, [2] since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. [3] And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [4] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. [5] And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

[6] “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. [7] Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. [8] For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. [9] I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. [11] And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. [14] I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [15] I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [18] As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

[20] “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, [21] that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. [22] The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, [23] I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. [24] Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. [25] O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. [26] I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Matthew 6:9-15

[9] Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

[10] Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

[11] Give us this day our daily bread,

[12] and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

[13] And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

[14] For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, [15] but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 A. Praying for God’s Name to be Glorified. By the prayer He taught and the prayers He prayed, we can see how Jesus aimed His entire life at fulfilling the ancient purpose of making God’s name known. For God’s name to be “hallowed” or “sanctified” is for His namesake to be distinguished, exalted and honored. No prayer could be more basic to the mission purpose of God.

 B. God is to be Worshiped by All Peoples. The text in Isaiah that Jesus quoted in the temple makes it clear that God rejoiced to receive worship arising from nations other than Israel. The temple was destined to become a place of worship that all peoples could easily access in order to meet God, bringing Him their prayerful worship.

11. Paul’s Passion for God’s Global Glory

Paul was motivated by the hope that God would be glorified among the nations.

Romans 15:14-24

[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. [15] But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God [16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. [17] In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. [18] For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, [19] by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, [21] but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,

and those who have never heard will understand.” (cited from Isaiah 52:15)

[22] This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. [23] But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, [24] I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.

Paul’s desire to preach where Christ had not been named points to his understanding of God’s desire to be glorified among all peoples.

 A. Our Motive Must be God’s Glory and not Human Compassion. When mission is merely a compassionate response to human need, motivation can be limited to feelings of concern toward people. Some mobilization can be limited to stirring up guilt. But when mission is defined primarily as an enterprise that brings about something for God, and secondarily as that which brings about something benefitting people, then both our motivation and our mobilization can be more balanced. Compassion may actually run deeper. We can be deeply moved by needs while acting boldly for God’s highest purpose.

 B. The Task is Church Planting Movements. Matthew 28:16-20: Focusing on God’s glory helps us see the value of planting churches which will become an expression of the sanctified best of their particular culture. This may be one of the best grounds for planting church movements among every people group. The people group approach is not as important as setting our vision on the people group result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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