The Book of Revelation (Part 1): The Jew, the Gentile, and the Church
March 13, 2019
The Book of Revelation:Introduction (Part 1)
The Jew, the Gentile, and the Church
Tonight I begin a fairly long series on the book of Revelation. In this series we will be discussing God’s plan for the end of this age and His plans for us in eternity.
The world seems like a really crazy place without a biblical worldview!
Ephesians 1:9-10 – JB Phillips
For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan and it is this: He purposed long ago in His sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven or earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.
God wants us to be like sons of Issachar – to know where we are and what to do…
1 Chronicles 12:32
Of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command.
The book of Genesis gives us the account of God creating the earth and mankind. It records the perfection with which God masterfully created all that exists. Mankind was created for His fellowship and pleasure. God is love. Love must have an object upon which to display itself, and that object is us!
Man was designed to live in a human body for eternity on a perfect, flawless planet earth and enjoy the fellowship of the God of the universe in perpetuity without end.
Adam’s sin threw a monkey wrench into God’s plan. Fellowship with God was broken, the nature of sin entered the human. Satan gained legal authority over man on the earth. Man’s body became mortal, and subject to death. A curse came upon all of the earth. God’s arch-enemy Satan gained a legal right to be here on earth and to kill, and to steal, and to destroy.
Redemption from sin was in God’s mind before creation came into being. Jesus is called the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
God is not slack
2 Peter 3:8-9 – NLT
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. (9) The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
Any delay in Jesus’ return is due to God’s desire for all of humanity to be saved…
The Book of Revelation Synopsis
The book of Revelation is an unveiling of last things. It the revelation to us of what God will do to judge Satan and remove him and his cohorts from this fallen planet, claim this planet again as His own, rid the earth of the curse that came in the fall of man, and prepare the earth for its eternal future filled with His glory and with redeemed human families.
To understand the book of Revelation, you must have a bit of understanding of the Old Testament, and God’s dealings with the Jewish race, you must have a bit of a grasp of the New Testament and the church age.
Someone has said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed, and the book of Revelation is a combination of them both.
God’s Plan for the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church
In these weeks of introduction to Revelation, we’ll be looking at some foundational things necessary to understand God’s purposes.
Before we can really understand end times, we must understand the plan of God for man.
God’s original plan was for man to be God’s eternal companion living for eternity on earth in a human body. It was to be The Father and His Family!
Sin ruined God’s Plan
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned –
Jesus reinstated God’s eternal plan!
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, (21) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus came to restore to man all that we lost in the fall.
1 John 3:8
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8 – AMP
[But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Ephesians 1:9-10 – JB Phillips
For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan and it is this, He purposed long ago in His sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven and earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.
God’s plan is to restore back to us all that was lost when Adam sinned; our fellowship with God restored; our immortal body returned; the earth being freed from the curse; and God’s enemy Satan being judged and removed from his place of authority are all part of God’s plans for us and our future.
Before God created Adam and the human family, He designed a plan for our redemption if we disobeyed.
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (5) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
God’s plan is a mystery that has been revealed to the church!
The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. (27) To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Ephesians 3:1-11 – Phillips
It is in this great cause that I Paul, have become a prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles. (2) For you must have heard how God gave me to become your minister, (3) and how He allowed me to understand His secret by giving me a direct revelation. (4) What I have written briefly of this above will explain to you my knowledge of the mystery of Christ. (5) This secret was hidden to past generations of mankind, but it has now, by the Spirit, been made plain to God’s consecrated messengers and prophets. (6) It is simply this: that the Gentiles are to be equal heirs with His chosen people, equal members and equal partners in God’s promise given by Christ Jesus through the gospel. (7) And I was made a minister of that gospel by the grace that was freely given to me, and by the action within me of His own power. (8) Yes, to me, less than the least of all Christians, has God given this grace, to enable me to proclaim to the Gentiles the gospel of the incalculable riches of Christ, (9) and to make plain to all men the meaning of that Divine secret which He who created everything has kept hidden from creation until now. (10) The purpose is that all angelic powers should see the complex wisdom of God’s plan being worked out through the church, (11) in conformity to that timeless purpose which He centered in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
The Scarlet thread of redemption is woven throughout scripture, and is worked out through God’s people and His covenants with them. It culminates in the return of Jesus Christ to defeat His enemies and to rule eternally over His creation.
To understand God’s purposes, we must understand that God divides mankind into 3 people groups: Jews, Gentiles, and the Church.
1 Corinthians 10:32
Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.
God deals with each of these groups in specific ways.
The Jews are God’s natural covenant people on the earth from which came our Savior!
Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. (2) I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (2) God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, (3) “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? (4) But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” (5) Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
The Gentiles have no claim of salvation. They have no relationship with God.
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands (12) that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (13) But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
The church is His spiritual people, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, grafted into God’s family tree because of the unbelief of the Jews.
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (10) who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; (29) but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
There are some today who believe that the church has taken the place of Israel, and that all of the promises that were given to Israel are fulfilled by the church. This is called Replacement Theology, and is just not true!
I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. (12) Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! (13) For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, (14) if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. (15) For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (16) For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. (17) And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, (18) do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. (19) You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” (20) Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
(21) For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. (22) Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. (23) And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (24) For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (25) For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (26) And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; (27) For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” (28) Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. (29) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (30) For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, (31) even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. (32) For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. (33) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (34) For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor? (35) Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? (36) For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen.
To understand what is happening today, we must understand from scripture how God deals with each group.
Israel is God’s timepiece in the earth. To see where we are on God’s timetable…look at what He is doing with them!
TO UNDERSTAND PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES AND HOW THEY REVEAL THE SOON COMING OF CHRIST, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE COVENANTS GOD HAS MADE. HE IS A COVENANT-KEEPING GOD!
There are four major covenants that you need to be aware of to understand the world today.
The Abrahamic Covenant
The Palestinian Covenant
The Davidic Covenant
The New Covenant