74 episodes

This publication contains the weekly teaching from Christ Covenant Church in Lakewood, Colorado. For more information about Christ Covenant Church please visit our website (https://www.christcovenantcolorado.com).

Christ Covenant Church Christ Covenant Church of Colorado

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.7 • 13 Ratings

This publication contains the weekly teaching from Christ Covenant Church in Lakewood, Colorado. For more information about Christ Covenant Church please visit our website (https://www.christcovenantcolorado.com).

    Making Sense of Revelation - Part 2

    Making Sense of Revelation - Part 2

    “One of the ironies of the Bible is that its most difficult book is called ‘Revelation’.”
    Making sense of the book of Revelation requires:
    1. We treat Revelation like all other prophetic literature in Scripture which operates according to the principles of symbolism (Rev 1:1, “communicated” [Grk., saymainoe] = Communicated through symbols/signs), original audience relevance (Rev 1:3-4, written to seven churches existing in the 1st century about events that will [in the majority] take place in their lifetime [3, “the time is near”; Mat 24:34]. Hence the early date for writing: > 70 AD[1]), unconventional fulfillment (e.g., Rev 14:8 [Isa 21:9], “Babylon” identified as someone other than literal Babylon), and recapitulation ([def., repeating previously mentioned events for the purpose of reinforcing formerly established truths and introducing new details or different perspectives that further the reader’s understanding and appreciation of those events.], Rev 5-11 w/12-18 [TBD]).
    2. We read John’s heavenly vision (chs. 4-22) as five main acts: two past, one in the past and present, two yet future.
    2.1. ACT ONE (PAST): DIVORCE  
    (4:1-5:14) = Jesus before the divine divorce court.
    2.1.1. John is taken up to God’s heavenly throne room, the place where His judgments are determined (4:1-3).
    2.1.2. The court’s business on this day is the finalization of Jesus’ divorce from OC Israel (5:1-5).[2]
    2.1.3. The “book” (or scroll) with the seven seals represents the marriage covenant between Jesus and OC Israel created during the Sinai event (Exo 19-24 w/Jud 1:5; Exo 24:7 “the book of the covenant” = the marriage covenant document).
    2.1.4. John weeps knowing that unless the marriage w/OC Israel is put asunder, the kingdom and promises of God could not be transferred to the church (or NC Israel). IOW: Jesus’ prophecy would not come true (Mat 21:43).
    2.1.5. Jesus’ status as Israel’s true Husband (her “Lion” and “Root”) is the reason He is only One who can execute the divorce (break the seven seals of the marriage document rendering it void).
    2.1.6. Likewise, Jesus’ status as a priest is the reason for the seven seals (Heb 4-10). Unlike normal marriage documents which were sealed only once, the marital document used for priests (get mekushar) was sealed seven times to dissuade priests from hasty divorces since priests were prohibited from the possibility of re-marrying their former spouses (or marrying those divorced). This understanding tells us that Jesus’ decision to pursue divorce is neither hasty nor without substantial grounds. Jesus’ grounds for divorce are two-fold: 1) OC Israel’s continuing (and generational) spiritual harlotry (Isa 50:1; Jer 3:8-9, 5:7, 13:27; Eze 16:8-30), 2) OC Israel’s murder of her Messiah and Husband-God (Act 2:36, 3:15, 7:52; Rev 5:6, 11:8; According to Jesus, this was the “final straw” – Mat 23:32-36).
    2.1.7. As such, correctly interpreting Revelation 4 and 5 is essential to understanding 15 of the remaining 17 chapters (i.e., chs. 6-18 or 70% of the entire book of Revelation).
    (6:1-11:19) = The seven-seals of the marriage document are broken releasing a seven-fold judgment against OC Israel culminating in the destruction of the Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans (depicted as seven trumpets)
    2.1.8. God promises a seven-fold judgment for Israel’s adultery/apostasy in Leviticus 26 (Lev 26:18, 21, 24, 28).
    2.1.9. The “four horsemen” of the initial four seals are also an allusion to Ezekiel 14 where God promises severe judgment against Jerusalem for unfaithfulness (Ezekiel 14:12-21).
    2.1.10. Direct parallels exist between the initial four seals and what is communicated in Leviticus 26 and Ezekiel 14: 1) Seal one (Rev 6:1-2) = Conquest (Jerusalem) (Lev 26:28-31; Eze 14:21), 2) Seal two (Rev 6:3-4) = Sword/War (Lev 26:24-27; Eze 14:17-18), 3) Seal three (Rev 6:5-6) = Famine (Lev 26:18-20; Eze 14:12-14), 4) Seal four (Rev 6:7-8)

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Revelation 2-3: Jesus' Final Message To His Shepherds

    Revelation 2-3: Jesus' Final Message To His Shepherds

    Ephesus · Smyrna · Pergamum · Thyatira · Sardis · Philadelphia · Laodicea
    1. The senior pastor (or shepherd) –and therefore his helpers/under-shepherds (i.e., deacons/officers – Luk 12:58), are the one(s) responsible for the spiritual health of their churches (Rev 1:20 “stars are the angels of the seven churches” or “messengers sent by God to those particular churches)”(2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 7, 14) = Senior pastor/shepherd.
    Additional support: 1) stars are a metaphor for pastors who lead people to righteousness (Dan 12:3), 2) the seven stars exist among the “seven golden lampstands.” Not only is this a metaphor for the church, but a reference to the lampstands tended to by the OC priests and Levites in the Temple. In the same way, the NC priests and Levites will tend to (or be responsible for) the lampstand that is now the church.
    2. A church that is spiritually healthy is a church characterized by people overcoming their sin (i.e., their lives are no longer characterized by sin – 1Jo 5:3-5 = Christians [those who believe in Jesus/God’s Son and are born again] overcome sin [the “world” – 1Jo 2:16] by faithfulness to God’s commands which they do not find hard/burdensome”).
    Maintaining the spiritual health of the church – or seeing to it that people are overcoming their sin is absolutely necessary not only to each individual’s salvation, but each church’s ability to continue as a place where God’s Spirit and salvation resides (Hence Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21) = Each “overcome” message exists in the form of a conditional statement. IOW: only those who overcome their sin will receive the salvific/eternal promises mentioned.
    With respect to the church see (Rev 2:5 “remove your lampstand out of its place”) = The lampstands in the Temple represented God’s spiritual presence and lit the way to inner sanctum/holy of holies – the place offering salvation. As such they represent both the Holy Spirit and salvation. Christ’s threat to remove the lampstand therefore refers to Him removing that church as a legitimate church – or dwelling place of His spirit and salvation.
    3. To produce a church that is spiritually healthy – or characterized by people overcoming their sin (or being faithful to God’s commands), requires that her shepherd (senior pastor) and his under-shepherds (deacons/officers) be completely intolerant of seven particular sins. The reason Jesus chose the seven churches mentioned in Revelation (though there were many other churches), is because each of them possessed one (or the potential for one) of these seven sins:
    3.1. Ephesus: Failure to give first loyalty to Jesus/His church/His words and gospel.
    (Rev 2:1 w/4-5 ) “The One who holds…in His right hand…who walks” = Jesus is the One who created/owns us and cares for us most (Gen 3:8).
    “left your first love” w/(Mat 10:27-37) = Our loyalty to Jesus includes preaching God’s words/gospel to our lost blood family members. Our loyalty to Jesus is also measured by our loyalty to His Body, the church (Mat 25:40 “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers…you did it to Me”; “The blood of the covenant is stronger than the water of the womb”).
    3.2. Smyrna: Failure to be faithful when suffering persecution.
    (Rev 2:8-10) “first and the last” = Jesus is the only God. The largest cult of emperor worship (“Nero is Lord of the universe”) existed in Smyrna; “who was dead, and has come to life” = Docetism – or the belief that Jesus could not be a man or die, came only in spiritual form, also very popular in Smyrna;
    “you will be tested…have tribulation…be faithful unto death” = The city’s devotion to the emperor as God and the popularity of Docetism within the local churches made employment/living as a true Christian very hard – even deadly (Mat 10:22).

    3.3. Pergamum: Failure to be theologically, spiritually and sexually pure.
    (Rev 2:12-16

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Making Sense of Revelation - Part 1

    Making Sense of Revelation - Part 1

    “One of the ironies of the Bible is that its most difficult book is called ‘Revelation’.”

    Making sense of the book of Revelation requires:
    1. We treat Revelation like all other prophetic literature in Scripture which operates according to the principles of symbolism, original audience relevance, unconventional fulfillment, and recapitulation.

    1.1. Symbolism
    (Rev 1:1 “communicated” [Grk., saymainoe]) = To indicate the reality of something through signs or symbols; symbolism). Scholars believe Jesus’ use of this Greek word is a direct allusion to Daniel 2 where he is told to interpret the various pieces of Nebuchadnezzar’s great statue dream as symbolism – or symbolic of the various kingdoms that would exist in the future (Dan 2:30 “interpretation” = saymainoe [LXX]). Jesus is therefore communicating that like Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, John’s visions (chs 1 and 4-22) are not to be interpreted literally, but through the lens of signs and symbols. This principle is true not only with respect to Daniel’s prophecy but all OT prophetic literature. We are to interpret its visions as symbolism (signs/symbols pointing to reality rather than the reality itself). What also proves true is that the book of Revelation shares many of the same signs and symbols found in those Old Testament prophetic books. Knowing this helps us to avoid using our imaginations in the interpretive process (e.g., Rev 1:7-8 w/Isa 19:1).

    Examples of imagination from John MacArthur’s interpretations of Revelation:
    1.1.1. (Rev 6:12-13), “moon became blood. Accompanying the earthquake will be numerous volcanic eruptions; large amounts of ash and debris will be blown into the earth’s atmosphere, blackening the sun and giving the moon a blood-red hue. Stars of heaven fell. The best explanation is a massive asteroid or meteor shower.”

    Understanding these verses based on prior OT use (Isa 13:1-22; Eze 32:1-11) = Prophetic language indicating God’s judgment against one pagan nation through their destruction by another pagan nation– which also meant the defeat of their false gods/idols. Isaiah 13 = The fall of the Babylonian kingdom to the Medo-Persians in 539 BC. Ezekiel 32 = The fall of the Egyptian kingdom to the Babylonians in 605 BC. In respect to false gods/idolatry = Both the Babylonians and the Egyptians worshipped gods derived from the “sun”, “moon” and “stars”.

    What then is being communicated by these symbols in Revelation 6:12-13? Israel’s rejection of their Messiah (Jesus) means that they too have become a nation guilty of idolatry (of worshipping a false god) and will likewise
    suffer God’s destruction at the hands of a pagan nation. In this case, the Romans (Jewish War 67-70 AD).

    1.2.1. (Rev 8:8), “Like a great mountain. Probably a huge meteor or asteroid surrounding by gases that will ignite as it enters earth’s atmosphere. Its impact will create a tidal wave, destroying one-third of the world’s ships. sea became blood. This may refer to an event known as red tides, caused by billions of dead micro-organisms poisoning the water—in this case the result of the meteor’s collision.”
    Understanding these verses based on prior OT use (Jer 51:24-25, 42 [w/Rev 17:1-6 which is the same city mentioned in Rev 11:8; See also Rev 18:20-21] = Prophetic language indicating the destruction/conquering of a great city by a massive enemy army.  Jeremiah 51 = The conquering of the great city of Babylon by the massive armies of the Persian king, Cyrus).  
    What then is being communicated by these symbols in Revelation 8:8? The great city of Jerusalem (and her Temple) will be overrun and destroyed by the massive army of the Roman Empire.

    1.2. Original Audience Relevance
    The majority of what the biblical prophets write has relevance to its original audience (e.g., Isaiah = 71% or 47 of its 66 chapters). As such, before we attempt discern universal principles – or what portions of prophecy ma

    • 1 hr 11 min
    The Seven Deadly Deficiencies

    The Seven Deadly Deficiencies

    The Seven Deadly Deficiencies can and will shipwreck you and your family's Christian Faith.

    1. Lack of Loyalty (Luke 12:51-53; Luke 14:26, 33; John 13:35; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).
    2. Lack of Conformity (Romans 12:1-3; Philippians 1:27, 2:1-2; Luke 8:16-18; 1 John 1:5-10)
    3. Lack of Dignity, Honor, or Respect (Philippians 4:8; Titus 2:2; 2 Corinthians 8:21)
    4. Lack of Time (Ephesians 5:15-18; Luke 8:14; Luke 21:34-36).
    5. Lack of Cashflow (Proverbs 27:23-27; Proverbs 13:8).
    6. Lack of Discipline (James 3; Matthew 5).
    7. Lack of Wise Counsel (Hosea 4:6; Deuteronomy 32:28; Proverbs 15:22; 2 Timothy 4:34).

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ancient Christian Polity

    Ancient Christian Polity

    At Christ Covenant Church, we strive to possess the ancient Christian Faith of Jesus and the apostles. And that includes in the area of church polity (i.e., the operational model or governing structure established by God for His church). Hardly a simple task, this puzzle has alluded many throughout church history (including our pastor for almost twenty-two years). Hence the reason there exists at least seven models: 1) Presbyterian 2) Presbyterian w/a synod, 3) Plurality of elders, 4) Plurality of elders w/congregational affirmation, 5) Congregational, 6) Congregational w/pastors, 7) Episcopal, 8) Episcopal w/connexion. Continued study of Scripture and history, however, has allowed our pastor to finally put all the pieces of this important puzzle in their proper place. Said differently, to see the model presented in Scripture that alleviates all the problems created by the previous models adopted by our church. That model is also the oldest and first in church history. As such we can be confident that it was the polity of the first Christian churches. It is the episcopal model – or ancient Christian polity of Jesus, priests and deacons (JPD).
    1. Jesus is our High Priest, Prophet and King.
    1.1. The term “messiah” (or “christ” in the Greek) means “anointed one” and referred those who had received the (Holy) Spirit of authority for the purpose of salvation and judgment in relation to right doctrine and direction for the covenant community. This anointing (or ordination[1]) was limited to three offices: priest, prophet and king (priests - Exo 28:29-30; Lev 10:10-11, 17; Exo 40:12-15 w/Psa 132:16; Mal 3:6-7; prophets - Psa 105:15; kings - [1Sa 16:1,13; 2Ki 9:1-3] w/1Sa 24:6 and 2Sa 1:14-16; also 1Ch 11:1-3; With respect to it being limited, see Num 11:29).
    1.2. Jesus became the first (and last) Person to combine all three offices in their superlative and divine form. He is the Christ: our Heavenly High-Priest, God’s Final Prophet and Divine Davidic King (or King of kings) (Mat 3:16-17: 1] as Heavenly High Priest – Heb 3:1, 4:14, 8:1-2; 2] as Final Prophet - Deu 18:15, 18-19 w/Joh 5:46 and Act 3:22-23 w/Heb 1:1-12; also Mat 21:11; 3] as Davidic King – Isa 11:1, 10; Psa 2:2, 45:1-7, 110:1 and 2Sa 7:12-13 w/Mat 1:1, 21:1-9; Rom 1:3; 2Ti 1:8; Heb 1:8-9 and Rev 11:15).
    1.3. What all of this means for Christ Covenant Church from a church polity/government perspective: Jesus is our highest authority, the final “Word” in all things, the One for whom we exist (Joh 1:1-4; Col 1:16). Hence the reason we proclaim at the end of every service, “All for King Jesus!”
    2. Priests are our ordained pastors (elders/overseers [Grk., episkopei = Bishop[2]]).
    2.1. God promises to re-establish the offices of priest and Levite for the new covenant community (Isa 66:18 w/21).
    2.2. As discussed, priests are an anointed/ordained office or the office possessing God’s special spirit of authority for the purpose of salvation, and judgment in relation to justice, doctrine and direction for the covenant community. Given the identification and requirements of elders/overseers/pastors[3]/pastor-teachers (1Ti 3:1; Tit 1:5; Eph 4:113), they represent the new covenant community’s priests. Hence the reason they are:
    2.2.1. said to possess authority (1Co 5:4; 2Co 10:3-8, 13:10; Tit 2:15)
    2.2.2. anointed/ordained (2Co 1:21; Tit 1:5 w/Heb 8:3 “appointed” = anointed; Act 14:23 “appointed” = Different word than Tit 1:5 but same idea is being communicated as confirmed by texts like Heb 8:3 [“appointed” – same word and subject as Act 14:23)
    2.2.3. required to demonstrate competency in teaching (1Ti 3:2 w/Tit 1:5 w/7 w/9 [notice he calls the elders, “overseer”]). Hence why they are called “pastor-teachers” (again, Eph 4:11). Hence why also, those seeking to be ordained were often commissioned to assist and be trained by those already ordained (e.g., Joshua – Num 11:28; Timothy – Act 16:1-3).
    2.2.4. deputized by Jesus

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Everything You Need To Know About Young Christian Marriage

    Everything You Need To Know About Young Christian Marriage

    Young Christian Marriage = Marriage before the age of 25.
    In the United States young marriage has been on a steady decline. The average age of marriage for a man and woman today is 30 yrs and 28 yrs (respectively) versus 1920 when those numbers were 24 yrs and 21 yrs (respectively). This trend is neither biblical nor wise. It stems from worldly thinking that is both selfish and satanic.
    1. Young (Christian) marriage is the biblical paradigm. Covenant kids would enter into (their first) marriages between 12 to 20 years of age (Mar 5:39-42 “girl” [Grk., korasion]) = Unique word referring to a young girl who has gone through puberty [sexually mature] and ready for marriage (See LXX, Gen 24:4; Ruth 2:5; Zec 8:5 “boys and girls [Grk., korasion] playing in the streets” = More accurately, sexually mature boys and girls dancing in the public square for the purpose of seeking out a spouse (e.g., Jug 21:14-23 w/Exo 32:6; See also Mat 14:6-11 “girl” [Grk., korasion]). Hence the reason Solomon can speak of “the wife of your youth” (Pro 5:18 = Wife taken at a young age). This is the time also when Christ speaks of taking Israel as His bride (Eze 16:7-8 “your breasts were formed…you were at the time for love” = At the age of sexual maturity). Joseph and Mary (Jesus’ parents), were also married (betrothed – Mat 1:18) at a young age. Scholars believe they were between the ages of 12 and 16.
    2. The false assumptions made by many ignorant people is that shorter lifespans and the necessity to produce many children were the only reasons for the young marriage model of the Bible (or ancient times). In reality, sexual purity was another equally important reason (1Co 7:1-9 w/36) (36a) “past her youth” (the expected time when marriage would occur) = Paul’s instruction (in vv1-9) is in respect to the young, those who are beginning to experience strong sexual urges. His prescription? Get married (v9 - “it is better to marry than to burn with passion”[alternate interpretation = “burn in hell”]). (36b)“if…he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin” = The father’s neglect/refusal to find his daughter a husband (arrange a marriage for his daughter during her younger years) is ignoring his daughter’s natural sexual desires- as well as putting at risk her ability to remain sexually pure. (36c) “If it must be so” = She has not been given the gift of celibacy and therefore needs to be married so as to secure satisfy her sexual desires and maintain sexual purity. This is the same reason Paul commands young widows to pursue remarriage (1Ti 5:11). This is also the reason betrothals are to be no longer than 6 months (See document, The Biblical Model For Marriage).
    3. Numerous studies confirm the biblical paradigm of young marriage to be the wisest for Christians - i.e., young married Christians/religious people are far more likely to achieve happiness, stability and permanence (not divorce) than those who are not religious and/or wait.
    3.1. “There’s a general assumption – so widespread that it no longer requires demonstration – that in order to have a high-quality and lasting marriage, it’s necessary first to finish college, start a successful career, and then look for a partner with the same qualifications. Despite the ease of divorce, marriage is still perceived as being characterized by exclusivity, fidelity, and permanence. As a consequence, another idea that has become widely shared and promoted before embarking on such a definitive commitment is to give the relationship “a test drive” first — a period of cohabitation — to see how being together within the same walls works when you have shopping and chores to do, work commitments to juggle, and perhaps already a child to raise. Willingly or unwillingly, we have borrowed this popular approach to marriage from a consumer [worldly] mindset: before confirming a purchase, I need to test whether the product or service meets m

    • 52 min

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The teaching here isn’t always easy to hear and apply, but taking up your cross daily isn’t supposed to be a cakewalk.

Deeply biblical teaching on how to make it home.

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