REv 12:1 (NSAB)
1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
4 And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,
8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even [e]when faced with death.
I. The Ark and the Tabernacle – Exod 25 –
A. Beginning with this chapter, God lays out the plans and details for the construction of the Tabernacle, the Ark, and other furnishings of the Tabernacle
B. Verse 2 – 7: collect what people willingly contribute to the construction
C. Verse 8: God to allow/let people build
1. To represent God dwelling among them
2. It will be a sanctuary or sacred place for people
D. Verse 9: to be build to the exact plans God reveals
E. First up is the construction of the Ark verse 10-22
1. a rectangular box with dimensions in cubits corresponding to a fraction over 4′ long, 2.5 feet wide, 2.5 feet high
2. covering, called Mercy Seat
3. to contain the ‘Testimony I will give’ verses 16 and 21
4. serves as a meeting place with God verse 22
F. Continues into following chapters instructions for building tabernacle
1. a rectangular tent about 45′ long and 15′ wide divided within into two compartments by a curtain. Smaller one (15’x15) was where the ark would be kept.
2. the tabernacle was placed within an outter curtained fence that defined the court around the tabernacle (150 ft x 74 ft).
G. Details on contruction material, ornation, and dimensions were spelled out from the Lord
H. Made to be taken apart and carried to another location and assembled. Tribe of Levi were tasked with this responsibility.
II. Tabernacle build and carried throughout the wilderness
A. In promised land, Joshua set up tabernacle in Shiloh: Joshua 18:1
B. Remained there over 300 years to time of Saul as King
C. When Hannah, Samuel’s mother, and Elkanah, Samuel’s father, worshipped and offered sacrifice, they came to Shiloh where ark and tabernacle located: 1 Sam 1: 3
D. God appears to Samuel at Shiloh: 1 Sam 3: 21)
E. At sometime during Saul’s reign, tabernacle moved (without ark, see III) to Gibeon 2 Chronicles 1: 3
II. The ark was always with the tabernacle in the wilderness and into promise land for over 300 years.
A. Ark lead way in wilderness (Num 10: 33)
B. When entering the promise land, people had to cross flooded Jordan River (Josh 3: 14-17)
1. Priest carried ark and when entered Jordan river stopped flow and ground dry for people to cross
2. When all crossed, the priest carried ark across and as they left the Jordan, flow returned
3. Power of God was with the ark
C. When losing in battle, Israelite brought ark for its power (1 Sam 4: 4)
1. Ark is separated from tabernacle & does not return
2. Ark is captured by Philistine
D. 1 Sam 4 – 6 reveal the havoc the ark causes on Philistines and their return of the ark
E. Psalms 78: 60-61 and Jer 7: 12, 14 explain God’s perspective of his judgement
1. People in religious, misplaced, unfaithful worship
2. God forsakes Shiloh; delivered his strength (ark) into captivity
3. For such wickedness God will forsake ‘house called by His name’ even if He had placed Himself there
F. When ark is returned to Israel
1. People at Beth Shemesh 1 Sam 6: 12-13, 19
a. recognize the ark
b. irreverence to ark
c. punished for irreverence
2. ark sent to Kirjath Jearim & remains there 20 yr (1 Sam 7: 1-2)
3. David, as king, desires to bring ark to Jerusalem
a. goes to Baale = Kirjath Jearim 2 sam 6: 2
b.Uzzah’s irreverence punished 2 Sam 6: 6-7
c. ark left at Obed Edom house verse 11
d. Obed Edom’s household blessed by presence of ark (verse 12)
e. David brings ark from Obed Edom to City of David with gladness (verse 12) and placed in tabernacle David built (ver 17) not Moses’ tabernacle
G. Heb 9: 4 — the testimony/covenant which God said he would give and have placed in ark is revealed
1. golden pot of manna (Exod 16: 33) = bread from heaven
2. Aaron’s rod that budded (Num 17: 1-10) = dead brought to life, i.e. resurrection
3. tablets of covenant (Exod 34: 29) = word of God
H. So who is the bread from heaven, the resurrection, the word?
IV. We have the ark which represents the presence/power of God, or God Himself and we have the tabernacle which represents the location, means, opportunity, ritual, tools to identify with God
A. No illustration of power of God associated with Tabernacle or Tabernacle leading the way. Only the Ark
B. Ark is separated from Moses’ tabernacle to David’s tabernacle
C. Irreverence to ark (i.e. God) is punished
D. Relating to the ark with reverence and gladness is blessed
V. Solomon – David’s Son
A. Raised in Jerusalem where David brought the Ark and worshipped
B. Becomes king after David
C. Goes to find God in Gibeon (2 Chr 1: 3)
1. God meets him there
2. Why travel to a high place to find God when His presence was where Solomon dwelt (Jerusalem)?
3. Was he being more religious?
VI. Religious spirit amongst us
A. When where, how, when, with whom we worship is more important than God
B. When we forget or don’r realize God dwells within us – such that our behavior reflects that we have to somewhere, perform some action (traditions, sing certain songs, use certain translations, a certain day or time, make a certain offering) to get into the presence of God
C. When wee make a high place out of a doctrine, a leader, a teaching, a prophecy
D. When we are note or become critical that others are not doing it right
E. When we lose our awe and joy for God
F. When we don’t recognize that we are being or can be punished by God for our irreverence of Him
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessedare the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, Forthey shall inherit the[a]earth. 6 Blessed are those whohunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, Forthey shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds ofevil against you falsely for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, forso they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
A. We are body, soul, and spirit
1. Our body or flesh is about pleasure
2. Our soul (will, emotions, intellect) is about happiness (self-defined and influenced by the environment, circumstances, external influences
3. Our Spirit (if we have the Holy Spirit) is about joy
B. Nehemiah 8:10 The Joy of the Lord is our strength is about Joy that is of God
C. Source of God’s Joy
1. Eccl 2: 26: God gives wisdom and knowledge along with Joy
2. John 15: 9-11 and 17: 13: Jesus gives us his Joy to make our joy complete or full.
3. Gal 5: 22 fruit of spirit includes joy; Acts 13: 52 fill with Holy Spirit and Joy
D. ask Jesus for the joy (John 16: 24)
II. Use Joy in trials and tribulations
A. James 1: 2-3: count it all joy when testing of our faith for it will produce patience
B. Luke 6: 20-23: Understand that we are blessed when poor; hungry; weeping; reviled and hated because God promises are there
1. Understanding and believing God is in control in these trials
2. We can respond with rejoicing and leaping for joy
C. Acts 5: 41: apostles judged, thrown in jail, commanded not to teach Jesus, and beaten…yet they rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus’ namesake.
D. Hab 3: 17-18: Even when circumstances are dire, use Joy
1. Decide to rejoice
2. Focus on God and the God of our salvation for joy
E. sorrow turned into joy (John 16: 20)
III. Exceeding Great Inexpressible Joy
A. 1 Peter 4: 12-13
1. firey trial: should not surprise us nor should we feel it uncalled for
2. partake in Christ’s sufferings is a reason to joy
3. His glory revealed as we complete suffering trial
4. glad with exceeding joy
B. 1 Peter 1: 6
1. when we stop to recall that God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ placed us with living hope (vs 3) and incorruptible inheritance (vs4) and kept by the power of God (vs5) we greatly rejoice (leap for joy)
2. greatly rejoice while in our various trials
C. 1 Peter 1: 8
1. even when we can’t see Jesus in our situation (though he promises to never leave nor forsake us), we believe
2. we rejoice with joy inexpressible
D. Psalms 68: 3 levels of joy
1. let the righteous be glad (realize their joy)
2. let the righteous rejoice before God (express their joy)
3. let the righteous rejoice exceedingly (uncontained overflowing joy that affects our soul and our body)
E. Psalms 16: 11 there is a fulness of joy – in God’s presence
IV. Strength of God’s Joy
A. we get it from the Father (along with wisdom and knowledge) and the Son (along with abiding in His love) and the Spirit (along with power)
B. we choose, as Habbakuk did, to joy
C. we anticipate our joy to grow from realization to expression to over the top
D. Power of the Holy Spirit with over the Joy (Romans 15: 13)
1. God of hope
2. Fill us with ALL (levels and from all sources) of JOY and peace
3. we believe we will abound in hope
4. we believe this will be with the power of the Holy Spirit
E. Amplified Bible:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises
F. Use joy as a tactical weapon in your spiritual battles and your trials
I. Revelations 12: 11
A. One of three weapons for us to overcome the enemy
1. Blood of the Lamb
2. Word of OUR TESTIMONY
3. Not loving OUR lives unto death
B. A testimony is the equivalent of evidence – to affirm, support, prove
1. a means for us to rise above influences of our past
2. also to rise above our fears
3. provide hope because of what we know God can do
4. remind us what God has done and is capable of doing
5. along with not loving our lives to the death, testimony put to death the past (2 Cor 5: 17)
6. remind us that we are coming out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)
7. MOST IMPORTANT: to declare the Goodness of God
C. Testimony is not to promote us, what we did, who we are, our ministry.
D. Testimony need not be spectacular, need not be long, need not be historically detailed
E. 1 John 1: 1 in regards to our GOD – what we heard; what we saw; what we understood/comprehended; what we physically experienced
II. Testimony can be worship
A. Psalms 105
1. verse 1 …make known His deeds among the peoples
2. verse 2 …talk about His wondrous works
3. verse 5 …remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and judgement of His mouth
B. Psalms 66: 16
1. come hear (those who fear God) — this is to believers
2. I will declare what He as done for my soul
3. testimony to encourage fellow believers who fear our God
C. Psalms 40: 1-3, 5
1. verses 1-3 …is a testimony by David: David cried out to God, knowing God would hear, so David waited: God got David out of the pit and onto solid ground and ordered David’s steps; caused David to sing a new song, a declaration of what God has done lately, to praise God
2. verse 3 …David’s intent of giving this testimony is so many will see it and fear and trust in the Lord
3. verse 5 …God’s wonderful works and thoughst to us are too many to recount every one.
III.. Even Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon thought it would be good to declare the signs and wonders (including Nebuchadnezzar receiving much deserved chastening from God) the Most High God worked in Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4: 2)
A. This entire chapter tells the prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar; its interpretation by Daniel of judgement on Nebuchadnezzar; and the fullfillment of this prophetic dream that resulted in Nebuchadnezzar recognizing the Most High God.
B. Nebuchadnezzar chose to give this testimony; one that did NOT promote him but humbled him to recognize and praise our God
IV. Woman at the well – John 4: 27 —
A. Woman’s encounter with Jesus moved her from religious and habitual behavior to realizing who Jesus is
B. She goes tell the men that Jesus knew what she was and did
C. She invites the men to come see this Jesus, could He be the Christ? (verse 29)
D. Many believed because of her testimony (verse 39)
V. Evidence for believers and unbelievers 1 John 1: 1-3
A. verse 1 …about the Word of Life (Jesus) what we heard, saw, comprehended/understood, and experienced in the flesh
B. verse 2 …declare the eternal life
C. verse 3 …we declare to you
1. to bring you in fellowship with us
2. our fellowship is with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ
3. in other words, the word of our testimony is to bring you into communion with our God with whom we are in communion
VI. Word of our testimony
A. for warfare to set us and others free
B. for warfare while weary
C. for warfare through worship
D. for warfare for evangelism
E. for warfare be in communion of our Father God
VII. Something Beautiful by Bill and Gloria Gaither
A.Something beautiful, something good…alll my confusion, He understood.
All I had to offer Him was brokeness and strife,
But He made something beautiful of my life.
B. If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And hope for life’s best were the hopes
That I harbor down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
And laid it at the cross.