8. a. Revelation 1:18 Jesus proclaims…
From John’s vision of the Son of Man, Jesus proclaims —
- I was dead.
- But I am alive forever.
- I will never die again.
- I hold the keys (power and authority) to death and Hades (the Greek word for the place of the dead; it corresponds to the Hebrew word Sheol.) Note in HCSB (I inserted my own examples and references.)
This is also a rabbinical form of speech. In the Jerusalem Targum, on Genesis 30:22, are these words: “There are four Keys in the hand of God which he never trusts to angel or seraph.
2. The key of provision; One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh which means God our provider. Gen 22:14
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NLT
“The Lord is my Shepherd. I have all that I need.” Ps 23:1 NLT
The blessings and curses pronounced over the children of Israel included prosperity in all areas.
3. The key of the grave; Example: God tells Ezekial to prophecy to the dry bones. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” See Ezekial 37:1-14 NLT; Hezekiah is another example. And, of course, Jesus!
God gave Jesus all authority. And then He sent out the twelve, and then the seventy, and then commissioned all believers to heal the sick, raise the dead, etc. He said we would do greater works.
b. Because He lives
- He will never leave me.
- He will never forsake me. Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 31:6
- Jesus doesn’t need a sick day.
- He won’t get dementia and forget who I am.
- He never sleeps.
- He never takes a day, week, month, or century off.
- Forever is a long time.
- He’s not like us.
This means I can trust Him to always be with me. Although people make that promise, they can’t make that guarantee.
9. a. In this world, we have tribulation.
- Economic crisis or collapse
- Death of parent, spouse, or child
- Oppressive governments
- Loss of income
- Broken promises
B. Jesus ascension and promised return
The disciples must have been amazed and dazed at the sight of Jesus carried into heaven by a cloud.
Wuest translation — “a cloud came under Him in order to bear Him up on high out of their sight.”
A cloud-evator. ;-)
That same cloud-evator will bring Him back.
1 Corinthians 15:51-55 When Jesus returns,
- In an instant–“an indivisible point of time”*–, the mortal, flesh and blood bodies of those still alive will be changed into immortal! Those already in the grave will be raised up with immortal bodies. *Adam Clarke
- At the sound of the last trumpet — this is fascinating — another rabbinic phrase.
“They use this very same expression. Thus Rabbi Akiba: “How shall the holy blessed God raise the dead? We are taught that God has a trumpet a thousand ells long, according to the ell of God: this trumpet he shall blow, so that the sound of it shall extend from one extremity of the earth to the other.
- At the first blast the earth shall be shaken;
- at the second, the dust shall be separated;
- at the third, the bones shall be gathered together;
- at the fourth, the members shall wax warm;
- at the fifth, the heads shall be covered with skin;
- at the sixth, the souls shall be rejoined to their bodies;
- at the seventh, all shall revive and stand clothed.” See Wetstein.
This tradition shows us what we are to understand by the last trump of the apostle; it is the seventh of Rab. Akiba, when the dead shall be all raised, and, being clothed upon with their eternal vehicles, they shall be ready to appear before the judgment seat of God.
I find this fascinating because my son’s Jewish wife insists Jews do not believe in life after death. I did a bit of research on that topic and found two factions still exist just like during the time of Jesus.
Death is swallowed up in victory — or as some versions say — swallowed up forever!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 Jesus’ return
- Jesus will return to the earth’s atmosphere.
- He will command the dead to rise and come to judgment.
- The archangel will repeat the order.
- Blasts of the trumpet of God, like those on Mount Sinai, will accompany this event.
- The bodies of saints who already died will be raised up.
- The saints who are still alive will also be caught up into the atmosphere with Jesus.
Revelation 22:12-13 Jesus is coming soon.
- He is coming quickly.
- He will “pay all people in full for their life’s work.” MSG
- He is the First and the Final, Beginning and Conclusion. MSG
Many have tried and will continue to predict a date for Jesus’ return. Some recently set September 23, 2015, Yom Kippur, the day of atonement as The Big Day.
While I hoped they were correct, the Bible says the hour of His return is uncertain.
Even though we don’t know the time, we are not in the dark. We are sons and daughters of the light.
Faith, love and the hope of salvation protect us. We continue comforting and building each other up. Ever joyful. Ever praising God.
My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Revelation Lesson 2 Day 5