Mike Klemm

Mike Klemm

Friday, 07 January 2011 16:16

Revelation Pt. 11 - "Patient Endurance"

"I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: 'Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea'."  (Revelation 1:9-10)

This term "patient endurance" is used in several places in the book of Revelation, and always in the context of the suffering church. Just as John was suffering on Patmos, so the early church suffered at the hands of the Roman Empire, and so the end times church will suffer at the hands of the beast's Empire. But we'll examine that in greater detail in a future session. For now, we'll focus on the promises that are made to the overcomer that endures for Christ's name, and those that do not;
"Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, will will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us..."  (2Timothy 2:11-12)
Friday, 07 January 2011 00:18

"In the Beginning"

Throughout our summer sessions we opened our classes with a short Hebrew lesson, with special attention being paid to the ancient 'pictographic' form of the Hebrew letters. If you recall, there were many times where the pictographs added an additional level of understanding to the surface text, revealing things that were not available through a conventional study. So over the next few weeks we'll post several times on what the original pictographic Hebrew reveals about the very first sentence of the Bible; 

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." 
(Genesis 1:1)

In our English translations, the meaning is simple; God created the heavens and the earth. We can gain additional insight into this verse by cross-referencing it with other verses that deal with the creation, such as John 1, but in the end we are generally limited to one layer of meaning. But when we examine this verse in the Hebrew language there is MUCH MORE that God reveals to us.

Friday, 24 December 2010 23:03

The Trinitarian 'Shema of Moses'

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one."

Because of passages like this one, known as the 'Shema of Moses', much of Christianity appears to believe that the Old Testament portrays a singular personage of God, rather than the Trinity that most Christians are accustomed to. In the minds of many, the portrayal of a triune God consisting of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is only described much later in the New Testament. But this is far from the truth, because the plural nature of God is found virtually everywhere in the Old Testament when we examine the original Hebrew language that it was written in.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 16:13

Revelation Pt. 7 - The Rainbow

In last week's lesson we described how the 'Tree of Life' supported the concept of the progressive covenants that are
observed in the Passover Seder and the Betrothal process, and also how these covenants ultimately lead to our marriage to Christ at the 'Wedding Supper of the Lamb'. This week we'll develop this theme a little further by illustrating how the Rainbow, God's sign of covenant, also supports this concept. 

The Rainbow and The Covenant

Rainbow"And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9:12-13)

More often than not we view this declaration by God as simply His promise to not bring another cataclysmic flood on the earth, and we leave the discussion right there. But in this lesson we'll examine the potential reasons that God uses the rainbow as His sign, and the specific applications that it's colors have in our study of covenant. I think you'll find it quite fascinating that God appears to use the rainbow's three PRIMARY colors of red, yellow and blue to represent covenant offers that He initiated with man, while he uses the three SECONDARY colors of orange, green and purple to represent covenant offers that man initiated with God.
Thursday, 16 December 2010 02:34

Names, Tribes and Messages

Over the next week I'll be posting the last 6 Sunday school lessons from our fall series on the Revelation. They've been delayed due to some difficulties I've had in learning how to administer this 'html' system, which doesn't seem to like the pictures I've tried to import into lessons 6 and 7. But I'll get the hang of it soon, and the rest of the lessons should be posted in short order, since they have already been written. In the meantime, I thought this study on the names of the patriarchs and the tribes would be quite interesting.

The 10 Patriarchs

If you've ever studied the names of the patriarchs and/or the twelve tribes, you'll know that the meanings of their names generally reflected something about their life, or something that was significant to the biblical record. In certain cases they were even prophetic. For instance, Adam was the first man that God created, so it's no coincidence that his name simply means 'man'. But for prophetic content a good example is Jared, the 6th from Adam, whose name meant 'will come down'. That name was prophetic since the Nephilim indeed 'came down' to earth during the "days of Jared", according to 1Enoch. Another name with prophetic implications would be Methuselah, the 8th from Adam, whose name meant 'his death will bring'. And true to form, Methusalah's death did bring the great flood in that same year, just as his name would suggest.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 01:40

Revelation Pt. 10 - "Coming With The Clouds"

This week we will review verses 7 and 8 of Chapter 1, which describe a very conspicuous return of Jesus Christ at the end of this age, where "every eye" will see the 'Alpha and Omega' (Aleph and Tav) upon His coming.

Coming With the Clouds

"Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen." (Revelation 1:7)

This announcement of Christ's coming "with the clouds" is really a preview of things to come near the end of the book of Revelation, but it's mentioned here at the beginning because His return is truly the subject of the entire book. This event is also mentioned in the gospels, which describe how this event will occur AFTER the 'distress' of the 'great tribulation', also known as Daniel's '70th Seven'; 

"But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken'. At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens." (Mark 13:24-27)
Monday, 27 December 2010 02:01

Revelation Pt. 9 - "Who Is"

"John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen."  (Revelation 1:4-6)

"The Seven Churches (Assemblies)"

The term "church" used in verse 4 is a western term that has been adopted to describe believers in Jesus Christ, and in today's lexicon it has a very Christian connotation that is typically separated from any Jewish influence. But in the Revelation, John was speaking to the wider audience of believers that consisted of both gentiles AND Jews. For instance, in the earliest Greek manuscripts, the word for church is actually 'Ekklesia', which simply means 'assembly'. In the same way, the Hebrew equivalent would be 'Keheelot', which means 'community'. In both instances the respective words refer to those that are 'called out', and there is nothing that would distinguish Jew from Gentile.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 14:49

Revelation Pt. 8 - "Blessed is the One"

Finally the moment everyone has been waiting for! Laughing After months of preparation and set-up regarding the structure and essence of the Revelation, we'll begin to examine the Revelation itself, verse by verse. And as we proceed in this study, you will begin to see how the Festivals, the Menorah-shaped 'Tree of Life', and the Betrothal process are interwoven into the text, each revealing something dynamic about the Revelation that cannot be revealed through a conventional study.

Throughout the 404 verses of the Revelation, we find many references to New Testament teachings, and that should be no surprise since Jesus and several disciples commented rather extensively about the end times. However, we also find hundreds of references to Old Testament teachings, which occasionally surprises people. The truth is, you have to understand and properly apply text from the entire Old Testament in order to properly understand the New Testament and/or the Revelation. The New Testament does not CANCEL the Old Testament, it is built UPON the Old Testament. So without further adieu, let's jump right in.

Friday, 03 December 2010 01:32

The Food Court Hallelujah Chorus

Every once in awhile you see a video that really brings a smile to your face.  For me, this was one of them, occurring on November 13th of this year with a 'flash mob' of about 100 singers.  Enjoy. 

In last week's lesson we described the Revelation's 'master menorah' that was built on the foundation of the Festival menorah, and we also showed how this formed the structure of the 'Tree of Life'.  In this week's lesson, we'll explore how this divine structure supports the 4 Cups/Covenants that were cited in the 'Passover Seder' and also the 'Betrothal' process.  For the purposes of review, those 4 Cups/Covenants were;

1) Cup of Sanctification - Blood Covenant
2) Cup of Dedication - Salt Covenant
3) Cup of Inheritance - Sandal Covenant
4) Cup of Praise - Marriage Covenant

These four progressive covenants played a critical role in our understanding of the betrothal process that we studied this fall, and also the Passover Seder that we studied this past summer.  Now we can apply what we learned there to the Revelation, and some of it's mysterious nature will begin to fall away.