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The Word of God set into Scripture is like a seres of narrative accounts of nations, Jews and Gentiles, kings prophets and relevance of each draws from the testimony of God. ‘Forever the word is settled in heaven (Ps.119:89)’. It is like the constitution eternally enshrined in the divine Will and fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The first book is about the beginnings and the Book of Revelation is forward looking to the eternity in which every one who has accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord shall find a place. So the first and the last book serve as book ends and in between the reader shall find the narrative arc moving toward from heaven and earth to new heaven and new earth.
So the Book of Revelation is a book where unraveling the mystery of God in a series of visions is given to Apostle John. He was exiled to the isle of Patmos while Caesar Domitian set off wave of persecution against the Christians. Many visions echo prophetic writings Isaiah, Ezekiel and of course Daniel is very represented. It goes to show testimony of God is not adding anything new other than what was in the divine Will which was revealed through the Holy Spirit on a need-to-know basis. So Apostle John may had Emperor Nero in mind when he mentioned the number 666 and since then we have had few other candidates. This man of perdition shall ultimately make his mark in the appointed time. The key to mysteries of God shall come to pass in fulness of time. We see the signs already so a close study of this book helps us to watch diligently and not fall back disappointed since dates set by false prophets are proved wrong.
This book is unique as the only book written as a first hand report.
This is a transcript of heavenly realities as received by Apostle John. He heard as well as saw and he adds blessedness to those who read and also keep what is written therein.
In the days to come if God willing I intend to annotate the Book in my Bible blog to which each visitor is invited. May it prove to be a blessing for each one of you,
Benny

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“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matt.24:21)”.
Jesus knowing his time on the earth was drawing nearer explained what must occur on the earth before he comes second time.In the Bible often we are given future events telescoping into one other. This discourse began with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. It was fulfilled in 70 AD. Also significant is the fact many events have since taken place. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows(Matt.24:7-8)”.
But are such events as Vesuvius eruption destroying Pompeii or a giant tsunami hitting Santorini island unique? These events causing rise and fall of world empires, and natural calamities leading to drought floods volcanic eruptions are part and parcel of the history of mankind. The prophecy of Jesus as to end times is also echoed,- we have several passages from the scriptures, notably from the Books of Daniel and of Apocalypse.
In the Book of Revelation we read of Satan personified by a red dragon and two beasts one rising out of the sea and the other from the earth. With them erupt the times of sorrows. Firstly the dragon is against God and his saints. He shall check the salvation plan of God with whatever means at his disposal. So he shall deceive in the same manner he deceived man through Eve. Do we not see even now nations employing spin doctors and PR men to deceive the people? Lately I hear ‘Truth is not truth’ so one may imagine how deep we are in the sea of mendacity riding ever high.

The sea in parlance of the Spirit signifies people, nations. Prophet Isaiah compares them to waters ever throwing up mire and dirt. Always there are things to do and cause division as we see these days on racial lines, migrants and locals. The beast with composite animal parts is a man of the people. He could be a populist catering to stir up passions using choicest epithets. He resembled a leopard but had the feet of a bear. What made him come to prominence but the bear and a mouth like that of a lion? Bear and lion are often emblems designating nations. Bear for Russia and lion for Great Britain is too familiar for further explanation. So what shall we makes of the beast having feet of a bear? What facilitates his rise to prominence could be his base or money that the bear made available for his rise. His words are for tearing up his perceived enemies so lion is in the sense of braggadocio. Where did his power come from but from the red dragon.’The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast’ could mean the ideology he espouses shall find many nations taking up.
Compare this beast with the beast in the vision of Daniel “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it(Dan.7:4-NIV). The eagle with wings plucked of signifies obviously its grandeur on the wane. The bear the eagle are symbols currently representing nations.What we need consider the events facing us is part of the thrust to which human history must pay heed.
In an unspecified date such a beast a populist and a braggart who demands overwhelming adulation and loyalty shall appear. What we see now are merely dry runs of populism and when this man of perdition does appear the reality shall bite all the more with vengeance.
Benny

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What is day and night?
Night is different from day because in the former light is absent. When the Spirit speaks of the creation of heaven and the earth each day is in a different sense that a day of 24 hours. Several events are grouped together in a day so that one day has a spiritual significance. Things of the Spirit we are to discern as having spiritual overtones and with this post we shall examine what ‘the greater light and the lesser light’ represents in the Spirit’s lexicon. Both are taken as a single entity. It signifies the Father-Son relationship.

The moon has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. Considering that there were many pagan cults existing in the Ancient world where moon worship was very much in vogue it is improbable that the moon would fit with the significance the Holy Spirit attaches to it. Consider this verse, “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should be reproved (Jn.3:20)” But he that doeth truth cometh to the light. So truth is what the Holy Spirit lays stress on the term greater light and lesser light. Truth is of the same absolute in quality but there is a distinction between truth that God represents and of man. Recently we hear of truth spoken in context. Is it not purely man’s invention to make truth draw it value from context? The gospel says grace and truth came by Jesus. So the Spirit states the purpose of the Word becoming flesh. He made the invisible God manifest. So the gospel of God is the gospel of Christ on the basis of truth.

Truth is the basis for the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth. When God the Son had submitted himself to do the Will of the Father we can understand this greater light pertains to the Father of lights. The Father-Son relationship is laid down in the narrative to give emphases of Will and fulfillment required of man. When a man of truth comes to ‘the True light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world(Jn.1:9)’ he seeks to have his works established in the sight of God. When man who seeks the praise of man does his works of charity (it is) in order to be seen. Of whom Jesus said, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full(Matt.6:5-NIV)”.Those who preach prosperity does so before the full glare of arc lights. These TV preachers have their reward. So much for the day. What about the night? Those who steal or burgle homes at night they choose the hour since the night is their cover. For hypocrites what day or night means is different from those who love truth. They stand by Truth and not by night or day. Why so? In eternity there shall be no more night. “And the city (of God) has no more need of the sun, neither of the night…. there shall be no night there(Re.21:23).” But Truth is absolute and shall remain so. They belong to the greater light and lesser light.

Principle of Association in terms of truth creates an order where the stars in heaven is a memorial and not in the popular sense. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear(Matt.13:43; Dan.12:3)”. “And to rule over the day and over the night(Ge.1:18)”. When we study the word of God we need watch out: literal sense also carries spiritual significance and knowing which is which is a gift freely given to those who seek truth. Unless we compare spiritual truth in a spiritual sense we miss a great deal. In that vision of woman clothed with the sun we read that the red dragon(Satan) drew with his tail one third of ‘the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth..(Re.12:4)’

Benny

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In order to understand the memorial aspect of the heaven the best place to look for is the ark of the Covenant(Ex.Ch.25). Mercy seat above the ark signifies it as the seat of God. The Ark of the Covenant at rest held two tablets of stone, pot of manna and Aaron’s rod.
All the three celebrate God the Son, He is the Word; He is the bread from heaven and lastly the rod signify the death and resurrection of the Son of man. In short it encapsulate the fellowship of God with man: symbolically as well as reality of love can only be consummated between two entities namely God and man. Memorial of God is His eternal nature as envisaged in Core Will and fulfilled through his handiwork.
God when He introduced himself to Moses said: “I AM THAT I AM (Ex.3:14)” Being perfect the name was His holiness. “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself… (He.6:13).” When God sent his Son his holiness after the manner of man was in that he knew no sin and he did no sin. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Co.5:21)”.”He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth (1 Pe.2:22).”
“But you know that Christ appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin( 1Jn.3:5)”. Love of God has a direction and requirement in which man and God could have a common basis. This was the price God the Son paid voluntarily and it exists as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. God’s promise to Abraham was bless all families on the earth through him. The Jews and the Gentiles are names that lose their distinction because God the Son has fulfilled it in one offering. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name (Phil.2:9).” It being perfect everyone sanctified through their faith in the Son are forever perfected. As a memorial we have the vision of the risen Christ in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands. His servants shall have the name of the Father written in their foreheads.
As memorial to the service Jesus Christ commanded his disciples to gather the broken fragments, 12 baskets full. This seemingly minor detail is given in all the four gospels. The number 12 is a tag the Holy Spirit places on the earthly ministry. The Four living creatures are a memorial and we read that they were before the throne indicating holiness as observed on the earth is not same as the holiness God demands in heaven. This we see in the fact that all the creatures beasts of the field, birds were named by man. What is man but a living soul in whom God gifted his breath. God’s gifts are irrevocable. Memorial of the creatures reflect God’s holiness. Sin of disobedience caused his fall but the names given by him are precious before his sight.
(simultaneously posted in Guide to His Word-b)
Benny

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Our Almighty God has a calendar, which is drawn by the Holy Spirit. There are seven columns , each to mark a day into which events in heaven and on earth find place under the appropriate column. On the day Four and day Seven are marked red, apportioning the Authority of God the Father and God the Son.

The Creation calendar can be broadly classified under Heaven and the the Earth.
first four columns are for the creation of Heaven The other Three denote the creation of the earth. Needless to say events before the foundation of world began on the Day One and in the Book of Genesis the verse encapsulates long passage of time in vs.2 The spirit of God moving upon the waters begun on Day One but its consequences continue to progress and coalesce into some tangible natural phenomena as mist.”For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth (Ge. 2:5-6). So what God had set in motion on the first day shows up as mist in God’s Time, which unlike the day of 24 hours is of long duration.
Day 2 God separates waters above from waters below.

The spirit of God working on the face of the waters would indicate as in the case of light, two kinds of waters symbolizing the waters conducive of responding to spiritual influence and which are not. It is for this reason the nations are qualified as restless seas.”But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud (Isa.57:20-NIV)”. For this reason no sea shall be found in the holy city of God (Re.21:1). The waters above the firmament is a symbol for mercies of God. On the other hand land is considered holy on account of spiritual discernment found there. God demands answer from Cain because of the blood spilled and it reached before Him(Ge.4:10).When God says, ’cursed’ is the ground (Ge.3:17) it is reflected in terms of man’s labour and diminishing returns owing to man’s sin.
Day 3 God causes the earth to bring up plants grass herbs trees.
Day 4 God sets the greater light and the lesser light to rule over day and the night. In the city of God there shall be no night because of the glory of God shall shine through without any darkness to dim its majesty.
Heaven is created to help and develop in conjunction with earth. God sets signs to forewarn man and the sun as a symbol of God’s Authority and perfection. He sends rain because He is perfect as well as long suffering not willing that any man should perish.
Day 5 God causes the earth to teem with life Life began on the waters and every little or great creature were to add to the quality of the earth.
Day 6 creation of Man in the image of triune God.
The three days culminating on Sabbath is from the perspective of God the Son.

The entire Creation Calendar the Spirit reveals God the Son as the Principal Mover.

To recap:
At the beginning of Day One we have the authority of the Holy Spirit that the earth was without form and darkness was upon the face of the deep. God is a Spirit(Jn.4:23). (Those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth to which I shall come back anon.) All these are events slow working of the Spirit sensitizing heaven and the earth by His glory. What is glory but Power and Wisdom like the virtue gone out of Jesus Christ so the woman with an issue of blood was healed. Sending glory in all directions was not a random haphazard event. It was a herald of salvation to come. Even in the midst of deepest gloom glory of God shall hit as the malefactor on the cross who in his extremities realized Jesus was the Son of God. From whence came truth to one who never had an opportunity to hear the prince of life? He worshiped him in truth and recognized the spirit of Christ in body. What Jesus said to the Samaritan woman by the well from several examples we have in the Bible owe to glory sent from the foundation of the world began.)

Before the world was founded it must have been in the divine Will, surely? When darkness envelops all around as stated in the first chapter v.2 ‘the spirit of God’ moving upon the face of the waters speaks of the divine Will causing certain changes. Think of the slain Lamb from the foundation of the world(Rev.13:8)’ as its blueprint.”I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens had no light(Je.4:23). When the Light which lights every man that cometh into the world is true we know what is the source of that light. (Jn.1:9).
In this Day of beginnings preparatory events lead to the command of God, ‘Let there be light.’ This makes the Lord Almighty as the Father of lights; naturally creation is entrusted with God the Son. “All things were made by him (the Word)…(Jn.1:3)” In sending the true Light to the world God is setting forth a distinction between the light and darkness. God as long suffering God may have allowed darkness to settle but the spirit of God working upon the face of the waters signaled spiritual discernment of the earth and heaven were gifted from the Lord God.
Benny

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A day is certain length of time. Whenever the Spirit speaks of events such as Creation Day and Day of the Lord these events are clubbed together. In the creation act (Ge.ch.1) we see an example.God created light quality of which is different from darkness. He is the Father of lights (Jas.1:17). He divided light from darkness. Before the first day elapsed we see three sets in terms of quality: namely Night and Day, morning and evening, light and darkness.
The Spirit setting these 3 sets of entities explain creative events clarifying and progressively tending to the fourth day where we read of the authority of the sun to rule day and the Moon the night. For this reason it must caution us the Spirit is not laying out a literal approach but the key is to be found in the symbolism of the greater light and lesser light. Both are mentioned together and they rule the above mentioned three entities. morning and evening; night and day; light and darkness.
Greater light and lesser light as a set in the lexicon of the Spirit signifies the Father-Son relationship. God the Father of lights is none other than the Lord God (Deut.6:4)Thus we are informed that Trinity was present in the Creation Act.

Before worlds began separation of children of light and children of darkness was in the mind. Jn.3:20;1Jn.3:8b The purpose of the Son of God to destroy the works of the devil. God cursed the serpent and put enmity between his seed and of the woman (Ge.3:15). Here we have the first clue as to the will of the Father before the worlds began. He separated light from darkness before the Sun was set in authority on the fourth day.
Progressive development of light and darkness creating events for example serpent beguiling Eve, Cain killing Abel in a fit of anger, Enos walking with God Noah is found righteousness tell us two sets of people forming a pattern. It is drawn from the manner events are clubbed together example of which we see in the first two chapters of Genesis creation of heaven and it covers the first four days. From verse 20 events inform us of the earth culminating in the creation of man. In the following chapter we read of the seventh day being sanctified as Sabbath (Ge.2:1-3)
Lastly what does 4 in the Bible signify? Four living creatures, four horsemen by the myrtle tree, four carpenters four angels (Re.7:1) are tags employed by the Spirit. Four Days in the creation week is in terms from the Father’s standpoint. The other three from Standpoint of the Son. Naturally significance of Sabbath rests with Son.
To recap two points emerge: creative act of God involves Trinity. A day is not of 24 hours but God’s Time. Literal interpretation of day led to controversy of Creationism waging a war using Satan’s own weapons. His is power of the air of the world. He has his cohorts and flock. Is Science the last word on God? By such a strategy did not children of God unwittingly play into the hands of the Devil? Now we read of false teachers flaunting their wealth and conducting themselves more worldly than unbelievers? In their unwilling to follow the humility and way of the Savior Lord whose flock are they?

Benny

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(Originally posted in Guide to His Word/-heroes of Faith of 24 July,2018)

In the transfiguration of Jesus Christ we have a clue as to the state of our bodies after death. Jesus took his disciples Peter James and John apart, and at the mount occurred an event that Jesus wanted them to keep to themselves “Tell this vision unto no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead(v.9).” God had refused Moses to enter the Promised Land, right? But after death he is deputed with a delicate task by God. It is the point we shall try to understand.
So our present purpose our focus is on Moses and we read thus:“Behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him (v.3 ) Matt.17:1-8. In short Moses after death was pressed into service. Does this not inform us that Christian Living in essence is service whether we are in physical or spiritual body? The Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus also gives us a clue: the rich man in agony asking Abraham to let Lazarus cool his tormented soul (Lk.16:24) would indicate that there is life after life.
Our topic here is to show from the life of Moses how faith grades entire life experience of a child of God, both seemingly unfortunate and fortunate events consistent about it. Christian Life similarly is about faith holding spiritual blessings in body and spiritual bodies find match in the Body.
Our lives about faith, which was invisible as Spirit so we may speak with conviction our spiritual discernment leading step by step to Christ owes to the spirit of faith, a gift from the Creator God. In the life of Moses we shall see this very clearly from scriptural passages in the Old and New. Spiritual discernment of Moses persuaded him to suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy pleasure his pomp and circumstance allowed. In order to become a hero of faith he had to be trained in the way God had in mind. In submitting to them he became a hero of faith.

When God called him out by the burning bush that did not consume itself Moses was nervous first, but God had to make his faith grow. He asked Moses to cast his stick on the ground. He did and it became a snake. He ran in fright (Ex.4:3). God insisted that he took back his rod and he did. Having given him an idea of faith that overcame his natural nervousness God sent him to cause ten plagues on the whole land of Egypt. As commanded of God he obeyed him. On one occasion he stretched forth his rod and the Lord sent an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. It was the wind and God who made the locusts fill the land. “Before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after…(Ex.10:14).” In a manner of speaking His rod was extension of his faith and he in turn was figuratively faith of God. Remember the expression finger of God? It is how Jesus qualified his healing(Lk.11:20). This is how it is while we are on the earth. Our lives are extension of God in faith.

So what is Christian Living? Is it not our spiritual body within glory of God? When our faith radiates the holy city of New Jerusalem shall be lit with glory. In short this glory connects with Christ Jesus the Head and the glorious Church, his Body.
Moses was a hero of faith that made him spokesman for his people. “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses whom the Lord knew face to face. (Deut.34:10;Ex.33:11;Nu:12:8).
ii
Let us apply the law of gradation to distinguish peaks and lows of his life. Due to lack of space we shall merely limit to a few instances
Alienation.
Baby Moses was plucked from the bosom of his mother and cast down along the river. Moses when came of age must have been aware of the circumstances of his infancy and probably sublimated hatred of the nation against his race. On an impulse he came between a private quarrel between an Egyptian and a Hebrew. He killed the Egyptian. Next day it was a quarrel between two Hebrews. His attempt to make peace was brutally rebuffed by his country man and his sense of alienation needed no further proof. He did not belong to the race of man. All that leisurely study and scholarship of his mature period was a waste. Against this let us place his self-imposed exile for forty years. While he tended the flock of sheep for his father-in-law at Midian what made him survive but the sense of alienation? He must have realized he belonged neither to his own nation who rejected him and to the adopted nation for their prejudice. Seething anger and a family to take care must have kept him going. Psychologically his alienation allowed him to come to terms with his exile.
When God chooses anyone for service He makes the many earlier vicissitudes and blessings come to terms with one other. Law of Gradation shall always make room for faith to fill in the gaps of emotional and psychological scars and work complete healing.
Benny

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