Archive for March, 2011

Expounding on Rev 2:1-17

Hello people today I write on something really interesting, I have found the time and energy to write this, so thank you Jesus. Please note that this article of mine has a lot of speculation, of what I am not certain but I wish to leave you with something to think about. We shall be looking at Rev 12:1-17.

Revelation 12:1-17
1 Then a great and mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a woman, whose dress was the sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was soon to give birth, and the pains and suffering of childbirth made her cry out.
3 Another mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a huge red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and a crown on each of his heads. 4 With his tail he dragged a third of the stars out of the sky and threw them down to the earth. He stood in front of the woman, in order to eat her child as soon as it was born. 5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled to the desert, to a place God had prepared for her, where she will be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, who fought back with his angels; 8 but the dragon was defeated, and he and his angels were not allowed to stay in heaven any longer. 9 The huge dragon was thrown out — that ancient serpent, called the Devil, or Satan, that deceived the whole world. He was thrown down to earth, and all his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now God’s salvation has come! Now God has shown his power as King! Now his Messiah has shown his authority! For the one who stood before our God and accused our brothers and sisters day and night has been thrown out of heaven. 11 Our brothers and sisters won the victory over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the truth which they proclaimed; and they were willing to give up their lives and die. 12 And so be glad, you heavens, and all you that live there! But how terrible for the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, and he is filled with rage, because he knows that he has only a little time left.”
13 When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he began to pursue the woman who had given birth to the boy. 14 She was given the two wings of a large eagle in order to fly to her place in the desert, where she will be taken care of for three and a half years, safe from the dragon’s attack. 15 And then from his mouth the dragon poured out a flood of water after the woman, so that it would carry her away. 16 But the earth helped the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the water that had come from the dragon’s mouth. 17 The dragon was furious with the woman and went off to fight against the rest of her descendants, all those who obey God’s commandments and are faithful to the truth revealed by Jesus.

I strongly feel that the woman in labor in the above passage is Israel as a people (Amos 5:2; Micah 4:9). The 12 stars represent the 12 tribes. The moon under her feet possibly has something to do with Rosh Chodesh, the new moon festival marking the Passover. Clothed with the sun possible implies the way she stood out as divinely chosen among all the nations. The verse 3 dragon is Satan (verse 9) the dragging of 1/3 of the stars implies the fallen angels (demons) who followed Satan. Verse 4 shows Satan was waiting to devour the child & we know from Matthew 2 that King Herod did everything in his power to kill this baby. The child however was caught up with His Father’s assignment, dying for the sin and returns to His throne. From verse 10 we see this Messiah having fulfilled his mission on earth exercising His eternal authority in Heaven (Mat 28:18) empowering (verse 11) Chief Michael (Dan 10:13) and all God’s angels to fight and throw out from heaven, Satan with his fallen ones (Luke 10:18), for Salvation had come to people and Satan could no longer stay in heaven to accuse God’s people before God (Father Jesus Spirit). The time had come, the accuser was thrown out and heaven stood in victory by the blood of the lamb & the proclaiming of the Gospel (Act 8:26, Acts 10:3-22, Acts 12:8-11), people of God held to this more dearly than even their own lives.

Mat 28:18
Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.

Luke 10:18
18 Jesus answered them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Verse 13 show the danger that comes to the woman, the wings of the eagle may possibly imply the huge Roman Empire, whose emblem was partly that of an eagle with its wings spread out. We know that at the time of Jesus, Israel was subject to Roman rule, which may have protected her from outside attacks. Verse 15, I strongly feel talks about Satan attempting to corrupt Gods people with a teaching he claims to be from God, I say this because ‘water’ is an essence of life that comes from God, Jesus spoke about life giving water that would come from Him (John 4:14) that would even see His people through persecution (Jeremiah 17:8). However the water coming out of Satan mouth, would possibly be a teaching to counter the Good News of the Salvation worked out on the cross for the world, a teaching that would surely be contradictory to the Bible, to which many many would take to like a flood. These teachings would possibly be recorded as the words of an angel picturised in the Bible as water coming from Satan’s mouth. Paul puts such a case to rest in Galatians 1:8 about listening to an angel just kicked out from heaven, this he may have warned even before it possibly happened. This blasphemy (Revelations 13:4-7) was to carry the people away from God like that of a flood. The earth opening its mouth possibly implies the eternal death & permanent burial in the earth of those who possibly fall prey to this deceit of Satan’s word (verse 9). Verse 17 speaks of the fury the dragon has upon Israel, with the same contempt as he may have taught (water from his mouth) against Israel, he goes off to fight her descendant, it seems strangely attractive here to see that her descendants are not those by blood but those who obey God and are faithful to the truth revealed by Jesus, we notice here that the Gentiles (non Jews) trusting in Jesus are counted among the descendants of Israel. The verse 17 mention of the truth revealed by Jesus stands to confirm of a people who in their time have survived the deceit of the dragon/devil and have remained hung on to Jesus.

John 4:13-14
13 Jesus answered, “All those who drink this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring which will provide him with life-giving water and give him eternal life.”

Jeremiah 17:8
They are like trees growing near a stream and sending out roots to the water. They are not afraid when hot weather comes, because their leaves stay green; they have no worries when there is no rain; they keep on bearing fruit.

Galatians 1:8
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to hell!

Revelation 13:4-7 (Amplified Bible)
4They fell down and paid homage to the dragon, because he had bestowed on the beast all his dominion and authority; they also praised and worshiped the beast, exclaiming, Who is a match for the beast, and, Who can make war against him?
5And the beast was given the power of speech, uttering boastful and blasphemous words, and he was given freedom to exert his authority and to exercise his will during forty-two months (three and a half years).
6And he opened his mouth to speak slanders against God, blaspheming His name and His abode, [even vilifying] those who live in heaven.
7He was further permitted to wage war on God’s holy people (the saints) and to overcome them. And power was given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation,

Let us read some Old Testament scripture that fits like peaces of a jigsaw puzzle into Revelation 12:1-17. Amos 5:2-3 below could possibly imply that just as Mary, Israel too was spoken of as a virgin & from her came the Messiah. When she went out to war, she came back with as many as the percentage of which she gave God in tithe. She was possibly given the wings of an eagle because she lay abandoned to the ground.

Amos 5:2-3
2 Virgin Israel has fallen,
Never to rise again!
She lies abandoned on the ground,
And no one helps her up.

3 The Sovereign Lord says, “A city in Israel sends out a thousand soldiers, but only a hundred return; another city sends out a hundred, but only ten come back.”

Also read

Micah 4:8-13 & 5:1-5
8 And you, Jerusalem, where God, like a shepherd, watches over his people, will once again be the capital of the kingdom that was yours. 9 Why do you cry out so loudly? Why are you suffering like a woman in labour? Is it because you have no king, and your counsellors are dead? 10 Twist and groan, people of Jerusalem, like a woman giving birth, for now you will have to leave the city and live in the open country. You will have to go to Babylon, but there the Lord will save you from your enemies. 11 Many nations have gathered to attack you. They say, “Jerusalem must be destroyed! We will see this city in ruins!” 12 But these nations do not know what is in the Lord’s mind. They do not realize that they have been gathered together to be punished in the same way that corn is brought in to be threshed.
13 The Lord says, “People of Jerusalem, go and punish your enemies! I will make you as strong as a bull with iron horns and bronze hoofs. You will crush many nations, and the wealth they got by violence you will present to me, the Lord of the whole world.”

1 People of Jerusalem, gather your forces! We are besieged! They are attacking the leader of Israel!

God Promises a Ruler from Bethlehem
2 The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.”
3 So the Lord will abandon his people to their enemies until the woman who is to give birth has her son. Then those Israelites who are in exile will be reunited with their own people. 4 When he comes, he will rule his people with the strength that comes from the Lord and with the majesty of the Lord God himself. His people will live in safety because people all over the earth will acknowledge his greatness, 5 and he will bring peace.

From Micah 4:8-10 above notice this; Israel is compared to a woman in labor. Babylonia, whose king was referred to as Lucifer (Satan) when comparing Isaiah 14:12 in the NKJV and GNB translations, this Satan stood before the woman Israel when she was pictured in labour, we see from Micah 5:1 above that Babylonia besieged Jerusalem and was there to attack the leader of Israel.

Isaiah 14:12
NKJV: 12 ” How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!…
GNB: 12 “King of Babylonia, bright morning star, you have fallen from heaven!….

From Micah 5:2-5, we are told about this leader of Israel, Jesus who would bring back to God His people and rule with the strength that comes from God, like a Son who inherits the virtues and strengths of His Father-chip of the old block, so to say & he will have the majesty of God Himself for He is God, people all over the world will acknowledge His greatness and He will bring peace.

Amos 4:13 (identity of Jesus)
13 God is the one who made the mountains
and created the winds.
He makes his thoughts known to people;
he changes day into night.
He walks on the heights of the earth.
This is his name: the Lord God Almighty!

It note worthy to also mention that when God declares in Micah 4:13 for God’s people to go and attach the enemy it is like that of Michael and the angels fighting against Satan and his fallen ones (demons) for Michael is Biblically known to be the guardian angel of Israel (Dan 10:20).

Jesus n Jonah

Hello people, I write after quite some time, am sorry I haven’t been able to write for a while as am into a new job dealing in broking and that is taking a lot of time and energy. Today I would like to write to you on the book of Jonah in the Old Testament, which is seen to run in tandem with the Gospels of the New Testament.

There are many similarities in the records of Jonah when compared to the life of Jesus. The Old Testament is mostly a shadow of things to come, the relationship between the prophets of the Old Testament and God were all a shadow of the relationship Jesus, the Son of God had with His Father. A shadow my friend is barely the outline of the object casting it, in the same way the relationship between the Old Testament prophets & God shown was just the silhouette of the fullness of relationship God the Father shared with God the Son.

Let us check 3 distinct characteristics in the record of Jonah and in the life of Jesus.

1. Jonah is strangely a prophet who opposes His duty to preach repentance to the city Nineveh. The story in short is this: God has had enough of the wickedness of Nineveh, he set Jonah with the duty to preach repentance to Nineveh, Jonah’s reason for not going to Nineveh is simply because he somehow feels God does not intend to punish Nineveh, Jonah knows the nature of God, he knows He is Good and forgiving and finds it of little use to preach to a people repentance who he feels deserve punishment. So Jonah sets off in the opposite direction of Nineveh but an unusual sequence of events brings Jonah to Nineveh and Nineveh repents and is saved from destruction. Let us go through some scripture.

Jonah 1:3-16 (Old Testament)
3 Jonah, however, set out in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord. He went to Joppa, where he found a ship about to go to Spain. He paid his fare and went aboard with the crew to sail to Spain, where he would be away from the Lord. 4 But the Lord sent a strong wind on the sea, and the storm was so violent that the ship was in danger of breaking up. 5 The sailors were terrified and cried out for help, each one to his own god. Then, in order to lessen the danger, they threw the cargo overboard. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone below and was lying in the ship’s hold, sound asleep.
6 The captain found him there and said to him, “What are you doing asleep? Get up and pray to your god for help. Maybe he will feel sorry for us and spare our lives.”
7 The sailors said to one another, “Let’s draw lots and find out who is to blame for getting us into this danger.” They did so, and Jonah’s name was drawn. 8 So they said to him: “Now then, tell us! Who is to blame for this? What are you doing here? What country do you come from? What is your nationality?”
9 “I am a Hebrew,” Jonah answered. “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made land and sea.” 10 Jonah went on to tell them that he was running away from the Lord.
The sailors were terrified, and said to him, “That was an awful thing to do!” 11 The storm was getting worse all the time, so the sailors asked him, “What should we do to you to stop the storm?”
12 Jonah answered, “Throw me into the sea, and it will calm down. I know it is my fault that you are caught in this violent storm.”
13 Instead, the sailors tried to get the ship to shore, rowing with all their might. But the storm was getting worse and worse, and they got nowhere. 14 So they cried out to the Lord, “O Lord, we pray, don’t punish us with death for taking this man’s life! You, O Lord, are responsible for all this; it is your doing.” 15 Then they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and it calmed down at once. 16 This made the sailors so afraid of the Lord that they offered a sacrifice and promised to serve him.

Luke 8:22-25 (New Testament)
22 One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they started out. 23 As they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly a strong wind blew down on the lake, and the boat began to fill with water, so that they were all in great danger. 24 The disciples went to Jesus and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master! We are about to die!”
Jesus got up and gave an order to the wind and the stormy water; they died down, and there was a great calm. 25 Then he said to the disciples, “Where is your faith?”
But they were amazed and afraid, and said to one another, “Who is this man? He gives orders to the winds and waves, and they obey him!”

Add Matthew 14:33 (New Testament)
Then the disciples in the boat worshipped Jesus. “Truly you are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

From the Old and New Testament, this is what is eye catching:
I. Just as Jonah was so confident of his security even that he was sleeping in a boat being taken apart by a storm, the same way Jesus was asleep even as the boat was endanger of sinking, these were both persons of great faith.
II. It was God who calmed the storm when Jonah was out of the boat, which was taking him in the opposite direction of God purpose, in the same way the records of Luke and Matthew reveal Jesus as the person who calmed the storm and so identity of God is revealed in Jesus even as we see the sailors with Jonah worship the God of Jonah and the disciples in the boat worship Jesus.
We thus see the New Testament being God’s unfolding revelation of many things including His identity, all being sourced from the Old Testament.

2. To continue from the scripture from Jonah 1, the story goes like this Jonah after being thrown into the sea is swallowed by a fish and remains there for 3 day and 3 nights. Jonah miraculously does not die & this is a small part of Jonah prayer.

Jonah 3
5 The water came over me and choked me;
the sea covered me completely,
and seaweed was wrapped round my head.
6 I went down to the very roots of the mountains,
into the land whose gates lock shut for ever. (A reference to the world of the dead).
But you, O Lord my God,
brought me back from the depths alive.
7 When I felt my life slipping away,
then, O Lord, I prayed to you,
and in your holy Temple you heard me.

Now let us check the reference Jesus made about Himself in the case of Jonah.

Luke 11:29 (Jesus’ word)
29 As the people crowded round Jesus, he went on to say, “How evil are the people of this day! They ask for a miracle, but none will be given them except the miracle of Jonah. 30 In the same way that the prophet Jonah was a sign for the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this day

Mat 12:40 (Jesus’ word)
40 In the same way that Jonah spent three days and nights in the big fish, so will the Son of Man spend three days and nights in the depths of the earth.

There is a need to note here that Jonah by himself did no miracle, his life was that of service to preach repentance to a people called by God, in the case of Jonah the people were those of Nineveh. So you see Jonah bringing Nineveh back to God is shadow of the fullness in Jesus bringing all creation to God (Colossians 1:20) & for an unbeliever today, the stone in his shoe while he walks in unbelief of Jesus will till today be the death of Jesus on the cross, spending 3 days & nights in a tomb and rising to life. This is like a thorn for unbelief for being reconciled to God is something that keeps rolling in a person’s head till he accepts the Salvation in Jesus with a sigh of relief.

Colossians 1:20
20 Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son’s blood on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven.

3. It is important to note here that just as a shadow is sometimes distorted in a way as how light may falls on an object or may be because of an uneven surface on which the shadow may be cast in the same way the profits were far from perfect, they have been known to wriggle out of the task that is set upon them and their dealing with people were not reflective of the goodness of God but rather the nature of the people (uneven surface) they are dealing with. Jesus on the other hand is He in whose image we have the shadow, being a substitute for sin for all God’s people, death was cast upon Him, His nature of acceptance of His Father’s will in meekness surpassed the human nature of pride mixed with fear of the prophets. Would you like me to give you a classic example of the human tendencies of the prophets? Let’s read from the book of Jonah itself; this scripture comes to happen as Nineveh takes seriously to repentance, they are reconciled to God but Jonah is not happy.

Jonah 4:1-11
1 Jonah was very unhappy about this and became angry. 2 So he prayed, “Lord, didn’t I say before I left home that this is just what you would do? That’s why I did my best to run away to Spain! I knew that you are a loving and merciful God, always patient, always kind, and always ready to change your mind and not punish. 3 Now, Lord, let me die. I am better off dead than alive.”
4 The Lord answered, “What right have you to be angry?”
5 Jonah went out east of the city and sat down. He made a shelter for himself and sat in its shade, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh. 6 Then the Lord God made a plant grow up over Jonah to give him some shade, so that he would be more comfortable. Jonah was extremely pleased with the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day, at God’s command, a worm attacked the plant, and it died. 8 After the sun had risen, God sent a hot east wind, and Jonah was about to faint from the heat of the sun beating down on his head. So he wished he were dead. “I am better off dead than alive,” he said.
9 But God said to him, “What right have you to be angry about the plant?”
Jonah replied, “I have every right to be angry — angry enough to die!”
10 The Lord said to him, “This plant grew up in one night and disappeared the next; you didn’t do anything for it, and you didn’t make it grow — yet you feel sorry for it! 11 How much more, then, should I have pity on Nineveh, that great city. After all, it has more than 120,000 innocent children in it, as well as many animals!”

From the above scripture we can see the vague nature of Jonah, he felt sorry for the plant that shaded him when it was attacked and destroyed by the worm at dawn the next day. Jonah did nothing to make the plant grow or die but still he felt sorry, God was thus trying to teach Jonah that till then He had not given Nineveh the privilege of being a people of God but still they repented, when a message of repentance was brought to them & so instead of letting death get the better of them, God chose to forgive them & add their sin to the cross He would bear being all-knowing (Omniscient). After all Nineveh was filled with many innocent children and had many animals too, yeah God does care for all His creation.

Cheers mate!

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