OK. Thought I was going to finish up this thing on math last week, but I can't help it. I get started with this stuff and can't stop. I love the parallels in Scripture. Math and mathematical principles abound in the Word of God. God is very precise in everything that He does, and we govern our lives according to that precision.
Continuing where we left off last week, we consider the number 12 in the picture of the Bride of Christ -- the number of Ekklesia, the number of preparation, and the number of governmental authority. Last week, we said that the New Jerusalem does not only consist of Jews. Representing the call to, and gathering from, the nations are the twelve foundation stones, and on them the names of the twelve apostles who made up that first Ekklesia.
Throughout Scripture, we see numbers repeated again and again and again. What most folks miss is that these numbers are metaphors in Hebrew with pictures that go well beyond the surface. When John wrote, “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” the angel of the Lord was showing him the same thing that Ezekiel had seen in a vision. It was not a city in the sense of a physical or geographical place; it was the ensample of a principle: a principle which strikes at the very heart of all that the Lord has been doing in our midst.
Let’s see if we can wrap us this series today and talk about the blessing of tribulation. Can’t think of anyone I’ve ever talked to over the years who suggested that tribulation was an absolute blessing, but it is. No affliction, no trial, no false accusation, no trouble of any kind seems to be joyful at the moment you are going through it, and when all hell breaks loose around you, you often look for a hole so you can crawl into it and hide. Doesn’t seem to work that way, does it?
It has been a pleasure, thus far, to see the responses of readers who’ve taken this series to heart – especially those who’ve been through a lot, not really understanding what it is all about. So many folks have been programmed with the religious mentality of the so-called “Great Tribulation,” believing that it is something the Lord is going to snatch them out of so they don’t have to suffer.