We continue this week with our look at what happened with Joseph, how the integrity of the Lord operated in him even when he was a slave, then falsely accused and thrown into prison. I said this last week, and I will say it again! The authority of the Lord is not cheap! If we are going to operate in all that we’ve been designed and created for, our flesh is going to undergo pain, deprivation and occasional periods of what seems like torture.
Let’s continue today with where we were last week in our discussion. We have a ways to go with these scriptures as a part of our foundations. Let’s explore the real cost of true authority. We are going to look at the lives of some individuals in Scripture who exercised the authority given them by God. That authority did not (and does not at any time in history or the present) come without cost.
We are really goimg to take a different direction today, and possibly next week as well. I want to talk today about how we access the authority of heaven and take the rulership over ourselves, events that take place in our lives, events that take place with friends, and events that occur in this country and around the world.
When I was growing up as a child in church, I used to hear folks pray for various needs. They’d pray for some family member or some other individual’s crisis and ask for the intervention of the Lord. Invariably, they’d tack on the phrase, “if it be your will,” or the Elizabethan, “if it be thy will.”
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.
It has always been a marvel to me how the Table of the Lord – that which we commonly refer to as the Communion Table – is treated as an “ordinance” – a ritual, if you will; something we just have to do because Jesus commanded it. Many Christians just don’t get it!