1 Peter 4:15-19
2 Corinthians 11:2 (NLT)
2 Corinthians 11:3-6; 24-28
1 Peter 4:14-15 (NLT)
Carmen Joy Imes “Bearing God’s Name”
“The Israelites have been liberated from slavery in Egypt, but they have not yet arrived at their final destination. Everything they know about who they are, how to survive, and what is expected of them is stripped away on that fateful night when they make their escape, leaving them vulnerable and uncertain. They don’t know how to live under these new arrangements. But God is not in a hurry to lead them out of liminal space and into the land he promised to give them. They’re not ready yet. Into this vacuum, Yahweh speaks. He answers the basic questions of human existence in surprising new ways, offering himself as the solution to their needs for leadership, guidance, protection, and provision, and revealing his name as the key to their identity and vocation as his people. Yahweh invites them to begin walking in a new direction by trusting him. Sinai is part of their liminal experience. In the wilderness of Sinai they are free from the mind-numbing distractions of Egypt and Canaan. In their isolation, they can hear the voice of God. Having lost their old identity, they are now ready to become what they are meant to be.”
Paul Billheimer “Destined for the Throne”
“The average historian has no clue to the meaning of history because he ignores the only infallible source book, the Bible. For most people, historians included, the center of history for any given age or period is the political entity or state which is the most populous, which occupies the greatest territory, represents supreme material resources, and boasts the largest and most invincible military might. To most of us, the stuff of history is the part played by the great empires of the past, including the leading political, military, and financial figures associated with them. So men like the Pharaohs, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Caesar, and Napoleon seem to be the authentic makers of history. These empire builders and their followers considered themselves to be the architects of fate and the molders of destiny. They believed that they were the central forces of history, and the prime movers of its events.
But the world at large and its historians in particular have missed the point altogether. There is only one philosophy of history that makes sense and that is the Biblical philosophy.
The center of history is not its great empires like Egypt, Babylon, Greece, or Rome, nor their modern counterparts such as Russia, China, the Unites States of America, or any other which may yet appear. To locate the center of history one must bypass all these vast empires and the glittering names associated with them and find his way to a tiny land called the naval of the earth. And in that tiny land is a tiny hill called Calvary, where two thousand years ago a Man name Jesus was lifted up to die.
This Man hanging upon that bloody cross amid the taunts of jeers of the passers by was BEFORE ALL THINGS, that is, before history itself. He is the starting point of history; for ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM, AND WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANYTHING MADE THAT WAS MADE.
And the history that began in Him was and is fashioned and controlled by Him. He regulates the creation by the mighty power of his command. And it was and is fashioned and controlled by HIM WITH A SINGLE PURPOSE IN VIEW. That specific purpose and design is always the central and controlling factor of history no matter how wide its sweep may be.
The entire creation in its totality is cooperating with God in His purpose to select and train His Church, as His Eternal Companion.
As the LORD OF HISTORY, God is controlling all of its events, not only on earth but in all realms, to serve His purpose of bringing to maturity and eventually to enthronement with His Son, not angels or archangels, but the Church, His chosen Bride. “If one wants to know the meaning and purpose of history, he must look at the end, the final outcome, the net result. Since prophecy is history written in advance, we have history’s final chapter in the Book of Revelation. Turning to the closing pages, what emerges as the finished product of the ages? It is one thing and one alone: THE ETERNAL COMPANION OF THE GOD-MAN. The final and ultimate outcome and goal of events from eternity to eternity, the finished product of all the ages, is the spotless Bride of Christ, united with Him in wedded bliss at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and seated with her heavenly Bridegroom upon the throne of the universe – ruling and reigning with Him over an ever increasing and expanding kingdom. He entered the stream of human history for this one purpose, to claim His Beloved”.
1 Peter 4:15-19