Prelude To The Apocalypse: Companion Study Guide
Paradox: A statement, doctrine, or expression seemingly absurd or contradiction to the received belief or to what would naturally be believing, but perhaps really true.
Gnotics: Of, pertaining to, or possessing knowledge;
Apocalypse: The book of Revelation ... The revelation made to the Apostle John
(John 16:12-13) I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; & He will tell you things to come.
The Scriptures clearly teach that knowledge is surpassed by the love of God in Christ (Ephesians 3:19). Knowledge is not the ultimate reality in the universe.
First, the author would like to explain to his readers the oneness of God (1 John). The most important reality about God is that He is love. John tells us that God is love. God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit & that Spirit is love.
Here is why we need to understand the nature of love & how it can manifest in differing ways. When most people think about love they often think of love in one way only. The love that does not fail & always accepts us even when we don't deserve it. This kind of love is explained in I Corinthians 13.
God the Father represents a different manifestation of love. Protective love is rooted in righteousness.
The first paradox that was formed was found in the nature of love. God brought us life into existence & He loved His creation with an everlasting love. When sin came into existence it threatened life itself. God loved his angels but they were turning away from love to evil. God must be able to judge His own children & removed evil from existence. The love that cannot fail, by nature, cannot fail even Lucifer. God, in a sense, had to sacrifice His own heart in order to throw the diseased sons of God into the place of eternal quarantine prepared for them.
The Godhead is manisfected in differing ways even though the three manifestations are love.
Simply put, Jesus taught us that there is no giving or taking in marriage in heaven & that we will all be like angels (Matthew 22:29-30). There is no feminine in the Godhead & we know from the book of Job that angels are called the sons of God.
The Hebrew word for Spirit ("ruach") is feminine in Genesis 1:2. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is presented in the masculine gender. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit "the Comforter" (John 16:7).
The church takes on the role of the feminine in the relation to Christ. The Greek word for church (ecclesia) is feminine in gender. The church is called the bride of the lamb (Revelation 19:7; 21:9). The church receives the Spirit (seed) & produces life (John 7:38,39).
Jesus submitted to His Father's will. Even though He was one with the Father in Spirit, He took on the role of submission. The church, in the same way, must learn to submit to the will of Christ.
The maternal side of love cries out for forgiving (Luke 23:34). Many people have asked, as did Jesus, "Why did God forsake Christ when he was on the cross (Mark 15:34).
Jesus is directly referenced to as the lamb that was sacrificed for sin. Christ was begotten of God & not created. He is the same essence, substance, or Spirit as the Father (John 16:27-28; John 10:30).
The lamb (Christ) was slain from the freedom of the world (Revelation 13:8). When the knowledge of good & evil came into existence through the law, the perfect Love (Holy Spirit) in a real sense had to be sacrificed, lest it should forgive Satan. Pure love can never turn away from the children.
The Passover lamb, in contrast to the sin offering, had to be a male lamb (Exodus 12:5-8). The Passover lamb represented represents the reality of eternal death passing over all who take Christ (the lamb) into their life. These are picture types that teach us about God's plan for redemption of all who receive Christ. It also shows us the protective side of love in that we are protected from death through Christ.
God's ways make sense & everything God made reflects something about the Godhead.
Angels were not begotten but rather created. Adam was first & Eve was begotten out of Adam. Planets & moons are one matter & are drawn together by the unknown force called gravity. Adam & Eve are one flesh & drawn together by love. The Father & Son are drawn together by the Holy Spirit of love.
Let us be glad & rejoice & give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, & His wife has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7). We should not think of these pictures types in fleshly terms but rather spiritual.
As the bride of Christ we are to yield (submit) to His will. Remember that in the Spirit there is no giving or taking in marriage but we shall all be as angels. We as His bride, must learn submission to His will & then we shall be exalted. The will of Christ is found in the Sermon on the Mount & Beatitudes. He told us to learn the ways of love.
In chapter eight of Proverbs wisdom speaks to us declaring she was brought forth from God.
Comparison between Christ & Wisdom:
Through Wisdom all things created: Psalm 104:24; Jeremiah 10:12; Proverbs 3:19
Through Christ all things created: John 1:1,9; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16
Find wisdom find life: Proverbs 8:35; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Proverbs 4:20-22
Find Christ find life: 1 John 1:12; John 14:6; John 10:10
Wisdom established from everlasting: Proverbs 8:23
Christ established from everlasting: John 8:58
Wisdom invites to eat her Bread & drink her wine: Proverbs 9:5
Jesus is the bread of life. Wine is life: John 6:33-48; Matthew 26:28
Satan will try to turn the picture of the Godhead in creation upside down. Evil will grow if left unchecked by power & strength. Evil masquerades as good & takes advantages of innocence.
Imagine a time before evil existed. There was no need for law or protective because there was no knowledge of evil. Because creation was innocence, God had to create a way of understanding what sin was. He spoke into existence or permissive side of love is perfectly explained in I Corinthians 13.
Mankind will attempt to become as god & reinterpret all things through selfish ambition carnal desire & call it freedom.
The world is attempting to cast off God in order to pursue carnal lust & selfish desire. The law of God is hated by those who proclaim freedom. Anyone who stands in the way of this "freedom" will be hated & reviled, even as God is reviled.
Revile: To address scandalous language; abuse; be abusive in speech or act.
When there is no longer anything to stop sin, it will run rampant.
Evil must be resisted. God the Father must turn away from His own children (fallen angels, sons of God) & eventually separate them from the family. The disease called sin must be put away into a quarantine zone forever. That zone is known as hell.
There is a concerted effort in this day to make boys more like girls in their emotions. When men become emotionally driven instead of righteously driven there will be an eroding of strength in society.
Bruce Campbell is the author of The Beginning Prelude to the Apocalypse Companion Study Guide. He has been a pastor, evangelist and a successful business man. He currently runs The Secret Place, an international ministry to ministers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity degree. He, along with his wife and daughter live in Picayune, MS