All is not good in the family
21 Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz,
22 And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel,
23 And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah,
24 And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages:
25 Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth,
26 And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah,
27 And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah,
28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.
I always love to get into word study for names have meanings and these meanings many a times open windows to understand the hidden things of the Kingdom of God, things which are hidden from the eyes of the wise of this world. Today's message talks of the towns and villages of Benjamin. We notice Jesus was born in one and became a sacrifice in another. Before I get to the very important, strong message which the Lord is giving us today, let me put down the meanings of the names and sort them into good and bad lot.
Benjamin= "son of the right hand"
Good names / names according to Kingdom of God (8)
Bethel= "house of God"
Beeroth= "wells" also means spring
Irpeel= "God will heal"
Eleph= "thousand", root meaning a company of men under one leader
Ophrah= "fawn" symbolizes godly speed
Jebus= "threshing place" which became Jerusalem= "teaching of peace"
Bad names (16)
Jericho= "its moon"
Beth-hoglah= "house of the partridge" we may best render, as the partridge gathereth eggs which she hath not laid; the meaning being that she loses her toil since the young birds, when hatched, forsake her.
Keziz= "cut off"
Beth-arabah= "house of the desert valley" or "place of the depression"
Zemaraim= "double fleece of wool" wool symbolizing grace (there is nothing like double grace if one understands what grace is)
Parah= "heifer-town" or "cow-town" cow symbolizing pagan fertility
Chephar-haammonai= "village of the Ammonites" Ammonite= "tribal" opposite to brethren in the Lord
Gaba or Geba or Gibeah= "hill", hill symbolizes worldly understanding while mountain as truth.
Gibeon= "hill city"
Rekem= "variegation" or mix colours symbolizing vague / diverse understanding
Zelah= "a rib" root meaning adversity / stumbing
We see the names are divided into 2 lots the good are 8 and bad are 16 which makes the good as 1/3 of the lot.
We need to understand in the flock of Jesus are sheep as well as goats. On judgment day the Lord Jesus Christ will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep will enter Heaven and the goats will be punished more than the unbelievers who reject the Lord Jesus Christ (it includes those before Jesus was born for Yahweh/YHWH is Jesus Christ before He came as man). These people who reject Christ are not judged by Christ when He comes again, for Paul says they are already judged by God. It is only those who believe are judged, that is if they have kept His Word or not. To keep His Word one needs to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, that is why Jesus says only those baptized in Him and the Holy Spirit (water & Spirit) will enter Heaven.
Now coming to the important factor of how many will enter Heaven. Bible says the gates to Heaven are narrow. From the start God has given indication of the ratio of people who will enter Heaven and who will not from those who believe in His Name. This ratio also gives us an insight of what is in store for us in Heaven.
In the book of Zechariah the Lord specifies He will refine a third of them and they will call on His Name and He will be God unto them.
In the book of Genesis God told Abraham that Isaac's descendants will be numerous as the hosts of Heaven. Surely the stars are many and will be in billions yet they are finite and not infinite. We need to understand stars symbolize the hosts of Heaven which are the Angels of God. And God told Abraham his generation (through Isaac by faith) would be as numerous as the hosts of Heaven. We also read John in the book of Revelations states one third of the Angels were bought down by Satan (the dragon) when he cause darkness to come by going against the things of God. We also read Jesus says after resurrection we will be like / as Angels.
Another confirmation of this is by the understanding of the Heavenly Army and its hierarchy, who Lucifer and the Beast were and the position they held before they fell.
It is an important fact to note the Cherubs and the Angels form the spiritual body of the Son. This body was damaged when Lucifer caused darkness to come that is why when man sinned and got corrupted it is written the Lord says that 'man is now become like one of us'.
So we see creation is all about rebuilding the Heavenly body of the Son, of the Heavenly marriage where we become one with the God the Son, when we take the place vacant by the fallen Angels.
When God said let there be light, He drew the plan and also named all those who would be part of this Body (names in the Book of Life). But to make sure that things do not get repeated He takes mankind through a testimony so that His Name / Nature gets truly embedded in those who are brought through this fire.
Some may think did God make a mistake in the start when He created Lucifer and the other Angels who fell. No. Did He not know they would fall? He did.
Our God is an all knowing, omnipresent God; time or place is not a factor for Him, past, present and future is no hurdle for Him. He sees them together and is in them all at the same time. He can heal our past and change our present and future. Also He knowing our future and being in it states he has already made all the resources required of us, that is why says we will not lack when we walk in his ways.
Our God is a God who builds a firm foundation and grows from glory to glory. He allowed things to happen so that the new would not be shaken forever.
Many preach 'All is well' Gospel. Let me tell you all is not well. The seats/position/mansions in Heaven are limited; if you and I fail, someone else would take it. Till all those who take the place are not preached the Gospel and do to come to Him, the end will not come. The ones who will take the place the Lord already knows, yet He gives us all an opportunity to choose between keeping His Word, being a part of Him and His great plans ahead or not.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are God and all knowing. Your wisdom is boundless and your plans beyond time. The things You have set for us is hidden and beyond the eyes and imagination of man and which You have revealed to only a few. We know Lord many would read today's message but only a few will understand and work according to your plans. We thank You Lord for choosing us for the graet positions in Heaven and to be part of You...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
Zechariah 13:9 - And I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God.
4 And, behold, the word of Jehovah came unto him, saying, This man shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in Jehovah; and he reckoned it to him for righteousness.
Genesis 3:22a - And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:
3 And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems.
4 And his tail draweth the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon standeth before the woman that is about to be delivered, that when she is delivered he may devour her child.
31 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory:
32 and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats;
33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
11 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie:
12 that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13
11 but as it is, I wrote unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat.
12 For what have I to do with judging them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.
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