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Enjoy Cobbey Crisler insights on some citations for “Christ Jesus" (the Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 24, 2017)

Warren Huff (with insights from Cobbey Crisler)
Posted Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Here are Cobbey Crisler insights on some citations for
“Christ Jesus"
(the Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 24 2017)
Hope you enjoy them and another (upper corner)
downloadable Christmas poem" by Ken Cooper!
With unconditional love and joy, Warren Huff

Warren’s (W’s) PS#1: Cobbey Crisler on Luke 2:25-38 (R. Reading) on Simeon & Anna
Cobbey on Simeon: “It says in Verse 25 that Simeon “was waiting for the consolation of Israel… That word “consolation” is very close, the same root, as the Greek word translated “comforter” by Jesus… He says in Verse 30, ‘Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.. Verse 32 says, ‘A light to lighten the Gentiles…’” The old prophet Simeon recognizes the Christ, even as an infant, as God’s answer to the prayers of Israel for a comforter and redeemer of all mankind. Most Jews were praying for and expecting their liberator would be one who would militarily free Israel from occupation by foreigners. They were looking for a political lion, but God sent them what they really needed, a non-political lamb—one who would give them lasting freedom (from the inside out)—no matter the political circumstances. [Are we always open to the solutions God provides, even when they don’t take the forms we expect?]

Cobbey on Anna: “In Verse 36 we find a woman, Anna, as well, not only a prophet, but a prophetess. Luke is telling us something here. The access to inspiration is equal. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. The ability to prophesy, the access to God, is direct. The woman doesn’t have to go through anyone in order to get to God, even though the whole Judaic ecclesiastical structure was built that way.”
Luke the Researcher, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#2—Cobbey Crisler on Deut. 18.15-18 (B3) Prophesy of a prophet like Moses
Jesus accepted this prophesy as about him as he states in John 12:49, 50:

“There is much discussion as the chapter ends in John 12:49, 50 when he states, "Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." Understanding the earlier Scripture in the Old Testament gives a clue to that.

Back in Deuteronomy 18:18 when the prophecy stated that a Moses-like prophet would come, one of the descriptions of that prophet-to-come read this way, (quoting God), "I will put my words into his mouth, and he shall speak whatsoever I command him." Notice how close the paraphrase is here. We know Jesus was certainly aware of the Scriptures. "And the word was made flesh." He is communicating to Bible students through this paraphrase. "Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." It's the equivalent of Jesus saying, "I am the prophet mentioned by Moses," because that is the prerequisite.”
Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#3—Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 1:18-23 (B5) Jesus’ nativity
One of the recognizable features of the Messiah would be that he would be the son of David. Don't you suspect that this is probably the prime, if not one of the prime, reasons why Matthew includes the genealogy?

But we have a problem with that. What is that problem? If they trace it through the male line, through Joseph, and if Joseph is a son of David, is there any connection with ancestry here with David if it goes through Mary? This is a challenging question. We can, perhaps, answer it, though, because of the Torah. The Torah is the Hebrew word for the first five books of the Bible, Torah meaning law, or the word of the law. We find in there a definite regulation that one should marry within his own tribe. This is so any inheritance that would come via the woman would remain in the tribe rather than going to some other tribe. I think the first one to suggest this was Eusebius around 300 A.D. This would seem to suggest very strongly that Mary was also related to the tribe of Judah to which David belonged.

(Verse 18). That isn't the only problem, though, because we find "the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise." The word "birth" in Greek is our word "genesis." Writing to a Jewish readership, there would seem to be very little question that Matthew was relating a new genesis here. The word would remind his readers of the opening book of the Bible. "The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph." Our modem term "engagement" would probably best suit that. It was a period in which the couple would promise to one another. It was regarded with as much sanctity as the marriage-period itself. So that any violation of it morally was treated with the same severity as if it had been adultery during marriage.

When the news reaches Joseph that Mary is ''with child," how do you think the average husband would greet that news? They aren't even married yet. The news comes to Joseph that his wife­to-be in this very sanctified period of promise is pregnant. Under the Jewish law, what would be the most severe measure that Joseph could take against Mary? Stoning. Publicly. He could have chosen and elected to have exposed Mary publicly and had her executed. But Joseph is as important an aspect of this great account of the introduction of Jesus humanly on earth as Mary. We get an insight into his thinking. Remember that Joseph is just you or I in the sense of going through the same reaction that one would have with this sort of news. This shows some of the quality and character of Joseph.

(Verse 19), It says that "Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example." We see right away that he doesn't want to take the extreme measure, He wanted "to put her away privily," and go through divorce proceedings, but quietly.

(Matthew 1, Verse 20). "While he thought on these things." That isn't exactly Joseph being a philosopher. The Greek word suggests agony. "While he agonized about these things.'' It gives us a view of what was really going on in his thinking. At that point, "an angel of the Lord appears unto him." "Angel," actually comes from a Greek word, angelos. It means "messenger" and is virtually inseparable from the message that the messenger delivers. It is this inseparable message and messenger that comes to Joseph in what appears to him as “a dream," addressing him as the "son of David" and saying, "Forget what you're thinking," which was a normal conclusion any husband would come to, "Because Mary is with child but what is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." How many husbands would exactly buy that? It really flies in the face of the entire biological history of man.

“Therefore, this event itself has become one of the most difficult to believe for anyone reading it. The virginity of Mary at the time of the birth of Jesus has been ridiculed by some, accepted religiously by others without question, and many of the rest of the readers somewhere in between. But let's go on with what this message is as recorded by Matthew.

“(Verse 21).”She will bring forth a son," his identity already established to the point that a name is given to him by the angel. That name really is a very common Hebrew name. It's the same name as Joshua received in the Old Testament. Joshua was not his original name. It was first Oshea, "help" or "salvation," (p. 64, J. R. Dummelow, "The One Volume Bible Commentary").

Joshua was a given name. It means something very dose to our term "savior." The explanation of the angel is that this name really will define his mission "to save his people from their sins."

Now we come face to face with one of the characteristics of Matthew. When we look at the gospel from an overall point of view, you see it over and over again. It may reveal to us what inspired Matthew to put pen to papyrus and record the gospel or good news. This is in Verse 22.

(Verse 22). He explains that "all this was done." What is he talking about when he says "all this"? The virgin birth of Jesus. He is about to give us what he considers absolute proof that the virgin-birth occurred. It occurred as a result of prophecy. Does that tell us at what elevation Matthew holds in prophecy? If he's using this as proof of one of the most unbelievable, incredible, events recorded in the annals of man's history, then how does he view prophecy? Does he view prophecy as a man-product or as revelation from God?

If he's writing this book for the Jews, it shows he is bringing in his big guns right from the beginning to show his Jewish readers that this is it! We can be fairly assured that he felt that what he is about to say would not be disputed, or at least be a matter of severe controversy in his audience. His famous statement which he says so often "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet."

“Verse 23 is taken from the Book of Isaiah (7:14). We are really in the middle of a controversy. Even at the time Matthew was writing, he obviously felt this was a major point. Look at it from a common-sense point of view. If that particular prophecy was extremely controversial when Matthew wrote this book, do you think he would have included it as his first means of proof of his whole statement in the gospel? Suppose you or l were average Jews of that period, and we'd picked up the gospel of Matthew or heard it read, and he came to this point. If we'd thought it a matter of controversy, do you think we'd even continue the book? We'd probably laugh and close it up right there.

So, I think we have a very strong indication here that Matthew, at least, felt what he was reading from the Old Testament was proof-positive for his readers. However, in the late first century and early second century, this came a matter of such tremendous controversy that it has lasted all the way up until our day. Even many ministers of other denominations today discounting completely that verse in Isaiah as having any Messianic implications. We find right in the first century Jewish writers responding to the tremendous impact of what Christian thinkers and writers were saying. They go back to Isaiah and say, "Wait a minute, Isaiah really didn't use a Hebrew word that means "virgin" in every case. It can mean "virgin," but he elected a word with more of a general meaning. Therefore, it could just mean "a young girl."

“Of course, there isn’t much news in the fact that a young girl shall conceive and bear a child. Where is the news value in that? … When he begins by saying that the Lord Himself will give you a sign, there is no sign about a “young girl conceiving.” But there certainly is a sign or a wonder about a virgin conceiving because that is certainly unheard of…Matthew… is definitely convinced that early Old Testament prophesy is a prediction of a virgin conceiving.
Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector's Report, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#4—Cobbey Crisler on Luke 2.1-7 (B8) Joseph & Mary's taxing journey to Bethlehem
We're also told (Luke 2:1-5) that taxing was going on at this time and that the taxing was going to occur in the town of the birthplace of the tribal families, and in Bethlehem where David was born. Those who had links to David genealogically had to return to be counted. It was a census. That's how they get to Bethlehem. Again, we're talking about a hundred-mile trip. With no room in the inn (Verse 7), Mary is left with a manger.

One of the earliest records we have about Jesus’ birth is found in an early second century document written by Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-163), an early Christian writer. He affirms that Jesus was born in a cave. This is also supported by another Christian writer a little later, Origen (A.D. 185-254), and Jerome (A.D. 340-420). They all were in a position to have had access to that information having visited the area, in some cases, lived there for several years. The manger was simply a stone, perhaps clay trough from which the animals would take their water or food."
Luke the Researcher, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#5—Cobbey Crisler on Matthew 2 (B10 AND B12) Herod and the Wisemen
[Chapter 2 [of Matthew] is entirely original with Matthew. No other gospel has what we read in this chapter. Without Matthew’s record we would be ignorant of the following facts.

(Verse 1). “Jesus was born in Bethlehem.” Does that ring any bells? Let’s assume that we are a first century Jewish audience. We’ve been handed a copy of Matthew’s gospel. It says “Jesus was born in Bethlehem.” What does that mean to us? What does that immediately conjure up in terms of our history? David’s birthplace was in Bethlehem. Again, what does that say to those who are expecting a Messiah? …

(Verse 2). Therefore, when we see that "wise men" suddenly show up, have an audience with Herod and say to him, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" How would a man like Herod receive any news about another king of the Jews? After all, that's what he was. "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? We have seen his star in the east." Practically every king of that period employed soothsayers. Chaldeans from the area of Babylon, whose very profession was to predict, were astrologers, stargazers and prognosticators. They would attempt to give their particular employer, king or governor, some insight into the future so he could plan. I'm sure if this kind of profession were recognized today widely, the stock exchange would employ a few of them.

Herod must have been impressed by the three. I'm sorry, I said three, but if you will notice no number is given. So you see I was influenced by the Christmas carol which has no Scriptural authority here. Nor does it say they were kings, just wise men from the east, following what they felt was a guiding, directing star.”]

(Verse 3). When it says "he was troubled,'' Herod was basically troubled much of the time…

(Verse 4). So, "he calls the chief priests and scribes.” Herod is not a Jew. He's really a foreign ruler. One of his parents was Idumean, or from Edom. The other of his parents may have been Arab. Herod really never was received by the Jews very fondly. He had support of the Roman emperors, however. He was a close friend of Caesar Augustus, and Augustus gave him his position. He had been a close friend of Mark Antony before that. You can see how clever a politician he was. Herod apparently was able to shift his allegiance from Mark Antony over to Augustus just in time so Augustus could back him.

He calls the chief priests and scribes and he says, "Now tell me what tradition do we have anywhere that a Messiah is to be born? Is there anything that I can tell about a geographical location, or what?"

Verse 5 is the answer that the Bible scholars of the nation give. "They say to him, in Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet." Now, here's the quote. You know how Matthew does this. This is his characteristic. It's happening because prophecy said it would happen.

“That seems to be the key reason why Matthew wrote his gospel. To show his generation, and, of course, future generations like us, that every event in the New Testament is a fulfillment of what was written in the Old Testament, therefore, dovetailing both Testaments into what would eventually become the Bible. But now Matthew is virtually saying this happened because it's a fulfillment of prophecy.

We are able to date the general time when Jesus was born, the general chronology, because it gives Herod the king as being the reigning monarch. There are a lot of Herods. It is like the name Caesar. It's a dynastic name. This is Herod the Great. Again we have a the problem with chronology. Herod the Great died in 4 B.C. What you obviously see is a rather insoluble point. How could Jesus have been born in the days of Herod the Great, if Herod died four years before the generally accepted birth date of Jesus? Very frankly, it couldn't have happened. Not that Jesus wasn't born in the days of Herod the Great. That is undoubtedly accurate. But whoever figured out our calendar figured it out inaccurately: It has been determined that it is possible that Jesus was born as early as 7 B.C. but certainly no later than 4 B.C. if he were born during the time of Herod the Great.

Herod was a weird king. He had that combination of plus and minus that exists in human nature wherever you run into it. Herod certainly brought the nation of Jews to a peak of prosperity and beauty. He had cities in Palestine that rivaled any in the Roman world.

The capitol of Syria/Palestine was in Caesarea on the Mediterranean. He built that city right from the ground up. It was described by Josephus (historian, 37/38-100 AD). Coming from the sea it was just a magnificent white marble city that caught the sun and sparkled for many miles into the Mediterranean. My wife, Janet, and I have dug at that spot. There's not much on the surface but I know some of you have seen the theater on television because Leonard Bernstein has conducted many orchestras in the theater which has been excavated at Caesarea.

“As a matter of fact, one of the stones that was found in the theater had inscribed on it the name Pilate and the name Tiberius Caesar. It is the only epigraphical evidence of Pilate that has been uncover in the Holy land, other than coins. It was found right in that theater. Herod built the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem, far exceeding Solomon's in its magnificence: It was all white stone and then gilded, covered with gold. So that Josephus said, when the sun came up in the morning and hit that Temple, if one didn't shield his eyes, he would be temporarily blinded because it flashed. From a distance, the Temple of the Jews looked like a snow covered mountain but with sun glinting off the gold. This is what Herod did on the plus side.

On the negative side, as you will learn, he went around killing and slaughtering. He murdered members of his family and was very suspicious that someone was plotting his assassination or attempting to replace him. This we know of Herod's character from other records of the period.

“Can the Old Testament stand alone then, as far as Matthew's point of view is concerned? It can't.

It is prophecy. But prophecy needs to have the Old Testament comprehended; it needs to be fulfilled. Can the New Testament stand alone? No, not without the fulfillment. Prophecy is the key to the fulfillment. They are inseparable.

This quotation comes from Micah 5, Verse 2. It is the only verse regarded by the first century Jews, at least, as giving any geographical location for a coming Messiah, Bethlehem named specifically.

There is one thing we should just think about as far as the virgin birth is concerned, despite all the intellectual turmoil around all the arguments relating to it. If Jesus, as an individual, has had such a tremendous impact on humanity—uplifting the standards of humanity, healing all the wounds and illnesses that humanity had been unable to solve up to his time—then from the standpoint of what we might call spiritual criticism (since the fountain rises no higher than its source), could Jesus have had any source other than the most pure origin available on earth? Could Jesus have emerged on the human scene in disobedience to the Ten Commandments? Could there have been, in other words, immorality, as some critics have urged, connected with the conception of Jesus on earth?

In one way, Jesus' birth is the most spiritually conspicuous in all history. Isn't that star in the heavens which the wise men thought they were following astrologically really symbolic of prophecy? Isn't it essentially prophecy that led the wise men? Herod wanted to know why they were even there. And he went to the chief priests and scribes and the chief priests and scribes went where for their answer? To prophecy. So, once again, we see the high regard for prophecy which Matthew had, and all the New Testament writers have.

So Herod hears that prophecy indicates Bethlehem is the spot. The wise men needed help. They followed the star as far as they could and then wanted to know where this Messiah-king was to be born. Herod consults prophecy and finds out that it is Bethlehem. It is really prophecy that directs the wise men to Bethlehem.

(Verse 8). Herod, who wants to know exactly where this child is located, says the wise men are "to bring news back to him where this child is located." Do the wise men obey Herod? No, fortunately.

(Verse 11). They go to Bethlehem and "find the young child with Mary his mother, falling down, and worshiping him, presenting gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh." If there is deeper meaning to those gifts of the wise men to an infant, what perhaps, could it symbolize? Or we would be reading something into it that we shouldn't?

In Isaiah 60, I think you will find how the tradition began that (these wise men were kings.

(Verse 1). I'm sure you're familiar with its opening verse, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." What parallel might exist already? Light and the star, perhaps.

(Verse 3). Then we find that "the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising," See how kings entered into the tradition here. It so happens that an early Christian writer saw this and suggested that the coming of the wise men was prophesied here in Isaiah.

In Verse 6 it says, "The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD." So, we do have early Christian commentators seeing a connection between these passages and the coming of the wise men.

Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-163) is the first commentator we know of to introduce this concept.

Here's what one of our greatest American Bible scholars of recent years has written. Here's what he suggests. He goes beyond what the text would tell us but it's an interesting thing to consider. We're talking about Professor William Foxwell Albright. Professor Albright has made the comment, first, "that myrrh is used at the anointing of a king." The wise men bring myrrh. Does this have any implication of the Messiah? Remember they said (Matthew 2:2), "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?"

Also, Albright says that "magical charms were written with myrrh ink," and adds "the items brought by the wise men were regarded as the tools of a trade. Offerings of the magi would not be gifts of homage," he suggests, "but a declaration of dissociation from former practices."

Suggesting what? That these wise men made their living off of magical charms. See, "magi" and "magic." Although at that time those weren't related, but magi were wise men and some of the results they were able to come up with later got the term "magic."

Were these wise men bringing what represented the tools of their trade and dissociating themselves from them at the inauguration of a new era represented by the infant child who was to bring the Christ-solution to mankind?

Remember the magi were very concerned about astrology, predicting the future. If they were convinced that here was a child that came as a direct result of the fulfillment of prophecy, then those who were truly wise men would exercise the option to go for this new method and give up the old.

That, again as I indicate, is just an idea presented by Professor Albright. He is a man I have found to be of deep insight and probably the most respected scholar of recent years. He passed away a few years ago and anything you can get authored by Professor Albright is worth studying. For one thing, he had a very deep humility in the presence of the Scripture."
Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector's Report, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#6—Cobbey Crisler on Luke 2.8-18, 52 (B15) Shepherds
Luke gives us the story of the shepherds (Luke 2:8-18), those alert shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem. This is going to radically change our ideas of Christmas, although I'm sure that you are probably prepared for the fact that the birth of Jesus undoubtedly did not occur on December 25th. It's pretty cold out there for shepherds to be watching their flocks in winter nights of Palestine. Normally they all would be within an enclosure at that time.

However, it doesn’t hold always true today. It depends, again, on the weather. If it is warm, and if there is sufficient grass on the hillsides, the shepherds could have been out there at that point.

Shepherds generally are watched during the spring when the lambs were being born to protect the flocks from the marauding animals or human thieves. Shepherds had to be alert twenty-four hours a day. The whole figure of shepherd received special metaphorical treatment all the way through the Bible, specifically by Jesus himself, where the title "shepherd" is used to give an indication of his own character.

There was an expectation among the Jews in one of the Aramaic Targums or interpretations of Hebrew Scriptures. There is a tradition that the Messiah would be announced at Migdal Eder, the tower of the flock. This was a place just outside of Bethlehem, identified with the shepherds' fields. So we do have an early Jewish tra dition it would assign the Messianic inauguration near Bethlehem.

The announcement comes to the shepherds in Luke 2:9. Verse 10 begins to give us a hint of part of Luke's purpose for writing. Most scholars think that Matthew has written his gospel for Jewish readership. It also seems clear that Luke wrote his gospel with a much more universal application in mind. Verse l0 underscores that in its last line by saying, "All people.” The universality of Jesus and his mission to the entire world is emphasized. Only Luke has this story of the shepherds. We're dealing with the most spiritually conspicuous birth in history.

That means there would have to be a sign from God. We see that consistently through the Old Testament. A sign accompanying the setting aside of human laws, rules, and traditions. A radically new deeply drawn breath from Spirit, from the Holy Ghost, accompanied by angels. “Fear not”—the opening words again—"good tidings, great joy, all people.''

Right here in this small city of David a sign, (Verse 11), an unmistakably, unique sign. First a virgin will conceive, (Verse 12), then a heavenly anthem or symphony ends the angelic message to the shepherds, (Verses l3 and 14).

The shepherds do something with the Holy Ghost with which they have been filled. They respond; they obey. They utilize what they have been inspired to do. They go to Bethlehem, (Verse 15), “find the babe lying in a manger,” (Verse 16), and “spread the news around,” (Verse 17) so that the story was available among others. We don't know where Luke would have gotten it. But that gives us certainly sufficient justification to see that it was known by more than a handful…

…Verse 52 tells us Jesus “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour” (or grace) “with God and man.”

Kay Kyser once pointed out in a talk that when it states that Jesus increased in favor with God and man, that it implies that Jesus grew in keep both of the Commandments that he later summarized for us, love for God and love for man.”
Luke the Researcher, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#7—Cobbey Crisler on Luke 4.14-21 (B18) Jesus on a Nazareth prophesy
“Luke indicates that he understands this [Jesus’ period of temptations in the wilderness] has been a power test for Jesus because in Verse 14 he uses that word, "Jesus returned" not in any form of power that Satan had tried to impose upon him [“to To take personal power, political power, and priestly power”]. But rather, "in the power of the Spirit into Galilee"—[“in the law that relates man directly to God, the source of the only power there is. (CC)]

He appears in his hometown of Nazareth. Here is a hometown boy that has made good, locally, mostly in Capernaum, not far away. He comes back. "His fame has spread." They invited him to do some of the reading publicly (Verse 16). They hand him Isaiah (Verse 17). If they handed him a scroll, he would have had to spend some time unrolling it to find exactly what he was looking for. This particular verse is very close to the end.

Isaiah 61, Verse 1, is what Jesus is reading. Notice, it's very specifically a prophecy of the Messiah. The word related to Messiah appears in the word "Anointed. " In Hebrew that's the word relating it to the Messiah. "The Spirit of the Lord (is) upon me." Notice, Luke has just said in Verse 1 of this Chapter that "Jesus was filled with the Spirit." Here the prophecy says (in Luke 4, Verse 18), "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.

Jesus is saying this in the congregation of the synagogue of his hometown. He's simply reading the Old Testament. If he read Scripture like he cited it spontaneously, like he healed with it, you can imagine you probably would have heard a pin drop in that synagogue. Add to that the fact that Jesus knew he was fulfilling every word of that prophecy in himself and in his own career. Think of the impact in that environment.

Here, then, is God's definition of the Messiah through prophecy:

Number one, the Messiah would do what? "Preach the gospel to the poor.”

Gospel doesn't just mean "good news," It means, in particular, news of victory.

What's the second one? "Heal the brokenhearted.”

The third, “Preach deliverance to the captives. "

The fourth, “Recovering of sight to the blind. "

The fifth, “To set at liberty them that are bruised.”

And finally, Verse 19, “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

Having said all those things, having defined the Messiah in the Bible, he closes the Book and he sits down (Verse 20). There is a long silence. Everyone is looking at him. He adds (in Verse 21), "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luke the Researcher, by B. Cobbey Crisler**

W’s PS#8 Cobbey Crisler on Revelation 22:14-17 (B20)
“Revelation is like a smorgasbord: it has everything, but it is not meant to be devoured all at once. Bite full by bite full, when we are ready, when we have digested our earlier courses, when we begin to chew upon the meat of scripture, because we are weaned from its milk, we will be nourished, and sustained, and understand why Jesus made his appointment with John on Patmos. What mystery remains in the Bible? Didn’t Amos assure us God has revealed His secret to His servants, the Prophets? Fulfillment of prophesy constitutes the validity of God’s Word – so the fulfillment of prophesy must come. This includes the Comforter, the Holy City, God’s Temple, everywhere God is. The river of Life whose waters sustain the trees which are for the healing of the nations, a vision coinciding with Ezekiel’s. Jesus, the Lamb, reminds us why he is transmitting these Apocalyptic pictures in the last chapter of his book, verse 16. (Rev 22:16) “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” The book is addressed to us in church. Did Jesus foresee that his church on earth would be assaulted in such obscure, obscene, and occult ways, that his Book of Revelation would be essential to its defense? Rev 22:17 invites us to a wedding in his church. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

The only acceptable R.S.V.P. to such an invitation is to be with one accord in one place. This is Luke’s description of church in the Book of Acts. When your thought and mine relate to God and to all His infinite creation, aren’t we wearing our wedding garment already? Isn’t it spiritual unity with Him and with our neighbor that keeps the commandments and fulfills this prerequisite of the remnant? Could there be any greater revelation than one uniting us to our God and to one another. Here, in the presence of the throne, we throw off our crowns of divisive opinions. We worship on our mental knees, not from self-appointed seats disputing who should be greatest. This meeting with our God takes place scripturally only in the temple’s Holy of Holies in heaven itself, where our high priest has entered before us and both Cherubim sit on the right and on the left hand of God. This is the Father’s house where Jesus assured us there are many mansions. Access has been won for us, but we also have had to earn our entry. For Rev 22:14 states, “They that do his commandments… have right to the tree of life.” Blessed are they that do his commandments—that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Accepting that divine invitation, we sit down at the feast which has been promised to us throughout the Bible – the Agape, the feast of Love in the now fully revealed tabernacle of God and His two witnesses. Are we members of that church? Are we even now a part of that remnant, keeping the commandments and imbued with the spirit of spiritual prophesy? If we can respond affirmatively to that, not one single picture of Tohu and Bohu, of chaos, crisis, curse, tragedy, tears, ruin, pain, decay, death, or parody can any longer impress itself on human consciousness and develop there. The mark of the beast is effaced – the seal of God is in our foreheads – our names are written in heaven where nothing tampers with the majesty that God bestows. In the beginning of the Bible, God said, “Let there be light.” The divine shutter snapped, and our nature was recorded in apocalyptic pictures. It may seem unendurably long for these pictures to develop in human consciousness, but He is our God, and we are His people, and that is the apple, the Apocalypse of gold in our pictures. – The End”
Apocalyptic Pictures: Prophecy and Parody, by B. Cobbey Crisler**


**You can buy your own transcripts [IN FULL!!] to most of Cobbey’s 28 inspiring Bible talks at a new website: www.crislerlibrary.co.uk Please email your order or inquiry to office@crislerlibrary.co.uk, or directly to Janet Crisler, at janetcrisler7@gmail.com]

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