OF TRIALS AND TROUBLES (4th part)

 

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“Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee” (Daniel 6:16). If you think people do not know who you serve you could be running into a big mistake. You better know the Lord whom you are serving. The truth here is that even when you are able to erect a façade of Christlike church goer, the Knower of all things, the Holy Spirit knows in whom He dwells. Amen! When the enemy tries to puncture your testimony, it is better that you have hoisting words of faith to share as in Daniel 6:20-22, “And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? V.21) Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. V.22) My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt”. The word ‘servest’ is the Chaldee pelach (pel-akh’): ‘to serve, worship, revere, minister for, pay reverence to’. It corresponds to the Hebraic palach (paw-lakh’) ‘to slice, that is, break open or pierce’. In worship you are spiritually broken opened, absolutely, to the object of worship. An utmost caution I will advisedly enjoin you take, is to make sure that you are actually bowing down to the Righteous One.

 

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As an Israelite prophet, Jonah, is conversant with Psalm 139:7-10 to ever think of “to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD”, Jonah 1:3. We are as guilty as Jonah today. Do we not dwell more on: ‘what I want’, ‘what I believe or know’, ‘what I’ve been made to understand’ etc. What about God’s desire, intention and express word, what about these? A rational man holds his doctrinal dogmas of the denominational stand, his deeply rooted religious beliefs or the philosophical orientation of his psyche. God told Jonah, “Go to Nineveh, a country I want to deliver from my fury”. Where did Jonah go? He journeyed farthest westwards to Tarshish, diametrically opposite to a geographically eastern Nineveh. Why? “They’re idolatrous. It’ll be difficult to bow them before Jehovah. They could invade Israel (Hosea 9:3; Hos 11:5; Hos 11:11; Amos 5:27). God, I just don’t like this nation of idolatry which I know You’ll pardon”. He concluded his thought, “Will it not be a waste of time?” Science debunks the habitation possibility of a living person inside a fish. The Bible teaches that God made it a possibility. I believe it (even if it was the vice versa)! Your disobedience may not, in the similitude of Jonah, afford you a second chance. Jonah came out from the fish with no recorded bruise. Nineveh was delivered because she repented. Just as Jonah did not witness the expected shame of Nineveh, so will the good Lord see you through all your trials and troubles.

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                                           “Peter, do you love me?”……… “Feed my sheep”.

It was the grace of God that redeemed Peter for a reinstatement of his apostleship. The guy is brash: like so many of us. Forward, characteristically, thinking he knew almost all. Knew not a twentieth of what is claimed. He was bold enough to use the sword. When Jesus was marched away the tough guy capitulated, completely! So, we truly need Jesus to surmount our trials, after all? John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing”. Peter reminded himself that Jesus is Lord – the Christ – so, he came back for he understood, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” [John 6:37]. Peter knew he had scaled through this trying and troublesome hurdle when the interview which began with, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” He was shaken some more till it was all over when the Lord of lords reinstalled him in his apostolic office with the authoritative, “Feed my sheep”, in John 21:17.

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Keep looking unto Jesus and you will be restored to the lost estate in the name of Jesus. Sometimes your trials are to test your faithfulness to Him, with whom we all have to do (Hebrew 4:13). When trials show up it is God’s way of vindicating us. It is at this same time Satan shoots troubles to effect a derailment. A thought of making more money cropped up in the mind of Judas Iscariot. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being or wanting to be rich. But when the trajectile process to the accumulation leads to an untoward conclusion, the son of Iscariot could not say no. Iscariot means: ‘a man of murder; a hireling’. At the time of trials do yourself a favour, take note of the troubling missiles hurled at your thinking faculty. That is where he (Satan -the enemy) is most potent. Iscariot is his father’s name which betoken his sinful origin.                            (…to be concluded…)

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OF TRIALS AND TROUBLES (3rd part)

 

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Moses, Miriam and Aaron

Negative pride is an unclean spirit. Aaron (means: lofty; mountain of strength) and his prophetess sister, Miriam (means: rebellion; bitterness) were garbed in the spirit of pride in their trials against their young sibling, Moses. They tasted shame from God who had made Moses their leader. Achan, (meaning: he that troubleth) why did you have to purloin that which your hands must be kept away from? Knowest thou not that thou troubleth thy own soul when thou stealeth? When you are walking with God be extra careful. The children of Israel walked side by side the LORD their God from Egypt through the wilderness and misbehaved several times by their thoughts, utterances and acts. About one million of about 2.4 million that left Egypt died in the wilderness, not seeing the Promised Land. As a Christian you are walking with God, be careful, therefore, for Satan, your adversary, is very jealous of your positional state.

It started with the spirit of presumptuousness in the trial of King Saul in his answer to the bleating of the domestic animals; and the failure opened the atrocious door of hatred against an anointed David. Saul failed in the trials woefully. When it came to the lust of the eyes and of the flesh and the heart David did not take his eyes off beautiful Bathsheba. The muscle between his legs i.e. his flesh forced its way into the woman, another man’s wife. David’s brutish heart was tried, it failed, asking for the murder of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, whose military patriotism to Israel should put King David to shame, to whom he owed an unreserved apology plus a very huge compensation. But David had in reserve something in his heart. He knew how to approach God in sincerity of the humbleness of heart. The contriteness of his apologetic heart was always from the genuineness of heart and never theatrical. This is why God Himself made the eureka testimony of Psalm 89:20, “I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him”. Be like David and be a winner.

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Satan knows our weak points and he works assiduously to achieve his nefarious goals even against our determined will. Solomon, the wisest of all men, failed. “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. v5) For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. v6) And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. v7) Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. v8) And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. v9) And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice”, [1Kings 11:4-9]. Solomon did the unthinkable. Let everyone manage his trials lest he gets into trouble.

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Elijah was tired got the troubles he faced; would you?

“…I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away”, Elijah whined in 1Kings 19:14. God’s answer in 1Kings 19:18, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him”, puts it clear that the prophet had not managed his troubles well enough. Daniel was not a Babylonian. He came to Babylon as a voiceless slave. His high office of a Prime Minister was a rarest privilege, prestigious and which placed him in high regard. When the trials of his faith came to badger him at every front, the Bible says, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime [Daniel 6:10]. Like his three contemporaries, who defied the threatening furnace of Nebuchadnezer, Daniel would rather offend a superbly world powered monarch but spiritually irascible than to break God’s law.

For every action we take, no matter how exalting of the Lord it is and of very pleasing to Him, as far as it is offensive to an authorized political power, there are consequences. We should be ready for the upshot of our decision, no matter how righteous the resolve is. I do not know which one is fiercer: the terrible furnace or the hungry, extremely brutish pride. (…to be continued…)

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OF TRIALS AND TROUBLES (2nd part)

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The troubled Job    

Abraham braced himself. He almost lost his wife, Sarah, and almost gave the patriarchal baton which belonged to Isaac to Ishmael. You can continue unwaveringly in faith in the word of God. For one hundred and twenty whole grueling years Noah did not stop preaching the same gospel of salvation, most often sounding like a broken record. I know it is hard to do but do not pay any attention to the accompanying troubles of the trials. Keep, in memory, the promises of His Word and let that propel you to victory. When trials descend on you you feel despondently all alone (and… trust me this kind of plight is capable of setting you up for a soliloquizing rant of raving lunacy). You wish the ground upon which you stand should just open up, swallow you up and just end the predicament!

Maybe Job meant to say much more than that, when Satan was allowed to attack him. The Book of Job chapter 3 verses 2 to 11 go thus:

2 And Job spake, and said,

3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.

4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.

5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

6 As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.

7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.

8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.

9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day:

10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

 

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Job faced horrendous trials, even from wife.

It is never funny when the whole world comes crashing down as experienced by Job. This man of faith said something written in gold of faith, which kept him till his day of sweet vindicatory victory. Knowing fully well Whom he had believed and served, he began, in Job 19:23-25, “23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!” Then came the golden addendum pronouncement of verse 25, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:”. We also have the glorious words of Job 23:10 “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold”. Before the trials he was the richest in the east (Job 1:3). When on trials, all his children he took care of died in one fell swoop! His wife, the mother of those children, left him and as if that was not enough, his very good friends of many decades taunted him in no small measure, to challenge his spiritual probity –gruesome if it should come from good friends! At the end of the trials, “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” so says the Bible in the Book of Job 42:12. This estate, compared to that of the first verses of Job chapter one, doubled. It, no doubt, made him the richest in the world!

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                                                  Jacob’s displeasure with Leah

Leah was looked down on by her younger sister cum marital rival and was hardly given any attention by Jacob. She was shattered! God made her happy and famous by giving her Judah through whom the incarnation of our Lord Jesus was made possible. With great fear of the unknown Jacob himself approached his uncouth twin. By the time he came face to face with his vindictive brother the LORD God had carried out operation “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD…” (Proverbs 21:1) on Esau. So has the LORD done for many and will do for you if you will exercise faith in Him, the Most High. Joseph could have enjoyed his luscious master’s wife carnally, which, no doubt, would have cost him the Prime Ministerial post of Egypt, the world’s first super power and the cradle of modern civilization. “I wanna win, I wanna win ‘cos there is so much to lose”, as the song taught by Rev. Chris Okotie goes. Joseph remembered what Jacob, his father had taught him back at home and confronted the huge trial before him with the words of Genesis 39:9, “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (The emphasis mine). Joseph dreaded sinning against God, and that is the bottom line!                    (…to be continued…)

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OF TRIALS AND TROUBLES (1st part)

 

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One is expected to be equanimous in times of trials troubles. Even if one has to use aggression in tackling the problem, it will be quite unwise to approach the task with muddleheadedness. Times of trials should also call for sober reflections.

One dangerous and stupid thing you must endeavour to drive far away from your mind is to blame the Lord God for the mishap. This will, most definitely, be one of the traps the enemy of your soul will lay in your paths so as to mess you up so ingloriously. God has given you everything mentally, spiritually and physically to be an overcomer, hence, longing to see you, at the other side of the trial, a victorious one and causing a broadening of His Divine smiles. So many things will gate crash your thinking faculty, each probably being of the promotions of the enemy, trying to gain the mastery of your mind. You will hear yourself say so many things, so uncomplimentary to the faith in the Jesus you profess. Amid the cacophonous ideas, always, is this still, reassuring words of scripture and it will take a heart of equanimity to fish out God’s word for appropriation. Amen.

eve              The very second Adam the Woman heard the slanderous words of Genesis 3:4-5, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”; she should have tied up the snake in several knots, binding it to that tree. The first Woman, tragically, in her reckless attachment to satanic cacophony chose the ruinous path for mankind.

Cain, no doubt, heard of the satiation of the glamorous comfort their parents luxuriated in just before the parturiency of him. “How can you give birth to me in this squalor enclosed dejection?!” He continued, “I’ll rather you never allowed my entrance into this”, spreading his wide arms around the abode he grew in. Cain had been listening, with an ominous rapt attention, to the evil one. He had taken a step further than his own mother, seen eye to eye with the evil ophidian spirit and had resolved to treat the God of his parents with disrespect. Cain failed; he disappointed himself in his refusal to obey God. An obedience to God’s stand would have opened the floodgate of the enablement to champion the cause of Jehovah in his own generation. This is what God, the good One, expects of every creature of His. Cain allowed his trial to trouble him because the one who had failed eternally continually seeks hellish companions and Cain foolishly accepted to be his ally.

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  Drunken father Noah and his children

     “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren” Genesis 9:25. Noah did not think thrice to curse his grandchild. He did not ask himself why he licensed himself to stupor with the redness of the grape. The act brought his two other sons stepping backwards toward the covering of a drunken Noah. Israel and Europe respectively represented by Shem and Japheth by the backward trek are in a backslidden state, today, spiritually. If you love to hit the bottle very hard that is where your trial springs from. You cannot be spending every evening with your dear liqueur drinking friends. Do not replicate father Noah’s error. Noah should have sensed the power of the sting of the delicious red juice and its tempting propensity. He failed. Must you fail as well? My passionate plea is, “Don’t!”

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Granted that Lamech dwelt in Cain’s city of sinfulness. It is clear that he acknowledged the supremacy of God’s judgment in his famous Genesis 4:24 acquiesce of, “If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold”. Lamech had an opportunity to do a volte-face but chose to replicate the evil works of his progenitor. When we fail in any trial, God expects us to come to Him in a supplicatory mood with a solemn view of correcting the spiritual imbalance. But for the grace of God, Adam should have just perished. Check the scriptural account of the original sin, he did not, for once, ask God to forgive him. God, out of His sovereignty, chose to garb Adam and his wife with the raiment of righteousness which gave them the gracious second chance. Satan sees the trial as an occasion to welcome us into his hellish abode. Be smart, wash your sin-stained hands at the feet of Jesus. No one loves you more, can ever love you more or is capable of turning your trials into sweet choruses like Jesus. Only Jesus can save! (…to be continued…)

ALMIGHTY (ii)

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                      The many breasted Diana: of fertility idolatry.

The goddess Diana in Ephesus is sculptured with many breasts in duplication of the Biblical El Shadday. This goddess dates back to Babel as Semiramis, the moon goddess and wife of Nimrod (the sun god). Idolatry has duplicated this goddess from one religion to another as Artemis (Roman), Ashtoreth (Hebrew), Astarte (Phoenician) and Isis (Egypt). A profanity of the truth. The business of Satanic doing. Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic Virgin Mary is unbelievably the same entity; the one Catholicism presents to the adherents as ‘queen of the saints, queen of the angels, mother of God (or god), queen of the world’. It is the same goddess Prophet Jeremiah calls the queen of heaven in: Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17, 44:18, 44:19 & 44:25. Let all who have ear pay good attention to the truth. Amen.

Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”. The power that comes readily to mind, of the Highest, is that of the Almighty. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” [Romans 8:11]. The Holy Spirit wields this power too. The word ‘overshadow’ in Luke is episkiazō (ep-ee-skee-ad’-zo): ‘to cast a shade upon, that is, (by analogy) to envelop in a haze of brilliancy; figuratively to invest with preternatural influence’. Who else but God that can invest in anyone with the influence of preternaturalism? The Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ and the Father are the only three in the entire scriptures who are called Almighty.

The Almighty who appeared to Abraham in Genesis 17 is the same who says in Matthew 28:18, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”. One’s spirit is not different from oneself. The Holy Spirit, being the Spirit Jesus (Galatians 4:6; Philippians 1:19) and of the Father (Matthew 10:20 1Corinthians 2:11) is hence the same Almighty God (Revelation 4:5; John 4:23-24).

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The Almighty is in firm control of the universe: fret not!

One of the THREE is the visibleness of the representation of the unseen Jehovah. Have you ever asked yourself who did appear to Adam and his wife in the Eden Garden, since we have the scriptural understanding that God is invisible to our eyes? The LORD God of Genesis chapter 3 is the same Jehovah of Genesis 18 and of Revelation 21:22. The same One made an unbelievable declaration in the midst of Jews, in Matthew 12:8, “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day”. This same Personage, the manifestation of the unseen God, was on the island of Patmos where He paid an unexpected visit to meet the one whom he loved when He traversed the land of Israel for three and a half years as an itinerant Preacher (Revelation 1) saying of Himself, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” [Revelation 1:8].

I have, here, Almighty or shadday as defined by two dictionaries here. (1) Easton Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Shaddai: the Omnipotent, the name of God in frequent use in the Hebrew Scriptures, generally translated “the Almighty.” (2) Fausset’s Bible Dictionary Shaddai: (“ALMIGHTY”) Gesenius derives from shad, shaadad, “to be strong.” [Isaiah 13:6] plays on similar sounds, “destruction from the Almighty,” shod (“devastating tempest”) from Shadday. Rashi and the Talmud (Chagiga, 12, section 1) from sh “He who is,” and day “all sufficient”.

And this is all I am trying to tell somebody who Jesus truly is! Amen!

If the solution of the problematic issue has to do with Jehovah God then fret not. Cool down. It is all well. HE can and will do all that is necessary to make it happen. Creationism came into being a la ex nihilo. Why, have you ever asked yourself, would He create the Sabbath as the last of days? It was to prove that He had already basked in the euphoria of eternal accomplishment! Who is the Lord of the Sabbath? Selah! (concluded)

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ALMIGHTY (i)

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 Abraham believed in the Almighty

The adjective ‘Almighty’ is used fifty-eight times in the Bible, every one of which is written with a capital ‘A’. Forty-nine times in the Old Testament and nine times it comes in the New Testament. Not once is it used of a man. It is what the Hebrews call shadday (shad-dah’-ee): BDB Definition: ‘most powerful, Shaddai, the Almighty (of God)’; and in the New Testament, it is pantokratōr (pan-tok-rat’-ore) Thayer Definition: ‘he who holds sway over all things; the ruler of all; God’. Strong’s Definition: ‘the all ruling, that is, God (as absolute and universal sovereign)’. Rev. Chris Okotie explains pantokratōr thus, “Target any distance in your wildest dreams and pantokratōr surpasses it far, by far. Think of atomic and hydrogen bombs together with the most devastating ballistic missiles and they will not come close to pantokratōr in strength”.

Hear Job in Job 11:7, “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” The word ‘searching’ is cheqer (khay’-ker) ‘examination, enumeration, deliberation’. Matsa’ (maw-tsaw’), which means: 1. (properly) to come forth to, i.e. appear or exist 2. transitively, to attain, i.e. find or acquire 3. (figuratively) to occur, meet or be present’, is the phrase, ‘find out’. The noun ‘God’ is Eloahh, the singular for Elohiym. Almighty is El Shadday, and ‘perfection’? It is the Hebrew takliyth (tak-leeth’) ‘1. Completion 2. (by implication) an extremity’.Takliyth is a noun female, and do you know what that implies? A worshipper is spiritually a woman or wife to the Deity, which is the reason why the Church is God’s perfect woman.

Exegetically, Job 11:7 teaches that there is no extent of worship or study of God (whether by scientific calculations or any religious affiliations) capable of taking you to a complete knowledge of the pantokratō. Remember what Jesus pointed out in Matthew 11:27, All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him]. Only an Almighty canst find out the Almighty.

   It is used the first time in Genesis 17:1, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect”. ‘Almighty God’ in Hebrew is El Shadday, ‘all sufficiency God’, which gives a picture of a One with so many breasts, according to Hebraic understanding, hence, ‘the many breasted One’. Will God the Father appear to any mortal man? Joel 1:15, “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come”; is the last time of its Old Testament use. In the Book of 2Corinthians 6:18, “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty”; is the first New Testamentary use. Interestingly, the Revelation 1:8 use, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”, is attributed to Jesus! The last time ‘Almighty’ comes out in the Bible is in Revelation 21:22, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it”. This speaks volumes of revelatory insight.

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Abraham in worship of El Shadday

Why will one hear of a voice he has no knowledge of and obey it. I believe one of the chief reasons why Abram would believe God when He told him to go away from his nativity was simply because Noah’s repetitive instructions and the saintly stand of Shem were passed down to him. The seed of obedience which Noah planted in his boys was fruitful. It made it very easy for them to agree with their father whom they supported all through a hundred and twenty years’ of evangelism and never did they feel crestfallen in the construction of the first ever gargantuan structure of an ark. The God who kept them safe while the whole world perished is the Almighty, a title that will not be a toga of appropriacy on any other. Some other child caught the revelation of an all-powerful and when he apprehended it too, Abram believed. (…to be concluded…) read the 2nd part here