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#SASAREV – Introduction to the Book of Revelation

The book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John while in exile on the Island of Patmos, just off modern-day Turkey. The book was addressed as epistles to seven actual churches in Asia Minor (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea). It contained commendations, exhortations, and reproofs to the churches. The Apostle saw a vision of Jesus Christ in all his glory. Jesus identifies himself as the ‘Alpha and Omega, the first and the last’ and then goes on to instruct John to write down the things that he sees.

Revelation can be broken down into two major divisions. The first of which is ‘the things which are’. This is in reference to the message to the 7 churches. There were more than seven churches in Asia as at that time – two of such churches are Magnesia and Tralles. The letters to the seven churches are therefore not meant for those churches alone but they are a message from the Lord Jesus Christ himself to the universal church – everywhere and of all times.

“so it is implied that John, through the medium of the seven churches, addresses in the Spirit the Church of all places and ages.”

The second division of the book is ‘the things which are yet to come’. This refers to the prophetic essence of the book where we read a series of visions and messages the Apostle received that foretell the future of the church, the return of the Lord and the end of time.

‘Three schools of interpreters exist:

(1) The Preterists, who hold that almost the whole has been fulfilled

(2) The Historical Interpreters, who hold that it comprises the history of the Church from John’s time to the end of the world, the seals being chronologically succeeded, by the trumpets and the trumpets by the vials

(3) The Futurists, who consider almost the whole as yet future, and to be fulfilled immediately before Christ’s second coming’

Above are the three major schools of interpreters of the book of Revelation. The Preterists’ view can be regarded as not consistent with many verses in the book because we are told of things that are yet to occur in the church and in the world at large. The Futurists view also contradicts John’s message to the seven churches as he was addressing current issues amongst those seven churches. Therefore, by the two divisions of the book (‘things which are’ and ‘things which are yet to come’), it is safe for one to interpret the book as the Historical interpreters do.

Revelation is known to be steep in imagery, prophetic language and recordings of supernatural occurrences. Due to this, many find it difficult to read and understand what is contained in this powerful book. You can tell it is a very special book because it begins with a blessing for all who read it aloud, hear it being read and obey it (Rev 1:3) and ends with a caveat for anyone who would either add or subtract anything from the book (Rev 22:18-19). As we embark on this journey, let us all remember to be prayerful and ask for the leading of the spirit of God during this period. Jesus said of him (The Spirit) that he will teach us all things. ‘All things’ includes the book of Revelation.

References:

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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#SASAtbrp – The Letter to the Romans

IMG-20170814-WA0018The book of Romans is one of two of Paul’s longest letters. It has sixteen chapters.It is a letter that was written to the Jews and Gentiles of Rome (who had conflicting opinions on certain practices which led to derision from those who did not subscribe to the practices and insistence on adherence on the side of those who did).
In this letter, Paul explains to the Roman CHRISTIANS that the good news is necessary due to man’s sinful nature (which cannot be helped by man’s actions in any way). He explains that God has himself provided a way through which man’s sinful canker can be cured, a way to be made right – Christ’s sacrifice. This is the good news.

IMG-20170814-WA0013.jpgNow man’s means to access this way out of sin is faith. Faith which was accounted to some as righteousness. Faith. Not practices like circumcision, observance of special days and abstinence from some foods…just faith, in the finished work of Christ. Faith. Not other practices that in this present day may be of importance to us by reason of our culture. Just plain simple faith. Whatever we choose to do as Christians, whatever we believe is right, should never be a source of contention between us and other Christians. Instead, we should do whatever we do in faith, and to God’s glory, for God’s honor – in life and in death. Before we allow any issue or practice to become a source of debate between us and our brethren in the faith, let us ask ourselves if that practice will in any way bring honor to God.

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This good news, which we can “buy into” by faith, not only rescues us from sin, it transforms our very persons. The good news makes us into new people, if we will let it. Paul also talks on virtues like love for people (not things) and hatred for wrongdoing (not the wrongdoers) patience and hardwork (which are not exactly associated with a disconcerting number of people who identify as Christians in present times). He also talks about blessing one’s persecutors, rejoicing with the happy and weeping with the doleful, harmonious living and humility, (because no matter who we think we are, we really aren’t all that!) forgiveness and compassion (leading to action) towards all, even our enemies. We are to CONQUER EVIL WITH GOOD!

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One issue that stands out in Paul’s letter is the attitude of Christian brethren towards one another, especially those considered weak. It’s so common to see messages of self love lately, which is in itself not a bad thing. But when the things we feel we have a right to do (by virtue of our freedom in Christ) will affect another, we must be mindful. We do not live only to please ourselves. We are important to ourselves and to God, but we’re not God’s only creation, and he needs us to conduct ourselves in a way that does not affect the faith of another person, even if it means delaying or entirely denying ourselves of some “pleasure”.

Self love is important, but even more important is love for God which translates into love for our fellow human beings

#SASAtbrp

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The Bible Reading Project

Check out highlight quotations from the SASA Bible Reading Project so far. Hope you enjoy them

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Don’t forget to leave your comments, questions and contributions. We love to hear from you

#SASAtbrp
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THE BIBLE READING PROJECT

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From the 1st of August, 2017, SASA is reading the 13 letters that the Apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament. This Bible Reading Project was put together to help members grow in the word and also be established in sound Doctrine.
We are excited that people who are not members of SASA have expressed serious interest in the project and are participating with a high level of enthusiasm.
God bless you all

The Bible Reading Project started with the Book of Colossians.

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Colossians  is one of the letters Paul wrote from prison. This epistle was written to the church in Colossae. It deals with major themes such as: false teachers, strict rules about eating, drinking, religious festivals and the worship of angels, etc. Paul also highlights Jesus; His deity and the sovereignty of His power. The book is believed to have been written about 60 years ago

Here are some key lessons from Colossians:

 

  • We share in God’s glory because Christ lives in us (Col 2:9)
  • Pursue Christ, you’ll learn to live like him
  • Follow rules to the letter, you might end up losing touch with him
  • Don’t follow shadows when the substance stands right before you
  • Context / Culture should be considered. Ignore traditions, focus on Christ
  • The old self is dead but you must intentionally put to death sinful and earthly things
  • We’re chosen for a new life, we MUST wear love and every other garment designed by God for the new man (Col 3:12-14)

 

 

We look forward to hearing from you and  the many lessons you have learnt from Colossians. Do comment on this post with your questions and comments on the book of the Colossians. Alternatively, you can use the hashtag #SASAtbrp for the same purpose and we assure someone will respond to your questions as soon as possible.
Keep reading till we are done with all 13.

God bless you

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SASA Speakers! Eli

SASA is a confluence of creative writers that are passionate for God and for spreading His word.

As individuals, they are celebrated speakers, writers, singers and designers and their work testify how good they are.

Today we choose to celebrate one of our renowned writers Eli Sabblah!

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Eli is one of the pioneer poets of SASA. His great oratorical skills coupled with his deep insight in the word of God, makes his pieces a delight to listen. Read his articles and definitely, one or two of your biblical questions will be answered.

Eli has been with SASA since her inception and today is a renowned poet and director for the group. He has also featured in poetry programmes for different art groups.

Take some time to check out his blog Eli Sabblah and you will be blessed.

Eli Sabblah! We doff a hat!

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I SPEAK

Khalid

I speak to the patient who intends to take his last breath.
And I speak to those who think theyve exhausted their last help.
I speak to the baker who just baked her last bread.
As she prepares to sell to the man on the street who just has his last cent.

I speak to the preacher who just decided to preach his last sermon.
All because his congregation rejects church services in search of mammon.
I speak to that unemployed graduate who has written his last application letter.
And to that worker who for a genuine reason has penned down his resignation letter.

For just as the Shunamite widow told Elijah of her last meal.
And on your sick bed you think you have just taken your last pill.
The end of a thing always signifies the birth of another.
And the death of a grain of wheat signifies wealth of the farmer.

And in all these things I say rejoice when you are at life’s wit end.
And you don’t have to always have all the answers to life’s questions.
Because it is in ‘this’ weakness HIS strength is made perfect.
For its only at your WEAKEND that you experience HIS rest from your labours.

(Frank Khalid Limann. The Last Poet. Friday 19th February 2016. 9:00 pm carultrix@yahoo.co.uk)

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TIME AND CHANCE

At the end of every year, we reconcile what we were able to achieve, what we weren’t able to, what were the challenges, and map out new strategies to meet our goals. We resolve to be this, to be that, to do this and to do that. Do we change? Consider the question rhetorical.

I have come to a point in life where resolutions are made per moment, and per day. If you are someone, who does reconciliations regularly, your resolutions are more regular and you don’t need to wait to the end of the year.

I have come to realise that one problem we humans face is DOING. We envision, we plan, but execution becomes a big problem. During execution, we face challenges, and instead of working to surmount them, we rather make them excuses for our failures. A lot of young men and women are roaming the streets of Accra, without any meaningful jobs. Why? They did not put much into their education. They all have dreams of what they want to be. But they did not DO what they had to do.  Some are graduates but unemployed.  But I think if they can go the extra mile, their knowledge and skills will not be only used to look for jobs.
The question then arises: How far are we willing go? How much are we willing to invest in our visions to see them come to fruition? Any process worth going through, will first be difficult, and then later become easy. I have learnt a lesson that if we do not think about now and do something now, later may present another now that we may not be able to cope with.

My new resolution: To attach myself to Jesus, who knows the future and can orchestrate it to suit his plans for me. What am I supposed to do? To DO. Do what I am supposed to do as soon as I have the time to do.

Time and energy are the resources we cannot always have in abundance. When we use up lots of energy within a short time, the time left will not be used by energy, rather we rest to gain some energy for the rest of the journey. So when there is time and there is energy, don’t waste them. As the Bible says, the race is not for the swift nor the battle for the strong. Time and chance happens to them all. For every time, there is a chance to do something. It may not be what you wanted to do at that time, but there chance is there. Make good use of every time and every chance. They do not exist for long.

Time and chance: That’s all we have.

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Happy Birthday Khalid

Khalid

This is Khalid, a great poet and programmer.  He has thrilled so many with  his poems and rap songs. He goes by the name THE LAST POET (whatever that means)
Today is his day, so let’s celebrate  with him

For  more on Khalid, visit his Facebook page KHALID LIMANN

!!!!!!!!!!***HAPPY BIRTHDAY KHALID***!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Khalid1

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THE FINAL SEPARATION

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A farmer walks into his garden to find weeds growing in there. The first thing that comes into mind is to weed around his garden. You see water with some strange particles in it, first thing that comes to your mind, is to filter the water, or throw it away and get a fresher one. You realize, some of your clothes are dirty, you place the dirty clothes in one basket and place the neat ones in the wardrobe, or in your bag. No matter where we are, the industry, the situation or the way of living, there’s always separation of good from bad. Separate the bad shoes, bad locks, bad buckets, rotten foodstuff, etc. There is always a separation. It’s in our genes, our total make up.

Why?

We were made in the image and likeness of a God who started creation(as far as I know) with separation. God made a beautiful earth, Satan came to defile it. Or more like man allowed himself to be dirtied by the devil’s elixir filled with deception. Now the once beautiful earth is stained and God has to purify it. He did so with the blood of His son Jesus. And like dirty clothes, all those who wished to be washed will be washed. One day, God will restore the earth to its once clean state. All the “weeds”, “the dirt” and the “filth” shall be done with.
Where best to deal with dirt than in fire? This dirt is not recyclable. It cannot be used for biogas. The only positive thing is that this dirt can be cleaned up, else will end up being burnt. We see rubbish burnt almost every day. So why are we surprised that one day God will burn all the rubbish in the earth? Sin and everything and everyone ruled by sin will be burnt.
And you think God is excited to burn His precious creation? No He’s not!! It’s like walking along the street when the wind mistakenly blows your handkerchief away. Out of love, you chase the handkerchief hoping to catch it. But it ends up in a nasty gutter. You just have to leave it. When man decides to continue to live in sin, on that day, God will just have to leave you in the fire.
Jesus is coming for those who are His. Not those who have lived perfectly and are “SAINTS!!” But those who know they cannot live the “perfect life” and therefore have given their life to the “Perfect man” who paid the “Ultimate price” to redeem us. Christianity is not man looking for God, living to show God we can live as He wants us to. Christianity is God coming to man to reconcile man unto Himself. We trust our lives into the hands of God knowing He can lead us to fulfill the destinies that He Himself set for us.
The end of the earth is near; that final day, when the earth will finally be purified. We all ask, when will good evade the earth, when will pain, sorrow, famine, wars, drought, disease outbreaks, when will they end? Well, the end is coming. Just that those who are not in Christ will not live to tell the story. After the final wash out, I want to be a neat beautiful clothe, one of the Creator’s finest, which He will place in a glorious place. Where will do you want to be? Give your life to Jesus. He is the only way.

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I never walk alone

Acts Chapter 1

Oliver Shares

 

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He came on earth and dwelt among flesh

Living with those His hands had made

He stooped so low as a servant

So all could get access to the light of heaven

He formed a formidable team

So that that lost soul, no matter how far, can be redeemed

In Jesus the disciples found a brother, a friend and a shepherd

How insecure and saddened they were when Jesus was declared dead

But on the third day He rose again

And He took away the disciples’ pain

Soon He had to go back to heaven

I can imagine how the countenance of the disciples had fallen

But He said He will bring us a comforter

When He comes upon us we shall receive power

And be Jesus’ witnesses from where we are and yonder

 

He never left us

He is right here with us

He is upon us…

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