Salvation – BT9

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Christian creeds as confession of faith

 

 

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The Early Christian Church – A History of Its First Five Centuries by J.G. Davies, p. 56 says:  The need for some kind of doctrinal summary, comprising the essential content of belief or the real center of the gospel must have been present from the first days of the Church. But although the early Christians may be said to have shared a common faiththey had NO single formulary or creed, in the sense of an official and textually determined statement. Nevertheless, there are in the New Testament indications that there was a recurring pattern of belief in quasi-creedal affirmations, liturgical tags, or catch-phrases . . . the confession of Christ being the essential element of their faith. . . It was in conflict with paganism that belief in God (and thus Christ) required to be expressed, hence the emergence of a bipartite and sometimes triadic formulae.”  For example:  “Hold-to the traditions which you were taught” (a), “obedient from the heart to the form of teaching wherefore you were delivered” (b).  These “traditions” or “form” was likely:  “Jesus is kurios Lord” (c) or “Jesus is the Christ” (d) and “begotten of God (e) because “Jesus is the Son of God” (f) or “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (g).  Longer formulas may have included:  “Christ Jesus, that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (h); “To us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him” (i); “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all” (j).  <Notes> a) 2 Thessalonians 2:5, b) Romans 6:17, c) Kurios meaning Supreme Master: 1 Corinthians 12:3, d) Christos meant Anointed One, the Messiah: 1 John 2:22, e) 1 John 5:1, f) 1 John 4:15, 5:5, g) John 20:31, h) Romans 8:34, i) 1 Corinthians 8:6, j) 2 Corinthians 13:14.

 

See Wikipedia’ List of Christian Creeds:

 

180 AD Original “Rule of Faith” as Irenaeus knew it:

…this faith: in one God, the Father Almighty, who made the heaven and the earth and the seas and all the things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who made known through the prophets the plan of salvation, and the coming, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his future appearing from heaven in the glory of the Father to sum up all things and to raise anew all flesh of the whole human race…

 

180 AD. Old Roman Creed based on the original “Rule of Faith” becoming an early form of the Apostles’ Creed:

I believe in God the Father almighty; and in Christ Jesus His only Son, our Lord, Who was born from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, Who under Pontius Pilate was crucified and buried, on the third day rose again from the dead, ascended to heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, whence He will come to judge the living and the dead; and in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church, the remission of sins, the resurrection of the flesh the life everlasting.

 

120-250 AD. Apostle’s Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

325 AD. Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten (or only-begotten) of the Father, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost.

 

381 AD First Council of Constantinople revised and expanded the Nicene Creed, now the most widely accepted creed:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, down-from/according-to the scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end.  And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

Reflection:

 

 

As Christian musicians, do we want to just perpetuate “traditions of men” without knowing their original and the reason they came into being?  It’s important to note J. G. Davies above “the early Christians may be said to have shared a common faith, they had NO single formulary or creed, in the sense of an official and textually determined statement.”  Note also that that these formulas or creeds didn’t come into the Church until 180 AD and from that point they get longer and more theologically complicated and exclusive.

 

If you read Church history, the writings of the Fathers, and other Christian writings, you will see that the early stages of the Catholic Church formed exactly because the Church was falling away from trusting-relying-faith in the Holy Spirit and it’s supernatural grace-gifts and signs & wonders to keep the Church pure and devoted to Christ, free from doctrinal errors from the surrounding world religions and philosophies.  As they had less and less of God’s “by My Spiritenabling-power and control, they sought to make up for it by exercising more and more of their own Zechariah 4:6 “might and power” authoritarian control and so they created the 1-bishop rule, dogma, apologetics, creeds, and theology so that they could classify people into “us versus them” categories – this is the basis of judgment, the opposite of Unconditional-Love – see Unconditional-Love – BT16.  This naturally resulted in the great evil of Catholic Church persecution of those that differed from the leadership.

 

A lot of people lost their faith after carefully studying Church history, because the flesh of religious people can be far uglier than the world’s!  I was quite shaken also, but I could see the reason they ‘slid down the slippery slope into the gutter’ was because of The Great Wall that quenched the Holy Spirit – they borrowed from the Old Testament and they borrowed from the world!  Shame, shame, shame!  Let’s not make the same mistake!  Let’s go back until back to 2 Corinthians 1:12 “we behaved in the world with simplicity and/coupled godly sincerity, not by human wisdom but by the unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace of God” and so it won’t be said of us like 2 Corinthians 11:13 “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and/coupled pure devotion to Christ.”

 

The very scribes and Pharisees that Jesus argued with, the so-called “wise and understanding ones,” these same types of religious people took the Church over from the “little children and other ‘least among you’ that the kingdom belongs to.”  By making it so complicated, they showed partiality and favoritism, the exact opposite of God’s nature!  Christianity didn’t need any of the junk the Catholic Church added to gain control.  All the Church needed was to stay meno connected-to Christ by staying surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit to “produce MUCH fruit to the glory of the Father.”  But once you disconnect, you really “can’t do anything.”  Religious people can’t accept defeat because they are too proud, so even with poor results, they double and triple-down.  And that’s what made Church history a disaster!  We can learn from their mistakes.  That’s why so much revival and this website is going back to the simplicity of total surrender to the Holy Spirit to DO IT ALL.  All glory goes to the Spirit’s results!

 

Prayer:

 

 

Thank You Father for helping us learn from the mistakes of the Church in history.  Keep us from perpetuating so many false “traditions of men” in the modern Church. We don’t need to be history majors to do this – just tell us when these things are NOT from You but mere men, often men who have slipped away from hearing Your Voice by the Holy Spirit, men who then fall into the desires of the flesh for pride, money, and control.  Lord, we surrender all of us to You.  Thank You for making our Christian walk by the Spirit so simple that even little children and the other least among us see, enter, and get the secrets of the kingdom long before the so-called “wise and understanding ones.”  Praise Your name!

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT8

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Born again from above by the Holy Spirit

 

 

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John 3:3-7 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that if in possibility anyone is gennao begotten/come-into-being again from above (a), he absolutely in fact is NOT dunamis powerfully-enabled to eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know the kingdom of God . . . [Nicodemus misunderstands Jesus, so Jesus clarifies] . . . Truly, truly, I say to you, if in possibility anyone is gennao begotten/come-into-being of [singular] water (b) kai and/coupled [singular] Spirit, [he/she] absolutely in fact is NOT dunamis powerfully-enabled to enter-into-for-an-important-purpose (c) eis into the kingdom of God.  That which having been gennao begotten/come-into-being of the [singular] flesh [singular] flesh (d) presently/ongoing IS-defined-as/exists-as and/coupled that which having been gennao begotten/come-into-being of the [singular] Spirit [singular] Spirit (e) presently/ongoing IS-defined-as/exists-as.  Marvel in possibility not that I already said to [singular] you (Nicodemus), it is necessary for you-all to be presently/ongoingly be begotten/come-into-being again from above (a).”

 

<Notes> a) anothenfrom above or a higher place; from the beginning/first on; over again to indicate repetition – see discussion below, b) this may be a reference to the breaking of the amniotic water during human birth – note ‘d’, though others think it refers to water-baptism, especially since it is integrally coupled by kai to the Spirit and not flesh. Jesus routinely links ‘like things’ using kai like “Spirit kai and/coupled zoe genuine-life” in John 6:63.  The Spirit is given during water-baptism.  Since Nicodemus misunderstood Jesus to think Jesus was speaking of physical birth again, it is highly unlikely that Jesus would continue to send Nicodemus down the physical-birth path with a reference to ‘amniotic fluid’ even though it’s true we need a Spirit-kind-of birth in addition to the flesh-birth.  However, again Jesus didn’t use a contrasting conjunction but the kai coupling conjunction as He does throughout His conversation to link ‘like things.’  There is a host of verses that link water to Spirit-kind-of birth, regeneration, and salvation – see Water-Baptism. c) the prefix eis used here to intensify ‘enter’, d) the human birth process – see Identity, where the construction emphasizes that the product is the same nature as the originator:  flesh origin produces flesh, just as “a tree is known by its fruit” – grapefruit trees produce grapefruits, e) pneuma with the definite article is always a reference to the Holy Spirit, but the second use is without the article, just as with flesh.  Translators should not assume that this means the human spirit because it is also [singular] pneuma, John wrote it the same way regarding the flesh, and it’s a common way to not repeat the definite article but still mean the same thing.  A Spirit-kind-of ‘tree’ produces Spirit-kind-of fruit, so it is inconsistent here to think of human spirits being given life by the breath of the Spirit to make them a living being.  This breaks the parallel analogy of a singular human female giving birth to a singular child versus a singular female Spirit [the Hebrew is feminine] giving birth to a singular child.  Just as Jesus is of the same nature as the Father, children of the Spirit are of the same nature as the Spirit.  This is an argument in all of John’s writings.

 

“Born again” or “born from above,” which is it?  Here’s some translator notes from the Net Bible

 

The Greek word anothen has a double meaning, either “again” (in which case it is synonymous with palin) or “from above.”  This is a favorite technique of the author of this Gospel, and it is lost in almost all English translations – see Bible Info on this common problem in many English translations. John uses anothen 5 times (John 3:3, 7; 3:31; 19:11, 23). In the latter 3 cases the context makes clear that it means “from above.” Here, however, (John 3:3, 7) it could mean either, but the primary meaning intended by Jesus is “from above.” Nicodemus apparently understood it the other way, which explains his reply, “How can a man be born when he is old?  He can’t enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” Jesus uses the technique of the “misunderstood question” often to bring out a particularly important point:  Jesus says something which is misunderstood by the disciples (or, as here, a Pharisee), which then gives Jesus the opportunity to explain more fully and in more detail what He really meant.

 

Eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know the kingdom” means what?  Jesus uses it in parallel with “to enter-into-for-an-important-purpose eis into the kingdom.”  I don’t think there is any coincidence that prophetic eido vision is actually the distinctive WAY NOW in the completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW Covenant that God’s children will NOW yada/ginosko know Him, absolutely no longer by the dissemination of gramma writings about Him through human teachers per Jeremiah 31:34.  Here’s some translator notes from the Net Bible:

 

 John uses the word basileia kingdom only 5 times (a). Only here is it qualified with the phrase “of God.” The fact that John does not stress the concept of the kingdom of God does not mean it is absent from his theology, however.  Remember the Messianic implications found in John Chapter 2, both during the wedding and miracle Jesus did at Cana and the cleansing of the temple. For Nicodemus, the term must surely have brought to mind the Messianic kingdom that the Messiah was supposed to bring. But Nicodemus had missed precisely this point about who Jesus was. It was the Messiah himself with whom Nicodemus was speaking. Whatever Nicodemus understood, it is clear that the point is this:  He misunderstood Jesus’ words. He over-literalized them, and thought Jesus was talking about repeated physical birth (b), when he was in fact referring to a completely-different-in-kind, superior kainos “NEW creation” (c) birth from the Spirit above. <Notes> a) John 3:3, 5; 18:36 [3x], b) being physically born again, c) 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15.

 

Let’s look at some other references to being “born again from above.”

 

1 Peter 1:3-4 says: “Praised (a) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (b)!  By His boundless mercy we having already ana+gennao begotten/come-into-being again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you.”  Can you see that it’s not wrong to think of being “born again” as some translators balk at in John 3:3-7 above where it looks like Jesus’ use of anothen could have indeed forced the conversation to be instead about being “born from above.”  Both ideas are quite accurate! <Notes> a) honored, blessed, b) the Messiah.

 

1 Peter 1:23 says:  “You already having been [with ongoing results] ana+gennao begotten/come-into-being again, absolutely in fact not out-from phthartos corruptible-perishable-from-decay [singular] spora sowing-seed, but instead aphthartos of/belonging-to-incorruptible-imperishable-from-decay (a) [singular sperma seed] that is through-the-realizing-channel-of the aphthartos [singular] Logos [that is] routinely zao genuinely-living of/belonging-to (b) God and/coupled routinely meno abiding/remaining-connected-to.”

 

This explains Christ’s words in John 3:6 above aboutflesh originates flesh products’ and ‘Spirit originates Spirit products’ for in the natural flesh realm, plants create spora seed-spores to that grow into ‘like-kind’ plants.  Similarly, The Sperma Seed of the Father that brought-into-being His only brought-into-being Son per Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5, 5 citing the Psalms 2:7 prophecy of the Messiah when The Grace and The Truth also came-into-being through-the-realizing-channel-of Jesus Christ per John 1:17, well the same singular Sperma Seed also brings-into-being ‘like-kind’ children, who are like the Son who is like the Father, and He does this by the means of their Holy Spirit, being ONE with the Father and Son, This singular Sperma Seed being put inside us AS the Holy Spirit when we become completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW creations when we are resurrected with Christ during our water-baptism.  Thus Spirit begets ‘like-kind’ Spirit beings.  Human flesh beings have a human spirit by the breath of life given them by the Spirit, but they are NOT ‘like-kind” to the Spirit because of the un-holiness of sin.  That’s why many translations are incorrect to say:  “Spirit begets spirit.”  The argument is for a completely-different-in-kind NEW creation “from above!”

 

<Notes> a) aphthartos in the genitive case of possession.  “[Singular sperma seed]” is inserted into the text for the sake of contrasting arguments because of the opposite use of phthartos, which then points to the [singular] Logos that we know refers to Jesus, not bible or any other thing as if another natural spora seed, but instead a Father’s “sperma Seed that is the one person who is Christ” per Galatians 3:16, 19.  And when the Christ as the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in a person to make them a Christian, “God’s sperma See meno abides/remains-connected-to IN them” per 1 John 3:9.  In the NT, the Logos is no longer gramma writings made by and collected by men into a bible, but the person of Jesus and His preached message of God about Himself per John 1:1-4 and 1 John 1:1-3 – see Logos Word of God, b) because of the genitive of possession, the Logos in mind is not a thing, like a bible, outside of God but of His own nature.  Thus Jesus is always genuinely-living and/coupled always connected to God.  Jesus is ONE with God.  Jesus stresses this meno connection to Him, the Vine, if we every want to have the genuine-life of Christ, of God, flowing into us to produce any fruit at all – see John 15:4-5, 16.

 

1 John 5:1 says “EVERYONE who is routinely trusting-relying-faith that Jesus is the Christ (a), ek out-from God has already been [with ongoing results] (b) gennao begotten/come-into-being kai and/coupled EVERYONE routinely unconditionally-loving the [singular] having-already-in-the-past [singular] gennao begotten/come-into-being (c) and/morever (d) presently/ongoing unconditionally-love the [singular] having already been [with ongoing results] (b) gennao begotten/come-into-being ek out-from Him (God).”  The context of the whole book is Christians are begotten from God with lasting effects because of their routine ongoing, routine ‘trusting-relying-faith and unconditionally-loving’ in Jesus as the Christ-Messiah, who was not only the “the first begotten of all creation” (e) but God’s “begotten Son, the first begotten into the world” (f) and the “first begotten of many brethren” (g) because He was “the first begotten from the dead” by His resurrection (h).  However, John’s emphasis is that this unconditional-love for the first begotten, must also/particularly extend to the other begotten, to the Christ’s brethren, to the Father’s other children also begotten [with ongoing results] out-from God.

 

<Notes> a) the Messiah, b) perfect participle singular – the same type of individual ek out-from God is spoken of twice in this verse. This is the same type in the perfect participle singular form in 1 John 2:29 ek out-from God that practices righteousness, c) the stark switch to the aorist from the perfect participles, put the aorist further back, another reference to Christ being the only begotten Son of God.  Once again John has successfully linked with kai the idea of trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love as he does in 1 John 3:23, but here the focus is both of these are to ongoingly, routinely be shown to Jesus, but as we will see, that unconditional-love must extend further towards Christ’s children, d) kai used more than once often means more than and/coupled but with a cumulative force, even for emphasis as here:  “still, besides, also, moreover, likewise, even, indeed, namely, specifically” e) Colossians 1:15, f) Hebrew 1:5-6, g) Romans 8:29, h) Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5.

 

Ephesians 2:10 says:  “For we are God’s [own] having-been-made-workmanship, ktizo begun-by-forming-through-creation-of en in/by/with (a) Christ Jesus upon/aptly-fitting-for good works which God prepared-beforehand, in order than we might walk-all-about/live en in/by/with (a) them.”  Like all of God’s creation it is ex nihilo “out of nothing in creation.”  It is completely-different-in-kind from everything before it.  He doesn’t form the earth out of a ball of mud – The Father’s original thought prophetically speaks it into existence by the Logos-Communicator Son and the Holy Spirit makes dunamis powerfully-make-it-happen.  The Godhead works as One with different functions.  Christians aren’t made from human flesh, just as John 3:6 explains.  Human flesh can only produce ‘like-kind’ flesh.  So God starts with something completely-different-in-kind – Himself.  So “out of nothing in creation” ex nihilo, God’s own Spirit creates the Christian to be of ‘like-kind’ as a Spirit-kind-of being, no longer a flesh-kind-of being.  Wow!  He does this INSIDE the Christian who is NOW “In Christ” although our fleshly bodies have still not been ex nihilo made like Christ’s – this glorification/redemption of our bodies to finalize the process of salvation or “restoration to wholeness” fully into “the image of His Son” is called “the blessed hope” per Romans 8:23-25, 29; Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3; Philippians 3:11, 21; Colossians 3:4.  <Notes> a) the preposition en followed by the dative case both times can mean “in the location of, by the means of, or with the company of.  Almost always when used with Christ it means “in the location of” but when used of the Spirit, “by the means of” but elsewhere the context determines.  However, the Lord showed me that when it comes to God all 3 have a sense of being true – see Bible Info.

 

Reflection:

 

 

As Christian musicians, are we even “born again from above by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit?”  There are a lot of people in churches, even helping out in the band, that have may have said a quick prayer, but never been “filled by the Spirit” or Spirit-baptized.  Then have never felt the presence of God.  Most of the genuine, epignosis experience-knowledge words that make up the New Testament testimony of its writers is completely foreign to them.  All they know is theology.  They were convinced by someone that if they mentally agree with the doctrine and theology, they are saved.  But in the previous BLOGS we already have seen that trusting-relying-faith means much more – it is a personal relationship of trust and dependence in the person of Jesus, not writings about Him.  You absolutely can’t eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know or enter into the kingdom of God except through an actual experience of being “born again from above by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit.”  And you won’t have to guess if you have!  When the sperma Seed of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit you were water-baptized into per Christ’s command in Matthew 28:19, THEN and ONLY THEN are you “born again from above.”  You will FEEL God’s presence and power, just as SO many verses promise.  There will be grace-gifts of the Spirit, signs and wonders that accompany this NEW creation experience.  The only WAY to get zoe genuine-life forever is to experience a completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW creation by being “born again from above.”  Otherwise all you have is your flesh self and when you die the “sins of the flesh” condemn you to an eternity separated from zoe genuine-life that IS God.

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, we agree with Paul who cried out in Romans 7:24-25 “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from the body/flesh of death?  Thanks be to God, You will through Jesus Christ our Lord/Master.”  Lord we surrender everything to You so that we can be saved!

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT7

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Uses of the phrase “in the name of”

 

 

Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.

 

Make sure to read the previous BLOG to see why this is important to you!

 

In the Eastern or biblical view, in some cases “in the name of” meant representing another being (e.g., Christ or God) or a person (e.g., Caesar) because of their physical absence, either in:

 

  1. Equality as the image of, such as Christ being the image of God that shows us the Father (a).
  2. Authority as a prophet(b), delegate, or ambassador that would speak or act in behalf of another (c), thus respecting or honoring another, or reflecting the “good name” of another.  For example, the apostles and Church leaders have Christ’s authority to carry out church discipline (d).  The apostles and 70-72 disciples that Jesus had sent out, along with all other disciples Jesus would ever send out in the Church age to make disciples o f all nations, are given Christ’s authority to drive out demons (e), heal the sick (f), “to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the enabling-power of the enemy so nothing shall by any means hurt you” (g).  And these signs will accompany those who have trusting-relying-faithin My name they will cast out demons;  they will speak in completely-different-in-kind-superior kainos NEW tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them;  they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (h).  People’s responses to gospel evangelists will determine their judgment or rewards in the afterlife (i).  Faithfulness to Jesus is rewarded by giving these people authority over others, even cities in the future kingdom of Christ (j).  When the Church gathers in Christ’s name, He is present with enabling-power (k).

 

<Notes> a) John 17:26, b) James 5:10, c) Acts 4:18, 5:40, 9:27-29, d) 1 Corinthians 5:4, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, e) Luke 9:1, Acts 16:18 Paul literally commands “in the name of Jesus Christ” to drive them out, f) Luke 9:1, Acts 3:6, 3:16, 4:7-10, 19:13-16, James 5:14, g) Luke 10:19, h) Mark 16:17-18, i) Matthew 10:41-42, j) Luke 19:17, k) Matthew 18:20, 1 Corinthians 5:4.

 

Today in the Western world, we still carry over some of the biblical and Eastern world’s concept of “in the name of.”  For example, searching for this phrase on the internet, I found “Delegation of authority represents the legal power to act in the name of the Regents of the University of Michigan . . . the authority derives from the general power given the Regents . . . within the Michigan Constitution of 1963 . . .” This is commonly called “power of attorney.” Also, policemen used to say “stop in the name of the law.” So, there is still this idea carried over into our culture of “in the name of” meaning “to represent instead or in place of the authority, will, and power of another, who is physically absent.”

 

The desired NT response to “the name of Yeshua as with the OT response to “the name of Yahweh (a) was to have trusting-relying-faith (b), which encompasses the ideas of accepting, receiving, welcoming, acknowledging, respecting, trusting, leaning on, relying on, turning toward by repenting or converting, testifying or confessing before men concerning (c), obeying, living by, living for, giving of thanks, representing or reflecting it, and finally by being immerse into or water-baptized into Christ.  See Obedient-Steps-of-Faith page.  For example, in Matthew 28:19, “water-baptizing the [newly-created] disciples in the [single] name of:  the Father kai and/coupled of the Son kai and/coupled of the Holy Spirit” is simply saying be “water-baptized in the authority of the Triune God since that phrase “the Father . . . The Sons . . . Holy Spirit” shows internal relationship between the 3 persons of the Godhead by the use of the special conjunction in Greek kai  and thus the whole phrase relates to the “in the [single] name of” phrase.  In other words, it’s not written as “in the [plural] names of” to indicate separate individuality or authority, but 3 components of 1.  God is ONE and is of One in-the-same authority!  <Notes> a) in many places, the NT equates the two:  Matthew 21:9 and 23:39, Mark 11:9-10 and Luke 13:35-38 and 19:38 and John 12:13 have “name of the Lord” but quote Psalms 118:26 that has “name of Yahweh”, b) 1 John 5:13, c) see Surrender Control.

 

Peter clarifies this in water-baptizingin the name of Jesus Messiah” in Acts 2:38.  Here, the Jew’s turning away or “repenting” from the wrong understanding of who Jesus was, a view that had Him crucified as a false Messiah, to a correct understanding of Jesus so as to warmly-welcome Him as their true Messiah, and all that this meant for the Jews, which Peter had just preached extensively about, is the thrust of what “in the name of Jesus Christ” meant – not necessarily a literal saying of the phrase at all. For other verses on water-baptism “in the name of Jesus” or “in the name of the Lord,” see Acts 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, and 1 Corinthians 1:13 where “in the name of Paul” is used flippantly to illustrate that following after apostles or  other church leaders is only divisive.

 

“Saying and doing everything ‘in the name of Jesus,’ giving thanks to God the Father through Him” is the simplicity of the Christian life according to the apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17.  This is very close in meaning to 1 Corinthians 10:31.  When I was struggling with roommates and business decisions, I sought the Lord in proseuche conversational-prayer for ‘answers’ and when I drove to the park and opened my 8-translation bible just before the sunset, it fell open to a page with this verse underlined in the New Century Version – I had no recollection when I had underlined it.  It said:  “The answer is:  If you eat or drink or do anything, do it all for the glory of God.”  That one answer solved all my problems and I surrendered!  Jesus never intended for the phrase “in Jesus’s name” or “in the name of Jesus” or any other such phrase to literally be spoken as if it were a magical formula like “abra-cadabraa-ala-cazam” intended to put a seal of approval on any proseuche conversational-prayer (a) or “blessing” over a meal.  For real examples of real NT proseuche conversational-prayers without any such invocation, see Acts 4:24-30 and Ephesians 1:17-23, 22:20.  <Notes> a) John 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-24.

 

Instead the intent of “in Jesus name” was that we would proseuchomai conversationally-pray, heal people from sickness, cast out demons, meet together, or say/do anything else in a manner that represents Christ’s person (b) and authority (c).  For that reason I often translate this idiom “in the name/person/authority of.’  We should understand that as the Body-of-Christ, we are to reflect His image, representing and honoring Him as an ambassador or delegate using all His delegated authority for His glory.  In His stead or place or behalf, we carry with us everything that is in His name. <Notes> a) John 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-24, b) His character, reputation, desires, purposes, will, c) His rightful ownership and enabling-power over all things.

 

Reflection:

 

 

As Christian musicians, do we really want to carry on religious traditions that we no longer know the meaning of, almost using the saying “in the name of Jesus” as an incantation, spell, or rabbit’s foot?  Or we could simply say what they meant:  “in the personal character, authority, and power of” as a rightful ambassador, witness, or representative of Christ to the word.  We are NOW supposed to be the Holy handwritings, “The Word of God,” to this dying world – see Logos Word of God – BT20 and by Christ’s delegated authority to us, we should be doing “greater works” than even Christ did per John 14:12.  Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and earth and has delegated this to His Body for Ministry.  He has handed of the football to us, but will we confidently run with it by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit or fumble it?

 

Part of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit, is many Church leaders & teachers are ‘ball hogs’ because they see themselves as the ‘ministers’ when Ephesians 4:11-12 says the congregation “saints” are the “ministers” and the 4 others groups (the Greek doesn’t support a ‘5-fold ministry’) are simply Coaches & Facilitator “equippers.”  These ‘ball hogs’ ignore Romans 12:3-8 and many other Body-Ministry portions of the New Testament.

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, open our eyes and ears to see and hear The Truth that You are and to understand the great authority we have been given “in Your name/person/authority” to do fully represent You against the forces of darkness in our lives and those around us, so that “Your kingdom can come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT6

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What is so special about the name of Jesus? 

 

 

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Make sure to read the previous BLOG to see why this is important to you!

 

“Jesus” is an English translation of the Greek Iesous, but His Hebrew is Yeshua, meaning “Yahweh Saves.” Yahweh is most likely the way the written name of God YHWH  was said, meaning “I AM” (a).  From Salvation – BT2, the Greek word sozo and Hebrew word yeshuw’ah from yasha’ for “saves” means “rescue, deliverance, and restoration or reconciliation by ‘sewing back together what was torn’ for healed relationship and wholeness.” The apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have been justified (b) by trusting-relying-faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (c).  We are no longer “enemies of God but reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, so how much more NOW that we are reconciled shall we be saved by His Son’s zoe genuine-life?” (d)  <Notes> a) Exodus 3:15, b) acquitted of the charges of sin against us, declared or made in right standing with God, c) Romans 5:1, d) Romans 5:10.

 

On 11/24/2017 I had a dream where I heard God say in a loud, authoritative voice to a very old Billy Graham – I found out later he had just turned 99 – after a poor turnout to one of his gospel crusades, “Billy, sew it up.” Can you imagine Jesus having a name Yeshua that meant, “God rescues and sew it up?” What a statement!  That was Christ’s entire mission – every word and every action!

 

God naming “Jesus” was very deliberate.  Christ’s name says who He is and what He does:  “For God SO (a) unconditionally-loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever has trusting-relying-faith in Him should not perish but have everlasting zoe genuine-life.  For God absolutely in fact did NOT send His Son into the world to krino judge (b) the world, but in order that the world might be saved through-the-realizing-channel-of Him. Whoever is routinely having trusting-relying-faith in Him is absolutely in fact NOT krino judged (b), but whoever absolutely in fact is NOT routinely having trusting-relying-faith is krino judged (b) already [with ongoing results], because he has in possibility NOT already [with ongoing results] had trusting-relying-faith in the name/authority of the only begotten Son of God” (c). <Notes> a) to such a degree or extent as well as the manner it’s accomplished, b) pronounce judgment as a Just Judge, c) John 3:16-18.

 

What authority does Jesus’s name have?  From the time He was 12 years old, He even taught the Jewish scholars of the day “as one having authority” (a).  Jesus said it wasn’t just His own authority [as a man or rabbiteacher], but that it was from His Father-God (b). Even the Spirit of the Truth that was to come (c) doesn’t speak on His own authority but what He hears from Father-God (d).  Even Roman commanders recognized Christ’s authority  over sickness, who was even able to heal from far off, simply by the authority of His directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema word (e). <Notes> a) Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:22; Luke 4:32-36, b) John 7:17, 12:49, 14:10, c) “The Promise” of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost – see Acts 2:17-18, d) John 16:13, e) Matthew 8:9, Luke 7:8.

 

Even the Jewish authorities, who were threatened by Him, knew what the real issue was, saying: “By what authority are you doing these things [like driving out evil spirits] and who gave you this?” (a).  Jesus answered:  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (b), authority over all flesh to give everlasting zoe genuine-life to as many as Father-God has given Me (c).  Father-God alone knows when The Day of Judgement is to come (d), but Jesus has been given authority by the Father to execute this Judgement, being the Son of God and Son of Man (e).  Finally Paul states that there are no governing authorities on earth except those permitted by God (f) and that resisting them is resisting God (g).  Man, did Paul open up a can of worms!  The whole world needed to “resist” Hitler a lot sooner!  Maybe then 70-85 million people wouldn’t have died!  That’s the problem with building doctrine around 1 verse! <Notes> a) Matthew 21:23-24; Mark 1:27, 11:28-29; Luke 20:2, b) Matthew 28:18, c) John 17:2, d) Acts 1:7, e) John 5:27, f) Romans 13:1, g) Romans 13:2, 1 Timothy 2:2.

 

Satan, the adversary of God, told Jesus that he hadall this authority [over the nations of the world that he showed Jesus], for this authority has been delivered [delegated] to me, and I give [delegate] it to whomever I wish” (a). This happened when Adam and Eve forfeited their delegated dominion rule over the earth (b) in exchange for sin, and thus cast out of the holy presence of God, transferring this delegated authority to Satan who had beguiled them.  From then on Satan was the “god of this world” (c), but Jesus said, “NOW is the judgment of this world; NOW will the ruler of this world be cast out” (d), for “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (e), and “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (f).  In Zechariah 3:1 under the old covenant you see Satan in heaven accusing God’s people, but under the completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW Covenant by the blood of Jesus, He particularly has been kicked out!  However, his demon-lawyers are still busy because we haven’t got to Revelation 2:10 yet.  Many have seen this while doing Spiritual Warfare, as I have!  <Notes> a) Luke 4:6, b) Genesis 1:26-28, c) 2 Corinthians 4:4, d) John 12:31, cf. Revelation 2:10, e) Luke 10:18, f) 1 John 3:8.

 

Finally, “God set aside the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands [ stated in the Law], nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the principal rulers and delegated authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them by Himself (as Christ)” (a).  Until Christ, Satan had a delegated-right to be there in God’s courtroom. His entire hierarchy of evil had rights to be there to argue their cases against everybody – but not so for Christians anymore.  Jesus can legally shut them down simply by sayin “Not Guilty!  Case closed!  Their debt is paid in full because I paid the ransom-price Myself.”  <Notes> a) Colossians 2:14-15.

 

There are many other references to God’s authority being delegated to people, even for only a relatively short time.  Ultimately, our trusting-relying-faith is to be in the authority of God Himself, having given all authority to His Son Jesus, the Messiah, trusting God’s promised Holy Spirit, the Counselor sent to us to so that “His kingdom can come and His will can be done on earth as it is in heaven” (a).  <Notes> a) Matthew 6:10.

 

God as Jesus NOW Saves:  God, the Messiah, does it all!  The great “I AM” YHWH who SAVES through Yeshua Jesus, the name that means this, can also do EVERYTHING else in our lives.

 

Make sure to read the next BLOG to see why this is important to you NOW as a Christian!

 

Reflection:

 

 

Therefore, just as Jesus did so often, even overnight, perserchomai draw near-close-beside to God, even eggizo extremely close-beside, crying out to Him in  devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, proseuche conversational-prayer.  That’s why Jesus said 9 times “[I strongly urge you to] deute Come-near-NOW pros toward-reaching Me” and most often used little children as the perfect picture of humble willingness (a).  <Notes> a) Matthew 11:28, 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16; John 5:40, 6:37, 44, 65, 7:37.

 

Totally surrender everything to Him, and instead entrust Him for EVERYTHING!  Is there anything within God’s will that God will not give us?  “He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?” (a). Paul goes onto say in verse 8:37 that “nothing in this life or in death, no angelic or human powers, things today or in the future, anything high [even to the heavens] or low [even to the depths of hell], or anything else in creation can separate us from The Unconditional-Love of/belonging-to God (b), which IS in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  <Notes> a) Romans 8:32, b) “God IS-defined-as/exists as Unconditional-Love” per 1 John 4:8, 16 and “The [singular] fruit/essence/nature of the Spirit IS-defined-as/exists-as [singular] Unconditional-Love” per Galatians 5:22.

 

God even transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit:  “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom [from the Law of dominating slavery and judgment].  Unlike the veil that still lies over the hearts of those who hear Moses (the giver of the Law) read to this very day, we all who have turned to the Lord, having the veil removed NOW with unveiled faces, can continue to gaze-with-wide-open-eyes [as in a mirror] the glory of the Lord.  As we do, WE are the ones who are constantly being transfigured into His very own image by ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another – for this comes from the Lord [Jesus], the Spirit” (a). We have EVERYTHING else because we have Christ, who is God our Savior (b).  <Notes> a) a Greek translation of 2 Corinthians 3:15-18, b) 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 1:3 – Jesus actually commanded Paul to speak His doctrine of the gospel: Titus 2:10, 13 and it was Jesus that appeared: Titus 3:4. So Peter also see Jesus as “our God and Savior”: 2 Peter 1:1 as does Jude 1:25.

 

And what the process of salvation that the Lord started – see Salvation – BT2, He will also finish: “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (workmanship), re-created in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us, that we should walk in them” (a), “for it is God who works in you, both to desire (will) and to work (do) His good pleasure” (b)!  <Notes> a) Ephesians 2:10, b) Philippians 2:13.

 

Prayer:

 

 

Thank You Father and Son and Holy Spirit for being “God our Savior” to rescue us from our sin, sew us back together into the restored creation You originally desired, and give us hope for our complete restoration to full relationship with You and wholeness of zoe genuine-life.  Yeshua/Jesus you have the perfect name meaning “Yahweh saves!”  We totally surrender in repentance and confession to You, coming near-now to You and drawing near/close-beside You through proseuche worshipful conversational-prayer by trusting-relying-faith in You Lord.  Jesus you have all authority in Your name and we put our trusting-relying-faith solely in You to finish what you have started in our lives.  Praise God!

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT5

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The importance of a person’s name

 

 

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Today in the Western world, we mainly use the names of people as designators or a label to simply distinguish one person from another, so a name has very little inherent significance. Our mothers and fathers may or may not have had much of a reason for naming us. It may be related to their own father, mother, or someone in their ancestry in order to ‘carry on a family name.’  Maybe they really admire someone with the same name or there’s some other sentimental value associated with it.  Parents sometimes refer to baby-naming books to find one that is good sounding and one that the kid hopefully won’t get teased about when growing up. Unless you happen to be someone with a well-known reputation ‘in the news,’ whether for good or bad, the mention of your name usually doesn’t confer any special attention, whether that be for respect and honor or for disrespect and dishonor.

 

Today in the Eastern world, but especially historically and in the biblical world, people placed much more internal significance or meaning to the choice of a person’s name. The Hebrew term shem  and Greek term onoma  are used over 1000 times in the bible for “name” in order to signify or stand for the whole being or person themselves (a) or their character viewed as a whole (b), their whole reputation (c), or some other specific aspect based on the context of someone such as:  their thoughts, their desires, purposes, or will, their role (d), their rightful ownership of something (e), their power/ability to accomplish something, their position or authority to make binding statements or rules and to command obedience to them, to rule over others, to pass judgment for disobedience, or to acquit a person from the guilt and sentence deserved by the crime(s) (f). <Notes> a) Deuteronomy 25:6, 9:14; 2 Kings 14:27; Isaiah 14:22; Proverbs 18:10; Psalms 18:49, 86:12; Malachi 3:16; Matthew 10:22, 19:29; John 1:12, 2:23, 3:18; Revelation 3:4-5, b) Ecclesiastes 7:1; Matthew 6:9, c) Mark 6:14, Revelation 3:1, d) Yeshua is the one-and-only, unique Son of God – John 3:18, e) Genesis 1:5-10, 2:19; 2 Samuel 12:28; Amos 9:12, f) 1 Corinthians 6:11 “justified in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus.”

 

Make sure to read the next BLOG to see why this is important to you!

 

 

Reflection:

 

 

As Christian musicians, have you ever wondered why the bible talks so much about a person’s name, even renaming people, like Jacob becoming Israel, and Cephas becoming Peter?  Read the next BLOG!

 

Prayer:

 

 

Thank You Lord that regardless of what our parents named us, You have Your own name for us.  Some of us are so fortunate to have been told this!  Lord, we ask You to reveal that for the rest of us, just as You named Your own Son for a special reason.

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT4

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Jesus fulfilled 365 Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah

 

 

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This 2.6% of the OT is what the early Church used to convert Jews to Christ – see Logos Word of God – BT6, while discounting the other 97.4% that was Law-based – see Logos Word of God – BT861 of these prophecies are incredibly specific!  You know what the astronomical odds of any one man accomplishing this?  The odds of one person fulfilling 8 prophecies are 1 in 10 to the 21st power.  The odds of fulfilling 61 are 1 in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion.”

 

Flavius Josephus was one of the Jewish historians around 0 A.D. hired by the Romans to meticulously record everything that was going on.  He was NOT a Christian, but definitely a Jew, hired by Romans to be impartial, but you can tell that he was seriously impressed and wondering if there really was truth to the claims about this Hebrew Messiah Yeshua or in Greek Christ Jesus in their midst because of the validating miracles and huge following of people. Being a Jew, he knew the prophecies of the Messiah himself, and suspected they were being fulfilled while he was recording history in the making.  He also saw how the huge following of Jesus was causing the Jewish leaders to become exceedingly mad because it threatened their authority.  He also wrote about Jewish King Herod the Great, who built the current temple in Jerusalem of which only the foundation remains and who also built every other major Jewish structure still standing from 2000 years ago.  He went mad in his later years, killing his wife, step mother, 3 of his sons, the high priest, and many other people.  He was very sick and afraid of plots to overthrow him, likely paranoid delusional.

 

Anyway, historical records said that Herod issued a decree to have all male children under the age of 2 be killed in the city of Bethlehem and surrounding districts.  The reason that is recorded in the history books is that great wise men from Mead, which is in our current Persia area where to this day there is a large community of the highly educated, intellectual Jewish people, professionals, scholars, etc, who the people called “Magi” because the Arabic word means “astronomer/astrologer” were involved with the birth of Jesus.  They were highly respected intellectuals, even possibly local rulers according to archeology, who studied all the religious texts of the known world and astronomy.  They had come to King Herod asking where the King and Messiah of the Jews was born, because they had seen the new bright star suddenly appear in the sky.  The star was very obvious, and they were expert charters of the heavens.  In fact, some of these charts have survived!  They also knew from the Jewish texts that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem of Judea and evidently near that time, for they had accurately calculated it using the Jewish scriptures and possibly other texts.  History says that King Herod was so paranoid he told them to report back to him where they found him in Bethlehem, giving them directions to the city.  Warned in a dream, they did not return to the King and he was furious after searching for them for two years and then searching the villages for this Messiah or King who threatened his rule.  King Herod had been at war and destroyed many kingdoms already, being a bloody man of battle.  No word came back after coming back from the battlefront.  He went crazy and executed all the male children under 2 years old, based on the time the Magi had arrived and the time that had transpired.

 

Jewish writings make it clear that the Messiah would be killed by his own people, as most of their prophets were, and then the temple would be destroyed by a great army.  Titus did it in 70 AD, throwing every stone off the temple mount, which you can still see on the pavement below, just as was foretold in the Jewish writings.  Here are a few samples:

 

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him ‘Immanuel,’ which means ‘God with us’” (a).  This was how the Messiah was born of the virgin Mary (b). <Notes> a) Matthew 1:23, b) Matthew 1:16, 18, 20; Luke 1:27, 30, 34.

 

Isaiah Chapter 52:14 – 53:12 – In the Dead Sea Scrolls, a perfectly intact manuscript was found dating 300 years before the Messiah, depicting what would occur to the Servant of Yawheh God.  It was almost identical by 5 letters to a manuscript 500 years older around 200 A.D. that the Jewish rabbis thought had been tampered by the Christians because it so accurately depicted the suffering of the Messiah “Servant” Jesus.  This Dead Sea’s scroll greatly embarrassed these so-called “scholars” because it clearly says from the Hebrew:

 “Just as many were horrified by the sight of Him, He was so disfigured, He no longer looked like a man; He had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow Him.  He was despised and rejected by people, One who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from Him; He was despised, and we considered Him insignificant. But He lifted up (a) our illnesses, He carried our pain; even though we thought He was being punished, attacked by Yahweh, and afflicted for something He had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins;  He endured punishment that has made us well;  Because of His wounds (b) we have been healed. All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but Yahweh caused the sin of all of us to attack Him. He was treated harshly and afflicted, but He did not even open His mouth.  Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not even open his mouth.  He was led away after an unjust trial but who even cared?  Indeed, He was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of His own people He was wounded. They intended to bury Him with criminals, but He ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because He had committed no violent deeds, nor had He spoken deceitfully. Although Yahweh willed to crush Him and make Him ill, once restitution is made, He will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the Yahweh’s purpose will be accomplished through Him. Having suffered, He will reflect on His work, He will be satisfied when He sees what He has done. My Servant will acquit many, for He carried their sins. So I (Yahweh), will assign Him a portion with the multitudes, and He will divide the spoils of victory … because He willingly submitted to death and was numbered with the rebels, when He lifted up the sin of many and intervened on behalf of the rebels.”  When people read this to Jews on the streets of Israel and asked do you know who this could be speaking of, many said, “It sounds like Jesus.” <Notes> a) an obvious reference to crucifixion, which Jesus even prophesied concerning the manner of His death – John 8:28, 12:32, b) together as one massive wound.

 

Micah 5:1-2 “They will strike Israel’s Ruler on the cheek with a rod.  But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be Ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” The Messiah Yeshua/Jesus was struck by the Jewish leaders, common people, and Roman soldiers. He was born in Bethlehem (a). And Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” – a declaration of equality to the “I AM that I AM” God who spoke to Moses (b).  The Jews knew what Jesus was saying because they yelled “blasphemy” and picked up stones to kill Him!  John says that Jesus “was with God in the beginning, and all things were made through Him” (c).  Paul says “He is the exact image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (d).  The writer of “Hebrews” to Jewish-Christians falling back into Judaism reminds them: “In these last days God has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also God created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema word of His enabling-power” (e). <Notes> a) Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4, b) Exodus 3:14, c) John 1:1-3, d) Colossians 1:15-17, e) Hebrews 1:2.

 

Daniel 9:24-26 says:  “70 weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up (fulfill) vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy (a). Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be 7 weeks and 62 weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (b). The end of it shall be as a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.”  <Notes> a) the meaning of “Christ” or “Messiah” is “The Anointed One”, b) Titus in AD 70 with his Roman soldiers.

     I found in Daniel the prophecy of the 7 + 62 = 69 weeks and 70 weeks near the end of Chapter 9, where a week = seven years in their timeline (a).  In 450 B.C. Daniel prophesied of Jewish Temple being built, and we find out it happened just as God said.  But then Daniel prophesied that exactly 483 years, which is 69 weeks, later the Messiah would be “cut off” (b) for the sake of the people and this was would be in 33 AD (c), and that’s exactly when Jesus died according to historians.  But Daniel also prophesied that after this the temple would be destroyed by 70 AD by a “prince and his people.”  Jewish historians always thought it was just too accurate of a prediction, so they were sure that Daniel had been written after the fact, but then the Dead Sea scroll found books of Daniel that were dated long before 33 or 70 AD.  The prophecy was clear that the Messiah would appear, be killed, and then the Temple would be destroyed.  Even the Jewish scholars I listened to said that the timeline was accurate, but then they danced around the issue of the Messiah having come by 70 AD because they are still waiting for their Messiah, but they couldn’t  deny the Jewish Temple was “desolated” and all of Jerusalem destroyed in 70 AD by Titus of Rome. <Notes> a) ancient lunar calendar still used by the Essenes at the time of Christ, b) this always meant “killed” in Jewish literature, c) according the Jewish lunar calendar.

 

Psalms 118:22  “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone/cornerstone.” The Jewish leaders did indeed reject their Messiah, as cited in Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-7.

 

Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Roman historians recorded Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey while being hailed as the king.  See also Matthew 21:7, John 12:14-15.

 

Zechariah 11:13 “And Yahweh said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’ – the handsome price at which they priced Me!  So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.”  The Jewish leaders paid Judas Iscariot 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus per Matthew 26:15, which were later thrown down onto the the Temple floor out of remorse, because the priests wouldn’t accept the blood money back per Matthew 27:3-9.  The place where Judas hung himself is call “The Potter’s Field” or “Field of Blood” per Matthew 27:7-10 to this very day!

 

Make sure to read the 5 simple steps to salvation in the previous Salvation – BT1 BLOG.

 

Reflection:

 

 

If you don’t have trusting-relying-faith that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament even after reading 61 prophecies, then you are defying the statistical odds and thus highly irrational, or just plain hard-hearted and defiant against God.  If you can pull this off after reading 365 prophecies, then you are either unconscious, mentally disable, insane, or just pissed off at God.

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, thank You so much for preparing your people in so many ways for the coming of Jesus.  You told them throughout their Old Testament – see Salvation – BT3, and even sent John the Baptist to introduce Christ.  Though evil people plotted against Him, still the Church was predominantly Jewish and grew by thousands a day until AD 70 when the Temple was destroyed.  Then the Church exploded as it went out to the Gentiles of the world!  In 300 years 60% of the Roman Empire confessed Christ!

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT3

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God’s Master Plan – the Messiah thru world history

 

 

Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.

 

I have written here a big-picture historical overview of The Master Plan of God based on thorough study of the bible from the original languages and detailed historical research.  I haven’t included the multitude of references for the sake of readability and length, but you can verify all this with www.net.bible.org, www.biblegateway.com, www.wikipedia.org, and many other online sources using Google – see Bible Info.

 

In order to understand the “smaller picture” of God’s plan for our life, to see where our jigsaw-puzzle piece fits, we have to first look at the “big picture” on the front of the puzzle’s box – the “big picture” of God working throughout human history.  Otherwise, we’ll probably think our piece is bigger than it really is, shaped different than it really is, and try to force it into the puzzle where it doesn’t belong.  We’ll frustrate the Puzzle-Maker’s plans for us, make it hard on ourselves and those pieces around us, and just end up wasting valuable time.  It’s important to see God’s “Big Picture” before we get too busy doing our own thing!

 

God has only had 1 “Big Picture” – 1 Master Plan for displaying His magnificence or glory.  There is no Plan B!  God is all-knowing and perfect in all that He does, so He doesn’t need another plan.  There really is only “The Master Plan.”  Nothing has caught Him by surprise; nothing has caught Him off-guard.  He didn’t have to scurry to come up with a solution to your or anybody else’s failures.  He’s outside of time because He invented it.  He’s 10 steps ahead of anybody’s moves, just like an expert chess player is.  This is God’s sovereignty!  He alone is on the throne, despite what His enemies think.

 

We’re the ones stuck in a timeline, so it behooves us to know The Master Plan He has been very careful to reveal to us piece by piece, as a Father would to a maturing child, in order that you can be sure to be working with Him instead of against Him, either by ignorance or self-centered preoccupation.  You will not win the arm-wrestle – you’ll only end up hurting His feelings, hurting yourself, and most likely hurting those around you.  You will only end up being mad at God, while He is busy trying to say and show you how glorious The Master Plan is of His unconditional Love.  You’ll just be wasting your time and everybody else’s.  So, let’s get started looking at this!

 

Before time even began, The Master Plan existed for mankind to have a loving relationship with Him through what Yeshua, Hebrew for the Anointed Messiah or Christ, revealed to the Apostle Paul as “the obedience of faith.”  Yehowshuwa (“Yahweh saves”) is often shortened in Hebrew to Y’shua and pronounced Yeshua or Yesha but is the same as Joshua in Aramaic or Iesous in Greek or Jesus in English. Because God is outside of time, the Christ (Greek) or Messiah (Hebrew) – both of which mean “Anointed One” – before the world was born, became the flawless “Lamb of God” sacrifice for us in exchange for our failures.  “Propitiation” means an atoning exchange of the innocent Lamb’s righteousness for each man’s unrighteousness, such that “one man’s obedience makes the many disobedient ones righteous.”  This was already accomplished before time began for “the people” God would call to be His own.  But later on, Christ’s death would occur within our timeline.  Every man or woman of God there ever was before Yeshua looked forward in time to that “Day of God’s Salvation.”  And every man or woman of God since Christ has looked back to this “Day of God’s Deliverance.”  That’s why many historical calendars are no longer used.  Only one calendar is used worldwide – every date was changed to what was Before Christ (B.C.) and what was After the Year of the Lord (Anno Domini, A.D.).  Has any other figure in history changed a timeline for all humanity?

 

After the one day of Sabbath rest God took after He created all things, He immediately resumed working to prepare His people for The Master Plan, and God has never stopped working, just as Yeshua had to remind the Jewish leaders that judged Him for “working” on the Sabbath.  God created millions of angels and man with free wills – the ability to choose.  He could force their obedience, but then God wouldn’t be “Unconditional Love” (agape in Greek) itself, as revealed throughout the New Testament (NT).  Love never forces another to reciprocate.  God always leaves it up to us to take a “step of faith” – a certain or sure knowingness, despite the inability to physically “see it” in front of us, that simply trusts in, depends on, or leans against God’s character as revealed to us through the Old Testament (OT) scripture (graphe) and NT writings (gramma), but especially His Son (the living logos or Message of God) and direct prophetic words (rhema) to us through God’s Holy Spirit.

 

The bible makes it crystal clear that this obedience of faith” is all that ever has, does, or will put us in a position to be “right with God” and enable us to “live rightly before God” – both of which are included in the NT’s definition of “righteousness.”  There is no other plan for this – only The Master Plan.  The NT surely continues Abraham’s “declared righteousness due to his faith in God” and Habakkuk’s prophecy that “the righteous shall live by faith,” but the NT further explains where this “righteousness” really comes from – not man’s obedience to commandments, but the Messiah’s obedience to His own Father-God!  But let’s start from the beginning to get the “Big Picture.”

 

God created Lucifer as the most beautiful of all angels to lead millions of angels and all creation in loving adoration of and service to Almighty God.  And Adam and Eve had it made!  They could see God as He took physical form (there are many cases in the OT of the Messiah-Servant “Angel/Messenger of Yahweh” doing this) as He walked and talked with them in the Garden of Eden, just as loving friends would – this is the very reason God created mankind.  They had everything they could ever want – all they had to do was ask.  Endless creativity and provision were at the tip of their tongue.  Life was perfect just the way God created it.  God went to all this trouble, knowing full well that Lucifer would eventually decide to lure Adam and Eve to:  1) Question exactly what God had said for mankind to do and not do, 2) Question what God really meant by His spoken rhema words, and 3) Question God’s loving provision for them as their Creator and Father – that God must be holding something back that they should seek for themselves behind God’s back.  Lucifer used deception to trap them, just as a hunter would!  But God was not surprised – God was still in control of The Master Plan!

 

Lucifer didn’t appear to Adam and Eve as the glorious Angel of light he was created to be, but as an “innocent” little snake.  What harm could that pose?  He camouflaged His “killing teeth” – the hidden snare of his rebellious words – with pleasurable promises to wet their appetites.  He got them confused with doubts about God’s Truth, Wisdom, and Love.  Lucifer always tries to either have you ignore God’s “Word” so you won’t apply it or at least get you to misquote, misinterpret, and misapply it.  Why?  Because he knows that God’s perfect “Word” works perfectly every time, and he just can’t have that.  So Lucifer got Adam and Eve to use their free will to do what he was going to do (or had already done) – lead 1/3 of the angels in a revolt against God.  Satan sure did give them a taste of the “tree of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil,” didn’t he!  God alone is the definition of “good,” for God alone is good – just as Yeshua reminded people when they called Him “Good Teacher.”  Yeshua said “I am the Good Shepherd!”  Well, it wasn’t long before their son Cain killed Abel and the first family “knew evil.”  Since then, the individual, family, and society sure has “known evil,” hasn’t it?  Just look around!

 

The root of all evil is pride that says: “I will . . ., I will . . . , I will . . ., I will . . ., I will . . .” Just see what God says of Lucifer: 12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart:  I will ascend to heaven; above the stars (angels) of God; I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”  The Apostle John says all “sin” comes from the pride of life, then the cravings of the eyes and of the body that feeds our appetites!  The bible defines “sin” as “falling short of [the target], transgression of God’s Law, rebellion against God’s ways, or downright wickedness.”  What has driven your life?

 

All lying has come from Lucifer, because in him there is no truth at all.  Yeshua said He alone was “The Truth” and said that everything out of Lucifer’s mouth was lies upon lies, deceptions built upon deceptions.  The whole world system – the Book of Revelation calls “Babylon, the Whore” – is built upon these.  These lies are trying to hide and destroy “The Truth.”  However, Yeshua said, “The darkness will never overcome The Light of the world,” who He said was Himself.  In the end, God will be proved right and many men and nations dead wrong!

 

Satan and millions of angels left God’s heavenly Kingdom to establish their own kingdoms on earth, where many of them took on human form and had sex with women.  For Satan’s trickery of Adam and Eve, God cursed him to be ultimately destroyed.  God could have done the same to Adam and Eve for their disobedience, but He didn’t.  Instead God diverted the curse to the ground, that it would no longer be an effortless paradise for mankind, but would require “the sweat of the brow” to manage the resources of earth in order to survive and “be fruitful and multiply.”  Then God spoke a prophetic rhema word of hope to man: “Although Satan will be at war against the woman’s offspring, there will be One – He will crush the head of the serpent, even though the serpent will strike His heel.”  Man has never stopped striving and warring in its desire for more, more, and more.  Yet, Yeshua said, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened from work, and I will give you rest.”  The NT repeatedly says that Yeshua is now “The Sabbath Rest” for all those who have striven to please God!  It’s time to rest!

 

There are plenty of Scriptural references to explain the Greek legends of gods coming from heaven, breeding with women, and demigods being their offspring – giants like Cyclops and mighty warriors like Hercules.  Great wars resulted as they battled for supremacy, as with “The Clash of the Titans.”  Even secular historians believe that behind the great myths of Greece there may indeed be elements of truth.  Eight generations of wickedness resulted and so the world really did go to “hell in a hand basket.”  After this, God gave the people of the earth 120 years to “repent” – to turn from their evil ways to God’s ways, as Noah spoke for God and built the ark for escape from God’s wrath to come.  At the end, only 8 people got into the boat that floated them off to safety.  Every ancient religion speaks of the “great deluge” and geology bears witness to it.  Satellites and hikers have located Noah’s ark in a glacier 16,945 feet at the top of Mt. Ararat in Turkey, which the Muslims quickly sealed off to prevent the Jews and Christians from “desecrating their mountain.”  Dating of the wood shows it to be 4,800 years old, in line with Scripture’s chronology.

 

Scripture says God bound these angels who interacted with humans in chains in a place in call Hades (Greek) or Sheol (Hebrew) which English translates as “Hell.”  It is a place of “outer darkness and gnashing of teeth” as Yeshua repetitively warned, the place of the dead, where all those not part of The Master Plan go after they die while they await the final Day of Judgment.  Many people have been resuscitated back to life after having gone there (and their stories are terrifying) and they’ve “run” in the opposite direction ever since!  I’ve met a view pastors that regularly visit people in the hospital at their death bed and they’ve seen their eyes bulging out, their face horribly disfigured, and hear them screaming as they’ve entered into Hell as they “passed away.”  That’s why the medical staff often asks only the chaplain to be present at a patient’s death, because these scenes are horribly unsettling to the family.  Just ask some hospice pastors!

 

Some people have been shown Hell and reported that it exists in large underground caverns nearer the earth’s core where the rocks burn, a place of complete darkness except for the fires, the smell of burning sulfur and minerals, of rotting and burning flesh, non-stop screaming, and unbelievable suffering.  And they have strongly warned their family, friends, and others to “run” in the opposite direction – toward the Lord!  They make it clear that few people, from the sound of the screams, get second chances and advise strongly not to test God on this.  When Satan tempted Yeshua, He quoted Scripture, “Thou shall not test the Lord thy God.”  If you think you’ll be the exception to the rule, you’ll have to suffer your painful regrets forever – “the house always wins in the end!”

 

The other angels that left heaven and were restricted to the spiritual realm, along with mutant demons, found a way to enter into people’s spirits through possession to create “strongholds” (spiritual fortresses of residence) to carry out the commands of Lucifer. These fallen angels and mutant creations (demons) have showed many people how to open these “doors to the dead” and to the “realm of the spirits” through mediums, witchcraft (white and black), magic, sorcery, drugs, and other practices.  According to Yeshua, Lucifer became the master of the fallen angels and demons and the ruler over all cities and kingdoms of the earth, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, the thief, the adversary, the evil one, Satan (Satanas: the Accuser), and the Devil (Diabolos: Slanderer, False Accuser).  Regardless of his name, the Bible says “Submit yourselves to God and resist (stand your ground against) the Devil!”  Who you going to believe?

 

The conspiracy theory folks are almost right.  There are many chess pieces of Satan on the world’s chessboard; he’s manipulating many pawns; and he is a master chess player!  But Yeshua says to His own followers: “Greater is He (the Holy Spirit) that is within you than he (the Evil One) who is in the world.”  Our God is 10 steps ahead of Satan!  Satan can’t read minds like God can.  Satan can’t see the unseen like God can.  Satan is not all-knowing as God is.  Satan can only react to his environment.  Satan can only use the rules of nature.  God is the Maker of the rules!  And God can make up new rules “on the fly” to do the “impossible” or “supernatural.”  So, who are you going to follow?

 

Yeshua said that Satan and his angels and demons’ sole purpose is to kill you.  If not, then to steal, to spoil, to corrupt, and to pollute you – and all of God’s creation the same way!  When mankind disobeyed God, this “sin” immediately swept throughout all creation.  Everything has been falling apart, being polluted, spoiling, corroding, or dying ever since.  The 2nd law of thermodynamics in physics regarding “entropy” states that “everything is decaying to a state of lesser form and order and to a lower level of energy.”  The Bible makes it clear that a person’s “torn or worn-out pieces” are what we experience as mental, emotional, and physical sickness, disease, disability and the associated physical, emotional, and mental anguish from them, but the Messiah/Savior came back to start the restoration process!  That’s the meaning of “salvation” – to be “delivered from sin and its consequences; to mend the torn pieces and thus be whole again.”  Want to be part of this?

 

Scripture also makes it crystal clear that NONE of this “evil” comes from a perfect God that created all things perfect to last forever.  After every “day of creation” God looked at what He created and said, “It is good” (Hebrew: perfect, not needing addition or correction).  The “evil” (the word simply means “not good”) we see in our world has not come from God, but His enemies and the resulting effects of sin in creation.  The Bible also says that creation is groaning as it awaits the completion of The Master Plan – the glorification of God’s people – that will then restore all creation to its original perfection.  String theory and physical measurements have verified that every physical thing is broadcasting a unique frequency “sound” wave.  Could this be the “grown” of all creation, whereas it was originally a melody?  People who have been in heaven say they hear everything singing or playing a melody unto the Lord, all in harmony!

 

Ever since man’s fall, God has been busy revealing Himself and His Master Plan to us.  Through the obvious wonder of the heavens and every created thing, the glory of God has so clearly been revealed to show us so much about His character, His power, His endless creativity, His provision, His balance, and His perfection.  Just take a walk through the city some day and count all the plain-Jane, boring, and outright ugly things that man has made.  Then compare it to all the unique, multi-colored, multi-textured things of art and beauty that God has created in the countryside.  Go outside the “dirty glow of the city” some night and look up on a dark sky and see the vastness of the Milky Way – only one galaxy among millions, and our telescopes for finding more every year!

 

The microscopic world points to God also!  Molecular microbiologists are finding that the human body consists of thousands of small “machines” operating by information technology (IT) just as a computer program operates a car factory.  No mathematic-statistician will any longer believe that simple nucleotides coming together randomly would ever create a protein, let alone the simplest form of life.  They gave up with that theory after they ran the numbers on a supercomputer.  It does not compute!  It’s worse than the idea of throwing a bomb in a machine shop and ever expecting a car to come out, or exploding a print shop and ever expecting a phone book to come out.  They all admit now that such thinking about the origins of life is absurd!  So, now the hardcore atheists have had to resort to believing that life on our planet came here from aliens or on the back of a comet long ago.  This begs the question:  “Where did that life come from?”  They are hoping that you’ll buy their next book to find out!  They’re hoping you’ll never really look into this question!

 

Yeshua revealed to the Apostle Paul:  Instead of people considering it worthwhile to acknowledge and show gratitude to God for all that God has revealed; instead of seeking to understand Him; instead of worshipping (Hebrew: kissing toward) Him; instead of honoring Him in a reverential fear; and instead of desiring His righteousness . . . all people have turned away to their own selves, in one way or another uselessly seeking, honoring, serving, and worshiping created things rather than the Creator.  What have you spent your time doing?

 

Deep within our inner beings, God created our conscience, where His gentle and quiet rhema words make known His unseen thoughts, though we can confuse this with our own reasoning or Satan’s accusations.  Some will listen to the Spirit’s voice and obey the Father.  Most don’t – they instead listen to their own appetites, to the counsel of others, to endless talk radio and music, and to a plethora of TV shows, movies, and internet commentary.  The Bible says that the teachings of demons will tickle their ears.  So much “fake news!”

 

After about 10 generations of the Lord working in people’s lives after Noah, around 2200 B.C. before the 11th Egyptian Dynasty in a place called Ur of the Chaldeans in Mesopotamia, God revealed Himself to a man full of idolatry and sin, just like all the people around him, named “Abram.”  As Abram “walked and talked with God,” and as he became closer to God, he took a “step of faith” in believing God’s promise to him that he would have an heir from his own loins – even though both he and his wife were so old this seemed impossible.  God rewarded his faith by changing his name to “Abraham” (meaning “father of a multitude”) and giving him a child “Isaac” so that through “The Seed” many nations would be blessed.  Throughout the bible “The Seed” always refers to the Messiah who would come from the child of promise, Isaac, but also to all those who are “in Christ” – to those who by “the same faith as Abraham” have taken an “obedient step of faith” into “Yeshua as the Messiah and Lord/Master” and therefore inherit the blessings promised to Abraham.  Are you part of “The Seed?”

 

God made a binding relational agreement or covenant with Abraham to bless Him.  Abraham’s first son through Hagar was “Ishmael” but his wife’s plan to get an heir backfired horribly.  He became the father of all the Arab nations and their religions, who have been warring against Isaac’s descendants ever since!  However, through God’s promised “Isaac” came other great men who also “walked and talked with God” – Jacob (renamed by God as “Israel”) and his 12 sons that became the 12 tribes of Israel, including Judah, who Yeshua descended from.  Do you see The Master Plan beginning to unfold?

 

By the beginning of the 18th Egyptian Dynasty after the Hittites sacked Babylon in 1595 B.C., the Israelites, like so many nations, had become enslaved by Egypt – for over 400 years!  Around 1525 B.C., God intervened by raising up Moses, a Prince of Egypt (unbeknownst to him an Israelite) to speak to him directly on Mt. Sinai.  God told Moses that the “I AM that I AM” would deliver His people and take them to their own land, a land promised to Abraham.  “YHWH” is how the Israelites wrote God’s name in Hebrew.  God’s name was so holy that the vowels weren’t preserved in writing but orally passed down.  Many of our modern Bibles just print this as “The LORD.”  By the 6th century B.C., scholars believe YHWH was pronounced Yahweh.”  The pronunciation “Jehovah” didn’t come into being until the 12th century A.D. when the Roman Catholic church used the vowels of “Adonai” (a Hebrew name for God) to vocalize their own Latin “JHVH” translations.  So are the “Jehovah Witness” anywhere close to being right?

 

The Exodus happened at the beginning of the Chinese Shang Dynasty around 1450 B.C.  You know the story:  One of the 10 plagues sent by Yahweh to Egypt to force Pharaoh’s release of Israel was the Angel/Messenger of death who visited the 1st born of everyone in the land, unless you had the blood of a lamb painted on the doorposts of your house.  This was the Passover the Israelites were to forever celebrate – the night death passed over them because of the blood of a lamb.  This, too, was to prepare God’s people for a time in the future when Yeshua would become “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  When death comes, will it pass over you because of the Lamb’s Blood?

 

Egypt’s army was destroyed in the Red Sea and Yahweh led His people to the Promised Land.  On Mt. Sinai, Yahweh gave the 10 commandments to His people, and shortly after that the Torah or Law (the detailed do’s and don’ts instruction lists) that would separate Yahweh’s people from the nations around them.  Careful reading of the account shows that God’s original intent was to speak to the people directly and thus directly make them holy, but their refusal resulted in Moses meeting God and relaying this to the people.  The New Covenant through Yeshua restores God’s original intent to change people from within by His Holy Spirit instead of words on a page.

 

Because of Yahweh’s covenant with Abraham, Yahweh now entered into a covenant relationship with Israel through Moses called “the Old Covenant or Law”:  Yahweh would be their God if they would follow His ways.  Yahweh physically manifested Himself as a bright cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night and dwelled at the center of their camp in the Tabernacle.  Those were glorious days!  You would think it would be easy to have faith and be obedient with such an obvious presence of God, right?  Many did, but there were still those who refused to obey because of “I did it my way” thinking – Frank Sinatra will regret singing those words!

 

We know from archeology that the Gentile nations routinely practiced detestable, perverse, and grossly violent acts that not only exterminated other civilizations but eroded their own genes pools through sexual incest, resulting in widespread disease and ultimate extinction. Yahweh’s Law was advanced in preventative medicine and societal order.  That could be one of the reasons why the Jews are one of the only remaining peoples of antiquity.

 

In the Law, we see the holiness of God and the un-holiness of men.  The Law was given to expose sin for what it actually is – utterly destructive and so detestable in the sight of God, being the exact opposite of His character or nature.  The Law shows the justice of a Just God and the wrathful judgment “sin” deserves.  The Law actually multiplies a man’s sinfulness, because sin – through the weakness of the flesh – seizes the opportunity of the Law to produce all kinds of sin in man.  Those who try to live by the Law see even more need for the Messiah’s “Amazing Grace” (undeserved favor), who was promised to save God’s people from their sin.  Do you really think you’ll be “good enough” on the Day of Judgment?  Do you really want to test that theory?

 

The Law acted like a strict school master or as a watchful prison guard to keep Yahweh’s people closely together and shut away from outside influences that would lure them away from the one true, living God.  It also kept the inmates from killing each other.  From the outside, the walls of the Law were very high, higher than any prison wall of its day.  It kept people in and it kept people out.  Only Christ’s “Amazing Grace” can let you out of such a prison!

 

We also know that much of what was shown to the men of God in the OT were simply models or miniatures, object lessons, types or figures, and shadows cast from much larger realities shown to them from heaven or from what was to come on earth.  These were all designed to take Yahweh’s children by the hand and step them through the dangers of life, but also to prepare them for their Messiah to come, His teaching, and His way.  The NT book of “Hebrews” is chalk full of these examples fulfilled in Christ.  It’s a rich explanation written to Jewish Christians being tempted to go back to the Law’s “obedience through commandments.”

 

Yahweh knew His people would fail in their attempts at such obedience.  So, through Moses’ brother Aaron and his sons, God established the priesthood to offer sacrifices for the sins of His people.  God used these purification rituals to remind God’s people of the deadly seriousness of sin, their own weaknesses, and the holiness of the God they represented and served.  Every time they made a sacrifice, they had to take a “step of faith” that Yahweh would exchange the life of the unblemished animal, the life that was in its blood, for their sinful life.  It made no sense to them, but that’s what Yahweh asked them to do.

 

Thus, even under the Law, the “righteous lived by their faith, from [the] first [step] to [the] last,” as the prophet Habakkuk was told.  This is how they would stay in loving relationship with God in their daily lives, by staying in His mercy and loving kindness.  You see, the certainty and sureness of faith is not in a “what” (a list of do’s and don’ts, or even writings about God) but in a “Who” – the person of God – to rely on, to trust in, and to lean against His “Amazing Grace!”  Will you take that “step of faith?”

 

Moses was the first to speak about the “The Prophet” who would come after him, who would be an Israelite, and be like himself in mediating a covenant with Yahweh’s people.  God said prophetically, “I will put My words in His mouth, and He will tell them (the Israelites) everything I order Him.”   The other prophets of Yahweh after Moses spoke of “The Prophet” as the Messiah or Christ (“The Anointed One of God”) and as Yahweh’s Servant, the Son of Man, the Son of God, and The Lord (Hebrew: Ynda ‘adown or Nda ‘adon or Greek: Kurios for Supreme Master).  As I mentioned, before this Person came in the flesh, He appeared as the “Angle/Messenger of Yahweh.”  Throughout the OT, Yahweh also gave various compound names or titles of Himself for His people to better understand His power, holiness, character, and provision, such as: Yahweh-Jireh (I AM your Provider), Yahweh-Shalom (I AM your Peace), Yahweh-Rophe (I AM your Healer).  Yeshua means “Yahweh-shua” (I AM your Savior).  Do you want to have a relationship with this God who reaches out to His people?

 

Meanwhile, starting in 1350 B.C., Yahweh established 15 Judges over the next 300 years to carry out His justice according to the Law, in order to mature and rule His people.  During this time, the Hittite Empire also falls and the beginning of the Iron Age starts in 1200 B.C. with the Grecian Trojan War.  The only book of the OT named after a Gentile is Ruth, who lived about 1300 B.C. and is in the lineage of Yeshua, meaning that Yeshua had Gentile blood in Him!  Because Ruth gathered grain left by the reapers, it’s the book read during the Pentecost harvest.  After the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost, Yeshua became “The Bread of Life,” which brought an abundant harvest of Gentiles into God’s Kingdom.  Thank God that The Master Plan wasn’t just for Jews!

 

Yahweh’s Judges were “as gods” to His people, including Gideon, Samson, Eli (the high priest in Shiloh – the city of the Tabernacle, and the name of the street I live on), and Samuel (meaning “heard of God”) who was the first of several OT prophets.  Many scholars see glaring parallels between the birth and life of Samuel and YeshuaProphets were given supernatural powers like:  calling down fire from heaven, bringing drought and rain, bringing about a birth, raising the dead, multiplying food, healing diseases, and dividing rivers or seas so people could cross on dry ground.  Samuel’s mother Hannah prophesied about Christ’s judgment of the nations at His Second Coming:  “The adversaries of Yahweh shall be broken to pieces; against them He will thunder in heaven. Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth; He will give strength to His King and exalt the horn (rule) of His Anointed One” (Christ or Messiah).

 

About 1000 B.C., Yahweh spoken through Nathan the prophet to King David concerning the Messiah:  “And when your days have been fulfilled, you will sleep with your fathers, and I will set up your Seed after you, which shall proceed out of your loins, and I will establish His Kingdom. He shall build a house (the Church) for My Name, and I will establish the throne of His Kingdom forever.  I will be to him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.”

 

Around 900 B.C., the Assyrian Empire begins, Egypt begins to decline around 1100 B.C., the Chinese Chou Dynasty begins around 1150 B.C., and the Mayan Empire begins around 1000 B.C.  The Israelites insisted that they should have a king like the other nations around them, despite the firm warnings of Yahweh through the prophets.  So, the Israelites choose King Saul around 1050 B.C., who turned out to be a terrible king and displeased Yahweh greatly.  So around 1010 B.C, Yahweh replaces him with “a man after God’s own heart” King David – through the anointing of Samuel the prophet.  However, like all humans, David fell into sin – even adultery, and having his mistress’s husband killed in battle.  However, as a true man of God, David cast himself upon the mercies of God and turned (repented) from his ways.  Yeshua referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd of Psalms 23 that David, by the Holy Spirit, wrote [Amplified Bible notes added from original languages]:

     Yahweh is my Shepherd; I shall not lack. He makes me to lie down in pastures of tender green grass [for food, comfort, and rest].  He leads me beside still and restful waters [for drink and to calm me]. He restores [and refreshes] my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness [right-standing and right-living] for His Name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [that protects the sheep from snakes and animals] and your staff [that guides the sheep], they comfort me.

 

A classic case of how Satan tries to get you to misapply Scripture is the one above.  It’s rarely ever read except at funerals when you can feel the “valley of the shadow of death.”  But that’s not why King David wrote this!  He wrote it for everyday life, to keep him up on the “mountain tops” with the Lord.  But when he had to go through the “valley,” the Lord was there also to get him through it without fear and doubt.  Death would always cast its “shadow” on us if it were up to Satan – that’s his first order of business!  If it were only up to Satan, he’d keep us in this “valley” under his “shadow of death” forever.  This is where he would like to kill you dead in your tracks – even from the anxiety or depression over a simple cut in your skin, just thinking about all the germs and disease and illness and disability and death that could come from it!  And he’ll have a 100 doctors and commercials tell you that “germs are out to kill you.”  David, like us, had many troubles and struggles – many enemies within and without – that would keep him “down in the valley” of doubt, anxiety, fear, and panic.

 

Will you let the Good Shepherd lead you through your valley?  I personally can testify how many times the Lord has reminded me of this verse as I tossed and turned at night, and He gave me rest every time I surrendered to it.  The Truth will set you free – if you get it in you and stay connected to the Author of Truth, Yeshua!

 

King David’s hands were stained with the blood of many enemies that sought to destroy him and Israel, so Yahweh said his son Solomon would build the Temple of God that King David insisted on, despite Yahweh’s protests that the Tabernacle was sufficient.  Around 970 B.C., Yahweh gave King Solomon more wisdom than any man before or after him, because when asked by Yahweh what he wanted, he did not ask for power or wealth like most men, but wisdom to rule God’s people by God’s ways.  Yahweh then gave Solomon more wealth than any king before him and very likely after him – estimated to be $126 billion income over 40 years.  He established a long-reigning trade empire with the known world and never had to fight a single battle.  Kings and queens came from the farthest reaches to hear Solomon’s wisdom (Proverbs) and to see the 1st Temple of God that today would have costed $56 billion.

 

Around 870 B.C., about the time the city and kingdom of Samaria began, God spoke through His prophet Elijah (Elias or Eliyahu, meaning “Yahweh is my God”) and his successor Elisha (“My God is Salvation”, cf. Yeshua = “Yahweh is your Savior”), telling them to write His spoken rhema words down so that generations after them would seek to have the same kind of relationship with Yahweh that these men and women of God had, and to walk in His ways or be prepared for the God’s judgment. The names of God often started with E- or El-, like El-shaddai, or El-ohim.  Prophets affected a lot of people and did not go unnoticed by the surrounding nations. For example, “Elijah the Thunderer” is mentioned throughout the folklore of early Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.  He’s also mentioned in the Islamic Quran.  Elisha healed the Syrian general Naaman from his leprosy, causing this enemy of Israel to declare, “There is no other God in all the earth, but only in Israel.”  There were many lepers then, but little faith – something that Yeshua pointed out was the reason why He didn’t do many miracles in some cities, i.e., Israel’s stubborn unbelief.  God does miracles for one reason – to draw people back to Himself through “the obedience of faith,” not for your or anybody else’s entertainment!

 

Well, Israel had many kings, some good that followed Yahweh, but many bad.  God never chose another king.  But Yahweh promised to David that someone from his own lineage would one day be the “King of Kings and the Lord of Lords” – the promised Messiah to Israel, the Deliverer of His people.  But when He came, they ignored, despised, and rejected Him.  Yahweh tried everything to bring His people back in line with His Will.  Will you listen to Him?

 

In fact, 80% of the 1817 detailed predictions of OT Scripture have already been fulfilled by God exactly as specified during each prophet’s lifetime or those of their children.  Statisticians say there’s only a 1 in 10 with 2000 zeroes-after-it chance this could ever happen.  Generations of Israelites saw Yahweh back up His spoken rhema word time and time again.  Thus, some people (not all) learned to trust and really “fear (Hebrew: respectfully be in awe with) the Lord.”  Yahweh sent every generation at least one prophet, but each of these prophets was eventually killed because the Jewish people just didn’t wanted to hear such “negativity,” and thus refused to change their ways.  What would you have done with the voice of the prophets?

 

What has happened to the other 20% of prophetic prediction?  Are you saying: “A Ha!  That proves the Bible can’t be true, that nothing will happen to me if I ignore it.”  Wrong!  Scholars have determined that the remaining 500 predictions are concerning the “last days” before the coming of the Messiah to establish His earthly Kingdom.  Many scholars are seeing that many of these prophesies are starting to be fulfilled in our lifetimes.  Many believe we are now near the end of the “last days” and in the “latter rain” of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring to bring in the “fullness of the Gentiles” harvest before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, i.e., the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ as the Lion of Judah (not the  passive “Aslan” in the C.S. Lewis’s “Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe”), to carry out God’s judgment upon all those who have rejected His message of “Amazing Grace” for the last 2000 years.

 

Back to history: Israel, Tyre, Moab, Syria, Egypt, and Assyria battle it out.  Around 900 B.C., Assyria wins out and reigns for 300 years.  Around 750 B.C., near the time the first Greek Olympic games, the writing of Homer’s Iliad, and the founding of Rome in Italy, Yahweh speaks through a major prophet Isaiah“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and they will salute Him Emmanouhl (pronounced Emmanuel or Immanuel)” – which is a title in Hebrew meaning “God with us.”  Yahweh then sent other prophets like JonahYeshua said he would be in the “heart of the earth 3 days like Jonah was in the belly of the whale” and that this would be God’s “sign” to the Jews.  Micah wrote:  “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of you shall one come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.”  Remember how Joseph and Mary hid Yeshua in Egypt so King Herod wouldn’t kill Him like he did all the other 2-year old children in Bethlehem?  Hosea prophesied this: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my Son.”  The Son of God was often referred to as true Israel (the name given to Jacob, the direct forefather of Yeshua).  Amos spoke of the day of Christ’s crucifixion when history reported a violent earthquake and noonday darkness for 3 hours:

     Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?  I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation . . . I will make it like the mourning of an only Son and the end of it like a bitter day.

 

Then around 670 B.C., Assyria takes over Egypt and Yahweh speaks through Jeremiah the prophet to promise a New Covenant with Israel, completely unlike the Old Covenant (“New” in Greek and Hebrew means “radically different as with a patented invention”), a covenant that Israel had “broken,” like a woman leaving her husband.  The Law would no longer just be on stone tablets or scrolls, it would be “written by God Himself into the hearts of His [New Covenant] people.  God will be their only Teacher and He will remember their sins no more.”  This and other prophecies predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit of Jesus, “The One Teacher,” and that the Church (“called-out assembly”) would be created from all nations, so that God’s promise to Abraham to bless all nations from Him would come true.  

 

Jeremiah also prophesied that the rule of Babylon would only last 70 years (509 – 539 B.C.), and that Solomon’s Temple and Jerusalem would remain destroyed (586 B.C.) and desolate during this time.  And sure enough after 70 years, Cyrus II of Persia issued the decree for the people of Judah to return to Jerusalem!  They built the 2nd Temple of God in 536 B.C. and completed it in 516 B.C.  God’s timing is perfect!

 

Then around 600 B.C., the Medes and a resurgence of the Babylonians split the rule of Assyria.  In 620 B.C., God gave His prophet Daniel a clear interpretation of a horrifying, recurring dream Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar was having.  God clearly names and describes all the major kingdoms of the earth that would affect Israel – Egypt replaced with Assyria, replaced with Babylon, replaced with the Medes and Persians, replaced by Greece, and then replaced by the Romans.  All this happened exactly as predicted to the amazement of modern day historians, because some of these countries didn’t even exist at the time of Daniel!  God’s prophecies will happen whether your believe them or not.

 

As predicted by Daniel, the Roman Empire has come back together in our “last days” as a confederacy of nations no longer by the “power of iron” (the sword), but by the power of their banking system!  I remember reading a well-documented article on Wikipedia a couple of years ago about the sealed-membership of a 10 nation-banking system called the Western European Economic Community (WEEC) that consisted of the 10 oldest, central banks.  Now, I find it odd that it’s very difficult to find any information about this.  They reportedly controlled the money of Europe and most of the world’s smaller banks.  This would indeed be a fulfillment of many Biblical prophecies concerning the “last days.”  According to Scripture the 10 central banks will whittle down to 7 “horns” (bank rulers), because the 3 will have merged due to financial crisis and the necessity to conglomerate, and the ruler (1 horn) that emerges of this is the Antichrist.  Most people won’t even make the Scriptural connection when it happens!  The Bank of England that controls the government of England is the first to go, which many prophets saw long before the announcement of Brexit!

 

It’s interesting that George Soros has single-handedly destroyed 3 currencies just for the “fun and profit” of it.  He is “the man who broke the Bank of England in 1992 on Black Wednesday.”  In 1997, he became “the Jew who triggered the Thai currency plunge” in the Asian financial crisis.  Many financial analysts believe Soros has the U.S. dollar as his next target and consider him “public enemy #1,” saying “there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit. These new actors on the scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is ‘Soroi’.”  He has funded many rebellions and wars for profit.  He has been manipulating one of the Central Banks – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – to his advantage.  He has funded many leftist riot in the U.S.  He has a huge ego and has made some very grandiose, boastful claims about his power over the world.  Some think he, or someone like him with his influence in the financial markets, will rise as the Antichrist.  Everything about him sure fits the bill.  Many countries are quite nervous about him, including the United States.  Keep an eye on this guy – he’s truly evil!

 

Daniel also predicted the coming of the Messiah, His death, and the destruction of the 2nd Temple to the exact year, according to many Biblical scholars – years are based on the Jewish calendar, but dates are based on our calendar:

     70 weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness . . . and to anoint the Most Holy.  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment (Ezra 7:7-8) to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem (458/457 B.C.) unto the Messiah the Prince shall be 7 weeks (49 years to 410/409 B.C., when the last prophet Nehemiah ends his governing of Judah and is taken captive to Babylon – a key turning point of Israel), and threescore (60) and 2 weeks (62 weeks or 434 years to 25/26 A.D. when Yeshua started his public ministry at age 30): . . . And after threescore (60) and 2 weeks shall Messiah be cut off (3.5 years, Yeshua was crucified at 33 on April 3, 30 A.D.), but not for Himself (the prophet Isaiah also said Yeshua wouldn’t be killed because of His own sin but because of our own sins): and the people of the prince (Emperor Titus) shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (this happened in 70 A.D. – exactly 70 years after Yeshua was born).

 

Habakkuk, the prophet of God in 600 B.C., clearly portrays the “Great Tribulation of the last days” being fueled by nations being indebted to large lenders, the latter attempting to collect on the nation’s bad debt, and the populace rising up in revolt because of the seizure of a nation’s assets.  These revolts are what fuel the many wars that will break out again and again, which the Antichrist will use to his advantage to assume control of the world.  The Antichrist is one of the rulers (“horns”) of this 10-nation bank confederacy!  Revelation’s “mark of the beast” is the key encrypted identification code for a buyer/seller’s secure access to the Antichrist’s new-world currency system instituted to stabilize the markets, eliminate currency manipulation and black markets of terrorist groups and nations, and “it would take a wise-man to calculate this number” (indeed, since it’s a non-hackable security algorithm – Google “China’s Quantum telecommunications – the first non-hackable communications”).  If you take this “mark of the beast,” you have chosen sides!

 

Obadiah, the prophet of God in 590 B.C. speaks of the future total destruction of Edom (modern Jordan) and the Palestinian people (descendants of Ishmael and Esau) for their treatment against Israel (Esau tried to kill Jacob, who was later called “Israel” by God) and the God of the Jews.  This destruction happens on the Day of Yeshua’s arrival!  We know from many other prophesies that there will be a future time when many nations will attack Israel from every side, including Russia, China, Europe and possibly even the U.S. (since we really are just an extension of Europe and the old Roman Empire).  God says:  “For the Day of Yahweh is near upon all the nations.  As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. For as you have drunk on My holy mountain (Jerusalem), so all the nations shall drink continually; they shall drink and swallow, and shall be as though they had never been.”  The United Nations have become increasingly hostile toward Israel.

 

After existing 410 years, Solomon’s 1st Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II.  The prophet Ezekiel predicted “the old stone heart of the Israelites” (i.e., obedience to the Mosaic stone tablets) “would be replaced with a heart of soft-flesh,” clearly predicting that God would walk among them as a human being and give His commandments in person.  He also predicted the coming of the Holy Spirit of God that would “write the Law of God on their hearts,” as Jeremiah also predicted.  Will you soften your heart to hear the spoken rhema words of God?

 

Now the Jews were exiled to Babylon for their unfaithfulness to Yahweh – even after so many warnings!  Then about 560 B.C., Persia reigns for the next 200 years and Israel is released from Babylonian captivity and then builds the 2nd Temple by 516 B.C.  About 550 B.C., Buddha spreads his teaching throughout India and Confucius throughout China.  Around 500 B.C., Greece’s “Republic” philosophy of politics begins to shape the world.  While, the world was striving to make sense of itself, God sent His last prophets to Israel:  Esther, Malachi, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Joel.  They spoke intensely about the Messiah and God’s judgment to come – not only to Israel for their future rejection of the Christ, but also to the other nations who splintered off from Abraham (the Arabs and other Gentiles).  Then the world starts falling apart again: Around 430 B.C., Athens and Sparta started the Peloponnesian wars in Greece, the Gauls sack Rome in 390 B.C., and Egypt pulls away from Persia.  Will you be able to listen to God when the world again explodes into war?

 

Ezra spoke of a great Jewish leader who was involved in the building of the 2nd Temple.  His name was also Yeshua or Joshua (Aramaic).  Do you think it was coincidence that Jesus (Yeshua) referred to Himself repetitively as the “Temple of God that He would raise up in 3 days after it was destroyed?”  Is it any wonder that God named His Son, Yeshua?  Not many would dare to have such a name!  It’s like walking around with the name “Christian” – boy, wouldn’t that put pressure on you be named “Anointed Messiah!”

 

Nehemiah also lists a man named Yeshua as first of the 13 men and the priests of Levi who read the Law and helped the Israelites understand it, upon the rededication of the 2nd Temple.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that at age 14, Jesus (Yeshua) was in the Temple teaching the Law and astounding all who heard Him with His great understanding and wisdom?

 

Joel predicted the Day of Pentecost that started the Church when the Holy Spirit was poured out by Yeshua after He sat down at the right hand of the Father with all authority, as referred to by the apostle Peter:

     And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh – your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. . . [and now about the end of these “last days”]:  And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the Great and Awesome Day of Yahweh comes.

 

Then about 336 B.C., Alexander the Great, the star pupil of Aristotle, conquers the known world in record time, just as predicted by the prophet Daniel. Wisely, he creates a dumbed-down Classical Greek language called Common (Koine) Greek so he can establish trade with the known world very quickly and spread the Greek culture (i.e., Hellenization).  In 225 B.C., the famed Alexandrian Library had the OT translated by 70 of the top Greek scholars, and so is called the Septuagint (LXX in Roman Numerals). Sadly at 32, after Alexandria bemoaned that there was nothing left to do after only reigning for 13 years, many believe he died of alcohol poisoning from his excessive partying.

 

Alexander’s vast empire is split for the next 200 years between the Ptolemy’s of Egypt controlling Palestine from 331 B.C., the Seleucus’s and Demetrius’s of Persia and Syria controlling Palestine from 200 B.C., and the Antiochus’s of Macedonia and Greece from 175 B.C.  The 2nd Temple of God is desecrated.  The Jewish Maccabeus Revolt against Seleucus’s reign occurs to regain control of the 2nd Temple in 165 B.C. and Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights is first celebrated.  Then about 150 B.C., the Romans cease Greece in the 3rd Punic War. The Maccabeus revolt continues to regain control of Judea by 142 B.C.  In 73 B.C, Spartacus led a slave revolt against the Grecian Roman Republic.  But by 60 B.C., Greece and the rest of the world had been conquered by Julius Caesar, with Pompey conquering Jerusalem, and Crassus crucifying Spartacus and all his followers – the three rulers creating the First Triumvirate allegiance.  But by 27 B.C., Caesar takes complete control.  Later around 37 A.D., they gave the Jewish King Herod rule over Judea and he starts refurbishing the 2nd Temple by 20 B.C.  Around 31 A.D., Rome takes over Cleopatra’s rule of Egypt.

 

As you can see, the period from 400 B.C when God stopped speaking to Israel through the prophets until the time of Christ was a real worldwide mess!  That’s what happens when we stop listening to God!  Scholars agree that it was an unprecedented period of oppression and turmoil!  Everybody was vying for power and many peoples and their religious practices were run rough-shod over.  The digital Dead Sea Scrolls are all available now online at http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/.  They are a large collection of writings from this period of time, especially from 200 B.C. until about 100 A.D., when “The Way” of Christ had spread to the known world, mainly due to the Koine Greek language in which the teaching of Yeshua and the Apostles were all written.  The Dead Sea Scrolls validate the care in which the OT had been copied, and also support the NT accounts of Yeshua and that region’s events.  They also help us see the turmoil leading up to and after Yeshua’s arrival.

 

Although the people of the Middle East spoke Aramaic and some Hebrew (if you were educated), the Koine Greek language was the written language of the common people, like our English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) or International English (IE) is considered.  Within 30 years, “The Faith” of Christians had left the Middle East, and within 60 years had spread to the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire because of Koine Greek and the Great Diaspora, which was the persecution of the Jews after the 2nd Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed by Emperor Titus in 70 A.D.  Remember how Yeshua wept bitterly at the Temple, saying every stone would be toppled within His generation, because the Jews had killed their last prophet John (the Baptist) and “The Prophet” (Jesus, Yeshua) predicted by Moses, having “despised the time of their visitation” by their own Messiah. How terribly destructive it is to reject the Master Plan of God!

 

By the time Yeshua was born, there had been 400 years of silence from Yahweh.  Is it any wonder?  Israel had killed all their prophets and they refused to change despite all of God’s efforts!  They were called to be a “light on a hill” for the Gentiles to glorify God.  Instead the name of God had become a byword and a curse word, like the exclamatory remarks: “O My God (OMG), Jesus, Jesus Christ, or Christ” have become today!  The prophet Daniel predicted that Rome would be the “massive iron legs” that pounded the people into submission.  Yahweh used it as a final judgment to bring the Israelites to a place of utter desperation.  Those who “walked and talked with God” were far out-numbered by the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees who ruled over the Israelites under Roman rule.  The vacillating crowd exclaimed of Yeshua “Hosanna in the Highest, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” but then just days later yelled, “Crucify Him!  May His blood be on us and on our children!”  What crowd would you have been in?  Would you have bowed to mob rule and cursed the Christ?

 

The Bible says that atjust the right time” in our human history, Yahweh came as Yeshua – “The Prophet” Moses had promised in 1525 B.C. had finally come to God’s people!  It turns out to be during a relatively small sliver of time (430 years) when the entire world had a common language and a common empire to use it, after 400 years of silence from God’s prophets, after many wars with Egypt, Syria, and the Maccabees.  Then with a common Koine Greek language, the Romans unite the world in 60 B.C, with one Emperor Julius Caesar by 27 B.C, and by 30 A.D. Yeshua is preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to man!  Within another 30 years, the Gospel has spread to the ends of the earth through the Koine Greek language.  This is a very thin window of opportunity for God to speak to the entire civilized world and He did it!  Can you see what God has done so that you could hear The Truth as a Gentile?  It’s really amazing how fast God works once He goes to the next step in the Master Plan!

 

Scholars have calculated that between 351 and 365 OT prophecies about the Messiah have all came true when Yeshua walked on this earth.  Statisticians have calculated the odds of Yeshua fulfilling 8 key prophecies as 1 in 10 with 17 zeroes after it.  Fulfilling 48 prophecies would be 1 in 10 with 157 zeroes after it.  Can you imagine the odds of Yeshua fulfilling all the prophecies?  God is in complete control of human history when it comes to The Master Plan!  Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah was fulfilled 700 years later exactly as God said it would:

     In the former time He brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time He has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations (i.e., where Yeshua started preaching). 2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has the Light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation (i.e., people streamed in from surrounding countries to hear Yeshua); You have increased its joy; they rejoice before You as with joy at the harvest (multitudes followed Yeshua) . . . For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of Yahweh of [angelic] hosts will do this.

 

The Jews were meticulous about the keeping of their family trees, because the Law prohibited incest, which we know would have degraded the gene pool and made them susceptible to diseases that had wiped out many other civilizations.  According to Luke, Yeshua is the 77th generation of men (6 x 7 = 42 generations from Abraham, according to Matthew), 77 being a super-complete, absolutely, “over-the-top” number, here representing the historical lineage of men to the birth of the God-Man.  The super-Menorah of Zechariah’s vision of God’s perfect Spirit was seven 7’s of wicks burning bright with never-ending oil from two olive trees!  Yeshua said to Peter that God’s way was to not only forgive your brother one time or even 7 times, but seven 7’s (whether interpreted either as 77 times or 70 times 7, it means “over the top”).  Lamech, a descendant of Cain, said that his murder of another would be avenged 77 times, i.e., absolutely – thus the “legend of the sword,” that all those who pick it up will die from it, just as Yeshua said.  Yeshua’s coming was the epitome of The Master Plan’s completion.  That’s why Yeshua said on the cross “It is finished” (the rarer “perfect tense” in Greek means “completed” with the effects of the action still ongoing).  The coming of Yeshua after 77 generations was perfect timing!  The Master Plan had arrived right on time.

 

God sent one last human prophet to herald the Messiah’s coming – John the Baptist.  The prophet Isaiah had spoken of him 700 years before as:  A voice cries in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Yahweh; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of Yahweh shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.’  Yeshua said that John was the greatest man ever born.

 

According to the prophet Malachi in 465 B.C. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.”  Yeshua said that John was “Elijah to come” and so this prophecy was fulfilled long before Christ’s return. However, John being Elijah is not supporting the non-Biblical idea of reincarnation, i.e., Greek and Indian philosophical ideas from the Iron Age around 1200 B.C. that a dead person’s spirit could return as another person.  Elijah had never died, but was transfigured into a spiritual being and ascended into heaven in a whirlwind of fire, directly into the presence of God.  After John the Baptist was beheaded, he again was seen as Elijah when he visited Yeshua along with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration where Yeshua’s skin shone like the sun and His clothes as white as the light.  Many believe that Elijah is also one of the two witnesses (Moses being the other, just as on the Mount of Transfiguration) that will proclaim Yeshua to Israel during the Great Tribulation – but this time immediatelybefore the coming of Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.”

 

The living Message (logos: communicated content) of God lived among us as Jesus (Yeshua), and people touched Him, listened to Him, and watched Him heal everybody He touched.  His arrival was in a little country in a big world, but was not unnoticed.  In 93-94 A.D., Titus Flavius Josephus, as a traitor to his own Jewish people and certainly not a Christian, was hired by Emperor Flavius Domitian to give a detailed history of the priestly and royal ancestry of the Jews, but especially the 1st century A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple in 70 A.D.  Scholars have combined the surviving Greek, Arabic, and Syrian texts of Josephus.  The most critical of skeptics have all agreed on the bolded text below.  This makes it abundantly clear Yeshua was not an ordinary man in history:

     Now there was about this time Yeshua, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews [and many of the Gentiles]. He was [called] the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

 

From 98–117 A.D., Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (Pliny the Younger) as imperial magistrate under Emperor Trajan, was a respected, honest, and moderate lawyer who consistently persecuted Christians.  He would be very careful to have firsthand sources to back up his actions against the Christians.  Here he says:

     They were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of a meal – but ordinary and innocent food.

 

The Roman Senator and historian for the empire, Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus wrote in 116 A.D. concerning the events leading up to Nero’s burning down of Rome in 64 A.D., with customary disdain of the Christians: “Their most mischievous superstition…the first source of the evil” coming from “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”

 

The elite, royal Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus wrote around 120 A.D. official historical documents based on earlier official documents, concerning Claudius Caesar’s expulsion of the Jews from Rome in 49 A.D. citing that the Jews were “constantly making disturbances about the trouble-making of Christ.”  Another Roman historian, Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus wrote in 215 A.D. to confirm that the Jews were ordered to “no longer hold meetings” because of these disturbances by the Jews concerning Christ.

 

From these and many other historical documents, it boggles my mind that there are people who still don’t think Yeshua actually existed, that He was someone that the Catholic Church made up.  Don’t these people even do their homework?  Yeshua left a huge footprint on the world He stepped into.  The throngs of people who followed Him didn’t keep it a secret.  His enemies were numerous and they never stopped deriding Him.  He was no secret!  Many atheists have come to faith after they started really digging into the documents about Yeshua (read Lee Strobel’s “Case for Christ” or Josh McDowell’s “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”).  Will you do your homework or write Christ off?

 

Out of the 300-plus prophesies regarding Christ as God’s “Master Plan,” this one written 700 B.C. by the prophet Isaiah (Chapter 53) predicts very well what Christ would do to bring each one of us to Him, if we’ll but take a hold of this through a “step of faith,” which is our simple “obedience of faith”:

     The people reply:  Who would have believed what we now report? Who could have seen the Lord’s hand in this?  It was the will of the Lord that His Servant grow like a plant taking root in dry ground (Israel was as spiritually “dry” as you could get by Christ’s birth).  He had no dignity or beauty to make us take notice of Him. There was nothing attractive about Him, nothing that would draw us to Him.  We despised Him and rejected Him; He endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at Him – we ignored Him as if He were nothing.  But He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that His suffering was punishment sent by God.  But because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed (cured, all the “worn pieces” mended back together) by the punishment He suffered, made whole (a key meaning of the word “saved”, reconciled back to God) by the blows He received.  All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on Him, the punishment all of us deserved. He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; He never said a word (at Yeshua’s sham trial, He never defended himself to any of the rulers).  Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, He never said a word.  He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die, and no one cared about His fate. He was put to death (literally “lifted up” on a cross) for the sins of our people.  He was placed in a grave with those who are evil (certainly not holy men), He was buried with the rich (Yeshua was put in the new tomb of the rich man Joseph of Arimathea), even though He had never committed a crime or ever told a lie.  The Lord says, “It was My will that He should suffer; His death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so He will see His descendants (i.e., the true Israel, the Bride of Christ, those who have faith in The Promise, the faith of their Father Abraham); He will live a long life (the Bible is full of dramatic understatements – Yeshua will live forever!), and through Him My purpose (The Master Plan) will succeed.  After a life of suffering, He will again have joy (Yeshua “endured the cross for the joy set before Him,” the joy that He had from eternity past); He will know that He did not suffer in vain. My devoted Servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for His sake I will forgive them.  And so I will give Him a place of honor, a place among the great and powerful. (The NT says He has been declared “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and given all authority over heaven and earth). He willingly gave His life and shared the fate of evil men (killed next to 2 criminals, cursed by the Law by being hung on a tree). He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven.”

 

Yeshua “came to destroy the works of the Devil” and restore creation back to God.  He came to His own people, who had butchered “the Law and Prophets” writings with their rabbinical traditions.  He spent a lot of time explaining how they did this, what the correct interpretations were, and how to apply them.  He showed that the spiritual implications of the Law make it even more difficult to reach God through the Jew’s mechanical “going-through-the-motions” rituals, the Catholic’s futile “Hail-Mary” mantras and Rosary repetition of prayers, and the “strain-out-a-gnat-but-swallow-a camel” good works of all religions.  Jesus boiled the entire OT down to a matter of what we put our focus on – ourselves, pleasures, appetites, success, and treasures, or on giving precedence to loving God and others – and of the latter He said you really can’t do one without the other.  He told people to leave criticism and condemnation to God for the Day of Judgment, so as to not to let the Accuser (Satan) or Slanderer (Devil) do this through them meanwhile.  He taught in many ways about how to enter into the Kingdom of God (i.e., trusting in the Messiah as a little child would) and what was to come after He returned to rescue Israel from the Antichrist’s nations.

 

Of course, many Jews believed, like the Zealots, that the Messiah should liberate them from Roman oppression right away.  But this was not God’s Master Plan.  How would the Gentiles have been included in The Master Plan?  Yeshua’s teaching made many of the Israelites hungrier for their Messiah, making them even more desperate for The Way of salvation.  Yeshua even taught Greeks!  This made the all-for-show religious leaders very jealous of Christ’s authoritative teaching and widespread following, and so they plotted to kill Him.  They conspired with the Jewish King and Roman Governor Pontius Pilate to have Him crucified as a common criminal for blasphemy – claiming to be the Messiah but particularly for saying on many occasions that as the Son of God He and the Father were One, making Himself actually equal to God!

 

Everybody Yeshua touched was healed from every kind of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual disease or disability.  He raised the dead.  He cast every kind of demon out of people to free them from every kind of sickness and bondage to sin.  He came to stitch back together the torn, ripped, cut, and split fabric of our lives, our relationship with God, and our relationships to others.  He is the divine Healer!  The Cure!  The Answer!  Our Salvation!  By His death on the cross, He has lifted up off us the burden of all our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational sicknesses and all their associated pain.  He was “torn apart” so that our “torn parts” could be put back together – the real meaning of “salvation.”  His ministry on earth was just the beginning of this.  He said “greater works you shall do, because I go to the Father, and it glorifies My Father in heaven to give you such things in My name.”  So, “In Christ” we can start “walking with God” in realizing this in our lives and those around us, for Christ name’s sake!  Do you want to keep paying for your medications ad nauseum?

 

There’s nothing Yeshua can’t or won’t do to undo what Satan has done – to reconcile us back to the Father and “set the captives free.”  He gave everything He had to make sure this could happen – He substituted His righteous life for our ungodly lives, taking our sin and judgment on Himself, buying us back from slavery (i.e., “redeeming” us) so that we could be declared not guilty (i.e., justified) and receive His very nature – the Holy Spirit.  By this we become ceremonially “clean” and separated unto God for sacred purposes (i.e., made “holy” or sanctified).  He is our Savior, our Deliverer, our Rescuer!  He is the Life Raft, the Life Preserver, the End of our rope!  In the Temple’s Holy of Holies, Yeshua is the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant and also the High Priest who sprinkles the blood of His own sacrifice upon it for the Atonement or payment for the sins of His people.  He is our Propitiation!  Like Moses did on the tablets and Books of the Law, Yeshua is the blood sprinkled on the New Covenant with mankind, a Covenant based on “Amazing Grace” (our undeserved favor)!

 

Yeshua made it clear that now “with God all things are possible,” and the only thing keeping it from happening is our fear or stubborn unbelief – our refusal to “earnestly and consistently ask, seek, and knock for the door to be opened” as Yeshua taught.  The Holy Spirit of God delights to work powerfully in our lives for one reason – to bring glory to the name of Yeshua and His Father, to lift His name up among all people.  He’ll do anything to build His Kingdom!  He has even given up His own life to save our lives.  Once we become His children, He will do everything He can to spoil us with His unconditional love and to insure that we remain His spotless bride, the bride who awaits the Bridegroom to return and take her to His home forever!  This is at the Resurrection of the Dead, when He puts the wedding clothes on us, transforming our mortal bodies into immortality, so our purification is made complete – our “blessed hope.”  The desires of our bodies that war against our soul will no longer be an issue.  Hallelujah!  We are now glorified – made like Him in all respects.  This is the fulfillment of The Master Plan!

 

God has been on one side of a huge wall that goes up to the heavens – His holiness!  He is the Author of Life, the Creator of all that is Good:  light, truth, faith, hope, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, long-suffering, self-control, and every good and perfect gift.  However, mankind lives on the other side of another huge wall that goes to the depths of Hell – our depravity!  We live in darkness, lies, deception, fear, doubt, pessimism, cynicism, self-centered desire, “falling-short” sinfulness, outright rebellion, and wickedness.  Our sins are so many:

     Sexually degrading passions, immorality, sensuality (including sex with things, with the same sex, with animals, and those that we’re not married to – called fornication, promiscuity, and adultery – or even the lustful fantasy for such, according to Yeshua), lewdness, evil, inventors of evil, greed or stingy, wickedness, not peaceful with men, murder, envy, covetousness, jealousy, speaking words that kill others from the inside-out or lead to destruction (strife, quarrels, deceit, speaking malice, gossip, slander, cursing, vulgarity, bitterness, impatience, dissensions or discord), hating God, arrogant, proud, wise in your own opinion, boastful, hypocritical (saying one thing and doing another, all for show), disobedience to parents and governmental and employer authorities, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unkind and unloving (lovers of self instead lovers of God and others, causing harm to either – not bearing other’s burdens for the sake of your own), inhospitable, unforgiving, cold-hearted or unmerciful, retaliatory, vengeful, cliquish or showing favoritism, judgmental separation or contempt from our brothers, slothful or lazy, drunkenness and riotous revelry, carousing, causing another to violate their conscience, tax fraud, being financial indebted to another and so enslaved, theft, lying or any other false testimony.

 

We have reaped what we have sown – “broken and torn” minds, bodies, relationships, and a planet we were charged to take care of like a garden.  We have all sped past the same “speed limit signs” over and over, but eventually we will get pulled over and the Law Enforcement Officer asks, “Did you see that sign you blew by?”  If we lie or say “No, I was looking at my cell phone,” there still will be no excuse acceptable on that Last Day.  The Judge of the Court will declare you “guilty,” because whether you like it or not, you did break the Law.  He represents Justice – He can do no other.  To do anything else would make Him corrupt and thus unjust.  God cannot deviate from His very character or nature.  God is Just and Perfect, so that would be impossible.  And why would He do this for you and not everybody else that has violated any of His Laws?  If He made one exception to the rule, He would have to ultimately let Hitler in.  Everybody would be appealing!  This violates everything He is about.  No, there is no doubt about it – on the Day of Judgment every one of us will be found dead guilty, deserving separation from God.  God is pure light and there is no shadow in or around Him.  Our darkness will exclude us.  We could not be in His Presence without Yeshua, “the Light of the world,” replacing our darkness with His blinding light!

 

We have tried everything in religion and good works to scale our wall to even get to God’s wall, and then to scale God’s wall to get even a glimpse of God – to no avail!  Most people didn’t listen to God’s prophets on how to meet God and “walk and talk with God” – we would have ignored or killed every one of them, too.  Yeshua said he alone was the “Sabbath Rest” so that man could cease their endless “good work” attempts at reaching God.  There’s been so many “teachers of the world” who have led people – usually for a price to become rich and influential – to where they thought God was or could be, to where they thought happiness would or should be.  They have led them to the same place every one of these so-called “teachers” ended up – to the grave, and their bones are still there!  And when they awake at the Resurrection of the Dead, they will face eternal punishment for their deception and their foolish rebellion against The Master Plan of Yeshua.  Many deceiving spirits (demons and fallen angels) have gone into the world, even as angels of light, to deceive many into believing that they have found a way other than the promised Messiah, Yeshua.  They have preached “another gospel” that the apostle Paul says is not even “a gospel” for there is only One “Great News” that will save us.  The apostle Paul under the power of the Holy Spirit says twice of these false preachers:  “May they be eternally damned!”

 

Yeshua came to become “The Cornerstone” that connects the two walls together, so instead of us trying to scale the walls, the two walls can come together through Him.  The cornerstone or capstone was the biggest, most solid piece of uncut stone in a building, for which the entire physics of the building depended.  Yeshua didn’t come to destroy the “wall” of the Law but to fulfill it.  He didn’t come to bring the “wall” of God’s Holiness down, so that with some “magic wand” the “righteous requirements of the Law” are somehow swept under the rug as the Father looks the other way for the sake of His Son, or His love for us.  No, Yeshua as God, is “The Wall” for us, so that when we are adopted “into Christ” we become “in God” and thus “in His holiness.”  Thus we no longer have to scale this wall!  We don’t have to climb our “wall of sin and death” either – this alone would take forever!  No, Christ has become sin itself, taking upon Himself the sins of us all, and taking all the punishment and death deserving it.  He has completely “crushed the head of the serpent” through the “bite in His heel” – the dominion of sin and the fear of death has been destroyed forever.  Have you built your life on “the solid rock” foundation of Yeshua, or on a foundation of sand that could wash away with the first really big storm of life?

 

“In Christ” we can finally be free from the old man’s slavery to sinfulness and the fear of certain judgment and eternal separation from Yahweh.  We are also finally free to live rightly before YahwehYeshua has promised that with His life, the Father would supply everything we need to live a life pleasing to Him – that He would complete what He started.  The Spirit of God even intercedes for those who are His.  Yeshua said, “If, as a branch, you remain connected to Me as the true Vine, and you remain in my [gospel] Message, then you will know The Truth, and The Truth will set you free.  If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”  I personally can testify to how Yeshua has freed me from one addiction and one character flaw after another – and I’m looking forward to His workmanship continuing and one day soon being completed on the Resurrection Day of Transformation – when this caterpillar-turned-butterfly gets to really soar!

 

Yeshua said:  “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life – nobody comes to the Father except by Me.  Broad is the way and wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many travel it, but narrow is The Way and small is The Door that leads to life and few find it.”  The apostle Peter declared on the day the Kingdom of God came to earth during Pentecost:  “Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Yeshua, the Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead . . . This Yeshua is The Stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become The Cornerstone.  And “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 

 

Until about 45 A.D., the Jewish followers of Christ called themselves “The Way.”  The term “Christians” was first used by Gentile unbelievers derogatorily, but by 60 A.D. was adapted by the Church since it had become largely Gentile by then.  The term “Christianity” didn’t even exist before the 14th century.  It means the “state, character, or condition of being a Christian” and has been used to lump “The Faith” alongside every other religion.  The world will find out later that it’s not even a religion but a relationship, but the surprise won’t be pleasant.  Will you be surprised?

 

Yeshua said through the apostle Peter during the first sermon at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out to the Jews to fulfill the prophecy of Joel concerning the beginning of the Kingdom of God, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Yeshua for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the Promised Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 

We’re told by Peter that baptism (Greek for water emersion) is the antitype (i.e., fulfillment that pointed backwards) of Noah’s flood that washed away the sins of the world.  So, like so many events in the OT, the waters that carried the boat to safety are a type or figure of the greater future reality of baptism.  Similarly, God instituted Jewish marriage according to the Law as another type or picture pointing forward to a greater future reality – our being united with Christ in baptism.

 

As we confess before God and man as witnesses of our “pledge of a good conscience toward God” (as Peter says), this is just like the Jewish Betrothal-Marriage vows of the espoused Bridegroom, whom the Bride sincerely responds to with the words “I do.”  This is also when the Bridegroom promised to “prepare a home” for her and declare His obligations toward her – exactly what Yeshua did at the Last Supper.  Although the Bride and Bridegroom were then legally married and viewed as such by the public, they couldn’t “be together” until the Bridegroom had completed His part of the marriage vows and come back to take her to their new home.  This is when the public would celebrate their Wedding with a big feast!  If either of them had any “relations” during this Betrothal period, it was a grievous sin and broke their sacred contract before God.  This was considered adultery and punishable by death – that’s how serious this was!  That’s why Yeshua pours out His Spirit into the Body of Christ – to keep themselves pure, and so the Spirit can minister through each member of the Body/Church to encourage one another to grow in their holiness (sanctification, separation to God).  Where are you?

 

Baptism was just like the Betrothal-Marriage Contract.  It was God’s way of ritually purifying an “unclean person” (for sure Gentiles, as they weren’t chosen by God as the “clean” Jews were) to be separate (holy) unto God for sacred purposes.  Baptism was routinely practiced for Gentile proselytes to Judaism.  The first thing John the Baptist did to prepare people for the coming of Yeshua was have them confess their sins, repent (turn away from their life to the Lord’s way), and be baptized.  It was the first thing Yeshua’s disciples did as Yeshua preached that the Kingdom of God was near.  And we’ve seen it was the first thing that the apostle Peter said to do when the Kingdom of God had finally come by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Baptism is your “pledge” of repentance (“change of attitude direction”) not only regarding Christ as your Savior, but Christ as the Lord (Hebrew: Ynda ‘adown or Nda ‘adon or Grk: Kurios), the Supreme Master of your life, whom you have “pledged your good conscience” to remain pure for, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part” – just like the traditional marriage vows say.  Baptism isn’t a “good work” to add to your list of “saving works,” nor is it an optional (nonessential) “believers baptism” or “first act of obedience” for an “already saved believer” to do.  These teachings arose in the Church around the 17th century with the Baptists as a reaction to the non-Scriptural teaching of “infant baptism” that slipped into the Catholic Church about 150 A.D.  Although many Protestants have jumped on the bandwagon since, many churches still correctly teach baptism as an integral part of salvation.  My detailed study of Scripture and Church history (especially before 130 A.D.) also bears witness to adult baptism of an unbeliever as being a simple step of a person’s “obedience of faith” to publicly confess their sinfulness and repentance before God and man as witnesses, just as a Betrothal vow was done.  Since it was practiced by the Jews, John the Baptist, the disciples of Yeshua, is a key part of the Great Commission, is a key part of the first sermon, is taught elsewhere throughout the NT, and practiced in the earliest Church, I would feel pretty confident in answering the question, “Should I get baptized when I come to the Lord?” with a definite “Yes!”  Let the theologians continue debating and just do it – take the “step of faith – the obedience of faith!”

 

So, what will you do with The Master Plan of Yeshua?  Will you come to God through Him and thus become “in Christ”?  Will you ask Him to come into your life by the power of the Holy Spirit?  Yeshua said, “Unless you are born again from above by the Spirit, you shall not see the Kingdom of God.”  He is a Living God, not just a God of the bible buried in some pages of antiquity.  He wants to live in your life, too, so your name can also be “written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”  Yeshua said “I stand at the door [of your life] and knock.  If you answer, I will come in and dine with you and you with Me.”  And He says “I will separate you from your sin as far as the east is from the west.”  Yeshua then promises “I will never leave nor forsake you.”

 

Will you “walk and talk with God” just as all the men and women of God throughout time have, you have looked forward to the Messiah?  Will you be counted “in such a great cloud of witnesses” on that awesome Day of Judgment?  Will you take the same “step of faith” – “the obedience of faith” that all the righteous men and women have ever taken?  Yeshua suffers long, waiting for you to turn to Him.  He shows Himself to you in so many ways, day after day, and week after week.  He longs for you with all His unconditional, no-strings-attached loving acceptance, but He will not force you.  He does everything else He can to help you move that direction – until you take your last breath.  Then, your fate is sealed.  Then you wait for the Resurrection of the dead and the Day of Judgment.  God bless you!

 

Make sure to read the 5 simple steps to salvation in the previous Salvation – BT1 BLOG.

 

 

Reflection:

 

 

As Christian musicians, don’t we want to personally yada/ginosko know Jesus more than just this gnosis informational-knowledge about Him?  But everybody has to start somewhere!  Let’s go deeper!

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, thank You for coming to us just at the right time in your Master Plan to save us and have a personal relationship with You!

 

 

 

Click on Pic

 

 

 

Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT2

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But what really is salvation and how do we get it?

 

 

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The Greek word soteria for “salvation” from sozo “to save” and the Hebrew word yeshuw’ah from yasha’ means “rescue, deliverance, and restoration or reconciliation by ‘sewing back together what was torn’ for healed relationship and wholeness.”  Sometimes this it is an ‘event’ accomplished in an instant, as with the Holy Spirit coming into a person to make them completely-different-in-kind “NEW creations, fully delivered from their sins by Jesus’ blood, and thus fully reconciled and at peace with the Father.”  However, in many cases salvation is a ‘mending process’ accomplished ‘stitch by stitch’ as we take “one step of obedient faith to another.”  For example, every time you are “routinely filled-to-completion with the abundant-completeness of God by routinely being filling-to-completion by the means of the Spirit” per the strong urgings of Ephesians 3:19 and 5:18, then more and more of God’s divine nature replaces our flesh nature for more healing and wholeness.  Every time we “forgive the debts/sins of others” the more we are “delivered from the evil one” – see Unconditional-Love – BT16 thru – BT24.  Per 1 John 1:9 every time we disobey and thus sin, we can surrender this to Jesus thru confession for Him to restore our confidence that He forgives us and cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness by HIS perfect obedience through HIS sacrifice of blood.  This is another “obedient step of faith” that builds our trusting-relying-faith in HIM, not us!  Every experience of forgiveness because of unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace is one more “mending stitch of healing toward the wholeness” of salvation.

 

The NT is filled with people who asked the question,What must we do to be saved?” and the answers are always the same – simple “trusting-relying-faith in the Messiah-Savior Jesus Christ” (a). Jesus famously says (b): “God SO unconditionally-loved the world that He gave His only-begotten (c) Son, that whoever routinely puts their trusting-relying-faith toward/reaching Him should not perish but have zoe genuine-life everlasting.  For God did absolutely in fact not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever routinely put their trusting-relying-faith toward/reaching Him is absolutely in fact not ongoingly judged guilty, but whoever does not in possibility routinely put their trusting-relying-faith [in Christ] is already judged guilty [with ongoing results] because he has not in possibility already [with ongoing results] put their trusting-relying-faith in the name/authority of the only-begotten (c) Son of God.” <Notes> a) Acts 16:30-31, b) John 3:16-18, c) monogenes: one-of-a-kind, unique child.

 

A careful study of pistis trusting-relying-faith and the verb pisteuo reveals that it is “a moral conviction/persuasion/assurance from a relational trust and dependence in God’s faithfulness or trustworthiness.”  The standard scholarly Lexicon BDAG notes that trusting-relying-faith is:  “on the basis of the reliability of the one trusted.”  The Greek god Pistis was “The Trustworthy One.”  That’s why the same word for “trusting-relying-faith” is used for “faithfulness,” so only the context can help you figure which is being emphasized!  Pistis is a characteristic or ‘flavor’ of “the [singular] fruit/essence/nature of the Spirit that IS-defined-as/exists-as [singular] Unconditional-Love (a) just as “God IS-defined-as/exists-as [singular] Unconditional-Love” (b) period!  Therefore, it makes sense that if we have more of the Holy Spirit’s nature living in us, we will be more faithful simply because we will have more trusting-relying-faith!  <Notes> a) Galatians 5:23, b) 1 John 4:8, 16.

 

New Testament trusting-relying-faith is also closely tied to genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing and/coupled unconditionally-loving God.  Thus, the more deeply you actually know Him, the more you will “trust, rely, and depend on” Him for more and more of your life, and thus the more you will unconditionally-love Him.  But as this “Vertical-Love” grows, the NT says “Horizontal-Love” grows:  the more you will unconditionally-love all of God’s children meaning His Son Jesus and His Christian brothers and sisters.  It’s all inseparably intertwined!  See Unconditional-Love – BT9.

 

It’s no wonder that trusting-relying-faith and/coupled unconditional-love are the only 2 commandments in the NT (a), and that “trusting-relying-faith thru-the-realizing-channel-of unconditional-love routinely, actively, energetically, and effectively being worked is all that counts (b) for anything” (c), and that we see these 2 commandments so often integrally related (d).  Hebrews 11:1 also ties trusting-relying-faith to elpis hope that really is “a confident, expectant faith in future things.”  But this verse also defines pistis faith as: “confident-trusting-assurance and/coupled conviction-confession (e) in things not seen that we elpis hope for.”  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that “trusting-relying-faith, hope, and unconditional-love” are all that will meno “continue-remain” (f). <Notes> a) 1 John 3:23 – see Only 2 Commandments for many other verses, b) is strong, forceful, robust, sound, able, serviceable, c) Galatians 5:6, d) 1 Corinthians 13:2; Galatians 2:20, 5:6, 22; Ephesians 1:15, 3:17, 6:23; Colossians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 3:6, 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:5, 14, 2:15, 4:12, 6:11; 2 Timothy 1:13, 2:22, 3:10; Titus 2:2, 3:15; Philemon 1:5; James 2:5, e) like a court ‘plea’, likely during water-baptism: Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:5; 1 Peter 3:21 – see Surrender Control, f) see also 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 5:8.

 

One of the worst things bibles have done is translate pistis (noun)/pisteuo (verb) trusting-relying-faith as “belief/believe” which our English dictionaries simply defines as “mental assent or agreement.”  However, Helps Word-Studies notes: “Pistis/pisteuo does involve belief, but it goes beyond human believing because it involves the personal ‘in-working’ of revelation from God, and thus is always a work of God,” not simply the result of man’s “might and power” efforts!  Paul says:  “Every work of trusting-relying-faith is by the means of God’s dunamis dynamite-like enabling-power” (a), as likely are the “labor of unconditional-love and/coupled steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” that Paul combines with “the work of trusting-relying-faith” (b). Yet Paul tells the Christian to “put on the breastplate of trusting-relying-faith and/coupled unconditional-love, and the helmet of the hope of salvation (c). However, elsewhere (d), Paul says it’s the “breastplate of righteousness, the shield of trusting-relying-faith, and the helmet of salvation.” <Notes> a) 2 Thessalonians 1:11, b) 1 Thessalonians 1:3, c) 1 Thessalonians 5:8, d) Ephesians 6:14.

 

Again, trusting-relying-faith goes way beyond having theology from gnosis info-knowledge or belief in bible doctrine but requires God’s dunamis dynamite-like enabling-power to even comprehend/know (a), as Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays in for Christians:  “to be strengthened/empowered with dunamis enabling-power thru-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit within your inner being, [that is] Christ to dwell thru-the-realizing-channel-of The-Trusting-Relying-Faith in your hearts, by the means of unconditional-love, already having already been [with ongoing results] rooted and/coupled already having already been [with ongoing results] grounded in unconditional-love, in order that you comprehend/know (a) . . . [Paul lists the dimensions of this unconditional-love] . . . thus to experientially, relationally ginosko know The Unconditional-Love of/belonging-to Christ that ongoingly surpasses gnosis info-knowledge, in order that you may be routinely pleroo filled-to-completion with [the content of] all the pleroma abundant-fullness of God” (b).  And later Paul says how:  “by [passively] being routinely pleroo filled-to-completion by the means of the Spirit” (c). <Notes> a) grab down-from/according-to from what is above, b) Ephesians 3:16-19, c) Ephesians 5:18.

 

Do you see God’s amazing process? It takes the Holy Spirit’s dunamis dynamite-like enabling-power dwelling within us for Christ to continue living after our initial rooting and grounding in God’s unconditional-love, where this indwelling began by trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love, and this is the only way to grasp-down-from-heaven-comprehend/know and experientially, relationally know the dimensions of Christ’s unconditional-love, which far surpasses bible gnosis information, all in order to be filled-to-completion with the abundant-fullness of God.  Wow, what a divine process!

 

Trusting-relying-faith doesn’t even come from the work of studying or believing the bible as we are told so often, but instead Paul says: “trusting-relying-faith comes from akouo hearing/listening-to-understand/know thru-the-realizing-channel-of the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema word of Christ” (a). That’s the Voice of Jesus (b) not gramma writings about Him!  That’s because Christians are “God’s workmanship” (c), for “it is God who works in you, both to desire/will and to do/work for His good pleasure” (d). <Notes> a) Romans 10:17, b) John 10:27, c) Ephesians 2:10, d) Philippians 2:13.

 

When you are born again from above by the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit, you become a completely-different-in-kind, superior “NEW creation.”  Jesus made it crystal clear to one of the smartest bible scholars and teachers of the day, Nicodemus: “Unless one is definitively/wholly born again/from above he absolutely in fact is NOT ongoingly dunamis enabled-by-power to definitively/wholly eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know the kingdom of God . . . unless one is born of water and/coupled the Spirit (a) he absolutely in fact is NOT ongoingly dunamis enabled-by-power to definitively/wholly enter the kingdom of God . . . that which has already been [with ongoing results] born of the Spirit is ongoingly Spirit . . . You ALL ongoingly must definitively/wholly be born again/from above” (b). Paul says Christians are “born kata down-from/according-to the Spirit” and are the ones being persecuted by Jews “born kata down-from/according-to the flesh” (c), but there also many verses about Gentile religions persecuting Christians. <Notes> a) likely an allusion to water-baptism according to all rabbinic thought of Christ’s day, b) John 3:3, 5-7, c) Galatians 4:29.

 

Make sure to read the 5 simple steps to salvation in the previous Salvation – BT1 BLOG.

 

 

Reflection:

 

 

As Christian musicians, don’t we want to live and communicate the central logos message of Christ to be “saved – rescued, delivered, reconciled, and restored to wholeness” by His blood sacrifice and Holy Spirit?  However, unlike the Old Testament covenant or any other religion of works to be ‘right with God,’ in the completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW Covenant Christ’s perfect obedience by His blood sacrifice done for us because of His Unconditional-Love for us NOW makes everyone ‘right with God’ simply through trusting-relying-faith in the Son and His gospel logos message that it was the Father’s Unconditional-Love for us that intentionally planned to send His only-begotten Son to take OUR place in death for the penalty of OUR sins so that the Christ’s righteousness could then be transferred to US – this 2-way transference is called “atonement or propitiation.”

 

This is the ONLY WAY to go from condemnation deserving eternal death to salvation for eternal zoe genuine-life.  Jesus said in John 14:6 that “He IS-defined-as/exists-as The WAY, The Truth, and The zoe Genuine-Life. Absolutely in fact ou NO ONE comes pros toward/reaches to the Father if in possibility me not through-the-realizing-channel-of ME.”  This use of the double negative ou me is the strongest possible way to say there is absolutely in fact and in possibility NO other WAY except Jesus!  All roads absolutely do NOT lead to God.  It’s either Jesus or eternal death.  Jesus forces you to make a choice!  You either are “born again from heaven by the supernatural enabling-power of the Holy Spirit” that comes into you during water-baptism, thus “being born of water” per John 3:5 and “be saved as thru water” per 1 Peter 3:20-21, and become a completely-different-in-kind, superior “NEW creation” under a likewise NEW Covenant, or you remain as you are “in the flesh” as your “old man” to die in your sins, face condemnation on Judgment Day, and then be separated from God and all that is zoe genuine-life forever.  It’s your choice – God is gentle, never forcing anybody to violate their free-will He gave them, being made in His own image.

 

Pistis faith is NOT a mental agreement about some THING, like believing the chair behind you will hold your weight, or believing bible verses that talk about Jesus.  It goes way beyond agreeing with gnosis informational-knowledge, even from a bible!   It is a conviction that puts your trust, dependence, and reliance in the faithful or trustworthy persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are Unconditional-Love by nature and that their unconditional-love for us desires to save us and bring us into a genuine, experiential, relationship epignosis knowledge of them!  Trusting-relying-faith doesn’t come from reading words in a bible, but akouo hearing/listening-to-understand/know the directly-heard/spoken rhema words of Christ” – “His Voice” if you want to be considered one of “His sheep.”  This has nothing to do with bible knowledge but personally experiencing God!

 

In our unfaithfulness by our disobedience to God, we have a choice to “trust, depend, and rely on” Jesus who was faithful by His obedience to God and thus be saved have eternal zoe genuine-life.  If we don’t we die in our sins.  Can you see how trusting-relying-taith and unconditional-love are inseparable?  Thus they are the only 2 commandments in the NEW Covenant.  Our Christian lives are based on it and grow because of it.  “Only faith in the present, hope (faith in the future), and unconditional-love will remain” for eternity, because they are the basis for our relationship with God and always will be!  This is simple enough for a little child or the other “least among us” to understand!

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, we choose to surrender our lives to You! We exchange our unfaithfulness, disobedience, unrighteousness for Your faithfulness, obedience, and righteousness by putting our trusting-relying-faith in Your death on a cross to pay for our sins, and also that it was accepted by God as full payment so Jesus was raised from the dead by the dunamis dynamite-like power of the Holy Spirit, so that we too can become completely-different-in-kind, superior NEW creations as we actually join with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection through water-baptism in order to thus be saved:  rescued, delivered, and reconciled to God and begin the saving-sanctifying-holiness process of being restored to wholeness, finalized at our glorification at Your coming when we are transformed completely into Your likeness!  What a “blessed hope” we have!

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation

Salvation – BT1

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5 Simple Obedient Steps of Trusting-Relying-Faith

 

 

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  • Understand that Jesus is God, your Savior (a) and Lord (b).  If you want to get the really Big-Picture Plan of God and how Jesus fits into it, read the  Master Plan of God in History page.  If you want to know what early Christians believed in, read the Creeds page.  Christ came to earth as a man named “Jesus” in order to live the sinless life that we cannot live.  He died in our place, so that we would not have to pay the penalty we deserve.  God wants to give the greatest grace-gift of all to us – His own life through the death of Himself in the God-become-man named Yeshua or Jesus.”  Regarding Jesus, the Apostle John wrote:  “In the beginning was the Logos Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory – the glory of the only Son from the Father . . . For the Law was given through Moses; The Unconditional-Favor-of-Grace and The Truth was begotten/came-into-existence through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God; the only begotten Son, who is at the Father’s side, He (the Father) has made Him (the Son) known” (c). <Notes> a) “Messiah” in Hebrew or “Christ” in Greek, b) Owner-Master of your life, c) John 1:1-18.

 

  • Confess your past life of sin– acknowledge that you have lived for yourself and haven’t obeyed God. Recognize that you need the Savior because your sins are destroying your life and keeping you from the zoe genuine-life that is found only in the company of God, here and for eternity, “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” as the Apostle Paul realized (a).  Jesus is the only human who has ever lived without sin.  The Apostle John says, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just [through Christ’s sacrifice] to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  – see Surrender Control. <Notes> a) Romans 3:23.

 

  • Only Jesus could pay for our sin, standing in our place to satisfy both The Unconditional-Love of an all-merciful God and the JUSTICE of an absolutely righteous and holy God who created nomos or torah laws/instruction for mankind to live by.  God’s ways have been revealed to our consciences but more explicitly through the OT’s Law of Moses.  However, “God made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God by Him” (a). Because God could only accept a perfect, sinless sacrifice in exchange for our utter sinfulness – this being called “propitiation” – and because He knew that we could not possibly accomplish that, He sent His Son to die for us and pay the eternal price for our freedom from sin and its consequences. “For God so unconditionally-loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever has trusting-relying-faith in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (b). <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 5:21, b) John 3:16.

 

  • Admit/Confess (c) you are ready to have trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord/Owner-Master.  Confession is proof that you have “repented” or “turned away from being the Lord or Master of your own life and surrendered-control of this to Jesus.”  Be as humble/teachable as a little child who trusts and relies on their Heavenly Father to take care of you.  Sincerely pray-ask Jesus to come into your heart, take up His residence there, and begin living in you by His Holy Spirit.  “Without trusting-relying-faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to Him must have trusting-relying-faith that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (a).  The Apostle Paul promises that, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and have trusting-relying-faith in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (b). <Notes> a) Hebrews 11:6, b) Romans 10:9, c) see Surrender Control.

 

  • Water-baptism:  This is when you actually participate in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ so that your old self can die with Him and you can be “born again by water and Spirit” and be “born from above” to be raised to new life with Christ as a new creation and receive the promised grace-gift of the Holy Spirit.  This first act of discipleship in the “obedience of faith” of publicly “confessing” Christ is seen throughout the history of the early Church (a) and described throughout the NT – see Surrender Control.  The Apostle Paul says that this is when you spiritually join with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (b).  The Apostle Peter says, “Water-baptism now saves you likewise (c) – not as a removal of dirt from the body but as [intensely desirous, craving] appeal/pledge/profession to God for a [clean, pure] good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (d).  This is when your OLD innately sinful “inner man” dies and is buried with Christ and completely different-in-kind NEW “inner man” is created within you by the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  This is how you become a disciple or follower of Christ, and so water-baptism was a key part of Christ’s final marching orders in “The Great Commission” to His apostles (e). <Notes> a) Read the Book of Acts, starting with the first Christians in Acts 2:38-39, b) Romans 6:3-14; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27, c) like the Ark saved Noah’s family from God’s judgment against a sinful world, d) 1 Peter 3:21, e) Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:16-17.

 

A sample prayer:  “Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from You.  I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward You.  Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again.  Like a little child, I have trusting-relying-faith in You that Your Son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and now hears my prayer.  I invite You, Jesus, to become the Owner-Master of my life, to rule in my heart from this day forward.  Please send me the promise of your Holy Spirit to give me the enabling-power and your Spirit’s grace-gifts to do Your will for the rest of my life.  In Jesus’ name of all authority, I pray,  Amen.”

 

I encourage you now to find a local church where you can encourage and be encouraged to grow in your brand new life, to build one another up toward the mature-stature of Christ.  You can also find ways there to share your new life with others.

 

Prayer:

 

Lord, I praise Your name that Your New Covenant Way is simple enough for little children and “the least among us” to simply obey so that You show no partiality or favoritism, especially not to the so-called “wise and understanding ones!”

 

 

 

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Categories: Salvation