Understanding Biblical salvation…

Share

Journal,

Learn to Walk With God #5
“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Genesis 5:24 NASB
Biblical Salvation
By LAWRENCE E. (BUDDY) MARTIN
“WHEN THE JAILER AWOKE AND SAW THE PRISON DOORS OPENED, HE DREW HIS SWORD AND WAS ABOUT TO KILL HIMSELF, SUPPOSING THAT THE PRISONERS HAD ESCAPED. BUT PAUL CRIED OUT WITH A LOUD VOICE, SAYING, ‘DO NOT HARM YOURSELF, FOR WE ARE ALL HERE!’ AND HE CALLED FOR LIGHTS AND RUSHED IN, AND TREMBLING WITH FEAR HE FELL DOWN BEFORE PAUL AND SILAS, AND AFTER HE BROUGHT THEM OUT, HE SAID, ‘SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?’ THEY SAID, ‘BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS, AND YOU WILL BE SAVED, YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD.’” (ACTS 16:27-31 NASB)
In this study we will take a closer look at what the term salvation means in the Bible. Salvation is more than being born again. It includes citizenship in God’s kingdom. Paul said, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Phil3:20,21)
The New Testament word ‘salvation’ is the Greek soteria. (so-tay-ree’ah). Soteria means deliverance, preservation, safety, or salvation. It speaks of the total sum of benefits and blessings that true believers enjoy by their faith in Jesus. It also includes what believers will enjoy in fullest measure in eternity future at the return of Christ.
Soteria carries ideas of healing or health. The word ‘save’ is similar. The Greek is sozo. (sode’-zo) Sozo means to save, to keep sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, to make well, to heal, or restore to health.  Let’s take a closer look at Biblical salvation.
I – Salvation is Jurisdictional
1. The great kingdom promise remains unchanged. Salvation is based on a call from God, and on a response by which we call on the Lord Jesus. No person can get good enough to be saved. Salvation is based on faith in Jesus Christ alone. This is the gospel that the apostles preached. Cf. Acts 2:21; Gal. 1:8,9; Rom.10:8-10; Eph2:8,9
2. Paul said, “…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col1:12-14)
3. The domain of darkness speaks of the authority and power of Satan. It also speaks of the confusion and disorder of Satan’s kingdom. Satan’s rule involves killing, stealing, and destroying. (John 10:10) The moment a person calls upon Jesus as Lord, the Father instantly rescues that person from the rule and disorder of Satan, and brings that person into the kingdom of life of His Son. Jurisdictional means that Satan no longer has any rights over anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Cf. Luke 22:48-53; Act 26:16-18.
4. Being born again is our entrance into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Not only are we transferred jurisdictionally into the kingdom of the beloved Son, but we are actually given a kingdom birth. The Holy Spirit creates in believers a new heart, and then indwells the new heart. Cf. Eze36:26,27; Jer32:38-41; 1 Co 12:13; Eph1:13,14
II – Salvation is Relational
1. In Bible interpretation there is what is called ‘the law of first mention.’ This means simply that when a term appears in the Scriptures for the first time, it will carry the same basic meaning throughout the Scriptures. A good case for this is the word ‘righteousness.’ It says Abraham believed in the Lord, it was ‘reckoned’ to him as ‘righteousness.’ (Gen 15:6)
The word ‘reckoned’ is the Hebrew chashab (khaw-shab’). This word means to esteem, count, impute or charge. Abraham’s believing was imputed as righteousness with God. Abraham was highly esteemed by heaven. Cf. Rom. 4:21-25.
2. Righteousness is a ‘status’ relationship with God. David said, “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12)  – Righteousness and faith are companion terms. The blessings of righteousness are manifold. The key note is that the Lord is always with the righteous man and woman. He guides them through life with favor.  Cf. Psa34:17-19.
3. People who are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ  are given God’s very own righteousness. They are considered holy. Peter said, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…” (1Pet2:9)
Holy is a kindred term to righteousness. When a person is born again this means they have a holy birth, which, in turn, means they now belong to God. Righteous people are God’s treasures in the earth. God says, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” We are to live as holy people. (1Pet1:15,16)
4. Being righteous by status and being righteous in our walk are reciprocally connected. Status is positional. Experiential righteousness links to our life of faith and separation from the world. God is continually at work in our lives so that we can experience a true walk of righteousness. Believers who have the greatest struggles in life are always those who do not take their separation from the world seriously.
The Holy Spirit helps us to live out a separated life to God. God’s people are not to be conformed to the world but to live transformed lives. We are to live with what the Scriptures call ‘a sanctified heart.’ Cf. Rom12:1,2; 2Co6:16-18; 7:1; 1Pe3:15.
III – Salvation is Spiritual
1. Jesus explained it this way: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
This means that the new birth is a thing of the Spirit. It results in new life in the Spirit. We become new creatures who now enjoy new life, new awareness, with new spiritual expressions. Cf. 2Co5:17-19.
2. Paul said, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph5:18)
Paul is not saying that the Spirit filled life will make us act like drunkards. Actually it will do just the opposite. One of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Paul is simply saying that as we learn to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the result will be grace and peace, where we are enabled by the Spirit to carry forth the testimony of Jesus Christ. We become Christ like. Cf. John 4:13,13;  Rom 8:5,6; 14:17,18.
3. What Peter says to Christian women has something to be had by all Christians. He wrote, “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (1Pe3:3,4. The statement in bold belongs to men and women.)
The reason this kind of spirit is precious in the sight of God is because it reveals an adornment of the heart or an internal grace that speaks to the spirit of Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than the child of God whose heart is filled with Jesus.
Isaiah also speaks to this in saying, “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.” (Isa32:17)
The angel spoke to Joseph, saying, “[Mary] will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mat1:21) The name Jesus literally means ‘Yahweh is our Savior.’

thomas-kinkade-dogwood-chapel

Follow this entry closely and you find some answers to true Biblical salvation that you are seeking. So listen with your heart.

Learn to Walk With God #5
“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”Genesis 5:24 NASB
Biblical Salvation
By LAWRENCE E. (BUDDY) MARTIN
“WHEN THE JAILER AWOKE AND SAW THE PRISON DOORS OPENED, HE DREW HIS SWORD AND WAS ABOUT TO KILL HIMSELF, SUPPOSING THAT THE PRISONERS HAD ESCAPED. BUT PAUL CRIED OUT WITH A LOUD VOICE, SAYING, ‘DO NOT HARM YOURSELF, FOR WE ARE ALL HERE!’ AND HE CALLED FOR LIGHTS AND RUSHED IN, AND TREMBLING WITH FEAR HE FELL DOWN BEFORE PAUL AND SILAS, AND AFTER HE BROUGHT THEM OUT, HE SAID, ‘SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?’ THEY SAID, ‘BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS, AND YOU WILL BE SAVED, YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD.’” (ACTS 16:27-31 NASB)
In this study we will take a closer look at what the term salvation means in the Bible. Salvation is more than being born again. It includes citizenship in God’s kingdom. Paul said, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Phil3:20,21)
The New Testament word ‘salvation’ is the Greek soteria. (so-tay-ree’ah). Soteria means deliverance, preservation, safety, or salvation. It speaks of the total sum of benefits and blessings that true believers enjoy by their faith in Jesus. It also includes what believers will enjoy in fullest measure in eternity future at the return of Christ.
Soteria carries ideas of healing or health. The word ‘save’ is similar. The Greek is sozo. (sode’-zo) Sozo means to save, to keep sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, to make well, to heal, or restore to health.  Let’s take a closer look at Biblical salvation.
I – Salvation is Jurisdictional
1. The great kingdom promise remains unchanged. Salvation is based on a call from God, and on a response by which we call on the Lord Jesus. No person can get good enough to be saved. Salvation is based on faith in Jesus Christ alone. This is the gospel that the apostles preached. Cf.Acts 2:21;Gal. 1:8,9;Rom.10:8-10;Eph2:8,9
2. Paul said, “…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col1:12-14)
3. The domain of darkness speaks of the authority and power of Satan. It also speaks of the confusion and disorder of Satan’s kingdom. Satan’s rule involves killing, stealing, and destroying. (John 10:10) The moment a person calls upon Jesus as Lord, the Father instantly rescues that person from the rule and disorder of Satan, and brings that person into the kingdom of life of His Son. Jurisdictional means that Satan no longer has any rights over anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Cf.Luke 22:48-53; Act 26:16-18.
4. Being born again is our entrance into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Not only are we transferred jurisdictionally into the kingdom of the beloved Son, but we are actually given a kingdom birth. The Holy Spirit creates in believers a new heart, and then indwells the new heart. Cf.Eze36:26,27;Jer32:38-41;1 Co 12:13;Eph1:13,14
II – Salvation is Relational
1. In Bible interpretation there is what is called ‘the law of first mention.’ This means simply that when a term appears in the Scriptures for the first time, it will carry the same basic meaning throughout the Scriptures. A good case for this is the word ‘righteousness.’ It says Abraham believed in the Lord, it was ‘reckoned’ to him as ‘righteousness.’ (Gen 15:6)
The word ‘reckoned’ is the Hebrew chashab (khaw-shab’). This word means to esteem, count, impute or charge. Abraham’s believing was imputed as righteousness with God. Abraham was highly esteemed by heaven. Cf.Rom. 4:21-25.
2. Righteousness is a ‘status’ relationship with God. David said, “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12)  – Righteousness and faith are companion terms. The blessings of righteousness are manifold. The key note is that the Lord is always with the righteous man and woman. He guides them through life with favor.  Cf.Psa34:17-19.
3. People who are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ  are given God’s very own righteousness. They are considered holy. Peter said, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…” (1Pet2:9)
Holy is a kindred term to righteousness. When a person is born again this means they have a holy birth, which, in turn, means they now belong to God. Righteous people are God’s treasures in the earth. God says, “You shall be holy for I am holy.” We are to live as holy people. (1Pet1:15,16)
4. Being righteous by status and being righteous in our walk are reciprocally connected. Status is positional. Experiential righteousness links to our life of faith and separation from the world. God is continually at work in our lives so that we can experience a true walk of righteousness. Believers who have the greatest struggles in life are always those who do not take their separation from the world seriously.
The Holy Spirit helps us to live out a separated life to God. God’s people are not to be conformed to the world but to live transformed lives. We are to live with what the Scriptures call ‘a sanctified heart.’ Cf.Rom12:1,2;2Co6:16-18;7:1;1Pe3:15.
III – Salvation is Spiritual
1. Jesus explained it this way: “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
This means that the new birth is a thing of the Spirit. It results in new life in the Spirit. We become new creatures who now enjoy new life, new awareness, with new spiritual expressions. Cf.2Co5:17-19.
2. Paul said, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph5:18)
Paul is not saying that the Spirit filled life will make us act like drunkards. Actually it will do just the opposite. One of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Paul is simply saying that as we learn to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the result will be grace and peace, where we are enabled by the Spirit to carry forth the testimony of Jesus Christ. We become Christ like. Cf.John 4:13,13;  Rom 8:5,6;14:17,18.
3. What Peter says to Christian women has something to be had by all Christians. He wrote, “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (1Pe3:3,4. The statement in bold belongs to men and women.)
The reason this kind of spirit is precious in the sight of God is because it reveals an adornment of the heart or an internal grace that speaks to the spirit of Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than the child of God whose heart is filled with Jesus.
Isaiah also speaks to this in saying, “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.” (Isa32:17)
The angel spoke to Joseph, saying, “[Mary] will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mat1:21) The name Jesus literally means ‘Yahweh is our Savior.’

The message of the cross is simple. It has always been simple. Yet it can become distorted and complicated beyond measure.

The gospel in its simplest form is found in the incident of the jailer who thought his prisoners had escaped.

Here is what happens:

“When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!’

“And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?‘ They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.'” (Acts 26:27-31 NASB)

Paul reduced the message of salvation to a simple equation. He said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.‘ That’s it? Can it really be that simple? Yes it can and I want to tell you why. In this entry we will look at what the term salvation really means in the Bible. Included will be Scripture references for additional study.

x

Salvation does not merely mean to be born again

Salvation includes a citizenship process. Paul said,

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Phil3:20,21)

Personal goodness can never save us. We have no righteousness of our own. (Rom3:9-22) We are lost sinners with no hope outside of Jesus Christ. Salvation is based on faith in Jesus Christ alone. This is the gospel that the apostles preached. Cf. Acts 2:21; Gal. 1:8,9; Rom.10:8-10; Eph2:8,9

The New Testament word ‘salvation’ is the Greek soteria. (so-tay-ree’ah). Soteria means deliverance, preservation, safety, or salvation. It speaks of the total sum of benefits and blessings that true believers receive by their faith in Jesus. It also includes the future estate believers will enjoy in fullest measure at the return of Christ.

danny-hahlbohm-not-alone

All the afore things relate to the believer’s heavenly citizenship. But there is more to be understood.

x

Salvation is Jurisdictional

The domain of darkness speaks of the authority and power of Satan. It also speaks of the confusion and disorder of Satan’s kingdom. Satan’s rule involves killing, stealing, and destroying. (John 10:10) The moment a person calls upon Jesus as Lord, the Father instantly rescues that person from the rule and disorder of Satan, and brings that person into the kingdom life of His Son. Jurisdictional means that Satan no longer has any rights over anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Cf. Luke 22:48-53; Act 26:16-18.

Paul said,

“…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col1:12-14)

It is in our calling upon Jesus Christ that we are given a kingdom birth. It is this heavenly birth that becomes our entrance into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. The Holy Spirit creates in the believer a new heart, and then eternally indwells the new heart. Cf. Eze36:26,27; Jer32:38-41; 1 Co 12:13; Eph1:13,14

x

Salvation is Relational

In Bible interpretation there is what is called ‘the law of first mention.’ This means simply that when a term appears in the Scriptures for the first time, it will carry the same general meaning throughout the Scriptures. A case for this is the word ‘righteousness.’ The first time righteousness is found in Scripture has to do with Abraham. Listen:

“And He took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (Gen 15:5-6)


The word ‘reckoned’ is the Hebrew chashab (khaw-shab’). This word means to esteem, count, impute or charge. Abraham’s believing was imputed as righteousness with God. Cf. Rom. 4:21-25.

Righteousness is a ‘status’ of relationship with God. True believers are highly esteemed by heaven.  David said, For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12)

People who are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ are actually given God’s very own righteousness. They are considered holy. Peter said, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…” (1Pet2:9)

Righteousness and faith and holiness are all companion terms. Holiness simply means that you have been set apart for God, that is, you are God’s possession. The blessings of righteousness are manifold. The Lord is always with the righteous man and woman. He guides them through life with favor.  Cf. Psa34:17-19.

Experiential righteousness links to our life of faith and separation from the world. God is continually at work in our lives so that we can experience a true walk of righteousness. Believers who have the greatest struggles in life are always those who do not take their separation from the world seriously. But even in our struggles, our failures, our down-slides, and up-slides, the Lord never leaves us. He alone saves us.

The Holy Spirit helps us to live out a separated life to God. God’s people are not to be conformed to the world but to live transformed lives. We are to live with what the Scriptures call ‘a sanctified heart.’ Cf. Rom12:1,2; 2Co6:16-18; 7:1; 1Pe3:15.

x

Salvation is Spiritual

edwin-lester-spiritual-awakening

Jesus explained it this way:

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

This means that the new birth is a thing of the Spirit. It results in new life in the Spirit. We become new creatures who now enjoy new life, new awareness, with new spiritual expressions. Cf. 2Co5:17-19.

Paul said,

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph5:18)

Paul is not saying that the Spirit filled life will make us act like drunkards. Actually it will do just the opposite. One of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Paul is simply saying that as we learn to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the result will be grace and peace, where we are enabled by the Spirit to carry forth the testimony of Jesus Christ. We become Christ like. Cf. John 4:13,13;  Rom 8:5,6; 14:17,18.

Isaiah also speaks to this in saying,

“And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.” (Isa32:17)

x

A dialog on Salvation

Let me put the issue of salvation to rest by way of comment and response.

Comment: Does the Bible truly teach eternal salvation for the believer?

Response: Some say that a person can walk out of God’s hand on their own. If so, then we are greater than God. Jesus said ‘no one could snatch them out of His hand.’ Everyone is a someone. Jesus also said that none of His sheep would ever perish.

Jesus“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and *they will never perish; and *no one will snatch them out of My hand. (Joh 10:27-28)


Comment: Some teach that a person has to do certain things to be saved, such as keep the Sabbath, or dress a certain way, or keep certain laws of Moses, or do fasting and pay tithes, or speak in another language (tongues), or, so on and so on.

Response: The greatest thing a believer can ever do is learn to study the Bible for themselves, without preconceived notions, with a willing and honest heart, and with an earnest desire to know truth for themselves.x


Paul“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10)xx

x

Paul“Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day– things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (Col 2:16-21)x

x

Comment: What about supernatural signs and wonders. Aren’t these the things we should look for with regard to the work of salvation?

x

Response: Christianity itself is a wonder. And wonderful things happen to Christians. However, Paul said that believers must be extra cautious about deceptions, that is, of being led astray by those who preach a different gospel, or who operate under a different spirit, or who are actually preaching another Jesus. He said the key is to be found in a ‘simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

x

Paul: “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” (2Co 11:3-4)

x

x

You can decide for yourself…

x

Can we truly know the message of salvation that was preached by the apostles? In these final Scriptures, please pay attention to the words preach, preached, and preaching. Do this and you have your answer.


 

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should PREACH to you a gospel contrary to what we have PREACHED to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is PREACHING to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Gal 1:8-9)

 

 

“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’–that is, the word of faith which we are PREACHING, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Rom 10:8-10)

xxx
x
Think about it. It’s getting late.
frederic-church-twilight-in-the-wilderness-c-1860

If you are a preacher, what gospel are you preaching?

If you are a church member, what kind of gospel are you hearing?

It’s up to you now. I have had my say.


In Christ always,

xc

Buddy


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

What happened to your hand…

Share

Journal Readers,

I am going to share some things in this entry that most folk are not aware of. For instance did you know that under Talmudic Law there is a curse placed upon the reading of the book of Daniel?

May the bones of the hands and the bones of the fingers decay and decompose, of him who turns the pages of the book of Daniel, to find out the time of Daniel 9:24-27, and may his memory rot from off the face of the earth forever. – Talmudic Law, p978, Section 2, Line 28)

Why the curse? Other than Isaiah 53, the writings of Daniel have brought more Jews, including rabbis, to Jesus than any other OT Scriptures. Daniel 9:24-27 gave the exact timing for Messiah. The Rabbis knew this. When Jesus did not appeal to their leadership, they tried to hide Daniel from the people. This is one reason John the Baptist and Jesus called them, ‘a brood of vipers.’

what_happened_to_your_hand_lars_justinsen

The book of Daniel was written about 530 B.C. As with many of the OT prophecies, Daniel was written in prophetic perfects, which means it was as though the prophet was actually seeing what was happening.

Without going into detail, here is the prophecy that gave concern to the rabbis.

“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.” (Dan 9:25-26)

I don’t wish to take up time to explain these times of weeks. The Jews readily understood them to mean years. This is why there was such a movement towards John the Baptist to be baptized in preparation for Messiah. But there was also another vision that Daniel had that revealed the Messiah in His lifting up and in His receiving His kingdom. Daniel saw this from heaven’s view. The apostles saw it from the earthly view. Let me share both views:
Daniel’s heaven view: “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” (Dan 7:13-14)
The apostle’s earthly view: “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.'” (Act 1:9-11)
It was from these visions that Peter could preach, saying, “Let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Act 2:36)
Let’s now take note of the prophet Isaiah. God spoke through the prophet saying,

“Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’ Behold the Lord will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock. In His arm He will gather then lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” Isaiah 40:9-11 nasb

27a

The afore Scriptures speaks to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The term, ‘bearer of good news,’ has regard to the apostles and the New Testament church declaring that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. Also in this portion we see a prophecy of John the Baptist, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'”

What is the redemption message of this text? The message begins with, ‘Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’ It goes on to speak to the heart of the new covenant; “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.”

From this alone we can see that the Lord God is a Shepherd God. Jesus is the good Shepherd. But this isn’t the first time we see the term ‘Shepherd’ applied to the Lord. The first time the Lord God is called Shepherd is when Jacob is blessing his sons. Listen carefully:

“He blessed Joseph, and said, ‘The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and may my name live on in them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (Gen 48:15-16)

When you look at Jacob’s life, you see ups and downs, fears with struggles, blessings and providence. Yet in all this we see that Jacob was redeemed from all evil. This is what Jesus does for all God’s children.

There is so much more to be said about God redeeming His people from all evil. David sets forth this truth in a favorite Psalm of all believers.

David wrote:

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psa 23:1-6)

But what of the Lord’s death on the cross? Oh yes, this was also foretold. Listen to this prophecy from Isaiah:

39a‘But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.’ (Isa 53:5-6)

The best thing you could ever tell a Jewish person is to set aside the Talmudic writings, and begin to read their own Bible for themself. This is also the best thing you could tell anyone caught up in a legalistic Christian movement.

Finally, did you notice the little girl’s picture where she asked the Lord what happened to His hand. This was also a picture of what will take place among the Jewish nation in a not-too-distant future. Listen to the prophet Zechariah:

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.
(Zec 12:9-10)

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zec 12:9-10)

Oh Lord, we look for the day when the blinded eyes are opened. In the meantime, to all you who have been to the cross, I dedicate this song. ‘Down at the Cross’ by the Hayes Family:

There is so much more to be said. The prophets painted exact pictures from the birth of Jesus to his cross and resurrection. But that’s ecnough for now.

Grace and peace to you in the name of the Lord Jesus,

Buddy

Mercy triumphs over judgment…

Share

Journal,

Looking back I well remember the double whammy of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. First Katrina with a punch to the jaw, then Rita to the stomach. Wham, bam! Well — The story is pretty much known by now. But it does make for an interesting story that I’ll use as a prelude to this study.

IXUD000A

The local churches were announcing no services. We thought that if anyone showed up, we’d sing a few choruses, have a time of prayer and then send everyone home.

That wasn’t to be. The phone began to ring. Betty would simply say, ‘We will be there.’ I thought to myself, Why not tell them, ‘No services?'” Well, it gets better. Betty kept hinting that I needed to get a message together. Humph — I already had a message but who would want to hear about water baptism?

I went to the front porch. It was a bit cooler out there. ‘Lord, what can I say to the handful of folk that may show up?’ As I began to read my Bible, a Scripture leaped out at me. James said, “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (Jm2:13) That’s it! I knew I had a message from the Lord. The anointing was in my heart. (God’s Word always does its work.)

Of course I still wondered if anyone would show up. They came, one after another after another. We soon had a pretty good crowd. Nathan played the piano and we sang choruses. The worship was precious. Then I began sharing what the Lord had given me. It was a heart-to-heart message for all of us. Tears filled eyes as the testimonies were given.

Well, it seems that Scripture just won’t leave me alone. So lets see what mercy is really about. And this has nothing to do with hurricanes. Let’s call this study…

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

F467000A

At times I search the Scriptures to find an exact answer for an exact problem. Often I find that exactness doesn’t allow for much breathing room. What I see over and over is judgment and penalty. The Bible clearly says, ‘The soul that sins, shall die.’

Of course I stay quite firm on the security of the believer. But what about those believers who have so many continuous stumblings in life, and over the same issue? How about if the same sin keeps repeating itself over and over? Isn’t there a point where judgment must be exacted and mercy ends? Of course the answer to this depends on other variables. We will look at them a bit later.

The more I looked for exact answers, the more narrow I found the road of sin. Seems there is no way out and especially for repeat offenders. I pursue further — I look at adultery. This is a tough one. It gets even harder. Moses said that for this sin, both parties must be stoned, and that without mercy. Wow, no mercy!?

Does Jesus give respite? Hardly. He said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt5:28) I think to myself — Lord, I don’t even want to go there. What to do? What to do? The guilt is pressing down.

How can Jesus say that to lust for a woman (vice versa) in your heart is equal to the act of adultery? How can that be? No one under the law of Moses was stoned to death for ‘lusting’ after a woman. Why did Jesus make it so hard to live for Him?

Ok — I’ve drawn the picture. Lets see if there is an answer to any of this. To further show this study I want to classify sinners into two categories, that is, the religious sinner, and the sinner-sinner. (No mistake on the wordage.)

The religious sinner and the sinner-sinner…

The most religious people during the time of Jesus were without question the Pharisees. No one could hold a candle to them. Lets call the Pharisees, religious sinners. (At least many of them.) Who then would be the sinner-sinners? These are the harlots, the tax collectors, the multiple marriages, the thieves, and all the rest. Keep in mind that the sinner-sinners of the gospels were also Israelites. They had just given up on religion. (Many discouraged or fallen Christians will identify with this easily enough.)

james-tissot-the-pharisee-and-the-publican-praying-in-the-temple-la-vie-de-notre-seigneur-jesus-christ-c-1896

"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.'" (Luk 18:11)

Anyway, what was the sin of the Pharisee? A religious sin can often be narrowed down to an issue of pride. It exhibits itself by leaving little room for mercy. It is the kind of sin that exacts from God, in saying, ‘God, You owe me. I’ve been especially good. I’m not like the sinner-sinner.’

The Pharisees not only claimed to be keepers of the Law, but they added law upon law upon law to make certain that the Law of Moses was well protected. How did all these laws affect them? Read the gospels. How hard they were. How judgmental they were. How without mercy they were. Perhaps not all, but this seems to be the general tenor.

We will come back to the Pharisee in a moment. Let’s take this a step further and see if there really can be a perfect religion, that is, a religion that is perfect in showing mercy. When Jesus had taught the disciples about dealing with sin in the church, it prompted Peter to ask, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Think for a moment. Peter was talking about a personal sin against himself. He felt there needed to be a point of cutting off. And so he reaches for the number of perfection. The number seven was the perfect number in Hebrew thinking. It meant completion. Peter felt to forgive a brother seven times was perfection. After seven times, it would be time to cut the brother off. (We are speaking of a repentant brother, not someone who refuses to make things right.)

Now, that really does sound like a lot of mercy. But now take note to what Jesus did not say. He did not say, “Keep a record of your brother’s offences. When he reaches 490 times of asking for forgiveness, you have multiplied mercy 70 times. You can then cut him off.”

No, that wasn’t even the point. If we are keeping records, then our own heart is not right with God. Jesus responded, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Mt18:21,22) Seventy times seven is a Hebraisms for, “You never stop forgiving.”

Ok, that says something to us about relationships, but what does all this say about God Himself. Does the Lord just keep on forgiving and forgiving and forgiving? The simple answer is, ‘You had better thank the good Lord that He does.”

Before going further, a point must be made. The forgiveness of sin does not mean there are no consequences to sin. Sin carries its own sorrows and destructions. Murderers have received the Lord’s forgiveness while on death row. This did not do away with the death penalty.

Well now — How about if we as believers break one of the big ten more times than one? The Lord deals with this issue by comparing the religious sinner to the sinner-sinner. Let’s listen in:

“And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'”

english-school-the-parable-of-the-prodigal-son

"So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' (Luke 15:20-21)

Have you been there? I have. When we are thanking the Lord for our blessings, we must take care not to get into the area of pride by comparing ourselves to others. Now notice the prayer of the sinner-sinner:

The tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner.” (Cf. Mt18:9-14)

Did you hear what he said? He agreed with every point made by the Pharisee, ‘I have been a swindler, unjust, an adulterer. I don’t fast at all. I don’t pay tithes at all.’ The tax-collector felt unworthy to even pray towards the mercy seat. The only prayer he could muster was, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner.” He was saying, “I am guilty of all.” How many times I’ve had to say, ‘Lord, I am guilty of all.’

Here is the essence of the parable. The Lord says,

“I tell you, this man [sinner-sinner] went to his house justified rather than the other [religious sinner]; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

To be justified is to be made right with God. The sinner-sinner became right. The religious sinner remained unright. The sinner-sinner did not ask for justice. He asked for mercy. It is here that we see how mercy triumphs over judgment.

And the great lesson for the religious is that as long as we see ourselves as better than others, we stay with no justification before God. Mercy alone saves us. Mercy is the great truth of the cross. God’s very throne is called the throne of grace. Our instructions are, “Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb4:16)

This brings me back to the issue of lust of the heart. Jesus came down quite hard in defining the true nature of sin, and yet I see nothing but mercy and compassion when He is dealing with sinners. The woman at the well had been married five times and was then living in adultery. The Lord did not tell her to go back to her last husband. Why? It is the because people have to learn to live from where they now are. Oftentimes there is no way to go back and correct anything.

Then you have the lady caught in adultery. The only one who had the right to condemn her to stoning was the Lord Himself. When all the men had left the scene, notice again what Jesus did not say. He did not tell her to go show herself to the priests to receive her due from the Law. He simply said, “‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘ I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.'” (Jn8) Is this another picture of mercy’s triumph over judgment?

Now the big question? Does continuous mercy imply that we should not expect to live a life of holiness before God? Not at all. We should apply all diligence to live to please the Lord in all respects. What it does mean is that while in this world we are subject to failures, and stumbling. Yet none of this causes the blood to lose its power. Nor does the Spirit of Christ ever leave us alone in sin. The Spirit continues the work of conviction to the point of bringing us to the mercy-seat for cleansing. And the Spirit also supplies power to help us live in a way to have less and less failures.

t-chiu-light-of-the-lord

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." (John 3:16-17)

Back to the problem of judgments. There is a special problem that must be attended to when it comes to judging others. We tend to judge others when we are doing well; ‘Well, I would never do that!” How do you know you would never do that? Life isn’t over yet. And how often have you sinned in your own thought life and in your heart? Jesus said the sin was not simply in the doing, it is in what goes on inside us.

And how about when we do have a failure? Now the table turns. The very thing we thought we would never do, we did. This is why the apostle gave a certain instruction:

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Ga6:1,2)

Once again, none of this is intended as a justification for sin. Sin is never right. Nor does God justify sin or say that it is alright to sin. God never justifies sin but He can and does justify the sinner. He does this through the cross. He can declare the repentant sinner to be just by the plenteous mercy that He alone can give. After all, Jesus died for all our sins. He in turn gave us His own righteousness.

Yet there is more to the issue of sin. The truth at hand is that believers will remain in the presence of sin as long as we are in this life. The continued truth is that sin cannot claim ownership over any believer. The Lord redeemed us, restores us, keeps us, and cleanses us when the cleansing is needed. The Holy Spirit is continually at work to expose sin and to bring God’s mercy and correction on the scene.

Yes, the hurt remains and the sorrow remains for a time. Yet it is sorrow over sin that reminds us of God’s love, of His grace, and of His mercy. We should have sorrow over our sins. Having a Godly sorrow is one of the great signs of true repentance.

Well — What does any of this have to do with two hurricanes? Nothing. Just needed something to begin my study with.

Here is a song that speaks to the heart of this study. Just a Sinner Saved by Grace.

May you gain all the joy that comes from knowing Jesus.

Blessings,

Buddy

Kindred of the blood…

Share

Journal,

Old Testament covenants among various people groups carried the idea of ‘kinship’ with the god of the covenant. This was an ‘adopted’ kinship. While the Lord God did adopt Israel as His people, Israel was unable to aligned herself fully with God in a spiritual sense. This was because of the fall of Adam. The history of Israel was a history of continual straying into various forms of idolatry. True spiritual alignment with God would only take place through the cross of Jesus Christ.

Menorah

In the new covenant the idea of ‘kinship’ with God changes. The reality in the new covenant is that believers actually become ‘blood kin’ of God. This is why Paul said, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Rom 8:16)

But let’s come back to the Old Testament idea of covenant. It was the tribal fathers who cut the covenant. The children entered into the covenant of the fathers. To cut the covenant in the former testament was generally done by taking a sacrificial animal, splitting it in two, with the parties of the covenant passing between the pieces. In the cutting of the covenant, the god of the fathers became known as ‘the father’s god.’ Thus we have the statement, ‘The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’

In a blood covenant the members were considered one blood. If aggression is made against one, it was aggression against all. Blood covenants ran deep. This thinking is still prevalent in the middle east today, and this is why you see acts of blood vengeance and blood feuds.

9WMG000A

You also see a picture of ‘blood kin’ in the dedication of the tabernacle of Moses. Listen to Hebrews 9:19-22:

“For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood.”

The sprinkling of blood was not simply to the forgiveness of sins, but signified oneness with the God of Israel. Thus if anyone touched Israel, they touched the God of Israel. But this brings us back to the idea of adoption. The people of Israel were not spiritual children of God, that is, they were not children by blood. They were adopted children.

When the blood of the animal was sprinkled the people ‘came under’ the blood of the covenant. The people themselves were adopted. But they were still not by nature God’s children. Their nature was unlike His. Thus the sprinkled blood served as a symbol. The blood of the eternal covenant was yet to be sprinkled.

Aaron brings out this fact when Moses became so angry over the calf idolatry of Israel. Aaron says to Moses, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil.” (Exodus 32:22) The term ‘prone’ speaks of an evil impulse that was theirs by nature.

Paul explains Israel’s issue of adoption, when he said,

“Who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory, and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises.” (Romans 9:4)

Notice when Paul speaks of ‘the adoption as sons,’ he precludes any idea of a spiritual birth. No one in the Old Testament could be born of God until the Lamb came on the scene. Moses himself makes this distinction. Before I quote from Moses, let me first draw attention to how Peter concluded his Pentecost message.

As Peter is concluding his message, he says, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” (Acts 2:40) Why would Peter make such a disparaging remark? After all, he himself was of the same lineage as the people he was addressing. Peter was quoting Moses.

EXUG000A

Those listening to Peter would have recognized what he meant by ‘perverse.’ In the natural Peter was saying no more than what could be said to any lost man; “You must flee from the land of lostness, and into the land of salvation.”

But the idea went deeper for the Jewish people of the time. They minds would be drawn to the great lawgiver of Israel, a man to whom they were deeply devoted.

When Moses was completing his final address to Israel, he broke into a prophetic song of redemption. It is this song that Peter quotes from on the day of Pentecost. In the song Moses brings attention to the ‘unspiritual’ state of the people. He sings,

“They have acted corruptly toward Him, they are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation.” (Deuteronomy 32:5)

He says Israel was not God’s children because of their defect? The term ‘defect’ is ‘mum’ in Hebrew. It refers to any physical or moral blemish. Moses was saying that Israel had a moral blemish. He was calling attention to the fall of Adam.

All unsaved peoples carry in them the moral blemish of Adam. This is also why the sacrificial animals under the covenant of Moses had to be without blemish. The sacrifice was a picture of Jesus, who would offer Himself “without blemish to God.” (Hebrews 9:14) But until Jesus came, all men had the defect.

We don’t have space to get into the song of Moses, but in the book of Revelation this song is spoken of as ‘the song of Moses, the bond servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.’ (Rev 15:3) It is a song of redemption. It is also a song of the history of Israel. It would only be through the sacrifice of Jesus, the true unblemished Lamb of God, that a person could be born again, and in this birth, the person would be born into a true spiritual and blood kinship with the Almighty.

Peter again draws attention this fact, when he writes,

“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:17-19)

U83D000A

Peter says our redemption is with ‘precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.’ The blood of the ‘unblemished’ Lamb of God is sprinkled on the human spirit, and thus, we become children of God without defect. (Cf. 1 Peter 1:1,2)

[Without defect speaks of our identification with Jesus Christ. He has become our righteousness. His life is made our life. His life is placed on our record. Thus we have perfect righteousness before God. — Yet in our flesh we still have the moral defect. This is why even the most spiritual of believers can have a conflict between their flesh and their spiritual nature. We must always remember that the Greater One lives in us. We are to learn to live by the Spirit and not the flesh.] 

Also note that Peter calls attention to a “futile way of life inherited from your fathers.” Peter is not disparaging the patriarchs of Israel, nor is he drawing attention to the wickedness of their forefathers. He is simply calling attention to the same thing that Moses called attention to. The term ‘futile way of life’ fits every class of the human family, aside from those born of Christ.

The apostle’s point was that no person who has ever lived on this planet could be said to be of ‘blood kin’ to God without the Lamb’s precious blood being applied. To become kin to God, a person must pass through the cross, from the death side to the life side.

This issue of salvation must never be overlooked. The Jewish peoples during the time of Christ believed that they could not be lost because of their natural line to Abraham. John the Baptist and Jesus Himself and all the apostles came against any such notion. This is why John said that God could raise up stones to be children of Abraham.

The whole human race was contaminated by sin. We were all of a ‘crooked and perverse’ generation. This came from our father Adam. The bloodline of Abraham was no exception.

But now through Christ Jesus we have the reality of what the Old Testament types could only point to. The blood that Moses sprinkled on the people could only speak of their adoption to God, but it could not remove their sins, nor could it actually make them true spiritual children of God. No animal blood could do that. Only the blood of Jesus could make our kinship a reality.

It is Peter once again who explains what happens when a person is born again. He says,

By the sanctifying work of the Spirit [our separation and drawing to Christ], to obey Jesus Christ [receive him as Lord and Savior] and be sprinkled with His blood. (1 Peter 1:2)

The apostle Paul explains that the blood than ran through the veins of Jesus was literally God’s blood. So when the blood of Jesus is sprinkled on the human spirit, that human being becomes a totally new creature, both from heaven. This corresponds to the promise given to Abraham, when the Lord said, “’Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’” (Genesis 15:5)

Are you kin to God? Yes, if you are born again, you are born of His blood and His Spirit. You are His very child, nature of His nature, blood of His blood, seed of His seed. And it is our ‘blood kinship’ to God that holds the promise of a future resurrection to glory. We are marked out as the very children of God. We have a destiny that is beyond anything to be imagined.

Paul said it plain enough:

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
(Act 20:28)

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Act 20:28)

What is it all about? Listen and you will find the answer…

Here is one final Scripture potion to consider:

“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 13:20-21)

Have you become blood kin to God? If so, then you are now a child of the Great I Am.

Think about it.

Buddy

Do you need help with your Bible studies….

Share

Journal,

One of the most interesting books in the New Testament is the book of Acts. Acts is much more than a doctrinal book. While it certainly contains doctrine, its primary view is on the emerging Christian movement from its Jewish matrix to its becoming a movement to all the nations.

NGW5000A

There are other issues about Acts that need to be understood. Believe it or not, the early Jewish church still had much to learn about the new covenant. And so Acts includes a progressive revelation that would eventually remove the church’s Jewish clothing, and allow it to put on the clothing of Christ.

The beauty of Acts is also found in its Hebrew thought form. This is why I’ve designed a series of studies to help believers uncover the treasures of this book. These studies were initially provided for our Hebraic-Foundations forum.

I want to encourage my readers who are interested to take the time to view these studies. The studies are not designed to be a commentary on each and every Scripture verse. The primary focus to see how the doctrines of Christ develop through time.

All I can tell you is, ‘Saddle your camel. We are going to travel with the apostles through the first thirty-five+ years of early church history.

Go to: http://www.christianchallenge.org/hebraic-foundations/Acts/index.shtml

x

x

With regard to Hebraic thought form have you heard about ‘the ancient path?’ Consider this short study.

Walking the Ancient Path

This study is based on Psalm One. Let’s read:

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers.

“The wicked are not so, but they are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

To appreciate the depth and beauty of this Psalm, we have to approach it from a Biblical-Hebrew perspective. To the ancients, religion was defined as an individual walking the road of life. Your relationship is with God. Torah (God’s Word) is your road map. Thus we hear David say, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

crown_of_thorns_cannon

How does the ancient walk carry over into the new covenant? It is the same for we Christians. We are the recipients of the ancient faith. Jesus is the Living Torah who guides us through the written Torah. The ancient faith is fully realized in Jesus Christ. The Lord said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

When Jesus said, ”I am the way”, or made reference to, ”broad is the way,” he was drawing from a rich Hebrew heritage. These terms were familiar to the Jews of His time. The truth is that there have always been two ways. You have the way of the righteous. Or you have the way of the wicked.

And so Psalm 1, and the Sermon on the Mountain are similar. Psalm 1:1, says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.” The very first thing Jesus says on the mountain is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

Then we have this characteristic of the righteous man and woman. The righteous person delights in truth. Psalm 1:2, says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” The righteous person loves the truth. His bend, pleasure, delight is towards Torah (God’s Word.)

When Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied,” it is very likely that His Jewish audience would think about what David said.

The thing to understand is that God’s Word is very much alive those who believe. It is full of wisdom and power. It works itself into our very nature and spreads its healing love throughout our being. This is why the apostle said, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2) Peter was speaking of our attitude towards God’s Word. An infant instinctively seeks its mother’s breast for nourishment. We are to instinctively seek the nourishment of God’s Word. Our desire is to be in the Word of the Lord.

Notice that Psalms 2:2 says, “In His law he meditates day and night.” Here we need to bring out the Hebrew. The word for meditate is ‘hagah.’ This word means to mutter, to emit a sound, to speak in undertone. To the ancient this word meant to articulate with God from the heart. A dove coos. A lion rumbles. We are to pour out our heart with talkings to the Lord throughout the day.

The characteristic of Psalm 1, for the righteous man is, “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season.”

Three words describe the ungodly man. “Wicked.” “Sinner.” “Scoffer.”  Wicked is from a root word which means to be agitated; confused; in motion; restless. The wicked are ethically loose & unstable. In another Psalm we read, “God makes a home for the lonely: He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” (Ps68:6)

alfred-gockel-lost-in-the-desert-i

Lost in the desert of life. A parched land.

Then the Psalm ends with, “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” The Hebrew term for knows, ‘yada’ is a very strong word. It means to watch over; be deeply involved with.

The righteous man walks with God. This is true Biblical prosperity. The righteous shares the joy of walking with God. while the sinner is agitated and confused. The sinner has no one but himself.

There has always been but one path for the righteous. The righteous path has always been a walk with the Lord. And when Jesus came into our world, the path of the righteous is summed by Jesus; “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.

Are you walking the ancient path? Think about it.

Here is your song for this entry. It is a song based on the prayer, ‘Lord, lead me on.’


How does the ancient walk carry over into the new covenant? It is the same for we Christians. We are the recipients of the ancient faith. Jesus is the Living Torah who guides us through the written Torah. The ancient faith is fully realized in Jesus Christ. The Lord said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
When Jesus said, ”I am the way”, or made reference to, ”broad is the way,” he was drawing from a rich Hebrew heritage. These terms were familiar to the Jews of His time. The truth is that there have always been two ways. You have the way of the righteous. Or you have the way of the wicked.
And so Psalm 1, and the Sermon on the Mountain are similar. Psalm 1:1, says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.” The very first thing Jesus says on the mountain is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
The Hebrew word for ‘blessed’ is esher. (eh-sher) It comes from the same root as Asher, who was one of Jacob’s son. Literally it means, ‘O, the happiness of.’ But this happiness has no regard to external circumstances. It is an inner contentment of knowing rightness. While many look for this blessedness in things and in relationships, actually it can only be found one place. It is found in a true personal walk with the Lord.
Another mark of the walk of righteousness is that it is not influenced by evil. This is what the term ‘holy’ speaks of. Kodesh means to be set apart, to be distinct. In the desert you could always tell who was a Hebrew by their customs, by their dress, by their diet, by their life style. And this is one reason that Satan hates believers. He cannot mold them into societies that speak of evil.
Then we have this characteristic of the righteous man and woman. The righteous person delights in truth. Psalm 1:2, says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” The righteous person loves the truth. His bend, pleasure, delight is towards Torah (God’s Word.)
The ancients had a custom which may still be practiced by some of the Jews today. When a child was born they would rub his gums with honey. The purpose was to begin very early teaching the little one that God’s Word is like honey to the soul. David said, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8) This statement is brought directly into the new covenant by the apostle Peter. The Psalmist adds to this in saying, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
When Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied,” it is very likely that His Jewish audience would think about what David said.
The thing to understand is that God’s Word is a living thing for those who believe. It is full of wisdom and power. It works itself into our very nature and spreads its healing love throughout our being. This is why the apostle said, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2) Peter was speaking of our attitude towards God’s Word. An infant instinctively seeks its mother’s breast for nourishment. We are to instinctively seek the nourishment of God’s Word. Our desire is to be in the Word of the Lord.
Notice that Psalms 2:2 says, “In His law he meditates day and night.” Here we need to bring out the Hebrew. We’ve all heard the statement, “Let us now have a moment of silent meditation.” There is no such thing in the Bible. The word for meditate is ‘hagah.’ This word means to mutter, to emit a sound, to speak in undertone. To the ancient this word meant to articulate with God from the heart. A dove coos. A lion rumbles. We are to pour out our heart with talkings to the Lord throughout the day.
The ancients were taught to process life moment by moment. Most every prayer that was prayed began with, “Blessed are You our God.” Long prayers were not the rule. Rather it was informal but reverent speakings.
Torah will take you into a life you never dreamed of. God will pull you into His turf.
Now hear Paul talk about this as a Hebrew man. Cf. 1Th5:16-23 Your faith will come alive.
You will be wise & discerning. When he says “Pray without ceasing,” he is speaking in a
Hebrew mind. Essence of Jewish prayer is to bless God. (Orthodox Jews: 100 times daily.)
* Final characteristic sums; “Be like a tree planted by streams..” Draws from a living stream. Season?
III – The Two Ways Contrasted (Take a short summary.)
Three words describe the ungodly man. “Wicked.” “Sinner.” “Scoffer.”  Wicked is from a root
Word which means to be agitated; confused; in motion; restless. This is a character trait.
The wicked are ethically lose & unstable. Cf. Isa57:20,21. Sinner is from an archery term
Means to miss the mark. The scoffer a highbrow. Don’t spend time with these people
If you want to walk with God in faithfulness. Two places the wicked will not stand. In the
Judgment and in the assembly of the righteous. They will come under judgment.
Vs6 also a keynote: “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous.” Yada a strong word.
To watch over; be deeply involved with. The righteous man walks with God. This is
True Biblical prosperity. The righteous shares the joy of walking with God. The sinner is
Agitated and confused. Even if the righteous falls, God’s love will pick him up. The
Sinner has no one but himself. Is there a final thought to share? C. S. Lewis said;
“Decision determines destiny.” That is profoundly Hebraic. Joshua tell the people?
* “Choose you this day who you will serve. As for me and my house…”
Conc. Jesus said, “The way is broad that leads to destruction & many are those who enter through it. For the gate is small & the way is narrow that leads to life, & there are few who find it.Walking the Ancient Path.
This study is based on Psalm One. Let’s read:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
To appreciate the depth and beauty of this Psalm, we have to approach it from a Biblical-Hebrew perspective. To the ancients, religion was defined as an individual walking the road of life. Your relationship is with God. Torah (God’s Word) is your road map. Thus we hear David say, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
How does the ancient walk carry over into the new covenant? It is the same for we Christians. We are the recipients of the ancient faith. Jesus is the Living Torah who guides us through the written Torah. The ancient faith is fully realized in Jesus Christ. The Lord said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
When Jesus said, ”I am the way”, or made reference to, ”broad is the way,” he was drawing from a rich Hebrew heritage. These terms were familiar to the Jews of His time. The truth is that there have always been two ways. You have the way of the righteous. Or you have the way of the wicked.
And so Psalm 1, and the Sermon on the Mountain are similar. Psalm 1:1, says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.” The very first thing Jesus says on the mountain is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
The Hebrew word for ‘blessed’ is esher. (eh-sher) It comes from the same root as Asher, who was one of Jacob’s son. Literally it means, ‘O, the happiness of.’ But this happiness has no regard to external circumstances. It is an inner contentment of knowing rightness. While many look for this blessedness in things and in relationships, actually it can only be found one place. It is found in a true personal walk with the Lord.
Another mark of the walk of righteousness is that it is not influenced by evil. This is what the term ‘holy’ speaks of. Kodesh means to be set apart, to be distinct. In the desert you could always tell who was a Hebrew by their customs, by their dress, by their diet, by their life style. And this is one reason that Satan hates believers. He cannot mold them into societies that speak of evil.
Then we have this characteristic of the righteous man and woman. The righteous person delights in truth. Psalm 1:2, says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” The righteous person loves the truth. His bend, pleasure, delight is towards Torah (God’s Word.)
The ancients had a custom which may still be practiced by some of the Jews today. When a child was born they would rub his gums with honey. The purpose was to begin very early teaching the little one that God’s Word is like honey to the soul. David said, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8) This statement is brought directly into the new covenant by the apostle Peter. The Psalmist adds to this in saying, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
When Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied,” it is very likely that His Jewish audience would think about what David said.
The thing to understand is that God’s Word is a living thing for those who believe. It is full of wisdom and power. It works itself into our very nature and spreads its healing love throughout our being. This is why the apostle said, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2) Peter was speaking of our attitude towards God’s Word. An infant instinctively seeks its mother’s breast for nourishment. We are to instinctively seek the nourishment of God’s Word. Our desire is to be in the Word of the Lord.
Notice that Psalms 2:2 says, “In His law he meditates day and night.” Here we need to bring out the Hebrew. We’ve all heard the statement, “Let us now have a moment of silent meditation.” There is no such thing in the Bible. The word for meditate is ‘hagah.’ This word means to mutter, to emit a sound, to speak in undertone. To the ancient this word meant to articulate with God from the heart. A dove coos. A lion rumbles. We are to pour out our heart with talkings to the Lord throughout the day.
The ancients were taught to process life moment by moment. Most every prayer that was prayed began with, “Blessed are You our God.” Long prayers were not the rule. Rather it was informal but reverent speakings.
Torah will take you into a life you never dreamed of. God will pull you into His turf.
Now hear Paul talk about this as a Hebrew man. Cf. 1Th5:16-23 Your faith will come alive.
You will be wise & discerning. When he says “Pray without ceasing,” he is speaking in a
Hebrew mind. Essence of Jewish prayer is to bless God. (Orthodox Jews: 100 times daily.)
* Final characteristic sums; “Be like a tree planted by streams..” Draws from a living stream. Season?
III – The Two Ways Contrasted (Take a short summary.)
Three words describe the ungodly man. “Wicked.” “Sinner.” “Scoffer.”  Wicked is from a root
Word which means to be agitated; confused; in motion; restless. This is a character trait.
The wicked are ethically lose & unstable. Cf. Isa57:20,21. Sinner is from an archery term
Means to miss the mark. The scoffer a highbrow. Don’t spend time with these people
If you want to walk with God in faithfulness. Two places the wicked will not stand. In the
Judgment and in the assembly of the righteous. They will come under judgment.
Vs6 also a keynote: “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous.” Yada a strong word.
To watch over; be deeply involved with. The righteous man walks with God. This is
True Biblical prosperity. The righteous shares the joy of walking with God. The sinner is
Agitated and confused. Even if the righteous falls, God’s love will pick him up. The
Sinner has no one but himself. Is there a final thought to share? C. S. Lewis said;
“Decision determines destiny.” That is profoundly Hebraic. Joshua tell the people?
* “Choose you this day who you will serve. As for me and my house…”
Conc. Jesus said, “The way is broad that leads to destruction & many are those who enter through it. For the gate is small & the way is narrow that leads to life, & there are few who find it.”

Blessings,

Buddy

The Secret Place of God…

Share

Journal, In Psalm 31, David expresses sorrow over the strife of life, when suddenly he breaks forth into praise that speaks of God’s love for His people. David says:

“How great is Your goodness, which You have stored for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence, from the conspiracies of man; You keep them in the shelter from the strife of tongues.” (Psalm 31:19,20 nasb.)

Bear in mind that David’s reference to the secret place is most likely a reference to the holiest of holiest. The literal Hebrew for “the secret place of Your presence”, is “the secret of Your face.” The idea is that God hides His people from the view of their enemies, that is, by bringing them to the very place that He Himself dwells.

andres-orpinas-walk-by-faith

This wonderful truth is fully brought out in the new covenant. Paul said that all believers are now hidden with God in Christ. But first let’s see how the tabernacle sets forth this truth of our redemption.

The only furnishing in the holiest of holies was the ark of the covenant where two covering angels spread their wings over the golden mercy seat. And over the mercy seat was a brilliant light. In the light was a form. The angels have their gazed fixed on the form over the mercy seat.

Peter explains this:

“It was revealed to them [the Old Testament prophets] that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you from heaven-things into which angels long to look.” (1Peter 1:12)

The angels gazing at the mercy seat were expressing wonderment at the atonement of Jesus Christ, that is, both in His incarnation, in the work of the cross, and in His ascension to the throne of God. The angels are longing to see into God’s gracious work of redemption through Christ. Paul tells us that the Lord is instructing angels concerning His wisdom by His presence and grace in the Church.

Does not the Bible say that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself? (2Co5:19)

Back to the form – In the Light over the mercy seat was a form that only Moses was allowed to see. The form was the preincarnate Jesus Christ. We see this by tying the Old Testament and the New Testament together.

When the Lord rebuked Miriam and Aaron over their presumptuous attitude towards Moses, He said to them,

“Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?” The Lord just made a distinction between Moses and other prophets saying, “He [Moses] beholds the form of God.” (Num12:8)

If God has no form, who then did Moses see? He saw the image of the invisible God. This is exactly who Jesus is. To the Jews, God’s Messiah was known as the form of God, the glory of God, the image of God, and at times even theShekinah of God.

Listen carefully. Paul said of Christ,

“Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself…” (Phi2:6)

Any Jewish person reading Paul’s writings would immediately connect Jesus with the light over the mercy seat and the form that Moses beheld.

In the New Testament writings Jesus is called the “glory of the only begotten of the Father.” (John 1:14)

charles-barber-blessing

Then we need to recall the bright Light that blinded Paul on the road to Damascus. (Paul was then known as Saul.) What Paul heard was, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” He responded, “Who are You, Lord?” Keep in mind that both the Lord and Paul are speaking Hebrew. The term for Lord would be YHWH. (Yahweh). The Lord then identifies Himself as Jesus.

Now back to the tabernacle. John wrote, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Greek word for ‘dwelt’ calls attention to the holiest of holiest in the tabernacle. The glory that rested over the mercy seat was now tabernacled in Jesus Christ. Jesus is now the holiest of holies. Paul specifically calls Jesus, “The Lord of glory” (1Co2:8)

It is on the Mount of Transfiguration that Jesus appears on the outside what He is on the inside. It says, “And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.” (Mat17:2)

But what of the question as to why David could speak of the holiest of holies as the hiding place for God’s people? David could see by the Spirit into the redemption of Christ, past the veil, and into God’s redemption plan that would stretch across eternity past and eternity future.

12a

The secret place of God would take in all His people from ancient time on. The tabernacle was a picture-perfect symbol of God’s eternal purpose for all His people.

The Old Testament saints somehow knew in their hearts that the Lord Himself was their ever present security in life. Moses said,

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Ps90:1,2)

Here Moses uses the same word that David used with regard to the ‘secret place’ of the tabernacle.

Again think about the two cherubim with their golden wings spread over the mercy seat. Listen again to David:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, `My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” (Ps91:1,2)

David uses the same word again which references the secret place of God’s presence, that is, the mercy seat in the holiest of holies. God’s people dwell under the very presence and protection of angels.

Here is where we come to the great mystery of God’s love for His people. The Psalmist Asaph speaks of God’s people as His ‘treasured ones.’ He writes, “They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones.” (Ps83:3)

These treasured ones are God’s people from the ages. The Hebrew for ‘treasured ones’ speaks of that which is covered by God, that which is hidden, or that which is kept secret. But it especially speaks of the secret of one’s heart. God’s treasured ones are the secret love of His heart.

19a

The Psalmist puts things together when he writes,

“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.

“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock [the Rock is Christ]. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” (Psalm 27:4-6)

The Hebrew for ‘conceal’ is the same word for God’s ‘treasured’ ones. God’s people are His treasures in the earth and for all eternity. This allows us to have a better understanding of a kingdom parable concerning a treasure. Jesus said,

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field [world], which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matt13:44)

The treasure has to do with the kingdom of heaven. The story is the story of the cross. Jesus Christ gave His life for the hidden treasure. Jesus came to seek that which was lost. Now the treasure is hidden again, but this time it is hidden in Christ.

Paul said, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col3:3,4)

All we have read in David’s writings have their fulfillment in the finished work of the cross. Being hidden in Christ means that every believer is eternally secured from the power of darkness. We can never be separated from God’s love. Our life is placed in the Light of God’s very being. Peter said that our calling was into “His marvelous light.”

While this may seem difficult to grasp, what we need to realize is that our faith is to be based upon our position in Christ. Our position in Christ is secured. We have already been raised up and seated with Him in the heavenly places. Our concern is in living out our present life with the knowledge of our eternal placement. God gives us heavenly life as a foretaste of eternity. This is what believers are to learn to live by. Heavenly life is God’s oversight of our lives.

Did you know that God never takes His eyes off you? Listen to this conversation between David and the Lord:

[David] “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

[Lord] “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Ps27:7,8)

29a

Did you know that there is continually joy in heaven over each person who turns to the Lord? The joy of heaven is the joy of the Lord Jesus Himself. The reason Jesus endured the cross was the joy that was set before Him. The joy set before Him was all those whom the Father would give Him for all eternity.

Jesus said,

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. … This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37,39,40)

You have come to love God because He first loved you. Did you know that your joy in the Lord is a reflection of His joy over you? Did you know that the grace that flows in your life is not something that you earned? It is freely given to you in God’s Beloved.

There is only one question to need to answer. Are you right now trusting in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Faith in Jesus alone is proof positive that you belong to Him. And if you belong to Him, then you are most certainly one of His treasured ones.

This is what the great apostle said:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph2:8-10)

Well, it would not be right if I failed to share a song with you. How about, ‘No Other Name But Jesus’ by Gaither Vocal Band….

Think about it. Have you met the Great I AM?

Much love coming your way,

Buddy

Jesus, the wonder and mystery of the Bible…

Share

Journal,

“OPEN MY EYES, THAT I MAY BEHOLD WONDERFUL THINGS FROM YOUR LAW.” (Psalm 119:18 NASB)
Keep in mind that the focus in these sessions centers on learning to walk with God. In our first session we talked about JESUS as the WORD of GOD. In this session we will pick up with that same thought. It is important to understand why the apostolic writer tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. He explains by saying that JESUS is the author and the perfecter  of our faith. He12:2
Another way of saying ‘author and perfecter,’ is, ‘the beginning and the end.’ The expression, ‘fixing our eyes,’ in the Greek literally means to look away from everything that distracts. Fixing our eyes on JESUS is the premier principle of a walk of faith.
There is no question that CHRIST JESUS is the great wonder and mystery of the Bible. In one place His name is actually called, ‘Wonderful Counselor.’
In this study we want to take a deeper look into this intriguing mystery of GOD’S MESSIAH, or the Man that every believer can easily call, ‘Wonderful’.  Let’s pick up where we left off in our last session.
I – Jesus: The Word of God
1. When JESUS rebuked the winds and the sea and they became calm, the disciples were amazed. They said, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt8:27)
What great lesson does ‘Jesus calming the sea’ teach us about Jesus, and/or about our walk with God?
2. All that JESUS did was in one way or another to fulfill prophecy. On calming the seas, it says in Psalm 107:28,29, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Why is it so important to tie Jesus in with Old Testament prophecy?
3. The Bible is story of GOD’S MESSIAH. Consider these Scriptures taken from the book of Matthew: MATT. 1:21-23; 2:14,15; 2:22,23; 4:13-16; 8:16,17; 13:34,35; 21:2-5; 26:53,54,56.
II  – Jesus: The Form of God
1. That the MESSIAH would also be GOD was written beforehand. So we read, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, MIGHTY GOD, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace…” (Isa 9:6) – Eternal Father can literally be translated as ‘Father of eternity.’
2. How can JESUS be the Almighty GOD in the earth, while the highest heavens cannot contain GOD? The issue is that GOD does not exist in time and space. GOD is one Being, yet He manifests Himself in more than one way. This has always been a mystery to be understood with the heart and not the head. Cf. Zech12:10; Hosea 5:15; 6:1-3.
This is where Hebraic thought form is so important to Christians. Christianity is not a western religion. The Bible we use is a Hebrew document. The apostles were Hebrew men. The language of the Bible is Hebraic from start to finish.
3. The ancients taught a mystery in GOD that could only be expressed as GOD coming forth from GOD. This coming forth from GOD was called ‘The Word of GOD,’ ‘the Image of GOD’, ‘the Form of GOD’, ‘the Glory’,  ‘the Word of the LORD,’ ‘the Wisdom,’ ‘the Son,’ or, ‘the Light of GOD.’ Each of these expressions has a counterpart in the New Testament.
Consider just a few of them.
a. Form of GOD: New Testament – Phil2:6. Compare Numbers 12:6-8; Lev16:2
b. Glory of GOD: New Testament – 1Co2:6-8; John 1:14. Compare Eze11:22,23.
(The Jews have a tradition that says the Glory of God rested on the Mount of Olives and wept. Is there any counterpart to this in the New Testament.
c. Wisdom of GOD: New Testament – 1Co1:30; 2:7; Mt11:19; 13:43. Compare: Pro8:1-8
d. Son of GOd – Compare Psalm2:12; Pro30:2-4
So, was Christ pre-existent? Cf. Micah 5:2; John 17:1-5; Heb. 1:8-12; 11:24-27.
Did God’s people have experiences with Christ in the Old Testament? Genesis 32:24-29;  Judges 13:18.
III – Jesus: The Redeemer
1. Job said, “As for me, I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me.” (Job 19:25-27)
Notice Job called his Redeemer, GOD. This is one of the clearest testimonies to the faith of GOD’S ancient people. Job must have had a revelation of who the Redeemer would really be. How did GOD redeem us?
2. The wonder of the incarnation. The blood that ran through JESUS’ veins was GOD’S blood. (Cf. Acts 20:28.) Notice how the book of Revelation closes with a picture of the heavenly throne. It says, “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Notice there is only one throne.)
3. The ancient faith of GOD’S people rested on a promise made in the garden. One day a SON would be born to the human family. This SON would break Satan’s power. They believed that this SON would be divine. (Thus the afore testimony of Job.)
Paul said that had the rulers understood GOD’S wisdom, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1Co2:7,8) John said JESUS was the WORD of GOD manifest in human form. Both the Greeks and the Hebrews had a concept of GOD’S activity in the earth and in creation. Greeks used the term ‘LOGOS.’ The Hebrews used the term ‘MEMRA.’
4. Ancient  Jewish sages saw the MESSIAH in all the Scriptures. The ‘wind’ on the surface of the deep in creation was the SPIRIT of MESSIAH.
They also said that the ‘Light’ that was manifest at creation was the life of MESSIAH, that is, the wisdom men were to walk in. Because of sin this LIGHT became hidden. It was taught that the light would come back with MESSIAH. JESUS said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
5. How does this light manifest for believers? Paul said, “For God who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” (2Co4:6,7)
When a person becomes a true believer, there is a work of the Spirit in opening that person’s spiritual eyes. Every true believer has the capacity to walk in the light of JESUS. The born-from-above believer is given ‘sight’ by which he or she sees beyond the boundaries of the natural. This is why Paul said, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Co4:18)
6. When JESUS walked on the waters, we hear Him saying to the frightened disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Matt14:25-26)
What was the purpose behind JESUS walking on the waters? This was again to reveal to His disciples who He really was. Job 9:8, says, “[God] alone stretches out the heavens and tramples down the waves of the sea.” It says that when He got in their boat, “And those who were in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son.” (Matt14:33)
So, what do you think about the man called ‘Wonderful’?

David said, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” (Psalm 119:18 NASB)

4a

'And Let all the angels of God worship Him.'

In another place, David said, “Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” (Ps63:2)

Who was it that David saw? I believe David saw the Lord Jesus before He took on the form of man. David actually called the preincarnate Jesus, his Lord.

Sound strange? The religious leaders in Israel said that the Messiah would be the Son of David, that is, He would be of the lineage of David. But Jesus brought something to their attention that caught them off guard.

Listen:

[Jesus] “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?

[Religious leaders] “The son of David.”

[Jesus] “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord’, saying, ‘The Lord [Yahweh] said to my Lord [Adoni], ‘Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet ‘ If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”

Did you catch it? David called the preincarnate Christ Jesus, his Lord. Adoni (or Adonay) literally means ‘my Lord.’ Adonay is a masculine noun that speaks exclusively of God. It is used when directing attention to the supreme authority and power of God.

On the day of Pentecost, which by the way was both the birthday of the new covenant church, and the coronation day of Jesus, that is,  the day He received His kingdom in its present form, Peter took note of Psalm 110:1, and said this was the Father speaking to the Son.

Yes indeed…

Jesus is the great wonder and mystery of the Bible…

In one place His name is actually called, ‘Wonderful Counselor.’

23a

"To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice." Ps68:33

Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves they became calm. The disciples said, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt8:27)

What kind of man is Jesus indeed. Everything that Jesus did during His life on earth pretty much told us what kind of Man He was and is. Psalm 107:28,29, says, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.”

That the Messiah would also be God, was written beforehand by Moses and the prophets. Isaiah wrote, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace…” (Isa 9:6) (Eternal Father can also be translated as ‘Father of eternity.’)

So a question remains. How can Jesus be the Almighty God in the earth, when the highest heavens and all of eternity cannot contain God? And if Jesus is the Almighty God, why did He speak of the Father being in heaven?

This is where Hebraic thought form is so important to Christians.

Christianity is not a western religion.

The Bible we use is a Hebrew document. The apostles were Hebrew men. The language of the Bible is Hebraic from start to finish. And unless we have some concept of the Hebrew thought form of the Bible, we are going to come short of some of the most beautiful truths to be realized.

The ancients taught that there was a mystery in God that could only be expressed as God coming forth from God. This coming forth from God was called ‘The Word of God,’ ‘the Image of God’, ‘the Form of God’, ‘the Glory’,  ‘the Word of the Lord,’ ‘the Wisdom,’ ‘the Son,’ and, ‘the Light of God.’ Each of these expressions has a counterpart in the New Testament if we know where to find them.

Consider just a few (You may want to get your Bible for a look see):

  • Form of GOD: New Testament – Phil2:6. Compare Numbers 12:6-8; Lev16:2
  • Glory of GOD: New Testament – 1Co2:6-8; John 1:14. Compare Eze11:22,23.

(The ancients had a legend that said when the Glory of God left Solomon’s temple, it rested on the Mount of Olives and wept for three years. Based on Ezekiel 11:22,23. Is there any counterpart to this idea of God weeping in the New Testament. Think about it.)

  • Wisdom of GOD: New Testament – 1Co1:30; 2:7; Mt11:19; 13:43. Compare: Pro8:1-8
  • Son of GOd – Compare Psalm2:12; Pro30:2-4

So, was Christ pre-existent with the Father?

Micah 5:2 says, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathat, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

28a

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son..." (Jn 3:16)

Then we have John 17:4,5: “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

How about this statement that Jesus made to His disciples: “What then if you see the Son of Man ascended to where He was before?” (Jn6:62)

Did God’s people have experiences with Christ in the Old Testament?

Job said, “As for me, I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

Notice Job called his Redeemer, God. This is one of the clearest testimonies to the faith of God’s ancient people. Job must have had a revelation of who the Redeemer would really be.

The blood that ran through the veins of Jesus was God’s blood. Then notice how the book of Revelation closes with a picture of the heavenly throne. It says, “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

Notice there is only one throne, but it is called the throne of God and of the Lamb. Somehow God is the Lamb, and the Lamb is God. And yet in this one Scripture we see three aspects of the eternal God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the ‘water of life,’ which speaks of the presence of God Himself.

The ancient faith of God’s people rested on a promise made in the garden. One day a Son would be born to the human family. This Son would break Satan’s power. They believed that this Son would be divine. (Thus the afore testimony of Job.)

Paul said that had the rulers understood God’s wisdom, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. John said Jesus is the Word of God manifest in human form. Both the Greeks and the Hebrews had a concept of God’s activity in the earth and in creation. The Greeks used the term ‘Logos.’ The Hebrews used the term ‘Memra.’

The wind on the surface of the deep…

The Jewish sages saw the Messiah in all the Scriptures. The ‘wind’ on the surface of the deep in creation was the Spirit of Messiah. They also said that the ‘Light’ that was manifest at creation was the life of Messiah, but that this Light became hidden because of the sin of Adam. The Light would only be found again when Messiah came.

Any Hebrew person would have understood what Jesus meant, when He said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

How does this light manifest for believers? Paul said, “For God who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” (2Co4:6,7)

Every true believer has the capacity to walk in the light of Jesus, by learning to fix his eyes on Jesus. This is why Paul said, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Co4:18)

When Jesus walked on the waters, we hear Him saying to the frightened disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Matt14:25-26)

What was the purpose behind Jesus walking on the waters?  Job 9:8, says, “[God] alone stretches out the heavens and tramples down the waves of the sea.”

When Jesus got into the boat, it says, “And those who were in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son.” (Matt14:33)

So, what do you think about this wonder and mystery of the Bible. While you are think about it, listen to this song:

Yes indeed, Jesus is a great Savior,

Buddy

Thank God for the red, white, and blue…

Share
OD 12/4/88 Sun AMTHE SECRET THINGS OF FAITH
Pine Plaza (Pnvl)
Intro: Mt17:19,20 This stmt has always intrigued believers.  “..if you have faith..”
_ Not literal mtns? (Disagree!) I believe the Lord meant exactly what He said.
_ Probably always a problem area. (Either explain away; or misapply; Satan’s delite)
_ However, anything Jesus ever said was/is important. (?) He is the living Word!
Subj: The Secret Things Of Faith  (Pray, “The secret thgs belong to the Lord our God..”)
I – The Importance of this Statement (Start off with 4 reasons why is it important)
1. Important because of its emphasis. (Law of 2/3 witnesses?)  c/Mt21:20-22
¹ In both cases Jesus made stmt after doing something. (Demonized boy/fig tree)
2. Important because it explains why there is failure among God’s people.
¹. Remember the centurion w paralized servant? “I will come…I’m not worthy…”
*Israel was not in captivity to Romans because of Romans strength?  Traded faith/legalism!
². A lesson often taught the disciples:
Storm at sea, “..why r u so timid, you men of little faith?”
In Peter’s case, “..O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Sermon, “..anxious abt clothing..He not do more 4 u, O men of little faith.”
3. Important because it shows that true faith has unlimited potential.
¹ Its not has anyone ever moved a mtn!  The point, it can be done by faith alone!
_You must first realize how powerful this realm is!  Why? c/Eph1:18,19; (remember stmt, “..toward us who believe..”; Eph3:20
4. Important because it sets forth the realm of the N.T. believer.
¹ Everything Jesus did and taught relates to the New Covenant coming into place.
_c/Luke22:19,20 (B/4 resurrection; they didn’t understand) Luke 24:41-50; Gal 3:23,27-29
² Note stmt “..before faith came..”? – The thgs Jesus taught go far beyond
anything the O.T. Saints knew about.  When you believe in Jesus Christ a
total new realm of faith opens up.
_Understd this and many Scirptures will come together: “…believes in me..” “..Christ in you..”  “..God has alotted to each a measure of faith..” “I can do all thgs (movemtns)..”
‘BEFORE FAITH CAME’ MEANS THAT KIND OF FAITH WAS NOT AVAILABLE. Compare 2Pe1:1; Jude20
³ See why it is said you don’t pray for faith!  Prayer positions you in faith!
Prayer makes you hear faith!  Recall, “Have faith in God.  Truly I say to
you..Therefore all thgs fo which you pray and ask…”
_Talking about?  The secret thgs of faith.  Four important thgs Christ stm’t sets forth.
II – The Secret Things of Faith (Briefly share just three things)
1. Faith requires that we hear the Word of God. (Only available on the point of believing and then to believers thereafter)
¹ Recall; “..faith comes by hearing..”  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing..”  “But u do not believe because…my sheep hear My voice..”
² Remember the Bible includes the voice of God to those who believe; “..u search the Scriptures..” c/2Tm3:14-17
2. Faith requires that we operate on the Word of God. (Carefully) c/James1:22-25
*Remember, “..whatever He tells u to do..” Not talking about a make sense realm!  Doesn’t make sense to speak to mountains.  Remember when Jesus spoke to me about giving in faith!  In six months?  Example: 1Kings17:9-15 (Sold our home; gave furniture away; sowed etc.)
¹ O, if Jesus wd just tell me to do something? c/Luke6:38
* Over the years I have watched people give themselves out of debt? One day I going to teach on finances.  Give one Scripture: Prov11:24,25  (Laws of nature are reflections)
3. Faith requires a proper relationship with God.  “..delight urself…”

Note: The journal can now be read in 52 languages. Click on ‘translate.’

x

M6OG000A

Journal,

This morning we had our Veteran’s Day Parade at the VA Hospital in Pineville. I’ve been in other parades, but this one was a bit extra special for me. Perhaps it had to do with where it was taking place. Most of the people who lined the roadway were veterans, and families and children of veterans.  Some were patients at the hospital. There was a comradery. I have always felt at home at the VA. Guess it goes back to my Navy days.

10861_198142902703_658877703_4013958_4713419_n

Right to left - myself, Nathan, Rodney Alexander our state Congressman, and Woody Smith. (Not pictured were Art Baker and Eddie Ramer.)

It was so stirring to see the faces of the people, to see their smiles, to see the bright eyes of the children, and to hear time after time,  ‘Happy Veteran’s Day.’ ‘Thank you for celebrating with us.’  ‘Throw some candy mister.’

I’ve been in parades where thousands lined the streets. This parade had a few hundred. But it could not have been any more majestic and any more deserving. I thought to myself, ‘This parade is for you, my brothers and sisters. You are our heros.’

Every time I heard the marching band behind us play one of the military songs, I felt a lump in my throat. I wanted to get out of the truck and hug every single person there. After all, I am one of them. (Course I was driving, so getting out wasn’t a good idea.)  : )

Yes, there really is something that subsists between veterans and their families that speaks to brotherhood. It doesn’t matter if the veteran was Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, National Guard, the sense of brotherhood remains in place.

10861_198198072703_658877703_4014103_757581_n

Eddie Ramer served in Iraq. Congressman Alexandra took time to visit with him.

And yes, I do thank God for the old red, white and blue. Just yesterday, Betty and I attended a special Veteran’s Day program where two of our grandchildren attend elementary school. I could not help but notice that in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, when it came to, ‘One nation, under God,’ the voices became even more invigorated. Yes indeed, we are one nation under God.

Reaching back into my childhood memories, two special things always come to mind. One had to do with my mother teaching me how to pray the little child’s prayer, ‘Now I lay me down to sleep.’ That memory remains etched in my mind.

uss_indianapolis

USS Indianapolis

The other memory had to do with the ending of World War II. Yes, I well remember it. I remember the dancing in the streets, the jubilation, and news reels at the movie house. But most of all I remember how those of my family fought in that war. I simply idolized two of my mother’s brothers who served in the Navy, Uncle Holiday Carver and Uncle Grover Carver.

Uncle Grover was one of the few survivors from the USS Indianapolis. Uncle Holiday retired as a Navy Commander. Both saw plenty of action with the Pacific fleet. It would not do for me to join any service other than the Navy. So at age 18, young, immature, and brash, off I went to serve my country as a sailor. (Early years of Vietnam.)

My four years as a radioman saw me to the same areas that my uncles had served. I was in the Philippine Islands for a year and a half, abroad the USS Calvert for a year and a half, and in California for a year. In fact my Uncle Holiday gave me a tropical suit for my time in the Philippines.

Well, I’m not bragging, just thankful. And now it is time to put this entry to rest. Are you proud to be an American. Here is a song just for you…

Yes indeed – Jesus is a great Savior. You can fill in the rest.

Blessings,

Buddy

Psssst – Have you heard…

Share

Journal Readers,

Have you heard the story of a marvelous book that actually speaks for itself. I mean it literally has a voice. No? Well there is such a book. The Bible talks about it. Listen:

“On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD, and the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa 29:18,19)

3ZAF000A

Did you catch it? There is a book that has a voice that can be heard. The book has a message to tell. The book can even sing. But not everyone can hear the voice of that book or the songs that it sings. It is only those to whom it is intended. Are you interested? Let me talk with you about the book that talks and sings.

In the study to follow I would encourage my readers to use your Bible to check the references that I’ll provide. They will speak to your heart.


*********************

THE BIBLE AS GOD’S WORD
By Lawrence E. (Buddy) Martin
“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89 NASB
The last book of the Bible ends with a warning, which says, “And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” [Rev22:19]  Does this warning simply apply to the book of Revelations, or is it a warning concerning the whole of the Bible? It is safe to assume that the warning applies to all the Scriptures, since the Bible is one book, and has one underlying message of redemption. The book of Revelations simply completes the written record of God’s redemption.
We find a similar warning in Proverbs 30:5,6, where it says, “Every Word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His Words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” There are numerous other references to the purity of God’s written word. In fact the apostle Paul tells us to never exceed what is written. God has given the Bible as a safeguard for the faith of His peoples.
Why is the Bible so important to a believer? After all, Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not have a Bible, and they all walked with God. Let’s find out how the Bible relates to learning to walk with God. In this teaching we want to take a deeper look at this book we call the Bible.
I – The Canon of Scripture
1. First we need to understand what the word ‘canon’ means. Canon comes from the Greek word kanon (kan-ohn’) which means a rule of measure. Metaphorically it speaks of any rule, standard, principle, or law that is used for investigation, judging, living, and acting. The canon of Scriptures is the Bible in its completed form. Nothing is to be added to it. Nothing is to be taken away from it. (Psalm 119:89)
2. The Old Testament canon begins with the writings of Moses and concludes with the book of Malachi. (The Bible was written over a period of about 1600 years.) The Protestant Bible as a rule accepts the Hebrew canon. (The Catholic Bible adds the apocrypha. These 13 books were written after Malachi. They were never accepted in the Hebrew canon.) Why should we accept the Hebrew Scriptures? Because it was to the Jewish prophets alone that God committed the written oracles. Cf. John 4:20-22; Rom. 3:1-4; Rom. 9:3-5.
3. The formation of the NT canon was not a conciliar decision [Set in place by church council.] The apostolic writings were treasures of the churches. They came together in the providence of God. Over a short period of time, the New Testament received its fixed form with the twenty-seven books we now have. There are sixty-six books that make up the entire Bible. Revelations completes the canon of Scripture. (Rev. 22:16-21)
4. The test of the New Testament books to be included in the canon of Scriptures included three things: (1) Did it have Apostolic authority? Was it written by an apostle or by a close companion. (2) Did it have the witness of the Holy Spirit? Does it carry the testimony of truth that flows through the entire Bible. (3) Was it in use by the Christian church from earliest times? Was it beloved by the earliest Christians. (Eph. 2:19-21)
II – Things to Understand about the Bible
1. Modern language translations are important. Any living language is constantly changing. Older translations may not clearly convey what is being said in the language of modern readers. This is why, though the King James Version has its own beauty, it is not able to speak with clarity to our modern generation. It was written in Elizabethan English.
2. There is a difference between letterism and literalism. The letter without a proper revelation of the spiritual truth behind it genders to bondage. God’s people should seek the literal meanings in the Scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to transform literal truths into spiritual realities. (2 Co. 3:5,6, 12-18)
3. In the new covenant the Lord places in every believer the same Holy Spirit who breathed forth the Scriptures. Truth can be tested. (See John 16:13-15) Any teaching that is man-centered and does not agree with sound doctrine that conforms to godliness, or any teaching that does not lift up Jesus Christ is not to be accepted as Biblical.
4. As for Biblical teaching, the purpose of pastoral teaching is not to take the place of a believer’s direct access to truth. The primary calling of a pastor is overseeing those who are allotted to his care. His overseeing ministry is for the safety of the flock. His primary gift is that of teaching. Yet the Lord gives true believers a safeguard against false teaching. (The anointing.) Cf. 1 John 2:19-21, 27.
III – God’s Word: the Message
1. The term Word of God carries another meaning. It especially speaks of God’s message of the gospel. The message of redemption is the underlying theme of the Bible. Today we know it as ‘the Word of the Cross.’ (Acts 17:13; Rom. 1:16; 2 Co 2:17; 1 Thess 2:13; Heb 4:12; Gal 1:6-9)
2. The Bible is God’s written record of His redemptive plan in Christ. But it was also written to provide a guide for moral character. Therefore, the Bible is exclusively God’s Word to man. Paul said, “I would not have come to know sin except through the Law.” (MATT. 15:6; 2 TIM. 3:16)
3. The Greek term for inspired means to ‘out breath.’ The Scriptures came from God’s mouth. They come to us in their form completed through the apostles. Thus the Bible carries a living testimony to God’s truth. This is why Paul says that we are never to exceed what is written. [1Co4:6] The Bible as the written Word of God was given to guide God’s people in the way of salvation and in the paths of righteousness. (Psalm 19:7-14) The single greatest witness that our faith is correct, is if we are living by the testimony of the Scriptures.
4. Believers should seek to live according to revealed truths of the Scriptures, keeping in mind that the Bible is a progressive revelation. It finds its completion in the message of the cross. (Luke 24:44-47; 1 Co 15:1-5) With this in mind, the Holy Spirit never speaks to any believer in a way as to contradict God’s written record. (Isa 8:20; Matt 5:17,18; Acts 1:16; 1 Co 4:6; Rom 15:4)
IV – Jesus: The Word of God
The term ‘Word of God’ carries in it something else that is especially crucial to the life of a believer. The term ‘Word of God’ refers to the communication of God. Since God is a Person, obviously He needs to communicate. Therefore, He speaks. (Gen 1:1-3; Psalm 33:6,9; Heb 11:3)
All God’s born-again children know the communication of God. This is why songs like the Garden song are dear to the child of God. It says, in part, “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.” It goes on to say, “He speaks, and the sound of His voice, is so sweet that the birds hush their singing.” This song carries the heart of what the Word of God means. The Word of God is God speaking into our hearts. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [John 10:27]
1. In the new covenant, Jesus is expressly called “the Word of God.” He is God’s Word fully incarnate or personified in human flesh. This seems mysterious enough, but when we receive into our hearts Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He enters our heart as the living Word of God. Thus all our communication with God is found in Jesus Christ and takes place in our hearts. (John 1:1-3,14; 2Co 4:5-7; Rev 19:11-13)
2. To be born again, is to be born of God’s Word. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing (Speaking of His flesh at that time.); the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” [John 6:53] Cf. 1Peter 1:22-25.
3. The source of our faith is God speaking to us in Christ. (Rom 10:17 – The Greek word ‘Rhema’, means ‘that which is uttered by a living voice’.)
4. This brings us back to the Old Testament prophet and, in turn, to the Scriptures, and to the new covenant in Christ. Because Adam rejected the truth of God, he lost his ability to enjoy direct communication with God on a true spiritual level. Very few people had direct communication from God. These few peoples were generally known as prophets. The prophets came to serve as God’s mouthpiece. If you needed to hear from God, you went to, or, in the case of a King, sent for the prophet. (1 Sam 9:27; 1 Kings 12:22; 1 Chron 17:3; Luke 3:2)
5. This particular role of the prophet being God’s mouthpiece to His people diminished with the coming of Jesus, and under the New Covenant. See Heb 1:1,2. Also cf. Heb 8:10-13. There was an overlap of the prophetic ministry during the transition of covenants, but today there is no need for a prophet of the Old Testament level.
6. Jesus described the new covenant believer in prophetic terms: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 Living water is a symbol for God’s living Word and God’s life.
Conclusion: So, why is the Bible so important to believers?

THE BIBLE AS GOD’S LIVING VOICE

“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89 NASB

The last book of the Bible ends with a warning, which says, “And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” [Rev22:19]

It is safe to assume that this warning applies to all the Scriptures, since the Bible is one book, and since the Bible has only one underlying message of redemption. But the Bible will only speak to those who truly want to hear its message.

We find a similar warning in Proverbs 30:5,6, where it says, “Every Word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His Words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.”

Why is the Bible so important to a believer? After all, Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not have a Bible, and they all walked with God. Let’s take a deeper look at this book we call the Bible. The book that has a message to tell. The book that speaks and sings to all of God’s children is a living book.

  • The term Word of God carries a special meaning. It especially speaks of God’s message of the gospel. The message of redemption is the underlying theme of the Bible. Today we know it as ‘the Word of the Cross.’ (Acts 17:13; Rom. 1:16; 2 Co 2:17; 1 Thess 2:13; Heb 4:12; Gal 1:6-9)
  • The Bible is God’s written record of His redemptive plan in Christ. But it was also written to provide a guide for moral character. Therefore, the Bible is exclusively God’s Word to man. Paul said, “I would not have come to know sin except through the Law.” (Matt 15:6; 2 Tim. 3:16)
  • The Greek term for inspired means to ‘out breath.’ The Scriptures came from God’s mouth. They come to us in their form completed through the apostles. Thus the Bible carries a living testimony to God’s truth. This is why Paul says that we are never to exceed what is written. [1Co4:6]
  • The Bible as the written Word of God was given to guide God’s people in the way of salvation and in the paths of righteousness. (Psalm 19:7-14) The single greatest witness that our faith is correct, is if we are living by the testimony of the Scriptures.

Now let’s talk about the voice that sings..

  • All God’s born-again children know the communication of God. This is why songs like the Garden song are dear to the child of God. It says, in part, “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.” It goes on to say, “He speaks, and the sound of His voice, is so sweet that the birds hush their singing.” This song carries the heart of what the Word of God means. The Word of God is God speaking into our hearts. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [John 10:27]
  • In the new covenant, Jesus is expressly called “the Word of God.” He is God’s Word fully incarnate or personified in human flesh. This seems mysterious enough, but when we receive into our hearts Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He enters our heart as the living Word of God. Thus all our communication with God is found in Jesus Christ and takes place in our hearts. (John 1:1-3,14; 2Co 4:5-7; Rev 19:11-13)
  • To be born again, is to be born of God’s Word. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing (Speaking of His flesh at that time.); the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” [John 6:53] Cf. 1Peter 1:22-25.
  • The source of our faith is God speaking to us in Christ. (Rom 10:17 – The Greek word ‘Rhema’, means ‘that which is uttered by a living voice’.)
  • And for the singing? Listen carefully –
  • saying, “I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.” And again, “BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.” (Heb 2:12-13)

There is much more to Jesus singing over us. He will even give us songs to sing. Is it any wonder that believers fall in love with God’s holy book. In it we hear the voice of our Shepherd.

With that in mind, take time to listen to the Garden Song:

Well, have you heard the words of a book. You can you know. The apostle said it well enough, when he said, “And it shall come to past that whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Blessings,

Buddy

Who was that man…

Share

Journal,

I’m still marking time until my original journal is back up and running. (Don’t want to lose my prior entries.) But I haven’t stretched out, other than to annoy Jenni over when things will be back in place. Actually it has been quite restful. I’ve been able to set my mind on other things.

OK, let’s break the silence. Thought I’d take a moment to muse a bit. (Not that everyone will enjoy my musings.)

An interesting thing happened this last Saturday. I was on my way to my youngest sons for a fish fry. Knowing that I would pass near our community cemetery, the thought kept coming to me about a grave marker in our family cemetery that I’ve always wondered about. I wondered…

Who was that man?’

Most of the people buried in the old Campbell Creek Cemetery are my kin. But it is actually a community cemetery. Anyway, in the picture below, in the bottom row, beginning on the left is my dad’s headstone, Lawrence Bert Martin. Next to him in the brown colored headstone is our son, David Lynn. The double headstones are my grandfather and grandmother Martin, John Allen and Frances Ella. Further up still, without a head stone is my great-uncle, Jessie Martin. Then the next two standing stones are my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, James Erwin and Mary.

CIMG0208

At the very top of the picture is a home-made head stone with the writing, ‘Charle s. Martin,’ died June 10, 1895. (The ‘s’ is backwards and the ‘9’ in 1895.) I knew that he was kin but I could never find exactly how. We have a number of Charles Martins in our genealogy.

And here is the blessing. At the fish fry I got to visiting with two of my long distant cousins who are very much involved in genealogy. Sonny asked me, ‘You don’t know who that Charlie Martin is?” “That is your great-grandfather’s, father.”

Wow – It lite up like a candle. Charle s. Martin is really Charles Seth Martin. He was born about 1825. What a connection! I was never able to find where Charles Seth was buried and there he was all the time in Campbell Creek Cemetery. Charles Seth was my great-great-grandfather.

But the story doesn’t stop there. What makes this even more interesting is that Charles Seth Martin is the son of Billy and Elizabeth Martin, the revolutionary soldier and his Indian wife, who are buried at Anacoco, Louisiana. (Mitchell Cemetery. Also known as Cold Water Cemetery.) Billy and Elizabeth came to Louisiana in 1803. Billy and Elizabeth were my great-great-great-grandparents. And now I have the entire lineage of my Louisiana Martin ancestry in place.

I’m not through yet. All our Martin men and their wives have been Christians. According to our genealogy, Billy Martin was a Methodist. And that brings me to the next musing. It’s about…

I Know Whom I Have Believed…

As is my custom, this morning I picked up my good friend Art Baker, for our weekly time of fellowship. We gather at a local restaurant. Art is a retired Methodist pastor. (Art is 83 years young. I’m just a youngster at 69.) Since 1988 a group of we pastors and other ministers have met once a week just for a time of laughter and sharing. When Art got in my truck he said he had a song he wanted me to hear. Art began to sing, ‘I Know Whom I Have Believed.”

What a wonderful voice. My eyes became misty as I listened to my old friend sing from his heart. Anyway, thought I’d share the song with you. Why not take a listen…

How about it? Do you know in whom you have believed? Are you persuaded that He is able to keep what you have entrusted to Him for that day?

Think about it.

Enough on my musings.

Love in Christ always,

Buddy