Friday, 23 April 2010
Jesus, Jesus Christ. To call him by any other name sounds utterly blasphemous to our ears. His name is Jesus always was always will be that’s what they called him in the bible right, it says to right there in mine and yours. I think we tend to forget how things used to be in the world, especially the world Jesus walked in. I know it’s a big thing today to bring the Bible into our age and to interpret it according to our modernistic culture. But I strongly believe that we can’t interpret the bible in our age with out understanding what was the original intentions and the original audience that our scriptures where presented to. I believe it is a great travesty to overlook what was happening when the books where being handed down by God. Why did Paul write what he did to those individual churches? Or for instance or who was Jeremiah crying out to? I’m not saying that we can’t apply those truths to our lives in our day but we rob ourselves of a level of revelation and richness when we forget what was.
To make my self clear I want to talk about Jesus, not Him as a person but why we call him Jesus Christ. Why is Christ his last name, I don’t remember there being a Mary and Joseph Christ in the early pages of Luke. It may shock you to know that no one ever referred to Him as Jesus when he walked the earth. In those days he was called Yehoshua (does this still sound like the white mans gospel lol). That was the name given to him at birth, the name Mary called him by, the name he was known by in the synagogue, the name called upon him by the apostles, Yehoshua from Nazareth the Messiah. All of this IS important to know.
What else is important to know is that the old Hebrews would chose the names of their children as a prophecy for their lives or as a reflection of the state of the nation for instance Ichabod means the glory has departed and David means well beloved. (Want a good study? look up old testament names and compare it to their lives) So Yehoshua is interpreted from Hebrew as “Yahweh the Savior or Yahweh our deliverer.” Sort of fitting for the name of the messiah (which literally means the anointed one and his anointing; and anointing means to be covered/soaked (by oil or the spirit of God)). So in our minds his name is Jesus Christ, while literally before God His name is “Yahweh our Savior and deliverer from Nazareth the One covered with the Spirit of God.” It’s a mouthful I know but a powerful one. Imagine when you pray, you say in the name of Jesus, but actually you are saying in the name of “Yahweh our Savior and deliverer from Nazareth the One covered with the Spirit of God.” (try and pray like this for a week)
I want to tell you about someone else who had the name Yehoshua in the Old Testament. But first I should explain how Yehoshua became Jesus. In Jesus’ time it was customary to have names their Jewish birth names and a Greek translation of their name. Long story short Greek was the trade/business language of the land, you did any business in the Roman Empire you did it in Greek. In our times you could use the Chinese immigrants in North America as an example, as they adopt western names to fit in. Now the greek translation of Yehoshua was Iesus, which carried over unchanged into Latin, then French developed out of Latin and changed the I to a soft J making Jesus (pronounced Jeyzu). Then in England French and German merged to become English and the soft J became a hard J becoming the Jesus we know today. Now if we were to make a direct translation from Hebrew to English, Yehoshua would become Joshua.
Yes Joshua the other man to share the name of Yehoshua, and are we surprised. The life of Jesus can be found all over the old testament, he’s everywhere in there. You want another study try and find Jesus in the book of Leviticus, it will blow your mind when you see him in places where they talk about sacrifices and the procedures. Did you know that for a priest to cleanse a house of leprosy? He would talk a dove sacrifice it ties it to a branch, dip it into its blood and sprinkles it on the house (tell me I you can’t see jesus in that). Ok back to Joshua. These lives are for the most part direct parallels, you could say that the life of Joshua was a prophecy of the life of Jesus. How you ask?
First off Joshua’s name was originally Hoshea (meaning savior deliverer) his name was changed to Yehoshua, no longer savior/deliverer but Yahweh the savior/deliverer.)
after he spied out the land of caanan and came back with a good report. that day he was Yehoshua, no longer savior/deliverer but Yahweh the savior/deliverer.)
-Joshua who sat in Moses’ tent and watched as God and Moses talked, Jesus sits at the right hand of God in the heavenly tabernacle and talks with God directly.
-Joshua refused to worship the golden calf at Mt. Sinai while Moses received the law, Jesus who lived a sinless life unmoved by the ways and demands on men
-Joshua called on the people after spying across the Jordan to go and fight the giants of the land Just as Jesus left the Jordan to go into the wilderness and faced the ultimate giant satan and came back in the power of God.
- Joshua who waited 3 days before crossing the Jordan, Jesus who remained in the grave 3 days before ascending to glory.
-Joshua crossed the Jordan on dry land, while Jesus was baptized into it (and later walked on the water).
-Joshua who unlike Moses (the giver of the law) led the people into the promised land, Jesus who fulfilled and abolished the law leads us into the promised land of forgiveness, righteousness and total relationship with God.
-Joshua after crossing the Jordan circumcised every man, Jesus has circumcised our hearts and has written His law upon it.
-Joshua led the armies of Israel to capture the Promised Land, Jesus who has called us to preach the gospel of the kingdom to all nations carrying the sword of the spirit which is the word of God.
-Joshua who uttered a cry and the walls of Jericho fell, Jesus who made his cry on the cross and the veil of the temple was torn in two (it wasn’t just cloth is was the entire temple that was damaged to the point where it took 36 years to repair it)
-Joshua who prayed that the sun should not set until he had completed the battle. Jesus who brought darkness over the land until he had declared “it is finished”
-Joshua who commissioned the 12 tribes to continue to take the land and claim their territory, Jesus who commissioned us to go to all the earth and preach the gospel of the kingdom to every creature and nation.
This is all more proof of who Jesus truly is, and another example of God paving the way for his coming, death and resurrection. God Almighty who prophesied about His Son through the lives and teachings of the old covenant. Jesus who has surpassed and completed the Law by becoming the ultimate sacrifice for all. Ushering in the age of grace, our spiritual promised land reconnecting us to the Father. And we like Joshua and the 12 tribes are now called to take the land and spread the Gospel to every nation. All this information, all of this revelation, has been hidden in something as simple and overlook as someone’s name. And not just any name but the name of “Yahweh our Savior and deliverer from Nazareth the One covered with the Spirit of God.” Or as we call him by today Jesus the Christ. All of this good news has been overlooked in our “now obsessed” churchianity. So much of what God has said and promised to those who came before us and also to us today. Has been lost in translation.
Sunday, 11 April 2010
1 Corinthians 1:13 “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
Question? Can we be Christians without Christ?
Question? Can we preach salvation without the cross?
Question? Can we minister without the Spirit?
Question? Can we accomplish our destiny without God?
Question? Can we follow without changing our own hearts?
There are 2 different answers to these honest questions, yes 2 answers but only one is right. How can that be, how can there be more than one answer but only one that is right Try and pass that off during a Math exam and pass, its illogical it doesn’t make any sort of sense. How can 2 answers exist when one is false and one is true. It all depends on which corner you stand in. Also which set of perspectives you wear over your eyes and heart, I guess it depends on who you ask and how you ask the questions.
It all depends on which corner you stand in. in one corner you have God, Jesus and their Word. In the other is our opinions and traditions . Both have answers but only one side has the answers that are right and true.
One side declares statements such as: Well as long as you go to church every Sunday pay your tithes and keep “your nose clean” you’ll be alright. Don’t forget to give St. Peter a big smile when you see him, you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about taking the bible literally, it’s just a bunch of kids stories with morals, just be nice to people and stay out of the way. Pay no attention to most of what Jesus said, just tolerate people and call it love, and that’ll be good enough, oh and don’t forget the bake sale on Saturday gotta earn those stripes you know. My parents and grandparents went to church/mass so I’m a Christian by default I guess. Of course I can preach I graduated with honors, I know my hermeneutics (intro, scripture, 3 points, story, conclusion). I have my “Nelsons Book of Illustrations” I’m all set as long as I have 3 months to prepare and no one better expect me to change my 6 month line up. I don’t need to change my attitude, God can just love me for who I am. I don’t need to forgive (vengeance in mine says the lord right!). Don’t forget gossip is a way to inform people of things to pray about, don’t you know.
None of these statements are the least bit true or scriptural, rather just easily palatable lifestyles that blend an image of God over a hollow shell (like a chocolate easter bunny, a tasty outside with nothing but air in the middle) Jesus gave us so much and asked so little in return, he tore down the old religious system of the Law, set us free from vain religion. Only to watch us rebuild and modernize the old ways. He made it so simple (not easy, simple) for us to come to and follow him just look at
Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” 1 John 4:14-15 14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:16-18 “:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
All of this He validated on the cross, and insured with his own blood. And all He asks is that we believe and follow Him in His sacrifice, ascension and Kingship. He is Alive in us individually and in us corporately. Whether we like it or not He is alive and wants to rule his church, and not just to be locked in the trunk of someone’s car waiting to be a validation to someone’s tradition. Must I remind you of Matthew 15:6 “So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect].AMP” Jesus has made his word so simple to understand, that we have had to build university’s and organizations in order to misunderstand it. When is the last time you read your Bible, and I don’t mean a glance here or there before you got to bed or on the toilet. When is the last time you actually read it? It is amazing how clear the answers come when you see it right there in black and white and RED. Where was I? Jesus is not the means to an end, no matter how craftily we polish and present it.
If we can’t acknowledge Him and His word as final authority then we are liars and heretics. Just because something sounds good or appears to work doesn’t make that divine. Have we confused holiness with pragmatism (if it works it’s true and right)? We can build massive churches, broadcast sermons across the world and develop curriculums and programs all with out the presence of God, and people will follow it because someone sugar coats a few Christian clichés over it and we will buy it. Especially if it requires no emotional or spiritual action of our behalf. If it makes you feel good and unchallenged it’s acceptable and popular. It’s just like the Chinese preacher said long ago when asked about the things he saw on his journey, “The great things Americans can accomplish without God.” How come we as a collective whole are continue to blindly follow this? I feel like I’m trapped in a cosmic game of Lemmings, just keep going don’t look up or look down just keep moving keep moving stay with the crowd keep moving keep *drop splat* game over…. Continue???
Today it’s not about repentance it’s about our feelings. It’s not about prayer its about going out for coffee. It’s not about revolution its about the status quo. It’s not about sanctification and righteousness its about making money. It’s not about disciple ship its about book/cd sales. Its not about cleaning our hearts but keeping the carpets clean (like the Todd Agnew song “the blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet).
What should it be all about then? It should be about doing all we can to walk by the fruits of the spirit, and the true character of Christ. To be a shining examples of the love, dominion and power of God Almighty, His Son and His presence on the Earth. To follow with our hearts not just our minds. To reach out with open hands not the back sides of them. However that looks, be it, laying hands, forgiving, giving, loving, teaching, exhorting, serving, leading, talking, preaching, listening or praying. Or as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22 “14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil” And then maybe we will have no fear to also follow Mark 16:15-18 “15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 .They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Let me leave you with this picture, imagine a giant room full of people. And over in one corner is Jesus standing alone looking across towards you. You are standing at the opposite end of the room in another corner all alone also. You are trying to look at Him, but the room is full of all sorts of other people all doing their own thing. You want to see Jesus, but He’s blinded and obscured by the heads and movements of all the people. Will you stay in your corner and only see a glimpse of Him through others? Or will you go over to His corner and see him unhindered face to face in his corner
1 John 5:1-6 “5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”