This is Eternal Life

He said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You.  Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent.                                                                                      John 17:1-3.

How do we come to know God and obtain this eternal life? The ones we know; we recognize their voice. When someone who knows me well calls on the telephone, they say “Hey, it’s me”, and I don’t have to ask “Who dat”?

The shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  John 10:4.

Whether we are listening to the spoken Word or studying devotionals, praising God or meditating in His presence, the one goal remains constant: to know His voice. One of the earliest ways that the priesthood referred to the Lord was “The Voice.”

And when Moses went into the tent of meeting that He might speak with him, then he heard the Voice speaking unto him from above the ark-cover that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and He spoke unto him.                         Numbers 7:89, JPS Tanakh.

The Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it, the voice of the Spirit. The world will tell you that you are suffering from auditory hallucinations if you claim to hear this voice. However, scientists that study brain wave activity in people during these episodes find that the voices are processed in a different area of the brain from normal auditory stimuli. The point of this is that we can listen to the Word of God being read aloud, and hear the voice of the Spirit as a living commentary on what is being read if we abide in the Spirit. Haven’t you had the Lord drop something into your spirit while listening to preaching?

He has made manifest His Word through preaching. Titus 1:3.

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.               1  Corinthians 1:21.

How then shall they call on the One in whom they have not trusted? And how shall they trust in the One they have not heard of? And how shall they hear without someone proclaiming? And how shall they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news of good things!”                  Romans 10:14&15.

This is why the message must not deviate from what was presented by the first apostles.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no benefit. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life. John 6:63.

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment. John 16:7&8.

It is always the work of the Holy Spirit to convict someone to repentance. This is why Paul said:

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come with excellence of speech or wisdom, proclaiming to you the mystery of God. For I decided not to know about anything among you except Yeshua the Messiah and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.  My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  so that your faith would not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.                        1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

The public reading of scripture is a true tradition of the Witnesses of Israel.

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to encouragement, and to teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13.

The Message of the Messiah must register to the listener through the Voice of the Spirit, not our own. In this knowledge of God is the continual blessing.

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. Rev. 1:3.

Judge Yourself

For if we were judging ourselves thoroughly, we wouldn’t be coming under judgment. But when we are judged, we are being disciplined by the Lord so that we might not be condemned along with the world. 1 Co 11:31&32.

If we are to judge ourselves, by what standard are we to discern the body  (V.29)? Paul provides the answer to this question in Colossians 2:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Col 2:16,17.

Many translations fail to get the gist of what Paul is saying here, and modify verse 17 drastically. There seems to be the notion that “the body of Christ” at the end of the verse seems to just hang. The authorized KJV adds the word “is”, while other translations completely change the text to “the reality is Christ (Messiah). Verse 17 cannot be separated from verse 16 as many translations do, because the point is by what means are we to be judged. It is not by what you do or don’t eat, or any other religious observance, which are a shadow of things that are now established in the body of Messiah.

Allow me to give you an example. I have heard on many occasions a believer say; ”I am in the church every time the doors are open!” That’s great, but here’s what the Lord says about religious observance:

“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You tithe mint and dill and cumin, yet you have neglected the weightier matters of Torah—justice and mercy and faithfulness. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others. Matthew 23:23.

There are weightier matters with which we must concern ourselves, and these are established within the functioning body of Messiah. At the judgment, no one is going to hear; “Ah yes, my good and faithful servant. You were in the church every time the doors were open. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Consider these words of the Messiah:

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, and drive out demons in Your name, and perform many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’. Matthew 7:22,23.

We may perform many wonderful works, but did we know our Master’s voice. Did we perform His Will, or our own in His Name. This must be given serious consideration. Perhaps you had done many wonderful works, but then decided to take up with another brother’s wife.

When I tell the righteous that he will surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered. But in his iniquity that he has committed, he will die.     Ezekiel 33:13.

The Lord has ordained the good works that we are to abide in through faithfulness.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God.  It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.   Ephesians 2:8-10. Think on these things.

Have Respect

Have respect unto the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. Psalms 77:20.

The Hebrew word navat, here translated as have respect, means to look upon, watch over with care, carefully consider, and is also at times translated “Behold!’. The psalmist here offers up a prayer in verses 18-23 for deliverance from the enemy. Now the enemy would like you to believe that the “dark places of the earth” are those seedy parts of town or third world countries where they practice dark arts. Unfortunately, there are a multitude of “well lit” places in our society where the light of truth is suppressed.         Jesus said:

If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:23.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5.

I am not going to try to call out all the falsehoods disguised as “angels of light”, but I will always exhort you to spend time where you can find that light that the darkness cannot comprehend, and that is in your prayer closet. Ironically, you don’t even need the light on.

If I say surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hides not from you, but the night shines as the day, the darkness and the light are both alike to you. Psalms 139:11, 12.

Of course we are also called upon to have respect unto the covenant, for this is a relationship. Consider these verses from Psalm 119 in closing.

Verse 6: Then I shall not be ashamed when I have respect unto all your commandments.

Verse 15: I will meditate on your precepts and have respect unto your ways.

Verse 18: Open my eyes that I may behold (navat) wondrous things out of your Law.

I Remember My Song

I remember my song in the night; I commune with my own heart and my spirit made diligent search. Psalms 77:6.

When Asaph speaks of his song, he is not talking about his favorite tune. The word negenah refers to music played to enter into the prophetic spirit. Asaph was chosen by David to minister in this capacity.

Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun who should prophecy with harps, with psalteries and with cymbals. 1 Ch 25:1.

Negenah, a prophetic song, comes from the word nagan, which refers to playing an instrument in tune with the spirit.

And it came to pass when the spirit from God was upon Saul that David took a harp and played (nagan) with his hand so that Saul was refreshed and was well and the evil spirit departed from him. 1 Sam 16:23.

Asaph uses two word pairs to bring forth his prophetic word in this psalm: zakar-to remember and seyachto commune or meditate, which means here “talk through your situation” in an inner dialog. Seyach is translated differently each time used.

I remembered God and was troubled, I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Psalms 77:3.

Here seyach is translated complained in the KJV, other translations use moan and groan, when commune or meditate on God is all that is expressed. He is troubled, and the translation interprets his inner dialog rather than translate the word and allow the following verses to describe his deliberations. Again, the same word was translated commune in verse 6, used as the main text for this discussion. He then asks a series of questions to God to express his anguish before drawing his conclusions.

And I said this is my infirmity, but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most high.  I will remember the works of the Lord, surely I will remember your wonders of old. I will meditate also of all your work and talk of your doings.    Psalms 77:10-12.

In verse 12 we find the third occurrence of the word seyach, this time translated talk in the KJV, meditate in most other versions. When he says “I will remember” in verse 11, zakar is used twice and should read, “I will remember to remember”. Here he expresses the all too common human reaction to trials to forget God’s faithfulness and “stress out”. He then concludes:

Your way O God is in the sanctuary (our place of prayer or seyach) who is so great a God as our God? Psalms 77:13.

He then finishes the Psalm with a memorial to the Lord’s might. So how does prophetic psalms pertain to us in the church today? What if we don’t play an instrument? Is this strictly the gift of the musicians and worship leaders? On the contrary, the Holy Spirit within you is able to provide the same “song in the night” to anyone seeking God. Paul describes this gift in 1 Corinthians 14:

What is it then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding also, I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also. Verse 15.

How is it then brethren? When you come together, every one of you has a psalm has a doctrine has a tongue has a revelation has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edification. Verse 26.

If a congregation’s worship team is allowed to flow in improvisational prophetic worship, it is easy in this setting to sing in the spirit and be edified. But what about when you are alone in your prayer closet? Do you pray in the spirit and sing in the spirit? You don’t need an instrument, just allow the spirit to move in you the way worship in church moves your spirit, and you will commune with the Lord in the night, and your spirit can make a diligent search. For the way of the Lord is in the sanctuary.