Set Before Faithful Men

2 Timothy 2:2. And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit unto faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

The Memorials of God exist to perpetuate the memory of His intent and purpose. A faithful man understands that his commitment is not only to learn and live in the Remembrance of the Lord, but also to discipleship and the passing on of the doctrine of Christ to faithful men. This is what brought about the calling of Abraham.

To Command your Children and your Household

Isaiah 18:19.   For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

This testimony of God concerning Abraham is echoed in the testimony of Cornelius.

Acts 10:2.  A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.

A righteous man instructs others in the way of the Lord to keep right judgment.

Psalm 106:3.  Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that does righteousness at all times.

To Love what He Loves

Psalm 33:4, 5.  For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in the Spirit of Truth. He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

To love righteousness and judgment is to abide in His presence by the Spirit of Truth; for “righteousness and judgment is the habitation of His Throne.”

A Righteous Nation under God

Jeremiah 22:3. Thus saith the Lord; Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

We stir up our hearts by the Remembrance of His compassion for those who are afflicted.

Psalm 103:6. The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

Genuine conversion is only accomplished by the righteousness from above.

Isaiah 1:27. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Born from Above

1 John 2:29.   If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of him.

This is the work of the Holy Spirit through faithful men.

John 16:8.  And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

 

 

Trumpets of Memorial and Remembrance

In Numbers chapter 10, Moses receives instructions to manufacture two pure silver trumpets for general use of calling an assembly and for the movements of the camp. These two trumpets are for the exclusive use of the sons of Aaron, and are distinctive from the more familiar ram’s horn.

The calling of assemblies at the tent of meeting were appointments with the Lord for chosen men and the nature of that calling is prophetic to the church. Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, and the law and the prophets foreshadow God’s plan for the body of Christ. The original intention for the people of Israel is presented by God in Exodus.

Exodus 19:4-6.  You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.                                                                 

This covenant plan is transferred to the body of Messiah:

1 Peter 2:9.  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.                                                                                                    

In fact, the Lord modified his intentions on occasion during the wilderness trek in response to the obedience of some and the disobedience of others. A kingdom of priests became a tribe of priests under Aaron and his direct line, and his tribe Levi.

We see this again in Numbers 11:16&17, when the Lord establishes a special class of men by removing a portion of the anointing on Moses and placing this upon seventy chosen men . Beginning in Genesis 32, after Jacob wrestles all night with an angel of God, he is given the name Israel. In verse 32, his descendants are first referred to as the children of Israel.

Then in Exodus 12:3, a new term is introduced: the congregation of Israel. The Hebrew word is edah and is derived from the word ad which means witness and is itself derived from ud, meaning to testify. Thus congregation in this sense is better understood as witnesses.

Keep in mind that at the time this reference is introduced, the children of Israel have just witnessed God’s judgments upon Egypt and the Lord is implementing the first Passover in preparation for the exodus.

We also find in Exodus the common expression tabernacle of the congregation. However, a different word is employed here, yet it also is translated congregation in the King James. The Hebrew mo-ad means an appointed or set time, thus the better translation is tent of meeting used in most other translations.

Thus, the trumpets are used at appointed times that they may be established as a memorial; and a remembrance in time of war.

Numbers 10:9.  And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then you shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and you shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.                                                                                            

Numbers 10:10.  Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.    

The trumpets are said to be used for the calling of the edah, or witnesses in Numbers 10:2 & 3. Keep in mind that this originally referred to all of the people, even as the priesthood. However the people proved themselves to be unmanageable.

In Numbers 11, Moses brings his complaint before God and expresses his preference to by killed rather than continue with a burden that is too heavy for him. (Numbers 11: 11-15).

When Moses speaks to the Lord concerning the people complaining about their diet, the Lord says He will provide flesh for them for a whole month until it comes out of their nostrils and it becomes loathsome. Moses responds: “the people are 600,000 soldiers (plus women, children and the elders) and what can be gathered to suffice them?” (Numbers 11:18-23.)  By this estimation, over two million people would have to gather at the entrance to the tabernacle upon hearing trumpets.

In verse 16, the Lord instructs Moses to gather unto Him seventy men at the tent of meeting, to have a portion of the spirit on Moses placed on them to bear the burden for the people.  The calling of the edah is not every one of the children of Israel, but those who were chosen from among the called, for many are called but few are chosen.

2 Peter 1:10.  Therefore brethren be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, you will never fall.                                           

Then in verse 4 the captains (nasee) of thousands are called upon the signal of one trumpet blown. The Hebrew word nasee is also translated prince, ruler and chief. It means one who has been elevated or promoted, but also to bear up, such as a burden.

In the kingdom of God, rulers are raised up to bear responsibility. When princes in Israel and Judah became like pagans and lived a life of privilege, the nation was undermined. Jesus spoke in regard to John the Baptist: “men in soft apparel dwell in king’s palaces.”

The two trumpet signal calling the witnesses would be in regard to matters of the Law, for they received the anointing to function as judges. The second assembly would pertain to administrative and military affairs and would require the captains of thousands to be in attendance. These are the calling of assemblies for which the trumpets were to be used. The second function is for the journeying of the camps.

In Numbers 9:17-23 is a description of how the entire camp began and ended every leg of their journey. The movement of the camp was always at the command of the Lord as expressed by the cloud upon the tent of meeting. They kept the charge of the Lord at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses. The hand of Moses is established by trumpet signals described in chapter 10:5&6.

Within these instructions is found another important word for study. The word is translated alarm, blast, and signal, and is blown to initiate the movements of the camp.

The Hebrew teruwah is the great shout that brought down the walls of Jericho, that caused the earth to ring when the ark of the testimony was brought out in battle, and when David and his house brought forth the ark into the city of David, which is Mount Zion.

Even more important than to shout is what is shouted, for a people to shout out in harmony is to magnify the Lord. This cannot be attained if everyone shouts out whatever seems right in his own mind.

Psalm 89:15.   Blessed are the people who know the teruwah. They walk,  O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.                                                       

Numbers 23:21 proclaims over the Lord’s people “the shout of the King is among them!” The Lord has given us a name to call upon Him as a remembrance for all generations (See The Name of Remembrance).

Blessed are the people who know the name of remembrance to shout with the sound (voice) of the trumpet (shofar).

Joshua 6:5. When the jubilee trumpet sounds the voice of shofar, shout a great teruwah, and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend. 

The voice of the shofar is first introduced in Exodus 19:16, and describes the herald of the Lord’s presence on Mount Sinai. This blast of sound is said to draw near the ones whose heart seeks the Lord.

Most of the people withdrew at the presence of the Lord, but the opposite is what was expected. Moses was instructed to set boundaries around the mount, for whosoever touched the border of the mount must be put to death.

Hebrews 10:38 & 39. Now the just shall live by faith, but if any draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.                                           

And again:

Hebrews 12:18-23.  For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. For they could not endure what was commanded “and if a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.                                  

The voice of the shofar is not restricted to being produced by a trumpet or ram’s horn. In Isaiah 58:1 the Lord declares: Cry aloud, spare not, and lift up your voice like a trumpet (lift up the voice of shofar), and show my people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins. They claim to delight in “drawing near” to God by fasting and afflicting their souls.

The voice of the shofar is the Spirit of the Messiah or Christ. Jesus said:

John 5:25.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour shall come, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. 

And again:

John 5:27 & 28. Marvel not at this, for an hour shall come when all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and those that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but those that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.                                                                                                

Psalm 47 says God ascends upon the teruwah and the voice of shofar.

Shout unto God with the voice of triumph! The voice of triumph is the shout of the King. The jubilee of reconciliation and drawing near to God, the proclamation of liberty!

Crowns of Memorial

Zechariah 6:14.  And the crowns shall be to Helem and Tobijah and Jedaiah and to Hen the son of Zephaniah for a memorial in the temple of the Lord.        

Zechariah and Haggai were both prophets to the Jews who returned from captivity to Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord God spoke by them to the governor Zerubbabel (sown or born in Babylon) and to the High Priest Joshua (Yeshua) for whom the crowns were made and worn. They were responsible with overseeing the rebuilding the Temple of God.

The High Priest represents Christ and the temple is the church and body of Christ. What do each of these four witnesses represent, for whom the crowns for Joshua are made to serve as a memorial?

Zechariah 4:7.  Who are you great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace! Grace to it! 

The name Hen the son of Zephaniah is in the Hebrew Chen and means Grace or Favor. Zerubbabel is instructed to move mountains shouting Chen or Grace. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 21 if you have faith and doubt not you shall say unto this mountain be removed and cast into the sea and it shall be done. Why does He say THIS Mountain? They are standing outside the Temple!

John 4:21-24.  Truly I tell you, the hour is coming when you shall not worship the Father on the mountain of Samaria or Jerusalem. The true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeks such to worship Him.            

The mountain of religion must become a plain before the Spirit of Truth. The house of God as well as the kingdom of God must be built by Grace through Faith from first to last. Grace has become for many simply the unmerited favor of God. To complete the task of building up the House of God the church needs to get beyond the banality of such definitions. Consider these words of witness.

 

2 Corinthians 9:8.  God is able to make all Grace abound that you always have all sufficiency in all things that you may abound in every good work.                                      

Grace is the abounding sufficiency of God to complete the Work by Faith. To demonstrate your Faith by the Good Work that can only be accomplished with the Grace of God. This Grace must be foremost apparent in the words we speak concerning Christ and for His church.

Psalms 45:2.  You are fairer than the children of men, Grace is poured into your lips and God therefore has blessed you forever.                                                   

Proverbs 22:11.  He that loves pureness of heart for the grace of his lips the King shall be his friend.                                                                                               

Paul wrote:                                                                                           

Ephesians 4:29.  Let no corrupting words come from your mouths, but only what is good for building up others (the House of God) to impart Grace to the hearers. 

And; 

Colossians 4:6.  let your speech be always with Grace. 

The Acts of the Apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit is a consistent testimony to what believers can accomplish by the Grace of God. 

Acts 11:23.  And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all.                                                                

Unmerited favor in word and indeed!

Acts 20:32.  So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  

The second witness to the crowns of memorial for Joshua is Jedaiah whose name means known by the Lord. 

To know as we are known is the mark for the prize of the high calling of God we press towards in Christ.   (Philippians 3:14.)    To walk in the Spirit of Grace and Truth the follower of Jesus Christ must come to know Him.

In His Good Shepherd discourse in the Gospel of John, Jesus said: 

John 10:14.  I am the Good Shepherd and know mine and am known of them.                 

In the pursuit of knowledge we are warned to always keep ourselves from idols which corrupt the Truth because of covetousness.

Galatians 4:9.  But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

1 Corinthians 8:2, 3.  And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.  But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

1 Corinthians 13:12.   For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

The third witness is Tobijah, meaning the goodness of God. Again, the banality of the modern church with its cliche’-like God is good catchphrase greatly diminishes the power of the word tob. The New Testament writers did no such thing.

We first find tob in Genesis chapter 1 as a description of God’s perspective of His own creation, which was a work of perfection!  If someone asks you how you are doing and you want to answer “I’m good”, from God’s definition you are perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12).

Perhaps you have followed James’ directive and have let patience do a perfect work so that you are perfect and entirely in want of nothing.  (James 1:4.)

This third witness to the crowns of memorial is the work of the Holy Spirit in all of us for the edification of the church. At first it was the goodness of God that led you to repentance. (Romans 2:4.)

Goodness is included in the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5.)

The continued work within the church is that God would count you worthy of your calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power. (2 Th 1:11.)

When Jesus said to be perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect, He expressed his desire to see us, the body of Christ come to full maturity in all the Will of God. Then God can look at our days of church building and see that everything made in the image of Christ is very good.

The fourth witness to the Crowns of Memorial had to experience a name change to properly serve God’s purpose. The man named Helem is first identified in Zechariah 4:10 as Heldai which means worldly. The Spirit of Christ changes his name in verse 14 to Helem meaning vision.

For the work of building up the body of Christ to be fruitful, the members must have the full vision of the doctrine of Christ. Every denomination, church, and ministry must reject worldly wisdom and respond to the call of Christ with childlike simplicity and sincerity.

Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no vision the people perish. The church struggles are in large part due to an obsession with the wrong vision.

Daniel was a man of visions who is studied and commented on to excess. Daniel’s name means God is Judge, and naturally the visions pertain to the final judgment. His vision also brings some reference for consideration towards the visions of John. These visions of judgment should serve to drive the church to carry out the charge and true vision for the church and of Christ.

Peter wrote in his second letter in response to the question: where is the promise of His Coming? That He is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. He then places the proper concern with the manner of persons we should be in holy conversation and godliness, or else we will hasten the coming day of the Lord. Our vision pertains to a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:9-13.

We neglect our memorials and just recompense of reward if we obsess over the horrible visions of judgment rather than making our hearts pure now, before the refining fires are ignited.

1 Corinthians 3:13–15.  Everyone’s work will become evident for the day will show it because it is revealed by fire and the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work which was built on the foundation survives it will earn a reward. If anyone’s work is burned they will suffer loss but they will be saved only as through the fire. 

And the Lord said write the vision on a tablet (as a memorial) and make it plain that they who read may run, for the vision is for an appointed time. (Habakkuk 2.)

This vision is the apostolic teaching of the New Testament. The appointed time may be nearer than we know, for the time of the gentiles to be fulfilled.

The crowns of memorial earns treasure in heaven as do the memorials of prayer, almsgiving and righteous conversation. Peter encourages the elders to be faithful so as to be a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed at the coming of the Lord.

1 Peter 5:4.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear you shall receive a crown of glory that never fades.                                                                                           

James 1:12.  James encourages us to endure temptations, for when we are tried we will receive the crown of life the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 

2 Timothy 4:8.  Paul encourages Timothy telling him that there is laid up a crown of righteousness the Lord shall give at that day to all who love His appearing.  

Revelation 3:11.  Finally Jesus warns us to hold fast that which we have that no man take our crown.                                                                                                         

So much treasure kept in heaven for us!

                                                   

Memorial for Lazarus

John 11:5  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister (Mary) and Lazarus.                        .

For a moment in time, the town of Bethany was at the center of God’s story, and these three people were at center stage in the narrative concerning Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We know more about these three people than we do most of the apostles. This chapter in the gospel of John gives the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. The story told exemplifies the work of Jesus in reconciliation, restoration, and resurrection.

After Lazarus has died and been laid to rest, Jesus returns to Bethany after informing His disciples that the glory of God is about to be revealed unto them, and the Son of God will be glorified. Martha is the first to approach Jesus and says “Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died.” Jesus tells her “your brother will rise again”, to which she replies, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”.

Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and life”, and then asks her if she believes in Him. She then makes the true confession of faith, showing how far she had come in receiving the Gospel. She said unto Him:

John 11:27.  Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who would come into the world.                                                                                    

When Mary comes on the scene she is only able to say “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” as she continued weeping, along with those who came to comfort her.        

John 11:35.  Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

Jesus then commands them to take away the stone covering the entrance to the cave where Lazarus was laid. Martha advises Him that he has been dead four days, and expects a foul odor. Jesus then says to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe, that you would see the glory of God?” He then calls Lazarus forth from the grave.

The name Lazarus makes for a very interesting study. The name is Greek to English, for the Hebrew name Eleazar, a very prominent character throughout the Old Testament.

El ‘Azar means God is helper, and is first identified as the third son of Aaron. The two older sons of Aaron are devoured by the fire of God’s presence when they make an unauthorized offering of incense before the Ark.

By the time of Aaron’s decease, Moses is instructed to strip the garments of the High Priest from Aaron and put them on his son Eleazar. During the conquest of the land of Canaan under Joshua, Eleazar stood before the Ark of the Covenant and oversaw the division of land by lot for each tribe’s inheritance.

During the time of Samuel, another man named Eleazar, son of Abinadab kept the Ark of the Lord at Kirjathjearim twenty years. Later one of David’s mighty men named Eleazar, the son of Dodo the Ahohite is listed as one of the three mighty men with David, who stood against the Philistines when the army of Israel fled, and fought until his sword stuck to his hand and the Lord gave a great victory. The people only returned after to divide the spoil.

During the time of Ezra and the restoration following the Babylonian exile, one of the priests named Eleazar oversaw the return of the silver and gold vessels to the House of God, and a Levite named Eleazar was on hand during the time of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. It would seem during the greatest exploits of God’s people, a priest named Eleazar, God has helped, was always present.

In the Gospel of Matthew chapter one, in the genealogy we find:

Matthew 1:15&16.  Eleazar begat Mattan, and Mattan begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.  

And finally, in the Gospel of Luke chapter 16, we read an illustrative narrative given by Jesus concerning a poor beggar named Lazarus, who sat at the gate of a certain rich man, full of sores and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. 

How far had man fallen from the place where God was his help? Was Jesus resurrecting more than just an individual when he raised Lazarus from the grave?

Luke 16:19-31  Continuing his narrative in Luke, Jesus goes on to describe the death of the beggar and the afterlife from the biblical perspective. Lazarus was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort. Meanwhile the rich man has also died and sees Lazarus with Abraham and cries out for mercy, for he was in a place of torment in Hades.

Unfortunately, he is admonished by Abraham, and reminded that in his lifetime he received good things while Lazarus suffered evil things, but is now comforted, and you are tormented. “Besides, there is a great gulf fixed between us that cannot be passed.”

This description of the afterlife is most startling. I have often wondered what the notion of people dying and going to heaven is based upon. Of course, I don’t doubt the existence of such a place, just preaching that people who are saved by confessing Jesus as their Lord and Savior can expect to go there, if they died tomorrow.

Just saying that the Gospel is never presented in that way by the apostles, and the house of God is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:20.)

Paul says:

Galatians 1:8 & 9.  if anyone or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any preach any other gospel unto you that that you have received, let him be accursed.                                          

Far be it that anyone would bring a curse in preaching “another gospel”, thus we should take the greatest care to be consistent in the message.

Acts 4:1&2 says: and as they spoke unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

The focus of Jesus’s teaching always centered on the kingdom of God, the resurrection of the dead, and the eternal, righteous judgment of God by Jesus Christ.

John 5:28, 29.  Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son and shall come forth, they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.                                                              

At the time Jesus was saying this, he was claiming that all authority to execute judgment has been given unto him by his Father. To avoid preaching the resurrection is to avoid preaching the judgment.

From Genesis to Revelation, judgment is spoken of nearly 300 times. Paul testified before kings and queens: 

Acts 24:24, 25. “he reasoned with them of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come.”                                                            

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about the righteous judgment of God. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit is all about being able to live a life that will allow us to stand at the judgment.

The Message is of life everlasting; and a victorious life in the here and now. 

Luke 1:74, 75.  To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

                                                                                     

                        

Memorial of Mary

Mark 14:9; Matthew 26:13.  Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, wherever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she has done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 

Ironically, in these two accounts, the words are spoken on behalf of an unnamed woman who came in during a dinner with Jesus at the table. “There came a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment and poured it on His head.”  The gospel of John fills in the missing pieces. Chapter 12 of his gospel identifies the woman as Mary, the sister of Martha, and Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead. Martha is serving the dinner.

This set the stage for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, for word of Lazarus having been raised from the dead had ignited the large crowds on hand for the Passover. The chief priests consulted to also see Lazarus put to death, because by reason of him many of the Jews believed in Jesus.

We are also informed by John 11:2 it was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. This account is found in           Luke 7:37-50. The Lord uses this opportunity to make a very important point: “to whom little is forgiven, loves little.

This is not to say that some people are less of a sinner and need less forgiveness, but some fail to acknowledge their condition and need for reconciliation with God. The Pharisee saw himself as having a relationship with God, while looking down on Mary as a sinner. Thus she is told; “your sins are forgiven”, and “your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

In Luke 10:38-42, we find another narrative involving Mary and Martha, with Jesus a guest in their home. Martha was busy with much serving while her sister sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. Martha exclaimed, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her to come help me.” To which Jesus replied unto her, “Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things but one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

We cannot imagine wrong in someone with a heart to serve, but can see where there is a time for everyone to be still and know the Lord. However, Jesus is not just speaking to a willingness to serve.

We can see a greater concern for someone who is careful and troubled and should fully consider what the Lord is addressing.

The word translated careful here is used by Jesus repeatedly in His sermons, but the more typical translation in the KJV is “take no thought”, and means to be anxious.

 Matthew 6:25,34.  Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than clothing? Take therefore no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.                                                                              

Matthew 10:19.  Jesus also uses the same word to tell us not to worry about what we should say if our faith is put on trial, saying if we are delivered up, “take no thought how or what you shall speak, for it shall be given you in that same moment what you should speak.”                                                                   

Luke 8:14.  In His parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus describes the seed among thorns as someone who hears His word, but are choked with “cares” of riches and pleasures in life, and brings no fruit to maturity.                   

Paul tells us:

Philippians 4:6 & 7.   “be careful” for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.                                             

1 Peter 5:7.  Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.     

The Name of Remembrance

In Exodus chapter three, Moses asks the Lord how he should respond if the children of Israel ask him what is His name.

Exodus 3:13-15. Then Moses said to God,  I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you,  and they say to me,   What is His name? what shall I say to them?

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. Moreover God said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.

Here memorial is used for ‘zeker’ which for consistency and application should have been translated remembrance. Keep in mind that the Lord is preparing to bring the congregation out of bondage with a great deliverance. On this historic occasion, the people are given a name for them to call out in all generations for deliverance from their enemies.

This inconsistency translating zeker is repeated in Hosea chapter twelve. After declaring his controversy with Judah, the Lord again declares Himself as Deliverer of Israel in:

Hosea 12:5.  even the Lord God of hosts, the Lord is His memorial (zeker).

Again zeker is translated memorial, rather than remembrance, when the point is to call on the name of the Lord to be remembered.

This is the language of covenant. When Moses first asked for a name, the Lord declared Hayah hayah, I Am That I Am. Hayah is the Hebrew root from which is derived YHVH. In the same way that the name of remembrance is shortened to I Am, YHVH is shortened:

Psalm 68:4.  Sing unto God, sing praises to His name, extol Him that rides upon the heavens by His name Yah (Yahu), and rejoice before Him.   

Yahu is incorporated into many Hebrew names such as Elijah in English translations. In Hebrew though the name is Yahu, Eliyahu for Elijah, Yirmiyahu for Jeremiah, etc. Thus the name of remembrance for the people of God to cry out for deliverance is Yahu!

 Exodus 6:2 & 3. The Lord declared unto Moses; I am the Lord and I appeared unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by the name of God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name YHVH was I not known to them.                                                                                              

This becomes all powerful when we acknowledge that when God remembers from heaven, actions result on earth. In Genesis God remembered Noah (8:1), Abraham (19:29), and Rachel (30:22). Prayers were answered and promises were kept.

When we acknowledge our forgetfulness, especially in times of rest and plenty, we can understand what God has provided for us.

Psalms 111:4.  For He has made His wonderful works to be remembered, the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 

Now that the difference between memorial and remembrance has been set before our understanding, we can consider one of the Lord’s most important and final commandments.

Luke 22:19.  He took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave unto them saying this is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me.                              

The practice of breaking bread in fellowship became the foundation of Christian fellowship in the book of Acts. Paul writes:      

1 Co 11:23-25.  For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread;  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner also the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink, in remembrance of Me.

This is a true definition of Christian leadership in the Holy Spirit; to receive from the Lord and deliver unto the congregation.  Paul was not a participant at the last supper and had not been welcomed into the fellowship of the church in Jerusalem due to his fearful reputation. Yet the new communities were established in the breaking of bread in fellowship. The breaking of bread is not given to practice as a memorial before God, but a remembrance in the Lord’s sight. Jesus said:                                                                  

Matthew 18:20. “when two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.                                                                                   

This gathering together is initiated by the proper breaking of bread. Continuing in 1 Co 11, Paul warns that not breaking bread properly is to bring damnation on to yourselves. To allow breaking bread to become empty ritual, or to completely neglect the act as obsolete is to deny the very presence of the Lord into your fellowship.

Paul concludes:

1 Co 11:30.  for this cause many have become infirm and many have died.  

From Luke 24 we know that the presence of the Lord in fellowship is essential to a right understanding of His word. After his resurrection, Jesus meets with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and has a conversation which is given to us as a memorial.

Luke 24:30, 31.  Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

After the breaking of bread they knew him for their eyes were opened.                     

Luke 24:32-35.  And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?  So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those with them gathered together,  saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon. And they told about the things on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

This is the Lord’s remembrance. This is to know Him. Now is the time for believers to enter into the ministry of the burning heart. To break the bread of sincerity and truth. To call on the name of the Lord in remembrance of His mercy.

2 Peter 3:1   Peter said; I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.                    

John 6:33.  For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world.                                                                                                                       

The name of remembrance is used to call on the Lord, especially for deliverance from enemies. Furthermore, to show that this name is a new revelation, the Lord tells Moses: 

Exodus 6:3.  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name YHVH was I not known to them. 

Yet this Holy Name of God manages to be inserted by scribes into narratives found in the book of Genesis 141 times. Since that time, there has been much controversy over the use of this name. Rabbis teach that use of the Name should be avoided completely for fear of using the name in vain. Out of consideration for this concern, most English translations render YHVH simply as The Lord.

This difficulty was anticipated and  dealt with by the Lord Jesus Christ in a most innovative way. When Jesus spoke of God, He routinely referred to Him as “The Father”. He taught His disciples to pray: “Our Father”. 

The apostle Paul encourages us to be just as intimate with the Father, teaching us:  

Romans 8:15.  For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.                 

While Paul teaches us to be set free from a spirit of slavery and address God as Daddy, it is fear itself that has lead many to avoid the name of remembrance given to Moses. 

The Tree of Life translation has gone full circle and replaced The Lord with Adonai. Adonai is derived from the word Adon, which is lord in a common form. For example, Sarai addressed Abram as “my Lord”, Rebekah addresses Abraham’s head servant the same way when he comes seeking a wife for Isaac.  Adonai is in fact sanctified, being used only in reference to The Lord, but it is not the Holy Name of remembrance given to Moses in Exodus 3. You will need a concordance to know when Adonai is actually used in the original text and when it is substituting for YHVH. In the Tree of Life Version (TLV), Psalm 103:1 becomes: 

Bless Adonai, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.

For anyone who has been taught the English language, this statement implies that the holy Name of God is Adonai. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as the substitution has been made for YHVH. The holy Name of God has been replaced by a Hebrew word that is derived from the common word Adon, for my Lord.

Leviticus 10:10.   You are to make a distinction between the holy and the common and between the unclean and the clean.

Ezekiel 44:23.  They will teach My people the difference between the holy and the common and explain to them the difference between the unclean and the clean. 

Psalm 135:1(TLV)  Halleluyah! Praise the Name of Adonai. Give praise servants of Adonai.

Adonai does not appear in this verse. More importantly the Hebrew halal Yah is found and translated Halleluyah.  This expression is used frequently in the Psalms and is  simply translated Praise the Lord. Yah is a contracted form of YHVH and used 41 times in the Old Testament. Typically it is also translated “the Lord” beginning at:

Exodus 15:1  The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation:             Tree of Life substitutes:  Adonai is my strength and song

So Adonai replaces Yah in most verses, with the exception of when it is preceded by halal. I suppose Halleli Adonai would be pretty awkward, and Halleluyah is one of the most familiar expressions in all of Christianity. Of course, so is Praise the Lord!

The question being asked then, is it appropriate for the original text to be mistranslated to satisfy a tradition of men. 

Ephesians 2:14-17.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,  having abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments  in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two,  making peace,  and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to The Father.

 

                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                 

Memorial of Unleavened Bread

 Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13.These people draw near unto me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, but it was in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the ordinances of man.                                                    

Jesus told His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is their doctrines. The Lord regularly spoke against the traditions of men displacing God’s word as their memorials. If talk of firstborn sons, unleavened bread and the Torah given to Moses as the Memorials we maintain before God strikes you as odd, your “bread” may have been leavened by the doctrines of men.

Much of Paul’s teaching in regards to the Law has been greatly misconstrued.

Paul wrote:

Ephesians 2:15.  having abolished in His flesh the enmity, “the law of commandments contained in ordinances”…

this expression in the Greek “nomos entole en dogma” refers to the place given to commentaries of man. Dogma in English comes directly from the Greek dogma and refers to the opinion of “experts”. Someone is dogmatic when they are devoted to the teachings of a preferred teacher, preacher or guru.

1 Corinthians 5:8.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth

 Paul gave this testimony of himself at Jerusalem:

Acts 22:3. I am verily a man who is a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers.

This manner of the law of the fathers went way beyond the study of the law and the prophets, but was thorough in considering the commentaries of experts, known as sages, who often interpreted passages in contrary ways.

Paul is even more direct in writing;

Colossians 2:15.  blotting out the “handwriting” of ordinances (dogma), which was against us (as a testimony to the doctrines of men), which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to His stake.                                                                                             

This is only evident when we are circumcised by the circumcision of Christ (without hands, in the Spirit not the flesh).                                              

Colossians 2:8. That you be not spoiled by the philosophy and tradition of men, which is vain deceit (and c onceit), and worldly principles (degrees) which are perishing. 

Romans 8:3. for what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

The issue is clearly the weakness of the flesh, not the inadequacy of the Law.                                                             

Our carnal man must die for us to fulfill the good and perfect and acceptable Will of God, as expressed by His Torah.                                                   

Romans 3:31.  Do we then make void the Law through faith? God Forbid! Yea, we establish the Law!         

Only through a correct understanding of Romans 7 can we properly receive from the Spirit in Romans 8. Paul describes our struggle with the carnal nature, and the ineffectiveness of the Law to overcome the “law of sin and death.”

Romans 7:15-20.  For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what my will is to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate is that I do. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.       

And so we see Paul repeat this word dwell three times to emphasize the nature of sin as a “resident” in my house, who is a homewrecker. The will of sin is contrary to our own and leads us to self-destructive behavior that man was unable to overcome without a Savior. This he purposely presents to serve as a contrast to the point he intends to make in chapter 8. He closes the chapter and builds a bridge to the next with this proclamation:

Romans 7:22-25.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.                 

Only now, with a thorough understanding of chapter 7 can a disciple grasp the victory described in chapter 8. Many times I have heard preaching directly from Romans 8 that if you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells in you by faith. This is not the point that Paul was trying to make at all. This is not “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” theology.

Romans 8:9.  But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 

We now see Paul using the same word that he used three times in Romans 7, to say that if the Spirit of God directs your will the way the sin nature did before, then you will walk in victory.

Romans 8:11.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.                                                                   

When he says “by his Spirit that dwells in you”, he implies that the Spirit is dwelling with you in harmony and cooperation. This is what the Lord and the apostle John referred to as “abiding in” the Spirit.

Romans 8:13,14.  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.                                                   

 Galatians 5:16-18.   I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  

Joshua 24:14.  Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.