Preaching Blasphemy

Acts 9:20.  At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.   

How much significance should be placed on this point that Paul immediately began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God?  First, consider the evidence that came out at the trial of Jesus Christ.

John 19:5-7. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

Pilate said unto them, you take him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.  The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.           

At a public trial, the testimony of His accusers was that Jesus must die for claiming to be the Son of God. Now the man who was previously persecuting the church, one of high esteem among the religious leadership, was preaching this very thing! This is an extraordinary turn of events, that the one who was identified and accepted by the original disciples as the “apostle to the gentiles”, would first boldly preach in the synagogues of every place he visited.

For many have come before and after claiming to be a messiah, a fact of which has often been attested. For messianic Jews to simply proclaim Yeshua haMashiach in Israel or anywhere in the world is nothing new under the sun.  If you want to stir up the status quo, preach the Son of God. 

Acts 5:34-39.   Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.  For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined , who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.                                 

It is noteworthy that this same Gamaliel was the headmaster of the school of the Pharisees where Saul trained. And who was the one man that disregarded this advice and set off on a murderous rampage against the church?  Irony!

Before appearing at the judgment seat of Pilate, Jesus was examined by the High Priest, along with the scribes and elders. Many false witnesses came forward to accuse Jesus, but none of the charges held. Then the High Priest played his trump card:

Matthew 26:63-66.  But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.                                  

And so the religious authorities found Jesus guilty of blasphemy and worthy of death for claiming to be the Son of God. Then Saul, upon his conversion immediately preached this in the synagogues, thereby, bringing the same charge against himself. Then he gave this testimony of himself before his conversion.

1 Tim 1:13.   Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

This is his conversion, to embrace what was called blasphemy, and reject what was before:

Acts 22:3.   I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city 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, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.                                

The Lord Jesus Christ expects us to preach His Blasphemy, for this is the most excellent glory that He received:

2 Peter 1:17.  For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.   

John 10:36.  Do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 

God’s Steadfast Love

Isaiah 55:3. incline your ear and come unto me, hear and your soul shall live and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the steadfast love I promised unto David.     

This promise is found in 2 Samuel:

2 Samuel 7:12-15.  When your days are fulfilled and you sleep with the fathers, I will set up your seed after you and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever, and I will be his Father and he will be my son. If he commits iniquity I will chasten him with the rod of men and stripes of the children of men. But my mercy will not depart from him as I took from Saul who I removed before you.                       

This was presented to the church:  

Acts 13:32-34.  And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God has fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus again, as it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you, (Psalms 2:7.) And as concerning that He raised him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He said: “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” 

The covenant of the sure mercies of David is a covenant of parental correction unto the perfection of obedience. What you have done is not what is  as important as how you respond to God’s correction. 

This doctrine is discussed in Hebrews 12 and is based on 2 Samuel 7.  

Hebrews 12:6.  For whom the Lord loves he chastens and scourges every son whom he receives.                                                                                               

Consider this house of David known as Ephrathites. Ephrathah was a Hebrew woman who became the wife of Caleb, the faithful servant to Moses. Caleb was not a Hebrew, but is identified as a Kenizzite. Caleb was granted the region of Hebron by Moses for his faithful witness with Joshua after the scouting expedition. David’s grandmother was Ruth the Moabite. The city of Bethlehem Ephrathah was the city of Joseph and the birthplace of the Messiah. David ruled from Hebron for seven years until the elders of Israel came and acknowledged him as their king.

The line of Caleb is listed in the Chronicle genealogies with the tribe of Judah by a process known as grafting in, the same terminology Paul uses in Romans 11 to describe the gentile relationship to natural Israel. Through the house of David the wall of partition between Jew and gentile is broken down and finds fulfillment in Christ Jesus. 

Luke 1:31-33.  Behold, you shall conceive and bring forth a son and shall call him Jesus. He shall be exalted and called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end.                   

Isaiah 9:6&7.    For unto us a child is born unto a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder…. Of the increase of his government and peace no end upon the throne of David…the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. 

The one true church is the house of David and the Lord Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the throne of majesty to fulfill all righteousness. 

Peter informs us:

Acts 3:21.  heaven has received Him until the restoration of all things spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began.

The restoration of all things refers to the throne of David in Israel. This process will not be complete until the end of the final day (1000 years).

Ezekiel 34:23-31.  And I will set up one shepherd over them and he shall feed them, my servant David, he shall feed them and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord shall be their God and David a prince among them. I the Lord have spoken it and I will make with them a covenant of peace.   

Ezekiel 37:24-28.  And David my servant shall be king over them and they shall all have one shepherd over them…and they shall dwell in the land I have given to Jacob my servant… and David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant…and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.   

The covenant of peace (berit shalom, also translated covenant of friendship), was originally bestowed on the house of Phineas, the son of Eleazar, in Numbers 25:10-13; and will be granted to all Israel, in Israel, at the end of the age.

Now consider the most referenced Old Testament passage in the New Testament to bring all this to a fine point. In the gospels Jesus proposes this question concerning the Christ: Whose son is he? The teachers responded that he is the son of David. Jesus then silences them with this statement.

Matthew 22:41-46.  How is it that David in spirit calls him Lord saying The Lord said unto my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool (Psalm 110), if David calls him Lord, how is he his son? 

This Psalm is also referenced by Peter in Acts 2:33-35. In the letter to the Hebrews we find another reference:

Hebrews 10:12-14. But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sin forever sat down at the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  

Most importantly, follow Paul’s explanation of the final restitution of all things:

1 Corinthians 15:24-28.  Then comes the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He has put all things under his feet. But when he says all things are under him it is clear that the exception is He that put all things under him. And when all things are subdued under him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put everything under him, that God may be all, in all.                                

Note that the Son is subject to God the Father. The perceived equality between the Son and Father is based on the equality of granted authority. This is foreshadowed in Genesis 41 pertaining to the relationship between Joseph and Pharaoh.

Genesis 41:40-44.  You shall be over my house and according unto your word shall all my people be ruled, only in the throne will I be greater than you.

To serve Joseph was to serve Pharaoh, to dishonor Joseph was to dishonor Pharaoh. Compare this to the self-testimony of Jesus in John 5.

John 5:22&23.  For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son; that all should honor the Son as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son honors not the Father who sent him. (Doctrine of Christ). 

This is the final restitution of all things spoken of by the prophets by the Spirit of Christ that was in them. The time of the gentiles will soon be fulfilled as the fullness of the gentiles is a finite point in time. The end of the age and the new heaven and new earth and the everlasting righteousness of the kingdom of God and Christ comes after all his enemies come under his feet; and the final enemy is death.

In the millennial kingdom of the house of David, people live long prosperous lives, but not eternal lives. 

Isaiah 65:20.  One who dies at 100 will be as if a child, but a sinner of 100 years will know they are cursed. 

During the 1000 year reign the law of God will be enforced from Jerusalem and the word of God will come forth from mount Zion. (Isaiah 2.)

And after these 1000 years there will be one final rebellion. Sin will continue during the millennium and will be dealt with by the law. Satan will be bound and man will know that there is a sin nature in him that cannot be blamed on “the devil made me do it”. Sinners will chafe under the law of God for 1000 years. This is foreshadowed in the Old Testament, for after the glorious 40 year reign of Solomon, a kingdom like no other on earth, the people rebelled, complaining of the severity of his reign.

Isaiah 33:14.  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”  

These everlasting covenants are without respect of persons. The terms are final.

Hebrews 6:16.  For men in truth swear by one greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.   

This refers to the role of Jesus Christ as the mediator between God and man. When the terms of the mediation are accepted, there is no more negotiations. Any other gospel is cursed.
Hebrews 13:20&21. Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you perfect in every good work to do His Will, working in you which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  

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.

 

                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                 

I Remember My Song

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

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.

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

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

1 Sam 16:23.  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. 

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

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

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.

Psalms 77:10-12.  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.    

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:

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

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 14:15.  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. 

1 Corinthians 14:26.  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.  

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.

Isaiah 62:6, 7.  I’ve posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem. Day and night they keep at it, praying, calling out, reminding God to rememberThey are to give him no peace until he does what he said; until he makes Jerusalem famous as the City of Praise.