FACE TO FACE

Genesis 32:30.  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”                                      

After wrestling with an angel all night, Jacob experiences being “caught up” by the Spirit of the Lord.

My Life is preserved =Nephesh Natsal. 

Nephesh is most frequently translated soul.

Barak YHVH nephesh=Psalm 103.  Bless the Lord, O my soul.                 

Natsal is most frequently translated delivered.

Shamar Nephesh Natsal=  Psalm 25:20.  O keep my soul and deliver me.     

Natsal literally means to be snatched up and carried away from danger.

The Lord Our Deliverer gives us this assurance.

John 10.   My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.                      

When the scribes translated Genesis 32:30 into Greek in the Septuagint, ‘my life is preserved’ is rendered  sozo ego psuche.  In apostolic writings, this expression is most likely rendered as ‘saved my soul’.  Even better is to translate, ‘my life is made whole’. 

To come face to face with God is to ‘experience’ salvation and remission from sin.

 Luke 1:77.  To give ‘knowledge of salvation’ to His people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”                                                   

Remission of sin is deliverance from the carnal nature.

Romans 7.  O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of 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.                 

Romans 8.   For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.       

To ‘experience’ the ‘knowledge of salvation’ brings clarity to Romans 7, to enjoy the ‘Spirit of Liberty’ in the remission of sin described in Romans 8.

To come face to face with God is to be enraptured.

2 Corinthians 12.   I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.  And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.                                                             

This being ‘caught up’ in Greek: harpazo;  is used to describe the experience of Philip in Acts 8.  Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 

And ultimately, by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The ultimate personal experience in devotion to the Lord is face to face.

Hebrew: pahneem pahneem;  Greek: prosopon pros prosopon. 

Numbers 12.  When there is a prophet I reveal Myself to in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses. He is faithful in all My house, I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles.   

Faithful to The House of God 

Hebrews 3:5, 6. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.  

Come Before His Face,=Come Into His Presence   

Hebrews 4.    Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

Growing In Grace  From The Glory  

1 Corinthians 13:12.   For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known. 

2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed (metamorpho=transfigured)  into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

A Friend of God

Exodus 33:11.  So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. 

John 15. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.                 

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 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.     

Remembering The House of God

John 2:17.  Then His disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for Your house will consume Me.

The Gospel of John has a unique account of Jesus overturning tables of the money changers in the Temple. After all the animals had been driven away and the money poured out, Jesus says “Take these things away, do not make My Father’s House a place for merchants.”

The more knowledgeable you become in the Word of God, the more the Holy Spirit is able to speak to you in every situation. Jesus had created a very perilous environment for Himself and the disciples, and most people under these circumstances would be thinking “let’s get out of here, now!” The disciples must have been captivated to see the Word of God being played out before their eyes.

This was not the first time they were witnessing prophecy fulfilled, and their hearts would soon be broken to watch what they refused to accept. Even though Jesus warned them three times, their minds refused to accept that the Christ would soon be crucified. The remembrance of Jesus’s words would have a devastating effect. Put yourself in the shoes of Peter when he was confronted by the crowd and accused of being a follower of Christ. He began to curse and deny knowing the man, until the rooster crowed.

Matthew 26:75.  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which said unto him “before the rooster crows you shall deny me three times”. And he went out and wept bitterly.

Oh that we could remember the Word of the Lord before we speak! This is why we must pray like David;

Psalms 19:14.  Keep your servant from presumptuous words, let them not have dominion over me. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.                                        

For even the meek Moses failed to enter the Promised Land, because he failed to sanctify the Lord before the people and spoke presumptuously at the waters of Meribah.

Psalm 106:32,33.  They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill for Moses for their sakes; because they provoked his spirit, so that he spoke unadvisedly with his lips.  (Numbers 20:10-13).

The Remembrance the disciples experience at this incident at the temple is found in Psalm 69, which is one of several Messianic visions of David.

Psalm 69:5. God you know my foolishness and my sins are not hid from you. Let not them that wait on you, O Lord, be ashamed for my sake; let not those that seek you be confounded for my sake God of Israel.                                        

The anointing of Christ must place a burden of responsibility on the stewards of the Gospel to not offend someone to the detriment of their soul. James wrote:

 James 3:2.  if a man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.                                                                            

We must discipline our tongue before we can ever discipline our flesh.

Psalm 69:9.  For the zeal of your house consumes me, and the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen upon me.                                                           

The second half of this verse is quoted by Paul:   

Romans 15:2,3.  Let every one of us please our neighbors for the good of edification. For even Christ did not please Himself but as it is written: the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen upon me.                                                  

This is his overriding theme that began in the previous chapter.

Romans 14 is devoted to the exhortation that concern for our brethren must direct our actions. A zeal for God’s House can now only be expressed through our concern for each other. 

Romans 14:13.  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore but judge this rather that no one put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in a brother’s way. 

The other three Gospels give a different rendering of this event.               

Matthew 21:13, Isaiah 56:7.  “It is written: My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”                                                                    

Then a significant event immediately follows the merchants being driven from the Temple.   

Matthew 21:14.  And the blind and the lame came to Him and he healed them. 

The blind and the lame entered the Temple for the first time because the Lord made the way for them. Their exclusion from the Temple was brought about by a curse spoken by David in anger, and is found in 2 Samuel 5. David and his men went to take Jerusalem from the Jebusites and are taunted by them saying “unless you can defeat the blind and the lame you will not come up here.” They considered the stronghold of Zion to be impregnable, but Joab led the men up the sewer and defeated the Jebusites and slew “the blind and the lame whom David’s soul hates.”

Therefore it became a statute at the words of David that the blind and the lame shall not come into The House. Again, words spoken in contempt by an anointed man of God became a curse that Jesus removed with His compassion.

Zeal for the house of God can now only be expressed through compassion and loving kindness.