IN THE LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH

Rom 8:3   For what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin:  He condemned sin in the flesh.

1Tim 3:16   Great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifested in the flesh. . . .

We often think of the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God, and as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.  These are descriptions of Him which we have in the N.T., giving light to O.T. Scriptures.  We think of the lion as symbolic of kingly authority and as a mighty warrior.  The lamb depicts meekness, innocence, dependence upon a shepherd.  Continue reading “IN THE LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH”

SECRET THINGS WHICH BELONG TO GOD

In 1 Timothy, one of the qualifications for even a deacon is to hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.  That mystery is surely the knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God – and the revelation of the triune God – the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit:  YHVH our God is one.

In Deuteronomy 29:29 (28 Heb), Moses tells Israel that “the secret things belong to YHVH our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this Law.”

God revealed truth to Israel that was not given to other nations, and He called Israel to be a light and His witnesses to the Gentiles.  He gave them to know that He – YHVH – is the Creator; the truth about creation, the Flood, the ‘giants’.  He has revealed these things that we would obey Him with faith.

To Christians/the Church, God has given even more revelation.  Believers in Jesus are His witnesses, and are to make known the true knowledge of God and of His salvation of both Jews and Gentiles through faith in Him and His Word.

There are some things, however, which we CANNOT know now – things which are still secret with God.  The Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy writes of the many false teachers and teachings which come into the church – often by those who claim to know what no one else does. Continue reading “SECRET THINGS WHICH BELONG TO GOD”

THE BRANCH/PLANT

Prov 25:2   It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to investigate a matter.
                 –The whole Bible is written about Yeshua/Jesus!
                 –Their heart burned within the two disciples as Jesus explained that the Bible is all about Him.  

Jer 23:5-6; 33:14-16   a righteous Branch/Plant (tzemach, a ‘living organism’) and KingYHVH our righteousness  

Zech 3:8   My Slave/Servant the Branch/Plant  

Zech 6:12   Behold, the Man whose name is the Branch/Plant     Humanity   

Is 4:2   The Branch/Plant YHVH                                                  Deity    Continue reading “THE BRANCH/PLANT”

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

This is a particular expression which appears in only one chapter of the Bible, but which is indicated in many places throughout the Scriptures.  It is an expression which some Christians are uncomfortable using, and also one which is used too liberally.  

Jn 3:1-11   You must be born again by the Spirit of God.
   –two births:  one, common to all human beings, of water/flesh/natural
                         one, necessary for eternal life, of the Spirit/spiritual/supernatural   

   –Without the Spirit of God/the Holy Spirit, no one can see nor enter the Kingdom of God  

   Lk 17:20-21; Jer 31:31-34   The Kingdom of God does not come [now] with observation; the Kingdom of God is within you [if you have a healthy conscious, but especially to those who are born-again].  

The necessity of the new birth from above by the Holy Spirit is proof that all are sinners, and that we are born in sin (original sin).  All are separated from God at birth:  no one knows Him in any personal way.  Yeshua says to all when He says to Nicodemus:  You must be born again in order to see and to enter God’s Kingdom.   Continue reading “YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!”

PRIESTS IN GOD’S TEMPLE

Rom 15:4; 1Cor 10:11  For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we, through the patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope; our example at the end of the age  

Last week we looked at an overview of the Temple, from the days of the Tabernacle in the wilderness through the two temples in Jerusalem,  on to the present time of the persons who are born-again and the Body of Messiah as being God’s Temple in the Spirit, and on into the Millennial Kingdom when the Scriptures seem to indicate that there will be another physical temple in Jerusalem, and ultimately into eternity when the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are seen as being the Temple.  The whole new creation and all that is in it will be holiness!  

God gives us these visions of the future – He gives us these prophecies – to encourage us and ‘push us’ into going on to attain the goal and obtain the prize.  For the Lord, our growth is measured spiritually.  The Word of God and the Holy Spirit do reprove and correct us in the light of the future, so that in the present we would sanctify ourselves by His truth and righteousness, ceasing to do evil and learning to do good  Continue reading “PRIESTS IN GOD’S TEMPLE”

ADAM: HIS FALL AND RISING

I’ve heard some Christian preachers say they are going to show their sore displeasure to Adam when they see him because he did not obey God in the Garden of Eden and so brought suffering and death into the world for all the rest of mankind. (Rom 5:12-19; 1Cor 15:22)  This attitude does not at all understand that whoever Adam would have been, he would have done the same thing:  God already planned before the creation that the Son of God – the Word become flesh – would come into the world in the fullness of time to redeem every person, for all have sinned. . . .there is none righteous. . . .except for God Himself.  In Adam all die; in Messiah all live.

Adam is the human father of us all:  we are all children of Adam (bnei Adam).  It will help us to know him better so that we can identify with him rather than condemn him.  He is one of the great cloud of witnesses whom God has given us in the Bible to encourage us in our faith and in our works of faith.  Continue reading “ADAM: HIS FALL AND RISING”

LIGHT DISPELS DARKNESS – 21 Dec 2007

This Sonday some of us are going to Bethlehem to worship with Arab brothers and sisters in the joy of our God.  Next weekend our congregation (actually the Lord Yeshua’s congregation) will be host to over 40 teenagers from that same area.  Today happens to be the shortest day of the year, when the light of day in the darkest of seasons is at its briefest in this part of the globe.  A little light can dispel even more darkness; how much more the sun the blackness of night; how much more even does the Light which is the Word of God, and who is Himself the Lord Jesus Christ, dispel the darkness of lies! Continue reading “LIGHT DISPELS DARKNESS – 21 Dec 2007”

GOD’S PURPOSE FOR BELIEVERS IN YESHUA

Rom 8:26-30  The Spirit intercedes for us according to the will of God. . .
                       And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What is our purpose in life?  For what are we preparing ourselves?  When a university student chooses a major field of study, or when someone chooses a career or profession based on skill, ability, knowledge, what do they do?. . . . . they prepare themselves for the goal of passing the course; of being accepted for the job;  of advancing to receive better conditions, salary, status, authority.  These are all normal pursuits in most of our lives, or as parents how we want to encourage our children.  There is the honorable way of pursuing one’s goals, and there are dishonorable ways to attain our objectives.  All of this is good and acceptable (not the dishonorable ways, of course!), and, in general, applies to all persons everywhere within their own culture. 

But what of those – also living in the same world with everyone else – what of those who have been born again from above by the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ?  As we know, this can happen potentially at almost any age and at different stages of people’s lives and for all kinds of people.  Continue reading “GOD’S PURPOSE FOR BELIEVERS IN YESHUA”

OVERCOMING HATRED FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

(Delivered at NEM Conference at the Baptist Village in Israel, April 23, 2006)

Mt 5:9-11   Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  

I tell people who ask me what it’s like to live as a believer in Israel that Israel is a great place to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, because it’s difficult to be lukewarm about our faith.  We have many first-hand experiences related to the passage we read from Matthew.  The Middle East provides us with many opportunities to be “blessed, happy, satisfied” if we are motivated by the love and purposes of God.   Continue reading “OVERCOMING HATRED FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD”

PHINEAS, AND GOD’S COVENANT OF PEACE

YHVH God makes and keeps covenants.  He is righteous and faithful to keep them all until they be completely fulfilled.  This makes them everlasting:  until He fulfills them, no matter how long it takes; and, until the end of history.  It is the New Covenant – a better covenant – which not only finds fulfillment in time – through the coming Millenial Kingdom of Messiah – but, even more so, seals the promise of eternity, when time is no more, and will be the foundation of the new heavens and new Earth which God will create for all those who love the Father and His Son.

One of the most interesting covenants which YHVH has made is often overlooked.  He made it while Israel was still in the desert before they entered the promised land of Canaan, around 1400 BC.  This covenant preceded the Davidic covenant by several hundred years, yet is just as significant regarding the Levitical priesthood as David’s is pertaining to the throne. (Jer 33:19-22) Continue reading “PHINEAS, AND GOD’S COVENANT OF PEACE”