About Lessons from Lou

Retired chaplain with more than 25 years of service from the US Army and former board certified hospital chaplain. Currently teaches for the Tennessee School of Ministry. For fun I am the webmaster of my churches' website, open source advocate, and avid user of OpenSUSE.

The Blood Of Jesus and the Virgin Birth

The Pure Blood of Christ and the Virgin Birth (Matthew 1:23)

or

The First Artificial Insemination in History

Leviticus 17:10-14
‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’

Genesis 9:4-6
“Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

Deuteronomy 12:23
“Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.
For those of you who want fact and not fancy about the Bible, I offer you the Blood of Jesus.

No one except God the Father knows nor understands the importance of blood. Many Christians know basically what the Blood of Jesus does, but they do not know what the Blood of Jesus is or consists of. Most Christians think that it is the same blood that runs through their veins just like an ordinary person. Most Christians are taught what made it different was that it just came from Jesus. No! The blood of the Lord Jesus the Christ had a unique chemical makeup. It biologically had to! This is what I want you to understand from this article.

God is so wise and wonderful, He placed our faith and future in the very core of every creature on earth: the blood. When no one knew what blood was, God in His foresight started with the basic issue of life, not water, but blood. What we need to understand as a new creation in the Lord Jesus the Christ, is that Jesus had God’s blood – unique and uncontaminated – flowing through His body.

You Can’t Have Just Anyone’s Blood

blood-cellsBlood was not studied scientifically until the last four hundred years. It wasn’t until 1628 English physician William Harvey discovered the circulatory system. In 1900, a Viennese doctor, Karl Lasteiner, discovered the different blood types, Type O, A, B and AB. Later, in 1907, another doctor suggested cross-matching blood, because you could not successfully transfuse blood among patients. It had to be the right “type.” Putting the wrong type in resulted in agglutination (gluing of the blood cells) and could result in death because the red blood cells dissolved. (In an emergency, Type O is given to a patient when there is not time to cross-match, but it is always followed up with the correct type as soon as possible.) The substance that determines you blood type is present in the red cells only. It is not present in the fluid or the plasma part of the blood. During World War II, plasma was given to wounded in place of the specific blood type because of it universality and it could be frozen.

We All Inherited Adams’ Tainted Blood

What does this mean to us? Adam sinned as the head of the entire human race (Romans 5:14) and from him we have inherited a sin nature. We cannot escape the fact that fallen man sins. How does this affect us today? I believe we receive that sin nature through the red blood cells of our parents. And we pass that on to our children through our blood. Why? Because blood is the life of all flesh.

“The life of every creature is its blood … and the life of every creature is its blood.” Leviticus 17:14

“For as in Adam, all die.” I Corinthians 15:22

“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Acts 17:26

“There is no difference, for all has sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:22-23

All men have Adam’s tainted, sinful blood, and that blood with all of its DNA and various diseases, is the same the world over. The blood types are the same the world over. Sin is the same the world over. The blood of animals is the same the world over. All the animal and human sacrifices throughout history didn’t make a difference. If life is truly in common sinful blood, then truly uncommon sinless blood must be the remedy.

Jesus Didn’t Get Adam’s Blood

1avital-truth-of-the-virgin-birthYou can read it in various obstetric handbooks: the mother’s blood supply and the baby’s blood supply is separate in the womb. Let me explain. It is simple medical biology as I understand it. If anyone has information to the contrary, please email me.

The woman’s ovum, or egg cannot produce life alone. It does not have the capability of producing blood or anything else until it is united with a male sperm. This means that only when the male sperm is introduced, can life develop. The father therefore introduces life into the mother. And since the Bible clearly states that life is in the blood, it makes sense to me that everything the father is – his very DNA- is brought into play at this mystical time. My understanding is that no blood cells are actually transmitted to the egg, but are developed independently in the baby itself. By means of diffusion, through the placenta, the baby is fed and waste taken away by the mother’s system. But as I understand it, no actual cells are transmitted from the mother to the baby and vice versa. That is important.

Previously, I said that a person cannot receive another person’s blood if it is not your matched type. But because of the role of the placenta, a mother can give birth to a baby of a completely different blood type. The reason for this is the factors that determine blood type is present in the red blood cells only, and not in the plasma or the fluid part of the blood. This plasma is the part of the blood that diffuses and interacts with the placenta that carries both food and waste to and from the mother.

My central point is: under normal conditions, no blood cells are exchanged between mother and baby. So then, the blood of Jesus came exclusively because of insemination from His Father God. It was unique and uncontaminated with anything a normal human would have inherited from Adam. Every single cell of blood was manufactured entirely in Jesus’ body and received nothing from Mary.

How Does Jesus’ Blood Work For Us?

does-it-1000x431“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Hebrews 9:13-14

I believe all people worldwide receive the same tainted red blood cells of Adam, all people worldwide are under the same condemnation. Paul said “For there is no difference, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:22-23) God demands a perfect sacrifice of blood. How is this accomplished without getting contaminated with the fallen human nature?

It was accomplished by the miraculous virgin birth of Christ! Picture this: the Lord Jesus the Christ, with God’s pure uncontaminated blood in Him, healing, helping and performing miracles. Never committing one sin! Then when He died on the cross, His perfect blood freed those in Abraham’s Bosom, was sprinkled on the eternal Mercy Seat in heaven and forever atoned for my sin and the sin of mankind breaking that sin nature I inherited from Adam that I was powerless to overcome.

“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14

That word partook is koynoneho in the Greek which means to “share fully.” All mankind shares fully in the Adamic inheritance of sin nature. What is said here about Jesus is a little different. Jesus metecho or “took only a part, not all.” So how was this done? Jesus shared only in the fleshly body of humanity, while His blood remained pure. Jesus had a body from Mary so that he can be a genuine member of the human race, but the inside of Jesus was pure God. God prepared for Jesus a special body born of a woman, to be a member of the human race.

“A body thou hast prepared for me…Hebrews 10:5

The difference for us is that we partake fully of the sin nature. We have a defective spirit, a deformed body and a demented soul with the imperfect red blood cells swishing around inside. Jesus was (and is) like us in every way except without sin. His body got tired, and it bore the stripes of our sin at the pillory. It was bruised and crushed for our iniquity. Notice that He bore our sin in His body. We bear our sin in our blood and that affects our body. Therefore, when He died on the cross for our sins in His body, His blood was not contaminated.

The virgin birth and conception by the Holy Spirit was the only way salvation could have been accomplished the way God the Father demanded. Jesus was truly a descendant of the house and the lineage of David, but yet, a descendant of the house and lineage of the Divine.

The Blood Incorruptible!

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18-19

The pure incorruptible blood of Jesus was also the reason for His resurrection. The reason embalmers place fluid in the body at death is because decay sets in. Human blood is corruptible. However, in the case of Jesus, His blood was not corruptible. Jesus’ body experienced no corruption because after three days, He rose again. Jesus’ body underwent tremendous trauma: beaten, scourged, pierced by spikes, and a spear. No wonder Mary didn’t recognized Jesus right away. But His blood coursing through His veins did not decay, because it couldn’t and therefore, He could rise again!

So what does this mean for other aspects of our life with Christ? More later.

The Mazzeroth

The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God (Psalm 19:1)

or

How God Hangs the Moon!

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. Is 40:26
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Psalm 147:4
Last week I told you the astronomy and astrology world changed because NASA reintroduced a constellation that astrologers to have thirteen sign instead of the historic twelve. Why, the earth’s axis has tilted enough where they had to add back in the constellation Ophiuchus to be consistent throughout the “sun’s journey” through the solar system. As we all know, the sun doesn’t move, but we do. As the earth’s position changes, the sun “highlights” the constellations so it “appears” to us at certain times of the year by shining brighter than the stars around them. Ophiuchus has always been there, but now comes into play for some 18 days in the late fall. God said that he brings them out like an army, calling each by name and not a single one is missing!

Hmmm? What does this mean for Christians and the pagan world? God is trying to tell you the man who is the serpent bearer, the man who is wrestling with the snake, is reasserting Himself in world affairs. Just like at the birth of the Lord Jesus the Christ, the astrology world was shaken with the citing of the Star of Bethlehem by the Magi, the astrology world is once again have to recalculate their position in the universe.

The fact that there is a story to be told in the heavens should not be surprising to the Christian. God set the saga of the salvation of man in the heavens long before man was born. The Mazzeroth is the ancient star chart of the Hebrews told to Abraham and probably Adam and Eve, although I can’t prove that.

mazzeroth

What is the Mazzeroth?

As you can see from the chart above, the twelve tribes are illustrated and so is the history of the Hebrew people and the plan of redemption. Briefly, God told Abraham, that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Genesis 26:4 Ancient traditions ascribe astronomy to Seth, Adam and Enoch. (See notes at the end of this article.)

You’ve got to understand the ancient mind. In a world where there was no written language, no universal oral language, how were you going to communicate with people? How was God going to get his point across about His salvation message. People communicated in pictographs and the stars. This is why the Hebrews, along with other cultures, had a lunar calendar.

So what basically does all this mean to we a Christians, God had a plan for the world before the foundations of the world were set and He wanted all people from around the world to understand who He is! It is interesting that the Chinese, Chaldeans, Egyptians, and other cultures use the same constellations signs such have been found in the temples Of Denderah and Esneh in Egypt.

Are You Listening?

God has told us in the stars that His story is bigger than any church.

1The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4Yet their voiceb goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. Psalm 19 1:6

Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Genesis 1:14

God has called the constellations by name:

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. Isaiah 40:26

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Psalm 147:4

“Can you direct the movement of the stars–binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? (Incidentally, we know today these two stars are gravitationally linked!) Job 38:31

Where to Start?  

Start at the beginning.  Let’s take when Joseph was second in command in Egypt.  Do you think Joseph knew the plan of salvation?  The famous Sphinx monument in Egypt means to literally to “bind closely together.” What is bound? Again, ancient Egypt got the idea from somewhere to create a monument that has the head of a woman that is bound closely to the body of a lion. Does that sound familiar?

So it is with the Mazzeroth. So we have Virgo the woman, the first sign, bound closely to the end of the signs  with Leo, the Lion, the last sign. We start with the woman, and end with victory of the Lion! Remember prophecy, Genesis 3:15, tells us that the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent. We have Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah conquering!

These are two slides from a presentation I used to do on the Mazzeroth.  But it will give you an idea of what it means to the Hebrews.

virgo1

leo-3

These are just two charts, but think of this:  if God is calling the universe to repentence and redemption, how important are you?  He knows exactly who you are and where you are.  There is not one star that is more important nor valuable than you are!

A few notes for your leisurely reading on the subject.

Bibliography
Allen, Richard H., Star Names, Their Lore And Meaning, Dover Publications, New York, 1963. (Republished From Stechert, 1899.)
Bullinger, E.W., The Witness Of The Stars, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1967. (Reprinted From London Edition, 1893.)
Frank, Edgar, Talmudic And Rabbinical Chronology, Feldheim Publishers, Jerusalem, 1956.
Kunitzsch, Paul, And Smart, Time, Modern Star Names And Their Derivations, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1986.
Legg Middle School: Coldwater, Mi (Internet)
Meade Autostar Suite, Astronomers Edition, Version 3.1 (Software)
Missler, Chuck, Monuments: Sacred Or Profane? Koinonia House, 1991.
Missler, Chuck, Signs In The Heavens, Koinonia House, 1994.
O’neil, W.M., Time And Calendars, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1975.
Parker, Richard A., “The Calendars Of Ancient Eygpt,” Studies In Ancient Oriental Civilization, No. 26, University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1950.
Patten, Donald W., Catastrophism And The Old Testament, Pacific Meridian Publishing Company, Seattle, WA 1996.
Seiss, Joseph A., The Gospel In The Stars, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972. (Reprinted: Primeval Astronomy, 1882).
Spencer, Duane Edward, The Gospel In The Stars, Word Of Grace, San Antonio, Tx, 1972.
Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver’s Travels, 1726.
Velikovsky, Immanuel, Worlds In Collision, Doubleday & Co., New York, 1950.
Wikipedia, Zodiac References (Internet)

NASA Re-Adds Old Zodiac Symbol

If I be Lifted Up from the Earth, (John 12:32)
or
See, I Told You, Everywhere a Sign. Can’t You Read the Signs?

5And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 5:15,16

8The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. Numbers 21:8

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up. John 3:14
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign like I told you. Now more signs from the heavens. God has used man to highlight another aspect of the message of salvation to the world.

NASA, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration is helping God though they don’t know it. This is going to drive the astrologers crazy.

On September 16, 2016, NASA re-introduced an ancient astrological sign to make the ecliptic axis of the earth more accurate. In other words, around the center of the earth, the sun “passes” through and highlights the stars in the different constellations. Twelve constellations are the ones we are used to that unsaved people use for astrological fortune telling. However, because the earth’s axis no longer points in the same direction as it did 3,000 years ago, NASA has added another constellation that was dropped from the charts by the Babylonians. Therefore, astrological signs as we know them have completely different date ranges now.

What is important for you to know as a Christian is that the Hebrews had a star chart that depicts the story of Christ long before anyone else. It is called the Mazzeroth. Look it up! Each original Zodiac sign has to do with the salvation message, but it has been corrupted my mankind over the years.

NASA has Ophiuchus “re-added” as an astrological constellation. Let me explain some of the pagan interpretations before I get to the real Christian meaning.

sidney_hall_-_uranias_mirror_-_taurus_poniatowski_serpentarius_scutum_sobiesky_and_serpens

Depiction of Ophiuchus.                                                               What is that on the left? It’s the Southern Cross!

In mythology, Ophiuchus is identified with the healer Asclepius, the son of Apollo, who was able to bring the dead back to life. Realizing his power, Hades convinced Zeus to kill Asclepius with a lightning bolt, and he was placed into the stars as a constellation after his death.

The constellation, Ophiuchus, has been known since ancient times, and is better known as Serpentarius, the Serpent Holder. It is included in the list of 48 constellations described by Ptolemy. Ophiuchus is depicted as a man handling a serpent; his body dividing the large snake into two parts, giving way to the symbol used today as an Asclepius – the medical staff. Astrologers have not included Ophiuchus in the wheel of Astrological signs because the sun spends only about nineteen days in this 13th sign of the Mazzaroth. Not that there wasn’t a 13th sign in the Heavens, but as far as astrologers were concerned, the sun traveled from the constellation ‘Scorpius’ and then proceeded directly into the sign of Sagittarius. In reality, this is not the case. The sun, for 19 days, travels through the star constellation ‘Ophiuchus’ before entering Sagittarius from Scorpius. Pagans believe sign of Ophiuchus is patterned after the original ‘Serpent Holder’, Enki, a Sumerian god.

The signs of the Zodiac are basically the path the sun takes annually across the heavens as it would appear to us at the equator. These signs are actually star constellations occupying space in which the sun appears to travels in an earth year. The original twelve signs/constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces are quite familiar to everyone, however, the thirteenth sign and constellation, Ophiuchus, is in fact, not well known. To acknowledge a 13th is chaos to astrologers, who have been giving advice of 12 signs that rule over the 12 houses of the Zodiac. God has a way of upsetting everyone’s world just as he did at the birth of Christ.

The pagans believe the constellation of Ophiuchus is the only sign of the Zodiac which is linked to a real man, Imhotep,(27th century BCE, Egypt). Attributes of Imhotep can also be found curiously enough in Joseph, son of Jacob. Imhotep is credited with many accomplishments including the knowledge and use of medicine. The pagans believe that Imhotep that he brought the art of healing to mankind but we all know that it was Joseph. Snake venom could kill you or heal you depending on how you use it. The symbol of a serpent (or snake), the caduceus, is still widely used today to represent the medical profession, and was used to represent Imhotep. Imhotep was also known as ‘Aesclepius’ to the ancient Greeks.

 

mazzeroth

The Mazzeroth at the Time of Daniel   

What does this mean for we Christians today?

First, this reinstatement happens just prior to the beginning of the Fall Feasts, especially Rosh HaShanah or the head of the year. God is trying to tell us something big is going to happen this year. To the orthodox Jews this is not a big deal. The ancient Jews, because they use a lunar calendar, had to have a thirteenth month (or sign) added to their calendar or the spring and fall feasts days would be substantially off.

Second, this character as a snake bearer was in the house of Scorpio as a secondary constellation. But, because of the shifting of the earth’s axis, it is now being illuminated by the sun. In other words, in this new year of 5777, (a five for salvation, and three sevens which means perfection and the trinity), Jesus, the Christ is going to be illuminated and revealed to the world like He has never been before. Yes, we are going to see prophecy and more movement from heaven than we have ever seen before.

Third, the “serpent bearer” or more accurately “wrestler” is of course the Lord Jesus the Christ in prophecy. The snake is being subdued and used by the “man.” Not the other way around. God is in charge of the snake. The most famous is the fact that after the fall of man, God told Eve that the seed of woman was going to bruise the head of satan who is that old serpent. (Genesis 3:15)

Fourth, the Lord Jesus Christ, being our High Priest and healer of not only physical sickness, but sin sickness was foretold in Numbers 21 and later confirmed in John 3 by the Lord Himself. In Numbers, the disobedient children of God were bitten by poisonous snakes. Moses was told to fabricate a pole with snakes twisted around it. Those that looked upon the snakes were healed. Those that did not, died. Our Lord Jesus the Christ told Nicodemus that as the snakes were lifted up in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man he lifted up so that He could draw all men unto Him.

Fifth, to me this is more proof of the ministry of Daniel. Daniel was a specially chosen young Hebrew man brought into captivity by the Babylonians. If you remember the stories of how the only Daniel could interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams. All of Nebuchadnezzar’s home grown astrologers couldn’t. Many of us feel, that because of Daniels’ ministry, he taught them the Mazzeroth and the plan of salvation. How else could these “magi” who couldn’t interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, suddenly get smart and understand where the Saviour was supposed to be born. Daniel told them and I think influenced their study of the constellations. For those of you who do not know what the Mazzeroth is, see the next article.

This new zodiac chart for all of you who care. Think about the fact that those who really do rely on this type of chart for their decision-making have to admit they are getting wrong information. All the astrologers as in the days of Daniel the Prophet have to rethink their positions.

Aries = April 19 – May 13
Taurus = May 14 – June 19
Gemini = June 20 – July 20
Cancer = July 21 – Aug 9
Leo = August 10 – September 15
Virgo = September 16 – October  30
Libra = October 31 – November  22
Scorpio = November 23 – November  29
Ophiuchus = November 30 – December 17
Sagittarius = December 18 – January 18
Capricorn = January 19 – February 15
Aquarius = February 16 – March 11
Pisces = March 12 – April 18

I have some older teaching on the Hebrew star chart that I will publish soon.  Hope this gives you food for thought!

 

Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement

For We have a High Priest that Entered the Holy of Holies Once, for All (Hebrews 9:11)

or

Happy Yom Kippur, “Have an Easy Fast!”
  15“Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. Leviticus 16:15

20“When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat. 21“Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. Leviticus 16:20

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  Hebrews 9:11

It has arrived!

The most sacred day of the year for the Jews and for many Christians, is here. The second of the three fall feasts yet unfulfilled on earth by the Lord Jesus the Christ – Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement – begins today at sundown today (Leviticus 23:26-29). Are you ready if this is the last Yom Kippur you celebrate on earth?

Today for the modern Jew a bloodless sacrifice is made of fasting and prayer. The 10 Days of Awe are now concluded. They wear white, a kittel and their tallit. Then at the end of the 24 hours of repentance, fasting, one long blast of the shofar is blown. For the Christian, and the ancient Jew, the sacrifice for the sins of believers was much more involved and much more meaningful.

What is the Day of Atonement? yom-kippur-1

Simply stated, on the 10th day of Tishri, the High Priest entered the Holiest of Holies.  Two young goats were selected and by lot and one was sacrificed to represent the sins of the Israelites.  This blood was presented before mercy seat, where the Shekinah glory resided.  In the presence of the Lord, only the High Priest could stand. If his life was not pure, he could be immediately killed by the presence of God. Bells hung from his High Priestly garment allowing the other priests outside in the Holy Place to know that he was still alive and walking.  A cord around his foot, was a security measure, so that they had could remove his body without entering the Holiest of Holies.  The fate of Israel for the next year hung in the balance.  Jews, on a personal level, still believe this today.

The High Priest sprinkled the blood of the goat before the mercy seat. This blood represented all the sins of the camp of Israel. Upon the other goat sins of Israel were placed and it was carried far into the wilderness a cast and abandoned into a pit.

Today, who is our High Priest.  In heaven, He entered a ‘more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made,…and not a part of this creation,’ (Hebrews 9:11) not using the blood of goats….but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.’ (Hebrews 9:12)  The Lord Jesus the Christ offered Himself unblemished to God, and then cleansed our consciences from acts that lead to death. (Hebrews 9:14)  Jesus appeared in the presence of God the Father.  (Hebrews 9:24) Here once for all, the Lord Jesus the Christ presented himself in the Holiest of Holies, ‘at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.’  (Hebrews 9:13,26). With Christ, the perfect God-Man-High Priest, your fate never hung in the balance. God the Father was going to accept the perfect sacrifice from the perfect High Priest and man representing an imperfect earthly man.

Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 9) as He leaves the Holy Place, he removed His High Priestly attire and doned the mantle of the King of Kings. Jesus now begins the third portion of His ministry. On earth He was a Prophet, in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, He is our High Priest. With Priestly work done, the next phase of His ministry is King. With the heavens now standing wide open’ (Revelation 19:11) John sees King Jesus on a white horse, this time ‘his eyes are blazing fire and on his head are many crowns…. His name is Torah, the Word of God.  The armies of heaven are following him and out of his mouth is an iron scepter with which he will rule them.”  (Revelation 19:14-15)   Jesus is now preparing to make war with those of the Armageddon forces who have laid siege and captured God’s Holy City, Jerusalem.

So what? What is different between the Old Covenant Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 and 23 and the book of Hebrew’s Day of Atonement?   The ancient High Priest went into the Holiest of Holies and came out still the High Priest. Either dead or alive, his earthly status didn’t change.  Jesus, as a type of Melchezedek, enters the Holiest of Holies in the Temple of Heaven and emerges the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In the presence of his Father, the Lord of hosts, God the Father, bestows the kingship and the crowns of glory.  (Hebrews 2:7-8) Yes, He is still our advocate with the Father, but God has placed everything under His feet. This is one of many reasons when we ask, we receive. At this time, according to John, “Then God’s temple in heaven was laid open, and within the temple was seen the ark of his covenant. There came flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a storm of hail.”  (Revelation 11:19)  Prior to this, Jesus is not our king, but our high priest. Now as the King of Kings, Jesus will destroy the forces of Armageddon, (Revelation 19:15) throw the Antichrist and the false prophet into the Lake of Fire, reserved for demonic and satanic beings. (Revelation 19:20) As King of Kings, He will order the binding of Satan, who will be cast into the depths of the earth.

You as a Christian have ringside seats to the most exciting time in the history of mankind. And today, marks the Day of Atonement. Are you ready?  Yom Kippur ends with a long blast on the Shofar, will it be last sound you hear?

praying-in-the-synagogue-on-yom-kippur-1024x640

 

The Hiding of the Bride of Christ

Wake Up, Behold the Bridegroom Comes With a Shout! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Or
We shall not all sleep, but be changed!                   (1 Corinthians 15:51)

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. Isaiah 6:1

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:9
Last week I said that the fall feasts and in particular Rosh HaShanah have multi-faceted traditions surrounding it. The reason is because so little is explained in Leviticus 23 about what these feasts mean and how to celebrate them. Of the ten traditions that I found, one is called Yom Hakeseh or the Day of Concealment (or the Hidden Day). Another tradition is Kiddushin or Nesu’in or the Wedding Ceremony.

Again, the genius Father God has set up another series of ancient traditions that herald the coming of our King, Jesus the Christ. Remember, first the natural, then the spiritual. (1 Corinthians 15:46).
Previously, I said when the Rapture of the Church occurs, it will also signal a judgment upon the earth. In Revelation, the Church, the Bride of Christ, is revealed at the time of judgment, but will be hidden and protected until the time of tribulation is over and presented to Heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

brideofchrist4

The Rapture of the Church is a type and shadow of the marriage tradition of the Jews in the first century. The snatching away of the church is a parallel of the bridegroom coming for his bride only at a time designated by the father (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

There are 12 major sections of the traditional Jewish wedding. As you read them, you will see how each relates to us as the bride of Christ and where we get some of our traditions today. But for those of you who want the bottom line up front hiddeness issues are these:

First, during the betrothal period, the bride doesn’t see the bridegroom in person. As a parallel, when we get saved, we are in a betrothal period until the bridegroom comes for us. We never have seen our bridegroom face to face, (though we see through a glass darkly 1 Corinthians 13:12).

Second, the bridegroom doesn’t see the bride either, but is in his father’s house preparing the bridal chamber. This is what Jesus is doing for us, He is preparing a place for us in His father’s house awaiting our arrival, so let not our hearts be troubled, He will come (John 14:1).

Third, only the father knows when the bridal chamber will be ready. It is not up to the son, but up to the father, and he is the only one who has to be satisfied. Only our Father in heaven knows when the plans have been completed by Jesus our bridegroom for our arrival. (Matthew 24:36)

Fourth, the bridegroom comes like “a thief in the night” to get his bride when the father gives the thumbs up. (Matthew 25:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Fifth, the bride and groom “hide” in the chupah or wedding chamber that was approved by the father for a period of seven days until they are presented at the marriage supper.

Sixth, at the marriage ceremony, the bridegroom is crowned as the king of his household, just as Jesus the Christ will be crowned king of the universe and begin His millennial reign on this earth.

Can you see the hiddeness?   The Bride is hidden from her bridegroom during the betrothal, the Bridegroom is “hidden” from his bride while in his father’s house, and lastly, the bride is “hidden” or protected in the the father’s house for seven days until the bride and groom is presented at the marriage supper.  Can you see the rapture of the church and the start of the third part of Jesus’ ministry: Prophet, Priest, and lastly King?

The following are some more details. But hopefully you have gotten the idea that we are on the brink of greatest triumph and tragedy mankind has ever seen: the instantaneous catching away of millions of people from the earth and the ensuing madness of the judgment of God on those who are left.

bridecrownt

Bride Selection
First, the Bride was chosen by the father. The father would send his trusted servant to search out the bride. Abraham (a type of God the Father) secured a bride for Isaac (a type of Messiah) and sent his servant Eliezer (a type of the Holy Spirit) to find Rebekah (Genesis 24:2-4; 15:2). Just as the bride was chosen by the father of the bridegroom, so the believers in the Messiah are chosen. (John 15:16). No one comes to the Father except the Holy Spirit draws him. The bridegroom chose the bride and lavished his love upon her and she returned his love. Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself of it.” In Genesis 24, Rebekah consented to marry Isaac even before she ever met him. Today, the believers in the Jesus consent to become His bride even though we have never seen Him. First Peter 1:8 tells us, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Bride price established.
Secondly, the bride price was established. The agreed upon price was called a mohar in Hebrew. Jesus, our bridegroom, paid with His life. Matthew 26:39, “And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” First Peter 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . .but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” In 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

The bride and groom were betrothed.
Betrothal was the first of two steps in the marriage process. Betrothal in Hebrew is known as erusin orkiddushin. Betrothal legally binds the bride and the groom together in a marriage contract, except they do not physically live together. Historically, God betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:19-20). Whenever you accept the Jesus as savior, you become betrothed to Him while living on the earth.

A written document is drawn up.
The ketubah is the marriage contract that states the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The word ketubah means “that which is written.” The groom promised to work for her, to honor, support, and maintain her in truth, to provide food, clothing, and to live together with her as husband and wife. The ketubah was the unalienable right of the bride. The ketubah must be executed and signed prior to the wedding ceremony. The Bible is the believer’s ketubah. All the promises that God provided for the believers are legally yours, in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen….”

The bride must give her consent.
God betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai as stated in Jeremiah 2:2. Israel consented to the marriage proposal from God and said, “I do,” as it is written in Exodus 24:3. Romans 10:10 tells us when we confess and believe the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord we are saved.

Gifts were given to the bride and the cup of covenant was shared
The betrothal is complete when the groom seals the deal with a gift and bride accepts it. The gift most often given today is a ring. When the groom placed the ring on the bride’s finger, the rite of betrothal was completed. This completed rite is known in Hebrew as kiddushin, which means “sanctification.”
God gives the Holy Spirit as a guarantee or as our earnest money (John 14:26; 15:26-27; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). He gives gifts to men (Ephesians 4:7-8): righteousness (Romans 5:17-18), eternal life (Romans 6:23), grace (Romans 5:12,14-15), faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and other spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1,4).

The cup of the covenant was shared and also sealed the covenant between the bride and groom. Th couple drinks from a common cup of wine. The cup is first given to the groom to sip, and then is given to the bride. This cup, known as the cup of covenant, spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-33. Jesus spoke of the cup of the New Covenant in Luke 22:  We take it on a regular basis in church called Communion or the Lord’s Supper.

The bride was ritually cleansed.
Mikvah was a ceremonial act of purification by the immersion in water. It indicated a separation from a former way to a new way. In marriage, it indicates leaving an old life for a new life with your spouse (Genesis 2:23-24; Ephesians 5:31). Immersing in the mikvah is considered spiritual rebirth. The reason is that a mikvah has the power to change a person completely. Concerning the marriage to Israel at Mount Sinai, God said in Ezekiel 16:8-9, as it is written, “…I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee… and thou becamest Mine. Then washed I thee with water….” The washing, or immersion, here refers to that of Israel before the people received the Torah when God betrothed Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:14-15). Jesus spoke to the Pharisee, Nicodemus, that he must be born anew (immersed) to enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:1-7). The believers are to be immersed in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:4). The Holy Spirit is the baptizer of God (Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5; 11:15-16).

The bridegroom departs, goes back to his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber.
At this point, the bridegroom leaves for his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber. It was understood to be the man’s duty to be with his father, build a house, and prepare for the eventual wedding. Before he goes, he will make a statement to the bride. “I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you.” This is the same statement Jesus made in John 14:1-3 before He went to His father’s house in Heaven.

The bride was consecrated and set apart for a period of time while the bridegroom was away building the house.
Before the bridegroom could go and get the bride, the groom’s father had to be satisfied that every preparation had been made by the son. Only then would he give permission for the son to get the bride. In other words, it was the father who “okayed” the final bridal chamber. The bridegroom did not know when his father would declare the bridal chamber fit and send him to go get his bride. This is exactly what Jesus was referring to in Mark 13:32-37.

Meanwhile, the bride waited eagerly for the return of the bridegroom. In the mind of the bride, the bridegroom could come at any time, even in the middle of the night. Therefore, she had to be ready at all times. Jesus referred to this in Mark 13:32-37 and Matthew 25:1-13. While waiting for her bridegroom to come, the bride had to have thought to herself, “Is he really coming back for me? Is he really going to keep his word?” Peter answered this in 2 Peter 3:1-13.

The bridegroom suddenly returns with a shout and the sound of the shofar.
The time of the return of the bridegroom was usually at midnight. When the bridegroom did come, he came with a shout (Matthew 25:6) and with the blowing of a shofar (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1). The marriage between the bride and the groom would take place under the chupah or wedding canopy. Since Heaven is a type of chupah, we can see that when Jesus gives a shout for His bride, accompanied by the blowing of a shofar, the marriage between Jesus and His bride will take place in Heaven.

The marriage ceremony would have a sacred procession. For this reason, the bridegroom will be led to the chupah first. When the bridegroom approaches the chupah, the cantor chants, “Blessed is he who comes.” “Blessed is he who comes” is an idiomatic expression meaning “welcome.” Jesus said that He would not return for His bride until these words were said (Matthew 23:39). The groom is greeted like a king under the chupah. During this time Jesus, the bridegroom, will be crowned King under the chupah, which is Heaven.

He would abduct his bride, usually in the middle of the night, to go to the bridal chamber where the marriage would be consummated.
This is the full marriage, known in Hebrew as Nesu’in. The bride and groom will go to the wedding chamber, or chadar in Hebrew, where the marriage will be consummated. They will stay in that wedding chamber for seven days. At the end of the seven days, the bride and groom will emerge from the wedding chamber ( Joel 2:16).

The word week in Hebrew is shavuah. It means a “seven.” It can mean seven days or seven years. An example of the Hebrew word for week (shavuah) meaning seven years can be found in Daniel 9:24, as it is written, “Seventy weeks [shavuah, 490 years] are determined upon thy people…” and in 9:27, “And he [the false Messiah known as the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [shavuah, seven years]….” The week referred to in Daniel 9:27 is known to Bible believers as the tribulation period. The Jewish people understand this time to be the birthpangs of the Messiah known in Hebrew eschatology as the Chevlai shel Mashiach. This is taken from Jeremiah 30:5-7. From this we can see that the believers in the Messiah will be with the Messiah in Heaven for His wedding while the earth will be experiencing the seven-year tribulation period, or the Chevlai shel Mashiach, in Hebrew.

Finally, the marriage supper for all the guests invited by the father of the bride.
The bride and the groom would be in the wedding chamber for seven days. When the bride and the groom initially went into the wedding chamber, the friend of the bridegroom stood outside the door. All the assembled guests of the wedding gathered outside, waiting for the friend of the bride-groom to announce the consummation of the marriage, which was relayed to him by the groom. John the Baptist referred to in John 3:29. At this signal, great rejoicing broke forth (John 3:29). The marriage was consummated on the first night (Genesis 29:23). The bloodstained bed linen from this night was kept as proof of the bride’s virginity (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).

On the wedding day, the bridegroom is seen as a king and the bride as a queen. During the consummation of the marriage, the bridegroom will be crowned King over all the earth and the bride (the believers in Yeshua, the Messiah) will live with Him and rule with Him forever. The crowning of the King and the marriage can be seen in Isaiah 62:3-7. At the end of the week (seven-year tribulation, or birthpangs of the Messiah), the marriage supper will take place. The marriage supper will not take place in Heaven. After the marriage, the bride and Groom will return to earth.

The marriage supper will be taking place on earth and only the invited guests of the Father of the Groom (God the Father) will be present at the banquet meal. This can be seen in Revelation 19:7-16 and 20:4. Jesus spoke of the marriage supper and the banquet in Luke 12:35-38 and Matthew 8:11.
The wedding supper is a theme of the festival of Sukkot, which will be discussed later if time permits. During Sukkot, the people were instructed by God to build a temporary shelter. One of the things God instructed the people to do there is eat. When they eat, they set a plate for seven people these include Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11).The unbelievers in the Messiah will attend a separate banquet where the fowls of the air will eat their flesh (Revelation 19:17-18). You don’t want to be in that banquet!

What does all this mean? We as the bride of Christ must be ready and anticipating the coming of our bridegroom!

Behold, I Show You a Mystery!

Happy “Yom Teruah” and “Yom Hekeseh!”

Or

“Behold, I Show You a Mystery!” (1 Corinthians 15:51,52)

23 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. Leviticus 23:23  (New American Standard

 3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast day. Psalm 81:3 (New American Standard)

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  I Corinthians 15:51,52 (New American Standard)

Dateline Jerusalem! The new moon has been officially sited in Jerusalem today, October 2, 2016 with about 2.3 percent illumination.

Now, Rosh Hashanah, the feast of mystery officially begins. Why is this a feast of mystery? Because God never tells us why this feast was instituted. If you read about the other four feasts in Leviticus 23, you know what they are about. But, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the Feast of Trumpets or Tabernacles, God really doesn’t say.

Leviticus 23:23, God institutes a two-day feast at the first of the month called Rosh Hashanah, or “Head of the Year.” That is unusual in itself because the previous four feasts occur during the middle of the month at the full moon. However, this feast begins at the first day of the month at the “new moon,” or dark of the moon. It is not explained. So over the centuries, the Hebrew sages “created” tradition to explain what they felt the feast was about. These include:

1. Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year, Birthday of the World)
2. Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets, The Awakening Blast)
3. Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment)
4. HaMelech (Coronation Day of the Messiah)
5. Yom HaZikkaron (Day of Remembrance)
6. Chevlai shel Mashiach (Time of Jacob’s Trouble,   Birthpangs of the Messiah)
7. Kiddushin/Nesu’in (the Wedding Ceremony)
8. Natzal (the Resurrection)
9. Shofar HaGadol (the Last Trump)
10. Yom Hakeseh (the Hidden Day)
11. The opening of the Gates

What I want to discuss is Yom Hekeseh, the Hidden Day and what the has to do with Kiddushin the wedding ceremony. Stay with me for a couple of paragraphs of review.

Again, Rosh Hashanah has several implications as the fifth unfulfilled festival. It is yes, a time that marks the beginning of a new calendar year. And for most of us westerners, that is about all it means in addition to food and football games. For the Jew it has several other meanings and implications that we need to know about. If this is a marker for the rapture of the church, then we need to be aware of not only the meaning of the numbers that make up the new Jewish year of 5777, but also the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony at the time of our Lord, Jesus the Christ.

I said previously, that 7775 and 5777 were markers for types of judgments upon the earth. Lamech’s age when he died was 777 and 5 years later was the flood, the first judgment on the earth. Conversely, the new Jewish year, 5777 may begin another period of judgment upon the earth if the rapture of the church occurs. The judgment is of course the great tribulation period.

The me and the sages are correct, the church, who is referred to many times as the Bride of Christ, will not suffer the judgment meant for the rest of the world who are unbelievers, because we will be hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3) as a partaker in the rapture of the church.

rosh-hashana111Another name for Rosh Hashanah is the “Yom Hakeseh” or Day of Concealment. The term keseh or keceh is derived from the Hebrew root kacah, which means to “conceal, cover, or hide.” It is taken by the Hebrew primarily from Psalm 27🕔:5 “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.”

Why would there be trouble? The sages are not too, sure. However, trumpets are blown in the Old Testament for three main reasons: for salvation, for proclamation and for trouble.

Every day during the preceding month of Elul, a trumpet is blown to warn the people to turn back to God, except for the thirtieth day of Elul, which is the day preceding Rosh Hashanah. On that day the trumpet is not blown, and is therefore silent. This is because much about Rosh Hashanah is concealed and shrouded in mystery. The mystical aspect of Rosh Hashanah is indicated in Scripture: “Sound the shofar on the New Moon, in concealment of the day of our festival” (Psalm 81:3). Satan, the accuser, is not to be given notice about the arrival of Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment (See list above).

The sages wanted Rosh Hashanah hidden from satan, because he is the adversary. The Bible says that satan comes to rob and to steal (John 10:10, and to confuse (1 Corinthians 14:33). Because it is the Day of Judgment, it is symbolically hidden from satan (satan did not know and understand the plan of the Cross,  1 Corinthians 2:7-8). This was hidden from him as well. Believers never said when the day of Rosh Hashanah was; they simply said, “Of that day and hour no one knows, only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36).

Because Rosh Hashanah was understood to be the hidden day, this statement by the Lord Jesus the Christ is actually an idiom for Rosh Hashanah. Thus it should be given as proof that He was speaking of Rosh Hashanah because Rosh Hashanah is the only day in the whole year that was referred to as the hidden day or the day that no man knew.

The practical reason that no one knew the day or the hour was because know one knew when the moon was going to be judged as a “new moon.” Two witnesses had to establish that they saw the first sliver of the new moon, thus establishing the first day of the year, the month and the festival. That is why this was a two day festival: it gave them some wiggle room if the moon was obscured by clouds.

So, because Rosh HaShanah takes place on the new moon, Colossians 2:16-17 says that the new moon will teach about the Messiah. The Jewish (biblical) month is based upon a lunar cycle. The moon can barely be seen as the cycle begins. But then the moon turns toward the sun and begins to reflect the light of the sun. The sun in the sky is a picture of the Lord Jesus the Christ (Malachi 4:2), and the moon is a picture of the believers in the Messiah. The sun has its own light, but the moon’s light is a reflection of the sun. When we first become believers in the Lord Jesus the Christ, we can hardly be seen spiritually, and we know very little about God. But then our lives begin to revolve around the Messiah as the moon revolves around the sun. As we begin to turn more and more toward the center of creation, we begin to reflect that light (Jesus) more and more, just as the moon reflects the light from the center of the solar system.

What this has to do with the ancient Hebrew wedding ceremony is simply this: the bride is another example from the Hebrew sages of someone who is suddenly snatched away when no one know the day or the hour when her bridegroom comes. More about that in the next article.

Remember what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51,52, “Behold, I show you a mystery!”

Happy New Year Israel 5777!

Rosh Hashana / ראש השנה

or

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign! (Matthew 24:36)

..the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do….”1 Chronicles 12:32 (New American Standard)

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (New American Standard)

   36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  Matthew 24:36-37 (New American Standard)

As the old rock song said: “Signs, signs, everywhere a sign, do this don’t do that can’t you read the sign!” Christian, can you read the sign?

In my haste to begin the series of lessons on Spirit, Soul and Body, I forgot to publish first lessons on our new year starting sundown October 2, 2016. Yes, for those of us Christians, the fall feasts begin in about 10 days with Rosh Hashanah!

Happy New Year 5777!!!                                                                rosh22d

Rosh Hashanah is followed by Yom Kippur, October 12, 2016 and Feast of Trumpets, October 17, 2016. If you are not familiar with the final three feasts of the Jewish calendar, you should be. For I believe these times are right for the coming of our Lord Jesus the Christ, otherwise known as the Rapture of the Church. Signs, sign, everywhere a sign.

The men of Issachar, according to Hebrew Targum, “had understanding to know the times, and were skilled in fixing the beginnings of years, the commencement of months, and the inter-calculation of months and years; skillful in the changes of the moon, and in fixing the lunar solemnities to their proper times; skillful also in the doctrine of the solar periods; astrologers in signs and stars, that they might show Israel what to do; and their teachers were two hundred chiefs of the Sanhedrin: and all their brethren excelled in the words of the law, and were endued with wisdom, and were obedient to their command.”  Are you? I’m not, but there are a few signs we need to know: 5777 and the feasts.

Why are these signs and times important for you to know?

First, they are the remaining feasts not fulfilled yet in their entirety by the Lord Jesus the Christ.

The first four feasts have been fulfilled by our Lord.

  • Passover, as our Passover Lamb, Savior and Sacrifice.
  • Unleavened Bread, as there was no leaven or sin found in Him as our perfect sacrifice acceptable to God the Father.
  • First Fruits, as the last Adam and a type of our resurrection and hope of our salvation
  • Pentecost, the receiving of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Power on this earth

Second, you need to see how Jesus fulfills each one of these feasts so you know what to expect. Forewarned is forearmed.

Third, this is your Christian heritage. You need to appreciate what our Jewish friends are doing this time of year. For more information, read a great website called hebrew4christians.com.

Fourth, we must learn the lesson of the fig tree (Matthew 24:29-37). There are signs hung by God all over the place. Some Christians don’t have a clue about the signs or the seasons when the rapture will take place. The Kingdom of God is near. Help them to understand.

We are not supposed to know the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of Man (Acts 1:7), but we are to know generally the times and the seasons of His coming (Matthew 24:32). Unfortunately, the vast majority of Christians churches do no specific teaching on Jewish tradition nor the feasts of our Lord except for Passover. Even then, that is taught incorrectly through man’s tradition. But that is another series of articles.

So, what do we know about New Years and the significance of this coming new year 5777?

The numbers 5777 separately and together have historical and prophetic significance. As an example, 5 is the number of redemption and 7 is the number of perfection. Anytime you see three of any number, that has to do with the Trinity. But, 5777 and it’s reverse 7775 also have to do with God’s judgment. Yes, judgment! The rest of this article is trying to put these numbers into historical context. I think you will find that interesting.

The ancient rabbis believed that God did not just throw numbers around. Every number in scripture has a meaning. This is not numerology, it is called gematria. We get our English word geometry from it. The ancient peoples did not have separate numbers as we do today. So, letters in their alphabet stood for certain numbers. So as the rabbis studied the words and numbers in their Torah, they were astonished as to the regularity and the meaning of those discoveries. So let me get 5777 in some Biblical context using its reverse number 7775.


30. Then Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years after he became the father of Noah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died. Genesis 5:30, 31 (New American Standard Bible)


6. Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth…. 10. It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. Genesis 7:6-11 (New American Standard)

So Lamech, the father of Noah, lives 777 years. And 5 years later, the flood happens. “7775.”

Now add this what is going on with Enoch and Methuselah just before this.

 23 Enoch lived 365 years, 24 walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him. Genesis 5:23,24 (New Living Translation).

Then you have the next verse about Methuselah:

25 When Methuselah was 187 years old, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After the birth of Lamech, Methuselah lived another 782 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 27 Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died. Genesis 5:25-27 (New Living Translation).

Enoch walking close to God and then disappearing is a type of the rapture of the church. The first of four generations of preachers, and the seventh from Adam, Enoch had a prophecy about the second coming of our Lord:

 14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 14 &15. (New American Standard)

Then add to that Methuselah’s name. Enoch means “teaching or commencement.” But following this, Methuselah’s name means “his death shall bring” or “When he is dead, it shall come or be sent.” What then came after 969 years of his life: the flood. Get it? The seventh man (there’s that number again), rapture, then judgment.

rosh-hashanatrumpetWhy is going back to Genesis important? Jesus the Christ said that “just like in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37). Jesus talks here of end time events, but He specifically cites the flood because it was the first judgment against man and the second coming of Christ will mark the last judgment of man. Like bookends, 7775 (Lamech’s age 777 and the 5 years to the flood) and the new Jewish year 5777 are significant.

What else is significant about 5777? I believe in God’s own timing, the rapture of the church will occur prior to the Great Tribulation. Jesus will literally fulfill the last three feasts and the tribulation will begin. And there is no better time than this feast season. The number 5 represents redemption and the three 777 represents perfection and the Trinity, plus we are ending a jubilee year when all captives are set free and the land reverts to its original owner. Sounds good to me! Good for we Christians, but bad for the unbeliever as it starts the Great Tribulation. But what about the tribulation period and 5777?

Rosh Hashanah is the fifth feast. (Remember Jesus has fulfilled the other four.) We know from scripture that the tribulation period of seven years contains 7 seals, 7 trumpets and 7 vials. (Revelation chapters 6, 7 & 8) So the tribulation, leading up to final judgment starts with a 5 (the 5th feast) followed by three 7’s (seals, trumpets, and vials) giving us the number 5777. So the Bible starts with a 7775 and ends with a 5777. First worldwide judgment the flood, last worldwide judgment, fire. God just doesn’t throw numbers around.

Other significant 7775 and 5777 happenings have occurred. On September 29, 2008 the US stock market dropped 777 points. While this was on the 29th in the United States, it was already about 12:30 a.m. in Israel on the 30th, which was Rosh Hashanah, the 5th feast. So again, we have the number 777 appearing on the 5th feast (Israel time) combining again for the number 7775. Or, if you will, 5777. Either way, it is interesting.

In the next few articles, I will talk about the numbers 5777 themselves, and how our Lord, Jesus the Christ fulfills each of the fall feasts. He is coming. Be ready!

Spirit, Soul and Body

God’s Hat Trick (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

or

The Trinity, Within a Trinity, Within a Trinity

 

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 New American Standard)

In sports, three successive goals by one player is called a hat trick. God scored a hat trick in you, did you know that?

Let’s review: I am a new creation whose spirit has been made righteous by the Holy Spirit and I have been adopted into the family of God. Since I started this blog, this is my working definition of who I am as a Christian.

Now, I want to teach on how all this works together. If you grasp Spirit, Soul and Body, you will understand a little more about how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit interacts with you and how the devil messes with you in spite of being saved.

Did you catch that? God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. God is a Trinity. Spirit, Soul and Body. You are a trinity. And within your soul, you are again, a trinity. Pretty neat, huh? That’s God’s hat trick.
I taught Spirit, Soul and Body to many soldiers and their families about 25 years ago in starting in Korea, then at Fort Hood, Texas and finally in Germany. This is one of the most important teachings a Christian could possibly learn, especially a new Christian. Understanding the inter-relationship between your spirit, soul and body will help you understand your relationship with the Godhead, especially for prayer, and for sickness in your body and the body of Christ. Take time to read this blog carefully, print it out and read it at your convenience. You will see how this applies to so many aspects of your everyday life and reinforce to you how your salvation works.

I have defined who you are to heaven. Now let me define who you are on earth: you are a spirit, who lives in a body, who possesses a soul. Moses wrote in Genesis that God formed man from the dust of the earth, and breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). In the new testament, God wants us sanctified spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23, John 4:24).

Some Christians have never heard of spirit, soul and body. I never did for many years until I stumbled upon some information from a guy I knew in Oklahoma. The only thing I understood growing up in Christ was that I had a spirit or soul (interchangeable depending on who I talked to), and a body. Somehow, when I died, the soul goes to heaven and the body decays. Beyond that, all I knew was that God influenced the spirit part of me which was a mystery.

So, let me illustrate the way I think of spirit, soul and body. Look at the chart below.

basic-spirit-soul-bodygraph
Your Spirit is represented by the explosion symbol. That is the God-consciousness part of you that is connected to the Soul that is represented by the triangle. The Soul is the Self-consciousness part of you. It is made up by another trinity of parts of your Will, your Mind and your Emotions. Those three parts help you interpret the spirit world and the natural world. The Soul connects you to your body which is the World-consciousness of you. Your body is the earth-suit we travel around with until we get a new one in heaven.

As we talk about this in the coming weeks, I will add to this chart. The important idea is that you must understand that you are a trinity as God is a Trinity. The individual parts of you play an important role in your Christian life. For an example: there is a baptism for each part of you; and there is a communion for each part of you. The temple of Moses is a type and shadow of you. There is a healing for each part of you. There are many other aspects of you that is right there in scripture if I get to write about it.

Treating your Spirit, Soul and Body with respect is critical to your relationship with God. Paul warns that our Body is a temple of God. He warns not to misuse it because it is supposed to be God’s. He uses the illustrations of marriage and prostitution. In each case, the person is joined to that partner in body, but also we know there is a spiritual and soulish bonding. Paul continues to make this corollary: when we are joined to the Lord (salvation) we are one in Spirit with Him. So Paul describes all three parts of us in the passage. He speaks of the physical body, he speaks of the Soul (how else are you going to generate the lust for a prostitute or the love for your wife?) and the Spirit.
Interesting that Paul uses the word “Kallao” for joining to a prostitute, a spouse and God. And he said that we are one in Spirit with God. “Kallao” means to join with or cleave to, we adhere to (like glue) we keep company with. One “heis” in Spirit means you and God are one person. Same sense of the word in Gal 3:28 and Ephesians 2:14. There is no Jew nor Greek, Male nor Female and the Jews and Gentiles and Christ are united into one Body of Christ in the Spirit. See how important that one part of you is?

23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. (I Thessalonians 5:23,24 New Living Translation)

Catch the rest of the verse and check out verse 24. God will make us holy in every way, keep us blameless and God will make it happen!

I have kept this blog entry very basic so that if you are not familiar with Spirit, Soul and Body, you won’t be overwhelmed with tech talk. The specifics about your Spirit, your Soul and your Body I will get into some specifics. The Greek and Hebrew will come, so don’t just take my word for something, look it up and decide for yourself. That’s what the Bereans did!

Next lesson, I will talk specifically about your Spirit.

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled: From Christian to Disciple (1 Corinthians 2:15)

or Why People Don’t Want to Mature in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

 

“Life is hard,” are the first words in a book that everyone needs to read. The Road Less Traveled by Dr. Scott Peck has been out for many years, but the truths are enduring. If you haven’t read it, you need to. I know life is hard. I travel a road in my head with few passersby. I contemplate many thoughts, both theological and secular, trivial and spectacular. Many times I know what needs to happen, but don’t have a clue about why it doesn’t.

Church participation is one of them. Why people don’t grow in Christ is a mystery to me. I know people are busier than they have ever been. For younger people, building a business and growing a family, are first priority in their lives and it should be. They know that church is a key piece of that puzzle, but where does it fit in with an already busy life? The Christian life isn’t for the fainthearted.

The major problem is that life is so crazy that church is seen as a safe place to kick back and enjoy a few minutes of solitude and encouragement. Then a pastor double-crosses them by asking them to participate in ministry that adds more stress to their world. Ministry asks them to travel a road where they have never gone before.

What is a busy family to do? The hard truth of the matter is that a well organized church and the christian life are the answers to the chaos and challenges facing families. But how do you plug into church and how do you balance what’s going on at home. Many times talented people feel guilty because they have been touched by God’s encouraging grace, but have enough on their plate already.

I didn’t know that I was heading down that road less traveled at first. I began a deeper walk with God almost out of desperation. I just began to do one simple thing: I began to take Biblical authority over the chaos in my life. It didn’t take but a minute to utter words of faith over the issues of my life, but when I did, I began to move from just being a Christian, to being in training for a Disciple.

The first step in that journey was the unconscious move from just making Jesus my Saviour, to making Jesus Lord of my life. And that made all the difference starting me on my road less traveled.

Consider the chart below.

 

phases of faithportraits11111

 
The goal of the church is to make all persons Disciples of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20 No, not the denomination). But how do we get there? It’s a journey. Paul describes three types of people in his letters to the Corinthians. He first talks about the Natural Man who is the unsaved person. He then talks about the Carnal Christian and lastly, the Spiritual Christian. My personal goal as a Christian is that of Disciple.

First, we all start off as the Natural Man (1 Corinthians 2:14), that’s the unsaved person. But, somehow through prayers of others and the beneficent will of God, we get saved. Now there are plenty of Natural (unsaved) people who attend church. Don’t be fooled. I attended church for many years before I got saved. My parents (God bless them!) made to come to church as a kid until God’s grace broke through my heart and I walked the aisle at age twelve. Then when I was in the Army, I saw Natural (unsaved) people come to chapel because that was the thing to do, plus attendance at funerals and weddings. Natural people have no clue of whats really going on; sermons and the Bible makes no sense to them.

I didn’t know this as a new Christian, but my goal is ultimately to be a disciple of God. But unfortunately, the vast majority of Christians stay in the entry phase that being a Carnal Man (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Carnal Christians have a pragmatic view of the scriptures because they are judging everything through their worldly senses. They cannot develop sufficiently their spiritual side. When I used to be in this phase, my thought was show me the money! In other words, if people went to the altar for healing, then show me healing, if giving was going to return some thirty, some sixty and some hundredfold, then multiply. I still had much sin failure and never understood why God didn’t swoop down and do a work in me immediately upon asking. I had enough conman sense to know I needed salvation, but not enough spiritual sense to know that I entered an entirely new realm of existence that needed to be understood in a different way. I crossed into a new phase of my Christian life when I realized I needed more. I had to let Jesus be Lord of my Life and not just my Saviour.

“Lord” means a person who has authority over others or ruler. (Matthew. 28:18- 20; Ephesians. 1:19-23; Luke 6:46) I had strongholds in my life that needed a ruler, and I wasn’t it.

One day, I decided that if I was going to have victory over areas of my life – you know that stuff the preacher was talking about – I guess I was going to have to take authority in Jesus’ name. When certain tempting unclean thoughts came into my head that I knew was wrong, I had to tell them to leave in the name of Jesus. When bills came, and I had no money, I had to take authority in Jesus’ name. I started tithing. Still in my worldly thoughts, “Jesus I’ll trust you if you really come through.” Slowly, I was crossing over into the area of spiritual man (1 Corinthians 2:15). Jesus was the Lord of my Life and not just Savior.

As a Spiritual Man, my view of the Word was more practical than pragmatic and I wanted to know the Word’s view of my life and not just the World’s view of my life. I started to overcome sin and receive a deeper revelation of God’s Word. I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. Slowly, over a period of years, I began to want to know Jesus more intimately. I wanted to know the Person who wrote such a wonderful Bible and loved me so much as to work in my life for my good. Suddenly, I wanted to know the Master Himself. I was moving on to being a Disciple.

 
“Disciple” means a follower, pupil, student, learner – one who adheres to the teachings of the master. (Matthew 10:24,25; 16:24) The Greek term for “disciple” in the New Testament is mathetes, which means more than just “student” or “learner.” A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses (John 9:28). Jesus’ followers were called “disciples” long before they were ever called “Christians.” Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to exercise their will to follow Him (Matthew 9:9).

On my way to Disciple, my view now has gone from pragmatic to practical to personal. I want to know what the Master thinks about me and other issues in His world, not mine. I want to be guided not just by the Bible, but by the Holy Spirit in my daily life. I just don’t want to have authority over problems in my life, I want to reign with Him in my daily life. I don’t want to just understand His Word to us, but I want to understand the Logos Word, Jesus. And after being saved some fifty years, baptized in the Holy Ghost some forty years ago, and being ordained some thirty five years ago, I have faltered on the way. I have much, much more to go. Please don’t misunderstand: I haven’t attained anything (Philippians 3:14).   But I want to go on with God.

Why some don’t go on with God even at a basic level is a mystery to me. There are those who sit on the sidelines in church because I guess that’s just what they do. They have done it for years. They have stayed the same for their entire Christian life. Yet, there are others who want to move on. If you compare it to education, there are people who have attended church 40 years and still are in the first grade. Why, because they are either unsaved or just content to be on the sidelines of Christian life. Some people won’t like reading this, but it is true. As Paul wrote, you still need milk instead of meat.

I know that it is difficult and a struggle for busy young families to grow in Christ. But started out almost unconsciously out of desperation because I knew that something had to change. It’s not too late to start down that road less traveled.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Robert Frost

Marked by God

God is in the protection racket!

or

Sign, sealed, delivered, I’m yours! (Ephesians 2:12-14)

 

I said earlier that my God the Father made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I was offered salvation through the blood of Jesus and a joint heir as a son of the most high God. When I did many things happened to me. Among which was identification, ownership and above all, protection as part of the family of God. I didn’t know until later on into my Christian life, but God is in the protection racket.

 

With apologies to God the Father and the Mario Puzo, Jesus the Christ made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I mean how can one turn down an offer to get out of the squalid mess I was in as a human being, with nothing to offer God in exchange for my life. Then God sets me in alongside Him heavenly places (Eph 1:20; 2:6) , and gives me all of Christ’s riches. I didn’t know this growing up but, one of the most important benefits of being a righteous new creation, is that God identifies and protects what is His.( Eph 1:12-14) And, it’s been going on for centuries.

 

Identifying and protecting what is His started in the Garden of Eden and it is still going on today when a person gets saved. God does this through signs and sealings.

 

Most people do not understand that at salvation, you crossed into the dimension of the spirit world. Because we physically reside in the natural world, we can’t physically see the spiritual activity of angels or satan. We can see the results of that activity, but we really can’t physically see what takes place. Only through our saved spirit with the interaction of the Holy Spirit, our Helper, can we by faith see into that in the spirit world.

 

In that spirit world, we are marked and protected by a seal that comes from God the Father. Satan has to watch out! Ephesians 2:14

 
12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 2:12-14 New American Standard)

 
12God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.13And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. (Ephesians 2:12-14 New Living Translation)

 

 

12That we may be unto the praise of his glory, we who before hoped Christ:13In whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth, (the gospel of your salvation;) in whom also believing, you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise,14Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of acquisition, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 12-14 Douay-Rheims Bible)

 

The word sealed in the NAS and identified in the NLT, the Douay Rheims calls it signed. All these describe your new life in Christ as part of His divine family.

 

The English word sealed is the Greek word “sphragizo” which has a root meaning of “to etch.” It is similar in character of meaning to a different word in Greek used to describe the mark of the beast in Revelation (chargma). Used here it has important several meanings to the Christian. It means to set a seal upon something, it means to attest to ownership, it means to authorize something and means to validate something. The common use is to place or afix a seal with a signet ring . Sealing in the ancient world served as a legal signature of guaranteeing the contents of what was sealed (Remember, the tomb of Christ was sealed). That’s straight out of Strong’s Concordance. For those who care about the sentence structure and syntax, it is a verb that is aorist, indicative passive. When something is passive, it plays no active role. It receives the action. That which is sealed has no active role in receiving or rejecting that action. Aorist tense means that it is a completed action with future results.

 
How long are these past completed action with future results good for? Ephesians 4:30 tells us that a Christian is sealed until the day of redemption by Jesus Christ.
Is this a shock to you? It shouldn’t be. Persons and property are identified and protected everyday. We have wedding rings, stickers, bar codes, laws and yes, even animals mark and protect what is theirs’. So why are you surprised to think that God wouldn’t take care of what is His?

 
If you remember in the blog about God’s Pecking order, I said that God The Father Provides, God The Son Procures it for us, and God the Holy Spirit applies it to our life. The Holy Spirit applies the covenant protection, ownership to us in the form of earnest money. (See also 2 Corinthians 5:5) Remember, the Doay-Rhiems Bible translates that the Holy Spirit is a signature. If you have ever bought a house, often times the buyer advances let’s say $1000.00 earnest money? That is a contractual agreement saying that the buyer is genuine about his desire to purchase this property and has the means to pass all the contractual escrow hoops and can afford the monthly payments. If they cannot, if they default or change their minds they loose their money. Black’s Law Dictionary (sixth ed.),has some interesting comments on earnest money. There is a Latin phrase about earnest money: Et cepit de praedicto Henrico tres denarios de Argento Dei prae manibus (“And he took it from the aforesaid Henry [sealed by a] silver three pence [piece] handed over [in the sight of] God”). Remember, too, silver is a sign of redemption under the Old Covenant. If God doesn’t redeem me, He forfeits the Holy Spirit. I have had preachers tell me that all that means is that the Holy Spirit is removed from me, but that doesn’t fit the circumstances. I am an inanimate object here according to the Greek text. I receive the seal and the Holy Spirit. Just as a house which is being bought can’t rescind the deal, I cannot. I’m just trying to keep it all in context here.

 

One of the major benefits of our sealing means protection. Satan cannot cross the blood line of Christ. God protects what is His, being the Good Shepherd He is. Let me give you an example.

 
One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”     (Acts 19:15 NIV)

 

Now here were Jews using the name of Jesus. They were trying to peddle the gospel for profit. They were casting out devils in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches. But here, these devils did not obey. And they commented they were well acquainted with Jesus and Paul, but not these people. Why, they were using the name of Jesus? They were probably legitimate Jews after the flesh. But the demons recognized nothing different about these men. These men were obviously not saved Christians using the name of Jesus. How did the evil spirits know? What would make these men stand apart like Paul and Jesus? I would be willing to bet that these men were not Christians.  If they were, the demons would have seen the seal (marked and signed) by the Holy Spirit of promise. The mark or seal would not visible in the natural world, but would be visible in the spirit world these demons reside in. The power and authority of Jesus was not recognized because these men were not marked by the Holy Spirit and because of that they authenticity as believers, power of the covenant and ownership of the what they were saying was in question.

Godatworkinyoubig
Let me give you two more examples of God’s protection and your identification from the Old Covenant. Genesis 4:15 tells us that God put a mark on Cain so that vengeful people would know not kill him. Now this is the guy who committed the first murder in the Bible. How much more is God going to protect you, the righteous child of God? This word for mark is transliterated “oth.” This is the same word that God uses for us for other “signs,” or marks in the heavens such as in the creation process the lights in the heavens to be for signs (Genesis 1:14), or with the rainbow (Genesis 9:12) and circumcision (Genesis 17:11). We get our word “oath” from it.

 

Also, prior to the Babylonian captivity, there were sign placed on the children of Israel as a group (Ezekiel 9:4). This is another interesting word for mark which is also used in Job 21:35. This is one of those Hebrew words that is hard to transliterate and will be the subject of another blog entry one of these days. The word in Hebrew is TAV, TAW or TAVAH, but for our purposes the short definition is frowardness, or perverse thing. In other words, God’s people in sin is a blemish on God and themselves, but they themselves and their property not to be touched. Those who cried out to God were saved. TAW is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and in ancient form was that of a cross or an “X”. Yes, a cross! This was known in the early church fathers as the mark of the TAV. It is from this that the idea developed of using the as a man’s signature. It meant “mark” and was easy for the unlearned to use. When I was a kid and played hide and seek, I used to hide and crossed my fingers so I would not be found. King’s “X!”

 

Jesus was marked and protected by God on a cross. The very last testament on this earth for the entire world to see was nailed on the cross along with my certificate of debt. He was marked as King of the Jews in three languages.

 

What does this mean for me today? I keep thinking of what Ephesians 1:5&6 in the KJV tells us about what God thinks of His people. He said that I, a sinner, at the moment of salvation was accepted in the Beloved to the praise of His glory! There so many people who hate themselves, have such low self-esteem, have no family or friends, who are very much insecure in this world especially if they are alone; that God has such good news for them that they are accepted unconditionally by Him in Christ. And then, He takes it a step further: He places His seal of protection and identification on those whom He loves and has accepted.

 

Have you accepted Him today the same way He has accepted you?