Category Archives: Names of God Series

Names of God: Petra

 

Today we continue our study in our Names of God series. Last week we looked into the title of our Christ that illustrates to us that He is our Friend. The name we will be studying today relates to this title as well. I say this because a true friend is also a petra in our lives. Petra is the Greek word for Rock.

We are told that Christ is our Petra, our Rock.

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren,

that our fathers were all under the cloud

and all passed through the sea;

and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

and all ate the same spiritual food;

and all drank the same spiritual drink, 

for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them;

and the rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4

As Paul shares these words to the church at Corinth he is reminding them of the words in Exodus…

Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.  Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do to this people? Alittle more and they will stone me.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Exodus 17:1-6

Notice that the children of Israel were in this waterless place according to the command of the Lord. It was God that led them to place with no water. However it is not God they cry out to for water. They instead complain and grumble to Moses. So God has brought them to this place. They are here at His command. He purposely has brought them to this place where they were completely and utterly unable to sustain their own life. They were thirsty and they had no water and so they blamed Moses.

Then Moses turns to God and seeks help from the Lord. This is where the Lord has Moses strike the rock and when the rock is struck out flows water. Life is supplied to all those who came to the rock. Their thirst is quenched…

We know that Christ is the rock…

We also know that Moses represents the Law of God.

It was the Law that struck the rock… but when the rock was struck out flowed living water!

 

Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

Matthew 27:1-2

Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted. At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over. While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify Him!” And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”

Matthew 27:15-23

It was at the command of the Lord that the children of Israel where brought to this point of great thirst.

It was at the command of the Lord that the Law struck the Rock.

It was at the command of the Lord that life flowed out from this Rock.

Why?

Why did it need to be the Jews, the carriers and teachers of the Law of God, who cried “Crucify!”

Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith inChrist Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Galatians 3:19-27

I see it like this…

In 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 Paul tells us that our fathers were all under the cloud. Have you every been in a fog? Have you ever driven in a fog? The only thing you can see is what is right in front of you. You can’t tell what is up ahead. You can’t see what is to the left or to the right. You can’t see the dangers ahead or around you or coming up behind you. You are only concerned about where you are at that very moment.

We all begin life in this cloud. We also, like the Israelites, find ourselves doing a lot of complaining and grumbling while in this cloud.

So God brought the children of Israel under the cloud and He brought them to the Law.

SLAM!

Now they could see. When we come to the Law we begin to see the consequences of our choices and actions. We begin to see ourselves through the eyes of God, the fog is lifted from our eyes. We start to see past ourselves and then we realize we don’t like what we see. We see our sin. We then see we can’t stop our sin. We see ourselves coming out of the cloud and about to plunge to our death because we now see that the road we are traveling ends at a cliff that we are about to go off.

So we cry out…

Wretched man that I am!

Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Romans 7:24

and our God says…

“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”

Numbers 20:8

Oh precious one, the Rock has already been struck… He doesn’t need to be struck again or over and over. Once was sufficient. Have you come to the Rock? Have you spoke to the Rock that you might have the Living Water?

And if you say yes… yes you have… do you understand what all this Rock provides?

The definition of rock, petra, in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 is: a rock, cliff or ledge, a projecting rock, crag, rocky ground, a rock, a large stone, metaphorically: a man like a rock, by reason of his firmness and strength of soul

A rock is something solid, firm, and lasting. I struggle with keeping plants alive in my flowerbeds. However if I put a beautiful decorative rock in that flowerbed I can count on it to look beautiful and not die on me. This rock will weather the storms. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees out outside or 10 degrees. The rock doesn’t change. Rain, sleet, or snow the rock remains the same. We call a true friend a “rock”. My husband is my “rock”. I can count on him. I can trust him to hold me up. When we look around the world we can see the reality of the firmness of things that are made from rock.

 

 

These buildings have been around for thousands of years and we marvel at them. We marvel at them because when so many things around our world have changed… these building of rock remain.

So a rock is solid, firm, unchanging, lasting… a rock is also a place of protection.

The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

Exodus 33:17-23

God put Moses in the cleft of the rock… and from the safety of the rock he could see the glory of God. How beautiful it is that just as Moses was hidden in the cleft of this rock… we are hidden in the cleft of THE ROCK.

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed,

then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:2-4

And in Christ, in the cleft of our Petra, we too can say, “Oh God show me your glory!

even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:5-7

When in Christ we are in the cleft of the Rock. We are in a place of protection. We are safe. We have a solid foundation. He is firm and their is strength in His soul. And just like the story of the Three Little Pigs if we will build our house out and from the rock and live in the safety of our rock… we will have confidence and boldness to stand against any storm. No matter how many times that big bad wolf comes after us, we will recognize his deception, and no matter how hard he blows… he will never be able to get to us. We are safe in the Rock.

Names of God: Philos

It’s time for another post in our Names of God series. Last week we learned about our Savior through His name Thura. We learned that He is the door to the Father’s house. We learned that He is the door of and for the sheep. We also learned about some of what is ours once we have walked through the Door… and what we learned was just in the foyer entrance… there is a whole house awaiting our discovery!

The name (or title) we are going to learn about today ties right into our name from last week. Remember how I shared how only strangers knock on the door… well if it’s strangers that knock… it’s our Philos that has open access. Philos is the Greek word for Friend. In todays study we learn a little about what it means to know Jesus as Philos, or Friend

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. 

John 15:12-17

What we see in this passage is that Jesus calls us friend… if He calls us friend, then we can call Him, Friend. However, He only calls us friend if we do what He commands us… and what He commands us is to love one another.

Before we look deeper at the Greek definition of “friend” in this passage let’s take a trip to the OT to see who else has been called a friend of God and learn a little about some Hebrew definitions of friend.

We know from the Old Testament that Abraham was called a friend of God…

Did You not, O our God,

drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel

and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?

2 Chronicles 20:7

and also we see this reminder of Abraham as God’s friend in the New Testament…

and the Scripture was fulfilled which says,

“And Abraham believed God,

and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,”

and he was called the friend of God.

James 2:23

Then we also see in the Old Testament that God spoke to Moses as a friend…

Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face,

just as a man speaks to his friend.

Exodus 33:11

Becoming a friend of God is not much different than how we become friends with one another. True friends that is… not just “FB friends”. We learn a lot about friendship in John 15:12-17, 2 Chronicles 20:7, James 2:23, and Exodus 33:11.

In John 15:12-17 we learn that true friends share secrets, they share intimate details with one another. We see that they consider their friend as more important than themselves, willing to lay down their own life to help them. We see that friends are to love one another.

In 2 Chronicles 20:7 and James 2:23 we learn that true friends are friends forever. It is a covenant relationship that cannot be broken. We learn that true friends believe in one another. True friends are able to pass what I like to call “the trust test“. The trust test is not a planned out test, it just shows up, but you know when a person has passed it. Abraham passed the trust test with God when he took his son Isaac up the mountain to be sacrificed. He didn’t understand exactly what God was up to, but he knew God could be trusted, and Abraham showed God that he could be trusted as well.

I don’t make friends easy, I struggle with trust. When I was high school I had my best friend, but my best friend moved to California, so I was friendless… There was a young woman in my church that during my prayer time one day, God told me I could trust her… well I argued with God and told him no I couldn’t. At this point I didn’t even really know her. We had only spoken casually at church. However, God was right (shocking, I know!). Somehow along the way this woman passed my trust test and today she is still my friend.

In Exodus 33:11 we learn that a true friend is someone we spend face to face time with. In this day and age of online relationships… that can be rare. I understand online friends are good, but online friends can never be true friends. True friends are invested in your life. True friends know you through and through. They are invested in you and you are invested in them.

“If your brother, your mother’s son,

or your son or daughter,

or the wife you cherish,

or your friend who is as your own soul, …

Deuteronomy 13:6

This verse in its context is discussing how our obedience and allegiance to God supersedes all other relationships, but I pulled it out to show you what it says concerning a friend… a true friend is someone who is as your own soul. A true friend is someone who connects with you in your soul. You know what the other is saying or feeling or needing without having to say a word… and when that friend needs a word you are free to give it. My friend that I shared about before… I don’t have to ask her to pray for me… she just does. When I do ask her to pray, I never worry that she won’t. God has blessed me with several friends like her in the past ten years. There are several women in my life that are my friends and sisters in Christ. They know me. They are as my own soul. If God needs to tell me something and I have not been paying to good attention to Him, He will tell one of these friends, and they will let me know… They are free to check me and speak the truth to me and know that nothing they say in obedience to God will change our friendship.

A true friend is not a friend because you agree with each other on all things, or because you dress alike, act alike, look alike, think alike… a true friend is someone who is your friend in spite of, regardless of, because of all the things that make you different… because what makes you friends is who you are on the deeper level of personhood. It’s a soul to soul thing.

These two were pretty different, but they were friends. They loved. They trusted. They had a connection deeper than outward similarities. You see we may hang around in a group of people because they are just like us… but that doesn’t really make us friends. A true friend is much, much,  more.

A man of too many friends comes to ruin,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

When we look at the Hebrew translation of the word friend in this verse we see that this is actually two completely words…

The first friend, friends, is rea and it means, friend, companion, fellow, another person, intimate, fellow, fellow-citizen, another person (weaker sense), other, another (reciprocal phrase).

The second friend, friend, is ahab and it means, to love, human love for another, human appetite for objects such as food, drink, sleep, wisdom, human love for or to God, act of being a friend 

You see we may have lots of companions, we may have a big group around us, and we may think all those fellows around us are with us and there for us… but the truth is they are not. The truth is they could be the very death of us. A true friend , is an ahab. 

If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend

or buy from your friend’s hand,

you shall not wrong one another. 

Leviticus 25:14

Friends are not to wrong one another…

O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?

Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,

And speaks truth in his heart.

He does not slander with his tongue,

Nor does evil to his neighbor,

Nor takes up a reproach against his friend

Psalm 15:1-3

…but even if it happens, if you are a true friend then you walk in forgiveness. We see a couple of beautiful pictures of this in Scripture. Let’s jump for a moment into the book of Job.

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him.

Job 2:11

If you have ever read the book of Job you know that Job’s friend showed up with full intention to be there for Job… but along the way the visit turned a little sour. Even downright nasty. Job’s friends said some pretty harsh things to him… and ended up hurting him a lot. You would think that God would have given Job the okay to tell all three of them to, hit the road Jack and don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, but that was not God’s response to the hurt that Job’s friends caused.

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job

when he prayed for his friends,

and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

Job 42:10

Yep, that’s right. The Lord did not restore Job’s fortune until he had prayed for his friends. You see Job was to be a friend. He was to act like a friend whether his friends did or not… because that’s the way our Philos, our Friend treats us and all others, even when we betray Him.

While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend,do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.

Matthew 26:47-50

Even though Judas came to betray Jesus… Jesus still treated him kindly, He still called him “friend“. He acted like a friend to Judas regardless of the actions of Judas. Judas did not determine the character and actions of Christ. However you must also know that this word friend, spoken to Judas in Matthew 26 is not the same word for friend spoken to the other disciples in John 15:12-17. Judas had already left the gathering when Jesus spoke the words in John 15.

This word for friend is hetairos and it means, a comrade, mate, partner, in kindly address, a clansman.

So what’s the definition of the word for friend in John 15?

This word is philos and it means, friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well, a friend, an associate, he who associates familiarly with one, a companion, one of the bridegroom’s friends who on his behalf asked the hand of the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials.

I love this! When Jesus told the disciples that they were His friends, He was also giving them a mission… He was saying you are the Bridegroom’s  friends, you are the friends who on My behalf are to ask the hand of the bride and you are to render Me various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials. Being a friend of Jesus is about being the one who goes out on His behalf and asks the hand of His bride and you know that we become His bride when we become part of His church, and His church is His body, we are of His very own soul and He as ours. When we know Him as Friend we know that He is always our Friend… even if we mess up. However He also acts like a friend, which means He is going to check us up when we need it… but He is never going to wrong us. He is going to be there with us and for us forever, because true friends are friends forever.

Oh precious one do you know Him as Friend?

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You might also enjoy  these posts:

AccountabilityWoman to WomanLove Them To HellHurt By The ChurchMore On FriendshipThe Art of Friendship

Names of God: Thura

It’s Homeschool Co-op time again and with it Chapel! We picked up our Names of God study today. The last name we studied was Iesous, the Greek word for the given name of our Savior, Jesus. As I shared with our last lesson, Jesus, is our Savior’s name, all the other names we have been studying are really titles. These titles are given to us by our God so that we might get to know Him and all His glory. We continue today learning a new name, a new title, of our Lord. Today we are introduced to our Christ with Thura. 

 

The title thura (thoo-rah) in the greek means a DOOR,  the vestibule, it’s used of any opening like a door, an entrance, way or passage into

In the little movie clip above these “monsters” had their access into the lives of these children through a door. If you enter your own home you enter through a door. The only reason you would enter any other way is if you are locked out…

If you notice in this clip, these monsters entered through the closet door. They did not come in through the front door. They were not welcome guests. They were invaders. They were in fact already in the house and they were their to scare, to torment, to frighten… I could so take this even further relating these monsters to the already present sin in our house and why we need to leave our old house behind and move into our Father’s house… but I am sure my word count will have already exceeded most blog readers attention spans 😉 So we will move along and keep our focus on Thura.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

John 10:1-10

Jesus is the door. He is the door of the sheep. Here is the thing about a door… a door has two sides. You are either inside the door or you are outside the door.

We see one of our first pictures of the importance of a door in Genesis.

When God created Adam and Eve, He created them inside the garden. When Adam and Eve sinned they were put outside (Genesis 3:22-24). While outside sin continued to grow and develop and the iniquity of man became so great that God had to deal with sin.

However, our God left open a door…

 

Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it…

Genesis 6:11-16

God left open a door for the years that Noah built this ark and in truth we know from the book of Jude that Noah’s great grandfather, Enoch, preached of the coming judgment of God upon the earth. God used Enoch to sound the warning, and used Noah to provide the door to salvation from the coming judgment… the door was wide open for anyone who would believe to enter.

 

On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him.

Genesis 7:13-16

 

We know that those inside the door survived the judgment. There was life for those who walked through the door. Those that chose not to walk through the door, when the door closed, they were now on the outside of the door. If you notice in the Scripture reference above, it was God that closed the door.

Yes, the thing about doors… there are two sides… you are either inside or you are outside. If you try and stand in the doorway you will get hurt because eventually the door that is opened will indeed be closed.

How many times growing up did you hear your parents say, “Inside or outside!

You just can’t hang out in the doorway and you just can’t leave the door wide open forever running in and out… if you do all kinds of bugs and critters will get in the house. I can recall even getting disciplined for not picking a side of the door. As a mother now myself, I have uttered these words to my own children. As a matter of fact in my children’s church time, all my kids know that once I close the door the bathroom breaks and the “oh I forgot’s” are done. They now are mine and class begins. The door can stay open for a while… but eventually it must be closed.

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Revelation 3:19-22

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Revelation 22:14-15

Jesus is the door and He stands at the door knocking… right now the door is open and you can come in, but eventually the door will close. Inside the door are those who walked through the door and were washed and ready to dine with the One who was knocking. While its day outside we run in and out, but when night falls and it comes time for the dinner meal, those who belong in the house come home and are washed up and the door is shut and we sit down to dine as a family.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way,

and the truth, and the life;

no one comes to the Father but through Me. 

John 14:6

Those who walk through the door of Christ will get to meet the Father… because He is the door, the way, the passage into, He is the vestibule to the Father’s house. We become part of the family of God and receive access to His house only through Christ (Romans 8:14-16). He is the only door. There is no other.

Now for those who walk through the Thura… what does that mean? Once you have responded to the knock and opened the door, what exactly does that mean? We must remember that Thura is a door, but it is also a way, an entrance, a passage into something or someone.

This is where it gets really good!

So pay attention 🙂

Therefore, having been justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom also we have obtained our introduction

by faith into this grace in which we stand;

and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2

 

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remember that you were at that time separate from Christ,

excluded from the commonwealth of Israel,

and strangers to the covenants of promise,

having no hope and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off

have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 

And He came and preached peace to you who were far away,

and peace to those who were near;

for through Him we both have our access

in one Spirit to the Father.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,

but you are fellow citizens with the saints,

and are of God’s household, 

Ephesians 2:12-13, 17-19

Oh precious one, did you catch it?

We once were separate, excluded, strangers,  far away, but in Christ, in the Thura, we are brought near, no longer strangers, fellow citizens, in one Spirit.  Once you walk through the Thura, you are of God’s household.

In my parents house growing up… and even today… once you had entered the home and had your introduction to the house from then on when you came to visit you did not knock, especially if you were family. You just walked in. As a matter of fact it is that way at my aunt and uncles and my grandparents. I can’t tell you the times that we have had a knock at the door and we all would look at each other, and ask “Who in the world is that knocking?

Only strangers knocked.

If someone stood at the door knocking they were a stranger to us and everyone in the house knew it.

Jesus stands at the door knocking because He is a stranger to those outside the Father’s house. So he stands knocking at our door and once we open the door and meet Him and have our introduction to Him, then He walks us right into His Fathers house and gives us our introduction to His Father’s house.

When we girls would leave our house and meet/make a friend, that friend would return with us to our parents house and we would introduce them to our parents. Once our friend received that introduction they had full access to our parents house. While they were there they came in and out of the house just as we did. They didn’t have to knock.

It is the same for my girls and our house.

I always tell everyone, your first visit you will receive the tour, you find out randomly where everything is, and we will ask can I get you, would you like, etc… the next time you come over you are on your own. If your hungry, you know where the fridge is. If you gotta go to the bathroom, well you know where to find it. If you need a nap you know where the bed or couch can be found.

Once you have been introduced and received… our home is your home. Once our home is your home, you can walk in and out with confidence and assurance in the knowledge that you are welcome.

It is the same in our Heavenly Father’s house.

so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

Ephesians 3:10-12

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 

Hebrews 10:19-23

 

Right now my friend the door is open.

Right now we run in and out of the Father’s house.

Right now we can go boldly and confidently to the Father and we have access to all that is in the house (Ephesians 1).

Right now we are to bring our family and the friends we meet to Jesus. We are to tell them about our friend Jesus, who has become more than our friend, but our brother, Savior, and Redeemer. We introduce them to Him, so that when He shows up and knocks on their door… He is not a stranger to them. They can then open the door and meet Him themselves and walk with Him, and through Him, and obtain their introduction, their access to His Father house. Jesus stands at the door and He is the door. He is the door to the house and He is the door of the house.

Right now the door is open.

However, precious one, don’t forget that eventually the door will close.

 

Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Matthew 25:1-13

 

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Names of God: Iesous

This will be our last Names of God post until after the new year… I do pray that as you dig into these names with me you are growing in your relationship with our God and Christ. The study of this name today falls in the midst of our Holiday Season. Most of us have just experienced Thanksgiving, have headed out for our Black Friday shopping, and now the streets in Alabama are about to be cleared for the infamous Iron Bowl. We are in the midst of walking through our family traditions…

 

Traditions can be good… they can make us feel safe and loved and close to loved ones that have since passed away… but sometimes there comes a time for traditions to fade away.

Before we get into the name of Christ that we will be discussing today lets first go back. Let’s go back to a day when God had called out a people, a nation, to be His. A day when He set up a way for His people to commune with Him, to worship Him, to honor Him… a day when the temple in Jerusalem stood in all its beauty and the glory of the LORD filled the Holy of Holies.

The “I AM” had set the nation of Israel apart to be His and to be His witness to the world… but as the nation passed from generation to the next something happened in the hearts of the people… they forgot their God. They became more intrenched in following tradition instead of just following their God and as they did so their hearts grew cold. They had kings over them that did not honor God… and one day God reached out to one of them, King Ahaz.

Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”  But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”  Then he said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. 

Isaiah 7:10-14

Ahaz was a king who followed the traditions and rituals of the Law, but he did not love God. He also worshipped idols and he put his trust in other nations and kings, not his God. God gives Ahaz an open door to cry out to Him, to seek Him, but Ahaz refuses… and he refuses with a nice “churchy” answer… God is not happy. He gives His sign… Immanuel, God with us.

Here was the problem of Ahaz and the nation of Israel as a whole…

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, 

Isaiah 29:13

Their hearts did not belong to their God. They trusted in their tradition not in Him. So God would now send them the sign. He would send the One who would remind them that He alone saves… He would send Iesous.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

Luke 1:30-31

Iesous is the Greek form for Jesus.

Iesous would come and He would rock the traditions of all of Israel and of all the world. He would come and His very presence would cause everyone to question why they did what they did… whether it be good or bad, tradition or religious, His sincerity and truth and grace and glory would cause all to look in places of their heart and mind that they would just as soon have lived forever ignoring.

He would cause those who called themselves sons of God, sons of Abraham, son of the promise… to ask: Who do I really love and who do I really serve?

And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

Matthew 15:3

When God asked for a sign from Ahaz, I believe he wanted Ahaz to respond to Him as the psalmist responded…

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.


Lord, hear my voice!

Let Your ears be attentive
 to the voice of my supplications.


If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?


But there is forgiveness with You, 
that You may be feared.



I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
 and in His word do I hope.

 My soul waits for the Lord
 more than the watchmen for the morning;
 indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

 O Israel, hope in the Lord;
 for with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
 and with Him is abundant redemption.

 And He will redeem Israel
 from all his iniquities.


Psalm 130

And when Jesus came… He wanted the same. God has always wanted us to know that forgiveness and redemption belong to Him alone… and this is why when He came in the Word made flesh… His name was Iesous, Jesus.

Now here’s the thing… all the other names of Christ we have studied thus far have really been titles… but this name, Iesous, is His given name.

The Hebrew origin of Iesous is Y@howshuwa. We translate that as Joshua or Jehoshua.

Now let me ask you…  who led the children of Israel into the promised land?

Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it.

Deuteronomy 1:38

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting.

Deuteronomy 31:14

Moses did not lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua did. Moses represents the Law.

For the Law was given through Moses;

John 1:17

Precious one do you see?

Moses, representing the Law, could only get Israel to the border of the Promised Land. It would be Joshua, Jehoshua, Iesous, who would take them in.

Jehoshua, Jesus, is broken down into two syllables:

JE the first syllable, means Jehovah

SUS or Oshea the second syllable means help, deliver, salvation

Jesus, Iesous, means Jehovah Salvation. The name of Jesus means the Salvation of God.

Before our Savior would go to the cross He stand on what we call the Mount of Transfiguration. He would stand there and Peter and John and James would see Jesus standing there and Moses and Elijah would stand there with Him.

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Matthew 17:1-3

Just as Moses commissioned Joshua before the children of Israel before he would take them into the Promised Land, Moses would commission Jesus before He would go to the cross. Moses representing the Law and Elijah representing the Prophets, would stand there on that Mount with the One to whom all the Law and Prophets pointed… AMAZING! The Salvation of God had come! Iesous!

So when the angel looked at Mary and declared “you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” He was saying the Salvation of God is here. Here He is and there is no other name, none other to come, only Jehovah saves. Jehovah is Salvation… Jesus.

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

So precious one every time the name of Jesus rolls off of your tongue you are declaring Jehovah is Salvation! Every time you say the name of Jesus you are declaring that only Jesus saves! The declaration is in His name.

So this Christmas season be sure to say His name…  Y@howshuwa. Iesous. Jesus.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

 

Names of God: Numphios

 

As we continue in our study of the names of God we are going to be looking at Numphios

Numphios is the Greek word for Bridegroom.

Many times through out the gospels Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a wedding and Himself to the bridegroom at that wedding. It is no wonder that the enemy of our souls has waged such an attack on marriage. If we distort marriage then we distort the interpretation of the parables of Christ with it.

 

He who has the bride is the bridegroom;

but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him,

rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.

So this joy of mine has been made full.

John 3:29

And Jesus said to them, “While the bridegroom is with them,

the attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they?

So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,

and then they will fast in that day.

Mark 2:19-20

Now if Jesus is the Bridegroom who is His bride?

We are.

That is we, the church.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:25-32

As we look at this name of our Christ. We have to look at what the wedding looked like to the Jewish family in that day. When we do we see how beautiful this word picture that Jesus painted for us truly is.

The first major step in a Jewish marriage was betrothal. Betrothal involved the establishment of a marriage covenant. By Jesus’ time it was usual for such a covenant to be established as the result of the prospective bridegroom taking the initiative. The prospective bridegroom would travel from his father’s house to the home of the prospective bride. There he would negotiate with the father of the young woman to determine the price (mohar) that he must pay to purchase his bride. Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was thereby established, and the young man and woman were regarded to be husband and wife. From that moment on the bride was declared to be consecrated or sanctified, set apart exclusively for her bridegroom. As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride would drink from a cup of wine over which a betrothal benediction had been pronounced.

After the marriage covenant had been established, the groom would leave the home of the bride and return to his father’s house. There he would remain separate from his bride for a period of twelve months. This period of separation afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and to prepare for married life. The groom occupied himself with the preparation of living accommodations in his father’s house to which he could bring his bride.

 

Do you see the beautiful picture? Our Jesus left His Father’s house to claim His bride. He negotiated the price for His bride…

 For you have been bought with a price…

1 Corinthians 6:20

The price for the bride was high… the price was high because the bride needed redeemed… and the redemption price was death.

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

At the moment that the price was paid and the dowry accepted we became His by betrothal…

 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy;

for I betrothed you to one husband,

so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin

2 Corinthians 11:2

Our Bridegroom left His Father’s house, betrothed His bride, He has sealed her with His Sprit of promise and now He has returned to His Father’s house to prepare the place for His bride…

Do not let your heart be troubled;

believe in God, believe also in Me.  

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places;

if it were not so, I would have told you;

for I go to prepare a place for you.  

If I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again and receive you to Myself,

that where I am, there you may be also.

John 14:1-3

There he would remain separate from his bride for a period of twelve months. This period of separation afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and to prepare for married life. The groom occupied himself with the preparation of living accommodations in his father’s house to which he could bring his bride.

At the end of the period of separation the groom would come to take his bride to live with him. The taking of the bride usually took place at night. The groom, best man and other male escorts would leave the groom’s father’s house and conduct a torch light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the exact time of his coming. As a result the groom’s arrival would be preceded by a shout. This shout would forewarn the bride to be prepared for the coming of the groom.

 

During the time that the bridegroom was away preparing his place for his bride, the bride was busy making herself ready. Now imagine that you knew that your wedding day was coming… it could come at any second… but you didn’t know when… and you knew that you wanted to be perfect for this day… you want your hair done, your nails clean and clipped, you want to smell wonderful, you want your teeth bright and your breathe sweet… you want your eyes clear, your face unblemished, your clothes spotless…

Would you not be mortified if your beloved called out and knocked on the door and said, Baby I am ready to take you to meet my Dad!, and you were still in the bed after not showering for three days, with bed head, dried drool on your face, cheesy teeth, funky breath, stained and ratty pj’s, with chipped nails and crusty eyes?

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come

and His bride has made herself ready.”

It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean;

for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me,

“Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”

And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

Revelation 19:7-9

Oh precious one are you making yourself ready?

If the Bridegroom came tonight to claim His bride would you be ready?

The Wedding Day
A Personal Yom Kippur

The holiest day of the year is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

It is a fast day on which each person reviews in depth all of his past actions.

Since on the day of one’s wedding G-d forgives the bride and groom of all their previous transgressions, it is seen as a private Yom Kippur for the couple.

They fast until the ceremony; add Yom Kippur confessions to their afternoon prayers; recite the Book of Psalms, asking for forgiveness for the wrongdoings of their youth, committed knowingly or unknowingly, before starting their new life together.

Previously, each had been but half a person.

Now, with the hour of marriage, they resume their original wholeness, a new and pure soul is again to be theirs.

Standing under the chuppah their life destiny is set, all past reckoning erased.

Jewish Wedding Guide

 

Have all your past reckonings been erased?

Have all your transgressions been forgiven?

Are you ready to begin a new life with your Bridegroom… finally whole… finally complete in Him?

 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 

and in Him you have been made complete…

Colossians 2:9-10

*(I cannot remember the online link that I found the info in green)

Names of God: Krites

 

The last name of Christ that we looked at was Artos. Before that we have dug into the character of our Savior through His names, AletheiaPhosXulon ZoeEschatos Adam, and Huios. The name of Christ that we will be digging into today is Krites. Krites is the Greek word for judge. This word in its form in 2 Timothy 4 means one who passes or arrogates to himself, judgment on anything, an arbiter.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,

which the Lord, the righteous Judge,

will award to me on that day;

and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

2 Timothy 4:7-9

One of the names of Jesus is Judge.

For not even the Father judges anyone,

but He has given all judgment to the Son,

so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.

John 5:22-23

God the Father judges no one… and when God the Son, Jesus, came in the flesh neither did He judge any one. However, when He returns… that will be a different story. You know we can complain and whine about the “fairness” of God all we want… but the truth is you will never meet nor know nor be able to comprehend a more just person. So let’s take a moment and look at the why behind my last statement… why do I believe God is just and why has all judgement been rightfully given to the Son? What makes Jesus the only righteous Krites?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word,

and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life,

and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is,

when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,

and those who hear will live. 

For just as the Father has life in Himself,

even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 

and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

John 5:24-27

Ah ha… did you see it?

Did you see the qualification of Christ to judge all things?

We live in a day of worshiped tolerance… no one wants to be judged for anything by anyone. From the professing Christian in the church to the vilest sex offender in the prison. Don’t judge me. How dare you judge me. You don’t know me. You don’t know what I have been through. You were not there when… and so on and on and on.

Here’s the thing… you can’t say that before Christ. You might can guilt another fallible, flesh of man into feeling unqualified to stand before you in rebuke, correction, and judgment… but before Christ? Nope He has all right and authority to judge you. Yes it is true, that no other fallible human being has ever walked in your exact shoes… no other fallible human being was there when… and that’s why our eternal judgment is not dependent on any man. We will all stand before Christ.

We will stand before the one who is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is the One who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. He is the One that put on this flesh and walked and lived on this earth tempted in every way that mankind can be, suffering all that mankind can suffer, and yet He did not sin. No one can ever look at Jesus, the righteous Krites and say, how dare you judge me, you don’t know…  because He does know. He was there. He saw. He sees your heart. He knows.

How greater is the knowledge in those of us who profess to be His. How dare we ever attempt to open our mouths before Him with excuses or accusations… because not only is His presence around us but His Spirit within us. This is why He says judgment will begin with the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).

When we go to human court we have a plaintiff and we have a defendant. We have the accuser and we have the accused. We then have a jury and a judge. Below is a little snippet of an old kids tv show called Kids Court…

 

 

 

As these two kids stood there, they each wanted their will done. They could care less about the opinion or will of the other, they wanted the outcome to be their way, their will, in their favor. Then as the moderator took the case out to the jury what you saw was each person picking a side.

This is what we usually do… we stand up wanting our will done and we come up against someone else wanting their will done… and then we recruit people to take our side… and then a judge stands there and decides whose side will win or we simply divide and never unite again.

Jesus is a righteous Judge because He is not picking sides… He is not here to pick between your will and my will, your way and my way… He is there to bring us all under the authority of God’s will.

“I can do nothing on My own initiative.

As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just,

because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 5:30

Jesus stands before us all, as fully God and fully man. He knows exactly what it is to be God and He knows exactly what it is to be man. So He stands there in full knowledge and authority and right to judge, to mediate, to arbitrate, between God and man.

And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world…

John 9:39

 

It was for judgment that Jesus came into this world. Now hang on to that verse, that thought, that truth as we look at  another passage of Scripture.

 

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,

but that the world might be saved through Him. 

John 3:16-17

Ummmm wait a minute. John 9:39 says that Jesus came into the world for judgment and here in John 3:17 it says that God did not send Jesus into the world to judge? Is the Bible contradicting itself?

No it’s not. Jesus did not come into the world as a man to judge it… but he did come for judgment. Let’s keep reading…

He who believes in Him is not judged;

he who does not believe has been judged already,

because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world,

and men loved the darkness rather than the Light,

for their deeds were evil. 

For everyone who does evil hates the Light,

and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 

But he who practices the truth comes to the Light,

so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

John 3:18-21

 

Jesus came for judgment. He came as the living breathing Law of God. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. And when the world beheld His glory, when men beheld His truth and love and light they could not help but see their sin in comparison… so they either cried out to God in their sinfulness and cried out for His forgiveness… or they wanted to destroy the One that exposed their sin… because they loved their sin and would not accept any condemnation concerning it.

You see Jesus didn’t have to open His mouth… His presence was enough. His presence on this earth exposed and exposes the presence of Satan and his darkness and his lies and his deeds.

Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

John 12:31

And guys here’s the thing… pay close attention… this is huge.

Jesus gave us His Spirit, His Light, His love, His grace so that His presence would remain on this earth always casting out the ruler of this world.

 

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?

If the world is judged by you,

are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

Do you not know that we will judge angels?

How much more matters of this life?

1 Corinthians 6:2-3

Now precious one, I don’t believe this means that in the end days we who believed will all have our own little thrones and give out our “I told you this would happen if you didn’t believe in Him, see He was the only way! Now you are going to hell just like I said you would, so there!” 

Here’s the thing… does your presence make the ungodly uncomfortable without you ever saying a word? When you walk in the room do the dirty jokes stop? If someone speaks a profane word in front of you do they apologize or catch themselves before they say it? Does the gossip and the tales of the weekend club/bar hopping stop when you walk into the discussion?

This is how the saints judge the world.

This is how the saints judge angels.

Does your life shine the Light and expose the death and darkness of the evil one and his deeds?

If not… why?

Names of God: Artos

 

The last name of Christ we looked at in our names of God study was Aletheia and today we are going to be introduced to our Savior through His name Artos.

Artos is the Greek word for Bread. It means, food composed of flour mixed with water and baked. The Israelites made it in the form of an oblong or round cake, as thick as one’s thumb, and as large as a plate or platter hence it was not to be cut but broken. Loaves were consecrated to the Lord and it also speaks of the bread used at the love-feasts and at the Lord’s Table. It can also mean food of any kind.

We have this name of our Savior revealed to us in John 6. This chapter begins with the miracle of Jesus feeding a multitude with the five barley loaves and two fish of one young boy. Jesus gave them bread to fill their bellies and a miracle to fill their eyes… but what He desired was to fill their souls with eternal life.

Jesus saw that the people where not responding to the miracle of the bread in the spirit… they were all flesh. They wanted more bread and they wanted this Jesus to be King over them now… I mean really a man who could feed the nation with the breaking of a few loaves of bread. So Jesus retreated to the mountains alone. He was not after an earthly political kingdom… His kingdom was not of this world.

The very next day the crowd returned to get more free food from Jesus. Where there is free food the people will come. That has never changed. The crowd discovers that He is not where He was… (God rarely lingers in the past, He is a moving forward kinda God)… and well they chase Him down in Capernaum.

When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:26-28)

Oh this, is so funny to me… can you see it…

Have you ever had a child (or even an adult) who was wanting something, a toy, a happy meal, to go somewhere… and they knew the people who could make it happen… like Grandmothers and Papaws… and they walk in the door and they see them and it’s like “Hey, when did you get here?” And you know that tone, you know that this child has just seen the ones who can get them exactly what they want…

Here is the crowd… Hey, Jesus, when did you get here? Ummm hello. They were searching Him out, but they speak to Him as though they had been there all along and Jesus just showed up. And you know what they are thinking is, Dude we’re hungry and we know you can like break bread like crazy! And well we want you to show us how to do cool stuff like that!

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’” John 6:29-31

Really? The crowd had just searched Him out and followed Him across the river to another town because they knew about the miracle of the bread and the multitude and then they come and have the audacity to ask Jesus to show them a sign… to prove Himself to them… when my guess is that it really had nothing to do with Jesus proving Himself, they just wanted to try and manipulate Him into some more free bread. Our God just does not fall for the tricks of man…

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, 

it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven,

but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.

John 6:32

Jesus takes this opportunity to remind these people that Moses was not the one who gave the bread in the wilderness God was… and He is letting them know that He is not just a prophet… He is not just a man doing works for God. He is God.

For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven,

and gives life to the world.

John 6:33

The bread of God is that which comes down out heaven… which means its origin, its home, is not of this earth. That which is of this earth can never give life because this earth is dying, only that which is of God has life and can give life. Only that which is of God can truly satisfy.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;

he who comes to Me will not hunger,
John 6:35

Jesus looks at the crowd and he looks at us and He says I am the Bread of Life. I am the Artos.

You know we live in a day we are surrounded by fakeness. We have fake hair, fake faces, fake clothes, fake boobs, and we have fake food.

You know I can be hungry. And I grab me a handful of the skittles pictured above and it will stop my stomach from growling. I can taste the rainbow and get filled up on the fruity flavors, but how beneficial is this handful of skittles to the health and life of my body? If this was all I ate, what quality of life would I have?

If I take these handful of skittles and plant them in the earth can I come back weeks later and see a new birth of skittles springing forth?

No, I can’t. I can’t because skittles are dead. They are fake food. This food is man-made. It is not God-made. God-made food is made with life. It is made with seed. it is made to produce life after itself. If we eat living food… we receive life.

Not only do we have fake food… but we have fake gods.

Jesus, however, is not a fake. He is the Living God. If we eat of Him we will have life because He is life. He is the Bread of Life.

Now lets look at the process of bread becoming bread…

Bread begins here. It grows up from seeds planted.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.

Genesis 3:15

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.

He does not say, “And to seeds,”

as referring to many, but rather to one,

“And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

Galatians 3:16

Then that wheat is cut down.

Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing

Daniel 9:26

 Then that wheat is beat…

 

 

and threshed and slung…

 

and beat and beat and beat.

The wheat goes through all this in order that from it we might receive life.

 

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him

Isaiah 53:5

After the wheat is cut down, threshed, and beat it is ground

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium

and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him.  

They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 

And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head,

and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him

and mocked Him,

saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 

They spat on Him,

and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 

After they had mocked Him,

they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him,

and led Him away to crucify Him.

Matthew 27:27-31

…and then the broken, beat, threshed, ground wheat is mixed with a liquid and its placed in an oven… shut up in a hot tomb to wait until it’s ready.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph,

who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 

and laid it in his own new tomb,

which he had hewn out in the rock;

and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Matthew 27:57-60

Then the bread comes out of the oven and it comes ready to give life to all who will eat of it.

I am the bread of life.

Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

This is the bread which comes down out of heaven,

so that one may eat of it and not die.

I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;

if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;

and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
John 6:48-51

 

So when Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life.

He is the Artos.

He gives life because He is Life.

 

 

 

Names of God: Aletheia

Last week we looked at the name Phos. This name of Christ taught us that Jesus is the Light and in this name of Christ we learned how very infinite He is…

This past Monday in Co-op chapel we looked at Aletheia.

This is another favorite name of my Jesus…

Aletheia is Greek for Truth. Jesus is the Son, He is the Last Adam, He is the Tree of Life, He is the Light, and He is the Truth.

 

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,

and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father,

full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

For the Law was given through Moses;

grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17

Now let me take a little side trip here as we look at this verse… the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Christ… grace and truth does not mean that Jesus came to give us permission to ignore and break the Law with a grace override… Titus 2:11-12 makes it pretty clear, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,” You see the grace and truth realized in Christ is the power to walk in the Law not the permission to break it.

Jesus came to show us that truth is not an opinion… it is not a law… it is indeed a person… He is the Truth in the flesh. When He stood before Pilate after He had been accused and abused… Pilate questioned Him and Jesus answered him and told him that He came into the world to testify to the truth and everyone who is of the truth hears His voice… Pilate looked at Him and asked “What is truth?”

We have no record of Jesus’ reply… Jesus remained silent…  the Truth was looking Pilate in the face… Truth was standing right in front of him…

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life ;

no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:6

Jesus is Aletheia. 

The definition of Aletheia is this:

objectively
what is true in any matter under consideration
truly, in truth, according to truth
of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly

what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth
in the greatest latitude
the true notions of God which are open to human reason without his supernatural intervention

the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians

and here’s my favorite…

subjectively
truth as a personal excellence
that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit

We live in a day that sings to us from childhood to let our “heart” be our guide… to let our “feelings” make our decisions for us… Truth is not dictated by our hearts or feelings… our hearts and feelings are usually way off from truth… they are the very last things on this earth that we should be letting guide us.

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,

But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

Proverbs 28:26

The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9

 

We have to let the Truth come in and renew our mind and then let this renewed mind direct our hearts… if the Truth is not driving our hearts we are in trouble.

It is the Truth that sets us free…

and you will know the truth,
and the truth will make you free
John 8:32

It is the truth that sets us free because it was believing the lie that first put us in bondage.

Indeed, has God said…
Genesis 3:1

Indeed has God said…

God had said and a sneaky serpent snuck up and said has God said? He offered up a lie. He gave Eve an ultimatum… believe God or believe him. She believed the lie. She shared the lie… and Adam believed the lie instead of God… and in bondage to sin the world became. Chains.

It all goes back to the same lie… I love how Voddie Bauchman put it…

That’s what it goes back to. God is just not enough. “I need ???, regardless of whether ??? meets these requirements that God has set, because God is just not enough. God just doesn’t understand, and I need something other than God. There is something out there that is more powerful than God, and I’m answering to that and not to God.
~ Voddie Bauchman

Satan offered up the lie that God was holding out on Eve… that God was not enough… what He had supplied them was not enough… they needed more. They needed something outside of God to be satisfied. He offered up that God was the one who was lying… that His Word was not enough.

Eve bought it. Adam bought it… I bought it… Maybe you have bought it.

 

He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside.

And he cannot deliver himself, nor say,

“Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Isaiah 44:20

This passage in Isaiah is from a chapter that breaks down the worship of idols. Anything we hold in our hands and depend on beside God is a lie.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie,

and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…
Romans 1:25

Anything that controls us that is not God is a lie. Anything that we obey that is not God is a lie… and we are enslaved to it and we cannot deliver ourselves.

We are captivated, caught, and controlled by the liar.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.

He was a murderer from the beginning,

and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.

Whenever he speaks a lie,

he speaks from his own nature,

for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44

So we are here today… we have a lie in our right hand… and Jesus, the Truth, Aletheia, stands right in front of us. He has came to testify to the truth. He has came to set you free. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Believing the truth breaks the chains.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him,

“If you continue in My word,

then you are truly disciples of Mine;

and you will know the truth,

and the truth will make you free.”
John 8:31-32

When we believe Aletheia, then we are set free. When we choose to believe the Word of God rather than the lie of satan we find freedom. We are redeemed out of slavery… but in our redemption lies still are thrown at us from our previous owner. Jesus tells us that if we will continue to believe in Him, in His Word, then we will continue to be set free from every lie that binds us.

He prays over us…

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
John 17:17

He equips us…

in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith

with which you will be able to extinguish

all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

And take the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit,

which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:16-17

He empowers us…

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword,

and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit,

of both joints and marrow,

and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight,

but all things are open and laid bare

to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Hebrews 4:12-13

Did you catch that?

No creature is hidden from His sight!

When we believe the lie… we find ourselves worshiping the creature

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie,

and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…
Romans 1:25

But here’s the thing… no matter how deep, no matter how dark, no matter how hidden, no matter how tightly the grip of the creature, no matter how powerful and mighty it might be, no matter the depth of the lie we have believed and been bound… the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, the Truth, the Aletheia, Jesus our God will lay it bare.

Yield that sword precious one!

Stop bowing down to that lie, whatever it might be, speak the TRUTH, believe the TRUTH, and be set free!

Names of God: Phos

 

Last week we looked at the name, Xulon Zoe, in it we saw that Jesus is the Tree of Life and we saw this Tree of Life is the Cross of Christ.

Today we are looking at one of my very favorite names of Christ… and the more I study it… the deeper I dig into it… the more I expound upon it… the greater I come to love it and the One of whom it speaks of, my Jesus.

Today we will see that the Huios, that the Eschatos Adam, that the Xulon Zoe, is also the Phos.

 

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:4-5

 

This is the message we have heard from Him

and announce to you,

that God is Light,

and in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5

Phos is the Greek word for Light and it means light, anything emitting light, brightness. Metaphorically it is the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality of truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity associated with it. It is that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly. According to reason and the mind it the power of understanding especially moral and spiritual truth.

What we have learned about the light through science is that it travels in a straight line, dark rough surfaces absorb it, and bright smooth surfaces reflect it. What we have also learned is that the best reflector of light is a mirror…

As I thought of Jesus, our Phos, our Light… I thought of  how we can either absorb His light or we can reflect it. My mind then went to what I believe is an example of us absorbing His light… and remember that is dark and rough things that absorb light.

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery
Deuteronomy 8:11-14

Know therefore today that it is the Lord your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the Lord has spoken to you.
“Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 9:3-6

You see Jesus lets us know in Matthew 5: 45 that God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. His light shines on all of us. And the more we know of His Light the more we are expected to reflect it…

God had given great Light to Israel. He had revealed much to them and He did so, that they might reflect Him to the other nations, to the world… but instead of reflecting Him, the nation absorbed Him, and then they began to actually think they didn’t need Him… and they did exactly what God warned them not to do in Deuteronomy. And the great city on the hill, the great light to the nations, became darker and darker and rougher and rougher.

When the Light, Jesus, stood before the nation of Israel in the flesh He said to them in Matthew 5:14-16You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

They were supposed to be shining their light, reflecting the light of God to the world, so that God would be glorified by all. When we choose to take the Light that we have had clearly revealed to us and absorb it and cover it we ourselves become dark and darker and so does the world around us.

Darkness absorbs light, but bright smooth surfaces reflect it.

The way of the righteous is smooth;

O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.

Isaiah 26:7

 

A voice is calling, “ Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;

 Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

Isaiah 40:3

 

A mirror is the absolute best reflector of light… a mirror displays the image that it is reflecting… now think a moment… how did God create us?

God created man in His own image,

in the image of God He created him;

male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:27

God created this huge universe in all its splendor yet when He wanted something, that would best reflect Him… He created us.

Crazy! Right?

He created us that we might reflect His image to all creation… but man fell, sin came, and the image was distorted… the mirror was smeared and broken. There would never be another son of Adam who could rightly reflect the image of God, not another child of Adam on the earth that could light the way out of the darkness of sin…

Not until God would send Huios, the Eschatos Adam, our Xulon Zoe.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,

and we saw His glory,

glory as of the only begotten from the Father,

full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

God sent the Phos into the world and this Phos was the life for us all… Jesus walked this earth as the example of the mirror image that you and I were created to display. He came as the exact representation of the very nature of God the very radiance of the glory of God (Hebrews 1:3).

And every one who see His Light and comes to His Light the veil of darkness is removed… when we look at ourselves in the mirror of the Word, in the very face of Christ, in the Light of the glory of God and we see how very marred we are and we cry out for more Light and we are received by the Light and this life enters us and that marred image… the Light begins to burn away and He begins to transform us into the image of the One we behold… Jesus.

But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:15-18

And as we take this revealed Light and choose not to absorb it, but reflect it… we bring glory not to ourselves but to our God, our Creator, the One whose image we were created to reflect. And we preach not ourselves as the answer but as we are being transformed into the image of Christ, from glory to glory, then when others see our face and the works of our hands, it will not be us that they see but it will be the Light of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Here’s another thing about light… it doesn’t matter how bright the light… light breaks the darkness.

I shared this over a year ago in this post: The Light.

Here’s the bottom line… it doesn’t matter how dark your darkness… the very moment you turn to the Light you can see… the question is not whether or not you can find the Light… but will you indeed come to the Light.

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. 

John 3:19-21

Here’s a video from NASA about the speed of light… watch the first 3 minutes.

 

 

Light is the fastest thing in the universe… It reaches us across vast distances. It reveals the history of the cosmos. Nothing can go faster than the speed of light.

Light speed is the fundamental linchpin of the universe, the very cornerstone on which the universe is built, it is king in the cosmos. It is instantaneous to us. It is infinite to us.

So let’s look at this in light of the Phos…

Jesus is the fastest thing in the universe. He reaches us across vast distances. He reveals to us the history of the cosmos. Nothing is faster than Him, He speaks and it happens, He wills and it is.

Jesus is the fundamental linchpin of the universe. He is in fact the very cornerstone on which it was built, for from Him and through Him, and to Him are all things. He is the King in the cosmos, for He is the Kings of all kings. He is instantaneous to us, the moment we call, the moment we turn, He is there. Jesus is infinite to us. We can study Him for all eternity and still never grasp all of who He is…

Wow…

Names of God: Xulon Zoe

So far in our study of the names of Christ we have looked at Huios and Eschatos Adam. Today we are going to look at a few names of Christ . Our main focus will be on one name, but there are two names that we will look at that relate to our focus name.

We find our name of Christ today in the book of Revelation…

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 

To him who overcomes,

I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God

Revelation 2:7

Now last week as we looked at Eschatos Adam I used the illustration of the family tree… and here’s the thing our Jesus is indeed the Tree of Life, the Xulon Zoe. We will dig a little deeper into Xulon Zoe later in this post.

Now there are two things that help make a tree a tree.  For one a tree has branches…

  In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 4:2-3)

Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. (Zechariah 6:12)

Jesus is our Xulon Zoe and  He is our Tsemach, our Branch, He is the One who reaches out from where He is and builds the temple of the Lord.

Now another thing that makes a tree a tree is that it has roots. You see not only is He our Xulon Zoe and our Tsemach, He is also our Rhiza.

and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5) 

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:16

Here’s the awesome thing about our Jesus,: He is the whole tree! He is the Branch and He is the Root. He is not just the descendant of David, He is also the root of him. He is the Tree of Life. He is the One who builds the temple of the Lord.

Now there was a descendant of David who built a temple to the Lord long ago. His name was Solomon. We read in 1 Kings 6 how Solomon also used branches and trees to build this temple. These were trees from this earth. These were trees that gave their life to build the temple. They were cut down and used to lay the foundations and build the walls and all the furniture and the altars and all else that was in the temple. These trees were strong, but they were not eternal. They were of this earth and this temple was destroyed.

The temple built by the Branch from the Tree of Life however will never be destroyed…

With this in mind lets dig a little deeper into Xulon Zoe

Xulon  is Greek for tree, but this tree is not just any tree, this word xulon in Revelation 2:7 means: wood, that which is made of wood, as a beam from which any one is suspended, a gibbet, a cross, a log or timber with holes in which the feet, hands, neck of prisoners were inserted and fastened with thongs, a fetter, or shackle for the feet

Zoe is Greek for life, and this word zoe in Revelation 2:7 means: life, the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate, every living soul, of the absolute fullness of life

You see my friend the Tree of Life is the Cross of Christ

You see this son of David, the Root of David, this Branch, this Tree of Life, our Christ also gave His life to build a temple of the Lord. He however did not cut another down, but He Himself was cut down. This Tree of Life was cut down and laid, but He has risen… and the Branch of this Tree just keeps going out from where He is and building the temple of the Lord. And where is this temple? Who is this temple?

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
(1 Corinthians 3:16)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
(1 Corinthians 6:20)

The temple that is built from Xulon Zoe can never be destroyed… not even the gates of hell can prevail against it.