PRAYERS

Welcome to this site. My prayer is that you take a look at the site and as you do, let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and reveal what God wants you to discover. (in Jesus' name)

God tells us that if we see a brother (or sister) in need we should do that which is within our means to help. Prayer is always within our means but we never know what doors Father may open through them. Should you desire prayer for anything (healing, direction, etc.) or if you want supportive prayer along with your own please feel free to e-mail that request to sharbu3@gmail.com and be assured that there are others who will be praying with or for you.


In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

At the end of each post are the options to share, forward or make a comment. Click 'comment' to respond. Let us know if you like, don't like or are helped by what you read. Comments can be made or read by anyone. All you have to do is select the "comment" at he end of the entry.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

 

11-20-2021         Names of God

         

We’ve seen how the “Essence of Love” impacts, or should impact our lives.  We stated that understanding the names by which God, the Father, is known can help us with that understanding.  The qualities and/or characteristics of God can give insight into who He truly is and why we can be assured that He always has our best interests at heart.

We are going to take a look at the name YHWH or YAHWEH or Jehova.  The four letters, read from right to left, are “yodhhewaw”.  My understanding is the “Jehovah” wasn’t actually used until the 1901 American Standard Bible.  And at that, I understand, may have been a mispronunciation of “Yahweh”.  Nonetheless, that’s the name we are most familiar with today.   

Welcome to the first installment on the names of God.

YHWH with no vowels is how the Hebrews originally expressed the name of God and according to multiple resources, God’s name was considered to be too holy to be spoken aloud.  I guess that when God told Moses not to take the” Lord’s name” in vain (Exod. 20:7) it might have been easier to not speak His name at all rather than take a chance of messing it up.

Over this and the next two posts, we’re going to look at three group listing of the names of God.  The first is YHWH (Jehovah), the second will be derivatives from “El”, and the third will be qualities of who God is and not necessarily ‘names’ by which He is known.  I’ve used two primary resources for this presentation, http://www.godisreal.today/names-of-god/, http://www.navigators.org.Tools/Discipleship%20Resources/Tools/.  And, of course, I’ve added my comments.  I listed several resources for the ‘name of God’ in “Essence of Love, pt. 3” which you may also refer to.

 Let’s take a look at the Yahweh, or Jehovah, based designations of God

Jehovah (Yahweh) [Jeh ho vaw]

The self-existent One. He has always existed and will always exist. You can always rely on Him because He is our eternal source of strength.  He is the only self-complete, independent being – I AM THAT I AM.  All name references are according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

Scriptural references: (Genesis 1:1-2, 2:4; Exodus 3:13-15 [1-22]; Exodus 6:1-4; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2)

Jehovah (H3068), scripturally, is used only in the Old Testament.  It is the traditional name of God (Storng’s) which is described as self-existent or eternal.  God identifies Himself as ‘The Alpha and Omega’, the first and the last, He who lived and was dead and lives for evermore (Rev. 1:11, 1:18)

In brief, God has always existed and will always exist.  We know, in Genesis chapter one, He created all that is (Gen. 1:1-31). 

   Jehovah-Maccaddeshem [… mac cad deshem]

The Lord our sanctifier. He forgives our sins and His Holy Spirit works in our lives to become like He is: pure, loving and true.  He is separate from all that is evil.

(Exodus 31:13, Leviticus 20:7-8; Ezekiel 37:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Father sanctifies us or makes us holy, clean or pure so we will be ready when Jesus either calls us home or comes for us in the last days.

Jehovah-Rohi [… row hee]

The Lord our shepherd. He cares for us, the way a shepherd tends his sheep. He cares for us and leads us to still waters and green pastures.

(Psalm 23:1-6, 80:1, 95:7; Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 34:12; John 10:11)

The shepherd knows His sheep.  He feeds them, guides them and even helps them rest when they need it.  through “Spiritual” guidance, we also learn how to live life.  The sheep learn and know their shepherd’s voice.  Do we know the voice of Jesus?  Are we obedient to that voice?

Jehovah-Shammah [… shawm maw]

The Lord who is present. He never leaves us, nor forsakes us. He is with us forever. Our best friend, who never betrays us.

(Genesis 28:15; Psalm 23:4, 46:1, 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:23-24; Ezekiel 48:35; Amos 5:14; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)

The Lord is always with us (H3074) and will never leave us nor forsake us.  We may not always realize Father’s presence, but remember, the Holy Ghost is with us and in us (John 14:17) so He IS always with us. 

Jehovah-Rapha [… rah fu]

The Lord our healer. “By His stripes were are healed” declares the Bible. Jesus Christ died to give us life. Not only was God the healer in the Old Testament, but Jesus Christ revealed the healing heart of God for all of us, more than ever.

(Exodus 15:26; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 6:2, 41:4, 103:3, 147:3; Isaiah 19:22, 57:18-19; Jeremiah 3:22, 17:14, 30:17; Matthew 8:5-7; Luke 4:18)

 Jesus tells us to love Father with all our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 14:30) and believe that we receive (Mark 11:24) and we shall receive healing and more.  Jesus went back to His hometown and could only heal a few sick folks because the people’s unbelief (Matt. 13:58).  How can we receive what we don’t believe?  Believe, receive and be healed!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jehovah-Tsidkenu [… tsid kay noo]

The Lord our righteousness. When we believe in Jesus Christ, He becomes our righteousness. He forgives our sins and washes us with His blood.

(Psalm 4:1, 5:8, 24:5, 31:1, 36:10, 71:15, 89:16; Jeremiah 23:6; Rom. 3:25)

Being righteous is doing that which is the right thing to do (H3072).  However, this is not according to what we consider right, but knowing and following God’s principles!  Father always does what is right for us, our own good (Rom. 8:27-28) because we seek Him first (Matt. 6:31-34) then do as the Holy Spirit leads (Psalm 143:8, Mark 13:11).  In and of ourselves we cannot obtain righteousness but Jesus has become our righteousness (1 Corinth. 1:30).

Jehovah-Jireh […Yir eh]

The Lord will provide. Jesus Christ said that Father cares for us and we never need to worry about provision. He is our source of life, in every way.  (Genesis 22:13-14; Phil. 4:19)

Strong’s reference to God’s provision is H3070 (Gen. 22:14).  God will see to it.  That is it is He who will make sure it gets done.  He does provide for us out of His riches in glory.  He knows our needs (Mat. 6:8) and will meet them (Rom. 8:27).  All we have to do is ask, believe and trust Him (Matt. 7:7, Mark 11:24, Prov. 3:5-6). 

Jehovah-Nissi […nis ee]

The Lord our banner. The Lord gives us the victory in spiritual warfare. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises a banner of His love over us and covers us. He wages war on our behalf and makes us more than conquerors through Christ Jesus.  (Exodus 17:15; Rom. 8:37; 1Corinth. 15:57)

Father sets His banner over us.  A banner is a flag or symbol (H3071) designating our allegiance.  God’s love, to some degree, should be evident to others, in our lives and that His love in us and through us is His banner over us.  The banner also implies that we are under the protection of what, or who, is portrayed by that banner, that is we have refuge in that source (Psalm 46:1).

Jehovah-Shalom [… shaw lome]

The Lord is peace. Whenever there are storms in your life, hide in Him. He is your shelter in the storm. He gives peace beyond understanding, even when circumstances are chaotic. He is our shelter and our shield.   (Judges 6:24; Psalm 23: Psalm 23:1-6; John 14:27; Rom. 5:1)

God IS our peace (H3073)  Gideon built an altar to designate God’s promise of peace.  God gives us a peace which surpasses all understanding which keeps our hearts (no matter what) (Phil. 4:7).  As we abide in His will, His peace is with us (Phil. 4:6-9).  No matter how terrible a situation may seem, trust in the Lord and He will keep us calm, cool and collect.  We won’t be overcome with anxiety as we trust in Him.  Jesus gives us His peace so He is now, our source for peace.

Jehovah-Sabaoth [… saa buh owt]

The Lord of Hosts. The Bible mentions myriads of angels, who wage war against the armies of hell, which try to destroy mankind. Jesus Christ is the Lord of hosts, the Captain of the armies of heaven.  (1 Samuel 17:45; 2 Samuel 6:2, 7:26-27; 1Kings 22:19;  1 Chronicles 11:9; Psalm 46:7; Isaiah 6:1-3; Luke 2:13-15; Rom. 9:29; James 5:4).

Sabaoth (G4519) is Greek for armies or military.  A heavenly host appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of our Lord, Jesus.  On the mount, when the Romans came to arrest Him, Jesus told His disciples He could call upon Father and more than twelve legions of angels would come (Matt. 26:53).  In the Roman army, a legion would range between 3000 and 6000 troops.  Remember 1/3 of the angels were cast out of heaven, leaving 2/3 with Father (Rev. 12:3-4).  So, Father is the head of whole bunches and bunches and bunches of angels.  Thousands, millions, ???.  who knows how many (Father does)?  We have a lot of heavenly support!   

Jehovah-Ghmolah [gmow lah]

The God of Recompense. The Lord says in Romans 12 “vengeance is mine, I will repay.” We should never avenge others for what they do to us, but leave it in God’s hands.  (Deut. 33:35; Isa. 61:6-7; Jeremiah 51:6; Matt. 5:44; Rom 12: 17-21; Col. 2:13-14; 1 Peter 5:10).

Jesus tells us to love and do good to those who do us ill will.  Father will repay our enemies accordingly as they have done to us BUT He will also give back to us what we have lost.  Recompense is not getting back “just” what we lost, but more.  Job received double for his trouble (Job 42:10; Matt. 19:29).  Yet, consider Moses who considered what Chris offers greater than the riches of Egypt (Heb. 11:24-29).  And don’t forget Paul who consider also considered knowing Jesus better than anything the world could offer (Phil.3:7-8).  It’s nice to receive, but e also need t keep things in perspective.

Again, this is just a starter on God’s names.  Next, we’ll look at those names/qualities that compound with “El”.  God bless.

Amen

Saturday, November 6, 2021

11-6-2021 ESSENCE OF LOVE Part 3 – Many aspects of God

God is LOVE (many aspects)

We shared how God’s love impacts our personal life in “Essence of Love – Part 1”.  We talked about how God’s love should impact the church in “Essence of Love – Part 2”. 

We kept saying “God is love”.  His very essence is love.  So how do we know this?  The gospel of John states the expression of God’s love for us  is that He so loved the world  that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16).  And in his first epistle (letter), John reaffirms this when he tells us that we know Him (God) because we hear Him and love Him and that’s why we love others.  We love Him because He loves us – why?  For God is love (1 John 4:7-16 – actually, read the whole letter).    

God IS love and all that He expresses is love, therefore since we are made in His image (Gen. 1:26), He expects us to operate in love.  This is ‘agape’ love, giving and not expecting, doing because it is the right thing to do.  Edifying others to be all that they can be in Christ Jesus (1 Corinth. 4:12, Eph. 4:12).

That love is expressed in His written Word (the bible), His creation (the world & all that is around us) and how He interacts with us.  when we are aware and listen to Him, in how He gives us direction for our lives.

The fact that He loves us and desires that we love Him implies a relationship.  There can’t be a relationship until two people ‘get to know each other’.  I’m not talking in the ‘biblical sense’ between a man and his wife.  I am talking about getting to know how another feels, thinks, things they enjoy, things they don’t like, etc., etc.  Father (God) has already done His part.  He knows us before we are even a twinkle in mom and dad’s eyes.  He knows us before we are born into this world.  And He know us even after we have ‘arrived into this world (Jer. 1:5).  So now, it’s our turn (our time) to get to know Him. 

How do we do that?  First, we have to start reading the manual He has given us (the bible).  Whoa!  I can’t even understand half what the King James bible says.  Okay, so find a more modern translation that makes some sense to you.  We have to start somewhere!  Believe me, once we start reading, the Holy Ghost will guide us into tools such as other translations, ‘Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance’ or commentaries, or maybe even back into King James, as our understanding grows and our questions become deeper.  Father will give us today what we can receive and can understand today but tomorrow, He will give us what we need and can understand tomorrow.  When we were a child, we ate like a child, dressed like a child, talked like a child, but as we aged (matured) we moved into deeper things as we were able to handle taking care of ourselves.  A baby doesn’t walk the day he is born.  It usually take nine months to a year before he can do so.  So is our walk with our Lord.  Like the child, we see, we desire and Father will give it to us as we are able to handle it!

But the bible is best and most logical place to start.  Father then puts Pastors, Sunday School teachers, other ministers and friends into our lives to help us grow. 

A baby depends on mom and dad for everything, at first, but as he grows, mom and dad teach him to do things for himself with wisdom (hopefully) to make the right choices as he grows.  Father deals with us in the same way.  He continues to give us more as we are able to handle it and as we learn to walk with Him (Father), in Jesus Christ because His Holy Spirit (Ghost) dwells within our heart.    

As we come to know Father, more and more, we discover that He is not only our Savior (Jesus) but our comforter, provider, protector, teacher and so much more.    

The names which God is known by, throughout the bible, gives us insight to the many aspects of His love towards us.  Of course He is “El” (H410 – these, those.  God is a plurality, the Godhead, the trinity.  I like the way Father explained this to me - Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Existence, Word or flesh, Spirit or breath.  God is Father, creator of all things.  He speaks words to get things done and He made those words flesh, born in the manger as Jesus.  God’s breath carries His Words into action and His breath IS the Holy Ghost.  AND He shares His Holy Ghost with us as He lives within our heart.  As promised by Jesus (Acts 1:8) and the initial outpouring as received by the disciples in the upper room (Acts 2:1-4).  I say ‘initial’ because Jesus couldn’t share the Holy Ghost with us until after He was glorified (John7:39).  Any argument that Jesus was fully glorified when He returned to Father (Acts 1:9-10)?  So, though we consider three aspects of God, He was, is and always will be ONE GOD!  And that God is love!

So, just what is God’s love?  Let’s look at the many aspects of that love.

To help us with a better understanding of just who God is, here’s a list of names by which He is known.  Now, these names don’t imply multiple “Gods”, but rather qualities of the love Father expresses towards us. 

There are more names than what is listed here, that’s why there are more references at the end of this list.

El is a compounding form and is usually used with another, descriptive word like ‘Rapha’ (heal), Raphael (God heals)

Of course, God is Jehovah, Yaweh.   

Here’s a short list of the names of God

http://www.godisreal.today/names-of-god/

Yahweh

The self-existent One. He has always existed and will always exist. You can always rely on Him because He is your eternal source of strength.

(Genesis 2:4, Isaiah 40:3; 10; 1 Samuel 1:20; Exodus 6:1-4, 3:1-22)

Adonai

God is the Lord over all. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, He reigns forever. Therefor you find safety in Him and Him alone.

(Genesis 15:2, Judges 6:15, Malachi 1:6, Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 2:4, 8:1, 97:5, 136:3; Isaiah 1:24, 6:1; Romans 10:9)

Yahweh-Maccaddeshem

The Lord your sanctifier. He forgiveness your sins and His Holy Spirit works in your life to become like He is: pure, loving and true.

(Exodus 31:13, Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28)

Yahweh-Rohi

The Lord my shepherd. He cares for you, the way a shepherd tends his sheep. He cares for you and leads you to still waters and green pastures.

(Psalm 23, 80:1, 95:7, Isaiah 40:11, Jeremiah 31:10, Ezekiel 34:12, 23)

Yahweh-Shammah

The Lord who is present. He never leaves you, nor forsakes you. He is with you forever. Your best friend, who never betrays you.

(Ezekiel 48:35, Genesis 28:15, Ezekiel 48:35, Psalm 23:4, 46:1, 139:7-12, Jeremiah 23:23-24, Amos 5:14)

 

Yahweh-Rapha

The Lord our healer. “By His stripes were are healed” declares the Bible. Jesus Christ died to give you life. Not only was God the healer in the Old Testament, but Jesus Christ revealed the healing heart of God for all of us, more than ever.

(Exodus 15:26, Exodus 15:26, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 6:2, 41:4, 103:3, 147:3, Isaiah 19:22, 30:36, 57:18-19, Jeremiah 3:22; 17:14, 30:17)

Yahweh-Tsidkenu

The Lord our righteousness. When we believe in Jesus Christ, He becomes our righteousness. He forgives our sins and washes us with His blood.

(Jeremiah 23:6, Genesis 15:6, Jeremiah 23:6, Psalm 4:1, 5:8, 24:5, 31:1, 36:10, 71:15, 89:16)

Yahweh-Jireh

The Lord will provide. Jesus Christ said that Father cares for us and we never need to worry about provision. He is our source of life, in every way.  (Genesis 22:13-14)

Yahweh-Nissi

The Lord our banner. The Lord gives us the victory in spiritual warfare. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises a banner of His love over us and covers us. He wages war on our behalf and makes us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.  (Exodus 17:15)

Yahweh-Shalom

The Lord is peace. Whenever there are storms in your life, hide in Him. He is your shelter in the storm. He gives peace beyond understanding, even when circumstances are chaotic. He is our shelter and our shield.   (Judges 6:24)

Yahweh-Sabbaoth

The Lord of Hosts. The Bible mentions myriads of angels, who wage war against the armies of hell, who try to destroy mankind. Jesus Christ is the Lord of hosts, the Captain of the armies of heaven.  (Isaiah 6:1-3, 1 Samuel 1:3, 17:45; 2 Samuel 6:2, 7:26-27; 1 Chronicles 11:9; Haggai 1:5)

Yahweh-Ghmolah

The God of Recompense. The Lord says in Romans 12 “vengeance is mine, I will repay.” We should never avenge others for what they do to us, but leave it in God’s hands.

(Jeremiah 51:6)  Elohim

God is creator, powerful and mighty, Lord of lords. He is the Lord Most High, stronger and mightier than anyone or anything. When you face impossible circumstances or adversaries, now that your God is stronger.  (Gen. 1:1, 17:7, Ps 19:1 Jer. 31:33)

 

 

El-Elyon

The most high God. Do not fear the enemy who tries to intimidate you. Know that your God is the Most High God. There is none above Him. Jesus Christ is exalted high above every name.  (Genesis 14:17-20, Deuteronomy 26:19, Isaiah 14:13-14)

El-Gibhor

Mighty God. The Lord is mighty to save. His arm is not too short. Whatever problem you are facing, know that your God is El-Gibhor, MIGHTY!  (Isaiah 9:6)

El-Olam

The everlasting God. God is eternal, while your problems are temporary. His love will never change. His promises are true. Build on Him, who is eternal and do not focus on your temporary situations. He will show you His great and eternal goodness.  (Isaiah 40:28-31)

El-Roi

The strong one who sees. When you feel lonely and abandoned by people, know that God is with you. He sees you and He knows you. He hears the cry of your heart and He loves you more than you can imagine. he will lead you through and fill your hear with His praise.(Genesis 16:13)

El-Shaddai-Rohi

God Almighty, the mighty One of Jacob. God is not just another ‘god’ like the countless idols. He truly is the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth.  (Gen. 17:1, 49:24, Ps. 91:1, 132:2, 5)

El-Chuwl

The God who gave birth. God is our Creator and our Father. He saw us and He loved us, even before we were born. He has a plan for your life and if you walk with Him, He will fulfill His dreams over your life and amaze you.  (Psalm 139:13-18)

El-Deah

God of knowledge. Wisdom comes from the Lord. Man tries to become wise apart from God, ut ends up in foolishness. When we fear God and keep His commandments, to love one another, we will know Him as He is and His wisdom will guide us.  (1 Samuel 2:3; Romans 11:33-36;           1 Cor. 1:18-31)

Attiyq Youm

The Ancient of Days. God is eternal. He was before the beginning of time. Therefor He has all authority. Every knee bows before Him.  (Daniel 7:9, 13, 14)

And here are some other lists you can check out.

http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/namesofgod.html#top          900+ names

https://www.lwf.org/names-of-god      21 names

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-definition-god-titles.htm      56 OT, 16NT, 44 Jesus, 12 HG names

https://www.gotquestions.org/names-of-God.html       19 names

http://www.characterbuildingforfamilies.com/names.html      625 names + brkdwn some Hebrew & I Am

Understand, I’m still learning (in part) so bear with me as this is what Father has shared with me, to pass on, so far.  Father is continually tweaking what He has shared with me, so I look forward to when we are in His presence.  For then, tweaking will no longer be needed.  All we will have to do is ask and He will tell us, plainly and clearly.  Jesus tells us that He has made known known to His disciples (John 15:15), all that Father revealed to Him.  Remember, Jesus is the living Word of God so if Father said it, Jesus knew it.  Yet, after describing the end times, Jesus tells the disciples “No one knows the day nor hour, not man, not even the angels in heaven, only Father (Matt. 24:36).  Again, Jesus is the “living Word of God, so apparently Father never said (spoke) exactly when the end times would be.

As a capper for us is that we show our love for God by loving Him and allowing that love not just to flow into our heart, but also allowing that love to flow out of our heart to those around us. whatever we face, e yield it over to God – and don’t take it back.  This means we give everything over to Father then follow His direction.  Yes, there are times we may have to do something!

The essence of God is LOVE and I pray this series on the “Essence of Love” will help you attain a little better understanding of what that actually involves.  I pray this helps you walk a little closer with Father, through Jesus Christ because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within our heart.

May the love of God abide in you always!

Amen

Saturday, October 23, 2021

10-23-2021        ESSENCE OF LOVE Pt 2

Last time, we discovered how the essence of love can work in our own life and how we can share it with others, but how can we experience the essence of love in the church?  Paul tells us that whatever we do in the church should edify the church and building our brothers and sisters up in His love, right?  God gives the church what is referred to as the ‘Five-Fold Ministry to help us do just that (Eph. 4:11-13).

What IS the five-fold ministry (2) - Role of the Evangelist, Apostle, Teacher, Pastor and Prophet (Eph. 4:11)

The early church struggled as Peter, James, John and the rest of the apostles and disciples and later, including Paul did all they could to help those early believers understand just what love was/is all about.

The bible doesn’t call these gifts, the “five-fold” ministry, but it does say that Jesus gave ‘some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists and some pastors and teachers to the church for perfecting the saints, the work of the ministry and to edify the body of Christ.  Even though these five abilities are not ‘listed’ as gifts, to perform in these ministries is definitely a gift from God!

The Greek word for “perfecting is katartismos (G2677) which is to perfect (verb, not a noun).  Its root word is katartizo (G2675) which is to complete, mend, prepare, restore or make perfect by joining together.  And the root word for katartizio is artios (G739) which is to complete or perfect.

  Perfecting the saints is helping each one of us to be all that we can be, helping us to do the work to which Father has called us, then do our part in building up the body of Christ.  The role of evangelist, apostle, prophet, pastor and teacher is to be responsible for these areas so the body of Christ can function as God intended.  The five ministries are listed separate.  I am persuaded that Father did not intend for just one person to perform all five ministries by himself, but rather spread each ministry out so no one person would be over burdened with the tasks.  Thus having greater strength in a specific area.

The five positions are God-given “gifts” to serve their particular purpose in the church. 

God also gives other gifts through which these five positions can be ministered:  prophecy, serving, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership and mercy (Rom. 12:6-8); word of knowledge, word of wisdom, faith, healings, miracles, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinth. 12:8-10); and Paul also adds to this list administrations (1 Corinth. 12:28).  Not going into depth on this list at this time, but understand all Christians can operate in any of these gifts as Father deems.  Yet these gifts are also avenues through which the five-fold positions (Ephesians 4:11) can operate.

The church IS (should be) the five-fold ministry

The gifts from God are given without repentance (Rom. 11:29), that is, one does not have to give his life to Jesus (“be saved”) to have the ‘gift’.  God knows us before we are conceived and has a gift intended for each one of us even before we are born.  He has sanctified us, that is set us aside to operate in that gift, so we can fully and effectively serve Him.  Then, through our obedience He ordains us into that ministry (Jer. 1:5).  God gives us this gift before birth, but we have a choice, as we grow in our “natural life”, to accept His ordination or do our ‘own thing’ (reject).  The thing(s) we enjoy really doing is most likely the gift God has given us.  Still, it is our choice to follow that gift or even whether to use it for God’s glory or not.  Irregardless of our decision, God has given each of us an ability.

John the Baptist is a good example of God knowing us, giving us a gift then even having the desire to go out and do it.  (Luke 1:1-25).  An angel of the Lord spoke with Zacharias, then Elisabeth conceived and bore John.  Take note that Father also had already declared John’s mission on this earth, before his conception, before his birth, then, when John was older, he went out and did it.  God ordained him to perform that task in the level he served.

Do we dare to forget Jesus, as the angel Gabriel went to Mary?  Again, before she had even conceived, before Jesus was born, even before having an intimate relationship with Joseph, Gabriel told her that she would give birth to Jesus and what His ministry would be.  You say, they were unique and Jesus is the Son of God.  OK, but what about Jeremiah, our lead passage in this section.  Jeremiah was a ‘mere’ man.  God told Jeremiah “I knew you before you were conceived.  I sanctified you (set you apart) before you were born (for a task).  God tells Jeremiah that he was born to be a prophet to Israel – and so he was.

So the gifts are given to help the church to grow and be strong in Christ Jesus.  So let’s take a quick look at these five gifts/positions to see how that works:

What does an evangelist do?  Euaggelistes (G2099) evangelist (of course) preaches the gospel or brings the “good news” of Jesus Christ.  In other words, he shares with others how to receive Jesus into their heart so that they might attain eternal life (fellowship) with Father.  We see an example with Philip in Samaria with the Eunuch (Acts 8:5-39).  Do you know what you’re reading? … Here’s water.  Can I be baptized?  The eunuch gives his life to Jesus!

                        The evangelist brings the good news, the gospel, of Jesus Christ, so people can learn about God’s love and how to attain eternal fellowship with the Father through Jesus and abide forever in that love.

The apostle?    Apostolos (G552) a delegate or messenger who is sent (by God).  We are fellow citizens in the household of God and built upon the foundation of the apostles, the prophets and Jesus, Himself (as the cornerstone).  The city, New Jerusalem has twelve foundations, each which contains the name of an apostle of the Lamb (Rev. 21:14).

                        The apostle is a messenger, sent by God, to build a foundation, both in the church and in personal lives.  And, of course, that foundation is God’s love!

The teacher?   Didaskalos(G1320) teacher, doctor, master.  The disciples recognized Jesus as the ultimate teacher (John 13:13) and a teacher instructs others that they may know.

                        In the church, a teacher helps others to know and understand what the Word of God says and means.  That teaching should increase our knowledge of God’s love.

The pastor?     Poimen (G4166) pastor, shepherd.  A shepherd guides, protects and leads his ‘flock’ (Psalm 23). 

                        The pastor does this by helping those, for whom he is responsible, to learn how to apply God’s Word and love into their lives.

The prophet?   Prophetes (G4396) prophet, poet, foreteller, inspired (by God) speaker.  The prophet brings the Word of God to those whom God has sent him.  We see in scripture, prophets bring word of encouragement and direction to God’s people.  Remember, Father chastises those whom He loves (Heb. 12:6) so His word doesn’t always come buried in a flower garden, but it is always done in love and to edify His people (1 Corinth. 14:12, 26).  No matter how harsh it may seem sometimes.  The prophet reassures us that God does love us.

Drawing souls into the kingdom of God, building a foundation in their lives, teaching brothers and sisters about God and how to apply what we learn into our own lives, helping them to walk the right path and giving encouragement are all expressions of the love God gives us to share.

The whole bible reflects the five-fold ministry

What can we say here?

When God created man, He let all creation testify to the man for Him.  All man had to do was look around.  See the sun, sky, trees, flowers, etc.  There was nothing when God started creating so He laid the foundation for all that would be (Gen. 1:1-31).  There was a void and God started speaking and His Word was taken out by His Spirit (the Holy Ghost) to create what Father imagined and then bring it into being! 

We don’t have specifics on what directions, the Creator of all, passed down to His creation but we do know they had a sense of right and wrong.  Cain discovered that it was wrong to kill his brother Abel and he feared someone else might kill him.  Father punished Cain for his wrongdoing but also pronounced that anyone who killed Cain would suffer even a worse punishment (Gen. 4:1-15). 

Through the Law (Exod. 20:1-17) and all the ‘practices’ God gave Moses for man to observe, God laid a deeper foundation, or shall we say a more detailed account of how man should love.  And being that, man still had problems getting the idea.  Father emphasized His love towards us through Jesus Christ.  Through the foundation in Christ Jesus we discover that it’s not just what we do but what we consider doing (in our heart) is also wrong (Prov. 23:7, Mat. 5:27-28).  Love encompasses not just what we do, but who we are. 

Father laid the foundation and when man strayed, in an evangelical outreach, gave us the Law, then fulfillment of that law in Jesus.  And that law is love.  The bible speaks of both an evangelistic and apostolic foundation to be laid before anything else.  We need Jesus, then to understand His love.

Father shows us how the shepherd takes care of his ‘flock’ as with David (before he became king and in Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures beside the still waters.  He restores my soul and leads me in the paths of righteousness.”  A shepherd?  The pastor?  Love!

Every time God speaks with man and man passes that along to others, He is teaching us.  He teaches us to hear His voice as with the young prophet Samuel (1 Sam 3:1-10).  How to listen and gain victory as with Joshua and the walls of Jericho (Josh. 6:1-20).  And how to make the right decisions as with Solomon and the two mothers (1 Kings 3:16-28).  The bible does teach us things.  A lot!  A lot about how God loves and how we should also love.

Do we cite examples from each of the prophets of God?  They brought glad tidings to Israel, they brought direction to Israel and they brought chastisement to Israel as they conveyed what Father had given them to speak.  The bible speaks in love through His prophets.

Jesus IS the five-fold ministry

Jesus explains to His disciples the importance of having a good foundation, solid doctrine and to not be flighty, or entertain whimsical ideologies (Matt. 7:24-27).  Jesus warns us that not everyone who tries to feed into our lives has our best interest at heart.  They may look good, but inside, they are out to destroy us.  We will eventually be able to see their true heart as their lifestyles will be revealed.  Jesus tells us not all who say “Lord, Lord” shall enter into the kingdom of God (Matt. 7:15-21). Jesus tells us to love with all that we are (Luke 10:27-28). This is part of the foundation Jesus laid in people’s heart.  Jesus is an apostle.

In Jerusalem, the people identified Jesus as a prophet (Matt.21:10-11).  The Samaritan woman at the well perceived Jesus as a prophet (John 4:5-29).  Jesus raised a young man from the dead and the people declared a prophet had come (Luke 7:12-16).  Jesus told His disciples what was to come, the end times (Matt. 24:1-31) and receipt of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:7-8).  Jesus revealed things, performed ‘works’ and foretold the future.  Jesus is a prophet.

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent before the people so they might be healed  (John 3:24) God sent His only Son into the world that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  The Son has not come to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:14-17).  Jesus IS the good news of salvation.  Everything Jesus told the people was directied into eternal life.  Jesus is the evangelist.

Jesus says that He is the door for the sheep to use.  All who come through My door shall be saved and be able to go in and out to pasture.  The thief comes to kill and destroy but I bring life and that you may have it and have it more abundantly.  I am the Good Shepherd and I give My life for My sheep (John 10:7-11).  The God of peace raised our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd, through the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 13:20).  He leaves us the Holy Ghost to guide us is into all truth (John 16:13).  Jesus is a shepherd/pastor.

He opened His mouth and taught people (what we call the beatitudes – Matt. 5:1-12).  At the  seaside, Jesus taught them many things by using parables (Mark 4:1-2).  Jesus is a teacher.

More importantly, Jesus is the Son of God (Matt. 3 16-17).  Also, He is the son of man (Luke 2:1-7).  In the flesh He is the supposed son of Joseph (Luke 3:23) who is the son of … David … Booz … Judah … Jacob (Israel) … Abraham … Mathusala … Enoch … Shem … Noah … Seth … Adam who was the son of God (Luke 3:23-38).

And God?  God is love! And don’t forget Jesus is called Emmanuel, God is with us (Matt. 1:23).  Therefore Jesus is love!

How could He not represent Father in all aspects? 

We are a part of the five-fold ministry

We are exponents of the 5-fold ministry so just what is our role?  Paul tells us that whatever we do, do for the edification of the church so that the church can operate in unity not being swayed by the wiles of the enemy (1 Corinth. 14:12, Eph. 4:11-16).

All the churches accept the position of evangelist, pastor and teacher and all too often one individual tries to fulfill all three “offices”.  But consider, every time a new soul comes into the kingdom of God, every time a new church is started in a new community, a foundation needs to be laid – for an individual and/or for the fledgling congregation.  And, again, all too often one individual tries to add all these, or should I say “stuff” these duties to his pastoral hat.

And what about encouraging the people?  We all need an encouraging word from Father but we also need direction and when we stray – even reprimand.  God can use any of us to encourage another.  But Father does call some people into a deeper realm of encouragement.

Should one individual wear all these hats?  I don’t think so.  Jethro told Moses to divide responsibility up between trusted and Godly men so he wouldn’t have to wear himself out, sun up to sun down, ministering to individuals (Exod. 18:19-27).  The Greeks complained to Peter about their widows being neglected so Peter had them choose seven godly men to minister to their needs while he attended to prayer and ministering the gospel (Acts 6:1-7).  So why should one person be expected (or even try) to perform all the duties of the “five-fold’ ministry, alone?

Is the church perfect?  What makes us perfect?  What makes us mature?  A simple answer – living totally and absolutely in the love of Jesus Christ!  How many of us meet this qualification in our own lives.  Is there strife in the churches?  Are we really mature in Christ Jesus?  The closest we come is as we confess, repent and renounce (decide not to do it again) our sin.  Do we never sin again?  All too often I find myself, on my knees, before my Father because of some stupid thing I did (and at times even the ‘same’ stupid thing).  If we say we don’t have not sinned, we make Jesus a liar… but if we do sin Jesus intercedes for us (1John1:7-1 John 2:2).    Ask yourself, “Who is perfect?”  Totally and absolutely?  I’ll give you a hint.  They called Him Emmanel.  We call Him Savior, Lord, Messiah, Jesus! 

Love never fails.  Yet, prophecies, tongues and knowledge shall vanish.  For we do things in part now.  When that which is perfect is come, then that which is part shall be done away with.  When I was immature I acted like a kid but now that I’m grown, I’ve put away those immature things (ways of the world).  Today, my vision is clouded, but then (when I am with the Lord) I shall know Him as He knows me.  That’s when I will truly realize that faith and hope aren’t forever, they aren’t needed forever, but God is love and that never goes away (1 Corinth. 13:8-12) for God is love (1 John 4:8).  Paul said “These things will pass away”.  Why?  When we are in the literal presence of Jesus (eternity), these wonderful gifts won’t be necessary!  Are we truly perfect today?  That is never sin?  Do we know all things?  Has the Perfect come?  Has Jesus returned for us – yet?  Paul speaks of things yet to happen in his life, even the fact that Jesus is coming back for us (1 Thess. 4:14-18).  I can argue that we are not perfect, yet Jesus is.  He is God come in the flesh (Matt. 1:23, John 14:9), He can’t help but be perfect.  Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-8) and he is looking forward to seeing Jesus again.  Has that happened?  Paul’s salvation and his entire ministry happened after Jesus’ ascension.  If Paul looked forward to a future event, has Jesus snuck in between then and now?  If so, we’ve all missed the boat. 

God is love so He has given us things in this world to connect with Him.  But, listen up, when we are with Him in eternity, we won’t need the tools He’s given in this world.  So why do we hope for what we will then see with our own eyes (Rom. 8:24-25)?  But God is love so how can love ever go away?

Again, in the meantime, Father has given us gifts to help the church (us) to become what it (we) should be – a reflection of His love!

There’s a lot more than can be said in respect to what is referred to as the “Five-Fold” ministry, but hopefully, for those who are not familiar, this will be an impetus for you to check further and discover how it is an expression of God’s love towards us.

End Part 2

Next, let’s bring it all together!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

ESSENCE OF LOVE (1)

Hands of Jesus, Fire of Holy Ghost, Love of Christ

God is good!

God is forever!

God is love.

No matter what names we use to describe the Creator of all things, He who interacts with us, the bottom line is “GOD IS LOVE!”

His essence is love!  His concept is love!  His being is love!  We are God’s creation!  And we are created out of love!  For God is love!  The world is God’s creation.  Hey!  The suns (stars) and whatever planets they support are all God’s creation!  Any lifeforms that may or may not be out there would also be God’s creation!  Anything and everything that IS, He created it and He created it all out of love (for God is love).  Again I emphasize, He created it all!  (Got enough exclamation points here?)

Because God is love, He wanted something (someone) to shower that love upon.  He desired something (someone) to share that love with so He created all life, all that exists. 

Yet He wanted to love more, so He created man, that is, us human beings.  A more direct object (if you will) for that love.  He made man in His image – not the image of other men or animals.  Note the capital “H”, but in His (God’s) image.  Why?  Being love, He not only wanted something to love but he desired that ‘something’ (someone) to share some of that love back with Him.

Look at the parent/child relationship.  Mom and dad love the little babies, the kids and teach the children learn how to return that love to them.  At least, in some form or fashion.  We show love towards our children and they share some of that love back with us (parents).  Atwo-way-street!

Look at the nature of man.  How does that love function in our own lives?  We desire companionship.  In other words, who can we share our love with?  Friends?  Spouse?  Children?

Listen to a basis for why I even care.

Eternal vision

In my youth, my teens, my early twenties, maybe even my early thirties, I don’t remember.  It was well before Father started to really get my attention.  I did go to Sunday School in a Baptist Church through High School.  May have been during those years.  It may have been before I married at age 26, or even after.  Like I said, I don’t remember exactly how old I was when Father shared this with me.

 However, somewhere along the line I asked Father just how BIG was He.  I may have asked how great are You or how awesome – but something along those lines.  For an instant, He showed me the vastness of existence.  For a split second (though it felt like an eternity) it seemed as though my mind was racing through space with all the stars whizzing past me at “warp” speed.  I was reminded of the time, in the original series) the Star Trek crew encountered an alien who could implant thoughts into their minds, did so with those things which they (the crew) feared the most.  From his seat in the helm, looking out the front portal of the Enterprise, Sulu saw, what looked like hundreds, of daggers flying towards the starship in a tight formation and, as I said, perhaps even warp speed.  As I comprehended what I was seeing, it was like Sulu’s daggers whizzing by.  Not a blur, but I could see clearly each, individual star as it zipped by me.  What I know in my heart is that had my experience lasted any longer than what it did, my head felt as though it would have surely exploded (literally).  I said, it lasted only a split second.  Faster than the time it takes for a lightbulb to come on once the switch has been flipped, quicker than a normal inhale of breath, in comparison, I think even the blink of an eye would’ve been slower.

I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how “immense” God is.  His magnitude.  His vastness.  I understood what the bible meant when it said it would mean death if one saw the face of God – at least in this human body.  As I said, I felt as though my head would explode and obviously, that would have resulted in my physical death!  I could not handle what I was seeing!

A few years have passed – OK, a few decades – since that time and Father has not let me forget that experience.  Do I constantly think about it or am I fearful because of it?  No!  But it does keep me mindful of who I am, who Father is and what our relationship is.  He is the eternal God!  Through the years and even now, He continues to show me His magnitude!  Not with stars whizzing by at warp speed, but how deep His love is for me.  Amen?   (Thank You Jesus)

Even though man turned away from God, that is disobeyed the one thing Father told them not to do, God still showed His love.

He clothed Adam and Eve to ‘cover their nakedness (sin) and He explained that He would repair the damage they had done (Gen. 3:1-24) – as God said to the serpent that even though his seed would bruise the heel of man’s offspring, man’s offspring (Jesus) would bruise the head of our enemy (Gen3:14-15). 

Today we know that that ole devil thought he had won a huge victory over Father when he encouraged the priesthood and the Romans to crucify Jesus.  Get rid of the Messiah before He can take over.  Yet, through His sacrifice, He established His kingdom!  A temporary death as Jesus rose on the third day, walked with His disciples for forty more, then ascended back into heaven (form whence He came) and He’s now waiting for the time to return for us.  Bruising His heel?  Yet, through the cross, Jesus, the Son of God, coming through the lineage of King David the offspring of man) crushed the hold Satan had on mankind and for all those who would receive Him (Jesus) bruised Satan’s head.  For those who accept Christ Jesus, that ‘bruising’ might be considered more like crushed!  Jesus ushered the way for our forgiveness of sin and eternal fellowship with Father.  Glory to God!

Again, God so loved the world that He gave His only “begotten Son” – born of man into this world that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Jesus IS Emmanuelle which is translated “God is with us”.  So, not only is Jesus the Son of God, but He is God (the Father) Himself, His Word, come into this world in the flesh – born of a woman (Isa. 7:14, Matt. 1:22-23).  No earthly father but an earthly mother.  Born of a woman, under the Law, yet born of the Spirit (Father), not in bondage to the Law, so He could redeem us from the letter of that Law!  Father (Himself) was willing to walk as we walk, as an earthen vessel, so there could be no complaints of man saying that He (God) just doesn’t understand what it is like being human.  He showed His love or us by ‘walking a mile’ in our shoes!  Heh!  God knows!

The Holy Ghost took up full residence in Jesus as John (the Baptist) baptized him (as Jesus rose up out of the water) and testified that he saw the Spirit of God descend upon Him (Jesus) like a dove.  Implication here is that Jesus actually walked as a man for thirty years, walking in full authority, but full power not yet released.  Then through this baptism, Father released the full power of the Holy Ghost within Jesus.   The Holy Ghost now had full freedom to give Jesus all the power He needed to fulfill His mission our salvation.  Is there any question that Jesus needed that full power to endure the scourging, humiliation and finally the cross, itself?

There is no greater expression of love than for a man to lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13).  Jesus has calls us His friends (John 15:15) as He laid His life down for us (on the cross).  His grace and mercy endures forever as He rose on the third day!

We can show our love for the Lord by laying our lives down for Him.  Yes, there have been martyrs and still are, but every Christian can lay his life down for Jesus by “living” for Him and in Him.  We live for Him by keeping His commandment and His commandment is to love (Mark 12:28-31).  The “Law” of the Old Testament and the New Testament all hang on LOVE. (Matt. 37-40).

But Father expresses His love for us also, in so many other ways:

Into Action

Jesus said that if we love Him, we should keep His commandments and His commandments are to love.  Yes, ‘commandments’ is correctly pluralized.  Love God and love our fellow man.  It is a single commandment (to love.) with two parts.  Note the direction of that love.  First it points upward towards Father, then it points outward toward our fellow man.  We express our love for God by expressing our love for our fellow man (Mark 12:29-31).  As said earlier “God so loved the world …” (John 3:16) that He desires that no one perish but all would repent, come into everlasting life (2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus gives us an idea of what love is all about.  The sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46).  Jesus says to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, be hospitable to strangers (one never know when we might be entertaining an angel [Heb. 13:2]), provide clothes for the needy, visit the sick and visit the incarcerated (we never know when they might give their hearts to the Lord).  Take note, especially of verse forty for what we do to the least in the kingdom of God, it is the same as doing to/for Jesus.  As for the sheep and the goats?  The sheep did these things, the goats did not!  The goats do not enter into God’s rest.  The sheep do! 

He also warns about hypocrites in the church.  Not all who “say” “Jesus is Lord” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Only those who do what!? “The will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).  Many will prophesy in the name of Jesus and do many wonderful works – even casting out of devils (Matt. 7:22).  Whoa! Wait a minute!  Jesus says whatsoever we do, do in His name, right (John 14:13)?  Don’t worry, God’s Word won’t come back void (Isa. 55:11), even if it should be spoken in unbelief.  But understand, we can’t say just say anything then add Jesus’ name at the end – to make us sound good.  It is when we speak (say out loud) “God’s Word”, or that which is consistent in His love (still His Word), then what is said will not come back void.  Point – even when someone puts Jesus’ name at the end, if it wasn’t what God wants shared … no guarantees even though an unbeliever can speak God’s Word.  Believe me when I say I have known people who have told me Jesus told them to tell me something and it did NOT set well with my spirit.  And later, Father even told me “I didn’t say that!”  They weren’t quoting the bible or a bible truth, they were just trying to get me to do something they wanted while ‘using’ Jesus name as authority.  Father will usually set the stage for us by letting us know when He’s involved, as He did with Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10:1-22).

We know this, that our love towards our brothers and sisters is consistent with our love towards Father through Jesus.  Hey, that holds true towards anybody.  Our love with Father is an ongoing growth process, therefore so is our love as it is expressed towards those around us.  We grow to love, not just our brothers, but everybody.  God doesn’t want anyone to perish!

We have to make the decision to love, so we grow, every time we make that right decision, it strengthens our love. 

The Apostle John shares with us that as we show our love towards others it IS because we love Jesus and that loving Jesus and our neighbor  IS confirmation of our eternal life in Christ Jesus (1 John 5:13).   

We need to understand that the Ten Commandments describe love (Exod. 20:1-17).  The bible, in its entirety, is a basic comprehension of love.  It talks about how God, through His love interacts with man.  The more you want to know about the details of love, the more bible one needs to read.  The bible is written evidence of God’s love towards us.  Exodus, Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the letters of John are a good place to start to begin our journey into love.  Paul’s letters help us understand even more about love.  But, like I said, the whole bible is Father’s love letter to us, with plenty of examples of compassion, guidance reprimand, etc.

All this brings us into a personal level with Father so we can grow in love.  Father wants, us, His church, to grow in the Essence of LOVE.

This is part one of a three part series.