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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

(80) YHWH, What's in a name?

The first name in the Bible that is used to describe God is Elohim, the arm of God, the Creator and that is in Genesis 1:1.  There are many other names/titles/roles, what have you, that we use to describe God or use to talk to Him.  But Moses perhaps is the first person that got to actually hear the name of God or maybe just something close to a personal name for the name of God was unpronounceable to mankind.  The passage below is from the CJB to show how complicated the sound of His name can be from Exodus 3:13-15.  Try other versions and it will all still mean the same.
  • Moshe said to God, “Look, when I appear before the people of Isra’el and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you’; and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”
  • God said to Moshe, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be],” and added, “Here is what to say to the people of Isra’el: ‘Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.’”
  • God said further to Moshe, “Say this to the people of Isra’el: ‘Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [Adonai], the God of your fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’chak and the God of Ya‘akov, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after generation".
The name that God gave Moses to tell His people who sent him to save them all in the closest English translation was I AM.  This means in essence that God aways has been and always will be.  From Him all was made.  Then God goes on and adds more to His name and sounds it out so it seems for Moses; Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh.  These are letters in the Hebrew alphabet and each has a story with them.  Jewish people use the name Adonai when referring to the name of God, which is also translated as LORD.  But here we see what is also called a tetragrammaton at work.  Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh can be written also as YHVH or YHVH, hence Yahweh with the added vowel sounds.  In Latin and English it has been translated as to what we know as Jehovah.  Through Moses God would save His people from the hands of the Egyptians, a foreshadow of something greater of what was to come.  Below is how it would look in Hebrew writing.

Each letter though has its own purpose.  Hebrew writing is read from right to left.  What you see here is the tertagrammaton Y-H-V-H.  In Hebrew schools children are taught that each letter not only has a sound but also has a meaning and a symbol with it.  Such as in English we would say A is for Apple although in English there really is no such thing.   But A does not have any meaning to it.  In Hebrew each letter has three purposes for the language.  This is probably what Jesus was doing in the Temple when He was 12 and lost and found by His parents.  He was teaching the elders and scribes what the letters really meant.  This is also what makes Matthew 5:18 all the more important when Jesus said not the least stroke of the pen would disappear from the Law until all is fulfilled.  Below you can see a chart that gives examples of what each letter's symbol and meanings are.  If you look the tetragrammaton for Y-H-V-H actually is I-E-U-E on the chart because of the sound the letter makes and not the order of the letters.  When put together the letters make a different sound and that is how we get the name we know as Yahweh.  The letter Y or Yud's translation is symbolically an arm or open hand and means to work or worship.  The H or Heh's translation is symbolically man with arms raised and has a meaning of breath or to reveal.   And the V or Vav's symbolically is a tent peg and means to add, secure or hook.  You can see where this is going.  We worship a God whose hand was pierced with a tent peg and whose arms were raised and when this happens He will be revealed to the world who He is.  There is undoubtedly more to this translation.  But He who is revealed is Jesus.
When Jesus was crucified the Pharisees were upset with the sign that Pilate hung above His head.  He wrote a sign in three languages (Latin, Greek, and Aramaic/Hebrew) that said Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.  The Pharisees told Pilate to take down the sign because they did not want people to think they said what was written but that Jesus claimed the charge against Him.  But a closer look and we see that the Pharisees were not angry about the sign itself but about what they saw in the sign.  In Hebrew the sign read Yeshua HaNazarei V'Melech HaYehudim.  Did you see it?  Notice the first letter in each word that Pilate wrote.  Y-H-V-H.  Jesus was revealed as God when He was crucified and saved His people.  Just as God's people were saved from the hand of the Egyptians, a symbol of oppression or sin, Jesus came and saved God's people from all sin.
A sign of God's ultimate story of grace and connection with His people.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

(79) If you are a Christian, you are a king

Why is Jesus called the King of kings?
Jesus is not called King of kings because He was more powerful than all earthly kings that we know, although that is true. There is not one king who will ever have more power or glory than Jesus.  Jesus is not called King of kings because He controls everything in the universe and everything belongs to Him, although, once again that is true. Nothing in this universe that was created was done without Him.  There is only one reason why Jesus is King of kings.  Those who believe in Him are kings.  We who are followers of Christ are kings.  He is our king.  HENCE, HE IS THE KING OF KINGS.
  • Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth. (Gen 1:28)
  • I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. (Matt 16:19)
  • Moreover, to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?  Aren’t they all merely spirits who serve, sent out to help those whom God will deliver. (Hebrews 1:14)
  • The Spirit himself bears witness with our own spirits that we are children of God; and if we are children, then we are also heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Messiah — provided we are suffering with him in order also to be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17)
When we were created we were given dominion over all the earth, to rule over it.  Not just the animals but the earth.  Because later that passage goes on to say that we are given all plants as well.  The earth was ours.  When Jesus told Peter that He is giving him the keys to the kingdom, He was telling him for all of us.  He said He will build His kingdom upon these keys.  And these keys are whatever we bind on earth and loose on earth.  Our words are power.  He has given us power in our words.  We can proclaim and declare like kings.  Angels serve us because we are to be served.  That is not underscoring angels but lifting up the childrenof God.  Whatever we ask for we are to be given!  Are kings ever denied?  Even more, are children of the KING ever denied?  We are heirs to the kingdom of God.  We are given gifts from God.  This is why we as a follower of Christ are given spiritual gifts to use.  We have power!
This is why we are told to pray.  This is why we have power when we pray.  Prayer is faith.  Faith is power when we speak in the name of Jesus.  This is why we can say to the mountain MOVE and it has to, because we have been given dominion over the earth.  Peter walked on water not because Jesus was there but because he could anyway.  He just did not know it.  He sank not because of the waves.  They were already there before he stepped out onto the water.  He sank because he allowed doubt back into his mind and Jesus said, "You of little faith".  Kings have power when they speak.  Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered.  He spoke to the demons and they fled.  He spoke to a dead man and guess what, Lazarus rose!  He gave us the power to do these things when He rose from the dead and left us the Holy Spirit.
The only One we need to ask permission from is the One who is above us, the King of all kings.  When we speak to disease, addictions, or whatever your mountains are (whether physical or metaphorical) in the Name above all names they HAVE to listen.  We ask in the Name of the KING as a child of the king.  These things we were given and have dominion over!
We will one day we will receive our crowns.  Some say there a 5 different types of crowns.  But then we will see such a glory of the King of kings that we will lay our crowns down before Him. (Rev 4)
Why then are there so many problems in this world?  Man has let sin dominate him.  Man has let the world dominate him.  Man has let doubt in.  Man thinks this is foolishness.  The world and all of its intellect tells us that we are crazy for believing.  It tries to remind us that we are hypocrites.  It tells us that we are bigots.  It tells us that being a believer in Jesus is wrong and irrelevant.  It forgets that we are also human and more importantly, forgiven and not of this world.  There will be some who read this and scoff at the sight of the word Jesus and get angry by the time they reach the end.  The problem is we have listened to the world for too long.
Man lost it when Adam fell but God covered him.  Israel lost it when they disobeyed God but He covered them by giving them the Law.  The religious lost it when they took the Law and created rules for it but God covered them by sending the ultimate gift.  And now, we have been given the kingdom again.  He left the Holy Spirit for us to use and He left the Spirit in us (Acts 1:8).  When Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is at hand He meant more than just Himself (Luke 17:21).  It is not only in our midst it is in us.  The kingdom is for us to take a hold of.  If we only believe.
It is time we take back our kingdom.  Live like kings.  You are a child of the King of kings.

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