Sunday, July 31, 2016

One (ECHAD) is Coming (part 2), Salvation Came

Mark 1:4-11 Part 2
In Part 1 we were introduced to the man, John the Baptist. Part 2 is about John's ministry and the introduction to "The One - ECHAD - our Salvation.

John's ministry

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Mark 1:4-5 nasu

  • The miracle baby had become a man: 
  • Luke 1:66  All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be?" For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him. 
  • Luke 1:76-77  "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS;  To give to His people the knowledge of salvation (from the Hebrew word Y'shua)  By the forgiveness of their sins, 
  • Luke 1:80  And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
...and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River.

How do you preach baptism? If it were me, I would preach repentance but John preached baptism. He also baptized. The baptism we are familiar with means, to immerse, to put under water. It communicates the Hebrew idea of washing. But to "preach" baptism is to overwhelm emotionally instead of physically immersing. He could preach baptism because baptism has more then one facet of meaning, depending on how it is spelled in Greek.  To overwhelm and to immerse are similar ideas but communicate different actions.

The question I have is, Why did the people of Judah and Jerusalem leave the comfort of their homes to go to the wilderness to be overwhelmed by their sin? Why did they submit to being immersed in the Jordan for the remission of that sin? According to Michael Rood's "The Chronological Gospels" this baptism of John took place in winter. There were no hotels or comfortable conference centers in the wilderness. No restaurants or campgrounds with showers and toilets; so why did they go? Surly there were plenty of adequate preachers and teacher in the big city of Jerusalem. The Jordan river ran close to the city where they could be comfortable on their pilgrimage. 

Was it curiosity about who Zechariah's son had become? If that was what they wanted to know then they could just ask around. How children turn out is something we like to talk about. I believe that they were not curious, but that they were supernaturally compelled to go. John was filled with the Spirit from his conception. The prophet Samson is the only other baby that was said to be special even from the womb. Everyone I've ever met who is filled with the Spirit had to repent of sin and invite the Holy Spirit into their heart before it could happen. There was something very special about John.

The Hebrew word ECHAD-One The people were supernaturally compelled to come and hear what John had to say; "After me, One-ECHAD is coming." Not "someone is coming" but One is coming. To our English speaking culture, "One" does not have much meaning beyond counting, but to people who had said the SHAMA all of their lives (Hear O Israel... ), One-ECHED, had a very specific meaning.

"Hear (SHAMA), O Israel! The LORD (YHVH) is our God, the LORD (YHVH) is One (ECHAD)!" Deuteronomy 6:4
YHVH is ECHAD (One)! Hebrews are very careful with the name of YHVH. They NEVER want to profane (take in vain) the name of YHVH. By saying "ECHAD-One is coming after me, Judah understood who John meant. They also knew that they needed to be sanctified and washed before they could be in the presence of ECHAD, just as YHVH instructed Moses in Exodus 19:10.

The LORD (YHVH) also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate (baptize) them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; Exodus 19:10
Confess your sins, repent and be washed. The people came to John to prepare to meet their God. They came from their comfortable homes and beds to be overwhelmed by the burden of their sin, confessing and repenting of it, being immersed in the Jordan for the remission of sin.

Remission of Sin When we talk about cancer being in remission we are saying that the horrible radiation treatment has done its job and the doctor can no longer find evidence of cancer in the body or blood of the victim. It does not mean the person is cured, but that for this season there is no evidence of cancer (which may last to the end of a person's normal life or it may be only a matter of years), the treatment can be stopped. Remission of sin is similar. When there is not evidence of sin, the treatment (confession to repentance) can be stopped... until there is again evidence. Mark tells us that all of Judea wanted to be set free and went to great lengths to find freedom from the cancer that is sin. THIS is how John was to "prepare the people for 'the One' coming after him"

 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Mark 1:9
Y'shua-Jesus came from Galilee. Judah is south of Galilee with Samaria in between them. It is almost like saying that John was baptizing in the Snake River in the wild country between Oregon and Idaho. The people came from California and Los Angeles to be baptized by John in the Snake. In those days Y'shua came from Lake Chelan in Washington to be baptized by John in the Snake River.... except that the western states cover a lot more acreage then Galilee, Samaria and Judah. The point being that Y'shua did not come from the religious center of the Promise Land, where the city and throne of his father David was located, where most Jewish people lived, but from the North. Few people even know who he was. He had not attended Yeshiva (Jewish school) or attended synagogue with any of the Judeans who came for John's baptism. John was one of the few people who had any idea who He was.

He came to be baptized, but He had no sin to repent of. He went into the water, just like everyone else, but without sin. Coming out of the water is where the difference was obvious. He did not come out of the water "immediately" (that is a bad translation), instead, He came out "YASHAR" (upright in his relationship to the Almighty). Not since the creation of the first man, Adam, had a man been YASHAR, and then only for a short time.

Immediately coming up out of the water YASHAR (in an upright relationship with God), He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; Mark 1:10 corrected
Not one other person, baptized and in remission of sin, came out of the water in a right relationship with the Almighty. Sin in remission is not free from sin. They were still carriers of the sickness of sin, still susceptible of being struck down with sin at any moment. Not so for Jesus. He did not have any sin, it was not even in his nature to sin, a concept that I have a difficult time understanding, but that I believe by faith. Being YASHAR - in right relationship with God, he went where His Father directed Him, submitting fully to Him. He came out of the water just as as He went in, YASHAR - upright in His relationship to God. He stayed the course. Philippians 2: 14-15

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, Philippians 2 14-15 
...He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him...
Nothing is ever written "by chance" in Scripture, nor is it written poetically simply for poetry's sake. What I have learned about "like a dove" is too wonderful for me, I can only scratch at the surface. 

The Hebrew word for Dove is YWN (Hebrew letters yod-vav-nun sofit). When the Hebrew letter"hey" is added as a suffix to the  Hebrew word for "dove" it becomes Jonah. Jonah was one of the rare prophets who came from Galilee. Equally rare, Jonah's ministry was to gentiles. The Hebrew word for dove is also related to the Hebrew word for "wine". Wine is the "drink offering" that is poured out on the sacrifice and the service of the child of the Almighty. (Philippians 2:7). Being controlled by the Spirit of God is comparable to being controlled by wine (Ephesians 5:18). In a very simplistic way, Mark 1:10 tells us that the Spirit of the Almighty God was poured out like the drink offering on Y'shua the sacrifice, in the book of Mark, the servant. It descend as a dove... on the Son of God, who like Jonah, would bring Salvation to the Gentiles.

and a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." Mark 1:11

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Epistle to Diognetus

Amidst the confusion of conflicting parties there were true teachers, able and eloquent in directing souls in The Way of Salvation. One, whose name is unknown, writing in the second century to and inquirer named Diognetus, sets himself to answer the questions asked as to the mode of worshiping God among the Christians, the reason of their faith and devotion towards God, and love to one another, why they neither worshiped the gods of the Greeks, nor followed the Jewish religion, and why this new practice of piety only so late entered into the world.

He writes:

"Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language", living in such places "as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as the land of strangers... They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and the same time surpass the laws by their lives... they are reviled and bless"?

Then, speaking of God, he says:

He "who is Almighty, the Creator of all things, ...has sent from heaven, and placed among men, Him who is the truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word, and has firmly established Him in their hearts. He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any ...angel or ruler ...but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things - by whom He made the heavens - by whom He enclosed the sea within its proper bounds" - whom the stars obey. "This messenger He sent to them... As a king sends his son who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He sent Him; as to men He sent Him; as a Saviour He sent Him." Not as judging us He sent Him though "He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His appearing?" As to the delay in sending the Saviour, God has always been the same, but waited in His long-suffering. He had "formed in His mind a great and unspeakable conception, which He communicated to His Son alone." As long as He concealed His own wise counsel He appeared to neglect us, but this was to make it manifest that of ourselves we cannot enter into the kingdom of God. But when the appointed time had come, "He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the Holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God. O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! That the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!"

An un-named Christian, to Diognetus
Late 2nd Century 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

God remembers, Exodus 2:24

And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 

Exodus 2:24 RSV

The Almighty is the one who hears in today's SHAMA verse. He hears the cry, the groaning of his people in their bondage and remembers his promise to the covenant people.

Did the Almighty forget his people were in Egypt, did he not see the bondage of their slavery? How could he forget? His eye was ever on them. To remember is to ZAKAR. It involves meditation on What is remembered. He never forgets, never becomes distracted with something more important.

Did the Almighty forget the people Y'shua spilled his blood for? They are being killed all over the world, they are humiliated in America, believing that wealth and ease of life are symbolic of His love for us. But he remembers the pilgrims, and believers through the ages, the fox-hole promises, the baby dedications, the wedding vows, the sick bed cries. He remembers that we called on him when he came near because of our need, our weakness. Isaiah 55:5, 2 Corinthians 12:10 He hears, he remembers, Hang on to that promise, trust him, and at the perfect time (his not yours), when the hordes are closing in on you and there is no escape because of the sea, He will make a way that would be impossible without him.

Mrs. Hagerty, July 27, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Psalm 26:7

Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all thy wondrous deeds. 

Thank you Stacy Bergstrom for the beautiful sunset
What a huge responsibility it is to translate the Word of the Almighty into a language that I can understand! I have nothing but respect for those who did this great work for me and for the missionaries who continue this work for the people who still are without the Word. I want to state that up front.

The phrase "singing aloud" or "that I may publish" in the kj is translated from the Hebrew word SHAMA' to hear. Well known as the first word of Deuteronomy 6:4
Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is One.
David's SHAMA' tells us to "listen (SHAMA') and worship out loud, the mighty wonders, the extraordinary, surpassing (deeds isn't even part of the description, we just do not know how to communicate who YHVH is and what He does without a handle to hang it on) ...our King, our brother, our beloved Betrothed, Salvation; Y'shua

Mrs Hagerty, July 26, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Deliver us from evil...

Sing praise to YHVH, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:4-5
What a night! I awoke with a burden on my heart ...not for the soul of someone else, but for my own. Feeling dull and useless to my beloved Y'shua-Jesus, cast aside, and lost in my own thoughts instead of His; all I could do was pray "The Lords Prayer". It is what I do when my mind does not co-operate with my heart.

I love Hebrew. John Parsons of Hebrew for Christians, has written an essay on the Hebrew translation and meaning of the Lord's prayer. I go back to that essay when my mind is only spitting up rote words instead of letting my heart cry out to Messiah. The Spirit of the Almighty led me directly to the problem.

.Matthew 6:13..deliver us from evil...  hatzileinu min-hara
John Parsons essay said that this idea is yetzer hara.

...the inner impulse to gravitate toward selfish gratification (idolatry). This concept first appears in Genesis 6:5 where the wickedness of man is described as "every imagination yetzer of the thoughts of his heart was only evil ra"...
It is overwhelming to realize that my problem with sin is exactly the problem that brought the flood! Could my beloved LORD be sorry that he wasted His time with someone like me? Genesis 6:6-7 Despair! What hope is there for me? Wouldn't the evil one, min-hara be delighted if he could freeze us up with that horrible thought. I was almost there in the darkness of my morning.

Is God finished with me? Feeling a little numb I started flipping through Facebook and came across an Anne Graham-Lotz post. It was a verse of scripture that ended with the hash-tag #PrayerAndPraise. Why was that on FB? Aren't hash-tags for twitter? Curious, I clicked on it and came to a page filled with encouragement. The love of God began to flood every fiber of my being.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18 NIV #PrayerAndPraise 
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 NIV #PrayerAndPraise 
he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:8 NIV #PrayerAndPraise
On and on it went until I came to Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6 NIV #PrayerAndPraise
The amazing love that filled my soul and set my spirit to singing! I wanted to make this old body dance, to lift up my hands in praise... but for the sleeping, hard working man next to me who needed a few more hours of rest. Never mind! God is not through with me, I am not trash that He is sorry He tried to redeem. That is not who He is. With joy, I proclaim the words of Paul...

Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
    Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
    "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"
    "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?"
    For from him and through him and to him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.  Romans 11: 30-36 NIV #PrayerAndPraise :)
Mrs. Hagerty, July 25, 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Gospel of Mark; Chapter 1:14-20, week 3

Study Notes; Mark 1:14-20

 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, " The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

 As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow (after) Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."  Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.           NASU

(Bold print words are the subjects of word studies)

Day 1, Mark 1:14-15

What does the passage say?

14 (when?)   Now after John had been taken into custody, 
     (who?)    Jesus 
     (where?) came into Galilee, 
     (what?)   preaching the gospel of God,

What does this mean?

John, the rock-star preacher of his day, was arrested for daring to preach his message of repentance to a government man. His father, Zechariah, gave his life to protect John the forerunner. Luke 11:51b His mother, Elizabeth, raised him alone in the wilderness, in poverty, during her old age to protect the forerunner of Messiah. Was it all for nothing? 

John the Baptist came to prepare people's hearts for the Messiah. Judah and Jerusalem responded. When he moved into Galilee with his message, he was arrested by Herod. Y'shua-Jesus went straight to Galilee and began preaching the Gospel. (Mark 1:2-3)

After John was arrested, silenced, Y'shua (salvation) walked into the center of the fight and began preaching the message of John. Repent! The Kingdom is At Hand. 

The government said, Enough of this repentance talk. It does not apply to the rich and powerful. But that did not silence the message. All it meant was from that day forward, though religion fell, Life still stands.

The Question Am I ready to stand even if my hero falls? Will I hide in fear or take up the message?

15  What does the passage say? 

and (connects to verse 15--Y'shua proclaimed the Gospel)
(what?) saying, "(1) The time is fulfilled, 
             and         (2) the kingdom of God is at hand; 
                             (3) repent 
             and         (4) believe in the gospel."  

What does this mean?

The time the prophecy pointed to was the time of John's arrest. It (and everything else to make perfect circumstances) has fallen into place.

The Kingdom is at hand: One day, the kingdom with be a physical kingdom and every knee will bow in submission to Y'shua; but today, that same kingdom is found in the Spiritual realm and must be submitted to by faith. Look up the following passages
Romans 11:14Philippians 2:10
John 4:24
Revelation 21:2
repent: G3340 (G is for Greek, you might use NT for new testament. The number is a reference in the Strong's Concordance) The simplest meaning of "repent" is "stop; turn around and go the opposite direction." But I do not think this passage is about a physical journey. When it comes to living by faith, I like to say that "repent" means to think differently, so differently that you have a change in how you live your life. What do you learn from your study of repent?

believe: G4100 (pist-yoo'-o) to think something is true and worthy to be trusted (Louw and Nida) Believe is the noun, faith is the verb, the action taken because we believe.

What is it we are to believe? What is the Gospel? The essence of Mark's Gospel is Mark 1:3, John, and then Y'shua called us to repent and "walk THE WAY of YHVH (the LORD). Repentance from our philosophy of life (even if we have not really thought through what that philosophy is) prepares us to live a YASHAR life, "straight" Mk 1:3. It is the same word that gets translated into Greek (G2117) before being wrongly translated "immediately". Adam and Eve were created to have a YASHAR (upright-straight) relationship with the Almighty. But they chose sin and lost that. YASHAR is like a plumb line that shows how far off our lives are. It is the perfection of Torah, buy which no one can be saved; rather we see how far off plumb we are. By faith in Y'shua-Jesus we are back in plumb in relation to the Almighty, not because we work at it but because we believe and have faith in the Son of God.

Now is the time to enter the presence, the kingdom of the Almighty, by faith (you must be born again-John 3:16). First repent of how you used to think of life, then, trust in YHVH with all of your head, strength, and essence (heart) and you will be born again, belonging by faith to the Kingdom.

The Question Do I believe the gospel? Do I have a different way of thinking about what is good, how to live, what my hope is?

All over the world, Believers are falling by the crescent sword of Islam while I live in peace. The peace is lovely but it is not real. If one member of the body suffers, then we all suffer together. If one of us is honored, we all rejoice together. 1 Corinthians 12:26. What can I do from Everett, Washington as believers in Central Africa are systematically slaughtered; How do I stand with a believer jailed in Rowan County Kentucky from this safe place across the country? First you pray.

Day 2 Mark 1:16-18

As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.      And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."      Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.

What does the passage say?

(who?) He (Y'shua-Jesus)
            Andrew, the brother of Simon
(what?) was going along (Y'shua)
             He saw (G1492)
             casting a net (Simon & Andrew) (why?) for they were fishermen
(where?) by the sea of Galilee (where Y'shua was going)
                in the sea (where the nets were cast)

saw (G1492) not just viewing something, but to see and remember.... Y'shua saw the brothers and remembered seeing them from earlier (John chapter 1 for instance)

net the net is part of a play on words. In verse 15 Y'shua declaires, "the time is fulfilled..." Fulfilled (G4137) can be described as "a full net" He comes to the brothers "casting a net" (G292a) is more about tossing the net too and fro trying to find a way to fill it. I'm not solid on what it all means (if anything) but it seems like a kewl connection.

for is a flag word. It answers the question of why. 
Why were Simon and Andrew casting a net in the sea? For (because) they were fishermen. Start looking for the flag word "for" and see if you can find the question that it answers. Sort of like playing the game Jeopardy... I'll take Mark 1 for a hundred Alex. The answer is, "because they were fishermen" The answer(must be in the form of a question); Why were Simon and Andrew casting a net in the sea?

What does this mean?

Y'shua see's the chosen and no matter where you are or what your do, he sees you, he remembers you and you. He meets you where you are. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:40) but he was also a fisherman. Peter met Y'shua because of Andrew, Y'shua even gave him a name, Keph (a hollow rock... sort of a man cave?) but he also went home to go back to work. Was it because they were not yet convinced that Y'shua was the Messiah? I do not think that is why they went back. It was not until Y'shua met them casting their nets at the sea, that was when the  time was "fulfilled". What happened between the first and 2nd meeting is a mystery, but I bet it involved a lot of thought about what happened when they met.

The Question

Where is your life going? If it seems as if you are on hold, be patient, perhaps the time is not yet fulfilled. Give your life to Y'shua-Jesus and he will sort it out.

Day 3 Mark 1:19-20

What does the passage say?

What does this mean?

The Question

Sunday, July 3, 2016

One (Echad) is Coming (Part 1) Mark 1:4-11

Hear, O Israel! YHVH is our God. YHVH is ECHAD (One)  Deuteronomy 6:4

The Study of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 1: 4-11 Part 1
John appeared in the wilderness     Mark 1:4a
The strange discovery from The Introduction to the book of Mark is that the gospel began a long time before Y'shua-Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It began with the ancient prophets Micah and Isaiah.

Then, skipping many details that Matthew and Luke share with us, Mark starts his story with,
"John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness.
Nearly two thousand years have passed since Mark wrote his gospel. He seems to have made an assumption that there were some commonly known facts his readers would know that have been lost in the years that followed. The information we are able to find about John the Baptist comes to us like puzzle pieces that we have to put together.

 Luke uses a lot of ink explaining John the Baptist. John's mother Elisabeth and the mother of Jesus are cousins but one is from the tribe of Judah and one is from the tribe of Levi. My guess is that their grandmother had two children, who would become the parents of Mary and Elisabeth. Elisabeth's mother would have been married to a Levite and their child would, like his Father, also be a Levite (of the branch-tribe of Levi). Mary, of the tribe of Judah, would be a descendant of King David while her cousin Elisabeth, of the tribe of Levi, would be a descendant of the High priest, Aaron.

If not for circumstances, both girls married very well. Mary to Joseph, who should have been the legal king of Israel. While Elisabeth was married to Zechariah who should have been the High priest of Israel.

Both cousins became widows who were forced to raise their sons as single mothers. There is no hard evidence about when or how Joseph, Mary's husband, died. All we know is that he seems to be gone before Y'shua's ministry begins. When and how Elisabeth's husband died is another puzzle piece.

I believe that Luke 11:51b is talking about Elisabeth's husband, Zechariah.
...Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God.
But if this is Elisabeth's husband, then why was he killed? I think we have to go to the Gospel of Matthew 2:16b for that part of the puzzle.
...Herod became enraged, and sent and slew all the male children two years old and under...
But wait Mrs. Hagerty, isn't that verse about Jesus? Mathew 2:16 was about all the little boys in the vicinity of Bethlehem who were two years old and younger. We know that cousin Mary escaped to Egypt with her husband and child. But remember, Elisabeth's son John was only six months older then Mary's son. He was exactly the right age for Herod's murderous rage. The miracle of cousin Elisabeth's son was well known. Everyone knew that her husband, Zechariah, saw a vision (an event that had not happened for about 300 years before that time) in the temple while he was burning incense (a picture of prayer). He was unable to tell the congregation what the message was until after he named his son John (more about the name later) at his bris (a ceremony and party when a son is circumcised at eight days old). At that moment, YHVH broke his own silence to Israel and spoke through Zechariah (who was mute before then) to those present, a message which included information about who John would become.

Herod wanted to murder any child who might become king in his place (or in the place of his own heirs), John the Baptist would have been thought of as a good candidate for Messiah.

Tradition says that Zechariah sent his wife into the wilderness to hide their only child from the sword of Herod's rage. Zechariah was killed instead of John while serving at the temple, because he refused to give up their hiding place. Cousin Elisabeth became an elderly, single mother hiding from the government in the desert wilderness.
Mark 1:6John was clothed with camel's hair and wore  a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey.
Too hot for raising sheep for their wool or flax for linen, John was clothed in rough camel's hair. The least expensive of food was the locusts the boy could catch and wild honey (which I imagine came with stings). But even in poverty, cousin Elisabeth prepared her son to be the man Zechariah prophesied that he would be.

What is in a name?

A priest named Zachariah (Luke 1:5)
The Hebrew name Zekaryah (H2148) is a compound word in Hebrew, from the words ZAKAR (H2142) which means "remember" and YHVH (H3050), the name of the Creator. Zachariah's name means YHVH (the LORD) remembers.

His wife Elisabeth (Luke 1:5)
In Hebrew her name is Eliysheba' (H472), another compound word that is from 'El (H410) meaning "God" and sheba' which is the number seven but also means "oath" (like a promise). So her name was God's-promise. Another interesting puzzle piece is that Aaron's (the orginal high priest) wife was also named Eliysheba' (Exodus 6:3)

Finally, their son, whom we know as John, also had a Hebrew name, Yowchanan. It is also a compound word. (H3068) YHVH -the name of the eternal God, and (H2603) chanan -to bend or stoop in kindness.

What does it all mean? Though he was silent for so long, YHVH remembered (Zekaryah) His Promise (Eliysheba') and The eternal God, YHVH -stooped down in lovingkindness (Yowchanan). This message, by the way, was delivered by Gabriy'el (God's valiant warrior)

And this is where the Gospel of the Son of the Almighty picks up... at just the right time, YHVH stooped down from glory, in lovingkindness (the meaning of John) and appeared in the wilderness.

You will get the rest of the story in Part 2

Mrs. Hagerty
July 3, 2016