Friday, August 18, 2017

Ephesians 1:1-2

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A light study of Ephesians chapter 1, verses 1 and 2.

Word Studies of; G652 apostle, G2307 will, G40 saints and G4103 faithful.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God to the saints (who are at Ephesus and) who are faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Almighty chose Paul to rock the world. Paul, who was a professional student of his religion. Paul who excelled at his studies to the point of surpassing his contemporaries and who believed that it was his duty to guard the teachings that made him a religious man. He was so zealous that he, at some point , began to embrace rage as if it was a tool to control those less devoted then himself to tradition. Paul made it his mission to punish his countrymen for straying from his religion. The religious man became a terrorist who drove believers in Y'shua-Jesus from their homes, incarcerating the faithful in Christ, even being a witness without protest to the murder of men who trusted in Y'shua.

I (Y'shua) am The Way, the truth, and the life; no one comes the Father but through me. John 14:6
How does a person come to have eternal life? I can only speculate how Paul thought a person came to life after the grave. The one fact I know is that he did not think that it was through Y'shua of Nazareth. The little bit I know of Pharisees leads me to believe that Paul thought a man must work hard at keeping the rules and traditions of his religion in order to be found acceptable to the Almighty. Confronted by believers in God's word through Y'shua, who made amazing claims about the son of Joseph of Nazareth, if in fact he was actually Joseph's son; Paul had heard stories. He made  the stopping the spread of the wild tales about the Nazarene his personal mission. It would have been easy to dismiss the leaders of "The Way" (the popular name of the early believers) for their lack of traditional education, but the stories they were telling about the man! They claimed he had changed water into wine, that he had even walked on water. There were claims that he healed the sick, people who had been born crippled were able to walk. Maybe the wildest of the tales from The Way was that Y'shua brought the dead back to life; or even harder to believe, that he, himself arose from the dead. This MAN who had been heard telling people, "Your sins are forgiven." Only God himself could forgive sin. Why, Paul may have wondered, wouldn't this Y'shua have simply come down from his cross if he has so much power? Why rise from the dead in secret instead of come down publicly from the cross?

The uneducated followers of Y'shua had an answer even for the last question. They said that YHVH (the LORD God) so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would have everlasting life! (John 3:16) What must it have been like for the professional religion student, Paul to hear that those who do not work at keeping their religion as he does could have eternal life as a free gift from the Son of YHVH?

Paul's road to belief in Y'shua went from Jerusalem to Damascus. You can (and should) read the whole story in Acts 9:1-31. The bottom line is that there was a day that Paul the terrorist was delivering letters of condemnation to believers when he had a supernatural meeting with Y'shua. Years later, as an apostle, he was writing letters of life to encourage the faithful. What an awesome turn-around!

What is an apostle? 
Our English word is a transliteration of a Greek word, apostolos (G652)* apostolos is someone sent from the kingdom as an ambassador.

We often hear that Peter, John, Paul and the rest have an "office" of apostle. An apostolos was appointed by the king (thus we say that it is an office) to represent his kingdom. Paul sent God's message of life and encouragement to the faithful in Y'shua as the representative of our King (Lord) Y'shua.

Paul became an apostle by the will of YHVH (the LORD). His will is love. If you are interested, I have already done an Ephesians word study of will - thelema G2307 on my other blog, The Toy Box:
Click here to read it: by the WILL of YHVH

Another word that is important to understand is "saints" Saint has become such a common word that it is easy to forget it has a specific meaning. We use the word to describe someone who is patient... the mother of a difficult to handle child is sometimes referred to as a "saint" when she keeps her temper. There is a football team called "the saints." For some reason, the Roman church thinks that they get to vote on who qualifies as a saint. What does the word mean?

Saint is translated from the Greek word hagios G40 It means "sacred" The first half of the word hag indicates that it has to do with being "inside the curtain" meaning the inner room of the Jewish temple. The basic idea of hagios -saint is living a life that is consecrated, separated. You must be born again to live life this close to the Almighty. Someone who has been born again is hagios a saint but not all saints are sanctified. That is the work of choosing to live as Y'shua-Jesus lived, a life of faith according to the Word of YHVH.

Hagios - saints is a spirit realm word. You may have heard that believers in Y'shua-Jesus are "in the world but not of it." That has to do with being Hagios. We who have been born again live our life in the presence of the Almighty. Stop and think about that. If you know anything about the Jewish Tabernacle or Temple, you know that a person cannot simply go skipping to the presence of God. We must all come to him through his Son, Y'shua-Jesus. It is no longer a physical curtain in a physical temple that separates us from the throne of God. We have access through His Son... but this is another study. For now it is enough to know that you must be born again to have access, to be Hagios.

Finally, Paul's letter is to those who are faithful in Christ Jesus. Believe and faith are related words. One is a noun, a descriptive title. The other is a verb, action. Both of these words, believe and faith, come from the Hebrew word Amen. For most of my young Christian life, I thought that saying Amen was like saying "over and out" (ending a radio conversation). I was never sure why someone would shout out AMEN as encouragement to a preacher during his sermon. I was surprised to find out what this word actually means! The word Paul uses here is faithful (faith) translated from pistos G4103. This is the noun form of Amen H539 and used in this sentence as an adjective. In case you have forgot your grade school English, an adjective describes a noun. ...those (saints-hagios) is the noun (ok, those is a pronoun for the word saints). Faithful-pistos is the adjective that describes which saints Paul is addressing. As an adjective it means "established, someone who is trustworthy" Our faithfulness is in Y'shua-Jesus. It is not something we are able to do on our own but neither can we ignore the responsibility.

My Father in law once told me that he became a Christian as a young man. His life changed completely. You know the story. He started going to church, quit drinking, cleaned up his language, he was good. One day he was building something from wood. While hammering a nail, he hammered his finger. He said a cuss word burst from his mouth for the pain. He told me that he paused for a moment and thought to himself, "well so much for being a Christian." He thought he blew it. As an older man, he attended church with myself and his youngest son. We all found out that not only are to be born again by Jesus, we are also kept by him. 1 John 1:9 is a gift that keeps giving.

If you confess your sins, He (Y'shua-Jesus) is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
The Almighty brought us near by the blood of Jesus. That is Hagios. He keeps us near by forgiveness of confessed sin because of the powerful, precious gift of Jesus! That is the grace, that is the peace that comes from the Father and his Son Y'shua-Jesus.

Until next time,
Debs, August 18, 2017

I use Strong's numbering system, G indicates the word is from the Greek dictionary, H is for Hebrew.
All Scripture references are from the New American Standard (NAS)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I can still be surprised

Recently I read, "Reading translations are like drinking downstream of the source. You cannot be sure it is pure." I wish I had taken time to write down the authors name so she could have credit.
Picture by Leah Tetzlaff

That phrase sums up why I study Hebrew. Meaning is often lost in translation. I am convinced that translators do their work with the best of intentions, but as the translation ages, readers, even teachers and preachers add their own understanding to the translated passage. I'm sure that happens even with perfect understanding of the original language.
Trust YHVH with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
The surprise this morning is Psalm 23. That simple psalm of trusting the Almighty when life is scary. We teach it to our little ones to give them comfort from the shadows that hide in the closet or under the bed.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
The pictograph message of the Hebrew letters tells me more about "my shepherd" and "shall not want". Shepherd is ra'ah and tells of man who looks to the hand of the Almighty for his needs. But want is chacer which tells the story of being fenced in and dependent on man for my needs. Those who look to the hand of the Almighty are not wanting, Those dependent upon men suffer from want. It is rather like government health care. There are all sorts of benefits promised to citizens but we are wanting what was promised. Benefits and good health remain unattainable. We who look to the Almighty already have... what we desire.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou are with me. Psalm 23:4
This verse might have been an even bigger surprise. The Valley of the Shadow of Death is not a dark hike through the mountains, but a trench that is dug for your dead body, a grave.

All of our lives, all that we do, how we live on this earth, lead to one unavoidable destination. A grave. I honestly thought that this passage was about the difficult times of life. It is actually about our ultimate destination on earth. Death.

Hope is found in the pronoun "Thou" from the Hebrew attah, which speaks of Y'shua-Jesus. The root word of attah is the Aleph-Tav 'ot whom Y'shua-Jesus said was him. (Revelation 1:8, 21:6 and 22:13) We get our English translations down stream of Hebrew. The phrase came to us from Greek so we say that Y'shua is the Alpha and Omega from the Greek alphabet, which has no real meaning (unless we lean on our own understanding instead of acknowledging Him). The 'ot has a hey (the 5th Hebrew letter) as a suffix. Hey pictures insight from heaven. As a suffix it makes the root word fruitful (Some say it feminises the word, assuming that Hebrew is like French or Latin). When a believer goes to the grave, Y'shua-Jesus is with them.
And God raised Him (Y'shua-Jesus) up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it is impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:24
When life ends and your remains are set in the trench, the grave, Y'shua-Jesus is with you. Since death has no power over Him, it has no power over those who are in Him. But you MUST be born again. If not... you probably know the consequences of death without the Savior. I urge you, look to the Almighty, not men. ...and dwell in the house of the LORD for all eternity Psalm 23:6b

Mrs. Hagerty, March 23, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 2017

What does the Bible say about Overcoming trouble?

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 nasu #Overcomers

Overcome: from the Greek nikao (nik-ah'-o) G3258 from the Greek root word, nike meaning conquest and the means of success. Subdue (literally or figuratively) Strong's Greek Definitions to Conquer Thayer's Greek Definitions to win a Victory over- to be Victorious over, to be a Victor, to Conquer, Victory Louw and Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testiment to be Victorious, to Prevail: From the Hebrew Zakah (zaw-kaw) to be translucent, to be innocent. H2135
What does it mean to be an overcomer? We live in a world that at one moment is filled with forbidden delights and things we dread the next. But now we live in the world as new creations, fresh and clean in heart by the blood of Y'shua (Jesus). Daily we feel the pull to go off of The Way of life because the way of the world, the broadway to death, seems easier; after all, everyone is doing it.

How can a young man keep his Way pure? Buy guarding it according to Thy Word Psalm 119:9 rsv
In Hebrew, the word that comes to us as "overcome" (from the Greek word nikao) is zakah and means to be translucent, innocent. The Almighty has created a clean heart within us (Ps 51:10) and set our life on the difficult, narrow Way of life. How do we continue on that Way? By living according to the Word of the Almighty. (Ps 119:9) That is what overcoming is all about.

Coffee to start the day's Journey

My mom is probably coming home today. Bypass surgery is life-saving but the road to recovery and strength is long. It cannot be walked alone. She has my dad and he is fully committed to being there for her; but my dad doesn't know what many of us who have been caregivers before know. One person, even in the strength of love, cannot do it all. Exhaustion is harsh.

My brothers, my sister-in-law and I have committed the next four to eight weeks of our lives to being full time care givers while my mother recovers. It is as much for my father as it is for my mother. My husband wants to be there for her, but he is committed to taking care of me and our home during this time. That IS how he can best minister to my mom... it makes this old woman able to give this time.

If my mom comes home today, then tonight is my first shift.

"All to Jesus, I surrender... " More then once I have sang this song from my heart. Always I mean what I sing. All to Jesus. Seldom does He ask for ALL. But like Israel who would not leave Egypt without their wives, their little ones or without their livestock because they were not sure what they had that the Almighty would require of them, (Exodus 10:26) I too bring all that I count as mine. Whatever he wants is his. That does not make it simple, but it is simply what we who believe do.

Honestly, the next four to eight weeks is not "ALL," it is only the comfort of my own bed, the sounds of my husband sleeping, the comforting heat of my little dog snuggled against the small of my back. I may be giving the March chores that make early summer in the garden bountiful. For a brief time I am giving up the morning routine of letting the dogs out while I make coffee, and the warm nest of my quilt during morning prayer with the Word (and if I am honest, time on facebook).

Four to eight weeks of my small, normal life because the Almighty answered my prayer for my mother. Hallelujah! I love the grace that is my life. Today I am praying for a manifestation of the Power of YHVH through Y'shua to minister; not just to my mom, but to my dad, my brothers and Sheri, to my sons and my husband, even to my students. I long to hear the words fall easily from the sweet mouth of my LORD, "Well done," because I chose Him instead of the little things that are me.

March 4, 2017
Mrs. Hagerty

Monday, February 6, 2017

Y'shua is the Creator: Morning Devotions

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And now in these final days, (He) YHVH has spoken to us through His Son. YHVH promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe. The Son radiates YHVH's own Glory and expresses the very character of YHVH and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic YHVH in Heaven. Hebrews 1:2-3

Are Mondays really bad when they glisten with fresh snow? I do not have to be anywhere today. Ray and I got the few groceries that we wanted yesterday. If the power does not go out I might make a batch of biscotti to help warm the house with their twice baked goodness. Other then that there is not much I need to do beyond the daily work from my Distance Learners. There is time today... time to plant the parsley and the artichokes I meant to plant two weeks ago. Time to start broccoli and cauliflower, maybe a few peas (all in the greenhouse, not in the snow!) Time to meditate on the balance that is the creator and the redeemer.

Americans love Y'shua-Jesus as their Redeemer. Praise The LORD! We who violate Torah (we don't like that) and could not pay the impossible price to make us right and whole for our violations against the Almighty's will (no getting around it, His will is spelled out in Torah) appreciate that Y'shua is Bruised... for our transgressions, our violations. Because of his deep, painful bruises, we can come boldly to the Throne for the Grace we need in this world. And coming to that throne, who do we see? The Bruised One. I have to pause here for a moment to breathe in that Holy thought.

Y'shua is the Creator. As amazing as the thought of Y'shua being Bruised for me is, being the Creator is the greater name. To deny Him as Creator brings specific judgement. The Torah teacher, Paul, lays it out for us in his letter to the Romans, chapter 1. He was bruised because Americans idolize random chance and luck. Random chance created everything we see? That is what we pay taxes for, to teach children that they are an accident with  no destiny but Mammon, the good or bad luck that is money. But because Y'shua is bruised, we can live the life of purpose and power. Nothing is random. Giving Him praise is to be like Able, who brought fruit from the ground. Our good ground is our hearts (Mark 4:7-8, Hebrews 13:15)

Acknowledge Y'shua as the Bruised One, then come to the throne of grace with your offering. Abide in Him (John 15:4) and glorify his bruises with more good fruit. Honor the latest of His creation before he comes to receive you to himself and take you to the place he is creating for you.

What is His latest creation? A clean heart in you. (Psalm 51:10)
Mrs. Hagerty, February 6, 2017

At the Name of Jesus, by Sarah Hornsby was the spark for today's flame.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Y'shua is the Babe: Morning Devotions

Le meraviglie di Matilda
Did you see the snow last night (Everett, WA)? If you didnot have to get up and let your dogs out you might have missed it. Morning is supposed to be all about winter rain and pellets? Whoa!
I miss one day of school work and I am swamped! During the late fall, early winter holidays my students traditionally slow down then, about March, they start picking up the pace again. This group! It is only February and they are working like it is already spring. My day flies by. Then comes the night shift students who start working after supper. They all bring me joy!
Today my "go to" prayer verse is Luke 2:16 They (the shepherds) hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.
Y'shua is the Babe*
The Almighty, the Creator of the universe... who set all of his identity aside to be born to a young mother who would personally suffer; not just for the loss of her reputation (her marriage nearly ended before it began), and for the rest of her life lies would be spread about her. Snide remarks would be made about who the Father of her first born really was. Joseph would also suffer with his wife. People knew what they saw with their eyes. But there were some who heard the Spirit of the Almighty with the ears of their heart and in faith, rushed to see the babe. Elizabeth and Zechariah knew, they heard with their heart. Anna and Simeon knew. But most did not. Mary and Joseph's own children, the earthly brothers of Y'shua were skeptical.
When you gave up everything that defines you to be born on high, born again, the surprise was the people who reject Y'shua (Jesus) rejected you. But those who hear with their redeemed heart will encourage you on The Way. Will you trust what you see or, by faith, trust what you hear in your redeemed heart?
Run to see this great thing that YHVH has done, run to the babe.
Mrs. Hagerty, February 3, 2017

* At the Name of Jesus by Sarah Hornsby c1960 (1975 edition)