Thursday, August 31, 2017

"In Him" Exodus and Ephesians

Behold I Am going to send an angel before you to guard you along The Way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey His voice; do not be rebellious toward Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions since my Name is In Him. If you obey his voice and do all that I say then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.     Exodus 23:20-22

  While studying the book of Ephesians I could hardly help but notice that the preposition "in" is used again and again. It tells where in space, time or position something is located. In Him is the first of the phrases I came across. The "Him" is Y'shua/Jesus.

In Him... (Ephesians)

  • we are chosen by YHVH before the foundation of the world. 1:4
  • we are redeemed through His blood, trespasses forgiven because of the grace lavished upon us 1:7
  • the mystery of YHVH's will was made known to us which was purposed "in Him" 1:9
  • we have an inheritance which was predestined according to YHVH's purpose 1:11
  • sealed with the Holy Spirit, the pledge of our inheritance 1:13
  • we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him 3:12
  • we are taught in Him 4:21
Is the concept of "In Him" a new concept, something just for the church? There is a fairly easy way to find out, look up the phrase "in him" in the concordance. I actually found many uses of the phrase in the original testament but the "him: was not always deity. However, Exodus 23:21 was pay dirt. YHVH's Name is In Him!

John said of Y'shua/Jesus.... For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgement, that light has come into the world and men loved the darkness rather then the light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light so that his deeds may be manifest as having been wrought in God.     John 3:16-21

YHVH sent Him, first as an angel, then as his only begotten Son (Ben Elohim) The Name of the Father is In the Son. Like the angel sent to Israel, Y'shua "guards us along The Way and brings us to the place prepared for us" (whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life)

He will not pardon you transgressions (Everyone who does evil hates the Light)

Be on your guard before Him and obey His voice (He who believes in  Him shall not perish)

Was Paul teaching something new "In Him"? I do not think so. Before his birth into time and space he came into the world to guide us "in Him" to eternal life. To believe in Him (to A'men - to obey) is to never perish.

Are you in Him? Now is the time to know for sure.

Debs, August 31, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Glory of His Grace Ephesians 1:5-6

In love He (YHVH) predestined us to adoption as sons through Y'shua haMashich (Jesus Christ) to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the beloved.

To the praise of the glory of His grace.

Glory: four or five word study tools later, the best definition of GLORY that I can come up with is, "Manifestation of Deity." We talk about grace because we who believe are sometimes overwhelmed with the love of God that we do not deserve. But glory? Do you think of it much? My friend Barb studied glory for a couple of years. She discovered amazing bits about the word and might disagree with my simple definition, but for now it works for me.

In love YHVH predestined us. Technically "In love" is part of verse 4 but it is also part of this sentence, so I am including it here. The Almighty predestined us because of his love for us. How is that even possible? Honestly, I don't know, but somehow God knew me even before the foundation of the world. Don't get me wrong, I know about God being outside of time, I know it, but I don't really understand the wonder of it. The bottom line, before I was even a twinkle in my daddy's eye (or before he was one in his daddy's eye) the Almighty loved me and predestined me to be his own child. He already loved me.

To Adoption as sons. The first man the Almighty created, Adam, was a Son of God, just like the angels... but different. That was lost when he sinned. No one who is in the flesh since Adam has been a Ben Elohim, a son of God (Luke 3:38). Our everyday normal, like the normal life of everyone who came before us, has been separate from the Almighty. So complete is our separation that believers seem a little weird to us.

For us to be adopted to YHVH, our sin had to be paid for. The price was the death penalty. In love, God sent His only begotten Son, the second Adam. The Son of God, Y'shua-Jesus as the second Adam, another Ben Elohim, the Son of God in the flesh. Stop and think about that! God so loved us that He gave his only begotten  Son (John 3:16)! He gave Him because we needed a Ben Elohim - a Son of God, to pay for our sin with his blood. There is only one way to give the blood of redemption, death, it is a penalty, a price that must be paid... but that is a story for another day. For now it is enough to know that the Father accepted the blood, the death of Y'shua, on our behalf. The original proof was Y'shua's resurrection from the dead. He never sinned, so He did not owe the penalty. That is why he could pay it for us. It is why YHVH, the Father would resurrect Him.

Scripture declares Y'shua, "the first born from the dead," because of the resurrection. We who believe are also born from the dead. He was first, we will follow.

To the praise of the glory of His grace. Back to glory. When I was born again I did not become religious or join a group (church). I eventually did those things, but thousands of religious people who are not born again do those activities too. What makes being born again different?

We become a new creature in Christ. This is huge! We go from being a rather exceptional animal (which we were not created to be) to a Son of God! Think of Y'shua at his baptism. When He was immersed, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit came upon Him. He probably didn't look any different, but He was different. The Spirit of God filled Him. Y'shua knew what to do with that filling! Glory! The power to manifest deity. That is what happens when we are born again. We don't know how to use it or how different we have become. I knew that I was living my new life dependent on the five senses of my old life. There was a learning curve for me .

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding (5 senses). In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

To the Glory of His Grace which He has freely bestowed on us in the beloved. The grace of God required the glory of God. It was so simple for me to receive Salvation because "He freely bestowed (it) on us in His beloved." Because it was so easy for me, I did not often think about the high price of my adoption as a Ben Elohim. Unlike earthly adoptions, which are also expensive, being adopted as a Son of God is not just a simple matter of a change of name and location.

I am a new creature in Christ, a Ben Elohim! Can I describe that? What it looks like, what it feels like? I've tried before. It seems like my description is about as sharp as a pre-born infants description of life outside of the womb. My eyes have not seen the wonder of it all yet! An infant can hear momma's voice but until she is born into the light she has no idea about who mom is. We know her voice in the womb, but nothing else.

The Holy Spirit is YHVH's voice to those of us who have not yet come into His presence. We are learning daily from hearing, but...

Beloved, now we are Children of God (Ben Elohim) and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as he is. 1 John 3:2

Until that Day, Debs  August 23, 2017
All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Update (NASU)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Who are you? Ephesians 1:3-4

Blessed be YHVH (and) Father of our Lord Y'shua haMashich (Jesus Christ), who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,  that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
Par ici et par la
What does the Almighty say about you?

Would it surprise you to find out that what He says about you is nothing like the thoughts you may have about yourself?

  • Blessed G2128, 
  • blessed  G2127, 
  • blessing G2129

When I think of "blessed" or "blessing" I tend to think of material things; like "blessed with a nice home," or "blessed with good health." I also "bless" my food, making me think that blessing is a kind of thank-you. It's funny how fluid a word becomes. Each of these uses of "bless" are close to how the actual word is used, but my not knowing what the word really means causes me to miss something amazing.

Bless is from the Greek word eulogeo G2128. It is a compound word (two words put together to make one new word). The first part, eu means "good" and the other part, logos means "word". Together they communicate, good word, specifically, praise! When talking about the Almighty it communicates that He is inherently worthy of praise! That is easy for me to accept, but what about ...has blessed us with every spiritual blessing... ?

Is it possible that the Almighty praises or even speaks well of me? I am sure my parents said positive things to me but I only remember hearing how I fell short of their expectations. God isn't like that (it probably isn't true about my parents either). If you, like me, are "in Christ," then you are "born-again." How did that happen?

The simple answer is Romans 10:9
If you confess with your mouth (verbal agreement) Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is not complicated. When you are born again, you are "in Christ." And if you are "in Christ" then God has good things to say about you! I just did a quick review of the phrase "children of God" and here are some things God says about us (the list is MUCH longer)

  • He calls us His children, John 1:12
  • He says we are one* John 11:52
  • He calls us His Heirs Romans 8:16
  • He declares us Free and Glorious Romans 8:21
  • He reminds us that we are children of promise Romans 9:8
  • He calls us blameless and innocent Philippians 2:15
Is this how you think of yourself? Blameless and innocent? If you are "born again" in Christ then it is how you should think of yourself, because that is what you are. (if you are not born again, what are you waiting for?) Christ paid a BIG price for you to be born again.

Maybe, like most of us, being "blameless and innocent" does not match up with your perception of yourself. Me either (if I am honest). The Way of Y'shua-Jesus is The Way of power to live the Torah, the Ten Commandments in particular. I'm just going to look at #9 for this blog. Do not lie. Can you, can I, live up to that? I have "stretched the truth," I've left out details that might make me look bad when telling something (sin by omission), and I have flat out lied to people. I am such a liar! Except that if I am "in Christ" then I am not a liar. If you are born again then neither are you. Let me tell you why.

Y'shua-Jesus paid the full price to pay for your sin and set you free. He set you free from the penalty of your sin. That includes all your negative labels, like liar. You have been given a new name, Child of God. You are blameless and pure! Hallelujah!

The conflict comes when we sin AFTER salvation. The Holy Spirit is quenched (I picture Him soaked with tears) and in loving kindness convicts me of my sin. Heart break! Could that be the end of my Salvation? NO!

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

I've said before that 1 John 1:9 is the gift that keeps on giving. Children of God have the privilege of confessing our sin. When we do, God is faithful and righteous (just) to forgive us. Isn't that awesome!

So why is it so difficult to stop using negative labels? Satan, the prosecuting attorney, hates us. It is in his best interest to freeze us up with despair because of failure. He would have us forget whose we are and hang a label on us, like liar. Reject that label Child of God. You are clean because of Y'shua, the Word of God. When you violate "The Way" of life in Christ by sinning (like lying) you can apply 1 John 1:9 and be fresh and clean again. Praise God! Can I say one more thing about this?

Child of God you know that your Father in heaven loves you even when He convicts you of sin. He wants you to walk free with Him. But did you know that our enemy, Satan who hates us, also convicts Children of God of sin? How do you tell the difference?

When God convicts you of sin He uses a fine point pen, in other words, He is very specific about what you did. For instance, you come home past your curfew and tell you mom, "I'm sorry, my watch quit." You know it isn't true. (so does mom) The Almighty, by His Holy Spirit, convicts you of the specific lie you told your mom. You confess (agree with God) your sin and make it right with your mother (for the sake of your testimony) and it is done. You may have to "take your medicine" by not getting to go out the next weekend, or whatever your mom may choose as a penalty, but honestly, you are free, and still a Child of God. God does not stop loving or leading you.

When Satan convicts you of sin he uses a very broad brush to label you. He would have you believe that you are no different after your Salvation then you were before. His goal is to destroy you and if he cannot destroy you then he would have you frozen with shame and guilt. If I confess that I am a liar instead of confessing THE lie that I told, then I am denying that I am a Child of God. You cannot be close to God (a saint, see lesson 1, Ephesians 1:1-2) unless you are a Child of God. No Liar can even enter the Kingdom of God, Revelation 21:8. Satan wants you to accept a label that says you are no better then he is. But that itself is a lie!

If you accept and confess that you are a liar, can't you decide to just never tell another lie? Give yourself a day or two doing this and let me know how it works out for you. Even if you are able to never tell another lie, you would be the one who accomplishes this by your own effort. Never mind for just a moment that all the lies you once told still condemn you, what does God say about our personal effort, known as works, to be good?

  • ...all our righteous deeds (works) are like a filthy garment (rags)... Isaiah 64:6
  • So then it does not depend on the man who wills (determines) or the man who runs (effort-works) but on God who has mercy. Romans 9:16
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not as a result of works so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Choosing God's way is life! Choosing personal determination is slavery. I urge you to choose YHVH through Y'shua-Jesus and you will know the power of Paul's word to to the faithful in Y'shua-Jesus

...that we would be holy and blameless before Him! Ephesians 1:4

Debs, August 20, 2017

* One, in Hebrew is Echad is a very important word that I will talk about in a future lesson.
All Scripture passages are from The New American Standard Update.

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 
  • 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, at some point, he 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 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 we 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)