Monday, March 30, 2015

Who Is Christ Jesus

Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels.

The symbolism is captured in Zechariah 9:9 "The Coming of Zion's King – See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey". It was perceived that Jesus was declaring he was the King of Israel to the anger of the Sanhedrin.

According to the Gospels, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there laid down their cloaks in front of him, and also laid down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalm 118: 25–26 – ... Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. A king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Jesus' entry to Jerusalem would thus symbolize his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.

In many lands in the ancient Near East, it was customary to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in the Greco-Roman culture of the Roman Empire.

Who is this Man

Here is a story I wrote about how I would deal with someone asking me about Christ. If someone comes to me and asked me “do I believe Jesus Christ is God”? I would first ask them “what do they mean?” Reason is because this is a loaded question, people love to play the devil’s advocate and ask stupid questions to create controversy. I believe the response would be, “what do you what do I mean? I asked it, do you believe Jesus Christ is God? In other words how could God be Jesus when God is supposed to be a Spirit”? My response would be “God is Manifested in Jesus Christ”. Most people would run with this and say, “How do you call yourself a preacher when you can’t answer a question?” “I’m not what Christ is but I am trying to emulate (match or surpass) the essence of His existence”. I can go on with this story but the point I’m trying to prove here is that most people have a “surface understanding” about Christ. People are taught that Jesus Christ is God but what is the Essence of Christ. Why did Christ have to Exist? What is it about Christ that we are to fully understand? Let’s go to the bible and paraphrase some scripture.

John 1:16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

Ephesians 1:23  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Colossians1:19  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

Colossians 2:9  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

Roman 3:24  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Fullness: completely filled; containing all that can be held; filled to utmost capacity.

In most people today, we are all full of you know what. We have so much sugar-honey-ice-tea in us that it can sometimes overwhelm us. Some of us have accepted it while others play like it’s not there. But the more and more we socialize with others, that inner person comes out. We all want to improve ourselves and most think that we must rid self of this stuff but I beg to differ. See all of the information we need to utilize is right here in the bible. In Genesis, God creates the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for a purpose, to give us balance in life. We must study it, not for religious purposes, but to the sense of science, philosophical, sociological, mathematical, and psychological states. Theses are consider the “branches of nature”.

Science: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jesus encompasses the actual essence of science because in Christ Jesus is creation, the actual structure and behavior of the physical and natural world. So now science is the study of what was created by Him. As for the word "heavens," this is derived from the Hebrew word שָׁמַיִם (shamayim). According to Gesenius' Hebrew Lexicon, this word refers to the sky or visible heavens, including the stars and galaxies. In other words, Genesis is a discussion of the creation and purpose of the physical universe. Science has all kinds of theories about creation but science must abide by the universal rule of the physical world that every event must have an elementary source, better known as the singularity problem. Out of all the theories of science such as the big bang and the theory of everything, scientist still have to ask the question, where did it all come from? All of these elements, which all came into being, add to the singularity problem. Where did the capability for matter to produce all of this come from? The big bang theorists simply have no logical explanation. We as humans can’t grasp the concept of the beginning because we can only understand time, in our physical nature. God has no time therefore creation is the beginning of time.

Philosophy: the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.

Philosophy is simple terms ask a lot of questions about everything that exist. Studying the book of Proverbs, we discover the actual conversation on philosophical issues. It is an example of the Biblical wisdom tradition, and raises questions of values, moral behavior, the meaning of human life, and right conduct. Wisdom, the repeated theme that "the fear of God (meaning submission to the will of God), is praised for her role in creation. God acquired her before all else, and through her he gave order to chaos; and since humans have life and prosperity by conforming to the order of creation, seeking wisdom is the essence and goal of life. When Christ is exposed to us in the Gospels, he demonstrates philosophical behavior in a humbling experience.

Sociology: the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society.

Throughout the bible we see sociological examples from Genesis to Revelations. Taking religion out of the forefront and reading with the open-mind we reveal how people behave in society, as a whole. Especially when we read the Old Testament a study the children of Israel, God chose these people and their actions did not demonstrate the Glory of God. One thing that trips people up is trying to understand the connection between there only being one God, and yet God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. When you think about it, it really isn't too difficult. For example, when you're speaking about a family, you usually say "the Smiths" or the "Smith family". Either way, a single unit is represented but consists of more than one member. Make sense? So, there is only one God, eternally existing in three persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit ... Gen 1:1, Gen 1:26, Deut 6:4, Isaiah 6:8, Matt 28:19, John 10:30, often referred to as the Trinity. Let's take a closer look at each of the three members.

Since all people from Adam to present have a sin nature, we have all been separated from God. But the good news is that God made away to reconcile all people back to Himself. When Adam and Eve sinned, God promised that He would send a Savior, from the seed of a woman, to redeem the human race from slavery to Satan and to restore man back to Himself. The rest of the Old Testament is the story of God preserving a righteous bloodline through whom the Savior would come and Satan's attempt to stop the Savior from coming.

To reconcile mankind back to Himself, God had to find a man who was not under Satan's dominion and control. Since there was no man who could fulfill this role, God decided that He Himself would enter the human race and become a man and, as a man, take the authority back from the devil and become the representative of an entirely new human race. This is where Jesus Christ, the Son of God, comes into the picture.

Mathematics: the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change.

This subject is tricky because God uses math in various ways. Creation has a mathematical presence in how this universe was created.  We can go through topics like Noah’s ark and Solomon’s temple to see math and how God utilized it. Jesus and how he chose and instructed His disciples to recruit others is another mathematical example. Just looking at the story of Noah and the ark, we find math. The bible has so many mathematical subjects that it is too many to name.

Even further than that, Christ can be viewed from psychological point. Through the hierarchy of needs, which was presented by Maslow, there is a five stage model that can be divided into basic (or deficiency) needs:

 1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, affection and love, - from work group, family, friends, and romantic relationships.

4. Esteem needs - achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, and respect from others.

5. Self-Actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

The deficiency, or basic needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfil such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food the more hungry they will become.

One must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs. Life experiences including divorce and loss of job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy

These needs where all fulfilled in our Savior and He was a Master Piece. How these human needs inside him were unable to influence the manner in which he lived His life is a question only He can answer. But through Christ we can find the example of how to achieve the hierarchy of needs and facilitate our lives in the basic branches of nature. Christ didn’t have to walk into a crowd of people and be announced. His Presence alone was enough, how He carried Himself. That Inner Peace of Christ.

Education is the key to understanding. But in education alone we can become a zombie to this society we live in. The system is set up to give a pattern of working for someone else a settling for just being given something in return for your efforts. The media in turn puts programs and commercial on our televisions to train us to settle for and overachieve. Commercials are designed to influence our minds to want a certain product while the shows we watch counteract our intelligence with reality and lifestyle entertainment. There was a man named B.F. Skinner who did a study called “Operant Conditioning”. In this study he worked with rats. One day he left these rats over the weekend without any food by accident. Upon his return he found that none of the rats left the room to find food but that they ate each other and their young. During this period of time the gangs in New York were warring and terrifying the upper class people. The government had no answer to solving this problem until Mr. Skinner said, “I have the solution”. “If you put all of them into a confined space and supply all their needs, they will not leave that area and simple kill each other”. This became known as the “Projects”. We have to gain knowledge ourselves to be able to understand the world we live in.

We are born with the same innate (inborn; natural) reality that Christ possessed. But we are born with the spiritual essence that connects us to God. Christ Spiritual connect was and is God. What we need to do is utilize the acronym “ASK”, “ask, seek, knock. Matthews 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. The spiritual essence of all of us was manifested through Christ. Yes Christ came and died on the cross, but that’s not all He did. Christ gave us a road map of life. Through Christ we can see how we were created to be, the cross was the conclusion of His earthly physical presence. In other words, what we see. It’s what we don’t see that counts, that’s one of the reasons our lives are not to judge because we can’t see past what we see in front of our eyes.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

We all fall

Genesis 4:1-9
1 The man had sexual relations with Havah his wife; she conceived, gave birth to Kayin [acquisition] and said, "I have acquired a man from ADONAI."   2 In addition she gave birth to his brother Hevel. Hevel kept sheep, while Kayin worked the soil.   3 In the course of time Kayin brought an offering to ADONAI from the produce of the soil;   4 and Hevel too brought from the firstborn of his sheep, including their fat. ADONAI accepted Hevel and his offering   5 but did not accept Kayin and his offering. Kayin was very angry, and his face fell.   6 ADONAI said to Kayin, "Why are you angry? Why so downcast?   7 If you are doing what is good, shouldn't you hold your head high? And if you don't do what is good, sin is crouching at the door - it wants you, but you can rule over it."   8 Kayin had words with Hevel his brother; then one time, when they were in the field, Kayin turned on Hevel his brother and killed him.   9 ADONAI said to Kayin, "Where is Hevel your brother?" And he replied, "I don't know; am I my brother's guardian?"
“Kayin and Hevel”, Cain and Abel are a story and an example of how we live as a society today. Adam and Eve display the example of what we are seeing in couples today but this study is about the relationship between mankind. This example reaches all the way to Isaac and Ishmael. It reveals the misunderstanding that can be created if communication is not utilized. Most people fault Cain for his actions but there is two sides to every story. What did Abel do wrong and/or right?
First let’s look at both brothers. In verse 3, Cain brought the fruit of his garden, or “produce of the soil”. We can assume that this fruit wasn’t just some fruit but award winning fruit that would have taking first place at any county or state fair. Cain brought the best and most delicious fruit. But why, in verse 5 did God not accept Cain’s offering. Let’s first examine Cain, throughout the Bible Cain is given a bad rap sheet. In Jude 11 it says, Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. 1 John 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brothers were righteous.  In Proverbs 29:10, the nature of Cain is given as a “bloodthirsty man who hates the integrity of a man and will seek to kill the upright”. In studying Hebrew text the translation is “mortal bloodshed hate pious and therefore straight search out a breathing creature”. All of this demonstrates the actions of Cain. You see Cain was doing something wrong and, from my point of few, did not acknowledge it and accept the correction God was giving him. What was it? Verse 7 of Genesis 4 is where a lot of the questioning of what Cain did comes to light. God asks him why is he angry, in verse 6 and 7 God tells him “if you are doing good, shouldn’t you hold your head up”? If you are doing what is not good, sin is crouching at your door-it wants you, BUT YOU CAN RULE OVER IT”. God gave some words of inspiration to Cain, God saw what was wrong, acknowledged it, and gave him a way to overcome it. Isn’t that like with most of us, when we get into a situation, The Silent Whisper tells us how to get out of it, but we handle it in our own way. Sounds familiar huh Cain? Even Judah had this situation in Genesis 44:16 "What can we say to my lord?" Judah replied. "What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants' guilt. We are now my lord's slaves--we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup."
In later offerings God gave instruction on how various offerings are to be given unto Him. Leviticus 2: 1 “‘When someone brings a grain offering to the LORD, his offering is to be of fine flour. He is to pour oil on it, put incense on it  2 and take it to Aaron's sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the fine flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.
Let’s define flour, Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, beans, or other seeds or roots. It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history.
Now let’s define sacrifice, the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.
So to put this into perspective, the sacrifice of flour represents the physical human. Our bodies are made of many molecules. Which then present the various functioning parts that make us human beings. As stated in Leviticus 2, the preparation process is simple mixing oil, flour, and incense. Flour being the staple food represents a human being, which without a human or human’s a culture could not exist. Now animals do have cultures but only a human is able to order and be an example of wisdom. The oil is the blessings that holds everything together because without it we would continue to fall apart. The incense is what we present as an acceptable demeanor in Gods Glorious Eyesight. All three create the complete sacrifice to God that can be acceptable. Offerings have a preparation process that it has to go through before it can be acceptable for sacrifice. This can be seen on the physical level when Christ was taken through a preparation process before eventually dying on the cross as the Ultimate Sacrifice. In Cain’s issue God saw what was in Cain’s heart yet Cain did not recognize it. I caught an important statement in the sacrifices of Cain and Abel, ….God accepted Abel and his offering but did not accept Cain and his offering…. God did not accept Cain, which means that there was something wrong with Cain. Cain needed to correct himself before he brought a sacrifice for an offering. We all need to look at this, me-I-you-we need to check ourselves before we can be acceptable to God for sacrifice; which is a daily task for me I might add.
Hebrew 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
Rom 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
I use to think Abel did something wrong because of his answer to Cain is not written down. My feeling was that Abel should have explained to Cain what he may have been doing wrong. But God has put me into Abel situations and I have found that people, once in an anger or resentment stage, will shoot you down regardless. I now understand that I have to maintain an Abel mind and get out of God’s Way so Adonai can handle the individual person. I have to stand in faith while I continue to strive in the proper work ethics acceptable to the Standards of El Shaddai.
Cain and Abel are examples of how we treat each other and carry ourselves today. In all of life everything starts off with the individual. It’s not about mama, daddy, or neighbors, but what the individual person manages in life. What the individual person is, is the sacrifice in today’s society. We have to prepare ourselves and maintain that preparation in order to be a continual sacrifice to God. God has plans for all of us and we all have to find that place in life where God can use us.
Proverbs 27:17 as iron sharpens iron, so shall one man sharpen another.
Proverbs 28:14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…
Micah 7:8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

Psalms 34:19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
Stand and rejoice in the Lords Everlasting Mercy, no matter what we have done in the past; Mercy says we can overcome. Just as he told Cain, we all can rise up when we fall in the Eyesight’s of the Almighty because He delivers us out of all situation. Create inside me a righteous man Oh Father, help me to be pleasing in your Sight. We can find Shelter in our Lord but we, me, I have to acknowledge my wrong doings and strive to be righteous in Eyesight’s of The Almighty.