The Way, the Truth, and the Life

| 0

Jesus had one last chance to encourage His disciples before His death and He took full advantage of the situation. He wished to encourage His disciples with the most important message: love one another as He loved them, for He is the embodiment of the character of God, the way of our salvation, and would die so we could be reconciled to God and abide in His household.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

When therefore he was gone out, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; and God shall glorify him in himself, and straightway shall he glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say unto you. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, whither goest thou?
Jesus answered, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow afterwards. Peter saith unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee even now? I will lay down my life for thee.
Jesus answereth, Wilt thou lay down thy life for me? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go, ye know the way.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; how know we the way?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also: from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do (John 13:31-14:14).

The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Jesus' Final Discourse

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

The Day of YHWH in 70

| 0

Israel had its choice: would they follow the Messiah God had sent them and seek after God’s purposes? Or would they raise up for themselves a “messiah” of their own desires and seek after what they expected the Messiah to do? In 30, and again in 66-70, and finally again in 132, Israel rejected Jesus the Christ and His way and raised up for themselves messiahs in their own image. The Day of YHWH came for Israel yet again; all was destroyed; Judaism would never be the same. Jesus, the Son of Man, was vindicated.

The Day of YHWH in 70

And Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said unto them, “Ye brought unto me this man, as one that perverteth the people: and behold, I, having examined him before you, found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: no, nor yet Herod: for he sent him back unto us; and behold, nothing worthy of death hath been done by him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him.”
Now he must needs release unto them at the feast one prisoner.
But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas”:– one who for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.
And Pilate spake unto them again, desiring to release Jesus; but they shouted, saying, “Crucify, crucify him.”
And he said unto them the third time, “Why, what evil hath this man done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him and release him.”
But they were urgent with loud voices, asking that he might be crucified. And their voices prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that what they asked for should be done. And he released him that for insurrection and murder had been cast into prison, whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.

And when they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, and laid on him the cross, to bear it after Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him.
But Jesus turning unto them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breasts that never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.’ For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:13-31)

The Day of YHWH in 70
The Day of YHWH

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

What Is the Church?

| 0

“Church” hasn’t enjoyed the best public relations recently. Many think they can do better without it. But what is the church, and what is its place in God’s purposes?

What Is the Church?
The Fundamentals

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

The Nature of the Church: The Church is Holy and Spotless

| 0

In Ephesians 5:27 Paul declares that Jesus will present the church to Himself as holy and spotless. We cannot cleanse ourselves, but we must strive to live as a sanctified people. Unfortunately not all will do so; we must address it; we do well to strive to follow Jesus according to His purposes!

The Nature of the Church: The Church is Holy and Spotless

The Nature of the Church: The Church is Holy and Spotless
The Nature of the Church

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

Mount Moriah / Zion

| 0

zion

God provided on Mount Moriah / Zion. God made His name to dwell there. In a very real sense He still does to this day. Will we come to Mount Zion and dwell eternally with God?

Mount Moriah / Zion

Mount Moriah / Zion
Mountains in Scripture

 
 
00:00 /
 
1X
 

The Voice 5.03: January 18, 2015

posted in: The Voice | 0

The Voice

The Nature of the Church: The Church as Temple

Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, and such are ye (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

Throughout the New Testament the Apostles speak about the church less by direct statements and more through illustrations and imagery. The church is spoken of in terms of a body, comprised of different individual members who work independently and together for its own growth, development, and function (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-28). The church is also spoken of in terms of a family, with God as Father, Jesus as the elder Brother, and Christians as fellow brothers and sisters in God’s household (1 Timothy 3:15, Hebrews 2:17). Yet in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 and 1 Peter 2:4-6 the church is also spoken of as a temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells. What does it mean for the church to be spoken of as a temple?

The Queen of Sheba before the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, by Salomon de Bray (1597-1664)

The ancient world was full of temples: from ziggurats in Sumer and Akkad to the elaborate Greco-Roman temples throughout the Roman Empire (Genesis 11:1-9, Acts 19:24-28). It was believed that temples were the dwelling places of divinities: adherents would come and “meet” the god or goddess at the temple, presenting food offerings to feed and/or placate them. The Israelites recognized that not even the heavens could contain God, let alone a physical building (1 Kings 8:27); nevertheless, YHWH their God, the One True God, authorized the building of a house, or temple, in which He would make His name and presence dwell, in Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:1-9:9). The Israelites were to bring their sacrifices to the house of YHWH, the Temple (Deuteronomy 12:10-11); there priests would offer them before God on behalf of the people (Hebrews 9:1-10). Therefore, even though the Israelites recognized that YHWH was God everywhere, they nevertheless were to draw near to God in worship, in prayer, and for atonement, in the place where He established His presence and made His name to dwell, in or towards the Temple (Acts 24:11, Hebrews 9:1-10).

Jesus of Nazareth, as the Word made flesh and Immanuel (God with us; Matthew 1:23-24, John 1:1-14), came not only to provide the perfect atonement for sin but also to re-center the Israel of God around Himself. This is well illustrated in John 2:18-22: Jesus declares His own body to be the temple which is raised imperishable in the resurrection. This explains Jesus’ response to the Samaritan woman in John 4:21-24: the people of God would soon no longer go to Jerusalem to render obeisance to God; God’s presence would no longer be manifest at the Temple. Little wonder, then, that the curtain of the Temple was town in two when Jesus died (Matthew 27:51)!

Jesus’ Kingdom was established after His death, resurrection, and ascension (Acts 1:1-2:47, Colossians 1:13). Within fifty years the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; it has not been replaced. Yet God had not left His people as orphans; throughout the New Testament all the elements of service present in the Temple in a concrete way were understood now in light of the Kingdom and the gatherings of the people in the Kingdom. Jesus was High Priest in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-28); in a sense all His followers are priests, ministering before God on behalf of the people (1 Peter 2:5, 9). Christians are likewise the sacrifices, offered up to the glory and honor of God (Romans 12:1, 1 Peter 2:5). Prayers are as incense (Revelation 8:3-4); the songs of the saints are praise, their hearts as the instruments (Ephesians 5:19). Thus it was also with the Temple: it is no longer in one physical location, but exists wherever the people of God exist, since the Holy Spirit, God Himself, dwells in their midst, individually and collectively (1 Corinthians 3:14-16, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)!

Thus the church is as a temple, the place where God has established His name and His presence through the Holy Spirit. This temple is not made of brick and mortar; it is founded upon the apostles and prophets who proclaimed the truths upon which it stands, and Jesus Christ as its cornerstone, who gave Himself for it (Ephesians 2:20, 5:22-33, 1 Timothy 3:15). Its stones are not dead rock but living people, the members of the church (1 Peter 2:5). Thus the people of God, individually and collectively, are to represent where God has placed His name; those who wish to find God ought to see His presence among His people through their words and deeds (Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Corinthians 14:25).

God intends for the church to connect and identify fellow members as a family and to work in terms of a body yet also is to be defined as holy in terms of a temple. The church is not to be any ordinary family or to function as any ordinary body of people; the church is to be a holy family and a sanctified association, empowered by God through His Spirit who dwells in the midst of His people (Ephesians 3:14-16). Let us live in holiness and righteousness, seeking to fulfill the purposes of God in Christ, and reflect the holiness demanded of those among whom the Holy Spirit of God pleases to dwell!

Ethan R. Longhenry