What is Isaiah 53 and 5 really about?

What is Isaiah 53 and 5 really about?

By Pastor J

Isaiah 53:5 (HCSB)
5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.

Why did I ask the Isaiah 53:5 question? I asked because I wonder about our interpretation.

Most of the time, when I hear Christians speak of physical healing, they will use the last half of the last sentence. They use it ‘claim their healing’.  I know of many who hold to this fervently, and some who have died believing it.

I do not think however, that this is an accurate usage.

Isaiah 53:5 Hebrew Study Bible

וְהוּא֙  מְחֹלָ֣ל  מִפְּשָׁעֵ֔נוּ  מְדֻכָּ֖א  מֵעֲוֹנֹתֵ֑ינוּ  מוּסַ֤ר  שְׁלֹומֵ֙נוּ֙  עָלָ֔יו  וּבַחֲבֻרָתֹ֖ו  נִרְפָּא־  לָֽנוּ׃

KJV with Strong’s 
But he was wounded for our transgressions he was bruised for our iniquities the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed

 

The word for heal in the Hebrew is Rapha, which should be a familiar word for us, and it has more than one sense and use. For example:

1 Kings 18:30 (KJV)  – 30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

Rapha used here, is to repair a broken thing

2 Kings 2:21 (KJV)
21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.

Rapha used here, means to ‘heal’ or purify a heretofore unclean thing, and is the same usage as 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 30:20 (KJV) –  
20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

In this usage, the LORD is not physically healing the people. Verses 13-20 make clear that the context is a restoration of relationship, This is the context of Psalm 41:4 as well: David declares:  “I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.”

The Prophet Isaiah uses the term to address both physical and  terrestrial healing I Chapter 19

Isaiah 19:20-22 (KJV)
20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.
21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.
22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.

Jeremiah as well, uses this word to describe a healing of the breach between God and Man brought on by sin, when he says: Jeremiah 3:20-22 (KJV)
20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.
21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.
22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

In this context, and with this information, let us re-examine Isaiah 53:5

Throughout the verse there is a contrasting of the physical suffering of Jesus and the Spiritual situation that it addresses:

Physical Suffering

Spiritual situation addressed

Wounded

For our transgressions

Bruised

For our iniquities

Chastisement (punishment/price/penalty) laid upon Him

For (the restoration of ) our Peace (with God)

His Stripes (scourging with a whip)

Causes Our Healing – But what Healing is this? What needs to be healed?

 

WHAT NEEDS TO BE HEALED? It is our bodies?

The very next verses contain the answer: Isaiah 53:6-9 (KJV)
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Ironically His wounds, inflicted by the soldiers’ scourging and which were followed by His death, are the means of healing believers’ spiritual wounds in salvation.” (p. 1108, emphasis added). – The Bible Knowledge Commentary

 

His wounds are about our SPIRITUAL healing, the healing of the breach between God and Man caused by sin…

 

The Apostle Peter seems to also maintain this belief:

1 Peter 2:21-25 (HCSB)
21 For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.
22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth;
23 when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.
24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds.
25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

In verse 24, the Greek word used here is  iaomai  (iaomai,  it appears 26 times in the NT ) and it means:

  1. To cure, heal

  2. 2) to make whole

3) to free from errors and sins, to bring about (one’s) salvation

 

So the verse speaks not of physical healing, as many believe, nor was it ever intended to…

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A moment in the life… By Pastor Jermin

Originally written and posted to Facebook on 9/22/16

I’m only posting this because it occurred to me today, that perhaps this story will help those of my FB friends that do not seem to grasp the angst, understand what it’s all about.

1968 – When I was almost (12 days shy of) 6 years old, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It was (literally) a life changing experience. My parents, (and probably ALL of the adults that I knew) were devastated… Completely devastated… My parents (an immigrant, and the daughter of immigrants) had hope, you see, hope in Dr. King’s dream. They stood on the mall in DC and heard him say those words, me in the stroller, and my sister in my Mom’s womb…They had Hope that the very words that he spoke that day could come true. Hope for their children, hope for America, hope for themselves…
I was sad, as only little kids can be sad… Not fully intellectually aware, but sensorially acute.
I remember I had been given an American flag probably by my Dad, the proudest to be an American immigrant that I know and in my anger, I snapped the little wooden stick that it was stapled to… and a splinter went in my eyeball. A quick trip to Brooklyn eye and ear hospital (long closed) took care of that, and I was back in business…

2008 – 40 years later, we were on the phone together, as the 44th President of these United States was elected, and stood with his family in a park in Chicago, in the rain, and spoke words of Hope. My parents wept, as did I. We had our disagreements, and I was/am not a fan of the man, but his election MEANT something, for my parents it meant that there was still Hope…

2016 – 8 years later, I’m driving my Dad’s car in Brooklyn, NY with its Georgia license plates, two American flags on the dashboard, and the flag of Aruba (his birthplace) on the back window… Turning onto Eastern Parkway, I get pulled over by the police, who approach the car from either side, one (passenger side) has his gun drawn. They look in the car, see me, my wife next to me, and my Dad, Daughter and Mom across the back seat… I was polite, kept both hands on the wheel, and was polite to a fault.

The P.O. literally tells me that they pulled me over for a non-working signal light, but that as they approached the car, the signal light began to work, so they were letting me go.
(This is of course a complete lie, as once you complete a turn, the signal light automatically turns back off, but who am I to argue)
They wished me a nice day… I drove off, and minutes later, my 84 year old Dad began to cry… PTSD, you see… He’s been called NIGGER so many times since coming to this country that he loves so much, and was proud to serve in the US Army (even before he was a citizen) taking untold abuse from fellow soldiers, superiors, etc because of his beautiful (still at almost 85) richly melanated brown skin…

He’s been pulled over, verbally assaulted, baited and threatened in the middle of the night by police officers while driving alone in the deep south, he’s been bypassed for advancement in employment, he’s seen his wife and children hassled… It was all too much.
In 2016 for him to see that this still goes on, and now impacts his grandchildren, was too much.

I share his name, his melanin, and his pain. It is consistent, and it is something that causes me stress regularly. But I have to continue to push forward, believing that the land of my birth, the land that I love does in fact love me, even if many in it don’t, and many others find me threatening and fear inducing simply because of the melanin.

I have to have Hope, you see, because I have progeny, deeply melanated, deeply opinionated, beautiful, eloquent, progeny, and she deserves better than what’s she’s presented with. So, I cannot give up, neither can my Dad.

“With the rhythm it takes to dance through what we have to live through, we can dance underwater and not get wet..” – George Clinton

Isms, Schisms, and Power

From our service Notes Archive

RFBC Service Notes: Feb 27, 2011: – “ Isms, Schisms, and Power”

Teacher: Pastor Jermin

We are continuing today with our discussions on progressive sanctification.

The biblical word for sanctification is hagiazo and means “to set apart” for God or special purpose, figuratively “to make holy or sacred.

I am of the opinion that sanctification falls into two categories; positional sanctification and progressive sanctification. This is not the globally accepted view, in fact there are those who believe that this is a heretical view. This is however, because those who argue against it do not understand the doctrine completely, as we will see.

 

Positional sanctification is an act of God performed at the moment a sinner puts his faith in the Lord Jesus. This new believer partakes of the character of God for whom he is set apart (1 Corinthians 1:2).

 

Progressive sanctification (also called experimental sanctification) is the work of the Holy Spirit in the yielded saint, in which He sets the believer apart for God in his experience, by eliminating sin from his life and producing His fruit, a process which goes on constantly throughout the believers life (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

Simply defined, it is: To be set apart from sin and set apart to God for his service. “Dedication,” “consecration,” “purification,” and “holiness” are all closely related words and concepts. [5] We see this in both the Old Testament (OT) and the NT. The OT Hebrew word translated “sanctify” (qadash) carries the basic meaning of to “be set apart, consecrated,” and it relates directly to God’s holiness. [6] It describes the act of dedicating a person or object to God for his exclusive use, as well as the status of a person or object so dedicated.

 

Progressive, practical, experiential sanctification begins when we are born again and placed “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:5, 8)

 

POSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION:

 

Hebrews 10:10 – By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

 

Acts 15:9, “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13, “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”

 

1 Corinthians 1:2, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”

 

1 Corinthians 1:30-31, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

See also: Romans 15:16 (sanctified – aorist tense*), 1 Corinthians 7:14 (sanctified – perfect tense**), Ephesians 5:26-27 (sanctify – aorist tense*)

 

PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION:

 

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor;” read through 8

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

2 Timothy 2:21, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

 

Pietism:

Pietism (from the word piety) was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late 17th century to the mid-18th century and later. It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement. The Pietist movement combined the Lutheranism of the time with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christian life.[1]

The maintenance of salvation and holiness is a human work. This gets manifested as Asceticism (The Pharisees, the Amish, The Apostolics) and as a legalistic approach to salvation.

Quietism:

Quietism states that man’s highest perfection consists of a self-annihilation, and subsequent absorption, of the soul into the Divine, even during the present life. In this way, the mind is withdrawn from worldly interests to passively and constantly contemplate God. Quietists would say that the Bible describes the man of God as a man of the tent and the altar only, having no part or interest in the multitudinous affairs, pursuits, and pleasures of the world system.

Quietists were so called from a kind of absolute rest and inaction, which they supposed the soul to be in when arrived at that state of perfection which they called the unitive life; in which state, they imagined the soul wholly employed in contemplating its God, to Whose influence it was entirely submissive, so that He could turn and drive it where and how He would. In this state, the soul no longer needs prayers, hymns, etc. being laid, as it were, in the bosom, and between the arms of God, in Whom it is in a manner swallowed up.

 

Sanctification does not occur until we give up striving for it. Becoming holy by abandoning all Human effort and waiting for God to do it for us (Let Go and Let God) Trust God to sanctify you and take away your sin… But even when Moses told the Israelites to stand still and see, God told them to Move…

 

Exodus 14:9-18

But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

 

Perfectionism:

Christian perfection, also known as perfect love; heart purity; the baptism of the Holy Spirit; the fullness of the blessing; Christian holiness; the second blessing; and entire sanctification, is a Christian doctrine which holds that the heart of the born-again Christian may attain a high degree of virtue and holiness and become entirely sanctified with the help of divine grace of Jesus.

 

It is a kind of moral perfection that believers can attain here on earth. All desire for sin is erased

All sanctification is based on a second event (Second Blessing) which is subsequent to saving faith. There is first salvation/justification, then there is sanctification. You can be ‘free from any known sin’ – John Wesley

Wesley’s doctrine became known as ‘The Second Blessing’

 

What is the second blessing?

It is the second act of faith, occurring after salvation. A second separate act of Faith which is a necessary component of the life of a Christian.The belief that there is an instant automatic victory which occurs once the believer’s faith is able to receive it.

This doctrine and belief morphed into the Holiness Movement, which became the Charismatic Movement, and Finney’s Perfectionism doctrine, which has given rise to Pentecostal Doctrine.

It can be recognized today in things like: ‘Tarrying for the Holy Ghost’.

 

Says Leonard Ravenhill of John Wesley     http://www.ravenhill.org/wesley.htm

Mr. Wesley did preach second-blessing holiness. Hear him in writing to Joseph Benson: “With all zeal and diligence confirm the brethren  in holding fast that whereto they have attained – namely, remission of all their sins by faith in the bleeding Lord, and in expecting a second change, whereby they shall be saved from all sin and perfected in love.”

To Sarah Rutter he writes: “Gradual sanctification may increase from the time you are justified, but full deliverance from sin, I believe, is always instantaneous – at least, I never knew an exception.”

 

This is also seen in the ‘No Lordship’ theology, and ‘Deeper Life’ teaching.

What is No-Lordship?

Non-lordship salvation is a neutral term for what others call ‘easy believism’, the “popular slogan for the view that one simply has to believe in order to be saved and that there is no corresponding need for a committed life of Christian discipleship.”

 

The result is that the idea of personal sanctification is divorced from justification, and discipleship is seen as a path that some Christians follow, but not others. The term carnal Christian is used to describe such a supposed Christian, who once made a “decision” but has not continued in discipleship. Names applied to this doctrine by opponents include no-lordship and cheap grace as it suggests that “accepting Jesus” does not involve any further commitments. Proponents of this view, on the other hand, prefer the term the “free grace” to describe their position. Easy-believism is also said to overemphasize the doctrine of assurance of salvation at the expense of personal authenticity.

 

Those who hold to the Free-grace position are generally Arminian in theology, although classical Arminianism does not adhere to this.

 

By contrast, Reformed Christians generally hold to what is termed Lordship salvation. However, among adherents of each view one will find there are differences of language and emphasis.

 

Why this is a problem:

Justification and sanctification are not separate acts of God which happen at separate times in life due to separate acts of faith.

 

But what about Acts 19:1-7?

And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having gone through the higher country, came to Ephesus, where there were certain disciples: And he said to them, Did you get the Holy Spirit when you had faith? And they said to him, No, we have had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit. And he said, What sort of baptism did you have? And they said, The baptism of John. And Paul said, John gave a baptism which goes with a change of heart (repentance) , saying to the people that they were to have faith in him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus. And hearing this, they had baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had put his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they had the power of talking in tongues, and acting like prophets. And there were about twelve of these men.

What was the Baptism of John? Unto Repentance. But you were not Born again…

John 1:19-34

 

There are no shortcuts to sanctification…

 

1 Cor 1:30-31

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.  

 

Jude 1:1-2  

Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.  (Election, Sustaining Grace and sanctification, in one verse…)

 

Philp 2:12-13

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

(we are going to come back to this)

 

John MacArthur, when discussing the No-Lordship doctrine says: “Scripture teaches that sanctification begins at conversion. The process of practical sanctification is launched by God’s regenerating work, when He by grace gives the sinner a new heart and a new spirit of obedience (Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-27; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Just as regeneration marks the beginning of sanctification, glorification marks its end.

 

Sanctification culminates in that moment when we see Christ and are instantly conformed perfectly to His image (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 13:12). Meanwhile, all genuine believers are being sanctified–conformed gradually to the image of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:29).

Those who remain unchanged and in unbroken bondage to sin have no true knowledge of Christ (1 John 3:6).

 

Sanctification is as much a work of divine grace as justification. By portraying sanctification as an optional human work, advocates of no-lordship doctrine actually fall into the very error of works-salvation they profess to deplore. They have made at least this aspect of salvation into a human work.”

 

Sanctification is a process, begun  by God the very moment that we are born again. It is not a secondary act, nor is it a onetime thing.

 

2 Cor 3:18

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

1 Jn 3:2-3

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  These statements are not contradictory, the speak to the fact that it is a process. Sonship is immediate, sanctification is a process…

 

So what exactly does this mean?

 

Philp 2:12-13

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

 

  1. Our salvation is a reality that is exampled in our walk.
  2. We must keep striving against sin. God doesn’t magically take the sin away.
  3. God provides both the will and the Power to obey Him. Without it we cannot
  4. He energizes our will and work, for HIS Pleasure

 

This is what He promised even in the OT, The power and ability comes from Him, but the operation and obedience (in other words walking it out) is on us.

Eze 36:26-27

I will take away your stubborn heart and give you a new heart and a desire to be faithful. You will have only pure thoughts, because I will put my Spirit in you and make you eager to obey my laws and teachings.

 

2 Peter 1:3-8

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Romans 8: 26-30

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

Romans 13:14

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

 

Eph 6:10-18

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

Eph 4:17-32

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

Col 3:9-10

Do not make false statements to one another; because you have put away the old man with all his doings, And have put on the new man, which has become new in knowledge after the image of his maker;

 

Col 3:12-17

As saints of God, then, holy and dearly loved, let your behaviour be marked by pity and mercy, kind feeling, a low opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, and a power of undergoing all things; Being gentle to one another and having forgiveness for one another, if anyone has done wrong to his brother, even as the Lord had forgiveness for you: And more than all, have love; the only way in which you may be completely joined together. And let the peace of Christ be ruling in your hearts, as it was the purpose of God for you to be one body; and give praise to God at all times. Let the word of Christ be in you in all wealth of wisdom; teaching and helping one another with songs of praise and holy words, making melody to God with grace in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in act, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving praise to God the Father through him.

 

So we find ourselves, once again, at a point of balance, much like the position that Jesus discusses in Matthew 6 when teaching us how to pray the balance between forgiveness and repentance. The balance between God’s power

 

Sources:

What is Sanctification, by Dr. Christian Pope

http://www.sanctification.com/sanctification-defined.php

 

Progressive Sanctification: Growing and Maturing in Our Faith

by Greg Williamson (c) 2000, 2006

http://shakinandshinin.org/ProgressiveSanctification.html

 

Three Questions from a Jehovah’s Witness

Three seemingly common challenges presented to a member of our Fellowship…

Please note that you are going to need your Bible, and I would ask that you NOT use the New World Translation (NWT) which the Jehovah’s Witness Organization (The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society) has produced. There are several reasons for my request, which for time’s sake; I will not get into right now… 

 

1) If Jesus is God why did he call God his father when he was on the cross?

Let us be clear, Jesus (Yeshuah is his Jewish name, and this will be important in a few moments) consistently referred to YHWH (GOD) as his Father. Throughout the Gospels, we see this. What we have to seek to do first in order to properly understand any time we read the Bible, is to try to hear what the original hearers heard. This is important here, since to the Jews, Fathers and Sons had the same attributes. Here is an example: Read Matthew 13:54-56, and its parallel passage Mark 6:1-5. Note that in Matthew’s account, he (Jesus/Yeshuah) is referred to as ‘The Carpenter’s son’. That is his identity in the community, and that is why they could not hear him or receive from him. Carpenters were just that carpenters, and nothing else. Mark parallels this, referring to him in this same event as ‘the carpenter’. Two things to note here: 1) You are identified with your Father, and 2) You do what your Father does.

I hope you’re with me so far. Here’s why: Jesus identifies himself as being ‘one’ with God in John Chapter 10. Please read verses 22-39, focusing on verses 30-33 in particular. Did you notice WHY they are picking up stones to stone him? Then look at what he says to them in verses 37-38. Whose works is he doing?

Now thinking back on what we read earlier in Matthew, knowing that for the Jew, you did the works of,  and had equality with, your Father, what is he then saying to them? He is identifying Himself by His Works, to the ONLY one who could do those works, YHWH (GOD). Better yet, what did they understand? That He was proclaiming Himself to be equal with God. Knowing that to the Jew, GOD has no equal , the implication here is clear. Jesus is calling Himself GOD.

There are many other times that this type of thing occurs, another good one is when He declares to them EGO EIMI (I AM)

Most Jews is Jesus’ time read their Bibles (The Old Testament, as at the time there was no New Testament) in Greek, the document was called ‘The Septuagint’

(… from the Latin word septuaginta (meaning seventy). It is a translation of the Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek. The title and its Roman numeral acronym LXX refer to the legendary seventy Jewish scholars who completed the translation as early as the late 2nd century BCE. As the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is also called the Greek Old Testament (Ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα). This translation is quoted in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline epistles, and also by the Apostolic Fathers and later Greek Church Fathers.. – source Wikipedia)

In the Septuagint, when Moses asks God Who should he say is sending him, God responds ‘I Am’ – Exodus 3:14 –  “And God spoke to Moses, saying, I AM (ego eimi); and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM’(ego eimi) has sent me to you.”

Now turn to John Chapter 8, and read from verse 48 to 59. Note that he says, before Abraham was ‘I AM’, and can you guess what Greek phrase is used there? You got it, EGO EIME the same name that GOD/YHWH uses with Moses.

Do you see what happened next? They picked up stones (to try to kill him) Why? Because of WHO he was saying that He was/is…

With the preceding point in mind now, (that for Jews, there was equality between Father and Son) let’s take a look specifically at Luke 23:33-3433 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. [34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” ] And they divided His clothes and cast lots.

Knowing what you now know about the context in which Jesus spoke, what is so unusual about this? Nothing. He was doing as He always had, declaring Himself one with/equal to, GOD

 

Please note that the disciples identified him as God as well. Here are a couple of examples:

2 Peter 1:1  – “Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:”

He is not, as some might claim, referring to two beings, He is referring to only ONE Jesus Christ (Yeshuah Ha Maschiach) who he calls ‘our God and Savior.’ As in one being both attributes… How do we know this? It is a reference to the doctrine of imputation. The righteousness of the Messiah, was imputed to men, and their sin was imputed to him.  Imputation means to replace missing data/information/elements with substituted values. It is what the Jews clearly understood from Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The sin of the family is imputed to the animal that is to be sacrificed, and that animal’s blood is then shed in atonement of sin. The animal in effect, becomes/takes on the sin of the person, and the animal pays the price for the sin, with its blood (its life). Sound familiar? It should, It is the point of the cross. As Paul said: ‘He who did not have any sin, became sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God.’  – 2 Corinthians 5:21 That is imputation.

Paul says of the Jews (his brothers ethnically), in his letter to the Roman church:

Romans 9:1  I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience is testifying to me with the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart. 3 For I could almost wish to be cursed and cut off from the  Messiah for the benefit of my brothers , my own flesh and blood. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. 5 The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, praised forever.  Amen .

 

2) Was Jesus an Archangel?

No, Jesus is not a created being, He is the Creator. This is especially hard for people who are Unitarians (as Jehovah’s witnesses are). To grasp the idea that one being can exist in three persons is unfathomable, and yet the Bible clearly maintains this truth.

Here is what the Apostle Paul says to the church at Colossae (where a similar debate was going on as to whether or not Jesus was deity or a created being.)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything.– Colossians 1:15-18

If he is the image of that which is invisible, he is that thing in representation. For example, if you look in the mirror, the reflection that you see is who? You. If everything was created by him, (that includes angels) He cannot have created himself, as such he is THE CREATOR, HE is GOD. All things have been created through and for Him. He is before ALL things, as such if he was a created being something/someone would have to have been before him, and by him all things (notice it says ALL THINGS) hold together. All clearly means ALL so there is nothing before Him, as such he MUST be GOD.

Compare this to: “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone.“ – Isaiah 44:24

The Apostle John, at the beginning of his Gospel, declares:

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15  John (the Baptist)  testified concerning Him and exclaimed, “This was the One of whom I said, ‘The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’”) 16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness, 17 for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son— the One who is at the Father’s side— He has revealed Him. – John 1:14-18

Notice that John the Baptist is quoted as saying that Yeshuah is pre-existent. Chronologically, John was older than his cousin Jesus/Yeshuah (see Luke 1:26-45) yet he says that Yeshuah existed before him… This comment from John lends weight to the contention made at the beginning of the Gospel of John which we will discuss later in this tome.

See also Revelation 3:14-22 written to the church at Laodicea, a city quite close to Colossae,  in fact mentioned 3 times in the letter to the Colossian church, and a place where clearly the same heresy concerning Yeshuah’s Deity was active,  wherein Yeshuah identifies Himself as: ““The Amen , the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation” – Rev. 3:14

This is a very big issue, and here is one reason why I prefer that you not use the NWT.

Consider what EVERY OTHER BIBLE EVER TRANSLATED has to say re: John 1:1-3: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.

Now this is what the NWT says: In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This one was in [the] beginning with God. All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence (John 1:1–3 NWT).

Not only is this translation inaccurate, it is deceitful, and dishonest, because it seeks to intentionally change the writer’s statement re: the Deity of Christ (Yeshuah) by calling him a ‘god’ (note the small g’)

3) Is Jesus’ name Jehovah?

In a Word NO. But GOD’s name is not ‘Jehovah’ either. Why do I say that? First off, because there is no ‘J’ or j sound in Hebrew. So Jesus’ name isn’t Jesus either. So where did ‘Jehovah’ come from?

“The word “Jehovah is a hybrid, arising from a misunderstanding. The word “Yahweh,” which more nearly corresponds to the original Hebrew name, is preferable;” –  Bade The Old Testament in the Light of Today (Boston, 1915), pp. 313 f.

And this from the 1911 – Encyclopedia Britannica: “JEHOVAH (YAHWEH 2), in the Bible, the God of Israel.

“Jehovah” is a modern mispronunciation of the Hebrew name, resulting from combining the consonants of that name, Jhvh, with the vowels of the word Adonay, ” Lord,” which the Jews substituted for the proper name in reading the scriptures. In such cases of substitution the vowels of the word which is to be read are written in the Hebrew text with the consonants of the word which is not to be read.”

BritannicaJehovah

As such the better question is: Is Jesus/Yeshuah YHWH (Yahweh)?

The answer is YES! Let’s look at Philippians 2:9-11— The Apostle Paul says: Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Once again, we have to, when reading the Bible try to understand what the original hearers/readers would have understood. Paul’s readers (remember there was no new testament at the time of this letter’s writing) would have immediately identified that Paul was calling Jesus GOD, specifically YHWH. Why? Because he is drawing directly from Isaiah 45:20-25 –

20 “Come, gather together, and draw near, you fugitives of the nations. Those who carry their wooden idols, and pray to a god who cannot save, have no knowledge. 21 Speak up and present your case— yes, let them take counsel together. Who predicted this long ago? Who announced it from ancient times? Was it not I, Yahweh?* There is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is no one except Me. 22 Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other. 23 By Myself I have sworn; Truth has gone from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow to Me, every tongue will swear allegiance. 24 It will be said to Me: Righteousness and strength is only in the Lord.” All who are enraged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. 25 All the descendants of Israel will be justified and find glory through the Lord .

*If the translation that you are using says ‘The LORD’ or something close, here is why:

yhwh-in-english

Whenever the name LORD is printed in small caps in some English translation, it means the NAME: YAHWEH. For ancient Jews (and conservative modern ones), YAHWEH was the Name of names; so sacred that they would not speak it nor would they write it in full (they left out the vowels: YHWH). YAHWEH was the Holy One of Israel. Here is what it looks like:

So let’s consider this:

As a Pharisee, (one of the most learned and trained Jews) Paul knew this text very well. He knew exactly what he was saying: Jesus of Nazareth is YAHWEH.

In The Psalms, we find this: Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Yahweh, faithful God.” Psalm 31:5

The Apostle Stephen as he was being killed, said what? – Acts 7:59-60 “And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’”  What did Stephen believe abiout Jesus/Yeshuah, even to his death? That He is YAHWEH

The Prophet Joel says: “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as Yahweh has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom Yahweh calls.” Joel 2:32

The Apostle Paul says:

8  On the contrary, what does it say? ‘The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (he is quoting Deuteronomy 30:14). This is the message of faith that we proclaim: 9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:8-13

The Lord who? Who does Paul say is Lord? What scripture is he clearly referencing? So what is He saying about Jesus/Yeshuah? Right, that HE IS YAHWEH

I hope that at least gets you started.

Pastor J