Anoint


imagesIsaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor…”

It was a practice in the Old Testament to pour oil upon individuals for high offices. Aaron was anointed as High Priest. Saul and David were anointed as kings.

Therefore, to be anointed to accomplish all that is listed in this verse and those following would be read as a high honor. These are the very words that Jesus read before the Jewish leaders and declared them to be fulfilled in Him.

What does anoint mean? David describes Aaron’s anointing as oil being poured over his head so much so that it ran down his beard and running all the way to the edge of his garments.

A Hebrew commentary says that Moses, with his finger, marked Aaron’s forehead with the oil in the sign of the cross, the letter Tav, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The letter Tav literally means “mark.”

The root word for anoint is meshakh. The first letter is the “Mem” which means water or liquid. The second letter is “Shin” which means consume. The last letter, already mentioned, is “Tav” which means mark or sign. It can also mean covenant.

To be anointed is to be marked with a covenant mark, consumed or totally covered by the liquid.

The word “anointing” in anointing oil has a “Hey,” which represents breath or the Holy Spirit, word which represents the Holy Spirit. He is our anointing oil.

The word “Messiah” is anoint with a “Yod” inserted into the word. Yod represents an arm which means that the anointing comes from the arm of God.

So, when James instructed us to anoint someone who was sick it represents a sacred marking of God.

In the Old Testament, when someone was anointed it was for a position or task. It was a divine commissioning. In the New Testament John describes anointing as the Holy Spirit within us; 1 John 2:20,27. When Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 He spoke of His commissioning.

Some speak of a worship service or a sermon that was anointed. I have yet to find anywhere in scripture where any moment in time was anointed or words were anointed.

Others will say that someone preaching wasn’t very anointed. Scripturally, what in the world does that mean? If someone has been anointed to preach as in Isaiah 61:1 then that is their commission. They are anointed to do just what they are doing.

Possibly, what they are trying to say is that their message was not very prophetic. Some messages speak to you as if they are the very words of God while other sermons just don’t hit the mark.

The word for “Preach good tidings” in the opening verse means to bear news, bear tidings, publish, preach, show forth. In what manner have you been commissioned or anointed to preach? Through singing, writing, speaking, teaching, evangelizing, video, painting?

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The PEACE of God


Shalom

Shalom

I have been to Romania several times. The first Romanian word I learned was Pace (poch-ay) which means peace. But, it is a sacred word used only as a Christian greeting.

Even today in Israel the Jews use the word Shalom as a greeting meaning peace. But peace is an over simplified definition.

It is derived from the root word Shalam which means wholeness, complete, to make good or restore, have friendship, keep safe and make secure.

The first letter, Shin, means consume. God’s completeness in us needs to consume us.

The second letter, Lamed, is the tallest letter as well as the center letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It represents the King of kings, but also means control as in a shepherd’s staff. In the ancient writings the Lamed was a hooked staff that a shepherd would carry. God’s peace seems to evade us when things are out of control. But when we rest in His peace the out of control is in His control. This comes through the King of kings, our Great Shepherd.

The third letter in Shalom is the Vav. This letter represent the nail or hook that holds everything together. In one blog I show how it represents Jesus. It can also represent “and,” holding two thoughts together. God’s peace holds it all together through Jesus Christ.

The final letter is the Mem which is water. Some have said that it is the wellspring of the Torah. True Shalom could not come from the Law until Jesus became the fulfillment of that law.

The first time it is used in scripture is following God’s description to Abraham of the future of his children in Egypt. Then He assures him, Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age Genesis 15:15.

Abraham is promised to live long and die in completeness.

This was the theme of Jesus intimate prayer in John 17. This prayer followed His last meal with the disciples and was one of the last things He did before heading off to the garden to pray in preparation of His betrayal.

It was here that Jesus prayed for oneness between His followers, Himself and the Father.

What was the very first thing Jesus said to His disciples following His resurrection as He walked through the locked doors in John’s gospel? “Peace be unto you.”

In an out-of-control word I say to you . . .

Shalom!

New Ear, New Life


Pierced

Pierced

Luke 22:50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

The setting is on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus often went to pray. But, on this night it was interrupted by a group let by Judas to take Jesus away.

Peter had warned Jesus that he would be willing to fight to the death for Jesus and now he is ready to prove it. Ok, he didn’t go after any of the leaders, but it was the servant of the High Priest. Ok, he did not fatally wound him, but he did happen to catch his ear.

Peter meant well, he just could not get past his fears. And yet, how interesting that God was able to take lousy aim and bring about a blessing.

Until about 10 years ago, I always pictured Jesus picking up the servant’s ear and putting it back on him and healing it. But that is not what happens.

Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

Dr Luke is detailed here. It was the right ear. Jesus did not put his old ear back on but touch what was left of his ear and healed him. Do you see what has possibly happened here? Let’s look at the facts:

  1. This man, named Malchus, was a servant, a servant of the High Priest.
  2. It was his right ear that was cut off.
  3. It would seem that Jesus gave him a new ear.

Now, let’s put that together. Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 15:17 say that if a servant desires to stay with his master for life than he will allow his ear to be pierced with an awl. Neither of these verse give which earlobe but great significance is always given to the right side; ear, hand, thumb, toe, etc.

So, is it possible that this man had committed his service to the High Priest for life and had his right ear pierced? If so, then is it possible that in receiving a new ear, one without a hole, he was given his freedom?

Just something to think about.

Psalm 8:7


Psalm 8:7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.

The Hebrew word, “chesed,” is translated  mercy in this verse and can also be translated grace, favor or loyal love. There are great similarities between this word and the word for charity. But, according to Jewish Sages there is a difference. Charity gives to the poor. Chesed gives to anyone. Charity gives money. Chesed gives in money and time. Charity gives to the living and Chesed gives to the living a pays great respect to the dead. That is the mercy of God!

images5In this light, now read the verse again and understand the multitude of God’s love as we enter His presence.

To understand this love brings upon us the response of worship. The word here used for worship also means to lay prostrate. This worship will lay us to the ground in awe rather than a crying fear. It is a picture of one being overwhelmed with a love and favor from God that is so undeserving.

The Small “Hey”


They Were Created

They Were Created

Genesis 2:4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

In this verse is a letter in the Hebrew that has been written smaller than it should be. It is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the “Hey.”

Because this letter looks like an open window it is said to represent breath, revelation and light.

In the word for “created” in the above verse it begins with the second letter “Bet” which represents the Son of God, Jesus the Messiah. The next letter is the “Hey” which has been written small. The remainder of the word literally means create.

Therefore, the word could be read, “The Son of God breathed forth creation.”

Could it be for this reason that Paul was able to write with confidence in Ephesians 3:9 “…God who created all things through Jesus Christ”.

Build On The ROCK


imagesMatthew 16:17-19 Jesus answered and said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Johan (son of Johan), for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus said, “Upon this rock.” What rock?

  • Some say that the Church was built upon Peter and he was the rock Jesus was referring to.
  • The more popular understanding of the rock is the words of Peter or upon acknowledgment of Jesus being the Son of God in verse 16.
  • I submit to you that the second answer is on the right track but that it goes much deeper than that.

To understand it allow me to use the “Law of First Mention.” This means that often times you can find a more simplistic understanding when you discover where it was first mentioned in scripture.

First, the more obvious answer would be that Jesus is the rock. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:4 that the rock that Moses struck was Jesus. But, let’s go to the first mention.

The first mentioned rock in the old Testament was Exodus 17:6 where Moses struck the rock. But there is a mention of something earlier than that using the word stone – Genesis 28:18. There Jacob poured oil upon the stone that he had slept on. It became a marker of what he called, “God’s House” or “Bethel.”

On several occassions stones were used as markers to mark something extraordinary that took place.

What about the first mention in the New Testament, something used metaphorically by Jesus? That would be Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock:”

In Jesus’ conclusion for His great sermon on the mount He declares that to not only hear but practice His teachings is like building your life upon a rock. The rock here represents His teachings, His revelation.

That would make more sense in understanding what the rock was that His Church would be build upon and would give reason for binding and loosing.

Binding and loosing was a rabbinical term. The rabbis had the authority to bind and to loose or to accept or reject certain teachings. God said to honor the Sabbath day and the rabbis defined it by what could and could not be done on the Sabbath in order to keep it holy. The things that could not be done was binding. The things that could be done was loosing.

The Church is to be built upon understanding the Word of God, binding what is not acceptable and loosing what we are free to do. The problem is that the flesh gets involved in the process and we end up back to what Jesus had to deal with, the traditions of man. We end up making up our own stuff.

Jesus contradicted many of the traditions that had been bound and loosed. That is why the people said in Matthew 7:28-29 … that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

For this reason James says in James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. The Church has to be built upon the Word and to be careful how we throw around our authority in our teachings. Binding and loosing is serious business. Too many burdens have been placed upon people because of teachings that have may have grown out of truth but now only slightly resemble what is scriptural.

The rock, I submit to you, is Jesus and His Word upon which we build up. It is our foundation. It is the rock that followed the Israelites in the wilderness. It is a marker and testimony of man’s experience with an Almighty God. It is Jesus, the Word.

The Mark You Want


Tav

Tav

Ezekiel 9:4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

This is an action which God describes upon those who remained pure in the heart of a time where people lived in abomination. Judgement always comes when sin is great. But, God always protects those who are faithful.

What is interesting is that the word for mark is “Tav,” the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In ancient script, unlike the modern script, it looked much like our “t” and is thought to represent the cross.

Just think about it for a moment. How awesome for God to choose a Hebrew letter that looked like a cross to place upon the foreheads of those who remained true to Him. This mark was their salvation, their protection from judgment.

For hundreds of years before Christ the priest would anoint with oil using the sign of the “Tav” or the cross. The Hebrew word for law, Torah, begins with the Tav.

Looking back 2,000 years, the cross is still our mark of protection from the judgment of sin.

Could something be said about it being the last letter of the alphabet and the last thing that was done before judgement came? Maybe. What do you think?