Religion

Addendum to: Thought, Word and Deed

Jesus of Nazareth was no Nazirite; He was the true Branch.
In the 9-27-2016 article I started to mention that Jesus was a Nazarite. Upon fact checking myself I realized that would be an error. Two words stating that the Jesus of Nazareth was no Nazirite.

Nazareth is the geographical locality of where the Old Testament prophesied the Messiah would have lived. Viewing these two words from an English language perspective they look superficially synonymous. From the usage in Hebrew they are totally different.

"...and being warned by God in a dream, he [Joseph] departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He shall be called a Nazarene,' " (Matt. 2:22,23)

(NOTE the 7's incorporated that show completeness below)
Thus there were fourteen generations in all, from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. It is not possible to find a singular prophet using this idea. It is possible to know that St. Matthew generally interpreted prophets as meaning a more general term. St. Matthew made no mistake. It's the story here that matters.

God in his wisdom takes us to a wide spot in the road that was Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth, as he identified himself, to the Apostle Paul, came into the world to save sinners from this insignificant wide spot in the road. God consistently uses the commonality of persons to self identify.

Some have suggested that the question hints that the town had a bad reputation, while others contend that Nathanael probably viewed the community merely as insignificant. The city is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, the Talmud, nor by Josephus. One scholar notes that the geographical location of the city, overlooking the plain of Esdraelon, generated a certain disposition of “aloofness” which invited the scorn of the neighboring communities. (J.W. Charley, Baker Encyclopedia of Bible Places, John Bimson, Ed., Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995, p. 224)*

*Jackson, Wayne. "Was Matthew Mistaken in the 'Nazarene' Prophecy?" ChristianCourier.com. Access date: October 3, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/573-was-matthew-mistaken- in-the-nazarene-prophecy

The term Nazarite is as ancient as Judaism.

To be a Nazarite one had to be an oath taker which Jesus of Nazareth was not. Nazarites' tradition holds that the candidates are set aside and cannot perform or partake in a Levitical litany of ideas.

For example, Nazarites could not go near a corpse. How could have Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead?
Nazarites may not drink wine. In Jesus' earthly ministry, the very first miracle was changing the water into wine. Secondly, the Last Supper would not have happened.!

Yet, in all this contradiction, there is a greater name attached to Jesus of Nazareth: the true Branch. Now, truly I tell you that Jesus may be viewed as Jesus, the true Branch of Nazareth.

It becomes very clear then, that what the Gospels are doing is not making Jesus out to be the 'vow taker' but 'the Branch,' for the meaning of Nazareth is 'branch,' a very powerful messianic title used by a number of prophets:
Isaiah 4:2: 'In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.'
Isaiah 11:1: 'Then a Shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.'
Isaiah 60:21: 'Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the Land forever, the Branch of My planting, the work of My Hands, that I may be glorified.'
Jeremiah 23:5: 'Behold, the days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch. And He will reign as King and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the Land.'
Jeremiah 33:15: 'In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.'
Zechariah 3:8: 'Now listen, Joshua the High Priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you, indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My Servant the Branch.'
Zech. 6:12: 'Then say to him, 'Thus says the Lord of Hosts, 'Behold, a man whose Name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the Temple of the Lord.'
These are the major cites where the Coming One, Yeshua the Messiah, was entitled 'Branch.' There is much to this and it all began when God put an end to the rebellion of Israel in the Wilderness, specifically concerning who installed Aaron as High Priest. For the rebel Korah said it was because Aaron was Moses' brother, that Moses made Aaron High Priest. And God instituted a dead branch (also known in English as a staff or rod), to be His witness as to whom He had chosen to be High Priest. It was when this dead branch came to life, sprouted and had almonds on it (Numbers 17:8), that God revealed to Israel whom He had chosen. It was when Yeshua, a dead 'branch' came back to life, glorified,, that all Israel could know that God had made Yeshua both Lord and Messiah (Acts 2:36).

It was out of the turbulence of rebellion that God established who was to be His anointed one, Aaron. And now the concept of a branch would become a symbol for the Messiah, used by many prophets. So, when Matthew (2:23) and others call Yeshua a 'Nazarene', they are not referring to the vow, but to the place of His having been recognized as having grown up in, for they are also very well aware of the prophecies that say the Messiah will be a 'Branch,' which is the meaning of the name of Nazareth.

It gets very interesting when we read John 19:19 which is: 'Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, 'Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.' It can equally be translated like this: 'Jesus My Branch, the King of the Jews.'

The above was extracted from: NAZARITE OR NAZARENE?, by Avram Yehoshua.

Len Holmes
10/3/2016

Thought, Word and Deed by Thine Divine Majesty

Larry Eubanks, Rev. PhD.

Writes an inspired blog on “thinking about the Bible” topics as he flows
seamlessly onto a world stage of contemporary Christian writers.

In his September 16, 2016, blog he writes that to understand the New Testament one should stop reading it, temporarily. We are invited to open the Old Testament and begin to know it better as the Prophets proclaim the Glory of God to his people for all generations what God is with and without all the Law and the Prophets.

As a Christian in the pre-apocalyptic era, how do I think about the Holy Bible?
I think in a rationally emotive fashion as my learning has occurred. We are products of ecclesiastical thought offered in my case from those who were inspired to or not to impart foundations for Christian beliefs for me to grow into the furthering of Christ's Kingdom here on earth, as it is in Heaven.

We think like the ancient Greeks as Dr. Eubanks adroitly states that if you were to ask a Greek about time he would include lots of ideas, examples of mathematics, to prove a point. I would give that kind of answer due to the Western education I have received.

In contrast, if one asked a Jew about time as Dr Eubanks points so well, a story would be told. Both
answer the question well. And again as Dr Eubanks mentions the Holy Bible as canonized is a Jewish book in thought. Yes, the New Testament is written in Greek; but the ideas are Jewish that is Christian faith.

It comes down to this.
It is an acceptance that the Holy Bible is the inspired word of God. The ancient Jews of the Old and and some of the New Testament would agree with that.. When Jesus said, “All the Law and the Prophets,” that is what was meant.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:40 KJV

WHAT WERE THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS THAT JESUS GAVE IN MATTHEW 22:40?
He unabashedly stated to love God and your neighbor, and on those two principals of love hangs all the law and the prophets all neatly tied in one package.
 How simply complex conundrum of a paradigm this is for the modern day Christian. It is the purpose of story telling, like any art form to invoke an emotion. Jesus Christ is the superstar of invocation in past, present and future of our lives.
One emotion that is arguably present in Christians and non-believers of all times from (the beginning) is anger that arises from the question, who is my neighbor?

It is embedded in the sacredness of the Eucharist to be in love and charity with your neighbor and if not, make it right.

Anger arises in Christians even when their cup is spiritually full, maybe too full, which implies that we should get out of the pew and share our love and blessings with our neighbor whomever they are, even if we have to turn the other cheek in doing so.
 I think Christianity is a religion of pay-it-forward for the debt Christ paid, not just for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world. He died and rose again that those who believe on him will have eternal life. What about those who do not believe? He died for them as well. Who are we to criticize for whom Christ died and rose again on the third day? Yet, the simple emotion of anger keeps us from addressing the eternal notion. Is it our darker nature that causes this? We are commanded to be Christ-like, but can we be one hundred percent? No.

The beginning of knowledge is FEAR of the LORD; 
we are not to lean on our own understanding.

The first seven verses of Proverbs written by King Solomon, an ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth, is as a tree in a garden with many levels of meaning in its parts.

First, the number seven in Jewish thinking is a number that expresses completeness. That is my Greek thinking about Jewish writing showing. Yet, in these seven proverbs it gives seven simple steps for loving your neighbor as Jesus commanded.
First idea
Who?
This is a King of Israel, seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob giving prophecy who was an earthly ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth and Son of David.
Solmon Says


Second Idea

What it is...?

IS

To perceive the words of understanding
.
IS

To know wisdom and instruction.

Third Idea

To perceive the words of understanding
receive the instruction of

wisdom
justice 
judgment 
equity.

Fourth Idea 
How? 
Give Subtlety
to the simple.

My Greek learning interprets the Jewish narrative:
Subtlety offers gullible persons insight. Matthew Henry states, “We have to feel our own ignorance to be taught”.
And to the young knowledge and discretion. 

Fifth Idea
Who?
The same rules apply to all. 

Sixth Idea
A wise person will seek out interpretation of the meanings of scripture and dark sayings, within such as Samson's knot in Judges where Samson was the last Judge and a Nazarene like Jesus, Isaac and John the Baptist.


Within the times of Samson the number seven appears in that seven times the nation of Israel turned against God. The lesson here is that God had rather forgive than judge.A

Seventh Idea

The truest knowledge is the fear of the Lord. Fools and blasphemers cannot grasp this concept of loving the Lord your God with all that is within you.

These seven ideas from Proverbs command us to love one another, and our neighbor as they provide the Christian reflection for Matthew 22:40. The old becomes new again!

Len Holmes
9-27-16



ARMOR


To feel divinely inspired is a gift of God and not of anyone else. We are to baptize ourselves in its glory and radiate it to the world so that our lives may be like a city on a hill showing for to all the world the true greatness of how God has been revealed to us through Jesus Christ.


For we are the new wine skins of the new wine of the new Covenant as Levi was contrasted at his calling.


I would not say where the greatest manifestation occurs, but it does happen often where the Holy Spirit is present in a community of believers. We must take time to be Holy, whether we are members of a sprawling metropolitan congregation or a tiny rural one or not one at all. That happens through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of all, reaching out to infect others with the love that GOD had for the world that he sent his only begotten son that we might believe and feed on Him.

But how does this happen? The answer is prayer without ceasing. It is possible and practical in today's world to pray without ceasing. It is a state of mind and consciousness about how you and GOD interface. The Lollard's were an excellent example as they were always “lolling” a prayer. We, too, may loll if we have our hearts, souls and minds tuned to GOD and follow the directions for prayerful spiritual tuning.

We are equipped for spiritual protection in warfare if need be and for our own personal focus in the joy and presence of the Lord in our lives. We are offered all the equipment needed for complete domination. 
Let's metaphorically dress ourselves: we are covered from head to toe in the armor of light that glorifies of the Greatness of God.

Our soul has been washed in the Blood of the Lamb which is the helmet of salvation, for our mightiest foes are invisible, not visible like men. This is fraught with meaning in that we as Christians spend much time fighting with each other who worship One God, as the Prophet Abraham did, and not about the dark forces that oppose us.

We girt our loins with quality of truth and wear the breastplate of the quality of righteousness,
 as these are two more powerful military metaphors which arm us against the forces of darkness. Light reflects darkness, absorbs everything into a black hole of a bottomless pit set up and designed to trap anyone who has self deception in an eternal tailspin, for GOD is not mocked.
 To have our loins girt with the quality of truth implies we wear a belt that helps us be prepared to give and move in the quality of truth of Jesus Christ that is firmly established in GOD's Word. This gives more range of motion to the quality of our spirituality. 
The breastplate of righteousness (attached to the girdle) is a free gift of God given to all at the crucifixion of Jesus and is worn in our combat against the foes of darkness, not man. We have to realize that apart from GOD we may do nothing; that is why righteousness and truth are connected. I believe that wearing this breastplate connected to the girdle allows us to make decisions in our lives and lifestyles that what we believe in our hearts that we may love unfeigned.

We are to shod ourselves with the preparation gospel of peace. 
We are shod with the sure foundation of Jesus Christ.

And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base. Zechariah 5:11 KJV and here it designs a firm and solid knowledge of the Gospel, as it publishes peace by Jesus Christ, which yields a sure foundation for the Christian soldier to set his foot upon, and stand fast on. (Gill's Exposition)
We are to above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. The type of military metaphor here is the type of shield that stood in front of the soldier and covered him completely. St. Paul likens this to faith in GOD being submissive to His will. (Elliot)
This shield protects us from these metaphorical arrows that would cause violent temptations. These fiery darts of temptations faith is said to quench, when, by the help of grace obtained of Christ, it overcomes them. (Poole)

Here we go with the Greek education: Homer used the word shield as a door. Many metaphors and ancient tales have been spun about doorways. However, as we strive to be more spiritual in our daily lives that blocking shield represents a hermitage in which we can formulate ideas in which Thomas Merton said, "Though there are certainly more ways than one of preserving the freedom of the sons of God, the way to which I was called....”

Clearly the "powers" and the "elements," which in Paul's day dominated men's minds through pagan religion or through religious legalism, today dominate us in the confusion and the ambiguity of the Babel of tongues that we call mass-society. Certainly I do not condemn everything in the mass-media. But how does one stop to separate the truth from the half-truth, the event form the pseudo-event, reality from the manufactured image? It is in this confusion of images and myths, superstitions and ideologies that the "powers of the air" govern our thinking - even our thinking about religion! Where there is no critical perspective, no detached observation, or time to ask the pertinent questions, how can one avoid being deluded and confused?
Thomas Merton. Faith and Violence: Christian Teaching and Christian Practice. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968: p. 150.

Len Holmes
September 28, 2016

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