Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Be of Good Cheer!


I find it amazing just how the Holy Spirit by the choice of words in His Word, helps us distinguish the fully completed work of Christ.

Jesus uses the word "be of good cheer" ever so often to encourage us. Time and again this word brings to the remembrance exactly who He is ... that we should not be afraid. In fact, this word testifies into all the world, His glorious victory!

In the old covenant the the words "be strong" (châzaqand "be of good courage" ('âmats) are almost always used in conjunction with each other and are often translated in an interchangeable fashion.

What is the context?

One - There are numerous examples and they always occur in the context whence the Israelites are encouraged to stand strong in obeying the law (which they chose instead of relationship) or when they are about to go into battle (tradition would have them taking the law, arc of the covenant, with them in battle.

Being in the law, people needed these words because complying to the law involves your own works and obedience. You determine your righteousness and need all the strength and encouragement that you can possibly get. Even in battle, victory was determined by obedience and own conduct in the law.

Two - this word is a shadow onto Jesus Who would ultimately fulfill the prophecy.

One old covenant example is where God's people are told: 
"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 
And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it." Deu 31:6-7
They are about to cross the Jordan to battle the Canaanites and are encouraged to be strong and off good courage since just about 40 years ago, in their own unbelief, they saw themselves as grasshoppers and the Canaanites as giants.

This word also speaks to Joshua as a type of Yah'shua, Jesus Christ, since He would be the One who would ultimately take man into his inheritance, being made the righteousness of God.

The New Testament has a fresh Good-News-approach on these words as they are altogether changed into one word, tharseō to speak of God's Grace (Jesus). We find these similar words uttered only in the following manner: "be of good cheer" (tharseō) ... and interestingly, seven out of eight times by Jesus Himself and only once by His disciples when they were instructed to call the blind Bartimaeus (son of secret) to Him.

Tharseō is a Greek word meaning: to take comfort; to be encouraged; to be very cheerful; to be convinced (of Jesus).

So, this is what is striking in the way Jesus uses the word "be of good cheer(tharseōin comparison to the way used in the old covenant:
  1. Jesus uses the specific word "be of good cheer" (tharseōall the time. 
  2. Jesus never uses the words "be strong" or "be of good courage".
  3. Jesus never uses this word (tharseō) to encourage anyone to stay strong in the law.
  4. Jesus never uses this word (tharseōto encourage anyone to go into battle. Not even spiritual warfare!
  5. Jesus uses the word tharseō to comfort people and to set aside their fears.
  6. Jesus uses the word tharseō to encourage faith.
  7. Jesus uses the word tharseō to remind people that their sins are forgiven.
  8. Jesus uses the word tharseō to reveal Himself and His Grace.
  9. Jesus uses the word tharseō to establish peace.
  10. Jesus uses the word tharseō to emphasize that He had come to overcome the world.
  11. Jesus uses the word tharseō to encourage people to go in peace and to spread His Gospel, even in Rome.
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer (tharseō); I have overcome the world." Joh 16:33
As a New Testament heir, we need only receive what was already obtained on our behalf and "be of good cheer" (tharseō). 

The battle had been fought. 
The victory won. 
All this by the obedience of One - Jesus Christ, Yah'shua! 

Because of Him we have been justified and made the very righteousness of YHVH and stand in an unshakable position to rule with Him in His Kingdom. 
Right here. 
Right now. 
Even physically in this world!

So, be of good cheer! 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Celebrate ... Pesach?

Questions about Pesach and Easter

The Jewish feast of Pesach (and the pagan feast of Easter) is coming up soon.

Are we to celebrate this feast?

... and if not, why not?

Whatever is the connection between the Grego-Roman-European Easter and Pesach?

Good thing you asked!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Word from beginning to end - dâbâr

The Word is the Word

The word in Greek for the Word of God is Logos. It actually means the logic, the reasoning, the calculation, the matter, the essence, the account, the reason, the cause, the explanation of God.

Think of these meanings for a minute ...

... and where it comes from ...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

God is a Consuming Fire?


The author of Hebrews writes: For our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:29

I've heard law teachers preaching about this in a very dogmatic, convicting way saying:

"You see, you have to obey the commandments and prescripts of God because He is like a consuming fire ... and you'd never know ..."

It is usually taken out of context and taught when the need for finances are high or when the control spirit takes a hold of church leaders and people have to be kept at bay.

But let's look at what is being said here.

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