Random House Dictionary says it is something used for, or, regarded as representing something else, often something immaterial, emblem, token, or sign.
Baptism is like that. We are told when we come out of the water having been Baptized, we are a new person spiritually. That symbolized we have DIED to our old self and now we will live a different life than before. We are no longer supposed to do what we thought was the right thing by the old way of thinking, but we have to learn new ways to think and behave. If we have been told the correct things from the Scriptures, then we truly will do this. (St. John 3:3-8; and Romans6:1-11)
So, what are the things we should have been told?
(Matthew 3:1-20) John the Baptizer said to Repent and then he would have Baptized those who did so. The Messiah said it also when He told His disciples to "go into all the world" and preach this in Matt. 28:19-20. Peter preached this in Acts 2:38. But, there are also more things that should be done.
When we realize that we need to repent of our sins and be Baptized, we also need to know that there will be a cross of some kind for each of us to bear. So, if we are sincere, we need to "count the cost" (Luke 9:23-27 ; Matt. 10:37-39 ; 16:24-27) Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 15:21-31). Our Saviour described it having "Life Abundantly" in St. John 10:10, and in 12:25 He said that “if you hate your life in this world you will keep it". We are to be obedient daily as we are called to be, and keep these things in our minds (1st Peter 4:12 ; and 1:3-12). That way you will understand when these trials happen to you (Micah 7:6-7 ; Matt. 10:34-39 ; Luke 12:51-53. This is the part of your Baptism that appeared on the day of Pentecost----the appearance of cloven tongues of fire. The trial part is the Purification of us which is to come, in this life, for the eternal one. (See Ist Cor. 3:13 ; Zech. 13:7-9 ; and Rev. 3:18-22)
St John 5: 39 The Messiah said to “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me and I Cor. 2: 1-16.
Seeing Our Creator
Read John 5:39 and 1st Cor. 2: 1-16. Then go back to John 5: 36-37. The reason The Messiah said in verse 37 that "Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape" is because in verse 38 Messiah said "And ye have not His Word abiding in you ". Verse 36 and 37 says that The Father bears witness of The Messiah's work and that He has sent Him to do it. So that is why they could neither see YHVH nor hear Him speak.
If we then want to hear and see Our Father, we must have His Word abiding in us so that we are seeing YHVH at work through His representatives.
YHVH is a Spirit ( John 4: 23) so they could not see His shape except by perceiving Him through the people He sends to do His work. The True Believers and representatives will magnify YHVH and His Son instead of themselves. However, even though He uses humans to talk to you about something remember that we all are having this treasure in earthen vessels that the Excellency of the power may be of YHVH, and not of us. (2 Cor. 4:7)
Going back to St. John 5:17-39 and Messiah is speaking to these particular people, who were seeking to kill Him. They didn't know that they were talking to The Creator of everything and The Messiah Himself. These also had not seen God (Our Father) St. John 1:18 and Deut. 4:12. The Messiah is always the one who is seen and heard in Gen. 14:18 (through Melchizedek), Gen. 24: 9-11 and Isaiah 6:1-4.
Philip was one of the greatest of The Messiah’s disciples. Consider his record.
Philip was one of the 1st to recognize The Messiah for being .....”Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (St. John 1:43-51)
He helped feed the 5,000 people when John the Baptizer was beheaded before Passover, and Messiah had retreated to a mountain in a desert place with His disciples. (Matt.14:1-21; St. John 6: 1-14)
Yet, after all they and he (Philip) had witnessed, he and Thomas were asking Messiah questions and wanted Him to ...”show us The Father”...
The Messiah answered them in St. John 14: 1-31.
So, it seems to me that all of us believers and followers of Messiah are subject to being blind and deaf to what Our Father in Heaven is trying to do for us, in us, and through us to the people around us whom we love. We constantly need to have our eyes and ears opened to Spiritual insight to be able to see Our Master at work in His world. (Matt. 9: 29-30 and Mark 7: 31-37)
To be able to see and hear Our Master’s voice is the only way to become one of the “lively stones”
mentioned in 1st Peter 2:3-12. This Church was created on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38-47).
When El Shaddai (Ex.. 6:1-3) talked to Isaac He told him that he would be blessed because Abraham had ...”kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (Gen.26:1-5) How did Abraham do that, since they were not written down until the time of Moses? He must have been told verbally what he had to do and remembered it without trouble. His heart was converted from the first encounter with Faith as it was described later in Rom. 4:1-13. He listened and then obeyed when he was told to do something. (Rom. 10:17) As he obeyed each thing he was strengthened in memory and ability to obey in Spiritual matters. It is like building up our physical bodies. As we exercise our muscles we strengthen them.
I think that explains al lot in Romans 4:12-13. First came Faith, then obedience. Abraham kept growing in Faith as he obeyed. The Laws, statutes, commandments and charge is found in Gen. Chapters 12 and 13. They are given to us again all through the New Testament. We are told to “Study to show ourselves approved...” in 2nd Timothy 2:15.
Always remember that The Messiah was and is always with and in Our Father as Creator and Master of everything. So, whatever name He uses in the Bible, He is the same Being from the beginning to the end.
Advice to Believers
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
Proverbs 30:4-6 “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? “ (The answer is found in Exodus 6:1-3)
Proverbs 30:5 “Every Word of God (YHVH) is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
Numbers 23:19 “God (YHVH) is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
Malachi 3:5-6 “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord (Master or Creator) of Hosts.”
Matthew 16:24-27 “Then said Jesus (YaHoVaH) unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory (Majesty) of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
2nd Peter 3:3-4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
2nd Peter 3:9-13 “The Lord (Messiah) is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord (YHVH) will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God (YHVH), wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”
Revelation 20:10-15 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever, And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God (YHVH); and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were written in the books, according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Proverbs 28:9 “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”
Exodus 20:L1-17 My final advice ...Please read the ten commandments for yourself.
They could help save your life.
THE GARDEN OF EDEN
In the beginning....
Genesis 2:8-17 and Revelations 2:7
The garden was created, then the 1st commandment was given in Gen. 2:15-17. Man was created in Gen. 2: 7 (called in Hebrew Ish, fromold K.J.V. margin) and then woman was created in verse 23 (called Isha). Adam means red, or, ruddy, or, mankind according to Strong’s Concordance #120. Eve’ name in Hebrew is Chavah or, Havah (also in old K.J.V. margin).
When they sinned against YHVH in Gen. chapter 3, He sent them out of the garden and placed Cherubims (large Angels) and a flaming sword to keep “the way of the tree of life”. Now, “The Way” is found in St. John 14:6, and “The Door” is in St. John 10:1-18 ; Isaiah 40: 11, and Rev.3:6-7. The “Flaming sword” is “The Word” of The Messiah (St. Matthew 24:35; St. John 1:1-14; Ephesians 6:17; and Hebrews 4:12). The first prayer is mentioned in Gen.4:26.My point is that “The Way” to and into “The garden of Eden” where delights abound, while we are here on Earth, is by studying “The Word” in the Bible. This is available to us according to Matt. 5:6. While we “hunger and thirst after righteousness” we find doors opening in our minds to the things which we have wanted to know, or, understand. We frequently find that nobody has answers to tell us what seems very important to us. We are told to “Search the Scriptures in St. John 5:39. That is how we will learn to “hear His voice” in Matt.10:4, and avoid following strangers.
YHVH is not only a God of Pure Love, but, He is a God of Pure Justice! He is ABSOLUTLY MIGHTY and OMNIPOTENT in both. He created a universe which has to operate as He made it. Otherwise it would not be PERFECT! When He looked at what He had done in Gen. 1:25, “He saw that it was GOOD!
After He made man, and he sinned, YHVH had to balance the scales of Love and Justice. (Psm.62:9; Leviticus 19:35-37l; Proverbs 16:11; Isaiah 1:18-20; 40:12; Daniel 5:27; Rev. 6:5-6; and 7:1-4.)
Because of the “sin of Adam and Eve” they all had a Fear of YHVH, but they also had other commandments of “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” with which they had to deal! Cain was told by YHVH that sin was the reason his offering was refused (Gen. 4:7; and Romans 7:7-25). It was not what he offered that was bad. They were to till the ground even though it would be hard (Gen. 3:17-19). The sin he had must have been in his heart (Matt.15:18-20). Later, even though the ground was cursed at that point (Gen. 3:17 again) Bread made from it’s grain could be eaten. It also could be blessed like Melchizedek did when he gave Abraham communion (Gen. 14:18-20). Abel’s offering was accepted because YHVH must have told them that they had to now offer “sin offerings of flesh and blood of animals” for their bad behavior in the future until The Messiah comes.
When YHVH talked to Cain it was not unusual. It seems that He talked to that family quite often. After all, they were the only humans he had made at that time. YHVH even made clothes for them (Gen. 3:21). Cain complained about the fact that now people who found him would kill him. YHVH told him that if that happened the one who did would answer to him 7 times their sinful deed (2 Peter 3:9).
Why was it so important for mankind to obey Him? YHVH had created us to bring joy and happiness in fellowship with Him and each other. Mankind was created “in His own image” (Gen. 1:26-27 ) which is the Spiritual part of us. (St. John 4:23-24; Galatians 5:22-26; 1 Peter the whole chapter, and the whole chapter of St. John 10. (Go back to 1 Samuel 15:19-23 and Acts 5:27-29 and you will see how YHVH looks at that sin.)
Now, we must try to restore the “Life” within our own hearts which Adam and Eve lost for us in the Garden of Eden. The people who think they don’t need to do so, will be in trouble at the “White Throne” Judgment day. When they stand before YHVH, these scriptures will apply to them . (Matt. 7:15-29 and Rev. 20:11-15)
The way to restore YHVH’s Spirit within us is written in all the words of “The Messiah” (St. John 12:44-50). We all must “Repent and be Baptized in the NAME of the Messiah (Acts 2:38). Also, invite Him into our hearts to become our “Master” (Matt.6:24 and St. Luke 16:13-31). The words we use have to be ones which we really mean in our hearts. Our Creator takes words VERY seriously !!!. (Matt. 12:36-37) He is the one who SPEAKS things into existence which was not there before! This is our “Life” here on Earth now, and our “Everlasting Life” for Eternity (Matt. 3:1-17; St. John 3:1-8; and Ephesians 4:17-32). When the GIFT of the “Pure Spirit” (Holy Spirit K.J.V.) comes into our hearts, that is when we will know that we have a “New Life” (St. John 14:15-18). Then, we also know what is really meant by “the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). Other Scriptures will make more sense to you.
People like to refer to Jeremiah 31:31-34 and 2 Cor. 3:3 about “The Law” being “written in their heart” , but, everybody doesn’t have that experience yet! A woman we met prays to “Zeus” (a Greek Pagan God) and says she is a witch.....the good kind! She had no knowledge of the Bible. Even most of the churches in Revelations chapters 2 and 3 had not obeyed all things ask of them correctly. Now, read Luke 10:25-37 and Romans 15: 1-4. “The Laws” in the Old Testament was written for us to learn how to obey YHVH today, as well as in the New Testament times. The ‘Sin Laws” tell us which Laws The Messiah paid for us, if we confess to Him the ones which we have broken, so He can forgive us and help us to overcome Satan’s temptations in the future. The “Stoning Laws” tell us what we were delivered from , death. The whole Book is to tell us all kind of lessons about ourselves and other people’s lives when we meet them. The whole Book also tells us what is right and wrong in the eyes of our Creator. We will all be judged by them someday (Matt. 5: 17-20).
In Isaiah 1st chapter, YHVH is talking to the people he has chosen to bless them and other Nations in His NAME. They stopped obeying Him and turned back to worship false Gods. They still went to the Temple and pretended to be righteous in their sacrifices to YHVH (just as some people do today). Page 3 is next.
That is why He said that He was sick of their sacrifices, offerings, and incense burning which would have been correct IF their hearts had been cleansed by repentance. That is what YHVH is telling them in verses 16-17.
That is the same picture St. Paul is telling them about in Galatians 4:8-12, and Colossians 2:16-17. In Col. verse 17 the K.J.V. reversed the order of the text. It should have been printed like this: “But the body of Christ, which are a shadow of things to come.” The word “is” is in italics because they inserted that, and it does not belong there. Paul had been a Pharisee (Lawyer) when The Messiah was denouncing Scribes and Pharisees, (Matt.23:-33 and Luke 18:1) but he had repented and now he was warning about hypocrisy. He knew all his Nation’s history, so, he would know about Isaiah’s writing about those times before, he had repented and changed completely (Acts Chapters 7,8,& 9) The Messiah rebuked them on many occasions .
When YHVH could take no more of the sins of Israel, He knew He had to show them that He would punish them. They had been told of what would happen if they disobeyed and went after other Gods. (Deuteronomy 11:18-32). They were so accustomed to His blessings and patience with them to repent that they would not, and could not imagine what was going to happen. The results are recorded in Ezekiel chapters 3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9. However, YHVH’s ears were open to the cries of repentance. (Isa. 49:8; 2 Corinthians 6:1-2) and all the time He was punishing them He had marked those who sought Him and grieved over the sins of their people and Nation (Ezekiel 9:4)
That is the same today, since we are in the last days of TIME. Some people who were written in the Book of Life are now being blotted out. See Rev.3:5; 20:11-15; Exo.32:31-33; 2Kings 14:21-27 and Revelations 7:2-4 and 14:1 could be happening now, for the other parts soon to start happening for the final punishment for the people who are not ready.
Men and Women
In Genesis chapters 2 and 3 Eve was the first to sin. It may be because she was created with a more amount of tenderness toward people generally. That way she can raise children in their earliest years with great compassion for mistakes. Men also have this somewhat because they were made in the image of YHVH. However, they also have the major role of administering justice when required, like our Father in Heaven has to do.
Adam was older than Eve and had walked and talked with YHVH sometimes.(Genesis 2:18-20) When Eve sinned Adam should have stopped her when she reached for the forbidden fruit. He was there witnessing what was said before Eve offered him the fruit. (Genesis 3: 6). So the sin was equal. It shows me that we all are equally responsible to say no to anybody who offers us sinful actions.
When Abraham was told by Sarah that he could have a child by her maid according to the laws in the land they came from, he did not ask YHVH about it as he did later for the future of Ishmael, (Genesis 17:18-22) and for Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-32). He could have reminded Sarah that they had the promise of YHVH that it would be through their seed that all Nations would be Blessed. And also, that the land they were in would be given to them. Because of this action of theirs we have many wars in the middle eastern countries.
When Isaac was old and giving his blessing to his oldest son for the inheritance of Abraham, Isaac’s wife Rebekah overheard the preparations he and his son Esaw were making. She arranged for the deceitful actions of Jacob. Jacob obeyed his mother’s directions and committed sin instead of letting YHVH bless them in whatever way they should be without blame. This was remembered later in Jeremiah 30:1-24; 31:15; and Matthew 2:16-18.