Thursday, November 23, 2006

Holy, Holy, Holy

About two months ago I was watching the NRB network, channel 378, on Directv. (If you have Directv I recommend you add this channel to your list of favorites.) As I was working in my kitchen I overheard a show and the message delivered was so compelling that I had to sit down and watch. The program title was The Jewish Jesus taught by Messianic Jewish Rabbi Kirt Schneider. The message he brought was so profound I've been telling people about the insights he presented, but I would like to share it with more people so I'm posting it. Sometimes it takes me a while to get a grip on what the Scripture is saying and put my thoughts into words.

The point Rabbi Schneider made on this episode was the need for Christians to view the Bible as a whole book of truth, both the Old and New Testaments are about God and His love for us. Many churches today disregard the Old Testament as "the Law" and since Jesus came to be our sacrifice once for all, we can ignore the teaching there. Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion.

Matthew 5:17
17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Jesus and Paul saw themselves as proclaiming the completion of Judaism. Many of the churches today have become disconnected from their Jewish roots. The church established by Jesus has been grafted into the olive tree of Israel (Romans 11:17; Ephesians 2:12, 13).

Rabbi Schneider pointed out that the Old and New Covenants connect. When Jesus rose from the grave and appeared to His disciples on the road to Emmaus, they did not recognize Him at first. He then revealed to them who He was, by taking them on a journey through the Hebrew Scriptures.

Luke 24:27
25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

But the last and best illustration Rabbi Schneider used to bridge the Old and New Testaments was the example of the only time a word is used in three-time succession in the Bible. There is no description of God as "all loving, all loving, all loving" although we know that He is. He is not described as "all knowing, all knowing, all knowing" although we know that He is. There are only two times where we see a description of God in three word succession and it is in the Old AND New Testaments.

The first example is when Isaiah sees the Holy God in Heaven:
Isaiah 6:1-3
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory."

The second example is when the apostle John sees the revelation of God, also at His throne in Heaven:
Revelation 4:6-8
6 Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come."

My favorite contemporary Christian musician is Nichole Nordeman. She was at the Women of Faith conference I attended last week. She sang a song from her newest album that puts me on my knees every time I hear it.

Holy by Nichole Nordeman

How many roads did I travel
Before I walked down one that led me to You?
How many dream did unravel
Before I believed in a hope that was true?
How long? How far?
What was meant to fulfill only emptied me still
And all You ever wanted…

Only me on my knees
Singing holy, holy
And somehow
All that matters now is
You are holy, holy

How many deaths did I die
Before I was awakened to new life again?
How many half truths did I bear witness to
‘Til the proof was disproved in the end?
How long? How far?
What was meant to illuminate shadowed me still
And all You ever wanted…

Only me on my knees
Singing holy, holy
And somehow
All that matters now is
You are holy, holy

All I have is gratitude to offer You

It is easy to view the God of the Old Testament as a strict Lawgiver and the God of the New Testament as a God of grace. However, His plan from the beginning of the world was to send the Messiah to save the lost. The entire Bible tells of God's love for us. His reaching, longing desire for us to be with Him. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is not in His nature to change who He is, that would alter His faithfulness. The Holy Bible is His living Word, Jesus Christ. I am constantly amazed at the ability of that Word to have implication to my daily life, from BOTH the Old and New Testaments.

Praise God for His wonderful gift!

John 1:1-2, 10-14
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.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Here's another chuckle... have fun!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different

This is what happens when you post after midnight...