Who Was Jesus Before He Became Jesus?

Photo by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi

It might sound like a strange question, but there is a lot of confusion surrounding that question. I have heard more than once in my life that the God of the Old Testament was harsh and hard, but the God of the New Testament is a God of love and mercy.

I suppose if you read both the Testaments on a surface level, without really digging into all that was going on, you might be able to make a weak argument for that. On the other hand, if you dig deep into God’s Word, study His plan for mankind; and realize all the things He’s been doing throughout history to bring His plan to fruition you might come up with a different conclusion.

So we need to ask the question, who was Jesus before He became Jesus, and is He different than the God of the Old Testament?

What do you say we start at the beginning?

Genesis 1:1-2 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Who was that hovering over the face of the waters? Who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

Let’s look at a few scripture that might give us some more clues.

John 1:1-4 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Did you catch that? In the beginning was the Word and all things were created through the Word. Who is the Word? Who was Jesus before He became Jesus??

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word was the one who came down from heaven and dwelt with man for 33 1/2 years, Jesus the Christ.

Look at the scripture below and what Jesus was praying.

John 17:5 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

So again, who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

How about when three strangers came to Abraham in the heat of the day and Abraham ran out and invited them to rest and eat. As the story progresses, we find they were no ordinary men, but that two of the men were angels and the third man was the LORD. They had come to Abraham in the flesh and visited him for a while.

If you remember, during their conversation, Abraham was told the LORD would come to him again at the appointed time and Abraham would become a father. Remember what Sara did and what the LORD said?

Genesise 18:10-14 10 And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”

(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

13 And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Also look at the LORD’s conversation with Abraham about what He was getting ready to do in Sodom.

Genesis 18:1-22 16 Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. 17 And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.

So who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

John 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

Before Christ’s Sacrifice where the veil was torn, we had no access to the Father. No man ever had direct contact with the Father. In all the cases I’ve shown you so far, it has been Jesus before He divested Himself of His Glory and came down to save mankind and made a new and better covenant with us. It is only now since Christ’s sacrifice that we can go directly to the Father in our High Priest’s name.

Who do you think wrestled with Jacob until morning in Genesis 32?

Genesis 32:22-30 22 And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 27 So He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

So who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

What about Abraham’s encounter with one called Melchizedek?

Genesis 14:18-20 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.

Hebrews 7:1-3 7 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Did you catch that? Melchizedek king of righteousness, king of peace, without father, without mother, without genealogy.

So who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

I hope I have shown you that the One who came to this earth to die for our sins, is the God that has been working out His plan with man though all of history. The God of the Old and New Testaments is one and the same Personage.

Our God has loved us before the foundation of this world, and continues to love us and intercede to the Father for us, like He has done from the beginning.

———————————————————————————————————————————————

“If you like what you’ve read, please share it with a friend; and recommend yourspiritmindandbody.com to anyone you feel would benefit from it”.  Please also check out my Facebook page and give me a like at http://www.facebook.com/YourSpiritMindAndBody.

 

 

 

HyperSmash.com

Going the Extra Mile

Photo by Ed Yourdon

Re-post from April 30th.  Matthew 4:41 says, “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two”.

Now, does that scripture make going the extra mile a situational deal? I don’t think so, because the One who said that never gave the minimum that was expected of Him. He never did just enough. He always gave 110%, and always put others first.

Success to me isn’t a particular goal reached, and it isn’t about fame and fortune. It isn’t something that can be measured with a yard stick or check sheet. Success to me is more of a frame of mind, an attitude, and a life style. Success is about character, it’s about relationships, it’s about contribution, and it’s about being the very best person you can be.

So, when you do just what is expected of you, you have “not” gone the extra mile.

Luke 17:10 says, 10 “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

Now I grant you that the reference in this scripture is in relation to our service to Christ, but does He want us to do any less for our fellow man?

While on the job, or helping someone out; should we do just that which is expected from us?

We may feel that way at times, especially if we work in less than ideal circumstances, or are not paid very well. I do understand that feeling, but does God make those distinctions? Or does He tell us in scripture that whatever we put our hand to do, we are to work as to onto the LORD.

Going the extra mile can at times be very inconvenient. Going the extra mile can take more effort and time. We may even feel that going the extra mile isn’t deserved by the person or situation we’re doing it for. Does how we feel about it really matter?

Don’t get me wrong, your feelings do matter, but that should never stop you from doing the right thing.

“If your enemy is hungry give him something to eat, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”

If we are walking with Christ, we are to live like Him.

When we go the extra mile, even if we are not appreciated by the one we’re doing it for, God appreciates us and blesses us.

Going the extra mile is about doing what God would do and developing the character He wants developed within us. Even when you go the extra mile, and no one knows about it, God knows, and He is a rewarder of those who follow Him.

Remember, success is about character, relationships, contribution, and being the very best person you can be. One of the big ways you show that is by going the extra mile.

Whatever you do, do it as onto the LORD!

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

“If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to share it with a friend; and recommend yourspiritmindandbody.com to them”.

 

Who Are You When No One Else is Looking?

Photo by little bird feet

Reposed from April 2012

I once read a quote that stated, “You are, who you are, when no one else is looking”.

Is that true?

I believe it is, and that it says a lot about us.

Now, if you’re human like I am you might find this concept thought provoking, as well as, or should I say maybe, somewhat possibly, just so slightly convicting. 🙂

When we’re by ourselves we tend to let our guard down and relax. We’re less uptight and worried about what the rest of the world is thinking about us. We might even do a silly dance or sing a song when we would never do that in public. Things like that are good and even healthy.

On the other hand, when we’re in public most of us wear a mask. That mask isn’t really meant to totally hide who we are, but to protect us and remind us that we need to keep our carnal nature in check.

Just as most of us learn to keep that nature in check while in public, we need to also keep it in check when no one is looking.

Here are a couple scenarios for you. You’re coming out of the grocery store and as you’re pushing your cart between two cars you become distracted and run your cart up against one of them and leave an ugly scrape. You look around and no one has seen what you did.

What do you do?

Do you rush off, put your groceries in the car and take off grateful that no one saw you? Or do you leave a note with your contact information on the windshield, or go into the store and have the owner of the car paged and take care of the situation?

Or!

You come out of the store, put your groceries in the trunk, look at your receipt and realize that the cashier gave you too much change back or maybe you didn’t get charged for something.

What do you do?

Do you smile and think about how you were just blessed? Do you say to yourself, well it’s about time the shoe was on the other foot, how many times have they probably over charged me? Or do you go back into the store and explain what happened and give the money back or pay for the product?

Let me ask you a couple more questions.

Have you ever looked at things on the computer that you would never want anyone else to know about?

Have you ever taken supplies from work in the past that you did not pay for?

Have you bumped up against something in a store, knocked it down and scurried off without picking it up?

I will not cast the first stone, because I like most other people, have taken advantage of not being caught in the past. But, that was the past, and our past should not equal our present or future.

Fortunately, because we have an advocate, Jesus our Christ, who has already taken the wrap for the things we did; we can move beyond the things of the past.

And in moving beyond those things of the past, “who are we going to be now when no one else is looking”?

The Day of Atonement

A photo of a nail with blood.

Photo by Koshyk

Leviticus 23:26-32 26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

Many people look at the above scripture and say that is for the Jewish people, and another group believes the Old Testament was done away with. What do you think?

If you are of either of those beliefs, I would ask you to prayerfully read the following scriptures and reconsider your stance.

Galatians 3:5-9 & 26-29 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[c] 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”[d] 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It is not my place to judge, condemn, or argue spiritual issues and doctrines with anyone. However, I do think there are some amazing lessons, and deep spiritual insights that can be gained by the celebration and keeping of the Old Testament Holy Days. If you see any merit in what I share, that’s great, if you think I’m brain broke, that’s okay too. I just ask you to consider.

Until Jesus Christ laid down His life as a sacrifice for mankind to make Atonement for our sins, we were cut off from God. Every year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would have to go through a very elaborate and bloody ritual which was a representation of our true High Priest, and His sacrifice to come. Let’s take a look at what was done every year until Christ’s sacrifice.

Leviticus 16:2-22 2 and the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.

3 “Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. 4 He shall put the holy linen tunic and the linen trousers on his body; he shall be girded with a linen sash, and with the linen turban he shall be attired. These are holy garments. Therefore he shall wash his body in water, and put them on. 5 And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering.

6 “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 7 He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 8 Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.

11 “And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself. 12 Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. 13 And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die. 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

15 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 And he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

20 “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

Although Jesus was not sacrificed on the Day of Atonement, this day represents and commemorates Christ’s sacrifice which reconciles us to God through His atoning or covering of our sins.

Romans 5:6-11 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

The Day of Atonement is a fast day in which no food or water is consumed from sundown to sundown. It is a time of repentance, and to reflect on the great sacrifice of our High Priest, Jesus Christ. When you go 24 hours without food or drink you realize just how temporary and weak our bodies are. It is a time of solemn reflection on our short comings and areas we need to improve on. But most of all, it is a time to be humbly grateful for Christ’s sacrifice.

I have been keeping the Day of Atonement for around 30 years now, and will be doing it again beginning tomorrow evening at sunset. Every year I gain a deeper understanding of the significance of this day, and I become more grateful and dependent on our Savior because of it.

There are those who would argue the keeping of these days is not necessary anymore. As I said, it is not my place to judge or debate, only to share. I would not consider this a salvation issue, but a learning and relationship deepening opportunity. I believe if keep this day, you will be spiritually impacted by it.

If you should decide to try keeping the The Day of Atonement, let me say this. If you have any health issues, talk to your doctor before doing so. You should take any medications that you’re on with a little water. This day is not an exercise in the letter of the law, but is a day of rich symbolism and meaning that can draw you closer to God.

Again, considering the scriptures in Galatians we read above let me leave you with the following scripture.

Leviticus 16:29-31 29 “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. 30 For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 31 It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.

Promise of Blessing and Retribution, Part – 2

dry barren land

Photo by taigasylvan

This is part two of my post on the promises of blessings and retributions on God’s people.  Part one was about the blessings for obedience, part two below is about the retribution and curses on God’s people for being disobedient.

Please take the time and read these scriptures, you may find them explaining a lot about what’s going on with this nation and the state we’re in.

Leviticus 26:14-46
14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments,
15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant,
16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies.
Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.
18 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
19 I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.
20 And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.
21 ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.
22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.
23 ‘And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me,
24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
25 And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant;
when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you;
and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
26 When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.
27 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me,
28 then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
29 You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.
30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.
31 I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas.
32 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.
33 I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you;
your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.
34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
35 As long as it lies desolate it shall rest—
for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.
36 ‘And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues.
37 They shall stumble over one another, as it were before a sword, when no one pursues;
and you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
38 You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
39 And those of you who are left shall waste away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands;
also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away.
40 ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,
41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;
if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—
42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land.
43 The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.
44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God.
45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.’”
46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the Lord made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.

We need to be praying for our nation, our leaders, and those not of the faith.

When you look at what’s going on around the earth, the hate, the violence, the greed, and the godlessness; one could easily become jaded and depressed. I hope that is not the case with you. Even with all the insanity, God has our back. God loves us, and wants us to be a light in a dark world. If we will obey Him, He will continue to bless us even if He takes His hand of protection from our nation.

Never lose hope, in the end we win! And if God is for us, who can be against us?