Preparing for Passing Over Death and Entering into Resurrection Life
Exodus 3:13-15, "Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you' and they say to me, what is His name?" what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you." Moreover, God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: "The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is MY name forever and this is MY memorial to all generations."
The name of God is a noun that moves to a verb - I BE: I will be what I will be, I will become what I will become, and/or I will be whom I will become.
This magnificent name I AM - YHVH- Yahweh, had within the name the ability to free the children of God from slavery, bondage, poverty, and oppression. The name of God not only set the captives free, but also brought the children together, forming one nation after 400 years of being led by another god called Pharaoh. These children of God had lost all hope of returning to the lands of their forefathers. They were just waiting to die to escape the cruelty of the bondage of slavery with a little hope that someday a Messiah would appear to deliver them. They knew they were children of the God of their forefathers, but they didn't know His name that would distinguish Him from the gods of Egypt.
The times and seasons may be different, but the environment conditions are similar today to those during the slavery times of the children of God in Egypt. Today, believers in Jesus Christ know of Him as the Savior who went to the cross, and was resurrected from the dead to open the door for believers in Christ to go to heaven when they die and escape the bondages of this world for a life of glory, unless Jesus returns, and raptures the believers out of the world before they die a physical death. Basically, the hope for the believer is on the other side of death. Many believers remember an old hymnal that says "I'll Fly Away" that has a melody of hope mixed with words led by a spirit of death.
The principle unveiling of God's name to Moses is the word YAHWEH - YHVH which is made up of three separate phrases/verbs TO BE. With the words: I AM WHO I AM, the repeat of the words "I AM" is saying "I WAS, I AM, and/or I SHALL BE" all at the same moment as eternity into time. A part of each of these forms are combined to form the WORD - YAHWEH.
This name is a revelation and a promise for whatever the people of God needed Him to be: I am, I will be, I will become. Not only did God unveil Himself to Pharaoh and the children of God while they were in slavery, but after they passed over death into resurrection life and freedom journeying into a territory they had never ventured to before, He became the guide that went before them as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He was the water they needed out of the rock. He was the bread they needed from heaven. He was their deliverer, provider, substance, healer, counselor, law-giver, military leader, and miracle worker doing wonders they had never seen or heard of by His name.
As we fast forward into the New Testament, we read in Luke 1:31-33 where Mary met the angel Gabriel, "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (John 1:18).
Paul shares with us, "For in Him, Jesus Christ, dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:9-10).
Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18).
Jesus Christ is the personified salvation of YHVH in human flesh. He is the WORD - the Torah, the promise -the covenant, the surety - the payment of sin, the royal majesty of position, the power of all authority, the compassion of the heart of the Father. He is the full unveiling of the unseen God Almighty.
When God came through Jesus Christ He did not speak as He did through Moses. Moses spoke as the oracles of God. Jesus spoke as God: I AM the Way, I AM the Truth, I AM the Life, I AM the Good Shepherd, I AM the Resurrection, I AM the Door, I AM the bread, I AM the vine, etc. God spoke through Moses as I WILL BE. Jesus speaks as I AM.
Every time Jesus said, "I AM" he would have appeared to be the most egotistical person, a maniac of blasphemy in the culture, taking the name of God to the worst level of sin. He would have been breaking the third commandment, and that would require stoning and death in the Jewish belief. When Jesus proclaims that He is the "I AM," He is saying, "Whoever comes to ME for I AM YHVH in the flesh, I will BE I AM of the Father to them."
In the gospel of John, Jesus spoke the words "I AM" twenty-one times. Why is that important? Because the foundation of who we say Jesus is must become the "I" in our own spirit and heart to bring forth the Kingdom of God manifested in the earth.
If we turn to John 8:58 we read where Jesus has declared himself to the religious leaders while in the temple saying, "Most assuredly, I say to you before Abraham was, I AM." The law considered what Jesus said was a crime unto death, so the Jews took up stones to throw at Him. However, Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple going through the midst of them as He passed by. He did not play hide and seek. Nor did he find a hidden corner, but he was literally not seen by the religious leaders that wanted to stone Him, yet He was in their midst.
We read in the next verse that He sees a blind man from birth. Is this coincidence? Of course not! This is a life lesson for us to ponder and reflect. How often do we know about Jesus, go to a building we call church and sing praises to Him, yet not really comprehending that God goes with us wherever we are, and that God appears as Christ in us?
Jesus told the Jews, "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am HE, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24). Dying in our sins is not about a doctrine of heaven and hell, but about missing the mark of the opportunity for Christ to be formed in us so that the glory of God in us is unveiled in the earth.
"At that day you will know that I in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments/Torah and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John14:20-21 NKJV). What day is this? It is the Day of the Lord when He comes in His glory in us. A perpetual, ongoing day that is first unveiled in the individual members/cells of the body of Christ. Then as these cells unite in Spirit around the world the body of Christ is unveiled to the kings of this world as King and Lord over all.
The disciples are listening closely to what Jesus is stating to the religious leaders of that time. They know that His proclamation of "I AM" is breaking the third commandment of the Torah, yet He also says that if you love ME you will keep the commandment/Torah. Can Jesus have it both ways?
As we consider these Scriptures from John's writings, let's take into consideration of the time period of these writings. The gospel of John was not written in the same era as the gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These first three were written between 58-61AD. John's gospel was written almost a generation after the circulation of the other three's writings. Time wise John wrote his other letters we know as 1,2, and 3 John, and the Book of Revelation around the same time that he writes the gospel of John.
John pulls into the ministry of Jesus the "why" factor, and not just the historical wisdom. We can read about Jesus being the Savior, Healer, Redeemer, Provider, etc., but from a historical position the challenge comes when trying to unveil the relationship between what Jesus did and can He BE this for me today? John unveils the "yes" to that question, but basically he shows that you have to spiritually die to be spiritually alive in Christ today. Otherwise, you will need to go through a natural death to get your flesh out of the way so that the glory of God may be unveiled, Christ in you, has been within you all the time.
Jesus gets alone to have a prayer conversation with the Father that only John writes as he listens in. In John 17:16 we begin:
"They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your WORD/Torah is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word/Torah in them: that they all be one, as You, Father in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in US, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they BE one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they BE made perfect in one, and that the world will know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:16-23 NKJV).
John 17:21 shares the Oneness of our identity in Christ when Jesus prays:
AS you: YHVH - Jesus
Jesus - YHVH
They - US
Jesus - glory - US - YHVH
The "US" in this verse is first mentioned in Genesis 3:22, "Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of US, to know good and evil, and now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"
Man was functioning from his soul instead of being led by the Spirit of God. If we do not embrace this prayer of Jesus really decreeing with the Father, we will continue to hang around the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil embracing death to the body of Christ. We will die in our sin of missing the mark. Still go to Heaven and receive a glorified body, but we will not be able to rule and reign with Him in Heavenly placed in the earth until a company of people around the world unite together as one body in Christ as Paul said, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:53-54 NKJV).
We have come through church history camping in many realms of doctrines and theology which served for a season, but we are now at a new season of gathering all the fragments of bread of the body of Christ into twelve baskets, that none are lost. John shares a story with us in John chapter 6 of Jesus and the disciples involved with feeding 5000 men during the Passover season with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. When everyone is fed and satisfied with plenty, Jesus tells the disciples to "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost" Therefore they gathered up and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten." (John 6:12-13).
The number five is identified Biblically with GRACE, and the number 12 is identified with the government of God. Barley is the grain of cleansing/detoxifying the body. Put this all together at Passover, crossing over from death to life, Jesus has given the disciples the visual of bringing cleansing to the body of Christ by giving them grace in abundance. Not one person at this time was told they were a sinner, or to repent. They were fed the miracle working of the grace of God by those that had been with Jesus, and then Jesus tells them to gather them in. In the gathering they had more bread fragments than when they first distributed what Jesus gave them. They had enough for 12 baskets. This is the whole house of Israel, all 12 of Jacob's sons/tribes that were scattered around the world and mixed with the nations of the world.
Jeremiah prophesied in Chapter 51 that the whole house of Israel is one tribe of the Lord's inheritance and would be the "battle-ax and weapons of war" to break the nations of this world in pieces destroying the kingdoms of man. The great mountain of the religious system that we know of Christianity will be destroyed because of the judgment and separation the church has created taking the word of God/the Torah and using it against the people instead of giving them grace.
The prophet Zechariah releases his nuggets with, "Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of "GRACE, grace to it!" (Zechariah 4:7). Here we have the wisdom of the Tree of Life.
When Jesus took his disciples into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked them first, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" After they answered who the world perceived him to be, He then asked, "But who do you say that I am?" Jesus was helping them get clarity of the voices they heard in the world and the religious system of the day, and the voice of the Holy Spirit. Peter responds saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:13-16). Just before this scene takes place Jesus had tried to get the disciples to understand the difference between the leaven of bread, and the leaven doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, or the religion of the time in relationship with God.
Jesus responds to Peter saying, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:17-19).
One more thought I want to bring in and I will tie everything together.
In Matthew 21, just before the last Passover season Jesus celebrates with His disciples we find Jesus hungry. As he comes to a fig tree that had no fruit on it He curses it and it instantly withers away. Fig trees begin their season with young leaves in the spring, and produce fruit later. The tree had no ability to produce fruit at this season. Jesus was teaching a lesson to His disciples about hungering for spiritual food, not natural food. Remember when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and their eyes were opened to death and their nakedness? They tried to cover themselves with fig leaves.
The identification of the whole house of Israel is the Olive Tree, not the fig tree. Everything Jesus did in the natural was teaching a spiritual implication. He was not saying, "Don't eat figs because they are evil." He is saying, "When you see the fig tree's branches become tender, and put forth leaves, you know that summer is near" (Mark 13:28). Translated, when the body of Christ, those that are born again through Passover, take the word of God and create justification and separation to the body because it seems good to the eyes of man, look up, draw near to God so that you can hear what the Spirit is saying, and not the religion of men.
Luke writes that when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near and you will see the Son of Man come in a cloud with power and great glory. Where is the Son of Man? It is Christ in you. What is this cloud? The unity of the body of Christ, the cloud of witnesses of one voice sounding as a loud shofar as was heard by the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.
In closing, our foundation cornerstone is Jesus Christ. Everything of Christianity must have a unity with this foundation alone. It is not about the doctrines and traditions of men. It is not about the issues of the world. It is only about Jesus Christ who is YHVH in the flesh. The capstone is GRACE. When we know that Christ resides in our heart, and that our mind is the mind of Christ releasing GRACE, the fruit that is developed and birthed from our womb is: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control or temperance. It is in these clusters of fruit found within the body of Christ that we are meshed and stomped together into a great winepress throughout the nations in the world forming as one the best wine that was served to the people - the blood of Christ that was shed for all mankind.
Grace is not earned, but given through the redemptive quality of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Grace is not meant to leave us as sinners, but to bring us from death into LIFE with the unveiling of who we are in Christ equipped with the dunamis power of His Holy Spirit to set others in bondage free. We do this by identifying with the name and nature of Christ in us, God in us, and together being led by the Spirit of the Lord we find other parts of His body hungering for unity and oneness.
Ezekiel prophesied in chapter 37 of bones coming together, then flesh, then the Spirit of the Lord entering into the body and uniting two branches into one to form a new nation, the Kingdom of God in the earth in every country. This is the whole house of Israel. The Jews are in the land of Israel, but Israel is not all Jews. The Jews were only identified with the tribe of Judah and Benjamin. The other sons of Israel were scattered around the world, and today we find the Lord calling them together by the Spirit through Christ Jesus. Not a particular denomination or theological foundation, but simply by knowing Jesus Christ personally, and allowing the Spirit of the Lord to teach us through the Bible unveiling the risen Christ in us, just as it was with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
"I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. David My servant will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd, Jesus Christ; they will also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them (My Torah). Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David will be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it will be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary (God's dwelling place) in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle with be with them; indeed, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify the whole house of Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore." (Ezekiel 37:23-28 NKJV).
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea (confusion in the body of Christ). Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is in men, and He will dwell in them, and they shall BE His people (His I AM). God Himself will be in them, their NAME" (Revelation 21:1-3).
As the kingdoms of this world filled with logic, reason, and self-focus increase, so shall the coming of the Lord, Christ in us be unveiled in the earth as a New Jerusalem adorned as a bride, and filled with the Spirit of the Lord in wisdom and knowledge of the teachings and instructions of Moses to rule with Christ from the heavens on earth.
The Son of Man, Jesus Christ will have a place, a body to lay His head, and rest together in the Sabbath rest of God. (Luke 9:58, Colossians 1:18, Genesis 2:1-2).
"As He is, so are we today in this world" (1 John 4:17).