Monthly Archives: May 2019
In the heart of Hebrew history, there existed a ritual that is fraught with New Testament meaning. It was the practice of anointing a king or a high priest. In the ceremony, oil was literally poured upon the head of the person in symbolism of the filling, covering, empowering of that person by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the office to which he was installed.
Of course, as many things were, this was a shadow, type, picture of the One Whom God would both send and anoint to be the ultimate Prophet, High Priest and King. In the Hebrew language the word for “anoint” is “Messiah.” Therefore, the believing Jews looked for their Messiah (anointed one) to come. In the New Testament times, the primary written language was Koine Greek. The word in that language for “anointed” is “Christos” or in transliteration: “Christ.” Now the person anointed of God in the New Testament is Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. His anointing was not in oil but in the reality that oil symbolized: Holy Spirit. That occurred at Jesus baptism as He and John moved to fulfill all righteousness.
Moreover, Jesus is the head of His body, the church. Since the Head is anointed, (Christ) it is appropriate that the body also be anointed (Christ). That anointing of the body occurred at Pentecost, Acts 2. In that anointing, the body received energetic power and gifts to perform the commission given to it by the Head. The church exploded with true growth, but God was not preparing it for a megachurch, but for its demise through immediate proliferation in Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the earth. It was destined for an effective scattering in a few days. Therefore, those that were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.
A powerful church then came to exist in Antioch. Teachers such as Barnabas, Paul, and others were a part of it. It was there that the disciples were first called “Christians.” Some say this was a term spoken by locals in contempt of who these people were, and what they were doing. There simply is no proof at all of such an allegation. On the other hand, the locals knew Greek very well. They applied this term to them because they recognized that they were ministering in the name of, and in the Spirit of Jesus the Anointed (Christ).
While to the locals it may have been primarily the works of the church by which the name was applied; to the church it was the things that made them a church by which the name was rightfully applicable. That is, they were born-again people; baptized people, church-body people; dedicated people to the teaching of Jesus. They were indeed Christians (Christ-i-ans) (anointed ones). Any other application of that term today is nothing more than a corruption of it. It does not apply to all the saved today anymore than it applied to all the saved in Old Testament times. It is a term that is uniquely applied to the true members of the anointed body of Jesus: His church: anointed in Spirit and Truth: Christians, in the uncorrupted meaning of the term.
God blesses you
make you a blessing
edit – JCandler
Don’t be so worried about
getting out of trouble
getting into righteousness
Parson to Person
1939, (my birth year) Hollywood produced a box office bonanza with
the all-time classic movie, GONE WITH THE WIND. It depicted a labor
intensive way of life. Of course, in 1939 the nation was only about
seventy years away from the Civil War, so, those times were still on
the mind of older citizens (much like WWII remains on older minds
today). In addition to those times, there are also many things and
ways that have fallen to the chapters of history, especially with the
vaunted progress of the 20th Century. I write briefly about one of
those ways of life: that of the now largely extinct
Well over a half century ago, my pastoral ministry was initiated in the cotton and bean fields of northeast Arkansas. Most folk in the area were known as sharecroppers. Like the aforementioned movie, this, too, is a way of life largely gone with the wind.
Sharecroppers lived in someone else’s house on someone else’s land. In varying agreements, they worked the land for the land owner, and shared a percentage of the crops produced. It was not much of a way to get ahead in life, but it was a way to sustain life. Most of the houses provided were substandard, and largely without indoor plumbing. My wife and I spent one memorable winter night with a family in that environment. To stay warm, we slept under so many quilts that it was virtually impossible to turn over. However, though poor, the people were sweet, kind, and loving. They loved the Lord, and they loved my young wife and me. It was such a joy to be considered their pastor, although a neophyte in every sense of the word.
Years have come and gone, and I am, as they were: a sharecropper. But, the sharecropping presently experienced is being accomplished in an agreement with God, the true land owner. Paul taught in I Cor. 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” We plant and water, but He gives the increase. It is He who has given to us this laboring ministry of reconciliation, and He teaches us all in Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Formerly, due to weather or pestilence, crops might fail, leaving the farming sharecropper in dire straits financially. But one may be sure that sharecropping with God brings a guaranteed successful harvest to the rejoicing of everyone involved. Since all are tenants and not owners, they are sharecropping for someone. But soon the window of time for sharecropping on this terrestrial ball will also pass away. It is but for a season. Consequently, it is so very important to choose wisely with whom you partner in the sharecropping venture of life.
The Freedom that Jesus Gives
is not freedom to do what we want,
but the freedom to do as you Ought.
Tis one life; will soon be past.
Only what’s done for
it or not, you can’t box with God! In the first place, your arm is
too short! Beyond that, the differences are infinite. His thoughts
transcend ours as much as the heavens are high above the earth. His
presence is everywhere. He is infinitely bigger that you or I.
The student of the Bible can but stand in awe of His might, and His works. Truly, He often uses men to accomplish astounding feats of faith, but it is always, and obviously, in His power. Few, very few, are privileged to be trail blazers as was Moses of old. Living vicariously in the Bible, it is somewhat easier to identify with Joshua as a successor to someone who has gone before. One can only imagine what burden was in the heart and mind of that great man as he contemplated the looming battle of Jericho. He had led the army of Israel in battles during the 40 years of wilderness wondering, but he always had Moses to look to, and lean on. Now, the ball (sword) was squarely in his court. Jericho lay before Israel as the first battle of conquest of the Promised Land. This was big, really big, and it would be no surprise to learn that he could have been feeling mighty small for task.
Admirably, he sought solitude for contemplation and prayer as the enormity of his responsibility pressed heavily upon him. It was in that environment that something quite unexpected happened. There appeared before him a person with a drawn sword. In what must have been a defensive stance, Joshua questioned the character before him as to whether he was for Israel or an enemy from Jericho. The answer he received did not cause him to ready a sword, rather it brought gladness and huge relief. The stranger said, “Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.” Joshua 5:14-15.
As it was marvelous to Joshua, so it is to the people of God today. We are not alone! God gives us great and mighty things to accomplish, and we often wonder how we are going to get them done. The survey of strength, resources, and wit are too often turned inward on self. Perhaps it even causes one to wrestle (box) with God. Inability stands out like a sore thumb. In those moments, let it be remembered that only God can do the work of God. People are instruments in His hand, blessed to be used of Him, but it is God who clears the way, and Who empowers His Word. It is God Who works on human hearts, and it is God who gives the increase. If the increase is elusive or seems more insignificant that it should, it just may be that we have not yielded ourselves to the Captain of the Host of the LORD! His way is not our way, but it always accomplishes just what He wants done. He should be explicitly trusted in every endeavor, in confronting any obstacle. He is infinitely bigger than the subjects of His creation.