Archive for May, 2010

It’s no secret that I believe God designed our languages. A revelation of God seems to be just beneath the surface of many words. The word “memory” comes most directly from the Latin “memoria,” but it’s origin goes back much farther. In that Latin word, you see the word “moria,” which brings to mind the journey of Abraham and Isaac to Moriah. (please refer to my page, “the Messiah”) The pictographic origin of the letter “M,” means “water.” Jeremiah 9:1, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears…” Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary word #4470  “memer,”means to grieve. There’s also #3982 “maamar,” meaning decree, and #3983 “memar,”or appointment.

The word “merit” comes from the Latin word “mereo,” meaning “to earn.” It’s kin to the Greek words “meros,” (a part or member) and “moira,” meaning lot, or destiny. These meanings are reflected in the words “memory,” and “memorial.” Sometimes I think I know the meaning of a word, but whenever I study it, I find it goes ever deeper. The most ancient languages are much too well-organized to have evolved accidently in different places and times. The depth of organization, and relationship to the God of the Bible, are also far too much to attribute only to the mind of man.

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Memory is a God-given thing. Some of our memories ought to cause us to seek God’s forgiveness, or his help to forget. Most of us have keepsakes that we’ll dig out from time to time. Besides the photos of family and friends, I keep old pictures that remind me of people who’ve made sacrifices for our country.

I have a picture of the St Laurent-sur-Mer cemetery at Normandy, France. The rows of white crosses marking the graves of American soldiers go on and on. I keep some reminders of human tragedies because I don’t think they should be forgotten. As hard as it is to look at people holding the bloodied bodies of loved ones, looking on would be nothing like being there. In those times, for those people, etiquette is forgotten. They’re so lost in emotion, they may not even be aware they’re being washed in blood.

Jesus didn’t come to this foreign world to take it by force. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)  He came to persuade his enemies to come over to his side. That is usually not a popular notion with the rulers. He persuades us by dying for us, and when we embrace that, we are changed. We see that he is right, and we are wrong. Psalms 22:31 says, “They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.”

That’s what we’re doing. He died for us, and because of us. We have his blood on our hands. That very blood will wash us from our sins if we won’t be ashamed to embrace him. Revelation 12:11 says,”… they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb,…” That’s the only way to win this spiritual war.

American soldiers and their families paid the price, and I get the day off from work. I get to spend it with my family. Some people didn’t get the day off, and some won’t even now. Lord, help me remember, and be thankful. Jesus paid the price, and my family and I get to spend the day that lasts forever with him. Rev. 22:17, “…whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

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What if an invading army or a revolution overthrew our country? Many of the memorials of America would be destroyed. What if a decree made it illegal to publicly remember our fallen soldiers?  The men and women whose lives were sacrificed for our freedom, should not be forgotten. It would be a great injustice to disown their suffering, and their shed blood.

No doubt their families are wounded when their loss is disregarded. Of all people, they should understand God the best, and grasp the significance of Jesus. We just celebrated Mother’s day. Our mothers carried us nine months, with the burden growing greater every day. They suffered the pains of childbirth. They sacrificed to care for us, and often endured our thanklessness. What if we changed the name of Mother’s Day to Stork’s Day, giving equal honor or even preference to a fictional story?

The prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 5:6-11) saw a vision of a woman in a basket. The basket was being carried to Babylon (Shinar) by two women with wings like those of a stork. I’m not sure of the prophetic meaning of all that, but it reminds me of the woman in Revelation 17:1-9. Most students of Bible prophecy believe the woman in the Revelation represents false religion. Some think this symbolizes false religions, incorporated into a false Christianity that has forgotten Christ.

That makes sense because the woman is described as a prostitute. The thing that defines a prostitute is that she is a lover of many. Please don’t be offended by this symbolism. Men actually act this way more often than women. God wants us to understand that our ideals (our idols) are not the same as the real thing. A “church” that accepts other religions as a way to God, is like a prostitute. The “church” that looks upon Jesus as just another man, is not the bride of Christ.

Maybe a stepmother or someone else raised us, but only one woman bore us. We honor the soldiers who defend us; not those who attack us. Not all ideas are equal, and neither are all ways of government. God has only one “begotten” son, and only he can become one with us. Only his shed blood can bring us “at one ment” with God. No one else should get the credit (glory) for what he has done.

It hasn’t satisfied the world to crucify Jesus and bury him. The world wants to erase every memory of him, and tear down every memorial of him. They want to rewrite history, and alter the future. One of the best things we can do is to remember. The Lord said, “Do this… in remembrance of me.” “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:25,26)

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Hebrews 10:5, “…Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me,” is a quote from Psalm 40:6. This is yet another place where a New Testament writer quotes from the Septuagint. Psalm 40:6 reads a little different in our modern translations; but, this is one of many Old Testament passages foretelling the coming of Christ.

The Old Testament offerings and sacrifices weren’t what God desired; they symbolized what he was going to have to do to save us. Hebrews goes into some detail about these things that I’m going to skip. I want to mention one of the sacrifices that draws our attention to the “Door.” Passover occurred when God freed the Israelites from the Egyptians. Moses had repeatedly given God’s message to Pharaoh, “Let my people go,” but his answer was, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice…” (Exodus 5:2) God told Moses beforehand that Egypt wouldn’t yield until they knew who God was.

If only he had yielded to God, Pharaoh could have prevented the destruction of Egypt. Some believe God gave him no choice, but I disagree. I can see it would have been politically difficult to let all that free labor go. Many times, the right choice isn’t easy, and we miss the opportunity.  I think Pharaoh could have stopped the loss of their crops, and all the suffering that fell on his people. The firstborn of Egypt would not have died, and his army wouldn’t have been destroyed in the Red Sea.

I suppose everyone knows that Jesus was killed the evening just before the Passover observance. That’s why they hurried to take him down from the cross, and buried him so quickly. In Exodus 12:1-14, God told Moses how a lamb was to be killed in the evening. The seventh verse of that chapter tells how they were to “strike” the blood of the lamb upon the doorposts of their homes. These posts, upon which the door was hung, symbolize the cross. The door itself represents Jesus. The only safe place in Egypt that night, was inside a doorway where the blood of the lamb was splattered.

Dreams are very different from a movie. When you’re in a dream, you usually don’t realize that you’re dreaming. You feel like it’s real. One night, I dreamed that my wife and I were at the crucifixion. It seemed like there were other people all around me, but I didn’t actually see them. We were standing in the air about seventy-five  yards from Jesus. It hurt so much to be there, that I couldn’t go any closer. There were two groups of people near Jesus, his family and friends suffering in empathy and his tormentors.

It was a dream of very mixed emotions. I really hated the world at that moment, and I hated myself, yet I knew he was there because he loved us. I knew his suffering was my fault, and our fault. I hated the helplessness that I felt at being able to do absolutely nothing. In my dream, I knew that he was to be resurrected in three days, but that didn’t seem to help much at that moment.

God had to find a way to get through to this world. To save some of us, he made a body for himself, and became one of us. Nailed to a wooden post, as if he were only a piece of wood, Jesus is the door between God and mankind.

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You are the door of your house. Whoever enters your house must do so at your bidding. If you realize that someone would be a danger to your household, they would have to overpower you to get in. Those entering your home would need to abide by your standards. That all makes sense doesn’t it?

Jesus is the door of his house. He said, ( John 10:9) “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved…”  When one of our sons was very small, he asked about this verse, so we played a little game. I think I put some little reward that he wanted in a room, so that he had to come by me to get it. I told him I was the door, and he tried to go around on one side and then the other. After a bit I held my arms out, he gave me a hug, and I let him in. To enter the house of the Lord is to embrace Jesus.

Before I accepted Jesus, I had several re-occurring nightmares. This particular dream was never troubling to begin with; I would be in an empty room with no windows, only a door in each wall. I would open one of the doors to go outside, but it would only lead to a room just like the one I left. No matter which door I opened, I would be in the same empty, dreary room. This dream would go on for what seemed like hours, becoming a nightmare. I would eventually be rushing through the doors as fast as I could, until I finally woke up.

I don’t look for meaning in every dream. Most of them seem to make little sense, but looking back, I can see that dream represented my search for truth and meaning in life. I had that dream dozens of times before I opened my heart to Jesus, but not a single time afterward. It was as if Jesus was the end of a quest. Not all nightmares have disappeared over the years, but every one has changed in some way. (More about dreams later)

I looked up the origin of “door” in the Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate. It  gives an Old English origin, “duru,” which is akin to Old High German “turi,” which sounds to me like “tree.” (Please ref. my post “Truth,” in the March Archive) Webster’s also mentions a connection to the Latin word “fores,” meaning outdoors.

If we want to escape the house of doors to nowhere, we must think outside the box. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. ” Jesus will not only take us ‘outside’ but into a place that’s out of this world.

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I no longer buy the idea that there’s no proof for God. History and Science provide much evidence for God, though they don’t have the final say about him. I’m convinced that he will have the final say about what really happened in history. Likewise, he will show what true science is one of these days.

I’m saying those things to bring up one of the greatest historical proofs of God and the Christian belief. I’m not going to focus on information about the Septuagint that can be found in an encyclopedia, or at Wikipedia. I want to concentrate on those things that are more unusual.

Acts 4:26 says, “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered themselves together, against the Lord, and against his Christ…” That verse is a direct quote from Psalms 2:2 in the Septuagint. Modern translations of Psalms 2:2 use the word “anointed,” instead of “Christ.”  The  Septuagint is the 250 B.C. Greek translation of the Hebrew “Old Testament.” It’s one of the versions that the New Testament writers quoted from. The Septuagint has been translated from manuscripts that we no longer have.

Many people don’t know that the name “Christ,” is found in many places in the Old Testament. In our modern versions, the Hebrew word “Mashiyach,” (Messiah) is translated as “anointed,” except in Daniel 9:25,26. This word was translated in several places in the Greek Septuagint as “Christ.”  It’s found in Psalms 20:6, and 1st. Samuel 2:10. Note that 1st. and 2nd. Samuel are the first two of four books called “Kings,” in the Septuagint.

1st. Kings 2:10 (1st. Samuel) in the Septuagint is remarkable in that it uses the phrase, “horn (power) of Christ.” The Greek wording there is “keras Christ.” This word is very similar to the Latin word “crista,” (crest) and to the word, “cross.” An unexpected place to find ‘Christ’ in the Septuagint is Amos 4:13; “I am he that strengthens the thunder, and creates the wind, and proclaims to men his Christ…” In our modern translations, that last phrase has become “declares to man what is his thought.” Christ is not only the Word of God, but also the Thought of God.

So, the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Old Testament, made long before Jesus came into this world. Within that book are hundreds of prophecies about Jesus Christ, so the world would know when and where he would be born; how he would live, die, and be resurrected. It can be shown that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies, not only proving that God exists, but that he has walked among us.  The Old Testament and Jesus verify each other.

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