Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Abstract Expression - Overwhelming Love In His Presence

YESHUA MY KING...
Each night before I close my eyes
I reach for you
And you never fail me.
How wonderful you are
There really are no words
For your majesty.
And your presence floods in
Like an overwhelming wave
As I do my best to tell you
How much I love you.
And you listen!
You take it all in and send it back
And I am beside myself in tears
And the overwhelming presence
Of your love.
You showed me the earth
In the palms of your hands,
Forever watching, forever loving.
Soaked in the oil of worship
I drift off to sleep.

-G.E. Johnson

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Abstract Expression - Relationship With My Abba

ABBA...
This time
It was fatigue.
I wondered into your throne room.
I wore a linen tunic,
My fro all over the place.
And there you sat
On your throne
As radiant as ever.
I sat between your feet
And pulled the hem of your robe around me.
Without a word
You reached down and stroked my hair
And I wept
Because there is no touch as kind as yours.
I told you everything
That my tired soul could remember
And I drifted off to sleep.

-G.E. Johnson


Friday, May 6, 2016

Abstract Expression - A Worship Experience With The King Of Kings

YESHUA...
How many times
Have I come to these doors?
And angels greeted me
One on the right, one on the left
12 feet tall each one stands.
The right one takes my crown
The left one my robe.
In this room there is no royalty but Yours.
Not by your wish...
You have crowned me many times at this throne.
Yet it is as a peasant daughter
That I approach You
To lay my head on your feet
To wash them with my tears
The sorrow of worship through the distance of mortality.
And many times I knew
That one more tear would break your heart
And like a whisper my soul would
Evacuate this body to eternal peace in Your presence.
The choice was mine
And I have never abandoned yet
Your will on earth.
"More to do...," says the soul.

-G.E. Johnson

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Solomon Decoded: What Is The Benefit Of Earthly Work? Ecclesiastes 1:3

"Solomon's reputation for possessing extraordinary wisdom fits the Ecclesiastes profile. David recognized his son's wisdom (1 Kings 2:6 & 9) before God gave Solomon an additional measure. After he received a 'wise and understanding heart' from the Lord (1 Kings 3:7-12), Solomon gained renown for being exceedingly wise by rendering insightful decisions (1 Kings 3:16-28), a reputation that attracted 'all the kings of the earth' to his courts (1 Kings 4:34). In addition, he composed songs and proverbs  (1 Kings 4:32), activity befitting only the ablest of sages. Solomon's wisdom, like Job's wealth, surpassed the wisdom 'of all the people of the east' (1 Kings 4:30)." -The MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV Version), The Book of Ecclesiastes: Background and Setting


WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF EARTHLY WORK? - Ecclesiastes 1:3
"What advantage does man have from all his work which he does under the sun (while earthbound)?"

1) Work/Labor - amal - n. masculine/feminine trouble, toil

In verse three of Ecclesiastes 1, King Solomon ponders (perhaps rhetorically) the advantages gained by man from all of his work on the earth. The Hebrew word used here for labor is amal meaning heavy or wearisome work, particularly of the mind. The MacArthur Study Bible offers this footnote:

"Solomon looks at the fleeting moments of life and the seemingly small gain for man's activity under the sun. The only lasting efforts are those designed to accomplish God's purposes for eternity, not just for one's livelihood. These pictures from God's creation illustrate and underscore the futile repetition of human activity."

Perhaps we should question ourselves as King Solomon did. Is the work that we commit ourselves to daily truly accomplishing God's eternal purpose? Or do we endure wearisome toil simply for our own gain? One could argue that the benefits of the toil of Solomon certainly benefited many from the wealth of his material treasure to the wealth of his knowledge. However, the wise king knew that most important was the condition of his eternity, a time that would be infinitely longer than his few years on the earth. For this reason Jesus (Yeshua) gave His life - so that we would have eternal life in heaven. See John 3:16 and then Revelation 22:3-7.




**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Solomon Decoded: Vanity - Taking Action Without God Ecclesiastes 1:2

"Solomon's reputation for possessing extraordinary wisdom fits the Ecclesiastes profile. David recognized his son's wisdom (1 Kings 2:6 & 9) before God gave Solomon an additional measure. After he received a 'wise and understanding heart' from the Lord (1 Kings 3:7-12), Solomon gained renown for being exceedingly wise by rendering insightful decisions (1 Kings 3:16-28), a reputation that attracted 'all the kings of the earth' to his courts (1 Kings 4:34). In addition, he composed songs and proverbs  (1 Kings 4:32), activity befitting only the ablest of sages. Solomon's wisdom, like Job's wealth, surpassed the wisdom 'of all the people of the east' (1 Kings 4:30)." -The MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV Version), The Book of Ecclesiastes: Background and Setting


TAKING ACTION WITHOUT GOD - Ecclesiastes 1:2
"'Vanity of vanities,' says the Preacher. 'Vanity of vanities! All (that is done without God's guidance) is vanity (futile, meaningless - a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes, merely chasing the wind)."

1) Vanity - hebel - n. masculine breath, vapour 

In verse 2 of Ecclesiastes 1, King Solomon declares that everything done without the guidance of God (Yehovah) is futile or meaningless because it vanishes like a wisp of smoke or a vapor. He uses the word "vanity" or hebel. According to Gesenius's Lexicon, hebel means a gentle breeze similar to breath from the mouth. This use is meant to reflect frailty and evanescence (disappearing gradually; fading away). (Gesenius's Lexicon) Hebel is also used as the proper name for Abel, the second son of Adam, probably so called because of the shortness of his life. (Gesenius's Lexicon) The Apostle Paul explains that the opposite of this - consulting the Lord for His plan and purpose - leads to everything working together for the good of the ones who love Him. (Romans 8:28) This is why Jesus teaches His disciples (and us) to pray to the Father, "Your will be done." (Read more HERE)


**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Solomon Decoded: Who Was King Solomon? Ecclesiastes 1:1

"Solomon's reputation for possessing extraordinary wisdom fits the Ecclesiastes profile. David recognized his son's wisdom (1 Kings 2:6 & 9) before God gave Solomon an additional measure. After he received a 'wise and understanding heart' from the Lord (1 Kings 3:7-12), Solomon gained renown for being exceedingly wise by rendering insightful decisions (1 Kings 3:16-28), a reputation that attracted 'all the kings of the earth' to his courts (1 Kings 4:34). In addition, he composed songs and proverbs  (1 Kings 4:32), activity befitting only the ablest of sages. Solomon's wisdom, like Job's wealth, surpassed the wisdom 'of all the people of the east' (1 Kings 4:30)." -The MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV Version), The Book of Ecclesiastes: Background and Setting


WHO WAS KING SOLOMON? Ecclesiastes 1:1
"The Words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem."

1) Preacher - qoheleth - n. masculine public speaker; speaker in an assembly

Unlike the modern, common use of the word "preacher" (a minister of religion), the use of the word here to identify Solomon is better defined as public speaker, particularly one who speaks to an assembly on the discourse of human affairs. (Gesenius's Lexicon) Rather than viewing Solomon as a preacher who stood in a pulpit to speak on religion, he is better viewed in a similar vein to a Greek orator. This is most likely because the matters of the holy Temple were attended to by the Levitical Priesthood while a king was concerned with ruling his kingdom.

2) Son - ben - n. masculine male child; child by characterization; member of a guild, order, or class

Solomon defined as "son" here first speaks to his relationship to David through procreation. He was indeed the biological male child of David. However, the second definition (by characterization) speaks more to Solomon's identity in light of his father's reputation and authority. He was not only David's biological child, he was also one who was obedient to David in David's role as king or lord over his kingdom. (Gesenius's Lexicon) Finally, Solomon is defined as a member of the "guild" of David, with David's kingdom being as one body (as is Christ's church - 1 Corinthians 12:12) and Solomon as a member of that body.

3) King - melek - n. masculine king; royal

Just as expected, "king" used here to identify Solomon eludes to his rule over his kingdom and his royalty. However, looking at melek more closely we find that the authority given as king here is not through an election by men, but by the appointment of Yehovah (the proper name of the one true God). (Gesenius's Lexicon) Specifically this applies to the king of Israel and of individual Israelites. (Gesenius's Lexicon) Melek is also used when referring to the worship of idols. (Gesenius's Lexicon)

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Baali, My Ishi: A Look Back At My First Love

**Originally written as a contributing essay for anthology "Super Singles Activate! Testimonies to Inspire and Uplift the Single Woman" in March, 2010.**


It was in my wilderness that God asked me to marry Him. I am not of the Catholic faith, so becoming a nun was not an option. Besides, after being celibate for two years already, I knew that the vow of a nun was not one that I was willing to take for a lifetime. What did God want from me then? And how could I become betrothed to the Creator of all things?

The revelation of God's call on my life began with a very simple, but profound scripture - Hosea 2:16. The scripture reads, " 'And it shall be, in that day,' says the Lord, 'That you will call Me "My Husband (Ishi)," And no longer call Me "My Master (Baali)"...". (NKJV) The remarkable thing is that this call came to me in a time when I was arguably at the lowest point I had ever been in my life. I was still healing from a broken marriage and subsequent divorce; I was bankrupt, both financially and emotionally; I had only a few worldly possessions left. My daughter, 13 at the time, served as my only source of happiness.

Yet, here was God, whom I had accepted into my life as a child, in the person of Jesus Christ, asking me to reach through all of the darkness in my life and find Him in that darkness. I did not know where to start so I prayed for help. It was in prayer that the awesomeness of God's request began to surround me and seep into my spirit. Almighty God wanted an intimate relationship with me! He was calling me closer and deeper into His will. He was ready to open my spiritual eyes to the wonder of His mysteries so that I could begin to know Him and not just about Him.

How mind-blowing it is that the perfect Creator would take notice of this broken, flawed, and wounded person and, with all my imperfections, bid me come closer to His throne. At first, I was consumed by how unworthy I actually was (and still am) of such an honor. Yet, my Lord, my 'Baali', spoke His eternal love and mercy to my spirit, everyday, until my esteem and my confidence were restored through Him. Every bird sang for me; every breeze blew for me; the warmth of the sun was just for me. He had always seen my true worth even though I had let the clouds of my circumstances overshadow the gift of His light in my life.

Today, I am still learning to walk in intimacy with Christ, yet He remains patient, loving, and merciful through it all. His Spirit teaches me that I am Esther, having access to my King and all that He possesses. He whispers to me that I am Mary Magdalene, walking closely with Him and ministering to the needs of His kingdom. He speaks to my spirit that I am Mary, mother of Christ, whom He will use to birth forth precious seeds of truth, wisdom, and love. Yet, the sweet rapture of this intimacy is not just reserved for me.

Jesus stands waiting for all who will come to Him and in faith, will take a vow of marriage: "Yes, Lord, I will take you as my 'Ishi', to have for eternity and to hold dear to my heart, loving, honoring, and obeying you, through seasons of prosperity as well as seasons of sowing, until my human death returns my soul to you to dwell with you forever. Amen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Teach Us How To Pray: "As It Is In Heaven" - Matthew 6:10

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.

In verse 9-10 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in earth...'" In the previous posts (click here to read OUR FATHER - WHO IS IN HEAVEN - HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME - YOUR KINGDOM COME - YOUR WILL BE DONE - IN EARTH) we looked at the first complete phrase of verse 9 and the beginning of verse 10 to learn more about the heavenly Father, where He has established His throne, the sanctity of His name, and the nature of His Kingdom, His will, and the earth. Today we will examine the next and final phrase of this study: "As it is in heaven."

"It Is In" - en - (Greek transliteration) - preposition (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

1) In - Located in its proper place; in the interior of some whole; within the limits of some space; at the fountain; the contents of a writing or book; in the book of the prophets; in things not perceived by the senses

2) With - In the person, nature, soul, or thought of any one hidden in the bosom of God until it shall come forth to view; in the person of Christ said to dwell in men/women (the mind, power, life of Christ)

3) On - Of the person or thing on whom or on which some power is operative

Since we have already covered the meaning of heaven (see WHO IS IN HEAVEN above), it is important to focus on how the manifestation of the will of God transfers from heaven to earth. In the definitions above we find that heaven on earth can be found in the "writing or book; in the book of the prophets." This is the Bible, the living Word of God. (Hebrews 4:12) But the Lord didn't stop there in sharing His beautiful dwelling place with us. He puts the essence of heaven into our very nature and soul when we are joined with Christ through faith. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Finally, the presence of heaven is found in the power granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ. All power in heaven and in earth was given to Jesus (Matthew 28:18) of which we are given a measure to do His will and to operate in spiritual gifts. Ephesians 1 beginning at verse 18 sums this concept up perfectly. It reads:

"And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength which He produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human], and [far above] every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and world but also in the one to come. And He put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers]." Amen.


**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Teach Us How To Pray: "In Earth" - Matthew 6:10

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.

In verse 9-10 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done...'" In the previous posts (click here to read OUR FATHER - WHO IS IN HEAVEN - HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME - YOUR KINGDOM COME - YOUR WILL BE DONE) we looked at the first complete phrase of verse 9 and the beginning of verse 10 to learn more about the heavenly Father, where He has established His throne, the sanctity of His name, and the nature of His Kingdom and will. Today we will examine the next phrase: "In earth."

"Earth" - ge - (Greek transliteration) - n. feminine (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

1) Arable (suitable for growing crops) land - This of course refers to the physical earth and God's intent that it be a fertile place to grow different crops. In fact, Elohim was the first farmer although the manifestation of His vegetation was done through spirit. (Genesis 1:11-12) Spiritually, we should also seek to be fertile ground for the seeds of knowledge and wisdom from the Word of God. (Matthew 13:3-9)

2) The things and beings that are on the earth - Not only does "earth" refer to the components of earth's surface, but also to the living beings that inhabit the earth, particularly human beings. This should be no surprise considering Adam's creation from the "dust of the ground." (Genesis 2:7)

When we pray that God's will be done it should include not only His will for our lives, but also His will for the earth. This is particularly important now that we have such great discussion in the science community regarding weakening ecosystems and atmospheric erosion. God is willing and able to heal His people and His earth if we ask Him. (2 Chronicles 7:14)



**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Monday, April 18, 2016

Teach Us How To Pray: "Your Will Be Done" - Matthew 6:10

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.

In verse 9 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come...'" In the previous posts (click here to read OUR FATHER - WHO IS IN HEAVEN - HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME - YOUR KINGDOM COME) we looked at the first complete phrase of verse 9 to learn more about the heavenly Father, where He has established His throne, the sanctity of His name, and the nature of His Kingdom. Today we will examine the next phrase: "Your will be done..." and discover more about God's will for the earth.

"Will" - thelema - (Greek transliteration) - n. (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

1) What one wishes or has determined shall be done - Though this definition seems general, the Lexicon begins its explanation stating that "will" here is purely biblical and ecclesiastical. Often we pray for things that flow from our own desires and even though we are to make our petitions known before the Lord (Philippians 4:6), we should always pray that it is His will for our lives that manifests because His will is perfect. (Romans 12:2)

2) What God wishes to be done by us for the purpose of blessing mankind through Christ - Ultimately, the mission of every believer in Christ is to share the Gospel - the message of salvation through faith in Jesus (Yeshua). (Matthew 28:19-20) Many people believe that this is the job of a preacher only. However, the truth of the Messiah can be "preached" through many forms. Yes, sharing the truth of Christ through words is powerful, but sharing His character and likeness through righteous action in our own lives often leaves an imprint that cannot be erased. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

3) Choice, desire, pleasure - From this definition it is important to note 3 things: 1) We always have a choice of whether we will follow our own desires or if we will allow the will of God to be done in our lives. (Joshua 24:15) Deciding to allow God to lead us does not mean we will no longer have desires that work against the righteousness of His plan. (1 Corinthians 10:13) However, genuinely doing the best that we can each day, knowing that grace and mercy are with us each step of the way (2 John 2-3) brings God pleasure and allows favor to manifest in our lives. (Psalm 23:6)

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Teach Us How To Pray: "Your Kingdom Come" - Matthew 6:10

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.

In verse 9 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name...'" In the previous posts (click here to read OUR FATHER - WHO IS IN HEAVEN - HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME) we looked at the first complete phrase of verse 9 to learn more about the heavenly Father, where He has established His throne, and the sanctity of His name. Today we will examine the next phrase: "Your Kingdom come..." and discover more about God's holy Kingdom.

"Kingdom" - basileia - (Greek transliteration) - n. feminine (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

1) Royal power; kingship; dominion; rule - Specifically, the royal power and dominion spoken of here is the power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah. (Matthew 28:18)

2) The territory subject to the rule of a king - In this definition kingdom takes on a more physical manifestation in that it refers to the land on earth where earthly kings reign. An example of this use of basileia can be found in Luke 11:17.

3) The Reign of the Messiah - This refers to the Kingdom founded by God through the Messiah over which the Messiah will preside, a Kingdom of heavenly or divine origin and nature. Thayer's Lexicon discusses this definition extensively (click here to read the discussion in its entirety), but I will quote what seemed to me to be the clearest explanation:

"The Jews were expecting a kingdom of the greatest felicity, which God through the Messiah would set up, raising the dead to life again and renovating earth and heaven; and in this kingdom they would bear sway for ever over all the nations of the world. This kingdom was called the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the Messiah; and in this sense must these terms be understood in the utterances of the Jews and of the disciples of Jesus when conversing with Him.

But Jesus employed the phrase kingdom of God or of heaven to indicate that perfect order of things which He was about to establish, in which all those of every nation who should believe in Him were to be gathered together into one society, dedicated and intimately united to God, and made eternal partakers of salvation. This kingdom is spoken of as now begun and actually present, inasmuch as its foundations have already been laid by Christ and its benefits realized among men/women that believe in him." (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

So then when we pray, "Your Kingdom come," we are asking for the manifestation of the dominion of Jesus Christ on our behalf, we are asking for His dominion to impact our physical surroundings, and we are decreeing His return according to the foundation of our faith - His death, burial and resurrection as atonement for our sin. Please read Revelation 19:11-16. Amen.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Teach Us How To Pray: "Hallowed Be Your Name" - Matthew 6:9

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.

In verse 9 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name...'" In the previous posts (click here to read OUR FATHER & WHO IS IN HEAVEN) we looked at the first complete phrase of verse 9 to learn more about the heavenly Father and where He has established His throne. Today we will examine the next phrase: "...hallowed be your name" and discover more about the sacred nature of the name of God.

"Hallowed" - hagiazo - (Greek transliteration) - v. (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

1) To render, or acknowledge, as venerable (accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character) - This meaning of "hallowed" speaks directly to the level of respect and honor that we should give to the name of God. It is such a serious matter that Elohim (God) includes it as a part of the 10 commandments. (Exodus 20:7)

2) To separate from things profane and consecrate (make or declare sacred; dedicate to a religious or divine purpose) - If you have ever wondered why religious people (and some non-religious people) get so uptight about the curse word "godd____it," this is why! :-)

3) To purify levitically (as did the Levite priests of the Old Testament - see Numbers 8) or by expiation (the act of atonement accomplished by only one man - Jesus Christ (Yeshua) - see 1 John 2:2)

From this information we now know that the name of God should be given a great deal of respect, that it should be separated from things profane or things not dedicated to a divine purpose, and that it rightfully belongs to one who is capable of expiation, or atonement for mankind. This can only be one man - Yeshua (Jesus Christ). Why then does Jesus instruct the disciples to pray to the Father rather than to Himself?

First, He had not yet made the atonement sacrifice by giving His life on Calvary so His purpose and subsequent ascension back to Glory had not been completed. (See Mark 16:19) Second, He knew that praying to the Father would be the same as praying to Himself because He and the Father are one (John 10:27-30). So, when you pray today, pray with great faith that your Father in heaven (who is one with the Savior) hears you and will answer your prayer. Amen.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Friday, April 15, 2016

Teach Us How To Pray: "Who Is In Heaven" - Matthew 6:9

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus (Yeshua) can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.

In verse 9 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven....'" In the previous post we looked at "Our Father" and the numerous characteristics of the heavenly Father to whom we pray. Today we will examine the next phrase: "...who is in heaven" and discover more about this often mystical place where the Father resides.

"Heaven" - ouranos - (Greek transliteration) - n. masculine (Thayer's Greek Lexicon)

**It is important to note that in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for "heaven" found in Genesis 1:1 is shamayim. Read more about the meaning HERE.**


WHERE IS HEAVEN?

1) The vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it
- See Hebrews 4:13

2) The aerial heavens or sky, the region where the clouds and tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced - See Jeremiah 10:13

3)The region above the sidereal (distant stars & constellations) heavens; the seat of an order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and the other heavenly beings - Psalm 103:19

It is important to understand that though the Father has His throne in heaven, He is still ever present with us through His Holy Spirit that dwells on the earth and in believers through Jesus Christ (Yeshua). (1 Corinthians 6:17) Ask the Father today to reveal His Holy Spirit to you and may you know the Father in greater ways after today than you ever have. Amen.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Teach Us How To Pray: "Our Father" - Matthew 6:9

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus can be found ministering and teaching His disciples various principles regarding giving, fasting, the Father's care for His children, and many other things. One of the most notable portions of this scripture is His instruction to His disciples on prayer. It is prayer that opens the line of communication to the ears of the heavenly Father, a time of sweet communion in which we cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and also open ourselves to receive whatever it is that we are seeking from God's Holy Spirit.

In verse 9 of chapter 6, Jesus gives His disciples specific instructions on prayer saying, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven....'" In this post, I am compelled to discuss just the first 2 words: "Our Father." The possessive pronoun here would indicate a personal relationship to the Father to whom we are praying. This is a natural connection for Jesus as He is speaking of His Father in heaven - the first person of the trinity - who becomes our father through our belief in Jesus Christ (Yeshua) as Messiah. (John 3:16) But who then does the Father become to us? What can we know about the one to whom we pray?

"Father" - pater - (Greek transliteration) - n. masculine 

Because of the extensive nature of God, particularly the Father, I will not discuss each meaning, but will share the list with you so that you can meditate on them yourself. My hope is that you will be receptive to the voice of the Holy Spirit as you consider each meaning, listening carefully for the heavenly Father to reveal Himself to you personally.

WHO IS THE FATHER?

Nourisher - Protector - Upholder - Natural Father - Forefather - Founder of a race or tribe - Originator - The Author of a Family or society animated by the same spirit as himself - One who has infused his own spirit into others - He who actuates and governs the mind - GOD of all rational and intelligent beings, whether angels or men, because He is their creator, preserver, guardian, and protector

May you know the Father in greater ways after today than you ever have. Amen.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When Earthly Bread Is Not Enough: Jesus As The Shepherd in Psalm 23 (Verse 1)

Preface
In January of 2014 I released my first Bible commentary "Discovering The Shepherd: A Study of Psalm 23." I knew then that one of my greatest passions was to acquaint believers and even non-believers with a deeper understanding of the Bible, the living Word of God. Below is chapter 1 of the commentary, part 2 of the discussion of verse 1. 


May God bless you with understanding and revelation power through His Holy Spirit as you read. Amen.

Psalm 23, Verse 1 (Pt. 2)
“The LORD is my shepherd…”

We are all familiar with the use of the possessive pronoun “my.” We use it daily to refer to the things that belong to us, the things that we possess and have ownership of. We also use it to establish a personal relationship or connection between ourselves and the object that we are referring to. David’s use of the word in Psalm 23 is very similar to this not in the sense that he is claiming to own the Lord, but rather he is establishing the existence of a personal connection and relationship between himself and the Lord.

We have already seen how the beginning of the verse establishes the Lord’s sovereignty over all of creation, but here David uses “my” to focus that sovereignty onto himself in a personal way. The image that flashed into my mind as I was writing this was of a pure, white light shining brightly across the entire sky and from that light, one ray of light extended down and engulfed David. This is how the connection should be for all of those who are believers in Jesus Christ, the flesh manifestation of Jehovah God. Though infinitely vast in His existence, Jehovah still desires to focus on us individually, to have a personal relationship with each of us. We too should be able to say boldly “The Lord is MY shepherd” and that even on an earth where billions of people live daily, Almighty God is available to me personally at all times.

So now that we see the absolute reign and eternal existence of God, and the fact that we are able to access Him on a very personal level, we come to David’s characterization of God’s role in His personal relationship with us – Shepherd. Though most believers are familiar with at least a few of the images of God illustrated in the Bible such as fortress, shield, and provider, David chooses to illustrate the loving presence of Jehovah in Psalm 23 as a shepherd. So why would he choose such a meager, even lowly title to bestow on One so vast and powerful? I believe a quick look at David’s past holds the answer.

Before King David ruled over Israel and wore the royal crown, and before he defeated armies to become known as a great warrior, he was himself a shepherd. He began his life tending the flocks of his father Jesse and it was literally in a field where the Prophet Samuel found him in order to anoint him for the life that God was calling him to. Surely the Lord knew everything about David, even before his birth, for as we see in His speaking to the Prophet Jeremiah, the Lord says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart….” (Jeremiah 1:5) Because of the uniformity of God, and the fact that He remains forever the same (Hebrews 13:8), this same thing would have applied to David as well and applies to each of us as believers. He knew each of us before we were born!

God knew that David would tend to sheep as a young boy and He chose the image of Shepherd in order to reveal Himself to David in the most deeply personal way. Jehovah used David’s earthly knowledge of the life, work, and responsibility of a shepherd to give him spiritual understanding of God’s own existence, work, and responsibility in being the Shepherd over His own holy sheep. God deliberately used something that David was familiar with for this revelation so that David would have no trouble understanding. It also established for David that even before He was anointed by Samuel with his Godly purpose, God knew all about him and was by his side as he went about tending his earthly father’s sheep. Tending his father’s sheep… that reminds me of Jesus. No wonder David was a man after God’s own heart!

Now that we have examined David’s choice of characterization, we should take a closer look at the word “shepherd.” The use of “shepherd” found in the first verse of Psalm 23 comes from the Hebrew word ra’ah. The first, and possibly most fascinating fact to note about this word, is that though its translation in the English bible to “shepherd” would indicate that it is a noun, ra’ah is actually a verb! This means that “shepherd” is not just a word to describe or characterize Jehovah God; it is a word to illustrate what action He is taking in our lives!  Jehovah as “shepherd” means that He is actively engaged in the act of shepherding us at every moment. So, what does the act of shepherding entail?

“Shepherd” (biblical usage) – 1) to tend, feed ; 2) to associate with, be a special friend

1a)To Tend
Generally speaking, to tend to something or someone means to “care for and look after” that thing or person. It also means to “give special attention” to whatever we are tending. (dictionary.com) This means that as God is shepherding us, he is caring for us and looking after us. 1 Peter 5:6-7 confirms this when Peter writes, “Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” (Amplified)

But not only does God care for us and look after us watchfully, He also gives us special attention. This special attention is designed to meet our individual needs on a personal level. Though we are all human and do indeed have the same basic needs, we all certainly have different personalities, different emotional quirks and life issues. God knows each of us intimately, inside and out, from head to toe because He made us. Jesus confirms this in the Gospels by letting us know that He even knows the exact number of hairs on our head! (Luke 12:7) This is why David was able to boldly claim the Holy Shepherd as his very own by using the possessive “my.”

1b)To Feed
We are all aware that in a literal sense, all living things must eat in order to survive and certainly Jehovah God is concerned with whether or not we have food to eat.  He confirms this in Matthew 6:31-33 when Jesus says to His disciples to not worry or fret over what they would eat or drink because their heavenly Father was well aware of these needs in their lives. He instructed them instead to seek His Kingdom and righteousness and all other things that they needed would be given to them. In other words, it is important for us to make seeking a relationship with God our top priority while also allowing Him the opportunity to shepherd us. In that relationship is the provision of all things, including literal food!

But God is not just concerned with feeding our bellies. He is also concerned with the feeding of our spirit. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus says “…It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Amplified) Since words coming forth from the mouth of God are not tangible objects, clearly he was not instructing us to literally eat the words from His mouth. Please do not bite your Bible! Instead, He is referring to studying the bible, praying, meditating, and any other act that puts you in communication with God in order to receive and digest His Word. In reference to the Word of God, John MacArthur says the Word is “a more important source of sustenance than food; it nurtures our spiritual needs in a way that benefits us eternally rather than merely providing temporary relief from physical hunger.” (Study Bible, NKJV)

2)To Associate With, Be a Special Friend
In this action of the shepherd, Jehovah’s close personal relationship with each believer, or each of His sheep, is reaffirmed. Not only does He tend to us without ceasing and provide nourishment for both our bodies and spirits, He also acts as a special friend. This hopefully helps close the gap that believers often perceive between themselves and God when relating to Him. Some see Him as being distant or sitting so high that He is unattainable when in fact, He is daily acting as a close, special friend in each of our lives. The next time you pray and seek God’s face, I encourage you to close your eyes and picture Him not hovering above you, but sitting right next to you. Draw Him close to you and communicate with Him in that intimate space.

RECAP & CONSIDER
Wow! What a lot of information there was to consider in just the first half of the first verse of Psalm 23. Please take time to soak and meditate in what you’ve already read so far. Though we covered a lot, keep in mind that there are layers upon layers of revelation hidden in the Word of God because God himself is infinite in His existence. I believe that as you read and continue to move forward through this examination of Psalm 23, the Holy Spirit will speak to you personally, adding more revelation and wisdom to your reading than I could possibly uncover in a lifetime of writing.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Eternal Nature Of I AM: Psalm 23 (Verse 1)

Preface
In January of 2014 I released my first Bible commentary "Discovering The Shepherd: A Study of Psalm 23." I knew then that one of my greatest passions was to acquaint believers and even non-believers with a deeper understanding of the Bible, the living Word of God. Below is chapter 1 of the commentary, the beginning of the discussion of verse 1. May God bless you with understanding and revelation power through His Holy Spirit as you read. Amen.


Psalm 23, Verse 1
“The LORD is my shepherd…”

“This psalm is probably the best known passage of the OT. It is a testimony by David to the Lord’s faithfulness throughout his life. As a hymn of confidence, it pictures the Lord as a disciple’s Shepherd-King-Host. David… progressively unveils his personal relationship with the Lord.” (Footnote from The MacArthur Study Bible NKJV, 1997)

It is precisely with the same purpose as revealed by King David that God is calling his people to reacquaint themselves with the 23rd Psalm – to unveil and gain a deeper understanding of our relationship to God, but more importantly His relationship to us. This Psalm is all about His vow and commitment to His sheep - those that belong to Him and hearken to the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit. It is a decree and a declaration spoken from the mouth of David in confidence, and even in warfare, against those who persecuted him under the power of evil influence. There are relationship promises and revelation regarding the nature of God’s relationship to his people hidden throughout each verse. Let’s begin with verse 1:

The LORD is my shepherd…”

King David wastes no time in establishing who will be the subject of Psalm 23 – the Lord. Much like anything that is established by Holy Spirit, the Savior is placed first and properly positioned as the head of any proceeding thing. He is the banner that waves and guides us into the Psalm, then serves as the helm of the multi-compartmental vessel that is Psalm 23. I use the term “vessel” to describe the scripture because of its ability to hold and store the Truth and Mystery of the identity of God. It is multi-compartmental because of its ability to hold very distinct pockets of revelation, yet maintain the cohesion of one song or psalm.

The very first word alone – THE - unleashes a torrent of information for the believer engaging in a study of this verse. First, it eliminates any ambiguity regarding to whom King David is referring and establishes David’s faith in the solo God of Israel. This is important because there were numerous false gods being worshiped by the people at that time, several of which are still in existence today. David does not leave it for us to figure out or debate the deity to whom He is referring to in the Psalm. It is THE Lord – the one and only God professed by David and his kingdom.

Second, the use of any other article would have altered the reference to Lord in a way that could have subsequently rendered this scripture ineffective. Imagine reading “A Lord is my shepherd…” or “That Lord is my shepherd…” or even “My Lord is my shepherd….” One could easily insert a deity of their choice, creating a perverted version instead of the Holy version of the Word of God that was intended.

David could have said “The Lord of Israel is my shepherd…” if he had wanted to be super specific and not leave room for misinterpretation, but the fact that he didn’t can actually be seen as prophetic. Though the coming of Jesus would happen some nearly 1000 years after the beginning of David’s reign over all Israel, David’s choice of “the” as a solo modifier of “Lord” speaks to the coming Lord’s (Jesus) dominion over ALL people, not just Israel and its descendants. Indeed Jesus would come to die for both the Jews and Gentile people and be established as THE Lord over all people. (Romans 3:29-30)

Keeping in mind David’s attitude of confidence in writing this Psalm, his declaration that “THE Lord is my shepherd…” speaks boldly of God’s sovereignty and his eternal positioning as the one and only Lord. It also speaks to God’s authority and dominion over all creation – Jews, Gentiles, atheists, agnostics, animals, insects, mountains, valleys – ALL creation. He is THE ONE AND ONLY LORD. Take a moment to reflect on how much revelation is hidden in just the first word of this Psalm – a simple article! It is only the tip of the iceberg of the revelation of God hidden in this scripture.

“The LORD is my shepherd…”

After David identifies and establishes that THE Lord that he is referring to in Psalm 23 is the one and only ruler over all creation, he introduces us to the word/name used as the accepted embodiment of the nature of the Lord in the Hebrew language – YHWHYĕhovah, or Jehovah, also transcribed as Yehowah or Yahweh. What do I mean by “word/name used as the accepted embodiment of the nature of the Lord?” Why not just simply say “His name?” Well, I do not believe that any human word, phrase, or utterance is significant or holy enough to truly represent the deity of Almighty God. In fact, some members of the Jewish faith believe that even the word Yahweh is too holy to speak and do not do so even now in modern times.

The fact that we even have words like God, Jehovah, and Jesus to use when referring to the persons of the Holy Trinity is to me an indicator of God’s desire to commune and connect with us on levels that we are able to comprehend. It is evidence of His desire to be known by His people on a deeply personal level, in a language that we understand. It is evidence of His love for us and grace toward us in allowing Himself to be labeled with “names” that we can easily understand and use in order to call upon and access His omnipotence, the vastness of which is far beyond human language.

Because this text is being written in English and because the English language is so heavily influenced by Latin, I will use the Latin translation of YHWH - “Jehovah”- for the purpose of this text.

Jehovah - "the existing One"; the proper name of the one true God.” (Gesenius’ Lexicon)

“The Existing One”
It is important to note the –ing ending on the verb “exist” in this description of Jehovah. We see this ending used frequently in the English language and use it ourselves daily, but let’s look at it a little closer to help us understand its significance here. The ending –ing is used to make the present participle tense of a verb. In the present participle tense, the verb refers to things that are ongoing or still happening.

The use of the present participle in describing Jehovah as “existing” literally means that He is in an ongoing state of existence. There is no point at which He did not or will not exist because He is in an unending state of existing. Yes, He is indeed eternal! God Himself confirms this when speaking to Moses in Exodus 3:14 when He instructs Moses to say that he (Moses) is being sent to free the people of Israel by “I AM.” In the original Hebrew text of the Torah, “I AM” is the word hayah meaning “to exist; to be in existence.” It is also important to note the present tense of the word “am”, proof again that God is always, and has always been, in a present state of existence. Let’s clarify something here: In Exodus 3 we become acquainted with another Hebrew term Elohim, the word for “God” not to be confused with Yĕhovah (Jehovah), the word for the name of God in the Old Testament. To clarify further, Elohim means “God” and Elohim’s name here is Yĕhovah (Jehovah).

This revelation of the eternal existence of Jehovah leads us perfectly to the “is” in “The LORD is my shepherd….” God, through David, lets us know that He (Jehovah) is ever present in our lives. The one and only ruler of all creation who has always been in existence IS currently and presently right here with us! Take a moment to let that sink in. The very one who spoke the words “Let there be” is right there with you right now. The very one who guided Moses in leading the Israelites out of bondage is right there with you right now. A power that has always existed and will always exist is available to you as a believer through Jesus Christ who is I AM made flesh! I AM is with you right now and will be there forever!

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Discovering The Shepherd Commentary Received 5 Stars From Hearts Up Prison Prayer Ministry

Recently I received an amazing review for "Discovering The Shepherd: A Study of Psalm 23" from Victor Johnson of the Hearts Up organization. Hearts Up is committed to praying for inmates in what they consider to be the greatest mission field in America - jails and prisons. This is particularly special to me because my father was also committed to prison ministry until his death in 2005. Thank you Victor for your kind and thorough review! Read what he had to say below.

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"Great devotional insights and word studies on this beautiful psalm of David. I like the cross references to other biblical passages, like relating “a table in the presence of my enemies” to Isaiah 25:6. Ms Johnson’s passion for Jesus outshines any limitations in her interpretations. Like the Groom and Bride–Christ and His Church–inferred from “rod and staff” through the Hebrew meanings and word genders. She may be right on, however. For the Theological Word Book of the OT says of the Hebrew root word for staff, “to lean on something or someone, as on a staff (Ezk 29:7), a spear (2 Sam 1:6), or an arm or hand (2 Kgs 5:18; 7:2, 17). The latter use probably refers to the relationship of a king to his confidant or second in command” (TWOT #2434).

It is common to think of God’s people as His “hands extended,” for the Head functions through His Body (the Church). I always felt uneasy about the overcomers in Rev 2:26-27 “shepherding” (poimaino) the nations with a “rod of iron,” and dashing them “to pieces like the potter’s vessels.” Then I began to understand how it might apply: God uses His Church to show mercy through love and intercessory prayer–our ministry as “a royal priesthood.” This gives Christ the legal basis to bring judgment on the wicked as “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” It’s the rod and staff working together–the staff providing the gentleness of the shepherd, and the rod bringing judgment on His enemies.

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him” (Prv 24:17-18). So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord GOD” (Ez 22:30-31).

A study of intercession, such as Abraham interceding for Lot regarding the coming destruction of Sodom, Moses interceding for Israel preventing God’s destruction of Israel, and other intercessors–Job, Samuel, Daniel, and the prophets, reveals that Christ Jesus “leans on” His people for wisdom (timing–Ecc 8:5-6) in judging them and dealing with their enemies. It is my conviction that the book of Revelation is the outworking of this process as the Lamb/Lion reclaims this fallen planet for Himself and His people–Rev 10:1-11; 12:9-11!

So this nugget of truth from Discovering the Shepherd” is alone worth five stars! Not to mention many other practical applications from the other verses. A wonderful companion to Philip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Lamb, The Lion, And The Angel: Jesus In Genesis 1:2 (Pt. 2)

Preface
In January of 2014 I released my first Bible commentary "Discovering The Shepherd: A Study of Psalm 23." I knew then that one of my greatest passions was to acquaint believers and even non-believers with a deeper understanding of the Bible, the living Word of God. Recently I began working on my next commentary - a look at Genesis 1 and the story of creation. What I discovered was fascinating and rather than delaying the sharing of this information until the manuscript is complete, I decided to share the chapters as I write.

Below is chapter 1, a look at the the 2nd half of verse 2 (Pt. 1). Read previous posts through the links below:
Read about verse 1 HERE
Read about the first half of verse 2 (Pt. 1) HERE
Read about the first half of verse 2 (Pt. 2) HERE
Read about the second half of verse 2 (Pt. 1) HERE

May God bless you with understanding and revelation power through His Holy Spirit as you read. Amen.


Genesis 1, Verse 2 (Pt. 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.

“hovering” – rachaph (Hebrew transliteration) – v. to grow soft; relax

Does it surprise you that after discovering all of the endowments of the Spirit in the previous section, we get to the action part of the verse and there is a dramatic drop in activity? It is almost anticlimactic, but it is accurate according to the Word. Why would such a powerful manifestation of the Spirit of Elohim “grow soft” or “relax”? Let’s look a little further into the definition to find out more.

Gesenius tells us that the softness here happens because the Spirit becomes “moved or affected.” (Gesenius’s Lexicon) Particularly, the Spirit is moved with “the feeling of tender love.” The Lexicon goes on further to say that “the Spirit of God brooded over the shapeless mass of the earth, cherishing and vivifying (i.e. enlivening; animating).” This sort of affection is also found in Deuteronomy 32:11: “As an eagle that protects its nest, that flutters over its young, He spread out His wings and took them, He carried them on His pinions.” For God (Elohim) so loved the world… before it was even formed! The feminine manifestation of His Spirit grew soft in tender love over the face of the waters, but what was this face?

“face” – paniym (Hebrew transliteration) – n. masculine presence; person; face (seraphim/cherubim); face (of animals)

“waters” – mayim (Hebrew transliteration) – n. masculine living water; holy water; a fountain in the tribe of Judah

At this point, I just want to scream “It’s Jesus!!”, but for the sake of the study let’s connect the dots and explain why the face of the waters is Him. In the previous section we found that the face of darkness present on the earth was Lucifer, the fallen one. Here we encounter another masculine person or presence, also manifested as an angel or the face of an animal. This time though, instead of darkness, this presence is characterized as living water, holy water, and a fountain in the tribe of Judah. How do we know this is Jesus? Because of the supporting scriptures. First, we know that Jesus (Yeshua) was the manifest presence of Elohim – the Word of Elohim made flesh – as seen through all four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

However, Yeshua manifested as an angel (the Angel of the Lord) is something you find mostly in the Old Testament. An excellent article on the occurrences of the Angel of the Lord throughout scripture can be found here: https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_26.cfm. It is important to note that the Son person of the Trinity – Yeshua (Jesus) in flesh – is not an angel. The occurrences of the Angel of the Lord were simply times when God (Elohim) in His infinite wisdom manifested a part of Himself in that form. It is possible that a deeper look at one of the occurrences could uncover a greater explanation, but I will not be covering that in this study.

We also know that Yeshua is characterized by animals in scripture, two in particular – the Lamb of God (John 1:29) and the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). In John 4:10, Jesus (Yeshua) says to the woman at the well after asking her to draw him a drink of water, “If you knew [about] God’s gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him[instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life).” It goes without saying that Yeshua was the epitome of holiness so all of these things put together paint a clear picture that He is indeed the face of the waters found in Genesis 1:2.

Again, we encounter a prophetic look into the redemption of mankind. Though the presence of darkness would invade the amazing beauty of God’s creation, the Spirit of God (wisdom) would look upon mankind with great love and send the Son – His only begotten Son – as the redeemer. It would be the face of Jesus (Yeshua) that would blot out the face of evil upon the earth. What we encounter here is the omniscience of Elohim at work as all three persons work in cooperation on behalf of mankind.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**


Monday, April 4, 2016

The Character Of The Holy Spirit: A Look At Genesis 1:2

Preface
In January of 2014 I released my first Bible commentary "Discovering The Shepherd: A Study of Psalm 23." I knew then that one of my greatest passions was to acquaint believers and even non-believers with a deeper understanding of the Bible, the living Word of God. Recently I began working on my next commentary - a look at Genesis 1 and the story of creation. What I discovered was fascinating and rather than delaying the sharing of this information until the manuscript is complete, I decided to share the chapters as I write.

Below is chapter 1, a look at the the 2nd half of verse 2 (Pt. 1). Read previous
Read about verse 1 HERE
Read about the first half of verse 2 (Pt. 1) HERE
Read about the first half of verse 2 (Pt. 2) HERE

May God bless you with understanding and revelation power through His Holy Spirit as you read. Amen.


Genesis 1, Verse 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.

Finally, let’s examine the final phrase of verse 2.

“Spirit” – ruwach (Hebrew transliteration) – n. feminine breath; wind; spirit of the living; spirit of God (Holy Spirit)

In the previous discussion of verse 2, we found that the earth was brought forth empty and in chaos as a prophetic decree of Elohim’s intent to rescue a chaotic world from sin through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Yeshua). Next we found that in the fullness and abundance of God’s creation would dwell the one who fell from heaven – Lucifer, the once beloved angel of light now cast into darkness because he sought to rule over his Creator. In these 2 phrases we now know the condition of the earth and the location of the enemy. The final phrase reveals where the Creator stands in all of this.

In this final phrase we step first into the Spirit, or ruwach, of God (Elohim). Again we find that Elohim has chosen to start with the feminine representation of Himself in characterizing the Spirit who hovered over the face of the waters. This should be no surprise as we discovered in verse 1 His divine blueprint for both supernatural and natural conception to begin with the feminine. The Spirit here follows that pattern. It is defined as the breath, wind, spirit of the living, and spirit of God (Holy Spirit). (Gesenius’s Lexicon)

BREATH; WIND
When thinking of breath, we are most likely to use our own breathing as a reference point. The air that we inhale and exhale would naturally be our mind’s aid in visualizing this concept. However, we must keep the breath here in verse 2 in the context of God – it is His breath that this verse refers to. With that in mind, the breath of God is more like a wind that ranges from a gentle breeze as seen in Genesis 3:8 as He walked through the Garden of Eden to the “blast of God” referred to by Elijah in 1 Kings 18:12. (Gesenius’s Lexicon) This breath is not to be confused with the breath breathed into Adam (which is neshamah not ruwach) nor is it to be thought of as something that originates outside of God as it does for man. (the breathing of air) It is indeed Elohim Himself in His Spirit. This will make more sense as we look at the next definitions.

SPIRIT OF THE LIVING
This definition is of particular significance because it speaks directly to arguments that try to discredit the existence of God or try to diminish His existence in both the natural and supernatural. Mankind often ignores God believing instead in the superiority of our own intellect. Personally, I am always amused when people believe that somehow the greatest minds in history (e.g. Einstein, Newton, etc.) somehow grabbed complex theory out of thin air and created explanations for earthly and atmospheric phenomena with no assistance from the One who actually engineered it all. I am reminded though that many in this same crowd do not actually believe in the existence of God or divine creation so contemplating the role of the Creator in the revelation of information is perhaps a stage they never reach.

However, when looking at this definition of ruwach, we find that the “spirit” of the living here means: the rational mind; the senses, affections, and emotions of various kinds; the mode of thinking and acting in one with a steadfast mind; the will and counsel; and the intellect. (Gesenius’s Lexicon) Yes, the level of intelligence that sets us apart from the other animals on the planet comes from the Spirit of God. This is confirmed in Genesis 1:26 when Elohim says, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness].” Every man, woman, and child is imprinted with the ruwach of Elohim. This revelation certainly sheds new light on the phrase, “I think therefore I AM.”

HOLY SPIRIT
Christians and those familiar with Theology will understand the Holy Spirit to be the third person of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit. An in depth look at the fullness of the Spirit would fill several volumes by itself so it is best if I quote the Lexicon verbatim. It says, “…the divine power which, like the wind and the breath, cannot be perceived; by which animated beings live; by which all the universe is animated, filled with life and governed; by which men are led to live both wisely and honestly.” This gives us a brief overview of the Holy Spirit’s character (wise and honest), His manifest presence (non-corporeal or “unperceived” by the senses), and His authority (He governs the universe).

Gesenius goes on to explain that the ruwach manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament actually includes more characteristics than we may know and understand. He says, “Especially the Old Testament refers to the divine Spirit, peculiar endowments of mind, as that of an artificer (i.e. a skilled craftsman or inventor); of a prophet; of an interpreter of dreams; also the courage of a military leader; kingly virtues.” (Gesenius’s Lexicon)

So, in this Old Testament manifestation of the Holy Spirit we find wisdom, honesty, a presence that is unperceived by the five senses, authority to govern and command the universe, a peculiar mind with the ability to craft or invent, the gifts of prophecy and dream interpretation, the courage of a military leader, and the virtues of a king. Combined with the other two definitions we find that the Spirit is also endowed with a rational mind, senses, affections, and emotions of various kinds, the ability to think and act with a steadfast mind and intellect. Finally, the Spirit is endowed with power to be as a gentle breeze or as a blast of God. Amazing! This is the feminine manifestation of the Spirit of Elohim poised to move upon the face of the waters in the final part of verse 2.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**

Saturday, April 2, 2016

It's A Fact: Lucifer Can Never Win - The Truth of Genesis 1:2 (Pt. 2)

Preface
In January of 2014 I released my first Bible commentary "Discovering The Shepherd: A Study of Psalm 23." I knew then that one of my greatest passions was to acquaint believers and even non-believers with a deeper understanding of the Bible, the living Word of God. Recently I began working on my next commentary - a look at Genesis 1 and the story of creation. What I discovered was fascinating and rather than delaying the sharing of this information until the manuscript is complete, I decided to share the chapters as I write.


Below is chapter 1, a look at the 2nd half of verse 2. (Read about verse 1 HERE & the first half of verse 2 HERE) May God bless you with understanding and revelation power through His Holy Spirit as you read. Amen.


Genesis 1, Verse 2 (Part 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.”

In the next part of verse 2, we take a deeper look at the earth.

“darkness” – chosek (Hebrew transliteration) – n. masculine darkness; secret place.

We established in the previous chapter that the earth was brought forth empty and in chaos as a prophetic decree of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We now move forward to find that “darkness was on the face of the deep.” To understand this part of the verse, we must first look at the “darkness” here. According to Gesenius’s Lexicon, it refers to “a secret place” or “an underground prison” filled with “treasures of darkness.”

What exactly are the “treasures” of darkness? Well, let us first take a look at the treasures of heaven. In Colossians 2:2-3, the Apostle Paul tells us that the riches of heaven are the “wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God]” hidden in Christ himself. Knowing then that if Christ is the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), the darkness of earth would treasure the exact opposite of what God defines as treasure. That is, rather than wisdom and knowledge regarding the Word of God and His purposes, darkness would treasure and thrive in the ignorance and the absence of the wisdom of the Word. This is why Proverbs 4:7 instructs believers that "The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]! And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]." (AMP)

“face” – paniym (Hebrew transliteration) – n. masculine presence; person; face (seraphim/cherubim); face (of animals)

Let us link what we just uncovered to this next discovery - “And darkness was on the face of the deep…” with what we have revealed so far could read “And the ignorance (lack of knowledge) and the absence of the wisdom of God (Elohim) was on the face of the deep….” Face here comes from the Hebrew word paniym meaning presence, person, face of a seraphim/cherubim or face of an animal. Pause here and let us look at the next key point before we pull it all together.

“deep” – tehowm (Hebrew transliteration) – n. masculine/feminine a great quantity of waters

Now that we have defined the key words in this portion of the scripture, let us put them together to reveal a full picture of what is being said: “And darkness was on the face of the deep…” becomes “And the ignorance (lack of knowledge) and the absence of the wisdom of God (Elohim) was in the person/presence of the seraphim/cherubim/animal who hovered over a great quantity of waters.” Wow! There’s a lot there to discuss, but follow me as we walk through it. We will need to start at the end and work our way backward.

The “great quantity of waters” mentioned here comes from the word tehowm, a word also found in Deuteronomy 8:7:

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat bread without shortage, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.” (AMP)

A good land. A land of brooks of water. Vines, fig trees, pomegranates. Olive oil and honey… Sound familiar? YES, it sounds like EDEN! You can see this clearly if you read through Genesis 1 and take note of its account of the things that God filled the Garden with. Although He had yet to create man in Adam or woman in Eve in verse 2, God already had a vision in mind for how He intended His Creation to function – in an abundance of every good thing created by His hand alone. As we keep going though, we will find that the presence of the seraphim/cherubim/animal who lacked the knowledge and wisdom of Elohim would be present in the deep, something that God also foreknew.

Let us take a look at this “face of darkness” that dwelled in the fullness of God’s garden. For those who are already familiar with the Word of God, the identity of this being should already be very obvious. Seraphim/Cherubim – or angel – who lacked the knowledge and wisdom of God (Elohim) – this is clearly Lucifer, the one who fell from Heaven. How do we know this? Well, we will start with the origins of this creature.

Perhaps one of the most profound revelations of Lucifer is found at the "All About God" website:

“In the Hebrew, the name Lucifer is translated from the Hebrew word heylel which means “brightness.” This designation, referring to Lucifer, is the rendering of the "morning star" or "star of the morning" or "bright star" which is presented in Isaiah. "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:12-14) The context of this passage is a referral to the king of Babylon as presented in his pride, splendor and fall. However, it is to the power behind the evil Babylonian king that this is actually addressed. No mortal king would claim that his throne was above that of God or that he was like the Most High. The power behind the evil Babylonian king is Lucifer, Son of the Morning.” (http://www.allaboutgod.com/story-of-lucifer.htm, 2012-2015)

Indeed, Lucifer was originally a creature of light who was cast out of heaven because he sought to become greater than Elohim the Creator. But without both the knowledge of Elohim and the wisdom of Elohim, how would this be possible? The answer is simple – it would never be possible. How does one who is created become greater than the Creator? He does not. Consider a vessel set on a potter’s wheel – does it have a say in what it will become? Does it have a say, after it is formed, whether the Master who shaped it will be satisfied with its form? I declare to you that if a vessel fulfills the purpose for which it is created, it will become the pride of the Creator in that it is obedient to its form. However, a vessel that seeks to be more than what it was created to be - to hold more than it was designed to hold - will surely burst, rendering itself unable to hold the substance it was originally designed to hold.

This was the plight of Lucifer – a once loved vessel of light created by God (Elohim) – cast out of Heaven because he sought to be more than what he was created to be, to elevate himself above the will of the Creator. Jesus recounts this to His disciples in Luke 10:18 when He tells them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like [a flash of] lightning.” He was the fallen presence, now stripped of his brilliance and cast into darkness, that dwelt in God’s garden. However, when we look forward to the final part of verse 2 we find a most encouraging word – the Spirit of the Living God hovers over both the face of the deep (Lucifer) and the waters! ELOHIM sits higher than ALL.

**Have questions or comments? E-mail me at gejohnsonmedia@gmail.com or leave them in the comment section below. Discussion is welcome!**