To share in God’s holiness is God’s ultimate goal for mankind. When He gave us His Son to be sacrificed on the cross, He confirmed His goal by let Him pay the ultimate price with His own life. Therefore, apart from YAHSHUA’S sacrifice, man can never share in God’s holiness. His death opens the way for the process of sanctification into God’s holiness. God’s plan of salvation involved the Trinity- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Peter’s letter confirms it: Peter, an apostle of YAHSHUA Messiah, to the elect exiles of the dispersion scattered abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who we chosen and foreknown by God the Father and consecrated (sanctified, made holy) by the Spirit to be obedient to YASHSUA the Messiah, and to be sprinkled with His blood may grace and peace be given you in increasing abundance. (I Peter 1:1-3). Here we see that God the Father was the Master planner of it, YAHSHUA His Son performed the plan, and the Holy Spirit took His position as the Counselor, the Helper, the Comforter the Advocate, the Intercessor when YAHSHUA ascended to heaven. He is here to continue the work YAHSHUA started. And that is of sanctification, among many other plans. YAHSHUA said, When He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness; He will guide you into all the Truth. The process of sanctification is that of molding the lives of those who are born again. Romans 8:29 says, For those whom He foreknew, He also destined from the beginning to be molded into the image of His Son, that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. When God breaks and molds the clay, He is doing the work of sanctification. Correction and discipline of God’s children are the ways in which the process achieve sanctification. My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; for the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not train and corrects and discipline? (Heb. 12:5b-7). When we reject God’s correction, we are positioning ourselves to be outside of His plan of sanctification. The in-result will be that we will not see God; and hear the hard words, “I never knew you, depart from Me.”
Monumental for YAHSHUA was the age of thirty, because it was when the reason and reality of His coming into this world started to take shape in the eyes of the people. He was revealed to John the Baptist as the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world, when he came to him to be baptized. John testified by saying, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world; this is He of Whom I said, after me comes a Man Who has priority over me, because He was before me and existed before me; and I did not know Him and did not recognize Him; but it is in order that He should be made manifest and be revealed to Israel, that I came baptizing in water; He gave further evidence saying, I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven and it dwelt on Him. He Who sent me to baptize in water said to me, Upon Him Whom you shall see the Spirit descend and remain, that One is He Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit; I have seen and my testimony is that this is the Son of God! (John 1:29-35).
John’s testimony leaves no doubt in our minds Who YAHSHUA was. Obscure to many, the truth was clearly revealed to the world, and in particular to Israel: “The Son of God, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” Powerful words that shone the light for all to see and receive YAHSHUA as the Messiah- the Savior, the Redeemer. He was then thirty years old, entering the time that would change the hearts of many, when seeing the evidences of Whom He was by miracles performed before all to see. He was until then, the Son of Mary- His human connection. She allowed God to use her for the purpose to bring His Son into the world, and for a time, she would shine as an important part in His life. But the time came when He had to disconnect Himself from the human connection and follow His heavenly Father’s purpose, for which He had come into the world. At the wedding at Cana of Galilee, when they lacked wine, and His mother told Him about it, His response was one that sealed His position between them. Not in a disrespected term did He addressed her as “woman, what is that to you and to Me”? [What have we in common? Leave it to me.] My time has not yet come. In response, His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it (John 2:4-5). By saying that, Mary surrenders her position of earthly authority of a mother. She realizes that aspect of her role, had come to an end. He enters into a new phase to perform that which He came to do, and under the authority of His heavenly Father. No longer was He identified as her Son, but the Son of God. An agreement happened that day between the two of them, that Mary’s role of a mother in every sense of the world had been finished. To prove that, one day when He was very busy, healing all who had come to Him, with no time to eat, His mother and brother concerned for Him, came looking for Him. Hearing that, He said, Who is My mother and who is My brothers? And stretching out His hand toward [not only the twelve disciples but all] His adherents, He said, Here are My mother and My brothers; for whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother! (Luke 12:47-50)
This phrase confirms the credibility of the pronoun Whom. It is essentially good for one to know the source in whom he puts his trust and reliance. Faith in money or positions seemly stable, faith in politicians representing government is to be up for big surprises. Putting faith in anything pertaining to what the world offers is without a doubt, foolish and disappointing. History frequently shows us humanity’s failure in delivering the promise. In the political world, they come with promises and they leave without fulfilling them. Job positions are relevant only upon success one has achieved. It is all circumstantial and transitory, together with what we as humans are. Friends often betray each other’s confidence and the bridge of relationship destroyed. Even the closest to us, as in family, has failed many times causing family to break up. Where then can one go to find the assurance and the certainty he is looking for? The Apostle Paul gives us the sure answer that will never frustrates, neither fails us. In His words, “For I know Whom I have believed,” with these words, he establishes a firm foundation and pillars that will not collapse our faith and belief in time of trials. Amidst Paul’s suffering persecution for the Gospel, he never gave up, because he knew Whom he had believed. I know He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed until that day (II Tim. 1: 12). Faith is not blind; it does not walk with a stick for guidance; it is not ignorant. Instead, Faith is knowing, although not seeing, it is sure, although not touching. Faith is hope, it is proof of things we do not see, it is the assurance of their reality; faith perceives as real of things not yet revealed. Believing in God it is for knowing Him; it for having a relationship with Him. It is to disregard everyone else and everything else in order to embrace His words of promises, especially in our most trying times. “Be still and know that I am God!” The stillness of the soul rests on Him Who can calm the storm and rage of the sea. He rushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still (Ps. 107: 29). That’s our only true God. In Him we can put our trust in confidence. “I believed; therefore, I have spoken.” Words from the Psalmist, who after great time of suffering anguish and grief, said, Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as a Live; the cords and sorrows of death were around me, and the terrors of Sheol had laid hold of me; I suffered anguish and grief; then I called upon the name of the Lord, O Lord, I beseech You, save my life and deliver me! I believed, and therefore Have I spoken (Ps. 116:3-4.10).
When we see a lion roaming around, we come to the realization that he is, without a doubt, the king of the beasts, for his powerful appearance and uncompromisingly strength. None will escape his attack in the strength that he displays to bring its victim down. It is heartbreaking to watch the killing taking place, though. Fear of him is spread all around at the sound of his roaring heard five miles away. In a frightening moment at the dark of the night, one experiences the hair standing up in a chill of death. But that roaring is only expressing his right to the prey he is killing. The success he utters is not for sharing of the meal, but to warn all to stay away. Who cannot help but to feel the vibration of fear all over the spine at his roaring? Running a short distance at 50 mph, no one can escape his pursuit. Majestic and intimidating, the lion stands tall and non-afraid. Although, many of their care givers lost their lives at their claws and mouth, the lion has shown undisputable love toward their owners even when apart from them many years through their affection demonstrated to them. It is hard to believe how he can be so loving and at the same time so ferocious!
YAHSHUA , the “Lion of Judah” came from the tribe of Judah, the most privileged tribe of all the twelve tribes, because it was through this tribe that God chose to send His Son to the world. Therefore, it is through this tribe that the world has been blessed according to the blessing God promised Abraham at the ranges of Mount Moriah after testing him. Judah’s name means praise or thanksgiving. Although, Judah was not an ideal moral man, God’s sovereign purpose was accomplished through his descendants. In Genesis 49:8-10 Jacob, before he died, prophesized to all his sons, and of Judah he said, Judah, you are the one whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down to you; Judah, a lion’s cub! With the prey, my son, you have gone high up. He stooped down, he crouched like a lion, and like a lioness who dares provoke and rouse him? The scepter or leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff between his feet, until Shiloh comes to Whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Jacob’s words echoed through the years and will continue to the day when YAHSHUA, the Lion from the tribe of Judah will come to reign and through Him the prophecy will be completely fulfilled. His voice is compared to the roar of a lion, powerful in times of His judgment. Amos 1:2 says, Jehovah roars out of Zion and He utters His voice from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the head of Carmel withers. We see in the prophetic words of the Prophet Amos confirming and warning the people of the seriousness of God’s judgment. The lion hath roared; who will not fear? The Lord Jehovah hath spoken; who can but prophesy? (Amos 3:8). Even nature in its frailty recognizes the voice of God! There is much to ponder at the sound of the Lord’s roaring. As nature trembles at the sound of His voice, men must realize the tone of judgment in God’s voice and mend his ways.
(I John 5:14-17)
Confidence is the anchor that leads one to success. The winds of life will not overcome it, because it is based not on the tangible, but on the assurance of one’s belief. Confidence is a result of faith, believing in the unseen, when many cannot see. Confidence demands assurance to sustain it; they walk hand in hand; One cannot be confident without being sure. Paul assured the Philippians His confidence on God’s ability to finish the work He started in them, saying: I am confident of this very thing- that He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Messiah YAHSHUA (Phil. 1:6). When God saves the sinner, He starts the work of sanctification, a process before glorification. Confident on God’s work, we Christians are sure in the midst of our trials, that He is performing the work of sanctification, for the Bible tells us that He has given us the Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7b). Paul, in his assurance of faith, suffered much persecution, confidently of God’s plan for his life. Writing to Timothy, he said, for this [Gospel] I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher of the gentile. And this is why I am suffering as I do. Still, I am not ashamed, for I know Him Whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day (II Tim. 1:11-12). For the believer to have spiritual confidence in the promises of God, and assurance of His love, he must know Him through a relationship with Him.
The beautiful relationship between God and man before sin entered into the Garden of Eden, was perfect and pure, for He had made man in His likeness -the only creation to have been created in the likeness of God Himself. He and not the animals could have a relationship with God in the level of understanding and through reasoning he could communicate with God. But Satan had to interfere by planting sin in the hearts of Eve and Adam. The Bible says when men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose…. There were giants on the earth in those days- and also afterward- when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them…. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and the that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually… So the Lord said, I will destroy. Blot out and wipe away mankind from the face of the ground, whom I have created. Not only men, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air- for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them (Gen. 6: 1-7).