Tag Archives: power

Matthew 28 – The End Begins

Part 1 of all of time and life has ended.  Part 2 now begins.  Christ has risen.  He has risen indeed.  This is an interesting rendition of this his-story.  It is short and sweet.  It hits the highlights of the main story.  It tells of the reactions of the guards and the religious leaders, and it tells of the directions given to the disciples.

It’s at these directions that i want to dwell.  I learned something a long time ago.  It is something that has changed my outlook on this great commission.  It’s may not be super deep and life redefining, but it is an interesting revelation none-the-less.

First off, I love how Christ starts this.  It is classic YHWH.  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  (You) Go therefore…”  It’s just like when God spoke to Moses, “I am going to free My people Israel… now you go and tell Pharaoh to let My people go!”  YHWH says He is going to do it, then He tells us to.  It’s great!

My big note relates to vs 19-20.  Jesus tells the disciples to go and make disciples… baptizing in the name of the Father and of the the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…  Yet, when you look at the scriptures talking about the disciples baptizing in Acts, these are the statements you get (2:38) Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  (8:14-16) Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Nowhere else does it give an account of what is said during the baptism.

What you notice here is that there is nowhere in these or any other accounts in which it is said that they baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  In the accounts of water baptism the people are baptized in the name of Jesus, the Christ.  Yet when we baptize, WE say, “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  Why?  Because in the book of Matthew, Christ tells us to.  But, isn’t that what He told the disciples as well?  Is there something we’re missing here or was it something the disciples were neglecting?

The more I’ve studied this, the more I’m convinced that we’re missing something here.  For instance, no where in the great commission does it say anything about coming to God in repentance, or even to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s not there.  But when you do look at what the disciples did, there was more to the story than just water baptism.  Acts 2:38 says, “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”  There are three parts to this.  1) Repent  2) Water baptism in the name of Jesus, and 3) Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  So how are these connected to being baptized in the name of…

In order to understand that, you have to understand what baptism is.  Baptism is in essence the representation of a death, a burial, and a resurrection (what Christ did for us).  In water baptism you “die” are “buried” in the water (hence not sprinkled), and are “resurrected again into new life.  When we are water baptized it is a physical representation of what, that we have already done?  It is a physical representation of our repentance… 1) death of self 2) burial in God / YHWH’s grace, and 3) resurrection as a new man.  Thus repentance is a baptism.  Water baptism is an outward baptism expressing what we have already done in our heart, and baptism in the Holy Spirit is a baptism of the Holy Spirit’s power.  Thus it is baptism in the name (name represents power) of the Father (repentance) and of the Son (water baptism), and the Holy Spirit (the HS’s empowerment for the building up of the saints for the work of service).

So what does this mean for us?

 

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Leviticus 4 – Guilt Offering

I find it interesting that the chapter on the peace (or thanksgiving) offering immediately precedes the unintentional sin (or guilt) offering.  It almost seems like the priority is the peace offering, and as a counter to that, we have the guilt offering.  I don’t know how much significance there is in this, but i’m sure someone can make it very significant.

The chapter is split up into four sections.  The first talks about the offering that is required if the priest sins unintentionally.  Secondly, is the offering that is required for when the congregation as a whole sins unintentionally.  In that case the leaders are responsible and they are the ones that lay their hands on the head of the bull as it is sacrificed.  The leaders are responsible for the actions of the people.  The third sacrifice is the sacrifice when a leader sins unintentionally.  He has a greater responsibility thus his sacrifice is separate from those of the common people.  Then finally, the sacrifice for the common people.  Each sacrifice is different in type or sex of the animal.

It’s very significant to me that the sacrifice for the leaders of the congregation is different and of greater value than the common people.  It says so much about the expectations and demands placed on the leaders.  Being a leader is a double edged sword.  It means you have more authority and power, but it also means that you hold more responsibility, including responsibility for the actions of those you are leading.  That is a common theme throughout the Bible.  When the people go astray, the leaders are to blame.  Do our leaders live up to those expectations?  Do we?

Do we take sin seriously?  God does!  Do we even bring our intentional sins before YHWH in repentance, or do we just brush them aside?  Even if we do that, do we bring our unintentional sins to Him as well?  Even for those who are willing to say “yes”  about the first (intentional sins), chances are we don’t say “yes” in response to the second (unintentional).  I know i tend not to even bring my intentional sins to Him, let alone my unintentional.  That is something that needs to change.

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Exodus 33 – Presence

Blessed be the name of the LORD Most High.

We go from an intense and troubling chapter 32 to an intense and glorifying chapter 33.  Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride.  The people had had no direction and were casting off restraint.  Now Moses is there and everything has changed.  Moses set up the tent of meeting outside of the camp, and anyone who sought the LORD could go there.  Meanwhile Moses and Joshua would enter the tent of meeting and meet with YHWH while His glory rested in the entrance.  Meanwhile, the people would stand in the entrance of their tents and worship.

Talk about an amazing experience!  Imagine being there!  The presence of God on that place day after day after day.  One of the things that i especially love about this chapter is vs. 11; “Thus the LORD (YHWH) used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.  When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”  Moses spoke to YHWH face-to-face.  The relationship between Moses and God was such that they could talk and discuss things with each other as any good friends could.  Wow!  What a concept!

Meanwhile, as Moses left the tent of meeting to go about his daily work, Joshua, his servant, would stay in God’s presence.  If anyone wants to know how to be a true leader in God’s kingdom and in the world, He has but to follow Joshua’s lead.  He needs to spend time in the presence of the Holy God.

There is so much depth and power in this chapter.  I have only touched on a couple of the key ideas and principles, and i would greatly recommend that you take at least a few days to really read and attempt to process and understand this chapter.  It has to potential to change your world.

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Genesis 32 – Coming Home

Wow, can Jacob never get a rest?  He is chased down by Laban and has to contend with him.  He overcomes Laban, continues travelling home, and after sending his servant ahead of him to let his brother know that he is coming and to scout out the situation; he finds out that his brother is coming to meet him with a mob of 400 men!

So Jacob wisely does some damage control.  He knows that Esau’s contention is with him, so he places some distance between himself and the majority of his belongings and family.  I have always seen this as a buffer of protection for Jacob.  Esau has to go through all of these things in order to get to Jacob.  Even if Esau destroys all of this other stuff, it gives Jacob a chance to run away, or for Esau’s anger to abate before he reaches Jacob.

However, this buffer is also for the protection of his family and property.  By separating the people and things from the source of the anger, the desire for vengeance is less likely to become focused on the things and family.  Also, the realization that Jacob has been so blessed by God that it becomes obvious that it is not in the best interest to attack what God is blessing.

The gift of goats, sheep, milking camels, cows, and donkeys doesn’t hurt the anger appeasement situation either.

However, the wrestling is far from over.  Jacob has one more wrestling match to go through before he faces off with his future and destiny.  Jacob has to wrestle with God!  I love this passage!  I don’t necessarily understand it, but i love it!  First off; how does a man wrestle with God?  How is that even possible?  Jacob can’t be stronger than God any more than we could pick up and carry a mountain.  Yet there it is.  He wrestled with God throughout the night.  He doesn’t beat God, but he succeeds in wrestling until morning?  Then he asks for a blessing on top of that!  I don’t understand how any of that works or is possible, but i also know that the Word is inerrant, so it must work somehow.  So what does Jacob get?  He gets a new name.  Jacob is now Israel.

What about you and i?  Do we wrestle with God?  Do we come face to face with God and wrestle with Him then ask Him for a blessing?  Do we even seek Him out?  When we do wrestle with Him, do we find that our reward is what we expect?  Or are we under estimating the power of words: the power of a name?

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Genesis 27 – Influence

Sorry i missed the day yesterday, in the coming days and weeks i may miss a day or two in a row due to other things going on, but i should be back on track fully after that.

As i went into this chapter, i began to realize that Isaac’s story is much shorter.  It seems like i only just started with him, and already he is an old man and Jacob’s story is beginning.  Jacob’s name means “supplanter”, and here is where he, with the help and encouragement of his mother, really sees the fruition of that name.  The name given to him almost seems as if it becomes his life motto / purpose.  It’s funny, because a couple of days ago my friend (and teacher) Fount Shults posted a note on facebook about Death and Life in the Tongue and how what we say has power / influence.

It’s interesting to see the dynamic here between Isaac and his wife Rebekah.  Isaac loved Esau and wanted him to be blessed over everyone around him.  Rebekah however, favored Jacob.  Isaac’s plan was for Esau to gain the honor and blessing, but God had other plans that Isaac was either not aware of, or had ignored.  Either way, his plans were not God’s.  Back in chapter 25, before the children were born, Rebekah inquired of the LORD about them, and God told her that the younger would be greater, and the older would serve him.  Isaac’s plan was the opposite of this.  You can see from the chapter that Issac had planned to bless Esau so that Esau would be master over all.  He had not planned to reserve any blessing for Jacob at all.  That obviously backfired so Jacob got it all.

What about us?  Do we fail to check in with God about the plans and blessings we make?  Are we so set in what we want that we fail to recognize that that may not be what God is planning to do?  I know that i have.  I also know that that can lead to some very difficult situations down the road.

One last thing that i wanted to note from going through this chapter today.  It’s something that i don’t think i realized before.  Rebekah said that she was sending Jacob to her brother Laban’s, and that when Esau’s anger had subsided, she would send for him to come back.  We never hear of this happening.  As far as we know, Rebekah never sent word to Jacob to return.  When he came back he was unsure of Esau’s intent towards him.

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