ANOTHER COFFEE BREAK: A NEW ONOMA, Part 2
Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning!
Got your coffee poured yet this morning? Come and join me. I've got some really dark roasted coffee that I picked up from Kaladi Brothers in Anchorage. Alaskans know what I'm talking about. Years ago I used to drive down the Seward Highway in Anchorage in the wee hours of the morning, and when you went past their place, you could smell the coffee roasting in their roasters. Fact is, you could smell it for blocks either way. That's a tantalizing odor, folks! Anyway, I brought some of it back with me to Sunnyside, and that's what I'm enjoying as I write this piece.
Let's begin our discussion today with a prophetic word in Revelation:
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name (onoma) of my God, and the name (onoma) of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name (onoma)!" (Revelation 3:12 KJV)
This prophetic word is -- in my personal opinion -- one of the least understood and most profound promises ever made to God's people -- and especially those who have pressed in spiritually for the complete and total transformation that comes in the midst of an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Without getting ahead of myself too much in this overall discussion, let me just say that this is a prophecy and promise of total transformation into the character, the personality, the very makeup of the Lord Himself -- His very onoma, if you please -- and it comes as a product of our overcoming. Nothing about this promise is automatic for anyone. There is an ongoing process of overcoming the enemies of God who have pitted themselves against us with the objective of spoiling the plans and purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As already noted in the previous Coffee Break, I did a series titled, Seven Nations, Seven Letters, in which I detailed the principal areas of overcoming described in the seven letters to the Ekklesia in Revelation 2 and 3. That's not what this series is about, however. My objective with this discussion is to share what Holy Spirit's objective is in changing and transforming us into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ as He prepares us for His return. (The archives at our new website (http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com) have yet to be updated for access to the older Coffee Breaks, but if you want to read the series on the Seven Letters, you can simply send me an email and I'll forward it on to you.)
Let me pick up with where we left off in the last Coffee Break in our discussion of the Seven Spirits of God.
In Revelation 4:5, John writes, "Out of the throne proceeded lightnings, and thunders, and sounds; and seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." Now he illustrates a very basic part of the nature and makeup of the Lord in the picture of these lamps of fire, and I will deal with this as we go forward with this discussion.
In case you think that I'm really stretching a point to say that the seven Spirits of God comprise the onoma of Jesus Christ, read on.
John makes his fourth reference to these seven Spirits of God in Revelation 5:6, where he says, "And I saw and beheld in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing as having been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God which have been sent into all the earth." Finally, John makes clear that the Lamb which was slain (whom they all knew to be Jesus Christ) was He in whom consisted the Seven Spirits of God.
I won't take the time in this discussion to deal with all of these metaphors since they are peripheral to that which the Holy Spirit is saying concerning the new onoma. It is important, however, to identify these seven Spirits. They appear throughout the Scriptures from beginning to end, and I will list them in the order of their appearance in the way they are specifically identified:
1. The Spirit of Judgment and Burning (Isaiah 4:4)
2. The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding (Isaiah 11:2)
3. The Spirit of Counsel and Might (Isaiah 11:2) -- referred to by the apostle Paul as: The Spirit of Power
4. The Spirit of Knowledge and of The Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2) also referred to by Paul as: The Spirit of a Sound Mind
5. The Spirit of Grace and Supplications (Zechariah 12:10)
6. The Spirit of Truth (see John 15:26)
7. The Spirit of Glory (see I Peter 4:14)
Before we get into any depth in discussing these seven Spirits, it is important to understand the framework which encompasses them. John -- in his first general epistle to the Ekklesias at large -- wrote the following, "Beloved, we should love (agape) one another, because love (agape) is of God; and everyone who loves (with agape) has been begotten of God and knows God. He who does not love (with agape) does not know God, because God is love (agape) ......... And we have known and have believed the love (agape) which God has toward us. God is love (agape), and he that abides in love (agape) abides in God, and God abides in him." (See I John 4:7-8, 16)
Twice he makes the statement that "God is love:" more specifically, that He is agape. The seven Spirits of God, therefore, operate within the framework of agape. The sum of these seven Spirits is agape.
Agape is a dimension of love which has been often taught and preached throughout the Body of Christ, and -- unfortunately -- rarely understood. There is nothing mushy, gushy, sloppy, or emotional about agape. Yet it evokes emotions in a powerful way. For years I have heard it taught as "commitment," or "a decision of the will." That is about as sad and tragic a definition as has ever been contrived! While the will is incorporated in the act of loving, agape goes far beyond cold logic and/or some impersonal sense of duty or commitment wrapped up in "a decision of the will."
This is a word which derived its origins in the work of the Septuagint translators who sought for a means in Greek language structure which would appropriately define the love-relationship described in the Song of Solomon. Agape, and its companion verb, agapao, were coined by the translators to define a limitless love which followed neither logic, nor emotion (as seen in the more common Greek word, phileo), but predicated its existence entirely on the basis of that which was best for the recipient.
The Greek scholars, Lachmann and Tregelles, after much research into the historical usage of this word, defined agape as: Love going forth from one's whole being and taking up its abode within another as though they were one being. One of the best definitions given is that of the scholar and Hebrew exegete, Gesenius: To prize someone so highly as to be virtually unwilling to give them up for any price -- no matter what the cost.
Agape is not a romantic love, yet it transcends all romance. It is not based in human relationship, yet it encompasses and rises above human relationship. It grips one’s being with a power which belies the love and tenderness which exist at its core.
The more one attempts to define agape in human terms, the harder it becomes. Agape transcends normal human emotions and abilities. It defies human logic and loves, even when that love is not reciprocated. Hence, Jesus made the statement to Nicodemus (who was trying to understand the whole concept of spiritual regeneration), "For God so loved (agape) the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but shall have life eternal." (John 3:16)
Agape takes on a revolutionary dimension and perspective, however, when we realize that it encompasses the aforementioned seven Spirits of God. Consider agape within the confines of "Judgment and Burning." Then "Counsel and Might." O.K? Have you ever perceived agape as the "Spirit of Power?"
Obviously, these are not concepts or perspectives which are normally considered. In my roughly seventy years of knowing and walking with the Lord, I don’t believe I have ever heard anyone teach on agape with this perspective, or incorporating these concepts.
This is the love of our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, for His Bride! It is elemental and central to His onoma. It is imperative, therefore, that we understand His onoma.
The whole thought of "judgment" is usually seen within the context of executing punishment upon evildoers. Doomsayers, who fear "The Great Tribulation," see judgment as doom and gloom. That is a perspective warped by the lack of a genuine agape, love-relationship with Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Judgment and Burning can, and may indeed, bring cataclysmic woes to those who play at religion and church, but it is actually defined as: setting things right for, and on the behalf of, those in union with Jesus Christ.
This is primary to Jesus' onoma. Judgment must be executed upon Satan. There is a day of everlasting torment and burning in store for him. Those who choose, by an act of their will, to agree with Satan's position must -- of necessity -- suffer his judgment. That doesn't mean that Jesus just jumps up and down for joy over the prospect of executing judgment upon those who reject Him. Peter wrote that "The Lord is ........ not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9)
That word, "willing," in the original Greek text is boulomai.
Before I continue, let me digress momentarily.
The context of this word, boulomai, appears within the framework of “desire.” Jesus’ mind and will are not framed in such a way as to purpose destruction (from some place of revenge) on all who do not know Him. Rather, His heart’s desire is to see “all” avoid the sentence of death which came upon the human race through partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He yearns for a people who will repent of their partaking of the Tree of Knowledge, who will repent of their giving in to the desires of the flesh, who will repent of their association and agreement with Satan, and every lying spirit which is a part of his onoma.
(All evil spirits, incidentally, are lying spirits. Every spirit of fear is a lying spirit. Every spirit of anger and rebellion is a lying spirit. Every spirit of witchcraft, control and manipulation is a lying spirit. Every spirit of fornication, adultery, and sexual deviancy is a lying spirit.) When we listen to, and follow the suggestions, the inducements, the seduction, or the impelling commands of any demonic spirits (or our flesh), we place ourselves in a place of agreement with Satan – and, co-incidentally, in opposition to Jesus Christ. This causes us to miss the mark or the target God has set before us, to err, hence to “sin.”
The Greek word used throughout the New Testament for “sin” is hamartia. This is an archery term taken from the ancient Greek Olympics which means to: miss the mark; to go wide of the target. The metaphorical context of its usage is this: we are the arrow shot from the bow. We have been sent towards a target. If we bend or twist in flight, we veer away from the target and miss the mark. Hence, we err. Applying this metaphor to our relationship, the target towards which we have been sent is a place of intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
To miss that mark is to miss His objective for us. While an arrow, in the natural sense, has no will or mind of its own to determine its course, it does – by virtue of its makeup – have its own individual quirks (e.g., the wood may be slightly cross-grain; there may be a weakness in one section which causes it to warp slightly when in flight; there are a host of other oddities which can cause an arrow to miss its mark, no matter how true the original aim and course of the marksman). We, on the other hand, have the ability to choose while in flight to remain true to the set course, or deviate from that course through our agreement or participation with Satan and his wicked spirits, or yielding to the flesh which resists the forces of the winds buffeting us in mid-flight. Hence, hamartia. Hence, error.
We have been raised with the notion that judgment is only something which addresses gross misdeeds – that judgment is not for the believer in Christ. In actual fact, we must be the recipients of judgment. There must be correction brought about for “missing the mark,” else we will never rise to the place of adornment for the Lord; and – more than that – He will never have a Bride who is His co-equal counterpart.
Repentance, therefore -- from Jesus’ viewpoint – begins with coming to a place of agreement (in the Spirit – not simply intellectually) with Him in knowing we have missed the mark and the objective He has set for us; and then submitting our will to His direction and purpose. Repentance is a turning from eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Repentance is renouncing our place (or places) of agreement with Satan, his spirits, and our flesh.
O.K? Pardon the digression, but it seems an appropriate aside to our overall discussion on the onoma of the Lord. To be transformed into His onoma absolutely requires the kind of repentance just described.
"Burning" is also something we seem to shy away from like "The Plague." However, it too is integral to Jesus' onoma. In Isaiah 4:4, where Isaiah first refers to the "Spirit of Judgment and Burning," the word used in the Hebrew text is ba.ar which is translated, To kindle and consume with fire; to exterminate. Thus we are given a picture of the character of this Spirit -- this part of Jesus' onoma -- in the execution of His righteous judgment upon those enemies of the Lord who take up a stance against His Beloved, and the extermination of all those wicked spirits who rise up against His Bride.
There is an unusual picture of those enemies in David's cry (Psalm 139:19-24 KJV), "Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, Oh God: depart from me, therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, Oh Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Do you see the intent of David's prayer? He clearly recognizes that the real enemies of the Lord are within one's own being -- that those who rise up against God are wicked spirits whose entire being exists for the sole reason to speak against the Lord and His purposes. His prayer, therefore, is, "Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked path, or course of direction in me...." (the use of the Hebrew word, de.rek, for "way" actually is meant for a path, a course of action, a course of direction.) David’s concern was that the Lord reveal any of those "wicked" hiding within his character, his makeup, or his thoughts.
I can see that I'm not even close to finishing this discussion on the Spirit of Judgment and Burning as a part of Jesus' onoma, so let me stop here and we will take this up the next time.
See you soon!
Blessings on you!
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