When Joy Cannot be Found

“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”  (Isa. 12:3)

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

Over two thousand years ago the angel announced that God was going to bring great joy to all people through the birth of His Son Jesus Christ. Everyone since then who has accepted Christ into their hearts knows that this promise has been kept.

However, we seldom see this joy in the believer’s life on a daily basis. That genuine joy that was experienced upon salvation often gives way to something less. Many times what we think of as joy today is a cheap imitation of the real thing.

We use words like “humorous” or “funny” when things happen that make us laugh or give us a smile. However, when the “funny things” are over and forgotten the feelings also go away because they too are only temporary.

We use words like “happy” or “glad” to express the way we feel concerning a particular situation but these feelings also fade away.

And then there is real “joy”. Although often misused, the mere word makes us think of something deep and abiding, not lighthearted and temporary. Something once had but now longed for.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

This is especially true when we think of the Biblical type of joy that the Bible says only God can create. This is the “fullness of joy” that every true believer experiences when they first step into the presence of God upon salvation.

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” (1Peter 1:8)

The word “glory” in this particular Scripture literally means “honor”.

In these two verses alone we see that this joy from God is a joy which words cannot describe (joy unspeakable), that fills us to the overflowing (fullness of joy), and that receives honor (full of glory).

Sadly to say, not many Christians today receive honor for their joy. On the contrary, Christians are often characterized as stern, grim faced individuals whose worship is like a funeral and whose lives are filled with “woe is me”.

The once indescribable joy that filled our lives to the point where others beheld it and honored God has now faded to a distant memory.

Exactly why did the joy wane when our faith in God continued? How do we retrieve it back? And more importantly, how do we keep it?

In the next few posts we will see what the Bible teaches about the joy of the Lord, how we can walk daily in it, and why the devil wants to steal it from us.

To walk daily in real joy will cause us to dwell in the pleasures that are at God’s right hand and live our lives far above the worldly situations that Satan would use to rob our peace and steal our joy.

The world needs to see that there is a way of escape from the evil that is present today. They need to behold the joy of the Lord in us and be drawn unto Him.

“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” (Gal. 1:4)

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” (Isa. 51:11)

Next- The Genuine and Empowering Joy of the Lord

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“How to Walk in the Joy of the Lord” by Raymond Candy available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, and Lulu.com for the iPad, PC, and all other e-reading devices

God has Prepared a Place for Us 

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  (John 14:2-3)

To better understand these verses of Scripture, it will help if we know what the Greek words are that are translated “house” (my Father’s house), “mansion” (many mansions), and “place” (prepare a place) and what they literally mean.

The word translated “house” is the Greek word oiakia which means “the family home”.

The word translated “mansion” is the Greek word mone which means “a staying place or a residence”.

The word translated “place” is the Greek word topos which means “a spot, such as a spot to occupy”.

So John 14:2 is actually telling us that in the Heavenly Father’s family home are many residences and Jesus has gone to prepare a spot for us.

The “place” or spot that He has prepared for us is two-fold.

The Bible teaches us that the first “place” or “spot” that He has prepared for us is a “body”, a heavenly house as it were for our eternal soul and spirit.

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2Cor. 5:1)

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” (2Cor. 5:2-3)

“For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2Cor. 5:4)

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:” (1Cor. 15:42-43)

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1Cor. 15:44)

The Apostle Paul was stoned at Lystra and left for dead but the Lord raised him up so that he could continue to preach the Gospel. Fourteen years later he tells of this incident.

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” (2Cor. 12:2)

When the Apostle Paul’s spirit was caught up to heaven he inhabited his spiritual body that the Lord had prepared for him and he indwelled that body for the short time that he was there.

He had the same physical feelings as an earthly body, only with no pain or discomfort. He couldn’t tell the difference.

The Bible tells us several things about this spiritual body that we shall have.

It will be a body like unto Christ’s resurrected body.

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Php. 3:20-21)

This body will have authority over and able to subdue “things”.

Time and distance will not constrain our spiritual body.

Jesus rose from the grave and told the women at the tomb, “Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to our Heavenly Father.”

However, a few hours later He appeared behind closed doors to the disciples and said, “Touch me and see that I am not a Spirit.”

During that short period of time, Jesus had ascended unto the third Heaven (which is above all the heavens, above space and the galaxies and the universe), appeared before the throne of the Heavenly Father, had the sins of all mankind removed from Him, received His royal garments and the crown of the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and returned to earth to appear to His disciples.

We will be able to recognize and know each other in our spiritual bodies.

“And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.” (Mark 9:4)

Jesus had taken Peter, James, and John with Him to a high mountain and He was transfigured before them.

When Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus, Peter recognized them and knew who they were even though he had never seen them before.

Moses was in his spiritual body because he had previously died but Elijah had been translated alive to heaven and had never known death.

Lastly, our spiritual bodies shall never know death, sorrow, or pain.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)

The second “place” or “spot” that the Lord has gone to prepare for us is our actual residence in the family home, the City of New Jerusalem.

“And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3)

The Bible says that the family home, the city of New Jerusalem, is fifteen hundred miles wide, fifteen hundred miles tall, and fifteen hundred miles long.

And somewhere in there is a “mansion”, a residence, for every born again believer that shall make heaven their home.

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” (Rev. 21:10-11)

“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.” (Rev. 21:12-13)

“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.” (Rev. 21:14-15)

“And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” (Rev. 21:16)

“And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” (Rev. 21:17-18)

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Rev. 21:19)

“The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” (Rev. 21:20-21)

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Rev. 21:22-23)

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” (Rev. 21:24-25)

“And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:26-27)

The Bible tells us that,

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1Cor. 2:9-10)

When we are born again, God sends His Holy Spirit to live in us and reveal unto us the wonderful and glorious things pertaining to our new life in Christ and God our Heavenly Father.

The born again experience is not just being forgiven for our sins and having a place to go to when we die.

The born again experience is a new life with a new beginning, powerful and wonderful experiences, and a hope for a glorious eternal life ruling and reining as kings and priests with Christ.

That is why the Apostle Paul said towards the end of his life, after a lifetime of knowing God and experiencing the miracles, power, signs, and wonders of his miraculous ministry,

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Php. 3:8)

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Php. 3:9)

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Php. 3:10-11)

Next- When Joy Cannot be Found

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“How to Walk in the Born Again Experience” by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

The Abundant Life in Jesus Christ

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10)

What is the “life” this Scripture pertains to, and what does “more abundantly” mean?

The word “life” in this verse is the Greek word “Zoe” which means “vitality” or “to live”, referring to the life which we are living on this earth right now.

“More abundantly” means “super abundant in quantity and superior in quality.”

God is not only concerned about your eternal life and your home in heaven, but He is just as concerned about your life in the “right here and now”.

The Bible says,

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Heb. 4:14)

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Jesus came and experienced life as we know it.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” (Php. 2:5-6)

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Php. 2:7-8)

Although the Bible says that Jesus was in the form of God and was God, He took upon Himself the form of flesh in order to experience all the feelings and adversities of life.

He knows what it is to experience pain, sorrow, sickness, grief, and betrayal.

He knows what it is to experience a broken heart when all forsook Him, and He knows the emptiness, loneliness, and desperation that being separated from God feels like when He took upon Himself the sin of the world.

But He also knows the gladness, laughter, restoration, and ecstasy that victory over all of these adversities can produce.

Jesus Christ is truly the only One who can honestly say “been there, done that” when it comes to understanding what all this life, both good and bad, has to offer.

That is why the Bible says that He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”.

The Bible says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities”. In other words, no matter what we are going through, Jesus knows and understands exactly what it is like and how we are feeling.

And because of this, He knows exactly what we need to overcome it and be delivered from it.

That is why the Bible says to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Here the word “boldly” means “with assurance.”

We can be assured that Jesus knows what we have need of before we even ask, and we can be assured that before we even ask, He has already provided.

It is God’s will that we be delivered from every evil work and out of every temptation.

It is God’s will that we endure, overcome, and pass through every adversity to receive the abundance that God has already provided for us in advance.

It is God’s will and desire that we have life “super abundant in quantity and superior in quality.” This is one of the reasons that Jesus came, lived, and died, to save us from our sins and deliver us from this “present evil world.”

“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal 1:3-5)

This “abundant life” that Jesus has purchased for us with His own blood includes healing.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5)

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Peter 2:24)

The “abundant life” also includes health and prosperity, not “wealth and riches”, but health and prosperity.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3John 1:2)

“Life more abundantly” also includes mental health and a sound mind.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim. 1:7)

The disciples asked Jesus one day about their having left all to follow Him,

“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,” (Mark 10:29)

“But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:30)

If your delight is in the Lord, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to follow Him, don’t be afraid to believe God for the desires of your heart.

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, and while He is gone He has sent back the Holy Spirit to live in us, to walk in us, to give us the victory, to cause all things to work together for our good, and to deliver us from every evil work.

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1John 5:4)

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2Tim. 4:18)

Next- A Place for Us Prepared by God

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“How to Walk in the Born Again Experience” by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

The Comforter sent from God

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”  (John 14:26)

In a previous post we studied the verses of Scripture pertaining to baptisms and especially the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.

We saw that according to the Bible, it is God’s desire that every born again believer be endued with the power from on high that comes from being Baptized with the Holy Spirit.

However, even though the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is a one-time experience, similar to being born again, the Bible says that we are to be continuously “filled with the Holy Ghost” and walk in the Spirit daily.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Eph. 5:18-19)

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Eph. 5:20-21)

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)

In this day and time, how can we live filled with the Holy Ghost and walking in the Spirit?

The answer is faith, the faith of the Son of God that comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)

As we have seen in the previous post, to be Baptized with the Holy Ghost is to be totally immersed in the Spirit of God.

The Greek word that is translated “filled” in Ephesians 5:18 literally means to “cram” or to be “filled to the overflowing”.

This can best be understood by imagining a glass so filled with water that the water actually rises up above the rim of the glass in a rounded outward or “convex” shape.

Any movement whatsoever would cause the water to spill over the rim and splash upon any surrounding objects getting them wet.

This is what it means to be filled with the Spirit.

“Walking in the Spirit” is to take this overflowing condition with you on a daily basis and let it “spill” out upon the others in your life.

The Bible calls the Holy Spirit that indwells us the “Comforter”.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;” (John 14:16)

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26)

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)

The word “Comforter” comes from the Greek word “parakletos” meaning “intercessor, consoler” or “advocate”, but it can also mean “a “helper called to one’s side”.

The “helper called to one’s side” refers to someone who would keep pace and run alongside the participant in a race until they were refreshed with the cooling water that their paraclete had brought.

He is our “intercessor” when we do not know how to pray,

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom 8:26)

He is our “consoler” when He brings to our remembrance the Word of God and “opens to us” the Scriptures.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)

He is our “advocate” when we do not know what to say but He gives us the anointing and speaks through us with authority.

“But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 13:11)

He is the “Helper called to our side” when He refreshes us, anoints us, and strengthens us to continue to run the race that is set before us.

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isa. 10:27)

“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Isa. 28:11-12)

The Holy Spirit is our strength, He is our comfort, He is our confidence, He is our Wisdom, He is our best Friend, He is the lover and keeper of our soul, He is the earnest (the proof) of our inheritance, and He is the One who will never leave us nor forsake us.

He is also the One who will quicken, make alive, and change our mortal body so that we can arise and meet the Lord in the air.

And He will fill us to the overflowing and walk in us every day if we will only ask Him to.

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Luke 11:9)

Next- The Abundant Life in Jesus Christ

"How to Walk in the Born Again Experience" by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

“How to Walk in the Born Again Experience” by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices

The Name Above Every Name

“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:”  (Eph. 1:20-21)

After God revealed to Moses that His eternal Name and memorial was Jehovah, everything Moses did thereafter was done in the Name of the Lord, except for one time.

The one time he did not, he disobeyed God and it kept him from being able to enter the Promised Land.

God tells Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy,

Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.” (Deu. 32:51)

“Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.” (Deu. 32:52)

The people of Israel soon realized the sanctity of God’s Holy Name.

Although Israel knew that the Name Jehovah meant The Self-existent One and God had told Moses that He was the “I AM that I AM”, this still did not reveal to them “Who” God is.

The Name “Jehovah” revealed to them the ability and sovereignty of God.

The Self-existent One and “I AM that I AM” means that God exists because He causes Himself to exist.

There is no one that created Him or that He has to depend upon. There is no one that is above Him, or beside Him, or before Him. He is before all things and by Him all things consist.

There is nothing that God depends upon in order “to be.” No water, no air, no food, nothing.

The only thing that the Lord God Jehovah depends upon to exist is Himself. “I AM that I AM”. He is all power. He is all life. He is all wisdom. He is all authority.

But this does not tell us anything about Him. It does not tell us “Who” He is.

As God would meet with people in their lives and manifest Himself to them, they began to know God in certain aspects. They would add this aspect to His Name in order to express this new found quality of the Lord.

In the 22nd Chapter of Genesis, we read of the time that God tested the obedience of Abraham by telling Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice.

Abraham knew that this was a test from God because God would never require a human sacrifice. Abraham told his servants,

“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and (we will) come again to you.” (Gen. 22:5)

Abraham took his son, the wood, the knife, and the fire but no lamb for an offering. When Isaac asked his father of it, Abraham said,

“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” (Gen. 22:8)

When Abraham bound his son upon the wood and raised the knife to make the sacrifice, the angel of the Lord stopped him.

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” (Gen. 22:13)

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” (Gen. 22:14)

“Jehovah-Jireh” means “the Lord will provide” or “the Lord will see to it”. Abraham discovered Jehovah as the Lord who will see to it, or the Lord who will provide whatever is needed.

In the 15th Chapter of Exodus, the Israelites came to a place in the wilderness where the water was bitter and undrinkable. Moses sought the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree to cut down and throw into the waters.

When the tree touched the waters, they were healed and the people were able to drink. There God told the people through Moses,

“And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” (Exo. 15:26)

Just as God healed the waters, the Lord said that if the people obeyed Him then He would be their Healer, “for I am the Lord that healeth thee (Jehovah-Rapha)”. They came to know God as their Healer.

In the 17th Chapter of Exodus, Amalek came down to fight against the Israelites in the wilderness.

Moses went up to the top of a hill as the Israelites fought and held up the rod of God above his head like a banner. As long as Moses held the rod above his head, the Israelites would win but when his arms grew tired and the rod began to fall, the Israelites would lose.

Aaron and Hur set Moses down on a rock while they stood on either side of Moses to hold up his arms and the Israelites defeated the Amalekites.

The Bible says,

“And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:” (Exo. 17:15)

There the Israelites came to know God as “Jehovah-Nissi” which means “the Lord our Banner.” They realized that if they would lift up the Lord’s Name in Praise and Worship the Lord would fight for them and they would be victorious.

In Psalm 23, David came to know the Lord as his Shepherd (Jehovah-Rohi) and realized that the Lord would watch over and guide His people.

In the 6th Chapter of Judges, Gideon realized that he had met an angel of the Lord but his life was spared,

“And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” (Judges 6:23-24)

“Jehovah-Shalom” means “the Lord is Peace” and the people began to realize that the Lord was for them and not against them.

In the Book of Jeremiah Chapter 23 verses five and six, the Lord reveals His Name as “Jehovah-Tsidkenu” which means “the Lord our Righteousness”.

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” (Jer. 23:5)

“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 23:6)

In all of these instances, the Lord revealed a portion of His character or nature, but none of these Names could adequately describe the total character or nature of God.

However, the Bible says that there would come a time when God’s Name would be one and the people would know it. In that day, the people of God would know through His Name the character and nature of God.

Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.” (Isa. 52:6)

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” (Zec. 14:9)

They would come to know “Who” God is and what they could expect from Him by knowing His “One” Name.

That day came when the angel Gabriel made an announcement to a carpenter by the name of Joseph concerning his virgin wife-to-be by the name of Mary.

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” (Mat. 1:20)

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat. 1:21)

Jesus in Hebrew means “The Lord (Jehovah) is Salvation”.

Jesus is the complete Name of God.

John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to ask of Jesus “Are you the One that should come or look we for another?”

“And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:” (Mat. 11:3-4)

“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” (Mat. 11:5-6)

In other words, Jesus responded to their question by saying, “There is no other One. I AM the fulfillment of the prophecies. I AM the One that God has sent.”

There is no other Messiah, there is no other One coming, there is no other Name.

Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus is the One, Jesus is the Name, and the Bible says we are “complete” in Him.

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Col. 2:9-10)

There are those today that believe they can attain some deeper degree of spirituality by calling upon God using one or all of the ancient names for God instead of Jesus.

Whether Jehovah, or Yahweh, or El Shadday, it shouldn’t matter how it makes us “feel”. If we are coming to God the Father in prayer, worship, or praise by any name other than Jesus Christ then we are not approaching Him through faith and according to His Word.

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 4:10)

“This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)

The Name of Jesus is the Name given by God. It means “salvation” and we are complete in Him.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” (Php. 2:9)

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Php. 2:10-11)

We need to be careful. The Name of Jesus means “Jehovah is Salvation”. To approach God through any other is going backwards and not giving the proper honor to the Name sent from God and the salvation that Jesus purchased with His own blood.

“Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:” (Psalm 78:21-22)

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Our Heavenly Father

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  (Mat. 5:48)

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)

In the Book of Genesis chapter one and verse one, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Moses gives the very first mention of God in the Bible.

He didn’t use the ancient Hebrew word “El” for God which is singular, nor did he use the word “Eloi” which has a more dual meaning.

“Eloi” is the word for God that Jesus used from the cross when He cried, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) referring to the Father and the Holy Ghost.

But under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Moses used the Hebrew word “Elohiym” for God, which is plural.

This is in reference to what the Bible calls the Godhead but many Biblical scholars call “the Trinity”, which is the Father, the Son (the Word), and the Holy Ghost.

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (1John 5:7)

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Col. 2:8-10)

This is why God says of Himself in Genesis chapter one and verse 26,

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26)

Whether the words “El”, Eloi”, or “Elohiym” are used, they are all words used to describe the Supreme Being, the Creator, the Most High God, and God Almighty (El Shadday).

It wasn’t until God met Moses in the burning bush that He revealed His eternal name and memorial to His chosen people.

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?” (Exo. 3:13)

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exo. 3:14)

“And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Exo. 3:15)

“And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (El Shadday), but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” (Exo. 6:2-3)

Knowing the name of God was important to the people of Israel because an individual’s name in Biblical times gave an indication of their character, ability, or heritage.

The Hebrew word for “the Lord” is the word “Jehovah” which means “the self-existent one”. We shall talk more about the name Jehovah and how it pertains to Christ in the next chapter.

Before Moses, all of the various names for God were used to signify the Supreme Being, the Creator of all mankind and of all that exists.

It wasn’t until God revealed Himself to Moses as the Lord (Jehovah) that He began to have a specific relationship with a certain group of people in a special way.

Now no longer was He the far away God of all mankind, or the Friend of a certain few, such as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But now He was Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel. He was the Lord over a certain people whom He separated from the rest of the world in order that He might show Himself mighty on their behalf and they would be special in His eyes.

Then God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ into the world.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

God sent His Son into the world so that the world would know Him as not only the Creator of all mankind, or even as the Lord of a certain group or nation of people, but He sent Jesus Christ into the world so that through Christ every man, woman, boy, or girl could know God as their Heavenly Father.

Jesus said of Himself that He is the only way to know God as the Father.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

When we are born again, we are adopted into the family of God and God becomes our Father.

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15)

And as your Heavenly Father, He loves you, cares for you, and watches over you.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Mat 10:29-31)

Jesus said that when we pray, we should pray in this manner,

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Mat. 6:9)

God has promised that since He is our Father, He desires to give us all things that we need for life and godliness.

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32)

All He asks is that even as it is with a son that loves and admires his earthly father and wants to be like him, that we would want to be like our Heavenly Father also.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mat. 5:48)

Here the Greek word for “perfect” is the word that means “complete”, as in “full growth, complete stature”.

If we want to be as perfect or complete as our Heavenly Father, then we need to strive to be like Christ, for Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.”

Jesus Christ is our example.

How can we be like Christ?

We can become like Christ by getting to know and understand Him through the written Word of God, asking ourselves in every situation “What would Jesus do?”, submitting every area of our life to the power of the Holy Spirit, and then making the right choice and doing it.

If we will do this, we will pass from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord, being conformed into His image, and we shall intimately know God as our Heavenly Father.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Cor. 3:18)

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“What’s Next?”

If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  (John 14:15)

Someone might say, “I’ve just accepted Jesus Christ and been born again. What do I do next?”

If you have recently asked Christ into your heart and confessed Him as Lord of your life, then you are no doubt feeling a great joy and thankfulness to the Lord for washing away all of your sins, saving your soul, and giving you a new life in Christ.

I’m sure that you are feeling a great love for God because of His mercy and grace that He has bestowed upon you.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1John 4:19)

You have been, as Jesus said, “born again”, and as such you are like a new born infant in the eyes of God.

And just like a new born baby, you have been washed (in the cleansing blood of Christ), swaddled (in the fresh linen of the righteousness of God in Christ), and all God asks of you for now is to be nurtured by Him (through prayer and reading His word), grow, and do as He asks.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23)

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

The first step in growing spiritually is to obey the Lord, and the first thing that the Lord asks of us after being born again is to be baptized, both in water and in the Holy Ghost.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

“And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” (Acts 1:4)

“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts 1:5)

The Bible makes a clear distinction between water baptism and being baptized with the Holy Ghost.

“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:” (Acts 8:14)

“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:” (Acts 8:15)

“(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)” (Acts 8:16)

“Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:17)

By water baptism we are immersed in water and by being baptized with the Holy Ghost we are immersed in His Spirit.

“And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:38)

“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:39)

In the same way that confessing with our mouth is the outward manifestation of the belief in our heart and we are saved,

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10:9)

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:10)

Water baptism is the outward manifestation of our inward belief that through Christ we are dead and buried to our old life of sin and we are raised up out of the water to a new life in Christ.

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:4)

The baptism with the Holy Ghost is the empowerment to live that new life.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

In the same way that water baptism was not just for the early church but was a commandment to all believers for all time, the promise of the Holy Ghost is a promise to all believers for all time.

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)

The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)

If these Scriptures that we have shared have caused the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and give you the faith that baptism is for you, then you might ask, “How can I be baptized?”

Water baptism is simple. Any other believer in Christ can baptize you in water. Phillip was a deacon in the early church and he baptized the Ethiopian eunuch in the Book of Acts. Paul was an Apostle and he baptized very few choosing to allow others the blessing of doing it.

I was baptized in a swimming pool, my daughter was baptized in a lake, and I baptized my son in a bathtub. My wife was baptized in a Church Baptistery.

The type of water is not important. What is important is having the faith as to what it means and making a public expression of your faith. The Bible says that we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and in the name of Jesus Christ.

Being baptized with the Holy Ghost is just as simple. Jesus said all we have to do is ask the Heavenly Father and believe.

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13)

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:6-7)

If your Heavenly Father said that He would do it, then He will. It is impossible for God to lie.

The Holy Spirit will guide you in your next “baby steps”, such as what Scriptures to read (He had me begin in the Gospel of John), what Church to attend (one that believes in the whole Word of God), and changing your life so that it is pleasing to God.

After these baby steps have been taken, then it will be time to go on into the deeper things of God, learning more about God your Heavenly Father, your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and your Comforter the Holy Spirit.

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” (Heb. 6:1)

“Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal for judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Heb. 6:2-3)

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“How to Walk in the Born Again Experience” by Raymond Candy just published and available for $2.99 at bn.com for the Nook, amazon.com for the Kindle, the iBookstore for the iPad, and Lulu.com for the iPad, the PC, and all other tablets and e-reading devices