Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jude 1a (Part III) ........the servant........

Third study-post thus far on the book of Jude, and one of the striking things rising to the surface in this study is that God is illustrating how He can illuminate many lessons from just a small portion of His Word. It seems that perhaps, even a small amount of His Word can have an unlimited supply of lessons built in!

To begin this next lesson, first of all, let's look at that introductory scripture again:

"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ."

Really. Look closely at that a moment.

Does anything there seem odd to you?

Think about it! Jude introduces himself up front, first and foremost, as a servant!

It's really so different than anything I've witnessed in today's society.

Who do you know who would normally do that? Who do you know who would ever do that at all? Who would do so with a straight face? Who would do so rejoicing that it was true?

Try imagining people you know introducing themselves as servants........ If you can even imagine it, what kind of attitude do you think your friend would display when he was announcing that he is a servant?

After imagining that for a bit, answer the next question:

Doesn't it really seem a bit far fetched to really imagine anyone in your real-life-world actually identifying themselves first and foremost as a servant?

But Jude did exactly that!

And do you know what? Jude couldn't help it. It became natural to him to truly value being a servant!

How and why did that happen in His life?

Well, for starters, ponder this simple report: Jude was the (half-)brother of Jesus. Because of that, He probably knew a lot more about the day-to-day life of Jesus than any of us who can only rely upon the precious Bible to tell us about the life of Jesus. Did Jude know something about Jesus that might just play into His inclination to introduce himself first and foremost as a servant of Jesus Christ?

Next, please consider whether or not you think that Jude might have thought very much about the following questions:

a) Did Jesus value being a servant (if so, how would we know that)?

b) Did God want Jesus to serve others (if so, how would we know)?

c) Did/does God want others to serve Jesus (if so, what clues do we have that He does)?

d) Did God want us to serve each other (again, what clues can we find to indicate the answer to this question one way or the other)?

Amazingly enough, scripture tells us that God more than hoped that Jesus would serve others. Long before Jesus was born in the manger, God Almighty actually announced in the prophetic book of Isaiah that the Messiah would indeed serve others; more, that His Son would be a servant (Matt. 12:18-21). Yes, Jesus came here, in great part, as a servant (Luke 22:27).

And was God was pleased with His Son, Jesus, the servant?

How can it be undignified to be a servant, then? But do we have to serve?

We should not reject service to God and others. Instead, we need to follow both Christ's example to serve, and Jude's example of serving as well.

It is vital that we grow in understanding that we need to focus our lives on serving Jesus Christ and obeying His commandments.

After all, being a servant of Jesus Christ was the most obvious label or identifying marker that Jude used when introducing himself to us.

We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind; to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). We are also told that we ought to love as He loved (John 15:12).

So, does love have anything to do with serving? Can we serve righteously without loving? Can we love fully here in this life without serving?

Where do we fit our own plans and dreams into that picture of serving others in honor of Christ's having lived and died serving others?

Though Jesus told us to love others as we love ourselves, Jude understood that he could not seek his own life and serve Jesus Christ at the same time (Matt. 10:39). If we try to serve ourselves, we end up trying to seek what the world has to offer us materially, which is not acceptable for us as His servants; after all, He said that we cannot serve God and money too (Matt. 6:24, Luke 16:13 parallels this verse). Instead, we should use our gifts to serve others (I Peter 4:10). Not that obtaining material things is bad in and of itself, but if we are gifted with obtaining material things, we should be focused on giving them, just as we should use any gift or ability that we have naturally or spiritually in order to build up others (Romans 12:4-8).

And sure enough, Jude did decide to dedicate himself to serving God and others in the manner which Jesus called us to serve in. The details for that service are not listed out anywhere in the book of Jude, but we know much of what Jesus taught about serving Him and loving others by examining Christ's own life, as well as by studying the epistles.

Jesus gave us such beautiful yet challenging examples of what it is to serve others while He was here on earth with us. Some of those examples include His washing our feet: John 13:1-17; His dying for us: John 15:13, and His teaching us that we should do the same for others in our own lifes: 1 John 3:16. Further, He makes it clear that we should always be ready to give drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry, clothes to the needy Matt. 25:34-40, and so on).


Not that serving others is enough. We need to be serving others as a result of having a relationship with Him by which we come to both fellowship with Him and know Him (Matt. 25:34-40).


Such service is something to glory in, not because of our own worth, but because God Himself will honor it someday. (John 12:26) He will even pour out His Spirit in special ways on His servants and handmaidens (Acts 2:17-19). In the meantime, we see that it pleases Him to grant His servants boldness (Acts 4:29).

So God says that He Himself will honor us for having served Him! That will be an honor indeed!

He will also reward us with an inheritance (Colossians 3:23-25), which is yet another honor for service.

How should we serve Him? With reverence and godly fear by His grace (Hebrews 12:28). Faithfully (Hebrews 3:5). By becoming "the servants of righteousness" and "holiness" (Romans 6:18, Romans 6:19). "With a pure conscience" through Christ (2 Timothy 1:3 and Hebrews 9:14). And by "presenting (our) bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God" which we must understand is "our reasonable service" (Romans 12:1). Seeking to please God and not man (Galatians 1:10). In our liberty, serving one another in love rather than giving occasion to the flesh (Galatians 5:13). Doing the will of God from the heart (Ephesians 6:6). "With all humility of mind" (Acts 20:18-20). Thus serving "as unto the Lord" (Ephesians 6:7). "In newness of Spirit" (Romans 7:6). Which is, at least in part: "With my spirit in the Gospel of His Son" (Romans 1:9). Servants of others "for Jesus' sake" (2 Cor. 4:5). Ready to be a "servant unto all" (I Cor. 9:19). In gentleness and patience, and if called upon by God to do so, ready to teach (2 Timothy 2:24). Even at the risk of peril (Philippians 2:17). Though also willing to serve from abundance in humility (II Corinthians 9:8).

Furthermore, Romans 12 goes on further to tell us much more about what service to Him looks like: "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ........... Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; .........Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, ........ if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: ........ Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good"

And Romans 14:13-16 goes on to say this as well: "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of."

II Corinthians 9 has much to say about service and ministering as well: "readiness" of spirit with zeal (vs. 2 in the NAS), without covetousness (vs. 5), accompanied by thanksgiving (vs. 12), sowing bountifully (vs. 6), giving cheerfully (vs. 7), abound to every good work (vs. 8), all of which encourages thanksgiving in the Saints and praise of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost (vs. 11, 13, 15).

We also know somethings about what servants of God cannot have done, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Romans 16:17-18).

But please don't be confused by any of this. We don't become servants by producing fruit. We produce good fruit as a result of being His servants (Romans 6:22).


But it seems to me that in our modern day, we miss much of what the honor of serving Him is in our day to day life.

Think about it!

After all, any faithful servant of any king bears the king's authority whenever the king commands him to do so. That servant, entering any room, should command respect because of the power he is bearing forth for his lord and king.

How much more awesome it is then, to bear, through God's commands and instructions, the power of the King of Kings!!! That is a great honor indeed.

And what kind of power does His servant bear today? Well, what types of commands and instructions has He left the New Testament believers with today?

To love (John 15:12), as He is love........ (1 John 4:8), which is not a new commandment, but an old commandment "which ye have heard from the beginning". (1 John 2:7)

Yes, a servant of Jesus Christ, bearing forth His commandment and instructions to love also receive His power. (2 Tim. 1:7)

May the God of all mercy and grace grant us the humility to bear His power and His commandments in pure love as we seek to obey His commandments to love and serve Himself and the called.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jude 1a (Part II) Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ

"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ."

Sure enough, the verse still doesn't say, "Jude, the brother of Jesus Christ!"

Jude focused instead on his being a servant of Jesus Christ! Why?

Jude had all the room in both heaven and earth to say that he was the brother of Jesus Christ, but he knew that his focus, not just in heaven someday, but even during his life here on earth, needed to be on loving (Matt. 22:37), serving (Luke 17:10), and obeying (John 14:15) his Lord and Master whom he loved. After all, we are servants of the one whom we obey, either of sin, or of righteousness (Romans 6:16). Further, there is no middle of the road. We can't obey His commandments (John 14:15) by simply avoiding sin while at the same time avoiding righteousness. If we are trying that for any reason, it is highly likely that we simply do not know Him (I John 3:10).

This is not to say that we can somehow 'live up to the law' in order to do for ourselves the work that only Jesus could do for us; the work which He did indeed complete on the cross for us (Gal. 2:16). Further, through Christ, we should consider ourselves dead to the law (Gal. 2:19). But, being dead to the law, and free from sin, we became servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:18).

We are, then, to serve the God of righteousness.

I don't pretend to understand fully how it is that we are dead to 'the law' and 'alive to righteousness'.

I don't pretend to be able to explain the differences between Old Testament 'the law' and the New Testament 'commandments' of Jesus and/or His Father.

I do see some significant differences between 'the old testament law' and 'the new testament commandments'. (though that discussion would need to be taken up in another post)......

So I have come to understand some things, but not all.

That is fine with me. I trust Him.

I trust Him enough to be busy about the process of learning to glory in serving Him and to joy in serving others.

What about you? Are you busy working at being churchy? Are you avoiding it? Are you learning how to have a relationship with Him, through which He is teaching you how to serve Him: 'waiting on Him' and serving others in His name as it were? After all, sometimes waiters do stand in the shadows simply waiting and watching for the just right time to offer service again......?

What all does it mean to 'serve' Him?

In the next post, we'll do a word study on the word 'servant'........

It will be good to ponder seriously what the Word tells us about this word, and think about how it should and/or should not fit into our own lives.

I hope you'll join me there soon!

Jude 1a (Part I) "Jude" the meaning of the name itself - Notes about the joys of studying bits of Hebrew - Notes: Meditating - Jude Again!

Jude - or in Hebrew - Judah; - - - which in the briefest of translations is rendered, "Confess -- God!"

Jude - or in Hebrew - Judah; - - - a combination of the root words:

Jhwh - a name so often referred to as: ..... "The Most Holy Name" of God.


'Yada' - meaning "to confess, praise, give thanks."

The HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, provides a slightly more expanded version of 'Confess - - God!' - rendering the meaning of Judah as:

"to acknowledge or confess sin, God's character and works, or man's character."

Consider then, whether or not the name Jude is an especially apt name for this epistle which is specifically addressing apostasy (Jude 1:4) and calling on the saints to earnestly contend for the faith in opposition to that apostasy (Jude 1:3).

After all, Jude is challenging both the early church and the church throughout the ages, perhaps especially the church of today, "to acknowledge or confess sin, God's character and works, or man's character" - in line with the teachings of God Himself - - - in spite of the inclination of many in every society, perhaps especially in our society, to rationalize away mankind's need to recognize God's holy nature in juxtaposition to our own unholy sin and our own ungodly character which, left to itself, is quite busy producing that sin.

Further, Jude is challenging each of us to earnestly contend for the faith as it was first handed down by the apostles, which includes not only deciding to privately 'acknowledge or confess sin, God's character and works, or man's character,' but also to encourage others who name the name of Christ to do the same.

Is the church of today coming inline with this teaching? Should we be contending for the faith in response to apostasy today?


Before we prayerfully seek to understand godly ways of 'earnestly contenting for the faith', let's see quickly if we can discern how 'yada' having been added to 'Jhwh' could even result in the above definition for the name 'Judah'. After all, if there is a need to contend for the faith, we would not want to misunderstand the epistle that is calling us to 'contend'.

A quick overview of the word 'yada' in a Hebrew lexicon shows that the form of the verb which is found in the dictionary is itself also 'yada'. Although English dictionaries typically list the infinitive form of verbs (sans the 'to'), Hebrew dictionaries do not follow suit. Instead, Hebrew dictionaries list what is called the 'simple' or 'light' or 'qal' form of the verb, which more specifically would be the third person masculine singular perfect tense (which is a type of past tense).

Thus, cutting to the chase, 'yada' would be translated as 'he knew/has known'.

However, there is more to 'know' about 'know':

'Know' or 'yada' in the 'qal' form also means: he learned to know, he found out, he distinguished, he learned by experience, he considered, he admitted, he acknowledged, and/or he confessed.

When a man has 'found out, learned by experience, admitted, acknowledged, and confessed' the truth about God, including 'learning by experience' about God's grace, he will have also had to admit the truth about himself and his own sin.

So, yes, amazingly enough, thanks to the Hebrew lexicon, along with just a little bit of information about Hebrew verbs, it is exciting to discern for ourselves how the workbook listed above came to the definition that it did (though I'm a bit confused by the tense......?).

Either way, HAW's definition for 'Judah' also seems to corroborate the testimony of the rest of scripture, that such a confession flows out from us naturally when the scales have fallen from our eyes, and thus, when we have finally begun to behold Him for who He is.

Then is it safe to assert that 'yada' could also be defined thusly? - - - a confession flowing forth, reflecting again some semblance of that which one has begun to come to know (by the gift of faith).

Quick questions: If we have come to know Him more, in a real and personal way, will our confession change in some way to express that which we have come to know? How often should we be checking to see if our confession has changed any of late?

Quick prayer: May we come to know Him more......


Is there more in this most holy name of the Holy One (Prov. 9:10 - NAS), and is there more in even the name of Jude, that clarifies for us at least some of 'that which is being made known' to man - - - about God?


While exploring some modest beginnings of the answers to those questions about these two Hebrew names, it is helpful to keep in mind that, unlike English, with its extensive, and therefore powerful vocabulary, Biblical Hebrew has a surprisingly small vocabulary (the example of the Hebrew word 'yada' and its various types of 'knowing' is just one illustration of this type of difference between the two languages).

However, each Hebrew word found in the Bible is fraught with very specific meaning, as each root, each prefix or suffix, and/or each combination of roots, adds layer after layer of rich substance worthy of our understanding.

Those who come humbly before Him, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit while studying, giving diligence to study in order to discover more and more of this richness, find that each and every little part of the Word is a precious parcel with surprising and amazing truths that keep echoing and reverberating promises and cautions which are a guide to our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105), helping us to come to know and confess more fully that spirit of worship which should be growing in our hearts day by day as we behold more and more clearly the God of all grace and mercy.

However, the sections of each word are not all we have as a guide when we study the Word of God. Even more richness and more insights are implied and taught by each letter within each word; more depth than any of us could keep track of if we actually started sorting through each and every window which this means of coming to know Him provides, inference-unto-inference, layer-by-layer, promise-built-upon-promise....

Furthermore, historical context, and, of course, textual context lend that much more richness, nuance and meaning to one's understanding of the the Word of His power.

Thus, as we study His Word, may we rejoice in the radiance of His glory, as we learn more and more about the exact representation of His nature, the one who upholds all things by the Word of His power
(Heb. 1:3).


Learning more, however is not enough. We should be living out all that we learn through our study of the Word (James 1:22).

In order to trust in His Word to bring that about in our life, it is helpful to 'hide' His Word in our heart (Psalm 119:11).

How does one effectively 'hide' His Word in our heart?

Certainly one can memorize scripture, and towards that end, this blogger's most recent effort has been to set the text of Jude to music and memorize that text in its entirety (and hopes to share an audio file of that with you soon...., that is, if some tech-savvy sons help with that project....). However, having memorized the text merely left a growing hunger for more.

What more can be done than to have memorized the text itself?

One important way of truly hiding His Word in our heart is to meditate upon His Word.
The word 'meditate' and its various forms was only used in the Bible 24 times. On the day that his bride came to live with him, Isaac had gone out to meditate in the field toward evening. That event was the first and only example given to us in the Bible of a specific man setting out to meditate at a specific time in a specific place (Genesis 24:63). Of course, he was not the only man of God who purposed in his heart to meditate. Then why is this one story about Isaac of value today? Certainly this was not something that Isaac slipped into his life for a minute here and there between other responsibilities. Isaac purposed in His heart to set aside time for meditation. Shouldn't each of us as believers do the same in our own lives individually? The pastor nor the Sunday school teacher nor a husband nor a wife can purpose this for us. But God does long for us to meditate upon His Word.

When God calls on His people to 'be still and know that I am God', does that not also indicate His call to us to meditate upon Him? (Psalm 46:10)
But is that all that meditation means? The psalmists encourage us to meditate upon His works, His doings, His wonders, and His glorious majesty (Psalm 77:12, Psalm 119:27, Psalm 143:5, Psalm 145:5).

Certainly His works, His doings, His wonders, and His glorious majesty can be found throughout scripture. Even the short book of Jude includes references to all of these things. Yes, even the name of the book of Jude is proving to be an endless source of wonders upon which to meditate (more on that below, not that this post has no end......, for it will end..........., it just won't cover everything that could be said on the subject of 'the name of the book of Jude'.....).

When should one meditate; and how? Day and night, and with our hearts (Psalm 1:2, Psalm 77:6).

Why should one meditate? Is meditation only for the purpose of hiding His Word in our heart so that we won't sin?

In the Old Testament, God actually promised the people of Israel that He would provide success to all of those who meditated upon His law (Joshua 1:8).
Now we are 'free from the law' though, right? So do we need to meditate upon 'the law'? Yes! Although New Testament Christians are no longer under the law, all scripture is useful for training in righteousness (II Tim. 3:16). We all still need our newly born spirit to join forces with the Holy Spirit and be busy about the task of 'putting to death the deeds of the body' so that '(we) will live' as He promised us we will (Romans 8:13).

Examples of this 'training in righteousness' via all scripture, including the law, which have helped me personally in my efforts to understand our calling to 'love one another', include portions of Old Testament law which some have come to call 'case law' (aka: laws that are examples of what is and is not responsible and kind).

One such example of case law includes the admonition to not muzzle the ox when he is threshing the wheat (Deut. 25:4). My children like to smile when we are making cookies and remind me of this verse, as they like to think that they should be free to eat all of the cookie dough that their heart desires! Cookie dough and raw eggs and muzzling oxen aside, my children know that there are times when they should not eat what is being prepared for various reasons, whether those reasons have to do with having enough for later (practicing hospitality), or health questions (just how much cookie dough, if any, is prudent today?). In other words, they realize that they should be led by the Spirit, and not by the law - towards legalism or ridiculous liberality. But they do not know this naturally. Neither does the oxen who, left to himself, would not help with the threshing, but merely enjoy the grain.

So, that's a family story of mine, but do those 'case law' lessons apply to the New Testament church? It seems that even Paul thought so (see I Corinthians 9:1-19 & I Timothy 5:17-18).

Thus, this particular 'case law' helps us to understand righteousness by helping us to know the parameters of love, and further, it helps us to understand our need for guidance in our day to day walk, thus, it helps us to remember that we should turn to the Holy Spirit as our sure guide.

But what about the promise of success to those who meditated on His law? Does that promise still apply to the saints today? Many believe that it does, though 'success' today would not necessarily be material. What would 'success' be for us today then? Might it not be fulfilling God's call and purposes in our lives? If so, then yes, it seems more than reasonable to believe that meditating upon His Word, and thereby hiding it in our heart more solidly, would indeed help us to 'succeed' by helping us to honor and obey Him, His Word, and His Holy Spirit. Will such individuals not have a better understanding how to walk in The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and thereby honor Him who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life?

Towards the end of meditation, then, let us come before the Holy One who is able and willing to reveal His grace and mercy to us. Let us see Him for who He is. Then let us meditate upon what He reveals to us, that His revelations will be securely 'hid' in our hearts.

May God Himself bless these efforts.

No single overview of any Hebrew word will clarify all.

All that being said, this blogger is not claiming to be any scholar at all, but one who loves to meditate upon the Word, and while meditating, joys in discovering at least some of the added richness which can be discovered when the layers of each word are considered in light of the whole context of the scripture in which it is found.

Not that all of those layers have been discovered and discussed here, but this is, at least, a start towards coming to know that which He has made known.

Therefore, this blog is merely a compilation of the layers which this blogger has discovered to date and has only begun to ponder......

Blessed be His holy name!


Jude - or in Hebrew - Judah.

Looked at another way, 'Judah' is a combination of:

Yhwh - or - 'The Most Holy Name,' (and here, summarizing merely the technical aspects of the name: yod-heh-vav-heh, often listed in English as Yhwh, listed in Strong's Concordance as entry H3068, often referred to as the tetragrammaton, rendered in the Kings James as 'LORD' with all capitals, rendered 'Jehovah' by both the NAS and Young's Literal Translation, technically only used in the Old Testament, as it is a phenomenon of the Hebrew language; the Jehovah's Witness cult alleges that the tetragrammaton was initially found in the New Testament, though it was later removed - which sounds intriguing but be cautious if you begin studying online and run into this intriguing idea - check out the source for your information.....; Yhwh, first introduced to us in Genesis 2:4 "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens;" and lastly left with us in Malachi 4:5 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful coming of the Day of the LORD." Furthermore, there were times when He chose to not make Himself known by the name Yhwh, but instead by another name, as we see in Exodus 6:2-3 "God spoke further to Moses and said to him, I am Yhwh, and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai (God Almighty), but by my name Yhwh, I did not make Myself known to them.")

Yhwh - which is 'the essential name', or the name by which God is always to be remembered according to the Old Testament (Ex. 3:15),

Yhwh - by which name, we are saved, according to both the Old & New Testaments (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13). Yes, by the time Jesus came, and lived, and breathed, and taught in Israel, this holy name of God was no longer spoken; therefore, when Jesus began to use this name, He was actually revealing this name to the whole world, over the course of time, in order that the world might be saved through Him.


'Dalet' - - Yes, in the formation of the name 'Judah', there is just this one significant modification: there is a 'D' or 'dalet' right in the middle of the name of The Holy One (or, might one say, right in, or possibly into or at least to or towards the heart of God?), which, as we shall see in just a moment, is extremely meaningful to those of us who are blessed to love His name today (Psalm 5:11).
Yhwh is a most holy name, historically and eternally, and indicates how much more holy He is than anything else, especially anything touching sin. But even the angels who never rebelled against Him are humbled by His holiness (Is. 6:3; Rev. 4:8).

Looking further at the meaning of the name Yhwh, that holy name indicates, through its etymology, not only 'to be', but also 'to create' - indicating God's self-existence, yet His causative force in the existence of all else.

No one knows today what the original vowels in this holy name were, as no vowels were ever indicated in the original Hebrew script. Furthermore, in time, it came to be that no one ever spoke this most holy name of God, except for the high priest, and that only once each year when he entered into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), in order to come before the mercy seat of God and seek both to honor Him as God and to humbly ask for forgiveness for all of His people, admitting the nature of the unholy souls of the people during the preceding year, admitting the sins those sinners for and with those sinners, all of which is in such stark contrast to His holy nature - - - and the high priest doing all of this, and calling upon the only name by which we may be saved, for the purpose of reconciling us, His fallen creation, back into fellowship with Him - the Holy One.


In spite of the fact that we do not know for certain which vowels were originally in the tetragrammaton, it is interesting to note that one particular set of vowels results in a word which might have been the name for God, and which is actually a combination of the abbreviated forms of the perfect, the participle, and the imperfect forms of the verb 'to be', and would thus mean, "He who will be, is, and has been," which is a highly plausible consideration. After all, even if that was not the original set of vowels, that possible name for God is perfectly in line with that which God's Word says about Himself (Ps. 102:27, Is. 41:4, 44:6, 48:12, Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8, Rev. 1:8, 21:6, 22:13).

But back to that 'D' or 'dalet' or 'door' right in the middle of the tetragrammaton (or, in the heart of God?)! What could be so significant in that one letter in that particular word?

Well, let's start with this seemingly small detail: The sound for /d/ is taught to children by a direct association to the Hebrew word for 'door', which is 'dalet'. To help the student of Hebrew remember the symbol for this sound, the Hebrew letter 'dalet' is written, or drawn, very much like a picture of a door to a tent.

So then, there is actually a door made for us to enter into the worship of The Holy One, a door provided through the house of Judah (Micah 5:2, Luke 3:33).

Thus, that one letter changes the Most Holy Name of God, a name which we are unworthy of even saying, into a word which indicates the plan of salvation and brings us to a place where we can see how it is that by the The Most Holy Name, we can be saved!

In case you missed that 'slight of hand', where, in one pen stroke, the name of The Holy One (Prov. 9:10), the one who is and who creates, yet who is beyond our reach because we are so unworthy; yes, that holy name was changed into: Confess (and come to know, and worship) - - God (as your very own God who loves you enough to die for you and reconcile you, even while you are sinners, to Himself)!

How was the One who was beyond our reach suddenly one whom we might confess as our very own God? By the door, and Jesus himself is that door! (John 10:7)

Yes, Jesus, who came and dwelt in human form, in human flesh (John 11:14); and flesh is a temporary dwelling place, like unto a tent (II Cor. 5:1); He is that door, that 'dalet' bringing us to the heart of God! (John 10:7)

Jesus, from the house of Judah! Jesus, bringing the world into a place where non-Jewish peoples may also, as did those 'of faith' in the Old Testament, 'Confess - - God!' in light of the promised Savior, the Messiah who was to come from the house of Judah!

Yes, by means of The Door, peoples from all nations are being brought before The Holy One, to come to know Him, and to confess to Him that He is God, that He is righteous, that He is Holy, that we fall short of His holiness because of our unholy sin, but, glory be to His name, that He is love, that He promises that His mercy endures forever. And that is only the beginning of coming to know The Holy One, Yhwh! Praised be His holy name!

(aside: many speak of praising His mighty name, but when this blogger searched for a scripture that referred to His mighty name, that did not come up directly at all....... praising his holy name did come up, and praising Him for His mighty acts did as well, but not praising Him for His mighty name......., why might we prefer to think of praising His mighty name rather than praising Him for His holy name...???)


So then, the name Judah all by itself means ever so much to us today:

We need to confess that God is, has been, and always will be Holy God, while we are His creation. Further, we need to praise Him and give thanks to Him for being the only, wise, Creator God.

We need to confess that we, unlike Him, are unholy and sinful. Furthermore, we need to praise Him and give thanks to Him for providing a door by which He is willing to bridge the fathomless gap between us and Him.

Jude - or Judas - the same name as the betrayer of our Messiah.

Jude - or Judas - a book written from one who, as the brother of Jeshua, also betrayed our Lord. After all, it is reported in the book of John that His brothers did not believe in Him (John 7:5). - - - Yes, many of us know the pain of various types of rejection on the part of family members towards ourselves. Isn't this type of betrayal one of the most painful betrayals of all? If we want anyone to have faith in us, isn't it our family most of all? But even Jesus was betrayed by His own earthly family! Certainly this grieved Jeshua and the Holy Spirit in Him. It must have hurt Jesus very much. --- But did this Jude, the brother of Jesus, in any sense betray Jesus with a kiss? That is, did he pretend a love of Jesus in the midst of His betrayal and lack of faith in his brother, in any way shadowing Judas the more obvious betrayer of our Messiah? (Luke 22:47-48) There is no clear indication that Jude, the brother of Jesus, did anything specifically against Jesus besides not believing in Him, and even believing Him to be a bit deluded (####). However, that was, in my own opinion, missing the mark by not giving honor where honor was due. Do any of us do the same: Have any of us directly denied Him, betrayed Him, and/or outright disbelieved Him? Do any of us, after confessing our need for Him as Savior, seek, at least superficially, to love the Savior and Messiah, yet in our heart, we are actually still betraying Him by choosing to set our heart on things of this earth instead? Even worse, do any of us still believe that we are serving Him, yet we were, or even are, neglecting to love Him by loving others as He would have us do? (Matthew 25:41-46) --- Truly, as Jude did, we all need Jesus to be our Savior!

Jude - or Judas - the fourth son of Leah, who was more steady than his elder brethren who had succumbed to adultery or deceitful, murderous vengeance (Genesis 34-35). But, just as all mankind has done, the Old Testament Judah was jealous of the favored son - wanting to be 'equal' before the Father (thus, at least in essence, an utterly equal king, equal at least with the favored brother, who, alone, is worthy that others should bow down to Him!) (Genesis 37:4, Genesis 42:6, Philippians 2:8-11). Similarly, the New Testament Judas was jealous of the ointment that was used in Mary's act of repentance, love, and worshipful devotion to her Jeshua (John 12:1-7). Do we seek to withhold time or substance that should be used to worship Him as Lord, God, and King, or do we, like Mary, worship Him with the best we have to offer up to Him?

(see also Romans 3:20).

Jude - or Judas - the Greek form of the name Judah. It was not only the immediate family of Jesus who betrayed Him. His own people, His national brethren (the Jews, named after the tribe of Judah), betrayed Him into the hands of the Gentiles, fulfilling the now increasingly clear understanding of the two comings of Messiah: the first coming, as the Son of Joseph (the suffering one) - which bears witness that the second coming which has also been promised, when He shall come as the Son of David (the ruling king), shall also be fulfilled! Hallelujah!

Jude, and all of the Jewish people who betrayed Him unto death were the contemporary brethren of this first Messiah, the Son of Joseph (the suffering one). However, when Meshiach shall return, and His brethren see Him for who He is, they will be surprised to find the scars in His hands, feet, and side; but when they do, they will mourn, for all of His brethren have betrayed Him (Jew and Gentile alike, Zechariah 12:10). Most of us have not experienced the pain of being betrayed by our whole nation. However, there are still modern day examples of men (and sometimes even women) who are being betrayed by their own people. Often times, such betrayal is brought against people who have been serving in such a way that demonstrates their willingness to 'lay down their lives for their friends' (as did Jesus, John 15:13). The ironic sort of pain which one of these men or women experience would also be a very painful experience for anyone to go through. Our Lord Jesus must have also felt this pain much more grievously than anyone who has ever experienced it! After all, He was more than willing to lay down His life for every single one of us, but we all betrayed Him to that death.

Jude - or Judas - the betrayer of our Lord, whose betrayal was illustrated in such amazing ways in Jeremiah 11:4-17, a passage in which there was one called to care for the sacrifical lamb(s), to keep an eye on the worthy sacrificial lamb(s), meeting the need of the lambs, experiencing the love for such innocence which should have to be victim for our sins because of the vile nature of our sin. But instead of responding to the Lamb of God with love and compassion, one sees the Jewish brethren respond to the Lamb of God from a perspective of pride, greed, jealousy, fear and more (are the Gentiles any better?). It was these devastating vices which drove Judas, as well as the leaders of Judah and Jesus' brethren, the Jews, to despise and betray Jeshua haMeshiach, the Son of Joseph.

Jude - or Judas - written to us, others who have also, in such a great number of various ways, rejected, denied, and betrayed Him! Each of us should be humbly aware of the plethora of ways in which we have betrayed Jeshua haMashiach. We probably cannot know all of the details of the evil nature of our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). Furthermore, our focus should be on Him and His calling in our lives, not on ourselves (Psalm 46:10, Phil. 3:13), but we can certain see, and confess Him, if we will simply take time to be still and look at the vast difference between our self-centered selves and our loving, giving, and selfless God.

Jude - or Judas - Yes, we have all betrayed Him! But that is not the end of the story, glory be to God!

What should our own response be to our sin and His sacrifice for it? Simply this, "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins." (I John 1:9)

Confess His mercy in light of your sin today!

Then let Him be praised!

Yes, Jesus, Yeshua haMashiach, reached out to the brother(s) who had rejected Him (Mark 3:14-27) and He lifted them up! Jude had not only rejected his own brother when he rejected Yeshua, he rejected the Son of God! But Yeshua did not reject him, did not judge him, and did not punish him.

Rather, Yeshua, filled with love, took on his brother Judas's guilt and carried it away on the cross in order to make a way for not only Jesus, but Jesus' Father, the Holy One, to fully forgive and pardon Jude as well. The end result was not only that Jude was restored to his brother Jesus here on earth (Acts 1:14), but Jude also became the brother of Jesus in heaven forever (Hebrews 2:10-18)! A son of God Himself!

For that to happen, Yeshua really and truly actually forgave his brother Jude fully and completely!

The result in Jude's life was praise indeed! (Jude 1:24-25)

He is ready to forgive each and every one of us too, even though, all of us, in differing ways, have betrayed Him as well! If you have not accepted His forgiveness for your own sins yet, you can receive His forgiveness now! Don't delay!

Once any of us accept Him by faith, we each become a son of God, called to do His will (Matt. 12:50), and to serve each other (Matt. 25:31-46), and by doing so, be holy before Him. Therefore, we are also called to be brothers of Jesus for all eternity, just like Jude (well...... some of us become daughters as it were.......).

But Jude didn't glory in being the brother of Yeshua either in the flesh, nor via adoption by our heavenly Father.

Instead, he gloried in being the servant of Jesus Christ!

Why might that be?

More on that in the next post........