Sunday, August 10, 2008

The GOSPEL in Code

We as Christians know the Gospel, for it is the proclamation of good news, given by the LORD God in the scriptures. Note that it's GOD that has given this message to us. We didn't think this message up ourselves: it's origin is GOD.

We surely didn't create the Gospel but it has created us: by believing the Gospel, we have been born of heaven, rejuvenated spiritually, regenerated by the Holy Spirit Himself, based on the atonement of the LORD Jesus Christ's death on the cross, and His resurrection!
One of the best definitions of the Gospel is found in

1 COR 15:3-4: 
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Note that the verses underscore that the death and the resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ was in accordance to the scriptures, for the Apostle Paul knew that this was our one and only source for spiritual authority, the Word of God as contained in the scriptures.

Note what it DOESN'T mention as the Gospel: It doesn't mention Christ's teachings, His miracles, etc. It declares that that He died for our SINS (a politically INcorrect word in today's modernist pulpits!) according to the scriptures, and that He rose from the dead, likewise according to the scriptures. The resurrection is also in question among liberal theologians and churches, but as Paul stated, if there is no resurrection, then we are yet in our sins (vs. 16-17).

Among the many scriptures in the New Testament, we can point to dozens that portray the Gospel in one way or another, and such good news was foretold in the Old Testament as well:

O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift [it] up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

ISAIAH 41:27
The first [shall say] to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.

In Genesis Chapter Five we have a genealogy of ten names; a rather ho-hum chapter when you consider what precedes and proceeds it - Chapter four is about the strife between Cain and Abel, the second recorded murder in the scriptures (where is the first you might ask? Good question! Find out!) and the sixth chapter is about the very weird proceedings of the sons of God and the daughters of men, and what's come to be known as the 'nephilim'.

So what's the big deal about chapter Five? God always rewards the diligent, and with a little digging, one might become stunned at the treasures uncovered!

How would a rendering of the Gospel - in code - grab you?

As you probably already know, names are very significant in the Bible, and we can learn the meaning of names if you have a very thorough study Bible or a Lexicon, yet in some cases (such as the one before us) you need a dictionary of root-words and their etymological (historical background of word usage and origin) significance.

But for some names, we already know their meaning; for example, what does the name Adam mean? If you say, "man" you're right!

All ten names in this genealogy have meanings; let's go through them all, shall we?

Adam had a son, and his name was Seth, and Seth means "appointed".

Seth's son's name was Enos, meaning "mortal". Enos' son's name was Cainan, meaning "sorrow".

Cainan had a son and named him Mahalaleel, which means "the Blessed God".

Mahalaleel had a son and his name was Jared, and it means "shall come down" or "descend" and many Bible scholars believe that it was in the days of Jared that the sons of God (a term used in the OT exclusively of angels, and in this case, fallen angels who committed such rebellious deeds as found in Gen. ch. 6) came down from the heavens to co-habitate with human females.

Jared had a son and named him Enoch and we know Enoch as a righteous man that walked with God, and God took him, for he was not. Enoch means "teaching".
No doubt he became a teacher for those who wanted to learn about God. Enoch was also given a prophecy regarding The Second Coming, as found in the book of Jude:

JUDE 1:14-15
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

Enoch's son's name was Methuselah, and it was pronounced that in the year that Methuselah died, that the judgment would come as God said to Noah (remember that the life span of people in these days were quite long, a single life lasting as long as 600, 700, 800 yrs, so these men's lives overlapped each other quite a bit).

It's also interesting to note that Methuselah is the longest life that God ever gave to a mortal man. What does that say about the nature of God? That He longs to show mercy and procrastinates judgment as long as possible. As I like to say, God sprints to show mercy, but drags His feet to bring judgment. Such is the heart of our Loving Abba.

Well Methuselah means "his death shall bring", a most fitting name for such a one whose death would signal the impending Flood that deluged the entire planet!

Methuselah had a son whose name was Lamech, and this name means "sorrow or despairing" and this even shows up in our English language, for we are familiar with the word "lament".

And finally the last of these 10 names is Noah, the son of Lamech, and Noah means "rest".
So now let's take the meaning of all 10 of these names and string them together and see what we get, all right?

"Man appointed mortal sorrow. The blessed God shall come down, teaching His death shall bring the despairing rest."

Can you honestly believe that the scribes of Jesus' day would intentionally sneak a secret message that would support and verify the message of Jesus, their enemy?

Rather, the Holy Spirit worked in the heart of Moses, who wrote the first 5 books of the OT (those who doubt the authorship of Moses need not go any further than the LORD Jesus Christ as the authority for this truth; every time Jesus quotes from the Tanahk He always credits Moses as its author!) to include this genealogy which displays the Gospel, in code, waiting to be discovered centuries later! MIND BLOWING!
Lastly let me share with you an acronym that I received from the LORD Himself (He knows that I LOVE acronyms!)

G.O.S.P.E.L. = God's Omnipotent ("all powerful") Salvation Proclaiming Eternal Love/Life.

I love how His Salvation is Omnipotent, or All Powerful, for there is no one so bad that they CAN'T be saved! The blood of Christ washes away the vilest stains of sin! thank you LORD!