Because He Had Need of Me

The people in Bethphage recognized Yahshua as the fulfillment of the Word of Elohim Almighty: That a Messiah was come to teach the way of salvation and peace, and that Messiah would have need of them. They in turn freely offered their goods, their labor, their praise, and their witness to make his entry through the door of his destiny a success. That success meant death for Yahshua.

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Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

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The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

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{Matt 21:1-7} "The Master has need..."

1. Surprise! Yahshua didn't have a wife, a house, 2.3 kids, a dog in the yard, a retirement fund, or a tuxedo. And Yahshua here has need of a donkey. Is there a contradiction?

2. Didn't the Son of Man descend from the glory of the Creator of the entire universe? Didn't he set the stars in their courses and rule as a king in the fifth dimension? Didn't he have power over all manner of sicknesses and diseases? Didn't he have the ability to rebuke the storm, to catch a net full of fish, to multiply loaves, and to find his gold in a fish's mouth? Didn't he have the intelligence to outwit the greatest minds of his day? Yes, he did.

The paradox is, that, though he had the potential to grasp all things, he didn't even have a donkey to ride. What would we think if Billy Graham didn't have a limousine or Kenneth Copeland a jet plane? Yet Yahweh of glory tells his men that he needs a donkey - "go get me one!" he commands.

3. And Yahshua fully expected to receive one from somebody. His command carried expectation. He had no doubt at all that he would take possession. He spoke the word, and he received not one but two donkeys; And, according to Matthew, he sat on them both as he rode in.

4. Why did he sit on both (at least in the figurative sense)? So that the people in Jerusalem could see Zechariah's words fulfilled before their eyes, and rally to its King - for it was through Zechariah that Yahweh predicted their King to come, riding on a donkey and the foal of a donkey.

As to the symbolic meaning of it: the riding of these animals symbolizes Yahshua's identity as both Yahweh and the Son of Man. The Two have become One in Messiah, yet Messiah comes in silent strength rather than in military might. Such was an altogether fitting entrance for one who came not to judge but to die. Still the incongruity remains - the Set-apart One of Heaven had need enough to ask for the mundane; the commonplace.

It's a puzzling paradox. Messiah had it all and had need of nothing. At the same time, He had nothing and had need of it all.

{Mat 21:8-11} The crowd responds... What did the multitude offer a Savior in need?

1. Their cloaks - in Yahshua time the cloak was an item of great value. It could be used to pay a debt or to make bail. It was a radical act of either waste or worship to cast one's cloak in the muddy, manure strewn road of Jerusalem's suburb, Bethphage.

The act was not unlike what the unnamed woman did for Yahshua when she poured out her precious spikenard ointment upon his head. Both ointment and cloaks were as good as money: money that could have been used for good causes wasted in the road. But the people were resolved not to give their worthless closet accumulations as offerings to the Messiah - they gave instead the very shirts off their backs. Why? - because Yahweh had need of their resources.

2. Their labor - The people worked toward the success of this, Yahshua's latest and most prophetic endeavor. The climbed palm trees, cut the branches, and spread them on the road as a sign of their homage and loyalty. Palm tree trimming is hard and dangerous work, yet they did this for no practical or economic reason, other than Yahweh had need of their labor.

3. Their praise - Although the people misunderstood Yahshua's mission, they didn't misunderstand who he was and that his advent into Jerusalem would fulfill their long awaited prophetic expectations. When Messiah was to come, the people were taught that they should recite a portion of Psalm 118:

"Hosanna in the highest,
blessed is he who comes
in the name of Yahweh!"

I don't think that the people recited this blessing in the same respectful monotone we use in our communion services. I think they were wild with praise, raising their hands, jumping for joy. They were glad to give their praise, and they meant it. You see, they recognized Yahshua on the donkey(s), and realized this was their time of visitation. Praising Yahshua as the Messiah was a very dangerous thing to do. Yahshua would not have subjected his beloved to such exposure had he not had need of their praise.

4. Their witness to the identity of the "King" - Everyone in Jerusalem knew Yahshua. Yet when he made his entry into the city with such hubbub and so many following (unlike his usual entry into the city in secrecy), the city folks were very perplexed, and were asking Yahshua's entourage who he was. There was no hesitation among the people whatsoever. They were not ashamed of the name of Yahshua like we are today. They cried out for everyone to hear, "This is the prophet Yahshua from Nazareth in Galilee," knowing that what they were doing would get them imprisoned by the authorities and indicted by the powers of Rome.

But these common folks witnessed to Yahshua because the "secret" was out, and Yahweh now had need of their witness.

5. To summarize, the people in Bethphage recognized Yahshua as the fulfillment of the Word of Elohim Almighty: That a Messiah was come to teach the way of salvation and peace, and that Messiah would have need of them. They in turn freely offered their goods, their labor, their praise, and their witness to make his entry through the door of his destiny a success. That success meant death for Yahshua.

But it also meant something else.

1. That something else is extremely relevant to us in our age. We give that something else lip service once a month in our sacred communion service. That something else is the last tenant in what we call the mystery of faith:

The Preacher says:
In remembrance of your mighty acts in Yahshua Messiah,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a Set-apart and living sacrifice,
in union with Messiah's offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

The People say:
Messiah has died;
Messiah is risen;
Messiah will come again.

That something else which often seems a mere afterthought is that Messiah will come again.

2. We are on the verge of a new millennium, one that belongs to Messiah. All major Biblical prophesies concerning Yahshua's return have been fulfilled but one - the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. And the temple has been rebuilt, all except for the building.

Our todays are much like those days of 33 AD described in Matthew 21. These too are days of the fulfillment of prophecy. "The prophet Yahshua from Nazareth in Galilee" speaks of today when he says:

{30} The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven' with power and great glory.

And in the despondency of a true prophet, Yahshua asks himself, "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

3. The faith that Yahshua is talking about here is faith that works. Faith that prepares the way for the second coming -- faith that fulfills the need of Yahweh -- for "whatever you do to my children, you do to me," he said. Yes, Yahweh has need of you today in these latter, prophetic days in the same way Yahweh had need of the people of Bethphage those days. For He is coming soon; but this time ... he'll not be riding two donkeys in humility into Jerusalem, no. This time

He is coming with clouds (of witnesses); every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be.

4. Let us not be among those who wail in terror at the sight. In faith we are commanded in love to prepare as those in Bethphage prepared.

a. They offered their goods and their labor to fulfill his need. We call such offerings stewardship, and we always make some stewardship plan for the church. But the best plan I know comes from Milo Kaufman and 50 years ago. He wrote,

Stewardship is the effect of Elohim Almighty's saving grace upon one's self and his property. For example, when Elohim Almighty gets a man with a car He gets a car to be used in His service.
  Some seem to think of stewardship as a whip to drive people to give to the expenses of the church. But religious stewardship is not church legislation nor a scheme to deprive folks of their cash. No, stewardship is the natural reaction of the human heart that has been touched by the divine spirit.
  

Friend, if the Beloved Messiah has touched your life, don't you burn to give of yourself and what's yours for Him? To tear your very heart out of you body for him if he we to bid it? The only way you can give to him is through His body, the church. Since this is so, you must take part in his mission to assure that your gift is used for his benefit in preparing his way. It is through the mission of our church that we 'cast garments and palm fronds' into the sin-mired highways of this world in preparation for his return. Friend, give everything you possibly can so that he will have the means to clothe your trembling nakedness when he returns.

b. The folks at Bethphage also offered their praise and their witness to fulfill his need. We call such offerings evangelism; an evangelism that is vertical and horizontal - like the cross - between Elohim Almighty and others. It means worshiping a Set-apart Elohim Almighty in Spirit and truth, and sharing your testimony of his lovingkindness with others.

There is little doubt that some of this same throng that followed Yahshua to Jerusalem were arrested and convicted of crimes. There was a great risk then in proclaiming Yahshua Lord. I heard a song on "Christian" radio the other day. The words were something like "If Loving Goad Was A Crime, I'd Have to Be A Rebel." I wonder how many rebels we would have today in our town if it was against the law to worship Elohim Almighty and witness to his son's coming. Is your love of Messiah strong enough to lose everything for the sake of His testimony? Think about it? If you neither truly worship nor witness now while it's still somewhat legal, how will you be able to stand before him when he returns to Jerusalem right before your eyes?

INVITATION - Friends, wouldn't it be so much better to begin welcoming Yahshua Messiah back now that you know that he's really coming and coming soon? Get in while stock in Yahshua is selling low, so when it soars, you will become rich in Elohim Almighty's mercy. Surrender to what's bound to happen soon -- give yourself over to him. Sell what you have for him. Work diligently for him in whatever work you do. Worship him freely - open your heart to who he really is. And tell somebody about him. In these ways, you make his saddle, you spread the palms on the roadway, you recite the ancient creed and you spread the good news. Yahshua is coming soon!

Our lesson dictates an attitude of practicality as we live our daily lives! religious poet Martha Nicholson, triumphant over many years of hardship, wrote about her hope of the coming of Yahweh in these touching words. To finish, I hope you can make them yours today. She writes:

The best part of living is the blessed hope of his soon coming. How I ever lived before I grasped that wonderful truth, I do not know. How anyone lives without it these trying days I cannot imagine. Each morning I think, with a leap of the heart, "He may come today." And each evening, "When I awake I may be in glory." Each day must be lived as though it were to be my last, and there is so much to be done to purify myself and to set my house in order. I am on tiptoe with expectancy. There are no more gray days -- for they're all touched with color; no more dark days -- for the radiance of His coming is on the horizon; no more dull days, with glory just around the corner; and no more lonely days, with His footsteps coming ever nearer, and the thought that soon, soon, I shall see His blessed face and be forever through with pain and tears.

Prayer: Hosanna, Lord. I want this kind of assurance. And for it, I'll ride with you because now I know you have need of me. Amein.

Jackson Snyder, March 23, 1997

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