We have learned that without the Messiah through His Spirit, the words in the Scriptures are just a form to us with no fullness. But the Holy Spirit fills us with the fullness. And that is the thought that I want us to carry into this message…
When the shepherds were watching their flocks one night near Bethlehem, “the glory of the Lord” appeared to them and they were “sore afraid” (Luke 2:9). This is the natural reaction of fallen man when he comes into contact with the glory of the Lord, and this is how the children of Israel felt at Sinai. They see a form which frightens them because they don’t know the meaning of it and so they see it as threatening. But then the angel interpreted it to them.
“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you glad 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 the Messiah YAHUAH (Jehovah)” (vs. 10-11). (Note: the Syriac Peshittah preserves the Divine Name there; He is YAHUAH because He is part of God the Father through His original birth in eternity, thus revealing to us His divinity as the Son of God.)
There are to particular parts of this passage that I would like us to dwell on here: “glad tidings of great joy” and “the Messiah”. We want to see an important connection here.
First of all, you may have noticed that I’m using the term “the Messiah” in my messages now. It is not because of any superstition I have against Greek, which I before dabbled into. But it is the meaning that I’m after here. And that is what is important. It is more true to the language of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures with the word “THE”, and so this is why in some modern translations such as International Standard Version (ISV) you will not find “Christ”. It is title more than a name and a very important one. Using “Messiah” harmonizes the Scriptures so that it is clearly seen that the “Messiah” of the New Testament is the “Messiah” of the Old Testament. We must see that He is the promise of the Everlasting Covenant in Genesis—the promised Messiah, not just a word, a form. The word “Christ” is often spoken in vain because we do not have its meaning in our minds. We need to escape having a form of religion that lacks substance, and thus faith. So let us discover more meaning in the word “Messiah”.
Of course the Messiah means “the Anointed” just as it does in the Greek, but we need to go deeper than this, otherwise the word “Anointed” will just be a form as well.
Let’s look at a Messianic Scripture which will open up great things for us:
“***YAHUAH hath anointed Me to preach glad tidings unto the meek***; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of YAHUAH, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, ***the oil of joy for mourning***, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of YAHUAH, that He might be glorified” (Isaiah 66:1-3).
The word “anointed” here is ‘mashach’, which is the root of the word ‘Mashiach’, or Messiah. They are basically the same word, ‘mashach’ (anointed) in the passage is the verb form while ‘Mashiach’ (Messiah) is the noun form. We are comparing Scripture with Scripture and this is how Scripture interprets itself. This is how we get meaning. The passage gives us the very reason why the Messiah was anointed: “to preach glad tidings unto the meek”. Therefore, we can now make the connection between “the glad tidings of great joy” and “the Messiah” in Luke. The angel of the Lord used the two terms to connect the Messiah with the promises of Old Testament Scripture. Let’s look at another one from Psalms.
“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows” (Psalm 45:7).
How did God the Father anoint the Son of God with the oil of gladness? What does this mean?
The most obvious anointing was at His baptism. He was anointed there by the Holy Spirit of the Father (symbolized by the dove) “to preach glad tidings unto the meek”; and so He did for the next three-and-a-half years. But that was only for three-and-a-half years. Is that the ultimate anointing? No, it was when He was anointed as “King of the Jews”, and Great High Priest, at the end of the three-and-a-half years, the anointing is eternal…
At the cross…
“Christ’s enemies had demanded a miracle as evidence of His divinity. They had evidence far greater than any they had sought. As their cruelty degraded His torturers below humanity into the likeness of Satan, so did His meekness and patience exalt Jesus above humanity, and prove His kinship to God. His abasement was the pledge of His exaltation. The blood drops of agony that from His wounded temples flowed down His face and beard [resulting from the *crown of thorns* that was placed upon Him] were the pledge of His anointing with ‘the oil of gladness’ (Hebrews 1:9.) as our Great High Priest” (Desire of Ages, 734).
But why would the crown of thorns in that bitter agony be the oil of *gladness*???
Friends, it is because our selfless Messiah did it for you and me!
“I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour…”
“Thou shalt call His Name YAHUSHUA (JESUS): for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The book of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, and ‘Yahushua’ means “YAHUAH who Saves.” Saves from what? Our sins! This salvation means deliverance and healing from sin and its effects, for all this is in the Greek word “D’Sozo” (“save”, KJV). And THIS is what makes the Messiah’s people glad. The Glad Tidings (a translation I like better than ‘the Gospel’ which is already used four times in KJV for the same Greek word) are the proclamation of the message of the promised Messiah saving us from our sins!
So now we already have more meaning in the Messiah. When we see this word, or the word ‘Christ’, right away we should think—GLADNESS! He was anointed to save me from my sins! But we want to go deeper yet…
“YAHUAH hath anointed Me to preach glad tidings.” How does the Messiah “preach”? It is by His Holy Spirit. But we must be able to connect the Holy Spirit to the cross. I have tried to make this connection for years, because it is a self-evident truth that the Holy Spirit must come to us through the Messiah’s Sacrifice (even though we little think of it), but now I can see the true connection…
At the cross Jesus died our second death. This second death means two things: (1) Suffering for sins with no hope of a resurrection, and (2) a permanent death. First of all, the Messiah had already died a permanent death so that it was even possible for Him to become our sinful flesh and bear our sins, and this was in His incarnation when He permanently annihilated Himself as “Michael” (one who is like God), His form of God. But this was only the first stage of a permanent death. The purpose of this death was only to complete another permanent annihilation on the cross, for when Michael, who was the Son of God, became the Son of Man, he emptied Himself (and this emptying was not just at one time at His incarnation) to fill Himself with our flesh of sin to take upon Himself our sins. Taking upon Himself our sins, having already emptied Himself of His form of God, He now emptied Himself further, dying the second death.
Friends, we need to study more of the cross. There is so much here for us. The Messiah literally emptied Himself of the blood that came from His flesh. This was His true anointing. But what did His blood coming from His sinful flesh carry with it? His sinless life, covering our life of sins!
“The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11). He literally died to our sins. His sinful flesh (which He never once yielded to in His sinless life) literally emptied itself of our sins in the blood being pour out. His life is sinless life in the blood covered our sins in the blood. He was dying our death, and a permanent one, for on the third day when He arose, not only was He no longer in the form of God, but He was no longer in our sinful flesh.
Now let’s make this more personal. “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). My sinful life is in the Messiah on the cross being emptied from Him. He is dying to my sins. This is present reality because as long as sin continues in His people, He is still there, because by His Spirit He must take our sins from us and give us His life. He is not there merely 2000 years ago, but He is there now, for in His Spirit He transcends space-time. (Don’t try to understand the infinite, just believe it!) The Messiah is bearing all the sin of the world—all the guilt and shame, and all of the pain that is taking place all over the word resulting from sin—in His Spirit, and He was in His Spirit in this way on the cross. He feels it all, and as King of all Sufferings, His anointing is in His blood, and His Spirit takes the sinless life in His blood and imparts it to us as the oil of gladness! Yea, the Messiah by His Spirit through His blood “preaches”—imparts—the glad tidings of His salvation—His deliverance, His healing. His Spirit by His Word speaks, and it is.
“YAHUAH hath anointed Me to preach glad tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of YAHUAH, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, ***the oil of joy for mourning***, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of YAHUAH, that He might be glorified” (Isaiah 66:1-3).
Every suffering and every healing from suffering on this earth is born and imparted, respectively, from the cross of Calvary. Every joy, every relief, and all goodness do not come by chance but Infinite Sacrifice. As long as sin continues, the Anointed at Calvary will continue bearing it and imparting life. So when we see the word “Messiah”, or “Christ”, we should think—GLADNESS, but only at the cost of infinite suffering. We should gain incentive—nay, more than this—power, to “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to *anoint* the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24). This anointing of crucifixion will continue until this end goal of “an end of sins” is finished. Then He will say, in real time, “it is done” (Rev. 16:17), in accordance to the words spoken on the cross “it is finished” (John 19:30) when He had finished dying to all sin. Remember, Calvary is not merely an event, but a reality, for His Spirit transcended time, including the time that He is in the heavenly sanctuary also dying to confessed sins in real time. It is all one continual sacrifice. It is “tamiyd” (Hebrew for “continual”, KJV) and “teleos” (Greek for “finished”, KJV)—continual until the end, or the goal, is met, and that is “an end of sins”.
And the cross gives us all incentive and power for this to take place in us. We need to behold the Messiah on the cross and its meaning daily, continually, until the end goal is met. Then we will receive the Spirit, the fullness, that flows from the wounds of Calvary…
“And His brightness was as the light; He had bright beams coming out of His [wounded] side: and there was the hiding of His power” (Habakkuk 3:4).
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall ***the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit*** offered Himself without spot to God, ***purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God***?” (Hebrews 9:13-14).
“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus the Messiah; not by water only, but by water and blood. ***And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth*** … There are three that bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one … He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:6-11).
“Though sin had produced a gulf between man and his God, divine benevolence provided a plan to bridge that gulf. And what material did He use? ***A part of Himself.*** The brightness of the Father’s glory came to a world all seared and marred with the curse, and in His own divine character, in His own divine body, bridged the gulf and opened a channel of communication between God and man. The windows of heaven were opened, and the showers of heavenly grace in healing streams came to our benighted world. O what love, what matchless, inexpressible love!” (Letter 36a, 1890).
It is a FACT that God the Father gave Himself—through His Son, a part of Himself—to save us from our sins. God is the Source and His Son is the Channel, and we worship the Source through the Channel. Now we can know what it means to believe in Jesus as the Son of God. It is not a form. A form means nothing but ceremonialism, which is also a form. Jesus, originally Yahushua (YAHUAH who Saves), is not just a word, or a form; the devils believe this and tremble. And the Son of God means that He came from God—which in itself could be just a form, except that it means that God gave Himself when His Son was begotten, knowing full well what His Son would become: truly a builder of His Name. It is a FACT that God gave Himself by giving us His Son, who is our life—our sinless life, eternal life. It is already ours, because God has GIVEN us His Son. But every time we sin it is because we are not believing this FACT of eternal life in the Son and we make God a liar. Sin means death. Probation time is given to us to believe a lie, until a remnant believe the truth that the Messiah’s sinless life is ours and sin no more.
“The Spirit, and the water, and the blood” all agree in one because they are the same life of the Son of God. And “as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26). Through the Spirit, “the blood of sprinkling … speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh” (Hebrews 12:24-25). The life of the Messiah is in His blood of anointing, and the Spirit carries this life to the soul that believes the glad tidings as FACT, for faith is not fiction but fact and we need to have greater assurance than we’ve had before. It is the Spirit that fills us with the glad tidings spoken by the blood of the cross and the sanctuary above. And then we leave the form and are filled. But this is the only way. Only the Holy Spirit filling us, and this by an infinite sacrifice; this is what we believe. Day by day, we speak it with God in His Word and it is. It is fact, it is reality, in us. We just agree with the Spirit, and the water, and the blood that already agree that it is, and then it is for us personally.
“O Zion, that bringest basar (glad tidings), get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest basar (glad tidings), lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God” (Isaiah 40:9). The glad tidings are simply this: Look and live. Behold your God at the cross of Calvary. He is there right now for you, dying to your sins. Will you die with Him, so you can live in His life?
In closing, I want you to see the beginning of Strong’s definition of the word “basar” so that we can come out of our cocoon, our form of godliness, and fly away as a free butterfly into the freedom of which God has called us by in His Son who is our life.
Basar: “to be fresh, that is, full (rosy, figuratively cheerful)” (Strong’s).
It is not just empty tidings; it means freshness, fullness, cheerfulness. We need to be made full, and in Hebrew fullness mean “joy in the Holy Spirit” (Hebrews 14:17). These are the tidings that our Saviour has spoken unto us: “that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be *full*” (John 15:11). “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be *full*” (16:24).
The only reason we are not full of joy is because part of us is still in the sins of Babylon. Sin can be defined in a large sense as being void of the Spirit of the Messiah, who is the Living Law. Sin forces Him to withdraw because He cannot force His presence where He is not wanted–a form chosen over His fullness–and this means death. Sin is the severing between a soul and God. The letter of the Law is just a form, but the Spirit of the Law is the fullness of it. “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life” (2 Cor. 3:6). The Spirit comes to us from the blood of Calvary, which is immortalized. I do not believe in transubstantiation or any kind of pantheism, but I believe that the life of the Messiah is real and that it is His same life at Calvary. It is His Spirit that proceeds from Him.
Sin is therefore a lack of being filled with the life of the Anointed One, a form without fullness. The letter of the law points out the empty form to bring us to the Messiah so that we come to Him for life. And then we are filled and overflow with His oil of gladness, for He speaks by His Spirit through His blood, and it is—His life fills us. Without Him we are living a form, a round of ceremonies, whether we are religious or not. Food, which is a shadow pointing to us partaking of the life of the Messiah, is perverted into a form, and we do not look to God the Giver. It is the same with drinking, breathing, sex, absorbing sunshine, and many things in nature. They were never meant to be forms—things in themselves—but symbols pointing to spiritual realities of the imparted life of the Messiah and union with Him. But without Him, the fullness of things in the natural world, most people are just living an endless round of ceremonies and have no joy or peace.
The formal Pharisee or the formal Adventist is no different than a formal atheist. Instead of finding pleasure in God the Giver they find pleasure in the form of nature itself—perverting the use of natural things that are good when enjoyed in the Messiah according to His Law. They have not heard and heeded the glad tidings—the freshness and fullness of life—and they are spiritually dead with no hope. There is pleasurable chemical stimulation but no joy in the Holy Spirit that who can only fill. But this whole world belongs to God who “filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:23) through His Spirit, His life, His upholding power proceeding from Him in the Person of His Son who empties Himself by sacrifice to fill all His creatures. To be mindful of these things is to have faith, and God gives this faith to all who do not resist it.
O listen friends, we must believe by beholding the suffering, life-imparting Son of God, which is spiritual eating and drinking…
“Our senses need to be quickened to lay hold of the mystery of godliness. It is the privilege of all to comprehend, far more than we do, the expiatory sufferings of Christ. ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,’ even so has the Son of Man been lifted up, ‘that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ John 3:14, 15. To the cross of Calvary, bearing a dying Saviour, we must look. Our eternal interests demand that we show faith in Christ.
Our Lord has said, ‘Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. . . . For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.’ John 6:53-55. This is true of our physical nature. To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament.
And how much more are Christ’s words true of our spiritual nature. He declares, ‘Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life.’ It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary’s cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded. Thus we become one with Him. ‘He that eateth My flesh,’ He says, ‘and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.’ John 6:54, 56, 57” (Desire of Ages, 660).
These are very glad tidings! Let us have this freshness and fullness of life by spiritually eating and drinking of our suffering Saviour whose anointing is the oil of gladness to us! Enough of the endless round of ceremonies—the enmity against God’s Living Torah, His Spirit of life. Let us agree with and declare what is FACT in the Word of God: “The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). “I am crucified with *the Messiah*: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but *the Messiah liveth in me*: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
When this *oil* of gladness of the glad tidings flows from the wounds of Calvary and comes into contact with our *burning* hearts, it becomes a shining light. Together we become “the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matt. 5:14). And soon the glad tidings will FILL the earth! 🙂
“For the earth shall be FILLED with the knowledge of the glory of YAHUAH, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
“I saw another Angel come down from heaven, having *great power*; and the earth was lightened with His glory” (Revelation 18:1).
“And His brightness was as the light; He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His *power*” (Habakkuk 3:4).
“O Zion, that bringest basar (glad tidings), get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest basar (glad tidings), lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, BEHOLD YOUR GOD” (Isaiah 40:9).
Behold your crucified and risen Saviour who is your life, your God, your all!