The Name Declared
In All The Earth!
The Glory Road, A Kingdom Highway
"All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name." (Ps. 86:9)
October 18, 1997
To: The Elect Of The Father, Fellow Sojourners In The Kingdom Of God
Throughout this year, God has been showing me directly by the Spirit, confirmed through Scriptures what it means to be one of the elect; (Is. 42:1; 45:4; 65:9, 22; Joel 2:32; Matt. 20:16; 22:14; 24:22; Jn. 6:45; Rom 9:11) a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. For the past three weeks, we have been vacationing in Missouri, heart of the Bible belt, fundamentalist territory. Emotionally and psychologically, I feel like for me, this has been that "far country" (Gen. 12:1) which God called me out of some 34 years ago now. He took me from the land of my fathers and brought me into a closer walk with him. I passed through the valley of the shadow of death; sampled the flesh pots of Egypt, (Ex. 16:3; Heb. 11:23-25) and worshipped a few golden calves (Ex. 20:3; 32:7-8) along the way. Nevertheless, throughout it all, He was faithful to do what He promised, which is to lead and guide me into all truth (I Jn. 2:27, KJ) by the power of the life giving Spirit. (Jn. 14:26, KJ). This trip home, He has shown me over and over why He called me out, and why He has taught me Himself, rather than leaving me held captive (Luke 4:18, RSV See also Is. 61:1) in the halls of religion.
The reason for this writing is to record my question of the Lord, and His answer to me, as I perceived it. In no way do I suggest that this is "the last word" on the subject, or that anyone else should receive it as anything other than Jan's opinion. In fact, at the time I wrote this article last fall, God said I can write it ONLY if I ask permission before sharing it with anyone. As I began building web pages, (in May and June, 1998, as we're here again in Neosho, Mo), I asked God if there was anything I had written previously that I should put on our site, and He said, "The Name Declared In All The Earth." Therefore, I offer it now, knowing that the Spirit will guide whomever should see it to the website. It is glorious and so liberating to give up all control and watch God reign over every aspect of our lives.
The springboard for my question was a tape I heard made from the Church of Christ preacher's sermon the previous Sunday. He had been doing a series on the crucifixion of Christ, and as the first two we heard were excellent, I didn't want to miss any in the series. As I listened to the third one on tape, I was glad I could fast forward it past the gory details of the crucifixion. It reminded me of Brother Rue Porter, who was a "Gospel preacher," in my youth. Every Gospel meeting, he would devote one sermon to Isaiah 53, and he would hammer out the details of this ghastly execution in bloody Technicolor and stereophonic sound. I would die a thousand deaths every time he would do so, and I still cannot bear to hear it preached. I want to rise up and shout, "Stop already! Isn't it bad enough that Jesus had to endure this agony once without crucifying Him over again here and now?"
I could offer Hebrews 9:25-26 as support for these feelings: "Nor yet that He should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world, has He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Of course, I don't need scriptural support for my own feelings, but my opinion is that there are times when preachers may abandon themselves a wee bit to the temptation to capitalize on the crucifixion scene in order to manipulate those in the pew to act on their guilty feelings.
I did NOT feel that this preacher was doing that, and in fact, he said that he did not want to overly dramatize this horrific scene. No matter, the death of Jesus is harrowing and ghastly to me just on the face of it. For sure, his sermon with its graphic details of Christ's death triggered my question, which I knew could only be directed to the Father. The question is "WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?"
This particular journal chapter is directed to the elect, because in seeking the answer, I do not wish to know what traditional theologians propound; what most Christian churches teach; nor what most folks in the pew ascribe to. Any child out of diapers can tell me that Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6; 1 Jn. 2:2). He died to save us from our sin. (Acts 2: 21; I Tim. 1:15; Heb. 9:12-14). He died so we can be joined with Him, (Romans 8:16-17, KJ) to give us the assurance that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ. (Eph. 1:3, NIV). (See also Eph. 2:4-7) I know that. We all know that. What I want to know has to do with the revelation of the gospel of Christ, (Gal. 3:8, 14, RSV) which the Apostle Peter says the prophets (Matt. 13:17, RSV) searched diligently for, and even the angels desire to know more about. (I Pet. 1:10-12, KJ).
Perhaps more than any other New Testament writer, Paul expressed the essence of the gospel, and through him, we learn compelling truth about God's sovereign plan for His entire creation. (Rom. 19:-23; Eph. 3:8-10, RSV). Paul says that we were chosen in Christ BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD! (Eph. 1:4-5, KJ). To Timothy, whom he was mentoring, he penned these thrilling words, "...be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who has saved us, and CALLED US WITH AN HOLY CALLING, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, [Hallelujah], BUT ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE, WHICH WAS GIVEN US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN." (II Tim. 1:9). (See also Gal. 1:15-16).
We know that Christ was destined to be the Lamb slain (I Pet. 1:20) before the foundations of the world, (Rev. 13:8, NIV) and according to Paul, we were chosen in Him at that time. (II Tim. 1:9). Now, if, as the Revelation of John states, our names were written in the Lamb's book of life before the foundation of the world, (Rev. 17:8, RSV) and those whose names are written there shall inherit everlasting life, (Rev. 3:5, NIV) why did Christ still have to die? In fact, why did Adam and Eve eat of fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and as a result, be banned from the garden and God's presence by Cherubims with flaming swords? (Gen. 3:22-24, KJ). Why couldn't they have just eaten the tree of Life and lived forever instead of bringing death to all men? (I Cor. 15: 21-22). Mankind would have been saved untold grief if God had just left the sons of God rejoicing as the morning stars sang, untouched and undamaged by the ravages of sin and rebellion. But that was not the plan.
The Father of lights (James 1:17) had a sublime blueprint, an eternally (Matt. 13: 35, RSV) destined plan, (Eph. 1:9-10, RSV) one not dependent upon our human thoughts and judgments. (Romans 8:33-34, KJ). In the heart of the Father was the divine purpose for His creation, hidden from the foundation of the world. Many Christians have not yet received the glorious revelation that since God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, (II peter 3:9) therefore, none will be lost and all (Heb. 2:9, RSV) will be saved. (Romans 5:18-21, KJ)
Indoctrinated by man's religion, these folks still believe that even though the Bible states that it is God's will that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, (II Tim. 2:4; Tit. 2:11; II Pet. 3:9) nevertheless, according to their theology, He will not be powerful enough to bring His glorious will (Jn. 1:12-13, KJ) to pass. The compelling truth which Paul reveals in Eph. 1:11 has fallen on darkened hearts. Why can't they see the plain truth that God"works all things after the counsel of his own will?" The answer may sound baffling, but it is simple and disclosed throughout scripture: God has blinded their eyes and stopped their ears to keep them from the knowledge of the truth. (Matt. 13:11, 14-17; Romans ll: 7-8. See also Deut. 29:4; Is. 6:9-10; Jer. 5:21; Mark. 12:11-12; Luke 8:10; Jn. 12:40; Acts 28:26). Bearing these many scriptures in mind, I invite you to imagine with me this scene: as the last trumpet sounds, (I Cor. 15:24-26;52; Rev. 11:7-19).
Picture this scene with me: Jesus is standing shame faced and defeated before His Father. With trembling voice, and down cast eyes, He must confess that He has failed in His mission, (Jn. 3:17, KJ) even though He did His very best: He shed His precious blood for the world; He fulfilled the law and followed His Father's perfect will, nonetheless, it wasn't enough. His sacrifice was so deficient, in fact, and mankind so totally depraved, that the vast majority of the sons of Adam will burn and turn in the flames of hell throughout all eternity, forever and ever separated from the blessed presence of the Father promised to the children of God. What heresy! (Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). What blasphemy to the power and glory of Almighty God! (1 Jn. 4:14, RSV). In spite of the fact that Elwin Roach says there are 98 passages of scripture (See End Note A) verifying this great truth of God's mercy upon all, (Romans 11:32, RSV) this "Jubilee" (Lev. 25:8-16) (See End Note B) truth seems to be something revealed only to the elect, those born from above, (John 3:3,5, KJ) those who see God's hand in everything. That's why I cannot reveal my question to anyone but to those with whom God permits me to share.
So, for three nights now, I have asked God to explain it to me, since He is the only one who can. Perhaps addressing the unspoken query arising in a mother's heart of how our heavenly Father could send His only begotten to such an agonizing death, He first gave me to know that He Himself was dying on that cross. Paul wrote the Corinthians, "To wit, that GOD WAS IN CHRIST, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ." (II Cor. 5:19,20a, KJ).
God wanted so much to fellowship with His creation, that He became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1,14). When asked by Philip to show them the Father, Jesus said plainly, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet has thou not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, 'Show us the Father?" (John 14:9, KJ). (See also Heb. 1:3).
I woke up the next morning thinking about the fact that the book of Job tells us that there was a time when Satan came among the "sons of God," having free access to the throne room. (Job 1:7, KJ). We all remember that this dialogue between the Lord and Satan was the beginning of Job's woes. (Job 1:8-12). The sons of God are mentioned another time in Job by the Lord when He answered Job out of the whirlwind. In that catechism, He referenced the time "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." (Job. 38:7). The book of Job is listed with the books of poetry in the Bible, and apparently is very old. So, perhaps the events recounted there happened prior to Satan being tossed out of heaven. I was not given that information. However, in answer to my question of "Why did Jesus have to die," this is the order that the scriptures came to me.
How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, (the King James calls him Lucifer) son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart,
"I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."
But you are brought down to the grave,
to the depths of the pit.
Those who see you stare at you,
they ponder your fate:
"Is this the man who shook the earth
and made kingdoms tremble,
the man who made the world a desert,
who overthrew its cities
and would not let his captives go home?" (Isa. 14:13-17)
There is an inference here in this passage that once Satan was revealed for who he really is, the observers were surprised because he had no real power at all. John indicates the same thing in the book of Revelation when he says that Satan's role is to deceive the nations. (Rev. 12:9, KJ). This reference is found in chapter 12 of Revelation, and I will include the whole chapter here for the mystical flavor or it and for the powerful and emotional impact of this war in heaven which ended up with Satan being cast down upon the earth with all his angels to make war with man. Here's how it reads in the NIV:
Rev. 12:1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
Rev. 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down &emdash;that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Rev. 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
Rev. 12:11 They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Rev. 12:12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short."
Rev. 12:13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring &emdash;those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
It is a temptation to emulate the Baptist preacher we heard last Sunday who told us what he was going to read; then read the verse itself; and then explained what he thought it meant. I offer these scriptures as they came to me, face value, and ask the reader to inquire of the Lord. It took a couple of days, but it finally came to me that for the child of God, the fabulous benefit of Michael's victory over Satan is experienced each time we see the kingdom of heaven at work in our lives. (I Jn. 3:8). Since we are now seated in heavenly (spiritual) places with Christ, (Eph. 1:3, KJ) we have victory over the raw power of the devil, whose domain is the earth (the physical). So in reality, it matters not when the actual battle occurred in heaven, because the victory is celebrated each time a child of God realizes that through the power of the life giving Spirit, Jesus defeated the devil. (Heb. 2:14-15, KJ). For the rest of the world, however, John tells us that Satan will continue to deceive the nations right up until he is cast into the lake that burns with fire, (Rev. 20:7, NIV) which I've come to see is God Himself. (Heb. 12:29, KJ. See also Deut. 4:36).
Remembering that these scriptures came to me as I was pondering the question, "Why did Jesus have to die," the next one that came to my remembrance was John 17:6: Jesus said that He had glorified God and had manifested or declared His name unto the men whom God had given Him out of the world. He not only declared God's holy name to them, but in that prayer, He asks His Father to "keep through thine own name those whom thou has given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." (John 17:11-12, KJ).
Earlier in the year, when I noticed this passage, I inquired of the Spirit what Jesus meant when He said He had manifested God's name to His disciples. (Heb. 2:12). He led me to Paul's comments in Romans, chapter 9, about Pharaoh. To me, chapters 9, 10, and 11 of Romans are the high water mark of the exposition of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 9, Paul talks about God's sovereign election of some over others, using Jacob and Esau as examples. He quotes the book of Exodus, when God said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." (Rom. 9:15; Ex. 33:19).
Paul's conclusion about God's election of Jacob over Esau before they were even born, gladdens my heart every time I read it. He declares, "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, NOT OF WORKS BUT OF HIM THAT CALLETH.) (Rom. 9:11), .....So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that shows mercy." (Vs. 16). Regarding Pharaoh, Paul reminds us of the message God sent Moses to deliver to this powerful Egyptian monarch: "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, 14 or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. 16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." (Exod. 9:13, NIV) "Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name MIGHT BE DECLARED THROUGHOUT ALL THE EARTH." (VS. 17).
At long last, as plague after plague ravaged the land of Egypt, Pharaoh finally let the children of Israel go, but God was not through with him yet. Picture this scene: several million men, women and children, fleeing with all the spoils of Egypt, and all their worldly goods, cattle, and belongings, stood still, halted in their flight for life. With the waters of the Red Sea before them, and Pharaoh's chariots and men of war behind them, Moses spoke to the people, empowered by the Spirit of God: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." (Ex. 14:13-14).
After that thrilling proclamation, the Lord admonished Moses to tell the whimpering children of Jacob to quit their whining and march forward in the glory of God. (Vs. 15). He told Moses yet again that He had hardened Pharaoh's heart. Why? "I will get me honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honor upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them." (Ex. 14:18-19).
After they had crossed the Red Sea and were in the wilderness, just prior to God rewriting the tablets of stone in the shadow of Mount Horeb, Moses beseeched Him to show him His glory. God's answer was that He would cause His goodness to pass before him and would proclaim the name of the Lord before him. (Ex. 33:18-19). The next morning, Moses went back to the mountain to present himself to the Lord upon its summit. At God's command, he had hewed two tables of stone like the first and went up on the mountain as he was commanded. The scripture relates that "the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and PROCLAIMED THE NAME OF THE LORD, And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, 'THE LORD, THE LORD GOD, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin..." (Ex. 34:5-7).
These scriptures came to me one after the other and I couldn't believe what I was getting, for I was compelled to conclude that the very simple answer to my question of why did Jesus have to die, was the same one God gave Moses: That His name might be declared throughout all the earth. We sang the beautiful song, "Magnify thy name in all the earth" this morning at church, and I knew by the Spirit, that man's disobedience and God's mercy in the face of such rank defiance, (Romans 5:6, KJ) will cause His holy name to be known and glorified of all men! As He said to the disobedient, rebellious children of Israel through the prophet Ezekial, He will magnify and glorify Himself, for His Holy Name's sake.
Because the passage is such a marvelous gift of grace hidden amidst chapter after chapter of law, I want to include Ezek. 36:16-28, here in its entirety:
Ezek. 36:16 "Again the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman's monthly uncleanness in my sight. [which, by the way, is how Isaiah describes all our righteousness, as well - Is. 64:6.] 18 So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. 20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, 'These are the Lord's people, and yet they had to leave his land.' 21 I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone."
Ezek. 36:22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes." (I believe that THIS refers to the manifestation of the sons of God. See Romans 8:19).
Ezek. 36:24 "'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God."
God will magnify His Holy Name in all the Earth. Of this Christ, whose name is "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace," Isaiah states, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever." (Is 9:6) That is indeed Good News, but even better than that is the promise that, "The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts Will Perform This!" (Vs. 7).
When the Lord declared, magnified, and glorified His Holy name in the days of Pharaoh and Moses, the results were amazing and known by all, even without the evening news, fax machines or the Internet! As the Israelites traveled on the way to Canaan, God told Moses, "This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee." (Deut. 2:25). God sovereignly magnified Himself for the benefit of Jacob's progeny, travelers to Canaan's promised land. When He magnifies, glorifies and declares His name today, the results will be even more spectacular:
"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Is. 40:5). Isaiah leaves no doubt who will bring about this glorious finale of all things: "That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it." (Is. 41:20). The prophet Habakkuk penned these awesome words: "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Hab. 2:14, NIV). God will never cease, rest, sleep nor slumber until Isaiah's vision comes to pass: In it, the seraphim cried one to another, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." (Is. 6:3).
Open our eyes, Lord, that we can see it, now and in this time.
Jan Austin Antonsson
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 S. Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
The Glory Road
We would enjoy hearing from you!
Lass edited on 11/23/08.