Counselor

A scriptural name used to describe part of the characteristics, qualities, and work of Jesus Christ is the name "Counselor."

In Is. 9:6 we read, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...and his name shall be called...Counselor..." The name, counselor, refers to a lawyer, judge, or one who gives counsel. One of the words translated counselor in the new testament is "sumbulion" indicating a uniting in counsel, thus an assembly of counselors consulting together. Before the foundation of the world, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost consulted together as we read in Is. 46:9 11, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will
also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."

Thus God, in counsel, determined the end from the beginning and sent forth the man, Jesus, to execute his counsel from the far country of heaven.  This perfectly agrees with Rom. 8:29, 30 where God chose a people to be his and predestinated them to be conformed to the image of Christ.  According to Eph. 1:4 this choice of a people was made before the foundation of the world. Jesus, in executing the counsel of God, calls, justifies, and glorifies those that God foreknew and predestinated; thus he executes according to God's counsel. Prov. 20:18 says, "Every purpose is established by counsel..."

The word, counsel, also refers to the giving of advice. As we live in this time world, faced with problems, tribulations, difficulties, and divers situations to cope with, we find ourselves as needy creatures needing much counsel that we may survive the onslaught of Satan's temptations and devices, and that we may learn to live as disciples of Christ, and that we may give honor to God with the lives that we live.  Where can such counsel be found? The answer is that it comes from our counselor (Jesus) and he has given it to us in his word: Ps. 119:24 reads, "Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors." In addition, according to II Tim. 3:16 Jesus our counselor, has given us his word that we "may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

According to Ps. 1:1, 2, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." It seems that we always have two ways set before us as we journey in this life. As far as
counsel is concerned we have the counsel of the Lord and we have the counsel of the ungodly.

The above scripture teaches us we are blessed to meditate and walk in the Lord's counsel. Unfortunately, too many of the Lord's people seek advice for their problems, tribulations, concerns, life situations from all the wrong sources. We need to learn to be more like Job who said, "I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." How many pitfalls and troubles would we be delivered from if we did like Job? Also we need to take heed to the words of David who said, "thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee." We can't hide God's words in our heart by placing our bibles as ornaments on end tables or in book shelves. In order to hide his word in our hearts we must consistently and regularly read, study, and meditate on the word of God. Once we start hiding it in our heart we will find that it will be like "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Ps. 119:105). By taking heed to the counsel of our counselor we can save ourselves from this untoward generation in which we live and we can walk by the "King's highway."

Some would say that the scriptures were all right in previous times but now they are outdated in this electronic age and new modern thinking.  According to Ps. 33:11, "The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations." The nature of man has not changed, nor has his needs. God's word is ever current and sets forth the best way for God's people to live in all generations. We may change our toys, or ways of communicating, traveling, or ways of making a living. We can even speed up our pace of life, but ultimately "there hath no temptation taken us but such as is common to man.." God knows our needs and according to Ps. 73:24, "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory." As we journey in this life we need the all wise counsel of God to guide us.

Paul said that he had not shunned to declare all the counsel of God.  Let us likewise not shun to declare all the counsel of God and to live by that same counsel. It will lead us unto the joy, peace, and comfort that God has promised us and will deliver us from many pitfalls and harms in life and give us wisdom to recover from those valleys and
trying situations we all find ourselves in from time to time.

Our Counselor has given unto us his perfect counsel.


God's Name Comforter

When the Lord told the disciples he was going away and their hearts were troubled, he made a promise to them that not only embraced them, but embraces us today. John 14:16 18, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." From this passage we make the following conclusions:

1. Jesus was the Comforter of the disciples when he walked with them.
2. Jesus promised the disciples that the Father would send another Comforter.
3. The Spirit of truth is the promised Comforter.
4. This Comforter would abide in the church for ever.
5. This Comforter would not only dwell with the church but would be in the church.
6. In the person of this Comforter Jesus comes to us.

As Jesus was a Comforter to the disciples as he ministered on earth for 3 years so the Holy Spirit is the Comforter of the church today. One of the chief ways in which Jesus was a Comforter to the disciples was that he taught them the word of God. Similarly, according to the Lord's promise in John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."  In 1 Cor. 2:10 we are told that the Spirit reveals to us the things which God hath prepared for us who love him. Furthermore we are told that the Spirit "searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God. Also in verses 11 and 12 we are told that we know the things of God by the Spirit of God. Again in verse 13 we are taught that we speak "the things which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual." This all is in harmony with what the Lord taught us in John 6:45, "And they shall all be taught of God." The Holy Spirit is the teacher of the disciples today. He opens the eyes of understanding when we search, read, and study the word of God. He has taught us to love God (I Thes. 4:9). He brings us to an understanding of our own depravity and causes us to mourn over our own sin cursed condition (Matt. 5:3) and then comforts us to understand that Christ died to redeem us (Lk. 18:14). He leads the gospel ministry to preach his word in power and demonstration of Spirit (1 Cor. 2:4) and blesses us to hear with listening ears and understanding hearts (Eph. 1:17, 18).

Furthermore, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth testifies to us of Jesus (John 15:26) and glorifies him (John 16:13) and shows the things of Jesus to us (John 16:15).

Additionally, we are taught that the Comforter is the great reprover of the world (elect of God). The word, reprove, in John 16:8 is translated from the Greek, "elencho," meaning to convict or convince. It is the Comforter who reproves us of sin. In the new (spiritual) birth God writes his laws in our hearts and sprinkles our hearts from an evil conscience, thus establishing a court room in our heart and mind. Then the Holy Spirit brings to our heart the heart felt knowledge of sin and we are convicted or convinced in our hearts that we are sinners. Truly before this takes place we do not believe on Jesus (1 Cor. 1:18).

Next, having a heart felt conviction of sin we begin to try to establish our own righteousness only to find this an impossible task. Consequently the Comforter (Spirit of truth) convinces us of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Subsequently, we are convinced by the Comforter that the judgment of our sins was completed in the person of Christ on the cross where Jesus was "made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

Finally, the Comforter is the guide of God's people and the church today, just as Jesus was the guide of the disciples in his 3 year earthly walk. Jesus guides the labors of the gospel ministry as we read in Acts 16:6 10: "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the
word in Asia, after they were come into Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over unto Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them." Furthermore, the Comforter appoints the preachers their field of labor as set forth in Acts 20:28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."


God's Name Christ (High Priest)

Ex. 40:13, "And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office." Aaron and afterwards his sons had to be anointed in order to serve in the office of High Priest.

Most of what we know about Christ as our High Priest is set forth for us in the book of Hebrews.

First, we know that Christ lineage was of the tribe of Judah and not of the tribe of Levi. Therefore, he was not a high priest after the order of Aaron. The high priesthood after the order of Aaron had its place in the old testament service and in the types and shadows that pointed to Christ.

The High Priesthood of Christ is unique as set forth in Heb. 3:1, "...consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." The article, "the," indicates one of a king. Christ is a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec according to Heb. 5:6, "As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." This Melchisedec described in Genesis was unique in many ways, but especially in that he was both King and Priest. In Israel, kings could not be priests and priests could not be kings. Melchisedec was king of Salem which Salem means peace. The name Melchisedec literally means King of righteousness. To the people of God, Christ is both King of peace and King of righteousness, and like Melchisedec stands as High Priest over his people.

Second, the High Priesthood of Christ is an everlasting priesthood.  Under the priesthood of Aaron the priest would die and another would take his place. Thus the priesthood was frequently changing. Christ is a High Priest after the power of an endless life (Heb. 7:16, "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life)." Thus Christ is a priest for ever and "because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood" (Heb. 7:16). Thus there will never be nor need be another High Priest over the house of God. Christ is an eternal High Priest over the house of God.

Third, unlike the priests after the order of Aaron, Christ never had to offer a sacrifice for himself for he is perfect: Heb. 7:26 28, "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens: who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated forevermore."

Fourth, because of the perfection of Christ, he only had to offer up one sacrifice for sins. The high priests after the order of Aaron offered up daily sacrifices and then they offered up yearly sacrifices first for himself and then for the errors of the people. These sacrifices never could do away with sin, but only brought sin to remembrance: Heb. 10:1, "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect." The following verses show that Christ only made one sacrifice:

1. Heb. 9:12, "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
2. Heb. 9:26, "...but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
3. Heb. 9:28, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many..."
4. Heb. 10:10, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
5. Heb. 10:12, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever sat down on the right hand of God."
6. Heb. 10:14, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

Fifth, the offering of our High Priest Christ was not made in an earthly tabernacle made with hands, but was made in heaven to God. This is verified by the following verses:

1. Heb. 9:11, 12, "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
2. Heb. 9:14, "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?"
3. Heb. 9:24, "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."

Sixth, Christ high priestly sacrifice was a covenant sacrifice with him as the mediator of the covenant: Heb. 9:15 17, "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  For where a testament is, there must also of a necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." From this we can gather that Christ is the testator and with his death the testament came into force and since He is the mediator he is the one who oversees that the effects of that testament are carried out, i.e., that those who are named in that testament and called receive the eternal inheritance. It should be noted here that all the elements of the covenant of redemption set forth in Rom. 8:29 30 are present in the above passage of scripture.

Seventh, Christ as our High Priest is our intercessor with God. The following passages of scripture verify Christ intercessor work:

1. Heb. 2:17, 18, "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted."

2. Heb. 4:14 16, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

3. Heb. 7:24, 25, "But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
4. Rom. 8:34, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."

5. 1 John 2:1, "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."

6. 1 Tim. 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."


God's Name is Holy

As we begin the first part of our study of the subject of sanctification as it relates to God, we observe there are numerous scriptures that tell us that God's name is holy.

Some references are quite obvious as we note that the third person in the Godhead is called the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost on several occasions. Likewise Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person in the Godhead is called the "Holy One," the "Holy Child," and "that holy thing." Similarly, Jesus called God, the Father, "Holy Father," in John 17:11.

In order to teach us how we ought to respect and honor God, God gave us the 4th commandment which reads, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

In Ps. 111:9 we read, "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." The name of God is separate from all other names. It is to be held in highest respect and honor by his creatures. We are not to dishonor his name by using it vainly nor by speaking of God or to God as we would commonly speak of or to men. In Ps. 102:1 we are told to praise God's holy name: "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Similarly we are told in Ps. 105:3 to glory in God's holy name: "Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord." In like fashion David said in Ps. 145:21, "My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever."

In the book of Ezekiel, when the Lord pronounced thru the prophet that he would deliver his people from the bondage wherein they were held, he stated that it was not for their sakes but for his holy name's sake that he would deliver them: Ezek. 36:20 24, "And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the
Lord, said the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land."

In signifying to us the importance of the name, Jesus Christ, Peter and John declared in Acts 4:10 12, "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

There are many names used in the scriptures to declare God unto us.  All of the names are significant and all describe unto us either a characteristic, attribute, or office work of God. In the next several essays we will examine the names used to declare God unto us, denoting the significance and holy nature of those names and the attendant
characteristic, attribute, or office work of God.

In conclusion God's name is separate from all other names and is to be reverenced by us.

 

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