Tag Archives: Jehovah Tsidkenu Lord our Righteousness

How to Get the Crown of Righteousness at the Rapture of the Church

“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing [at the Rapture of the Church]” (2 Timothy 4:8: NKJV my emphasis). 

The crown of righteousness is laid up only for those who love the Lord’s appearing at the Rapture of the Church––“on that Day.”

What Must Happen Before we Love the Lord’s Appearing?

What I Learned about the rapture of the church and what it has to do with the crown of righteousness

The question is: what must take place before we will love His appearing? I began to learn this lesson when I was a young mother with two small children.

This writing today is at my 50th wedding anniversary, jubilee year when we have ten grandchildren. We are looking forward to our trip to Israel to celebrate. For the last twenty-five years, I have been sharing two vision events of the Rapture and end time signs in every way possible.

Here is the story of my first early lesson:

It was no different than when President Kennedy was shot or when 9/11 hit. I knew exactly where I was and what I was doing when the realization came to me of what Jesus’ blood did for me. I was folding laundry, listening to a spiritual cassette tape when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the words “in the name of Jesus.”

It happened during the same time span when I was seeking to find the Something More I knew I was missing. It seemed to me every prayer I prayed hit the ceiling and came back down. My thoughts were: Why would God give me the time of day when there are so many other people who deserve His attention more than I do? Then, the man on the tape mentioned that Jesus, standing at the right hand of the Father, intercedes for us, and “that’s why we pray, ‘In the name of Jesus.’”

I had always learned to end a prayer with the words, “In the name of Jesus,” but until then, the full impact of what they meant had not gone from my head to my heart. However, now, in my mind’s eye, I could see a red umbrella covering me so that when God looked down upon me, He saw Jesus’ red blood, not me. Until then, what I saw was the underneath side of the umbrella smeared with my own unworthiness.

The words no good in me came to mind. I looked them up to see if they were in the Bible. Sure enough, there they were, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).

I realized I’d been trying to feel worthy on my own when Jesus had already made me worthy—justified. God actually did hear my prayers because of Jesus; He is the only good in me. God actually did see Jesus when He looked at me. He saw perfection. What awesome thoughts! I just had to believe them in order to walk in the knowledge (receive) of what His blood had done for me.

How I’d limited God’s power and ability! I also began to realize that growing as a Christian was learning and relearning and comprehending the awesome dimensions of what Jesus did for me at the very moment that He came into my heart many years ago.

Crown of Righteousness Revelation: What Is It All About?

What Must Happen Before We Love His Appearing at the Rapture of the Church - FREE BOOK

This year the Lord made it clear to me to write about the five eternal crown rewards we will receive in Heaven once our assignment on Earth is done. The crown of righteousness is number four. All five can be found with their links and a free summary and easy fill-in-the-blank, one-page, Scripture reference>>HERE

For God to release me to write about the crowns has been very significant to me because the name of my ministry is CROWN: Calling Real Ordinary [Wo]men Now, (or CROWN Connections for short). I inherited this name from three friends who took this name with them to a South African women’s retreat over ten years ago. Today’s post is even more meaningful to me because it is my story.

My story started with feeling unworthy of God’s love, not feeling His love for me, although I was a Christian from age eight. My self-esteem was nil; I never read my Bible or wanted to; never learned that I needed to, and God knew it. He intervened this day as I was seeking to know about the Holy Spirit––the only God on this earth––who I’d heard could open my eyes to who Jesus was and is and would give me the power needed to live the Christian life.

What I learned was more than I ever thought possible––that when God looked at me, He saw Jesus. He saw perfection! He saw the blood. How? Because of what the atonement meant; because of Jesus’ blood which covers us and fills us when we accept Him as our Savior and Lord.

I’ve explained all this in detail in chapters 4 and 5, Jehovah Tsidkenu [The Lord Our Righteousness], in my workbook of four parts, GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? which also comes in four eBooks. The first eBook of four is Part 1: LEAVING BONDAGE.

That’s it. I didn’t even know I was in bondage until I learned what Jesus’ blood did for me. It’s so important that I’ve made this first eBook FREE for you. >>FREE BOOK

Free eBook: Leaving Bondage of the God Who Are You SeriesWhy is it so Important to Understand What Righteousness Has to Do with the Rapture of the Church?

Allow me to share another story about how important understanding righteousness is. I kept noticing a friend would go to the altar every Sunday. Feeling I should invite her to my house to go through my Bible study workbook, she came. After we finished chapters 4 and 5 on the Jehovah Tsidkenu – Lord Our Righteousness, I could see that the light bulb had not come on for her. Like me, she had gone to church all her life and been a Christian many years.

I finally asked her, “Do you feel God’s love for you?” She immediately said, “NO!”

I immediately went to get a book from my shelf and showed her a diagram of the blood atonement from the book Angels on Assignment by Charles and Frances Hunter as told by Roland Buck. [Click this book title for more of my story behind the diagram and Pastor Buck’s visit from Gabriel – if you are able to receive that!]

The minute she looked at it she said, “Now I get it! I see it!”

There is power in the blood! Today, she is sharing her faith, mentoring other people and looking forward to the day of the Lord’s appearing when she will see Jesus face to face.

I’ve shared for you a reconstructed diagram of the blood atonement that I showed my friend at the end of Chapter 5: >>HERE

What is the Crown of Righteousness?

“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing [at the Rapture of the Church]” (2 Timothy 4:8: NKJV emphasis mine). 

AGAIN, UNDERSTAND THIS: We cannot love the Lord’s appearing at the Rapture of the Church until we know and understand what it means to be made righteous. That means how we are made right IN HIM and HE IN US. And, it is laid up only for those who love His appearing. Very plainly, that is what the crown is all about.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV). We are acquitted by the righteous Judge. We are removed from Satan’s grasp and our sins remitted once and for all time.

Dreams and Visions of the Night

Why is it so important to understand the crown of righteousness and what it has to do with the rapture of the Church? Take note of this dream vision from my new next-door neighbor, Barb R.:Click to Tweet

The images were in vivid technicolor and pressed indelibly into my mind. Although the whole dream probably only lasted less than two minutes in length, the message was emotionally disturbing, and I abruptly awoke from it with tears streaming down my face.

The Rapture was taking place, and some people, who had been walking around, perhaps in a big city, suddenly began rising straight up in the air toward the brilliantly lighted, open sky. As they were ascending, some were going quickly. But to my surprise, many were rising slowly.

As I looked closer, these people held their arms straight out from their sides. In each hand, they tightly grasped either a large bag or suitcase. As others were swiftly passing them, although they were looking straight up to the heavens, these people began to drift slowly back down to earth, obviously weighted and pulled by the objects they held onto.

Some seemed to come to their senses and opened their hands, the bags falling quickly by gravity. At the same time, the release allowed them to shoot freely upward. But many others, tightly holding on to their possessions, came all the way back down to the ground, and walked slowly away amidst the crowd, their eyes cast down and their countenance low and dejected. The sky closed back up and it was over.

We are unable to love God until we know and understand how much He loves us. Until then, we do carry excess baggage from hurts, disappointments, rejection, and life in general. Other things that can weigh us down are gods, things of this world, we place above love for God.

What is the greatest commandment? “Jesus said to him [a lawyer], ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment’” (Matthew 22:37 NKJV).

Those who HAD loved His appearing in Barb’s dream had no trouble seeing Jesus face to face and receiving their crowns of righteousness at the Rapture––because they were READY.

“While they [five of the ten virgins] were going away to buy [oil for their lamps] the bridegroom [Jesus] came, and those who were PREPARED went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut” (Matthew 25:10 emphasis mine).

When Does the Day of the Lord Begin?

Let’s go to the Bible to find out when the Rapture of the Church will happen – which will usher in the Tribulation:

“But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 Amplified).

“In the last days,” does any of this sound familiar?

Let’s read on:

“They have depraved and distorted minds and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned. But they will not get very far, for their rash folly will become obvious to everybody . . . .” (2 Timothy 3:8-9 Amplified).

What Happens Right Before the Rapture of the Church?

How to get the crown of righteousness at the rapture of the church

A few years ago, the Lord opened a door for me to share my two stories of the Rapture of the Church: one a super, natural event in 1994, the second an open vision in 1995. I had the freedom to share the details to a small room full of pastors. Afterward, one came up to me and said, “When you share this, do it exactly as you have done it today.”

I knew what he meant: to take time to share the details––with my own questions and subsequent events. Why? Because both have a deep meaning that even today, I’m still learning more of what God is teaching from them.

Finally, God gave me this platform on my blog site in 2017 to do videos with the written word as well – with all the details so you can make your own conclusions.

VIDEO 1 OF 2: THE RAPTURE AND TEAMWORK

In 1994 my husband was teaching in his business and industry class on teamwork. Since I was in business, he thought I should take his class which I did. This is what happened shortly afterward. [Click heading for video and text describing the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing aspects of the Body of Christ.]

VIDEO 2 OF 2; THE RAPTURE AND THE BODY OF CHRIST

In 1995 I saw this happen as I was driving from Oklahoma City home to Arkansas City, Kansas, during wheat harvest. [The text of this one gives more of the after story also. Click heading for video and text.]

Both Vision Events are Partially Fulfilled

Another reason for this blog site is to share the afterward story of their partial fulfillment. Things keep on happening. For instance, in March 2016 I went on a mission trip to India. Another series of events too much to share here showed THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH AND TEAMWORK happening in the body of Christ with that trip.

That story is in the book, 8 Hours in India: The Tipping Point of the Church Has Arrived, that I compiled with our team of seven. We’ve made this watchman-journal book as a fundraiser for others to use to raise money for mission trips, etc.

This book also captures more of the meaning of the second vision that was not yet revealed and recorded in my main workbook, GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names. It also has more Rapture stories from people I’ve met along the way.

Another 2016 Partial Fulfillment of the Vision

 

On voting day, November 8, 2016, this is what I wrote in my watchman journal, 8 Hours in India: “This morning as I sat down to read my Bible, I heard in my heart, ‘this is your vision.’ I knew instinctively that today – the whole body of Christ would turn right, and Donald John Trump would be elected our new president. And he was, by a landslide. It was so wonderful. Thank you, Jesus!”

What About the Last Half of the Visions?

 

When the last half of the two events are fulfilled at the Rapture of the Church, I won’t be here to report it. Will you? I hope not. Please take this seriously! We are at the consummation of all things and past the tipping point when things happen very quickly! You have been warned!

When we have this all settled in our hearts and minds, we will love Jesus like never before and we will be able to let the things of this world take their rightful insignificant place and be longing (and yearning) for His appearing.

We will also not be willing that any should perish but all to come to the knowledge and saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rapture of the Church Scriptures:

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17 NKJV).

“Therefore, you also be READY, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:40 NKJV).

As in the days of Noah, “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left” (Matthew 24:40-2 NKJV).

“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV)

“Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10 NKJV).

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed––in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV).

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV).

“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him, If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself “(2 Timothy 2:11-13 NKJV)

Remember, sharing is caring?

Do you have stories to share like my friend Barb? Please take the time to share them with us and the world. Thank you!

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M3B Trail of Blood: God as Jehovah Tsidkenu

God is Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord our Righteousness, continued:

The Answer to Life is in the Trail of Blood

Trail of Blood

Before we can understand the New Covenant (New Testament), we must understand the old one. It is a trail of blood pointing to the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, like a red thread woven throughout the whole Bible. Please follow that red trail with me:

Trail of Blood

Way back in the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, thereby allowing sin and death to enter the human condition, God cursed the ground and then He cursed the serpent. He told him, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen.3:15). The offspring was Jesus-the man child-who would be satan’s rival. But Jesus would have the final victory. He would someday crush the devil’s head by reversing for mankind the choice that Adam and Eve made for themselves and all their descendants. This is the first reference to the hope of a second “Adam” to come who would choose life for mankind, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:19).

The Bible says there were two unique trees in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve could have eaten from the Tree of Life (not forbidden) and lived forever in a heavenly state. Instead, they chose to eat of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God banished Adam and Eve from the garden in an act of love so they would not eat of the Tree of Life and forever live in their sin. Their eyes were opened to good and evil; therefore, seeing that they were naked, God clothed them in animal skins-shedding blood to cover them.

Trail of Blood

When Adam and Eve’s sons Cain and Abel were born, their parents taught them to worship God. Cain presented some of the fruit of the ground and Abel the first born of his flocks. God was not pleased with Cain’s offering and told him why:

“Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4: 6-7

This passage has much to do with the attitude of the heart in giving to God. Evidently, God saw Cain’s heart and was not pleased and was warning Cain to beware. Cain did not take heed, because he killed his brother in jealousy. Nevertheless, Abel’s offering involved the shedding of blood, possibly a foreshadowing of the only blood (of Jesus) that would remove sin forever.

Trail of Blood

Approximately 1,500 years later, Noah built an altar to worship God. After the flood, when the ark rested on dry land, Noah took some animals and birds, and sacrificed them on an altar- shedding blood. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done” (Gen.8:20-21).

Trail of BloodApproximately 400 years after Noah’s ark rested on Mount Ararat, Abraham arrived in Canaan, the land God promised him. The Lord asked of Abraham to bring Him a heifer, a goat and a ram, along with a dove and a young pigeon. This was when God promised Abraham an heir that would come from his own body. After Abraham killed the animals-shedding their blood-and worshipped God with his best offerings, God made a covenant with Abraham to bless him with descendants as numerous as the stars. He also revealed that his offspring would be in bondage in a foreign land for 400 years.

Later, God came to Abraham again to solidify the covenant, telling Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, and sealed the Old Covenant by the rite of circumcision-the shedding of blood. Circumcision is defined in Genesis 17:10-11, for “every male among you . . . in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.”

Trail of Blood

Abraham’s grandson Jacob (son of Isaac and Rebecca), whose name was later changed to Israel, had twelve sons who became the “Children of Israel.” These were the descendants (Israelites) who found themselves as slaves in Egypt for four hundred years. About two hundred years after Abraham’s day, Jacob and his sons went to Egypt to escape a famine in Canaan.

Trail of BloodAfter the 400 years, Moses appeared on the scene to bring deliverance to the Israelites. God brought ten plagues upon the Egyptians in order to persuade the Pharaoh to free His peoples. The tenth plague-which convinced Pharaoh to let the people leave Egypt for the Promised Land of Canaan-brought death to the firstborn of the Egyptians. It was blood from an unblemished lamb, a male, one year old, placed on the doorposts of the Israelites homes that spared their firstborns’ lives. The angel of death passed over their homes when he saw the blood, but took the lives of the Egyptian’s firstborn children and animals, because they did not honor the one true God in their homes.

“Because God spared the firstborn of Israel in the last plague that came over Egypt, all firstborn sons and firstborn animals belonged to God. The animals were sacrificed while the men were redeemed. To be redeemed, the family paid a price to the priest instead of giving their firstborn over to the service of the temple.”2 This was a part of the first covenant, the shedding of blood to gain forgiveness of sin; in other words, redemption. The rest of it resided in keeping the law.

God gave the Law, the Ten Commandments, to Moses, thereby laying the foundation for acceptable attitudes and behavior-rather than just sacrifices-of reverence for God and man. In addition to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, King Saul, King David, and Elijah all shed the blood from firstborn animals, without blemish, offering them to God on an altar in worship to the only true God of heaven and earth.
Moses then wrote down the laws and all the words of the Lord in a book:

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
-Exodus 24:7-8

Thus, “the covenant that pledged to obey the Law was sealed in blood.”3 The people said, “We will obey.”

Did it happen?

Trail of Blood

This brings us to Jeremiah’s day, approximately 598 B.C.,4 when the Israelites burned incense to false gods until God’s message to Jeremiah came true. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon [present day Baghdad], marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. They set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building was burned down. The people were taken into exile. The bronze, gold and silver from the temple were taken.

Following this, the Jews were under Babylonian, Persian, Egyptian, Syrian and Roman domination until 70 A.D., seventy years after the Messiah, Jesus Christ, came to overturn the choices of Adam and Eve. Is it any wonder that the prophet Isaiah would again foretell of the coming of another covenant? “Give ear and come to me, hear me, that your soul may live, I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David” (Isaiah 55:3). This everlasting covenant can only be the New Covenant established through the blood of Jesus Christ of King David’s lineage, for “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin” (Heb.9:22).

The blood of the Lamb Jesus was His Father’s firstborn son whom He sacrificed for many.

God “provided Himself a Lamb” who saved His people from their sin.

The blood of the Lamb brings salvation, just as the blood of the lamb brought salvation to the Israelites from Egypt.

And by that one sacrifice “. . . we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb.10:10). Holy means a state of righteousness. In other words, we are accepted, not for animal sacrifices anymore, but just as we are. Plus, all of mankind is redeemed through Jesus’ blood, but available only to those who choose to accept it.

The apostle Paul, from the New Testament, writes:

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 10:15-18

The Old Covenant was a part of the Old Testament whereby God was preparing one family (Abraham’s), to found one nation (Jewish nation of Israel) to bring one man (Jesus) into the world. Jesus’ purpose was to make the final, once and for all, sacrifice for sin–the second Adam who reversed the choice, and curse, of the first.

The Old Covenant provided for a yearly atonement, meaning covering in Hebrew.5 Only the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies, which was where God’s presence resided on earth in the Jewish temple. The High Priest confessed the sins of the people on the head of a goat (called a scapegoat). It was then sent into the wilderness, outside the camp, to be destroyed. During the year, the people made blood covenant sacrifices that pertained to their daily life, but this annual sacrifice for sin in the Old Testament, was only “an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away any sins” (Heb.10:3).

This reminder pointed toward a King who would take away sin forever. In the Old Testament, sins were only covered (atoned). In the New Testament, Jesus defeated satan (crushed his head) by taking the punishment for our sin–eternal death and hell–by going to hell for us,6 so we don’t have to endure that punishment. And sin becomes as though it never existed!

When Jesus died on the cross something else happened that had a profound meaning. At the very moment Jesus gave up His spirit, the curtain leading to the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.7 No longer would there be a separation between God and man. Jesus took the place of the High Priest, becoming our Intercessor, or Advocate with the Father. He was the scapegoat, taking upon himself the sin of the whole world, through shedding his blood for us.

Because of the obedience of one man, many have been made righteous by Jehovah Tsidkenu. And, the fellowship that Adam and Eve had in the garden with Elohim–the Creator and Triune God-is restored and available to us today–from our heart to His heart. “God does not justify us because we are worthy, but by justifying us makes us worthy.”8

relationship not religion

Marie knew how to go through the motions of worship–the very same as keeping the laws and requirements of the Old Covenant. She grasped that going to church was important (or to the temple to offer sacrificial offerings), but she had no personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

How did she come to grasp the secrets of the New Covenant as written on the heart? What is the New Covenant anyway? The next chapter will reveal.

ENDNOTES
1. Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1990), p. 1767.
2. Henry Hampton Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 2000), p. 156.
3. Ibid., p. 148.
4. Adam Clark,LL.D., F.S. A., &c., Clark’s Commentary Volume IV-Isaiah-Malachi (Abington Press, New York, Nashville), p. 313.
5. Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1736.
6. See Ephesians 4:9, Acts 2:31, I Peter 3:19 and Revelation 1:18.
7. See Matthew 27:51.
8. Thomas Watson, circa 1557-1592.

M3A God is Jehovah Tsidkenu, Our Righteousness

God is Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.” Jeremiah 23:5-6

Jehovah Tsidkenu Righteousness

In the bookstore with Denise, Marie’s mind wandered while the gray-haired lady talked about other angel books worth reading. I hope she’s almost done; my feet are beginning to hurt.

Denise looked at her and smiled. Marie checked her watch and wondered, how much longer is she going to go on talking? I don’t even believe in angels. Then she heard the lady mention the name Jesus. Her mind focused more on what was said, but not totally.

Marie got chills while listening. She had never felt this way before. Who is this Jesus this woman is talking about?

After the girls had prayed with the lady to receive Jesus Christ into their hearts and they were alone, Denise and Marie discussed what had just happened, “Shawn, my younger brother, went to church in Montana where he accepted Christ into his heart. He’s not been to church since we moved in with you. He misses his friends and the love and attention he got from all the families,” said Denise.

Umm . . . What is church all about? Marie had never gone to church, but now she had an urge to read her Bible. Later on she told Denise, “I read through Genesis and some of Matthew and Mark, but I couldn’t understand it.”

“I read a verse that said if you don’t understand what you’re reading, you don’t know Christ.”

“Then I guess I don’t know Christ because I sure didn’t get anything from what I read.”

Marie’s second experience with the Holy Spirit’s seeking her out came two and one-half years later when she knocked on the door of her boyfriend’s house. Jason’s mom answered the door. She called for Jason and took Marie into the living room where they sat down. “Jason used to be so involved in the church when he was in high school, but once he was no longer considered a youth, he quit going. Would you like to go to church with me?”

When Jason came downstairs, he put on his shoes and the two hopped into his car. “Your mother just invited me to go to church with her. Will you come so I don’t feel uncomfortable?” He agreed.

Two weekends later, Marie attended her first church service. She was so excited and nervous. She had no clue what to expect or what to do. She held onto Jason’s hand so tight he thought he might lose it. This Sunday just so happened to be the day that the Lord’s Supper was served. Marie bent over and whispered to Jason, “What do I do with this cracker and juice?”

“This is just a time to pray and ask God for His forgiveness for the sins you have committed.”

Marie looked around at the people around her and noticed that they had their heads bowed, so she bowed her head and asked for forgiveness for her sins that day. Next, was the invitation where Jason’s mother tried to get her to go up front. Scared, she grabbed Jason’s hand and said, “No.” She felt so uncomfortable and had no idea why she was supposed to walk in front of the congregation. Before she could say anything else, the service was over.

“I really enjoyed that service. It wasn’t so bad that I wouldn’t go again. As a matter of fact, I want to go again.” But Jason was not interested, so they never went back.

Marie’s father’s job moved them to another town. The owners of the new company where her dad worked were devout Christians. One Sunday, they invited Marie’s family to go to church with them. Marie was so excited once again to go, to try to find out what church was all about. Why is it on my mind so much to go to church? Why is it so important?

Finally, three weeks after the invitation the family attended church. It seemed like forever to Marie for her parents to finally consent. She went to the college Bible study class. She had no clue what they were talking about, but she did have a desire to learn. The service was okay, so she kept going back.

The next year her mother accepted Christ into her heart. Marie thought: That was such a joyous occasion. So many people crying, including me. But I know there must be something on the other side I’m missing. What is it?

Nearly a month later, Marie walked the aisle of her church. Scared to death of what she was doing, she talked to a counselor in an adjoining room to the sanctuary. The only thing he said to her was, “Do you understand what Jesus did for you?”

“Sure, of course I do,” she said, not wanting to claim ignorance.

The counselor shook her hand and took her out to the congregation to be introduced. What just happened? she thought.

Marie started to read her Bible everyday, went to church and Sunday school and wanted to get more involved. But her heart was not in it. She did not want to give up self to worry about anyone else. I have enough problems of my own, she thought to herself; but it left her miserable, depressed and down on herself. She thought, I really don’t like who I am.

Finally, she talked to her Sunday school teacher who put her in touch with a Christian lay counselor. Marie saw her for one month, but did not feel like she got anything from their meetings and quit going.

Meanwhile, a guy she had known came back into her life. He and two of his friends invited her to share an apartment with them. Marie knew this was something God would not like. She had made a vow to herself to never have sexual relations with anyone until she was married. The night she was to move in, God spoke to her heart that she was choosing against His ways. She sat outside the door of the apartment for an hour crying. But she made the choice, “I don’t want to sleep on the sofa at home anymore.”

Marie quit having quiet times with the Lord, but did go to church when her boyfriend was working and she had nothing else to do. He refused to go with her, and she grew possessive of him which brought about their break-up within six months. She went home to live with her parents, and shared a room with her little brother–at least she had her own bed now.

Marie’s struggles were no different than anyone else’s from past generations until today. Why could she not live as she desired? She did all the right things. She read her Bible, went to church, knew the right words to say and even prayed, but still she was miserable.

What Does Jehovah Tsidkenu, Our Righteousness Do?

Jehovah Tsidkenu Righteousness

The problem lies in the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant of the Bible. The answer lies in the blood of Jesus Christ that ties the two covenants together. The book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament (Old Covenant) helps us to begin to understand this dilemma.

Jeremiah is referred to as the “weeping prophet,” because of his suffering; no one would listen to him. God called Jeremiah at a young age, probably twenty, to give His messages to the Jewish people who lived in Jerusalem in the land of Judah. He saw the sin of the land increasing and the burning of incense to the Queen of Heaven. The people no longer worshipped the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Instead, they continually told Jeremiah that God was not speaking through him and that he was lying to them.

But the word of the Lord did come to Jeremiah. He went to see a potter at work. The pot being shaped from clay was marred in the potter’s hand. So, the potter just formed it into another pot. The Lord spoke to Jeremiah’s heart and asked him to say to the people:

Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. . . .I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions. But they will reply, “It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.” Jeremiah 18:6, 11-12

God gave Jeremiah the ability to see beyond the pending disaster with a message of hope:

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line, he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.”  Jeremiah 33:15-16

The Hebrew name for “The Lord Our Righteousness” in this last verse is Jehovah Tsidkenu. Tsidkenu comes from a Hebrew verb meaning to cleanse, to be straight, to be just, to be true, upright, or in the right.1 Jeremiah knew that God would preserve King David’s line and would send a son of David to be the Messiah who would reign as king forever. Luke’s gospel tells about Jesus, that “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David (Luke 1:32),” whereas Matthew says Jesus will “. . . save his people from their sins (Matt.1:21).”

After listening to Jeremiah, the people decided, “Each of us will follow the stubbornness of our evil heart.” God knew this would never change. His plan from the very beginning of time was to bring a New Covenant, one written in the heart:

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people . . . For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:33-34