EMMANUEL = "GOD With US"
Who is this "Emmanuel" person anyway?
OK… We’re down to the wire and picking the final round of players for that big "Celestial Super Bowl" that comes around every few thousand years or so. It’s your turn as one of the team captain’s to make the next selection. As you glance over the list of favorites from the playoff season, this guy Emmanuel’s name comes up. You haven’t actually seen him play before, yet hmmm…. do you think he’d be a good choice none-the-less? There’s a "Muhammed" (to praise) and a "Buddah" guy (enlightened one) also on the list, as well as a few other fellow’s names that you recognize, but I don’t know… there seems to be something else unique about this "Emmanuel" guy.
God with Us - Mercy Me official site @ YouTube
*NOTE: That the introductory portions of this article have been written in a certain vernacular as an appeal to the masses at large and more to emphasize the nonchalant nature with which some people treat this topic. Our Lord Jesus (Emmanuel) however, is more than worthy of our utmost respect, humility, honor and glorification due to Him as the Son of God, and we wish to further honor him with this statement. The song included herein: "God with Us" by Mercy Me , barely begins to emphasize the true nature of this relationship and the magnitude of what Christ has done for us all -AMEN.
Could there not be a better name to be associated with?
What an extreme blessing it would be to have your name translate into such a meaningful phrase and also if it were in fact true. There have actually been people over the vast span of the centuries who were attributed as having been "touched by God", specially blessed and deserving of having received such a bestowed honor and benefit.
Elijah for example (whose name translates into: "Yaweh is God" ) was so blessed that when it was time for him to leave this world, he didn’t even take the normal ride in the back of a black stretch limo. No, he went a step above a first class flight even and had his own personal escort straight to the "pearly gates" (as witnessed by his protégé Elisha):
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." And he saw him no more:...
(2 Kings 2:11-12 KJV)
So then here comes this guy named "Emmanuel" ("God with Us") ... Now regardless of what background or faith you come from, what your beliefs are, or even if you are an aetheist for that matter, wouldn’t it be comforting to know in your heart that God was Always With You! That He “had your back” as your ultimate guardian and protector in any given situation that you might face?
Choose whatever belief system you wish… BUT, it’s already true!
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
(Matthew 1:23-25 KJV)
Well… what do you know. There might be something to this “Jesus” guy after all! Maybe what they meant by “God with US”, was not necessarily that God was just with Him and then “with us” by proxy of course, but was also actually WITH US, through Him (Jesus) in the flesh. God would really be living amongst us as another human being, just for a short while and to serve a certain purpose. What a concept, hunh?. Wait a minute, doesn’t this sound all too familiar?
God has a Plan!
You see there IS an actual plan that God has for us. WE ARE all a significant part of it. It’s all been prophesized, heavenly ordained, set-up, then signed, sealed and delivered to us on the cross through Jesus Christ. We all just need to SEE that this is the real truth of the matter. It just takes a little coaxing to bring us out of a state of ignorance and deception, but the Word of God (the Bible) has all the evidence and support we need to faithfully believe these things. Then we can move forward into having an eternal life and “GOD With US”! -AMEN
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV)
Now to really understand the true meaning and use of the name "Emmanuel" in reference to Jesus we have to place its origins in proper context with scriptural reference and the history of the people of Israel. It is likewise interesting to note how the name "Emmanuel" was used (and its significance) in the original texts of the Bible. The name and word Emmanuel had first been used in the original text of the Torah (Hebrew Bible) in a few locations (Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 8:8) and then later in the Christian New Testament: in Matthew's quotation of Isaiah's prophecy (Matthew 1:23). Emmanuel (Immanuel or Imanu'el) in Hebrew meaning "God [is] with us" , actually consists of two Hebrew words: "El" , meaning "God" and "Immānū" , meaning "with us"; or the standard Hebrew "Immanu'el" and the Tiberian Hebrew "Immānû'ēl" . It should also be noted that "El" is an important Hebrew word used in many other references to the God of Israel, as in "El'ohim" from the 1st Book of Moses (Genesis) in the Hebrew text or simply as the Semitic noun "il" (ēl) which translates as the usual word for "God". "El" is also more importantly a "theophoric" word (Greek = embedding the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity) as used for the name in the Hebrew language.
Emmanuel is GOD in Christ
The name "Immanuel" as used in the Hebrew Bible, is found in the following:
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanu'el." (Isaiah 7:14 Hebrew Bible)
"And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanu'el." (Isaiah 8:8 Hebrew Bible)
And, then the name "Emmanuel" as it was later used and quoted in the New Testament by (Matthew 1:23 KJV):
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (The Holy Bible-King James version)
That is why it is important to know what you are dealing with when translating and understanding the Bible. Even I use some of the more modern translations to get a better "flow of words" in conversations pertaining to scripture. It helps to sometimes be able to "paint a better picture" for people, with their extent of vocabulary and overall understanding of the English language. BUT, I always refer back to the original King James version of the Bible as being the most accurate English translation, and to really get into the depth of understanding scripture, you should also have access to a translated version, or interlinear Bible (combined Hebrew/Greek/English), and a concordance with references to the Latin, and of course in its original language Hebrew. In fact, in the Bible's (Old Testament) original Hebrew language, it even takes on another whole new depth with multiple layers of definition, or "midrashic" meaning (Hebrew: "method of delivery"), whereas the words used are intentionally written and meant to have different definitions based on a deeper "academic" or "spiritual" level of study and understanding. This is one reason why the Bible is referred to as "the Living Word of God" as it takes on these new layers of understanding when accompanied by fervent study, meditation and prayer.
The "Messiah" Prince that they wanted..
Christ. . . the "Messiah" they got.
Emmanuel was the term used in Judaism by Isaiah in the Old Testament to prophetically refer to the coming "Messiah" (Hebrew: "Mashiah"), to denote a "redeemer figure" that would make an "improvement of the state of humanity or the world", although both the Jews and Muslims do not accept that Jesus Christ was in fact that person (only an elevated Prophet instead). They were more specifically looking for a: descendant from the Davidic line, who would rule over the people as a "united tribes of Israel" and herald in this new "Messianic Age" of global peace and prosperity. Jesus in His original appearance met the first part of the criteria but did not "perform" as they had expected for the latter. The second part of the criteria is actually describing what we refer to as the "Second Coming" of Christ (which to many of the Jews' understanding, is the "first coming" of their "Messiah").
We Christians and "Messianic" Jews (those that understand and believe in Christ's divine origin and nature) have merely been graced by God and blessedly allowed to understand and have a "first glimpse" of what His glorious plan for us is. We understand that it is through the intervention of the Holy Spirit (as having occurred on the original Pentecost - 50 days after the resurrection of Christ) that we are allowed to further understand this aspect of the mind of God. This is also the basis for the entire Church of the New Covenant that Jesus established, which is the unification of both Jews and Gentiles (or of all the world's people basically). For that matter, it was our Lord God the Father's original plan in establishing this "New" Covenant that would replace all previous "broken" covenants He had with His children, as well as to permenently bind and seal our relationship with God (and our chance for salvation) once and for all. But somehow a lot of people have missed that point in the debate over Jesus and that was the "Great Commission" that He had ordained for the Apostles when he set them forth to create this New Church.
Jesus Christ. . . the "Messiah" that some came to know and love.
The above understanding is why Matthew was specific in quoting the prophet Isaiah in the sense to convey the fact that Jesus was this person even though He was not literally named Emmanuel at birth by His family. That the name "Emmanuel" then was not only an evoking or pledge of divine assistance, but also an expression to represent the mystery of the incarnation of the Messiah living in the flesh as "God with us", thus Christ Jesus. And because of what Isaiah says in verse 9, it is clear that Matthew believed Jesus to be the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Not to forget, also mentioning the fact that no one else in history has claimed to having been immaculately conceived, which was also part of the prophet Isaiah's description (Isaiah 7:14). So that with Jesus meeting all of these other criteria, the mention that they "...shall call his name Immanu'el", is more a reference to the definition of the word "Emmanuel" ("God living with us") as in the actions and life of Christ, not a literal description of the actual name that Joseph and Mary would choose for their child.
Now in the understanding of the New Covenant, it states that Jesus, "God the Son", and one person with the Trinity, is the only method by which we can achieve salvation and that it was the act of Christ's sacrifice and God's grace that completed the covenant.
Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV)
Christ our Advocate
The New Covenant also outlines and makes it better understood that any of the original Jewish laws and customs should be viewed primarily as a cultural observance and as humble respect towards God the Father. The foundational laws DO NOT however contribute to actually attaining salvation.
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
(Romans 4:13-15 KJV)
Favor with God of course is still achieved by observing these laws and practices (as would anything that honors and glorifies Him) and thus earns for us rewards that will be later received in Heaven.
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:7)
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
(Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)
Salvation then IS NOT achieved by our worldly deeds, but only through the grace of God and the gift of salvation as established through Jesus Christ.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -not by works, so that no one can boast."
(Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
All of this newer doctrine and its practices however, did not set well with the Pharisees (Jewish order of High Priests) or the Sanhedrin (High Council of Judges) and the hierarchy of the Jewish elect because it was through the authority as dictated to them in the Old Testament laws by which they governed but corruptly ruled over the people of Israel at that time.
Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." (Mark 14:61-62 KJV)
"God with Us" stands accused.
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:2-4 KJV)
The truth is, that when we are "saved", our "old" self and person "dies" and a "new self" emerges as reinforced and consecrated by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (i.e.: Pentecost). Works and deeds then become proper conduct for maintaining our grace with God and we are continually convicted by the Holy Spirit (conciously reminded) so that we do not "backslide" into the condition of our former selves before being "saved".
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession -to the praise of his glory."
(Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV)
Ecce Homo - "Behold the Man"
Let's kill this "God" who is with us!
These new concepts of faith being to radical for the Pharisees to grasp, and the fact that it threatened and undermined the institutions that THEY had established, Jesus was manipulated into being crucified by the Romans. The trial was a mockery and even Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect placed in Jerusalem to govern Judea, could not see due cause for this, but it happened even so:
And the governor said, "Why, what evil hath he done?" But they cried out the more, saying, "Let him be crucified." When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." Then answered all the people, and said, "His blood be on us, and on our children". (Matthew 27:23-25 KJV)
God's plan for our salvation meant the sacrifice of His son, Emmanuel (Jesus), had to occur. The chain of events and this entire process had to happen just as they did and exactly in this way so that He could always "be with us". So Chirst was then led to the cross and executed according to the plan and the will of God for all of our benefit.
..and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Emmanuel.
The New Covenant and Our Salvation is Sealed in His Blood
Christ had sealed the New Covenant promised by our Father God with His blood sacrifice. Through this death and then His subsequent resurrection, Christ was able to defeat and thus overcome the death of His own flesh. God's plan for our salvation had been completed through Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. Christ would now truly be "God with us" forever in all eternity. He has miraculously paved the way for each and every one of us to achieve a state of "Emmanuel" ("God living with us"). Whereas we can all one day, again live side-by-side with Christ in the coming future Kingdom of the Lord that He will establish on His eminent return. And what a glorious time that will be for us all! -AMEN
"It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
(Psalm 145:11-14 KJV)
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1:10-12 NIV)
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."
(Revelation 11:15 KJV)
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