by Ken Swiger
Elvis, Cher, Madonna, Monica, Manson. Single names only. But,
did you get a mental image? I'll bet you did. These are people
who are so well known that even their incomplete names are
recognized immediately. Some possibly gave you a positive or
pleasant mental image, while others were ugly or negative.
(For those over 30, the name Manson probably conjured up an
image of a wild-eyed face with a swastika tattooed between
his eyebrows. For those under 30 it likely reminded them of
the equally ugly cross-dressing shock rocker, son of a Baptist
Now try this one. Jesus. What image did you get? What image
did you see in your mind's eye? White guy? Long hair? Big,
glassy looking blue eyes? Kind of good-looking, although somewhat
effeminate in appearance?
One of my co-workers had a piece of paper with black blotches
on it. Stare at it, close eyes and see image. Even though I
know that Jesus didn't really look like that, I recognized
immediately who it was meant to be. HOW DO I KNOW JESUS DIDN'T
LOOK LIKE THAT? After all I'm only in my early forties, I wasn't
alive back then, I never saw him. Well to begin with, I BELIEVE
HE, THE ONE WE CALL JESUS, CAME AS THE MESSIAH, THE DELIVERER
LONG PROPHESIED TO COME TO ISRAEL.
The prophecies about messiah tell us something about his appearance.
Isaiah 53:1-5 - "Who hath believed our report? and to
whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up
before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him,
[there is] no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised
and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised,
and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and
carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten
of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions,
[he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our
peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
We could have read verse 2 alone to make the point, but we
read verses 1-5 to show conclusively that we are talking about
the "suffering servant" messiah.
Interestingly, TAMMUZ he false Messiah of antiquity was known
to be astonishingly good-looking. He was most noted for his
physical beauty in one of the later versions of his legend,
under the name ADONIS. I suspect that is the one whose image
comes to mind when most people hear the name JESUS. WHAT A
ROTTEN, albeit brilliant, thing for Satan the devil to do.
He has planted a mental image in people such that when we think
about Messiah, we see HIS FALSE MESSIAH in our minds.
What did Jesus look like if he didn't look like the pictures?
Well, think about it. Jesus was born to a Jewish mother. He
was a descendant of King David. He probably bore some resemblance
to his mother (and possibly to King David). What would he have
looked like? He would have looked like a JEW. Do you know any
Jewish people? What do they look like? If Jesus showed up a
family function, He would blend in.
Now I know this may offend some people. It seems that there
is a growing under-current of anti-Semitism among some who
call themselves Christians. I have heard and read so much overblown
nonsense about how the Jews are not really Jews at all, but
that the whole bunch of them are really impostors. I even hear
that among some who observe Sabbaths and call themselves Church
of God. BUT THAT IS THE SAME MISREPRESENTED, MISINFORMATION
USED BY MANY WHITE SUPREMIST AND NEO-NAZI GROUPS IN ORDER TO
JUSTIFY THEIR HATRED OF NON-WHITES AND THEIR MURDEROUS ACTIONS.
In light of the recent shootings in LA, I think we should examine
ourselves to make sure that we are not allowing any ROOT of
the vine of bigotry to be growing in our hearts.
Jesus blended in so well, was so normal looking, that JUDAS
had to point him out to the Soldiers when they came to get
him. HE LOOKED VERY NORMAL. Who do you know who looks like
the popular JESUS pictures? Would he stand out in a crowd of
Jews in Jerusalem? LIKE A SORE THUMB! Yet TAMMUZ/ADONIS is
widely viewed as the image of Christ.
You might think that doesn't matter. That it is only an image,
a mental one at that. Does it matter? SO what if a false god's
image is used to represent JESUS? Surely GOD wouldn't mind
would he? And besides, isn't that an isolated thing? I could
spend considerable time here, showing you in scriptures what
GOD thinks about paganism being mixed with his true worship.
I could take you to the ten commandments and point out that
NO IMAGE OF ANY THING (including humans) should represent GOD
to us. But we've been through that many times. I'll only read
from the book of the law.
Deuteronomy 12:29-32 - "When the LORD thy God shall cut
off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess
them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them,
after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou
inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations
serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not
do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD,
which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their
sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their
gods.What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou
shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."
Do you think that has happened with professing Christianity?
Do you think they have been SNARED by mixing paganism with
the true worship of GOD?
HOW ABOUT THIS ONE (just one of thousands of examples available)?
In Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, close to the altar, stands
a statue, supposedly of the Apostle Peter. It has a "halo" behind
its head. Its feet are worn down to about half their original
thickness from being kissed and caressed over the centuries.
IT IS BAD ENOUGH THAT PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO WORSHP THE MESSIAH
ARE BOWING AND KISSING THIS IDOL. But do you know the origin
of this block of stone in the shape of a man? It came directly
from the Pantheon. The Pantheon was a temple, the shrine to
ALL gods. The statue of Peter in Saint Peter's Basilica was
previously the idol of Jupiter Olympus! The "halo" behind
his head is the image of the SUN! Do you think God cares? Do
you think he says "how cute, my children have adapted
the formerly pagan idols and now use them to worship me"?
DO YOU THINK THIS IS A NEW THING THAT CAME ABOUT AFTER THE
TIME OF CHRIST? When Elijah was feeling low, depressed because
he thought he was the only true believer left, GOD told him
something to encourage him. He said I have seven thousand believers
you don't know about Elijah! But notice what else we read in
that same statement:
1Kings 19:18 - "Yet I have left [me] seven thousand in
Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every
mouth which hath not kissed him."
BOWING AND KISSING involved in the worship of a false god!
Is the Jesus we picture mentally a false god? Could Satan
the devil cleverly trick believers into believing in a counterfeit
2 Corinthians 11:2-4 - "For I am jealous over you with
godly jealousy: for I have espoused \par you to one husband,
that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ. But
I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through
his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity
that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another
Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another
spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which
ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]."
ANOTHER JESUS! A false representation of the messiah! Was
Paul just being overly worried? Or do we have an INDICATION
THAT HAD ALREADY HAPPENED ELSEWHERE?
Galatians 1:6-9 - "I marvel that ye are so soon removed
from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another
gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble
you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we,
or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than
that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach
any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him
In the lifetimes of the Apostles, Satan already had his ministers
working hard to change the truth of God into a lie. BUT THEY
WERE CLEVERLY DISGUISED AS GOD'S ANOINTED MINISTERS! How do
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - "For such [are] false apostles,
deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles
of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed
into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if
his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;
whose end shall be according to their works."
HOW DID SATAN AND HIS MINISTERS CAUSE SO MUCH TROUBLE SO EARLY
IN CHURCH HISTORY? Why were they so successful? Well there
are many facets to the answer to that question. For the remainder
of this sermon, I will focus upon just one.
We already saw how name recognition causes a mental image.
Matthew 1:18-23 - "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was
on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph,
before they came together, she was \par found with child of
the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just [man],
and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to
put her away privily. But while he thought on these things,
behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream,
saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee
Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the
Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt
call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their
sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which
was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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
"JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins " Why
did the angel say that? Did you ever wonder about that? If
the angel had said: "He shall be called "handsome
for he shall be good looking." We would all have understood
that. OR if the angel had announced: "he shall be called
Einstein for he shall have a brilliant mind for physics and
mathematics". But what is the connection with the name
Jesus and saving people from their sins?
Think about your own name. Does it mean something? Is it descriptive,
or were you named after a relative, or did your parents just
like the name? According to the book of lists of names we went
through when thinking about what to name our children; the
name Kenneth means HANDSOME... (hey c'mon, give my parents
a break, they couldn't know when I was a baby what I would
look like when I grew up.)
In the Bible we find that names were not arbitrary handles
placed on children, they meant something. For instance: Isaac
[yitz-zawk] means laughter. He was named that because his parents
laughed at the notion that they could become parents at their
advanced ages. Elijah means YAH IS GOD. So what does Jesus
mean? Jesus is a "transliteration" of a name in Hebrew.
The name Jesus is actually a Greek name which is pronounced
[ee-ay-sooce']. (Which some believe is connected to the false
god Zeus, the Greek version of the same god known as Jupiter.)
The Hebrew name JESUS is meant to represent is [ye-ho-shoo-ah,
yah-shoo-ah, or Ye-shoo-ah]. We more readily recognize it as
it is transliterated into English, we know this name as JOSHUA.
SO? Yeshua is a name that means something. Yeshua = salvation
from GOD. Now that we know that let's go back and plug that
into the verse in Matthew and see if it makes more sense.
Matthew 1:21 - "And she shall bring forth a son, and
thou shalt call his name YESHUA [salvation from GOD]: for he
shall save his people from their sins."
That helps doesn't it? Makes more sense. It ties Messiah to
the prophecies of Israel doesn't it? It identifies him as the
promised deliverer. The salvation sent from Yahweh.
So by disguising the name of the messiah, calling him Jesus,
Satan has subtly hidden a great truth from the eyes of GOD'S
people. This made it much easier to preach another CHRIST.
One who came to abolish the law of GOD instead of uphold and
properly administer it. Substituting the name Jesus made it
easier for Satan's ministers to preach another GOSPEL. A gospel
about a loving NEW TESTAMENT god who came to replace the vulgar
and violent OLD TESTAMENT god. A gospel which was only ABOUT
the messenger instead of including the MESSAGE he brought.
For you see the gospel is not just that you can be forgiven
of sins now through the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus
Christ. The GOSPEL is also the message JESUS brought! That
message is that the kingdom of GOD is coming and it is going
to take over this planet, putting down the mis-rule of human
governments and establishing the throne of ALMIGHTY GOD forever!
And because of the strong anti-Jewish/anti-Hebrew attitudes
which were growing in the early decades of the church (especially
after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD) the new-improved
messiah (which was really the old pagan messiah) was readily
accepted as the real Jesus.
Today we too are in danger of losing sight of the real Jesus.
We must fight the urge to blend in with the world and their
false messiah. When we read the name Jesus in our Bibles, when
we sing our hymns of praise to Jesus, we must know who it is
we are thinking and talking about. We cannot allow ourselves
to adopt a pagan image and apply it to the living GOD and his
Don't fret about the name. I have every assurance that even
the Hebrew name Yeshua will not be the name by which we know
Hosea 2:16-17 - "And it shall be at that day, saith the
LORD, [that] thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no
more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of
her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name."
Ishi = my husband
Baali = lord/master. Baal of mountains, river, lightning,
Zephaniah 3:9 - "For then will I turn to the people a
pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the
LORD, to serve him with one consent."
Some believe this scripture is fulfilled in that since 1948,
Hebrew has been resurrected as a spoken and written language.
But if you look at the context of this scripture (specifically
v13) you will see that this new pure language comes at a time
when there is no LAWLESSNESS, no lying, no deceit, and no FEAR
of adversaries in Jerusalem. How many of you think that is
the case today in Jerusalem. No one breaking GOD'S holy commandments?
No one lying? No one being deceitful? No FEAR of their neighbors'
desires to drive them into the sea?
LEST WE GET TOO UPTIGHT ABOUT THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION OF
THE NAME OF MESSIAH, CONSIDER THIS:
Revelation 19:11-13 - "And I saw heaven opened, and behold
a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful
and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were]
many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but
he himself. And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:
and his name is called The Word of God."
NO ONE NOW KNOWS THE NAME MESSIAH WILL BE KNOWN BY! He is
not tied to a name used by humans on this earth to curse. He
has a pure undefiled name reserved for himself. You see, if
you do some study, you will find most of the names which we
use to refer to the creator have been polluted in some way.
LORD is a name attached to Baal worship. The word GOD is a
German derivation of GOTT, a name for a pagan deity. AND REST
ASSURED, ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE NAME FOR THE CREATOR HAS BEEN
ABUSED AND MISUSED TO CURSE AND BLASPHEME!
When messiah returns he will have a new name! And he promises
one for us too:
Revelation 2:17 - "He that hath an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a
white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no
man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it]."
And we will have a new last name too:
Revelation 3:11-12 - "Behold, I come quickly: hold that
fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that
overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and
he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name
of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new
Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and
[I will write upon him] my new name."
EVEN ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM WILL HAVE A NEW NAME:
Isaiah 62:2-3 - "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness,
and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new
name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also
be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem
in the hand of thy God."
AND THOSE NEW NAMES WILL LAST, UNPOLLUTED, ETERNALLY!
Isaiah 66:22-23 - "For as the new heavens and the new
earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the
LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall
come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from
one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before
me, saith the LORD."
That new name comes from attaching ourselves to God in a covenant
relationship. Do you want a new name? Understand who the real
Jesus is, become grafted into the spiritual nation of Israel.
Isaiah 56:2-7- "Blessed [is] the man [that] doeth this,
and the son of man [that] layeth hold on it; that keepeth the
sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing
any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined
himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated
me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I [am]
a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep
my sabbaths, and choose [the things] that please me, and take
hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house
and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons
and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that
shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join
themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name
of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the
sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful
in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
[shall be] accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be
called an house of prayer for all people."
For all people. Jews and gentiles alike have access to the
covenant of GOD. The Jews will not likely ever accept a gentile
JESUS CHRIST who did away with the commandments of GOD. But
when he is revealed in reality, for who he truly is; many of
them will accept the messiah Yeshua. The one whose very name
means SALVATION FROM YHWH