Introduction

Indiana Jones. Just the mention of his name, for most of us in the western hemisphere, starts the trumpets playing his theme song in our heads. That name conjures up images of exciting, heroic adventures, too. Adventures where good triumphs over evil; where the uncovering of ancient artifacts, from history and legend, meet twentieth century science and technology.

I recall from the third installment, entitled Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a plot in which Dr. Jones found himself, again, pitted against the evils of the Nazi regime. You’ll recall, if you’re familiar with this film series, that Hitler’s officers had failed to retrieve for him the Ark-of-the-Covenant in the first motion picture, and now Hitler is after the Holy Grail — the very cup of Christ. Why? He believes Christ’s cup will grant, to whomever drinks from it, eternal life.

Indiana Jones (played by Harrison Ford) is fooled into working with the Nazi’s, by a beautiful young scientist named Dr. Elsa Schneider (played by Alison Doody). In the end, it’s Dr. Jones and his father (played by Sean Connery), also a famous archaeologist, who ends up leading the Nazi’s to the chamber where the Holy Grail has been kept hidden almost two-thousand years. Upon entering this chamber they are greeted by a royal guardian (played by Robert Eddison) too old to fight, but clever enough to hide the holy cup amongst many interesting looking vessels. He looks to his young visitors and bids them choose wisely, for to do so will mean life or death.

As the climax of this plot unfolds, we see one of the Nazi representatives (played by Julian Glover) selecting foolishly and drinking from one of the many chalices of death, represented in the chamber. Then Indie gets his turn. Dr. Jones, carefully ponders the things of Christ and chooses wisely. Indiana ultimately enables himself, and his father, to drink from the cup of eternal life. A great metaphor for what you and I, and really all of humanity, are called to do every day we live. Choose to live according to the truth that brings eternal life, or dare to choose to live according to the many lies that lead to death.

In this study, called Truth or Dare, we will be examining the various chalices that mankind may choose to drink from while searching out eternal life. Most of these chalices will be full of deadly lies, but one — yes, only one — will hold the life giving truths that will lead us to abundant, eternal living.

This brings to mind the childhood game, also known as, Truth or Dare. For those of you unfamiliar with this game, I’ll take a moment to explain it to you. Children would gather and select an arbitrator. Once selected, the appointed leader would challenge each child to either tell a secret truth about themselves or act out a dare dictated to them by the arbitrator of the game. I was always amazed at how scared kids would be to tell a truth about themselves, myself included, but equally amazed at how quickly they would choose the dare, only to regret it later once they learned how diabolical the dare was. Occasionally the arbitrator was kind and dealt out easy dares to accomplish, but many more times the dares were border line criminal and down right immoral. Such too is life.

Humanity is presented with this very same dilemma, on a daily basis. The dilemma? To choose to believe, and speak, the truth of Christ to the rest of humanity or choose to know of the truth, and hide it. The problem with that is, if we don’t choose to confess the truth of Christ before mankind then Christ won’t confess He knows us, on Judgement Day, before God the Father (Matthew 10:32). True faith in Christ equals our obedience to His commands.

The third option that humanity can embrace is to partake in the dares that Satan dictates to them, then eternal death becomes mankind’s destiny. That choice dulls our spiritual senses, forcing us to look death in the face and act as if nothing is wrong; as if all is right and normal. Those that make this choice act on the lie that truth is relevant to their own wants and desires. They accept Satan’s lie that says absolute truth is really the biggest falsehood of the ages. The one really big problem with that — you can’t make the truth go away, and escape it’s consequences, by simply choosing to not believe in it.

You see, just like the Nazi from The Last Crusade believed he chose correctly, so too do many of us choose daring lifestyles, philosophies, and theologies. We whole heartedly believe that we have chosen correctly, only finding out after the fact that we have chosen “poorly,” as the knight from the movie stated, and then death takes us away. It’s imperative that we take the time to study what really is the truth. We must do as Indiana Jones did, and ponder the truth of Christ, and make the wise choice. The choice that will lead us to living an abundant and eternal life. The type of life we, as God’s creation, were meant to enjoy; the life of a true worshiper.

So I ask you to join me in examining the various chalices of our lives. Such vessels as life styles, religion, philosophy, and science (to name a few). Looking them over, one-by-one, and allowing the truth that is the real cup of Christ to illuminate our minds, bodies, and souls. In the end, I trust you will have chosen to drink from the grail that leads to eternal life — the true, holy cup of Jesus Christ.

Truth or Dare by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jasonmin.wordpress.com.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade TM © 1989, 2008 LUCASFILM LTD. All rights reserved.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Article 3

Robert “Bob” Hartman, is possibly one of the greatest songwriters to have graced Contemporary Christian Music over the last 40 + years. His ability to take a passage of Scripture from the Bible, or to take a strong lyrical story based on biblical content, and apply that to a melody that is both enjoyable and awe inspiring is uncanny.

Robert’s songs are rarely so simple that you can disconnect your mind from what your ears are hearing, as a parent would be able to do with their child’s nursery music. No, Bob’s music commands your ears to take heed and listen. If music can make human ears stand at attention, then that is what takes place when one hears a Bob Hartman song. If you are unfamiliar with Bob Hartman’s name, you will most likely recognize his band’s — Petra!

Hartman originally was a member of the Christian rock band known as Rapture, but after the band’s break up in the early ‘70s and a move to Fort Wayne, IN, to attend classes at the Christian Training Center, Robert began to form the Christian rock band we know today as Petra.

Of all the songs that Hartman has penned, I think it is Adonai that stands as my all time favorite. It’s from Petra’s 1985 album Beat the System, and it helped to make that project one of the biggest Christian rock albums recorded at that time and the third-biggest Christian album of the 1980s (trailing only Amy Grant’s Age to Age and Sandi Patti’s Songs From the Heart). Allow me to share the lyrics of this Christian rock masterpiece with you:

Verse 1:
This thirsting within my soul
Won’t cease ‘till I’ve been made whole.
To know You; to walk with You.
To please You in all I do.
You uphold the righteous,
And Your faithfulness shall endure.
Chorus:
Adonai, Master of the earth and sky.
You, alone, are worthy — Adonai!
Adonai, let creation testify;
Let Your majesty be magnified in me.
Adonai, You are an endless mystery — Adonai!
Verse 2:
Unchanging, consuming fire;
Lift me up from mud and mire.
Set my feet upon Your rock;
Let me dwell in Your righteousness (repeat chorus).
Bridge:
When the storms surround me,
Speak the word and they will be still.
And, this thirst and hunger
Is a longing only You can fill — Adonai (repeat chorus).

Words escape me, as I try to describe how these lyrics call my soul to worship the Creator of heaven and earth. Hear them sung, and you will be hard pressed to deny your spirit’s desire to leap for joy and shout, “Praise Adonai!” But, why? What is it about this song — this lyric — that makes it so special? I believe it’s power to move the human spirit lays in the name “Adonai.”

“Adonai” is a Hebraic name for God (Elohim/Deity), and is the emphatic plural of the title “Adon.” Adon, which means “Lord” or “Master,” is generally the title given to men of authority or angels but at times was also used when referring to Yahweh. So, since Adonai is the plural form of Adon, its meaning is interpreted as “Lords” or “Masters.” When the emphatic plural is formed in Hebrew using a singular possessive ending (example: “my Lords” or “my Masters”), it always refers to God. Our Creator, the triune God, was recognized by the Hebrews as the “Lord of Lords” (Adonei ha’adonim) or Lord Yahweh — Adonai Adonai!

I personally get emotional — spiritually moved — over this particular name of God, but I also realize that most Americans, really most contemporaries of the western hemisphere, don’t quite grasp just how powerful a title like “Lord” or “Master” is, due to our democratic societies. So very quickly, I want to help you grasp just what this truly means. We’ll begin by defining “Lord.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “Lord” as:

(noun) someone or something having power, authority, or influence: lord of the sea | lords of the jungle. A master or ruler: our lord the king.

(verb) act in a superior and domineering manner toward someone (lord it over).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “Master” as:

(noun) 1 – a man who has people working for him, esp. servants or slaves: he acceded to his master’s wishes. A person who has dominance or control of something: he was master of the situation. 2 – a skilled practitioner of a particular art or activity: I’m a master of disguise. A great artist, esp. one belonging to the accepted canon: the work of the great masters is spread around the art galleries of the world.

(adjective) 1 – having or showing very great skill or proficiency: a master painter. Denoting a person skilled in a particular trade and able to teach others: a master bricklayer. 2 – main; principal: the master bedroom.

Here, in these two definitions for “Lord” and “Master,” we see four key attributes to understanding why God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is Adonai.

First, our Lords, our Creator has power (Deuteronomy 8:17-18), authority (Matthew 28:18), and influence (Psalm 2:7-9; Jeremiah 28:14) over all of His/Their creation (Psalm 89:7-11). Yahweh is the ruler over all of it. Whether we accept His authority, or not, doesn’t matter — God is our Lord — Adoneinu!

Second, God is sovereign, superior, and does dominate over all (2 Chronicles 20:5-6; Psalm 89; Proverbs 8:15-17). Just because we are in a time of grace, and are not seeing God’s righteous wrath displayed in the way mankind saw it displayed in the Old Testament, does not mean that Jehovah isn’t in control. It doesn’t mean He is inferior, or weak — God is the Lord of Lords — Adonei ha’adonim! Which brings us to our third attribute, we are called by the triune God to serve Him.

Almighty God’s mercy allows us to choose to serve Him (Joshua 24:14-15; 1 Peter 4:1-11), for now, but make no mistake — there is coming a day — Yahweh will reveal the truth of His dominance, His control, and all of His majesty will be revealed (Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 20:11-15) to all of His creation! It’s on that day that every man, woman, and child will bow before their Creator and proclaim Him/Them as Lords, Masters — Adonai!

Lastly, our fourth attribute, God has great skill and proficiency over all people, places, and things. Creation is our Creator’s testimony of this fact (Genesis 1-2; Psalms 19, 40:7-11, 139:13), as is man’s ability to learn and improve his physical state (Exodus 4:10-12; Leviticus 1-27). For it is by Jehovah’s skill in creating and His ability to teach that empowers the creativity and ingenuity of humanity — God is the Lord Yahweh — Adonai Adonai!

Selah (Pause/Reflect).

Praise, Almighty God — Adoneinu — You are the master of the earth and sky. Only You, Lord God, are worthy of being called “Master.” Devine Creator — Adonei ha’adonim — let all of creation testify, and let Your majesty be magnified in the spirit of humanity; be magnified, especially, in me. Lords, Masters — Adonai — You are an awesome, majestic, endless mystery. Adonai Adonai!

His Name Is . . . by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jasonmin.wordpress.com/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Adonai lyrics and music written by Robert “Bob” Hartman. Lyrics based on Genesis 15:2, Matthew 5:6, Hebrews 12:29, Psalms 40:2. Copyright © 1985 Star Song Records/A&M Records.

If you want to use these lyrics, please contact the authors, artists or labs.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.