Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fuller Context

When I voiced interest in becoming child of G-d, an appointment was made with the pastor.  When that time came, we met and he shared the "salvation Scriptures" with me, we prayed, and planned the baptismal ceremony.  It was more than "the Romans Road" and before the era of "the sinner's prayer."  Coincidentally, or not . . . that was a few days before Passover.  What stands out most, in my memory are the Scriptures II Peter 3:9, and Ephesians 2:8-9, as the rest of the Scriptures he shared were immediately intertwined with interpretive doctrine.  Such as Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.    Was explained to mean "going forward at church to make a public profession of faith."  I mean no disrespect to that man who introduced me to Messiah, he was simply sharing what he'd been taught.  It isn't that the concept is wrong, it's just Romans 10:9 means so much more than that . . .

As stated above, the Scriptures that really stood out to me also touched my spirit.  I was thrilled that G-d didn't want anyone to die and I didn't fully understand what coming to repentance meant, but my parents explained that meant since I was a kid, it meant more honor and greater obedience to them . . .  Since I was a kid, disobeying them was about my only sin to that point . . .  I loved to read and II Peter 3 really got exciting after verse 9.  Adrenaline pumping exciting!  Within a very short time, I was seeking the Old Testament as to what it was to be holy.  I knew that's how Messiah had lived on earth.  He was perfect, so that had to mean holy.  Next thing you know, I'm called legalistic, by church people!  I was still young and needed to more fully understand grace.

Within a couple more years, the movie "Thief in the Night" came out and although the title was said to be from I Thessalonians 5, I remembered it from II Peter 3.  After viewing the movie I understood grace to be peculiarly cheap.  Say a prayer and "when the going gets tough, the saved are up and out."  Besides no one is perfect and if you try to live by Torah, you fall from grace, and if you fall from grace, you cannot get back.  And as for the Holy Spirit, more misinterpreted teaching from Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  and Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of G-d, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  It was then explained what the Apostles experienced in the book of Acts was a one time deal for then.  We got all the power we were going to get when we got saved, that was all there was until you die.  I was a young teen at the time, early 70s and I questioned all these teachings.  Something just didn't seem right.   . . . Thus began my wilderness journey.

I clung to what I thought I knew, which were some memorized verses and a lot of misinterpretation of Scripture, but I kept track of my taped up study Bible from my youth.  I lived a struggling life clinging to Romans 8:28, and waiting for the "work together for good" to happen.  I just didn't know how to follow Messiah without Instructions or Holy power.  I truly believed the Bible divided between Malachi and Matthew.  It would be years later before I realized the only Bible the apostles had!

Ephesians was a very strugglesome book for me, as I realized once I truly entered a relationship with YHWH in Messiah, the Second Chapter of Acts was and is a real possibility.  So I went back once again, to that little book that follows Galatians, and asked for a new understanding.  The fullness of the context was amazing.  Obedience to the commandments and good works don't earn salvation; good works and obedience are evidence of salvation.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of G-d:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Y'hshuwah unto good works, which G-d hath before ordained that we should walk in them . . . And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  Ephesians 2:8-10, 20-22  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

As a Roaring Lion

Christianity has taken this and run with it as well.  There's big money and worldly favor in much of Christianity, if you have the right "roar."  I have personally spoken with people who follow the big names, and they invariably have told me how good those teachings make them feel.  They are still living their lives according to their own standard, but they feel good doing it.  How many of them are blindly being led away from The Word of G-d, who is Y'hshuwah?  It's never been popular to speak of repentance amongst the religious or powerful crowd.  Elijah and John the Baptist spring to mind as outstanding examples!

I got very frustrated and down heartened with the church years ago, when I read of repentant Israel standing to hear Torah read, and it was no short passage. And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the Torah of YHWH their G-d one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped YHWH their G-d.  Nehemiah 9:3  I was new to my call when the prosperity message went from a jail sentence for Jim Bakker to the way of life for televangelism, and then spread into the local gatherings.

The agenda was so similar.   After the "praise and worship team" finished and the offering buckets were passed, seems most were pastors or bishops, rose sanctimoniously on the stage and headed for the pulpit.  Somewhere in my religious MIA time, churches went from having bemas and platforms to stages . . . yet I digress.  The pastor or bishop or visiting bigger name "prophet" or evangelist would tell a joke or an anecdote, open his Bible to read a half verse, expound for 30 to 45 minutes depending.  Some, went the other way, and that was to keep people flipping in their Bibles chasing several 1/2 verses to give the impression, it was throughout Scripture, but context was lost! Once context was lost, the meaning and point soon followed.

I hear many testimonies and mine is no exception.  Churches and synagogues still serve as a beacon for those who are seeking G-d, but most of the ones who find Him, soon leave, or are asked to.  Mainstream Judaism is still not open to Y'hshuwah as Messiah, and most of Christianity believes 3/4 of the Bible has been rendered obsolete and irrelevant to their own lives.  Messiah is Torah in the flesh.  You simply cannot believe half and be made whole!

Here is a quote of the day by one of the big names.
"After the challenge, after the disappointment, you’re going to come out with great abundance. It may have been meant for your harm, but it’s going to thrust you into the fullness of your destiny."

Here is a quote by Messiah, John 17:14
 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

The enemy isn't out destroying the world, people are doing that, in and of free will and choice.  The adversary, as a roaring lion is providing entertainment and empty promises.  The adversary is counterfeiting and twisting the message of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  Paul to Timothy

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Feeling Stupid

When forgiveness involves admitting feeling stupid, it's a huge hurdle, but a victory, none the less; when it happens.  Sometimes we're really not as mad at others for what they did, but for how we felt in the situation.  It's easy to forgive being wronged or even cussed out, as long as it was clear the other person was at fault, but . . . when we have to forgive a situation in which we just feel humiliated, that's a whole different kind of forgiveness.

It's much easier to forgive someone who has publicly made a horse's rear end of themselves, than it is to forgive someone who has made me feel like I looked like the horse's rear end, or worse, disregarded my feelings, altogether.  When we feel the affront was intentional and aimed to humiliate, it's really difficult to forgive.  And even more difficult to forgive, is the person who knew we were hurt and did nothing, or worse, added to the humiliation.

Forgiving 70 X 7, needs to be kept in context.  If a brother comes repentant, forgive . . . otherwise, we're just going back for more, and eventually, we're angry because we feel stupid, but we're so caught up in our own perception, we don't see that we've brought this upon ourselves by taking Scripture out of context.  That's not to say, if a brother doesn't come repentant, we are to start making hash marks on the calendar and praying revenge, but rather we are simply to move on and realize the circumstances.

I have done some serious soul searching as of late.  There have been a number of areas, I've tried to fix the humiliation of feeling stupid.  You know what?  I can't fix that.  There's no way to undo what was done and the only potential for "do overs" will be with other people in other circumstances, so that is where I must be circumspect.  I get over being mad, pretty quickly, but hurt and humiliation last awhile, or at least did.  I know in my heart, I wasn't trying to hold a grudge, I simply did not know how to get rid of that sad feeling of lack of trust.

As YHWH would have it, it really is easy.  I don't have to trust someone that isn't trustworthy, I just have to forgive them for the fact they are not trustworthy.  I can even pray that they will come to know YHWH and in that relationship with Him, will become trustworthy.  I also have to move on in my own life and realize, it's up to me to not place myself in a situation to feel stupid or to trust the untrustworthy.  I can offer help, I can even listen, but when that stirring in my spirit says, stop, that's what I need to do.  Tenacity and accommodation are not the same thing that Paul and James were talking about when he said to endure!  Accommodation is often quite selfish in nature.  To endure for Messiah is entirely different than to accommodate situations in which we should simply excuse ourselves.

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of YHWH; that YHWH is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.  James 5:11

Sunday, February 2, 2014

At the Name . . .

As these end of days continue to unfold, I've become painfully aware of something that seems consistent with the generations. Seems every time there has been some sort of movement toward Scripture and toward unity, it's only a matter of time til the focus on demons comes into play.

The other day, I saw a couple of videos both emphasizing the existence of demonic forces. I remember this last go round in the charismatic movement, some folks were looking for demons under flower pots. And I'll never forget some gal with a book that had all the “right prayers” for each demon . . . I referred to as the book of "incantations."  Where in Scripture does it tell us to study the enemy?  Where does it say, we have to call spirits by name to make them depart?  In Mark 5, Messiah commanded the unclean spirit to confess it's identity to Him.  In the book of Acts, the apostles simply commanded the spirits to come out of the people.  Over and over, we are told they leave at the Name of Y'hshuwah.  Studying demons is precisely the attention the enemy would like!  

I've really hesitated to even write this, but there isn't time to be side tracked again.   This is serious!  There will be many horrible things happening as the end of days continue to unfold, but many of those things will be because of the four horsemen riding across the earth.  Messiah Y'hshuwah is the one in charge of their release, and we can read in the Revelation 6 of their purpose, and the end results.  Don't give the enemy glory for what Messiah has released.

Scripture very clearly and emphatically states in I Samuel 16 that it was YHWH who sent an evil spirit to trouble King Saul.  We really must be careful about crediting the enemy with something our Creator has done!   

I was sadly discouraged when I saw these videos, made by men claiming to be "led" to do so.  I listened to them make claims of all the powers and tricks of the enemy, doors, bugs, you name it, and I recognized this from 20 years ago, and 20 years before that.  It seems every generation gets all spiritual then decides to dance with the devil.  The enemy is not creative, so it's the same thing over and over and over again . . . As my day progressed, a most curious thing took place.    

As I prepared to leave my house to go to town, my front door was stuck.  It wasn't locked, but would not open.  I rattled and pushed, and to be honest since I have a touch of claustrophobia, considered panicking, but instead I called upon the Name of YHWH.  After praying, the doorknob turned and the door opened.  I can't tell you what was different, except I prayed at the door.  I don't always do that, even though there is a mezuzah on my door post.  It had become more of a door decoration than a reminder . . . not anymore! 

We've got to get serious about seeking YHWH in Y'hshuwah when it comes to spiritual matters.  This Flip Wilson religion isn't going to get us through the end days.  Everything that goes wrong is not "the devil making you do it."  Even witchcraft is a work of the flesh.  We are not victims of the adversary, we are children of the Most High!  Two things we must keep in mind.  Absolutely nothing can affect the people of YHWH without His permission or our choice.  YHWH is omnipresent, the enemy is not.  

All our human knowledge and all our contrived procedures amount to nothing when it comes to deliverance.  Spelling not withstanding, since Hebrew contains no vowels, the point is:  Y'hshuwah means Yah is salvation.    

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, YHWH rebuke thee.  But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.  Jude