Monday, September 26, 2016

Prophets and Apostles in 21st Century America?

How would Jeremiah, the"Weeping Prophet" be labeled in today's America?  First, I would guess, many of those "in the religious know" would say he's a "doom and gloomer," a "fear-monger," or even "lacking faith."  Considering how much of the Hebrew Scripture was already written and recorded before Jeremiah, he could have been facing exactly what we are today, with the "positive attitude" motivational, prosperity preachers.  Those "prophets" telling the children of Israel, prosperity was coming, may have actually been quoting Deuteronomy and the Psalms, out of context.  Undoubtedly, someone learning a new Hebrew word, these days, would be raising an eyebrow and muttering "lashon hara."

What would "the powers that be" do to a guy who insists upon laying on one side, eating a specific bread and drinking measured water, while bound?  The first thought through my mind would be some sort of forced mental evaluation . . .  On the outside chance he would get through the first forced evaluation, then there would be a repeat of this same procedure, only lying on the other side for a shorter time.  If he were still allowed to have sharp objects, there is the shaving and splitting the hair event.  I'm guessing between Mandatory Health Care and Big Pharma, pharmakeia (sorcery) would be prescribed, so he'd stop hearing "the voice."

How would America respond to an Apostle?  Not the title, as we already know the religious response to that, but someone who truly does live by the faith they claim, regardless of the circumstances.  It seems the American society has so mingled holy with profane, we'd be hard pressed to even identify a true apostle, without attaching the word cult.  An apostle lives by Scriptural application.  An apostle's words match their lifestyle, and they will face captivity, even death based upon The Word of YHWH.  I can say with complete assurance, we are not going to see the manifest glory, if we don't trust Him in the fire.  

Why is it, society and social media are filled with "Pastors and Teachers," even "Rabbis," who expect respect; yet eyes are rolled if anyone mentions "Apostle or Prophet?"  Here, I've been praying for the five fold ministry to gather for 20 years now, and I find those two words somewhat intimidating, myself.  "Evangelist" seems much more comfortable, and I've been using the term "emissary" for years now to describe the office to which I'm called.  An office in the five fold ministry is not about a title, it's about responsibility.

The one thing that stands consistent through history, is the utter disregard, even disdain for the servants of The Most High who desire to please Him.  That's not to say, we humans can't incite some disdain aimed at us, due to our own flesh, but pleasing YHWH has never been popular with the majority.  The first murder recorded in history is a witness to what I'm saying, and the last murders prophesied will be based on the same.

This is real.  We are living in what Messiah said would be "as in the days of Noah."  The passengers on the ark were obviously a small percentage of the population of that time.  Just as ancient Israel refused to heed the warning and the call to repentance, America has done the same.  We need to see this, truly see it, for what it is.  Sounding the warning to repent and prepare spiritually and physically is not fear mongering.  The true apostles and prophets of our day, just as the ones who have gone before, are more than likely, going to be falsely accused and disregarded.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 1:9

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Falling Away

A sad falling away that has probably been going on for years, but wasn't so noticeable before the advent of social media.  A group of folk are migrating out of the church in "righteous indignation" only to be going nowhere . . . else.  It's as if there is a new group of Christians who have gone rogue.  Most of these folks bill themselves as preachers and teachers, but following their posts and comments, the lifestyle is hard to identify.  They have apparently convinced themselves that they know too much Scripture to go along with the church, but they carry their religious tradition of picking and choosing when it comes to their new "independent walk."

Many claim to have left the church over the error of Constantine and the commingling of the Gospel with the pagan traditions of Roman and Greek mythology.  It's been heart wrenching to see and hear folks very sincere in their stand against Sunday worship or Christmas and Easter, while they fail to embrace and observe Sabbath, Passover, and the rest of the Holy Days of YHWH.  Messiah never called anyone to preach against what they don't believe, He called His chosen ones to follow Him.  That means we're supposed to do what He did, which is live by The Word, and The only Word written at the time He walked this earth, was the Hebrew Scriptures a.k.a. Old Testament.

Although the Talmud has complicated things for Judaism, the simple Torah in Hebrew Scriptures is pretty direct and straight across the board for all with eyes to see and ears to hear.  Messiah gave us the example of what it is to live by the Instructions and He called us to do it with a good attitude.   Judging others and then doing our own thing is not following Him, nor is it living in humble service bringing glory to our Heavenly Father.  Here are two simple "givens."  Judaism without Messiah is incomplete and Christianity without Torah has no foundation.  The absence of a foundation is spiritually dangerous when Christians take it upon themselves to leave the commingling of church ritual, but do not embrace obedience to Torah.

The sad fact of the matter is, what Paul warned about in his writings about the last days.  There would be a falling away, the rise of lawlessness, and a strong delusion because people choose to believe a lie.  Messiah is the perfect sin sacrifice.  Unlike the blood of bulls and rams that only "covered" sin, His perfect blood washes away sin.  Messiah was also the perfect example of what it is to live, pleasing to YHWH, and that is to follow the Commandments of YHWH.  We cannot disregard the commandments of YHWH and still be following Messiah!  It is impossible.  The Holy Spirit absolutely does not lead one, anyone, away from The Word.  The Word of YHWH stands forever.

I realize our society is on the fast track away from YHWH, but the church has been teaching against the Word for years, while excusing work on Sabbath.  In the man-made confusion of Sabbath being transferred to Sunday, the excuse and moving away from holiness on the first day of the week was done by the church, not society!  Now there are many claiming to be preachers and teachers who literally avoid the church on Sunday in their own self described "holiness," yet work and buy and sell on Sabbath.  They have erred in the faith.

When Paul warned of the "falling away" and Messiah's parable of the foolish virgins, we have chosen to overlook something . . . The foolish virgins knew enough to watch and wait, they were simply unprepared.  As for Paul's words, one cannot fall away unless one had once stood.

If you have a Bible and can read, here is a simple truth.  The Temple is not standing, so all instruction regarding the Temple does not apply to you at this time.  When Messiah said the end of days would be "as in the days of Noah," He was referring to the disregard of YaH and the rampant evil . . . The world wide flood was a one time deal, so do not build an ark, but prepare for the Second Coming of Messiah.  As for the rest of Scripture, obedience to The Word is two fold.  It is the way we show our love to YHWH and it is how we follow Messiah.  Many of us are without flesh and blood fellowship at this time, but to remain true to Messiah, we must obey The Word.  Sunday is not Sabbath, but to disregard Sunday worship while working on Sabbath is what many Americans are doing, without calling themselves teachers or preachers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Is Psychology Spiritually Dangerous?

My answer to that question is a resounding, YES!  Psychology is focus on self and the past, which is in exact opposition to Scripture.  

I firmly believe psychology, psychiatry, and the "mental health field" in general will be used against the remnant in the end of days to falsely accuse, medicate, and attempt to bring into submission.  The courts and health care system have been using this for years, destroying lives, and keeping individuals bound in the system, literally for life.

To be honest, James Dobson has always put a check in my spirit, but the quotes from the blog site, linked below, really caused me to shudder.  Men and woman have enough going against them now from society, without religious elitists suggesting manipulation and control tactics.  I watched a woman ruin her life, thinking she was following good advice from James Dobson.  I don't have all the details, but according to those close to her, she believed she was following sound counsel found in his books.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Care of This World

The past few months, I've found myself crying out in prayer, that YHWH keep me from letting the care of this world "choke me out."  In researching for and writing the Goshen Gazette, as well as facilitating a discipleship class, and building Bethesda Wellness Centre, life has been just a tad busy.  None of my other responsibilities have diminished, as the homestead is still operating full swing and the natural products business is continuing to expand.  By nature, I'm a workaholic, who always enjoyed "too many irons in the fire" as my Daddy would call it, but this past couple of weeks, I actually said aloud, "I have all I can do."  Also, in these past few weeks and months, I've found myself saying aloud, frequently, "I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13.  Of course that passage is true, but He strengthens us to do the work in which He is leading, and not the numerous distractions that can often weigh us down and choke us out!

I can honestly say, I haven't spent my time leisurely or on entertainment, which is also a point unto itself.  How many of the "so called" servants of YHWH spend a significant amount of time on sports and entertainment?  I'm not claiming spiritual superiority in that fact that I don't, but rather raising the concern and observation of just how easy it is to be distracted.  I openly confess, too many irons in the fire for a workaholic is no more holy than Monday Night Football, video games, or movies.  As a matter of fact, in researching for articles, I am exposed to just as much secularism or more; and sadly in this sad state of our society, the ongoing continuation seems endless.  Unlike football, there is no two minute warning to announce the end.  Research is also quite different from entertainment, in that, again, there is no "end of game or end of movie."  It's been quite harrowing.  I believe I'm getting a handle on this, but it can happen so subtly . . . I certainly do not lean to my own understanding in this, but literally cling to YHWH and His Word.

The Goshen Gazette has moved from weekly to semimonthly, and that will eventually change, but for now, it is what it is.  Watching Isaiah 5:20-21 come to pass is heart breaking.  The warning, as our society is literally inverted to redefine good and evil, seems to be virtually unheeded as we plunge headlong into an abyss of chaos.  Intercessory prayer must sound so redundant to Our Father, by now.

As I looked at the interpretation of the parable that has been coming to my spirit, I noticed once again, that seed among thorns represented both "the care of the world" and the deceitfulness of riches.  While I've not been one drawn or attracted to the prosperity teachings, and my desires in this world are not of great material value, the headlines that I research definitely fall into the category of "the care of this world."  It became pretty tense and quiet for a time in my life.  I delight in the Voice of our Creator, and I have indeed experienced now, just how the care of this world feels strangely dark, quiet, and suffocating.

I will continue to sound the warning of the redefinition being done in our society, but I will not be joining discussions on where the Jews got it wrong with Talmud or where the Christians are misinterpreting the New Testament.  Nor am I particularly interested in the history of ancient cultures or pagan rituals.  I am interested in Living Scripture and following Messiah who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  I don't need to have the most information about a Biblical topic, I need to know the Author and His Son, more.  I've been noticing, not only is our society calling good evil and evil good, but those in the "religious know" are doing some horrendous redefinition and re-prioritizing, as well.  Many of the religious debates can be found in this parable as well.  Stony places and no deepness is often displayed and voiced in discussions and social media comments.

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear  

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. :22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23

Time is short.  Even if Messiah's return is not as soon as many of us hope, our days are not promised and none of us are getting any younger.  Meanwhile, Scripture very clearly tells us we will give an account . . .

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Like a Roaring Lion

The counterfeit of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah . . . Peter prophesied it, and the Revelation appears to confirm it.  To be perfectly honest, I'm truly tired of hearing how powerful the devil is . . . It seems Christianity has deified him and that is simply wrong!  I've yet to attend a church service that someone doesn't testify about how much they've been under attack by the enemy . . . I've spoken against that theology and mindset, but seemingly; to no avail.

The enemy has been defeated!  Yes, he's still irritating and annoying, but he is only a fallen angel, not a god!  He is not omniscient, he is not omnipotent, and he is no match for YHWH and His Son.  I have stumbled across a serious issue, however; and I'd like to share not only the problem, but the solution.  II Thessalonians 2, describes the problem.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.   7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  KJV

Iniquity is translated from the Greek word "anomia" meaning:
  1. the condition of without law
    1. because ignorant of it
    2. because of violating it 
When Rome abandoned Torah, the enemy took a foothold, then gained prominence.  Through the years of Rome's separation from Judaism, many traditions became intertwined with New Testament passages.  When the Protestant reformation took place, there really wasn't much of a protest, other than to translate Scripture out of Latin into the common languages.  There is no "J" in Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, therefore the name "Jesus" evolved through the various translations and printings.  Hardly fitting for the Name above all Names!

Humanity has used the term "Jesus" as an expletive, so it's no stretch of the imagination to see that the enemy could actually use the same term and mimic our precious Messiah.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Samson Syndrome

As a woman, I didn't recognize it in myself right away, but I finally recognized it and learned a few years back.  Now, by the grace of YHWH, I do not choose to be blind to it, have received His power to avoid it, and been given discernment to recognize it and sound the warning.

Basically, the short explanation is being distracted by trying to make up for a perceived shortcoming or self-diagnosed lack by trusting your own plan or worse, the wrong person; in an attempt to achieve YHWH's plan.  Sadly, I've done it more than once, but I'll use my most outstanding situation because it affects several of us.  The reality is, church is really no place to be single, if you want to feel comfortable.  Oh, I know there are singles groups, "friend fellowship" for divorcees, and support meetings for those who are widowed, but there is an underlying reality.  I can't speak for the widowed groups as often the departed was also a member of the church, but most church singles groups are established to "meet" like minded and like spirited individuals.  Most of the divorce fellowship is clearly offered to avoid making the same mistake again; although some denominations forbid remarriage after divorce.  Now, on to my confession . . .

My marriage was already falling apart, when I entered covenant with YHWH in Moshiach.  My husband was a good man, we were simply not joined.  As far as I know, we were both faithful and he was more than fair in the divorce.  He has since married his high school sweet heart and they appear to have a wonderful relationship.  Here's where my Sampson Syndrome took me down.  It seemed everyplace I attempted to fellowship, women didn't really like me.  I was sure if I was married, that would change their perspective.  By that same token, although I wasn't after anyone's man, I'm guessing, since I thought marriage was the key, I gave the appearance of looking.  On top of being single, I was also Torah observant, which was not always warmly received, either.  So, here I am thinking I need to be married so everyone will quit looking at me like I'm on the prowl . . . I was so sure, something completely out of my grasp would solve my problem and I was also sure another human being would provide the inroad for me to accomplish the purpose YHWH had for me.   See the problem?  Well, I didn't at the time.

Meanwhile, I was completely immersed in ministry outside of the "mainstream mega-rejection" called church.  I facilitated a mission, fed the neighborhood kids on the week-end when they came for a Bible study.  I served as a community chaplain to the state mental health facility, not on their payroll, so I could actually talk about Scripture.  I served as chaplain for both the fire and police departments, and even did some traveling abroad in ministry.  I also attended a traditional synagogue, with the congregants acknowledging I was different as a believer that Messiah had already come, but was still welcome to attend.  I was single and ministering every day somewhere, everywhere, except the church . . . I knew I was called to bring Torah to the church, so like Sampson eyeing the Philistines, I was sure the inroad to church was marriage to a Christian.  You'd think I'd have guarded my heart, knowing how it turned out for Samson, but I was still quite blinded by the pseudo-religious, societal idea of marriage.

As a Sabbath keeper, I was available to play the keyboard for various small churches on Sundays.  As it turns out, there was a death in the family in one of those "family churches" meaning the music department and pastor would all be gone.  When the pastor called to ask if I could do the music, I agreed without hesitation . . . It was that evening that would ultimately lead me to a place I just wasn't expecting to land.  The guest pastor informed me that the piano player in his church had recently passed away, and invited me to come out and play.  I wrote down the name and the directions, but didn't go the next Sunday, or the next . . . Finally, one Sunday morning I set out for this little country church called "Way of Life."  I enjoyed it, went back the next week, and since they only had church on Sunday morning, responded with a "yes" when they asked for a 3 month commitment.

The next Sunday morning, I sat in the usual place for a the piano player . . . Second row, piano side.  Also in the pew was a man whom I'd never seen there.  Through the course of the service, it was announced that "Brother Bob" had a new job and was working Sundays.  After the service, I handed him one of my cards and told him about the Sabbath gathering at the mission on Friday evenings.  My parting words were, "Don't lose fellowship."  Within weeks he visited the mission, but there was one big red flag I was overlooking.  He was consistently late, I mean disruptively late, but his church folk were also coming for Sabbath fellowship and we were all enjoying a pretty fine oneg, as well.  The church gals were just precious, in bringing "extra" for the children who would be there the next day.  Life seemed good and I invited "Brother Bob" for dinner one night that wasn't a Sabbath.  There were a couple of weeks of miscommunication, etc, but basically, we began dating . . .

Through the course of the courtship, I had a couple of misgivings, but I talked myself out of them . . .  It's so easy to judge Samson's decision to trust, time and again; then never even consider the reflection in the mirror.  I moved right along and got married, just sure this was the inroad to ministering to the church. In less than a month after the marriage, the church where I'd met this man, made it clear I was no longer welcome . . .  Suffice it to say, a Christian marriage was not the inroad into the church, nor did it give me the married respectability I'd hoped.  As a matter of fact, the results were quite the opposite.

This is not to say the person or distraction of itself is evil or nefarious, but rather the danger in trusting one's own idea of an inroad, especially in ministry, could be a very costly and blinding distraction.

Trust in YHWH with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  Proverbs 3:5

Friday, January 1, 2016

In Modern Times

What if Paul or John the Baptist were alive today, doing what they did 2000 years ago?  What do today's prophets and apostles look like and sound like?  Does it seem Pastors and Teachers/Rabbis are as abundant as Evangelists were in the previous generation of America?  I mean where would Christian television have been without televangelists?  We have an abundance of internet Teachers, and a generation of "Pastors" between the evangelists and teachers.  It seems there has been much name dropping or title claiming of the five fold ministry, but there's been so little power with minimal to no repentance.  The believers don't seem to be fairing any better in society than the unbelievers.  Why is this?  What are we missing?  In my search for The Way, The Truth and The Life, I've come across the information that we simply have a preconceived plan to protect our traditions and often truth just will not fit in that picture.

Paul's writings are generally interpreted or have been interpreted to render Torah, null and void.  There are many modern preachers teaching that very thing, but why?  If 137 pages of a 2000 page book render the rest of the book obsolete, why claim to believe any of it?  And even more thought provoking.  If the author of the 137 pages has defined and set the standard for nearly 2000 years, just what it is to please a Deity that changed His mind?  Who are we really serving?  How can we possibly know He won't change His mind again?

We also have to consider Paul's original claim of authority, after Messiah said, don't follow those who would claim to see Him in various places . . . So, Paul is on the road to Damascus, gets knocked off his donkey, sees a bright light and hears a voice . . . No doubt, this account would be readily received by the thinking crowd of today, am I right?  If the modern day Christians are correct in their interpretation of his letters, and he did teach against Torah, then by definition in Deuteronomy, that would make him a false apostle.  I do not believe Paul is a fake.  I believe folks have misinterpreted his writings, and he never intended to present Torah to be obsolete, but rather make obedience a matter of the heart, rather than outward appearance.  All of his references to Messiah . . . following Messiah is to walk as He walked, live as He lived and that is obedience to Torah.

John the Baptist would more than likely be grouped with any number of preppers or modern wanna be cult leaders.  I mean, I've been called some pretty horrendous names, myself; and I'm relatively obscure.  Fortunately for John, he did have the support of his family.  His parents may have been deceased by then, but there is documentation that he had full support from his cousin, who is Y'hshuwah Messiah.  In all likelihood, just as is recorded, the "vipers" would be gathering to offer their judgment, but . . . he wouldn't align himself with such religiosity and hatred.  John the Baptist would tell it like it is, regardless of where he was.  He'd speak just as boldly at his family gatherings as he would on social media.

Throughout Scripture we see that those who received a message from YHWH often found themselves "detained," imprisoned, or completely shunned by society.  Joseph was thrown in a well, then later, in prison.  Jezebel hated Elijah.  Obadiah hid prophets in caves.  Jeremiah was thrown into a well, then a dungeon.  The three Hebrew boys were cast into the fiery furnace, and Daniel into the lion's den.  We know John the Baptist was imprisoned for telling Herod the truth about his adulterous relationship.  

It could be comedienne Joy Behar gave a truthful reason, although wrapped in mockery, as to the way our society would deal with a modern Paul or John the Baptist.
I have a theory that you can't find any saints anymore because of psychotropic medication. I think that [in] the old days, the saints were hearing voices and they didn't have any Thorazine to calm them down. Now that we have all of this medication available to us, you can't find a saint anymore.

Be ready, saints, they will call us crazy!