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Archive for June, 2017

Developing an Eye for the Scorpion

scorpion

Moving to Arizona, from the state of Washington, I was pretty oblivious about scorpions.  I’d actually only seen the big black kind on the television and equated them with pure evil and death.  So you can imagine my fear when I discovered the first bark scorpion in my house.

“Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?” Luke 11:12

The Bible even used the scorpion as a metaphor for something that was the opposite of Good.  My exaggerated fear did eventually subside as I learned how to avoid this new danger.  Unlike the Brown Recluse or Black widow spider, the scorpion seemed fearlessly blind and clueless to retreat when it was discovered.

The first time I noticed this was when I was sitting on the floor in the middle of my living room and I spotted a very small, dark shadow moving toward me, like it had a heat seeking radar.  It was a long way off, so this time I was able to remain calm and observe as it slowly made its way across the shag carpet.

When it got close I jumped up to grab a glass jar.  I noticed my quick movement caused it to freeze and flatten itself out from its previous, high stepping, curly tailed, posture.  Somehow it was able to make itself look like a very thin, flat piece of paper, something one could easily mistake for a dead leaf.

It was easy for me to capture it as it continued to play dead, but when I forced it inside with a piece of cardboard and put the lid on, it puffed back up and began thrashing its tail violently.

I’ve lived in Arizona for over thirty years now and finding the occasional scorpion in my home has become a normal part of life.  Last night I was prompted to write this after spotting the tell-tale, dark shadow on the carpet of a dark bedroom as I passed by.  It brought back the memory of my first dark shadow experience but this time I realized something that gave me comfort;

I have Developed an Eye for the Scorpion

Adapting to the possibility of a venomous sting makes it second nature to shake shoes before putting them on, keeping everything up off the floor, even if you’re not tidy, and no more feeling around in your cupboards where you can’t see or jumping into bed without a quick check.  If you get up at night, and don’t want to disturb anyone by turning on the light, you learn to keep flip flops by your bed, because walking barefoot in the dark is like playing Russian roulette with a scorpion.  It is more likely to freeze in the path of your next step than to run out of your way.

Scorpions lurk in dark places, especially warm, moist environments.  If I ever want to check to see if a scorpion might be hiding somewhere all I have to do is leave a warm, damp cloth on the floor overnight.  In the morning I shake the cloth and the scorpion freezes, as if I can’t see it if it doesn’t move.  This makes it easier to capture, although I occasionally miss as it scurries toward the nearest wall, at least now, I know they don’t attack like a bee protecting its hive.

Scorpions Sting Because We Don’t See Them

People come in contact with Scorpions, in countless ways, when they aren’t looking for them.  If we stick our hand into a dark place without first checking it with a light, and continue walking barefoot in the dark, sitting on, rolling over on, or putting on clothes without checking them in the light, that’s when we get stung.

I have learned venomous scorpions, spiders and snakes work hard to produce their venom and they need it to live.  They don’t waste it on things they don’t eat, unless they have to.  Their actions are as predictable as their existence in keeping the desert vermin and insect population under control.

Unlike the scorpion, we are made to walk in the light.  The Light, both figuratively and literally, illuminates the harmful things in this life.  It is possible to develop an eye for the scorpion and avoid them by cautiously shining light on those dark shadows.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet And a Light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

In the Way of Righteousness is Life, And in its pathway there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28

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The Ambiguous Meaning of Salvation

If you live in the Western world you’ve probably been asked religious questions like, “are you saved?” and “when did you receive your salvation?”  These questions were like grains of irritation to me.  Like grains of sand that had made their way into the meat of an oyster shell, they can eventually become our most beautiful pearls.

It was my lack of understanding that kept me silently frustrated when I heard the phrase, “I’m saved.”  It just didn’t set right that salvation could sound like a box we’d checked off after our first confession, when we said,  “I believe and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior,” before getting baptized.saved

Although I Understand These Are The Biblical Answers to The Question;

“What Must I Do To Be Saved?

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16

“if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Romans 10:9

Salvation Revealed In The Original Hebrew Scriptures

Thanks to the impartial promise of our Creator’s Word, those who seek Him do find Him, Deuteronomy 4:29;   Matthew 7:7.   And these days He even guides us in the search engines of Google.  The day I discovered the Hebrew Lexicon at Biblehub.com, I knew it was an answer to my prayer for greater understanding.

For instance, it helped me realize how word choices, culture and religious bias have their influence on translation.

When there are several English word equivalents, used interchangeably for the same Hebrew word, readers lose their cues to connect that word or phrase in other passages.

All translation require conjecture in order to convey meaning, especially when an ancient expression doesn’t exist or carry over into another language.

Translating means changing, no matter how closely one is able to transfer a meaning and modify word syntax into the readable form of another language.

Today everyone has access to the Hebrew lexicon.  Anyone, who has the desire to know and understand the original Hebrew Scriptures, can begin prayerfully meditating on their Word meanings and making the Spiritual connections that evade translation, Romans 7:14.

YHVH’s (He Exists) is Salvation

The Hebrew word translated into English as Salvation is Yeshuah.  It comes from the root Yasha, the same root in the name Yehoshua, (Jesus) which means, YHVH + Yasha, He Exists is Salvation.

Matthew 1:21

Matthew 1:21

Yasha and its different forms can be translated:  Deliverance, Victory, to Avenge, Preservation, Prosperity, Help, Rescue, Safety, Security, to Save, Salvation…

Salvation Always Was “The Good News”

“May Your Merciful Loving Kindnesses, (Chesed #2617a from Chasad) also come to me, YHVH,(He Exists) Your Salvation, (Teshuah #8668 from Yasha) according to Your Word, (Imrah #559 from Amar).  Psalm 119:41

“How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings Good News, Who announces peace And brings Good News of happiness, Who announces Salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7Romans 10:15

The Spirit of The Lord YHVH, (HeExists) is upon me, Because YHVH has anointed me To bring good news to the humble/afflicted, (anav #6035); He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty/release, (deror #1865) to captives And freedom to prisoners; Isaiah 61:1

Y’shua, the shortened form of Y’hoshua, explained all that was written about Himself in the Scriptures.  The Scriptures He was referring to were called Moses, (Torah) the Prophets and Writings.  In Hebrew these words form the acronym T.N.K, pronounced, TaNaK.   Today we call The Scriptures, The “Old” Testament.

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all The Scriptures (The Tanak) about Himself.” Luke 24:27

Promised From The Beginning

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise/overwhelm, (shuph #7779) you on the head, And you shall bruise/overwhelm him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15

Looking at Genesis 3:15 with ancient Hebrew symbolism we see more than the curse or the fate that will come to the serpent, (representing satan, YHVH’s adversary).  This is a prophecy, a promise of what will happen, spoken to the serpent and his seed or offspring, meaning all who are adversary’s of YHVH.

Notice the words, “you,” and “your” are addressing the serpent, (satan).  Their will be enmity, (ebah #342) between your seed, (satan) and the woman and her Seed, (children of YHVH).

“And the dragon, (serpent) was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony, (word) of Jesus, (Salvation)” Revelation 12:17

The Victory Stance!

The Seed of the woman will,  “overwhelm the head of the serpent.” Can you envision this ancient Hebrew idiom of a triumphant king, victoriously standing with his foot on the head of His enemy?

“The God of Peace will soon crush satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Romans 16:20

This symbolism of Victory even carries over into Greek and English!

“YHVH your God is in your midst, A Victorious/Savior, (Yasha #3467) warrior/prevailer, (gibbor #1368).  He will exult over you with joy, He will be silent/rest in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17

Victory Over Satan Is Salvation

Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Noah, Abraham, Moses and King David, to name a few, all died believing in their Salvation, the promise of the Victorious Seed.

All these people died in faith, without having received the things they were promised.” Hebrews 11:13

Today we can look back on all the Scriptural prophecies of the promised Seed who would bless All peoples of the earth, Genesis 22:18 and know that Seed is Y’hoshua, (YHVH’s Salvation).

WordBecameFlesh1

“You pore over the Scriptures because you presume that by them you possess eternal life. These are the very words that testify about Me,” John 5:39

Y’hoshua is the Word, John 1:1.  The Word became flesh and dwelt with us, John 1:14.  He overcame every test of satan, victoriously conquering death, He purposely resurrected to lasting Life on the third day of First-Fruits, assuring us the rest of the harvest would also be blessed.  (See The Promise of The Seed Who Would Bless All Nations/People).

Victory over satan, (also known as our evil inclination) has been the true meaning of salvation/release/freedom/victory since Cain was warned that it would master him if he didn’t master it, Genesis 4:7

“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to, (mastered by) the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his own deeds were evil, while those of his brother were righteous.” 1 John 3:12.

All people have been separated from the Spirit of their Creator by their iniquitiesRomans 3:23, and All people are in need of Salvation/Life, because Death is separation.

“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”  Isaiah 59:2.

He Brings Salvation At His Second Coming

“so also Christ, (Messiah) was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.” Hebrews 9:28

Dead People Can’t Eat From The Tree Of Life

YHVH, in His Mercy, made sure Adam and Eve did not eat from the Tree of Life in their fallen state and live in death forever.

Then YHVH God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever…” Genesis 3:22,23.

God’s Merciful Compassion makes us alive, (born again) through/in Christ/Messiah, even when we were dead, (separated) in our trespasses/iniquities/sin.  It is by grace/His favor you have been saved, (from sin and death)! Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 5:14Isaiah 26:19

Righteousness Is The Beautiful Pearl of Salvation

Whether we understand or not, mankind’s freedom from death, (sin) equals New Spiritual Life/Righteousness.  An ancient Hebrew illustration for “New Life,” is a “Clean Robe,”  Our outer covering represent “our actions.”  This is revealed in the following verse:

She, (The Bride) was given clothing of fine linen,” linen bright and pure. For the fine linen she wears is the righteous acts of the saints/the set apart/holy. Revelation 19:8.

Before our “New Life,” (when we were dead in our sin) and even our righteous actions were like, “Filthy Rags,” Isaiah 64:6;  Zechariah 3:3. 

Righteous acts, is the Hebrew word, Tzedakah #6666.  This is the hidden pearl that has always been, still is and will be, The only Way to Lasting Life

“In the Way of Righteousness, (Tzedakah) is Life, And in its pathway there is no death.” Proverbs 12:28

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, (the victorious) so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter the city by its gates.” Revelation 22:14

“To the one who is Victorious, (those who acted right) I will grant the right to eat of the Tree of Life in the paradise of God.”  Revelation 2:7

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (YHVH our Salvation, the Messiah!) 1 Corinthians 15:57

To Be Clothed in His Righteousness Is Life

So now when I hear someone say, “I’m saved,”  I understand why today’s religious lingo has never been a pre-requisite for Salvation.  People have been dying with their hope in the Creator’s promise since the beginning, long before our language and religious divisions.

We know, “God is One.”  There is no division in His Spirit.  Those who bear the glory of “His Name,” are called His children.  His children are those who walk in Freedom from their bondage to sin and death.  His Torah has always been The Way to Truth and Life.

Y’hoshua revealed, He is The Way, The Truth and The Life, John 14:6,  and He gave All peoples very clear instructions to, “follow Him,” John 12:26.

“Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus, (Y’shua) walked.  Beloved, I am not writing you a new commandment, but an old one, which you have had from the beginning.” 1 John 2:6.

“This is the message you have heard from the beginning:  We should love one another. 1 John 3:11

We know that we have passed from death to Life, because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.” 1 John 3:14

The Way of Life Is Righteousness, Which Is Summed Up As Love

Righteousness is Who He Is, it is our Creator’s Character and it describes the Attributes of those who walk in the way that leads to Life.  Man is able to come up with countless definitions for righteousness but Y’shua summed it up simply by quoting these two commands from Torah:

“‘Love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.’ Deuteronomy 6:4,5.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Leviticus 19:18.  All the Torah and the Prophets depend/hang on these two commandments.”… Matthew 22:37; Matthew 22:40

“The commandments “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and any other commandments, are summed up in this one decree: “Love your neighbor (one another) as yourself.” Love does no wrong to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law, (Torah) Romans 13:10; Leviticus 19:18

Those who are not clothed in the Righteousness of our Creator’s Love do not have Life.

“keep yourselves in the Love, (Righteousness), of God as you await the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, (YHVH’s Salvation, the Messiah) to bring you eternal LifeJude 1:21

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Silence is the Highest Form of Honor

silence

Our Creator Knows Our Words Before We Speak

“Even before there is a word on my tongue,Behold, YHVH, You know it all.” Psalm 139:4

psalm46_10-overlook_text

We Are The Ones Who Need to Speak, Not God.

Speaking is beneficial to us during prayer, especially when we know His Word of Truth; Who He says He Is and Who we are in covenant with Him:

“Then YHVH passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “YHVH, YHVH, God, Compassionate/Merciful and Gracious, Slow to anger, and Abounding in Faithful Loving kindness and Truth; Exodus 34:6

We are to know, remember  and speak His Words because we are the ones who are forgetful, not Him.

The Shema Prayer

“Hear, O Israel!  YHVH is our God, YHVH is One! “You shall love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 22:37

We are to have these words memorized, (in our heart).  We are to teach them diligently to our children, say them when we sit in our house, when we walk outside, when we go to bed and when we wake up.

and the second is like it,  …Love your neighbor as yourself.” Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39

All the Torah and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:40

Praying Out Loud in a Group Benefits Those Listening, Not Him.

“I knew that You always hear Me, but I say this for the benefit of the people standing here, so they may believe that You sent Me.” John 11:42

There is no need to say lengthy prayers. Luke 20:47

“And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard.” Matthew 6:7

How Should We Pray Out Loud and for One Another?

“This, then, is how you should pray: Matthew 6:9

“ Our Father in the heavens, (Unseen),

Your Name is Set Apart, (Holy),

and Your kingdom is Blessed,

Your will shall be done,

in heaven and on earth.

Grant us our bread continually

And forgive us the debt of our offenses

as we forgive the debt of those who sin against us.

And do not bring us into the hands of a test,

and protect us from every bad way.  (adapted from Nehemiaswall.com/learn-lords-prayer-hebrew)

This simple model of prayer only takes a minute to say and if you really meditate on the original Hebrew meanings, you will find that it covers everything we truly need.

When we pray for others, pray the way Jesus prayed for Peter, that their faith will not fail, Luke 22:32.  And we’d be kept from bad, John 17:15.

Of Course We Can Still Ask, Question, Express Gratitude or just Chat

He is the only One to whom we can speak freely and trust.  No human being knows the hidden intentions of the heart, Genesis 6:5.  Only His Spirit has the power to guide and instruct us effectively.Matthew 23:8

Prayer is not over when We finish speaking.

When Y’hoshua, (Jesus), spent all night in prayer, do we envision Him Speaking?

“In those days, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.”  Luke 6:12

Obviously prayer is not one sided.  It is vital to our Spiritual growth and transformation when we spend time getting to know God’s Spiritual Word and focusing our thoughts on His Unseen, Life-giving, Spirit of Wisdom, Proverbs 8:35.

No More Need to Tell God What to Do.

  What a relief it was when I stopped feeling like I had to tell God what to do and how to do it.  Yes we still ask, and wait and listen, but there’s such peace in knowing He already Knows everything and we can trust Him.

If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask and whatever you wish will be done for you,” John 15:7.

Waiting Silently Gives Us Peace, Comfort and Joy

“But YHVH, (He Exists) is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”Habakkuk 2:20

“Be silent before YHVH! For the day of YHVH is near, For YHVH has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests.” Zephaniah 1:7; Zechariah 2:13

Our finite vocabulary tends to fall away as we gain spiritual awareness of The Almighty’s Awesome, Fearsome, Wonderful, Faithful, Merciful, Kind, Patient, Loving, Compassionate, Just, Righteous, Sovereigness over the Entire Universe.

Rev 8 silence

 

 

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