Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

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

Read Full Post »

ephesians_5-15-16_application

Pay careful attention to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming your time because the days are full of evil (bad).  Ephesians 5:15,16

If you’re reading this then you’ve been given a gift more valuable than money, the gift of time.  We’ve all been given this same priceless gift.  In my case, I just didn’t understand how much of it I was wasting until I’d lived a half century.  Now I look back on a disarray of memories as if they were bits of a blurry dream.  The present moment passes quickly into timelessness, at a steady pace each second reminds us just how temporary it is, so how can time be redeemed?

Walk in Wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Colossians 4:5

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines redeem as making something bad, better or more acceptable, to buy back, purchase, exchange…

The Hebrew word redeem is Gaal.  In addition to the above definition the Hebrew word includes Kinsman Redeemer, (see the book of Ruth for a beautiful picture of mankind’s Kinsman Redeemer.)

The Greek word Exagarazo also includes, to rescue from loss.

Getting a better understanding of the word Redeem helped me realize that redeeming the time was referring to much more than time management.  In reference to Ephesians 5:16, the reason for redeeming the time is also given, “because the days are full of evil (bad).”

How can a day full of bad be redeemed?

First, what is the evil or bad that fills each day?  There is only one Hebrew Word describing everything bad and it’s the same word used to describe the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad (Ra), Genesis 2:17.

Ra means every bad thing.  It’s translated chaos, discord, dysfunction, harm and everything else we consider evil.  Ra is simply the opposite of everything Good, the Hebrew word Tov, meaning order, harmony, function etc…

What we do with the days we’ve been given, whether good or bad, will be revealed, Romans 8:19.  As a fire consumes what is flammable but leaves the inflammable unharmed,  1 Corinthians 3:13Revelation 2:11.  From each parable and metaphor found in Scripture we are taught everything bad, (Ra) is perishable; wood, hay and stubble/straw/chaff/briers/thorns.  Everything Good, (Tov) is described as lasting; grain, fruit, precious stones… Matthew 3:12Matthew 13:30Jeremiah 23:28Isaiah 27:4.

Everything Good, (Tov), is Mercy, Loving Kindness, Compassion (Chesed), Truth, (Emet), faithfulness, (Emunah), and our Father’s Word, (Dabar).  These are the things revealed as being everlasting, and they are also descriptions of our Father’s Name, (Who he is); Psalm 119:160Psalm 106:1Psalm 107:1Psalm 117:2Psalm 100:5Isaiah 40:8John 17:17.

The Just Judge Repays Each One According to what They have Done

For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done. Matthew 16:27Psalm 62:12Malachi 3:2Proverbs 24:12Ecclesiastes 3:17Jeremiah 32:19Acts 10:42John 5:22Revelation 6:17

On the day of Judgement the time we redeemed will be revealed by what remains.  Nothing bad (Ra) exists in the sight of the All Consuming Fire, Hebrews 12:29Exodus 24:17.   Just as darkness is exposed as non-existent when it is in the Light.

Each time we intentionally redeem our time, knowing the day is already full of bad, (Ra), and obediently do good, (Tov), we apply our hearts to Wisdom.

So teach us to number our days, so we can apply our hearts to wisdom. Psalm 90:12

I’d love to see some of your ideas and experiences of doing Good in the comments,  Hebrews 10:24.

Read Full Post »

“Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you Free.” John 8:32

Truth shines like a Light in the darkness.

E72796 Forest path in the woodsOpinions About Truth

Our opinions about what’s good, bad, right, wrong, true or false have led to many an ugly disagreement.  Religious, political and family feuds exist as proof of those who do not know their Creator’s definitions.

Refusing to yield our opinions, offenses and grudges enslaves us, .2 Peter 2:19

People Think They are Free when they are Slaves to Sin

Y”shua (Jesus) told the religious leaders of His time, who thought they were free, “everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” John 8:34

The Truth is, sin keeps us bound to death, and we’re all slaves to sin,  Romans 5:12

We either obey sin or we obey Truth.  Because we are slaves to the one we obey, Romans 6:16Genesis 4:7

To be Free From Sin is Life

There may be as many opinions as their are people but from the creation of the world our invisible Creator has made Himself clearly seen by what He has made, so we have no excuse for hanging onto our vain opinions, Romans 1:20.

  Freedom is our choice, Isaiah 55:9,  but it requires laying down my own opinions and beginning a search for what our Creator says is True, Jeremiah 29:13Matthew 7:7Deuteronomy 4:29.

Freedom, Salvation, Deliverance, Victory, Liberty, Release

 “Declaring the End from the Beginning,” Isaiah 46:10

His Word Stands Forever, Isaiah 40:8Psalm 119:89Matthew 5:18

His Word Testifies about Jesus, John 5:39

Jesus, the Westernized name of Y’shua, a shortened version of Y’houshua, (Joshua), means YHVH Delivers.  He is the Way, Truth and Life, John 14:6.  He was the Word from the beginning, John 1:1, and the Word testifies about Him, John 5:39

 The Instructions to Freedom are Not a Religion, They are Y’shua

The Word (Torah) is the perfect Way (instructions) of freedom, Psalm 119:45; James 1:25James 2:12Isaiah 61:1Luke 4:18

Before all the religious divisions, the Word of Truth existed.  A man named Moses was chosen to put the Word in writing, (Torah).  These are the instructions that shine like a Light in the darkness, because they foreshadowed Y’shua, who is the Light of Life, John 8:12

Y’shua made it possible for all people to pass from death to Life,  1 John 3:14.  All have the choice to be free from their oppression, contention, un-forgivenss and hate.   All we need to do is test our opinions and make them obedient to  the Way Y’shua lived, 1 John 2:62 Corinthians 10:5.

Read Full Post »

1 Corinthians we are the Temple

YHVH (He Exists) is, was and always will be Love, Wisdom, Understanding, Everything Good/Kind/Humble/Giving, Merciful, Compassionate, Just, Impartial, Unchanging, All-knowing, Everlasting/Perpetual, Infinite, Faithful, All-powerful, Incomprehensible, Unequaled, Invisible, Reality/Truth, Peace, Light, The (Spiritual) Bread of Life, The (Spiritual) Living Water, The (Spiritual) Tree of Life, He is a Life Giving Spirit and an All Consuming Fire.

These are some of the Spirits attributes that not everyone has eyes to see or ears to hear.  So how can we perceive if our Creators Unseen Spirit is dwelling within us?

Our Creator has set Eternity (everlasting Spiritual Reality) within the hearts of (all) mankind, Ecclesiastes 3:11

Everything the Maker of the universe has created declares His glory,  Psalm 19:1.  His invisible attributes, Eternal Power and Divine Nature can be clearly seen, (with our physical eyes) and understood by what He has made, so we (all people) are without excuse, Romans 1:19.

Yet YHVH chooses to remain a mystery and purposely allows the ego to blind the proud.  This Spiritual Mystery is reserved for the humble.  Only those who wholeheartedly seek Him will find Him, Deuteronomy 4:29  ; Jeremiah 29:13.

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and malice, it is humbly we receive the implanted Word which is our Salvation. James 1:21

The Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding and Truth is also called the Word of YHVH, Ephesians 6:17.

 

Moses wrote, “the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”  Deuteronomy 30:14.  1500 years later  we see this Word is fulfilled in Y’shua, Romans 10:8,  The Word of YHVH,  John 1:1.  Also known as The Way, The Truth and The Life, which is the Hebrew meaning of Torah.

The religious leaders of Y’shua’s day had the Torah memorized yet their egos blinded them to what it meant to, “love your neighbor as yourself,” Leviticus 19:18.

The religious leaders didn’t understand  “neighbor” included everyone.  (See Y’shua’s answer to, Who is my neighbor? Luke 10:29)

Y’shua spent three years exposing the false doctrines these religious leaders added to YHVH’s Torah.  Both then and now religious leaders have added and taken away from the eternal Torah of YHVH, in spite of these clear instructions, Deuteronomy 4:2;  Deuteronomy 12:32.

So the real question isn’t who does the Spirit live within, it’s who does the Spirit reign within?

We can discern who truly knows and yields to the Spirit within them because everyone’s words and actions eventually reveal their heart, John 16:3Matthew 12:34.

Y’shua taught us to observe ourselves and others.  The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His Ways/Torah, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His Word, in him the Love of YHVH has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. 1 John 2:51 John 2:6

Y’shua walked in Torah/The Way.  He did not come to abolish even the smallest letter but to fulfill and accomplish everything it says about Him, Matthew 5:17;  Psalm 40:7Hebrews 10:7Luke 24:27.

YHVH is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth/lasting reality.  John 4:24.

When we know The Spirit of our Creator lives within everyone we also understand why we must Love one another.  Y’shua taught us that everything we do to others, “you did it to Me. Matthew 25:40

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Who Abolished The Seven Feasts?
Menorah Feast days

Y’shua didn’t abolish the seven feasts of YHVH, Matthew 5:17.   On the contrary He said, “until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Torah until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25Psalm 111:8Psalm 119:89Isaiah 40:8.

So when and why did they disappear from the teachings of Christianity?  Y’shua even instructed His followers to, do this in remembrance of Me,  Luke 22:19, the eve before Passover.

Passover is the First Feast of the Seven.  It was called Passover because the angel of death passed over every home in in Egypt that obediently placed the blood of a lamb on its doorposts.  That same night began the first day, of the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.  On the Third day was the Feast of First Fruits, which began the 49 day count down until The Feast of Weeks.

Most of us are not familiar with these first four Feast days, even though Y’shua fulfilled each one at YHVH’s pre-appointed time.

Can we blame translation for the reason most Christians don’t even know about YHVH’s Seven Feast days?

Translations certainly have caused more than a little confusion.  Communion and the Last Supper replaced the Passover Covenant Meal and Unleavened Bread.  Easter replaced the Third day of First Fruits, and now we call the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost.

As you can see, there’s a little more to blame than translation.  The original names of YHVH’s Feast days were taken away and man’s were added. Beginning with pope Victor in 196 A.D. all YHVH’s appointed days, including Sabbath, were changed and declared the new law at the council of Ncacea, 325 A.D.

Exposing The False Prophets

No True Prophet would ever add or take away from YHVH’s instructions,  Deuteronomy 4:2;  Revelation 22:18.

Whatever I (YHVH) instruct you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it. Deuteronomy 12:32

True Prophets are those who speak in the Name (Who He Is) of YHVH, James 5:10.  This makes False prophets easy to detect. They will be the ones enticing you away from YHVH’s Unchanging Torah instructions, Deuteronomy 13:1-5.

The Hebrew word, Torah, has a deep and beautiful meaning that can’t help but be lost in translation.  It’s “The Way,” “the Light,” of “Truth,” shining in the darkness, directing us to the path that leads to Life.  Like a loving Father, YHVH’s instructions are good, freeing us from our adversary, “that it may be well with you,” Jeremiah 7:23

YHVH’s Words are Truth, Life giving and Lasting, Deuteronomy 32:47Acts 7:38.  They do not grow “Old” or expire.  The original Hebrew acronym, TaNaKh is a perfect description for the Torah (Teachings), Nevi’im, (Prophets) and Ketuvim, (Writings).  Wasn’t the choice of translating as the “Old” Testament and referring to it as the “Law” a bit misleading?

The TaNaKh was the only Scripture every 1st Century A.D. writer was referring to in the New Testament.  These New writings had not officially been compiled as Divine Scripture, (canonized), it was a process that took centuries.

The Living Torah

Y’shua is Torah, and The Torah became flesh and lived among us, John 1:1John 1:14

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; (Torah), no one comes to the Father (YHVH) but through Me.” John 14:6

If you are able to comprehend Y’shua being Torah, then you may be able to wrap your mind around the fulfillment of four of the seven feast days. When Torah became flesh, cutting covenant with His own, Life giving, blood, at the pre-appointed time the Passover lamb was slain.  He was buried at the pre-appointed day of Unleavened Bread, and resurrected to New Life at the pre-appointed time of the third day of First-fruits.

He then ascending into heaven in order to baptize the faithful ones with His Living Spirit at the pre-appointed time of the Feast of Weeks, John 1:33

All this happened at YHVH’s pre-appointed times and days, set from the fourth day of creation, Genesis 1:14

Without knowing about or remembering these feast days it is difficult to see the (Spiritual) mystery of the Good News that is laid out in Torah, Luke 24:27.

What About the Other Three Appointed Feast Days?

There are three Fall Feast days that we are still awaiting. Yet the majority still remains confused by the translations that say the Law has been made void, while others clearly state the Law is not void, Romans 3:31.

If Y’shua and Every First Century Believer Remembered these Feasts,  Luke 22:19, why would we be okay with the fact that some false prophets abolished them?

Even if we or an angel from heaven tries to distort the Good News, let them be accursedGalatians 1:8

This Good News isn’t new.  It wasn’t YHVH’s afterthought or a plan B.  Mankind’s hope of an eventual victory over the serpent was promised in Genesis 3:15.  Our Creator is all knowing.  His Way back to Life or Torah existed even before it was given in writing to Moses over 3,000 years ago.

The Last Three Fall Feasts

Leviticus 23:24, The Feast of Trumpets (shofars) or Yom Teruah, a celebration, making a loud blast.  The first day of the seventh month.

Leviticus 23:27Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, the only feast that requires fasting. The tenth day of the Seventh month..

Leviticus 23:34, The Feast of Booths or Sukkot, sleeping and eating outside in a flimsy booth for seven days.  The fifteenth day of the Seventh Lunar month.

As Y’shua’s followers around the world await the day of His return, Judgement Day and The day The King of kings will reign on the New earth,  wouldn’t it benefit His people to know and remember His appointed Feast days?

“THE WORD OF YHVH ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the Word which was preached to you.1 Peter 1:25; .Psalm 119:89; Psalm 119:152.

Read Full Post »

Bereans

“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” Acts 17:11

Who were these noble-minded people of Berea?  From verse 10 we know they were Judean and met in a Synagogue in Berea.  Berea was located in South Western Macedonia, South of Thessaloniki and North of Kosovo, between Albania and Bulgaria.

What else do we know just from reading verses 10 and 11 of Acts 17?  The Bereans were not like the Thessalonians.

The Bereans examined the Scriptures daily to check to see if any new teaching was true or false.  They received Paul’s message of the Good News of God’s Kingdom eagerly.  Unlike the Thessalonians they were not fearful of false prophets because they knew how to check for Truth by holding it up to the plum line of YHVH’s unchanging Truth.

The Scriptures consisted of the Torah and the Prophets, those who spoke the Words of YHVH.

These were the Scriptures Y’shuah referred to as testifying about Him, John 5:39.

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”  Luke 24:27

You know we still have access to the same plum line of Truth that the Berean’s examined daily.  We do not need to fear being deceived by any new teachings, doctrines or opinions that don’t align with the Light of Truth.

“even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel (Good News) contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed” Galatians 1:8

“The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles (all peoples) by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” Galatians 3:8

Still today we see how many, like the Thessalonians, are not open to searching out what is True.  To be close minded and opinionated comes from fear.   Whether we fear being deceived or we are just too proud to reassess some of our comfortable traditions and customs, fear shows itself in every indignant, prideful and hate-filled reaction.

“He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.”  Psalm 25:9

Are you confused, angry or just plain fed up with all the religious divisions in the world?  Truth tells us God is One, so there cannot be any division in Truth.  Yet I was being blown around like a wave in the sea by every influential teacher I heard.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.    Proverbs 3:5

For True Peace of Mind, Seek Truth from your Creator, do not put your trust in any human understanding. Psalm 118:8Isaiah 2:22

We are only teachable when we are humble, with a child-like attitude.  As adults we have a hard time letting go of the teachings, doctrines, traditions and human opinions we have grown accustomed to.  It requires great courage and trust to be Set apart.

The Way of Truth is Counter-Cultural.  The way of the world is not the way of Truth.  Following the Way of Truth is the difficult Way.

Truth is not an opinion to argue or defend, that would be like arguing gravity.  It requires only that someone hold up a Plum bob to show reality.  The Truth has been revealed to all mankind, like a light in the darkness, it always was, is and always will be Truth.

Truth seekers have no concern about which person to follow or whom to ask about Truth because YHVH has put His Spirit of Truth in each one of us, young and old..  He is the One we ask, the One we teach our children to seek diligently and the only One we trust.  We are no longer dead, (separated) spiritually because of our iniquity, check and see.   Jeremiah 31:33,34.

“AND THEIR INIQUITIES AND THEIR OFFENSIVE DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”  Hebrews 10:17

“HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” Isaiah 52:7Romans 10:15Isaiah 61:1Luke 4:18

.Y’shuah did not come to change one letter of the Torah and the Prophets but to fulfill what was prophesied and foreshadowed, in the Truth, about Himself, Matthew 5:17

Read Full Post »

discipline-quote-and-photoLove is a Spiritual Discipline

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.”— Aristotle

…abstain from the desires of the flesh that are fighting against your inner beings,  1 Peter 2:11

…exercise self-restraint to help you pray,  1 Peter 4:7

Where people have no Spiritual Wisdom they cast off restraint, Proverbs 29:18

Discipline, (control, restraint, abstinence), it is one of the nine descriptions of the Spirit,  Galatians 5:23

If we are not mastering our thoughts they are mastering us.  

Spiritual Discipline is necessary in order to follow God’s Spiritual requirements.  It is in the unseen or spiritual that we make our choices to act right, to love mercy and to stay humble.[1]  Nobody is born with self-control and good habits; discipline means turning against the current of our human nature and putting forth effort to do what we know is right.

The first step is believing that we are slaves to whatever controls us.[2]   Do we take notice of how naturally we allow our desires to have their own way?  No parent has to teach a child to be selfish.   If children are not disciplined or taught any other way, they will naturally yield to whatever it is they want.   Somehow, even as adults, we want whatever we think will make us happy.   We covet the things we do not have; jealous with envy that we cannot obtain all that we want.[3]  The problem is that we want and desire and lust for more incessantly.[4]    Giving into our desires may sound harmless if we still do not believe that we are slaves to whatever masters us.[5]

The Lord is My Shepherd; I shall not Want Psalm 23:1

The Truth is, our continually wanting is not an admirable character trait.  Still so many prefer to turn a blind eye to their domineering, insatiable, desires.   It only takes one look to see that there is a severe contrast between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit.  The flesh wants to satisfy its five senses; not comprehending that everything we see, hear, taste, touch and smell is temporary. [6] On the other hand, God’s Life giving Spirit is Unseen.[7]    God uses physical analogies and metaphors to describe the unseen.  Like a Shepherd His Spirit leads us to the place where our true needs are met.   Another analogy we are taught is that we need a circumcised heart in order to perceive the Unseen.  Jesus spoke to those who had eyes and ears to hear Spiritually.   Circumcision refers to cutting away, in this case it is referring to our stiff necked ego and pride.[8]    When we are humble His Spirit guides us away from our dependence on the temporary and leads us in the path of life.[9]

What is wrong with Being Somewhere in the Middle?

With such a harsh difference between life and death or the spiritual and the physical, it is no wonder it feels more comfortable being somewhere in between.   That was true for me; I did not want to be too good or too bad.  Not too hot or too cold, as a matter of fact, lukewarm seemed just right.  That is until I read what God’s Word says about being lukewarm.[10]   Contrary to our finite understanding, lukewarm is worse than being hot or cold.  Why?  Because we’ve made it up, there is no in between, middle, grey area, half alive, half-hearted, double minded, lukewarm reality.

This deception is such a subtle one because we have decided what is good by our own, human, reasoning and standards.  When we elevate our finite judgment above The Infinite we are dealing with the original pride issue of Adam and Eve.  The ego continues to want to be its own god.[11]

In reality there is only Spiritual Life or Spiritual Death, death meaning complete separation from.   The Spirit is as contrasting to the Flesh as Light is to Darkness and Truth is to Deception.  Try imagining this description of the Flesh:  prideful, immoral, impure, immodest, intoxicated, hostile, envious, hateful, angry, selfish, carousing, undisciplined, deceitful, just saying and doing whatever it wants…[12]

Now imagine the exact opposite of those characteristics, the Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control, Moral, Pure, Impartial, Alert, Sincere, Honest, Compassionate, and Humble…[13]

You see the Flesh and the Spirit are completely opposed to each other.

Instead of humbling ourselves as a product of the One Who Created us, we so naturally want to set ourselves above His Instructions by saying and doing whatever we like.[14]

Discipline vs Punishment

If the word discipline makes you cringe you are not alone.  English definitions even include the word punishment.   Discipline essentially means to learn not to punish.   Punishment dictates, forcing submission and blind obedience.   It also gives a very wrong picture of God, Who says He draws us with His Loving Kindness. [15]   Giving us complete freedom to choose between good and bad we learn by the consequences of our own actions.  “God disciplines those He loves,” Hebrews 12:6.

Blame and anger disappear when we know the Truth about God’s Character.   He is Everything Good, Gracious, Merciful, Compassionate, Faithful, Abundant in Loving Kindness, Just, Upright, He cannot lie because He is Truth nor do wrong because He is Righteous.[16]

To Learn

In the light of God’s Goodness, let us go back to the original meaning of the word discipline.  The Ancient Hebrew metaphors, (http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/12_learning.html).    These five different letter symbols all meaning to learn.

Alaph To learn by yoking Association
Lamad To learn by goading Instruction
Yarah To learn by pointing Direction
Shanan To learn by sharpening Skills
Yacar To learn by chastisement Discipline

Learning to be Grateful for Discipline

No discipline at the time is pleasant but it is training us to learn to do right, Hebrews 12:11.

Discipline simply teaches us to learn to walk in the Way that leads to Life.[17]  Just like children we do not always understand how discipline could be for our good.[18]   We may even become angry with God or blame Him for allowing bad into the world.  Without being rooted in His Unfailing Love, it is not possible to trust God and even to be grateful for the good and the bad.[19]    Knowing the purpose of discipline is intended to turn us, meaning repent, from bad to good helps us endure testing with joy.[20]

It is obvious that our flesh is opposed to the difficult way and why being lazy is so much easier.  For example, the flesh would never get up from a warm bed to pray before dawn when nobody is watching.[21]  What would give us the motivation to turn off the television and study God’s Word when nobody would be impressed?  The Right Way is never the easy Way.  The only reason we would discipline ourselves to do what nobody but God sees us do is because we believe that The Unseen Spirit is greater than the physical.  Our mind senses that prayer is better than sleep and True rest is evident only by trusting God completely.  Unless we believe discipline is good it is easier to ignore The Unseen.

Trusting God comes from hearing God’s Word.  This phrase, God’s Word, is synonymous with Truth.  His Spirit is Truth and Life giving.[22]  It is necessary to spend time meditating on God’s Spirit and His Word every day.  Like the flesh needs food and water, Truth is like bread and prayer is like water to our spirit as we spend time in unity with God.   When we find ourselves doing the things only God sees us do it is because we have faith that Truth is better than anything temporary.[23]

Self-Control or Controlled by Self?

Now look at how athletes discipline their bodies do what they tell them to do and this is just to achieve a temporary goal.[24]   We also have a goal that is worth more than anything temporary.[25]   Our goal is Love.[26]   God is Love.[27]   Love unifies us with God.   Discipline is how we achieve that goal, by taking every thought captive and making it obedient to God’s Love.[28]    Our thoughts are what control our actions so training our thoughts to stay focused on God’s Love keeps us in unity with His Spirit, His power and His lasting life.  Ultimately we will all know that God is Greater than any temporary desires we had for this world.[29]

It is by this discipline to Love one another that all people will see that we are His disciples.  John 13:34, 35; Leviticus 19:18

Deception is what Keeps Us Undisciplined, Isaiah 5:20John 3:19

How many times have you heard someone say they enjoy their obviously destructive behaviors?  Whether it is our overindulgence, grudge holding or gossip, everyone has a blind spot when it comes to their own vices.  By believing that we are in control or that our addictions are harmless or maybe that it is more fun to be undisciplined we are choosing to remain in bondage.

Let’s hold some of our hidden rationalizations up to the light of reality.   Try telling yourself no the next time you notice one of those natural desires.  You may be surprised by how convincing your reasoning is as you weaken, but remember, whatever you yield to is your master.[30]

Fasting for Self-Conrtol

Fasting is the best way to tell yourself no.  If anyone can tell their growling stomach no when there is an available or favorite food enticing them then they can probably say no to most any other desire of the flesh.   When we have humbled our feelings, learning to say no to our selfish desires we are able to turn toward God’s Spirit of Love.

It seems that from ancient times people knew that denying the flesh of food is a great way to keep it humble.   Many people fast when they have an important prayer request because they understand that pride inhibits God from answering prayer [31]

According to Isaiah 58, The True Purpose of Fasting is to humble our Flesh

True fasting is not abstaining from food while continuing to be controlled by our ego.  Fasting is about going without food in order to humble our flesh.  There are many stories in the Bible of people who knew that fasting from food had something to do with their prayers being answered.   But Isaiah tells us there were people fasting who continued acting as they pleased; exploiting their workers, arguing, fighting, full of strife, blame and speaking the same negative words.   God tells them through Isaiah, “This is not the kind of fasting that will get their prayers heard.”

Then He goes on to remind them, very clearly reiterating what is written in the Torah, the kind of prayer God hears, meaning answers.   True fasting will lose the chains of injustice, free the oppressed, give shelter to the stranger, share food with the hungry, provide for the poor and will not turn away from your own flesh and blood.

This is True Spiritual Discipline; as we learn to become humble we elevate God as our Master.  This is the Way that leads to Life.   As our ego becomes less, God’s Spirit in us becomes more.[31]    It is only by the discipline of choices that God’s Spirit empowers us to Love Him above our desires for the physical world.[32]  When His spirit reigns in us nothing is impossible.  It becomes possible to love our neighbor, every person, as ourselves.[33]   This is when we will notice our bondage to the flesh is broken.   Only by the power of God’s Spirit we are transformed.[34]   Spiritual Life or Salvation is a gift from God, so that our ego cannot take any credit or boast we must learn to recognize our pride and keep it disciplined.[35]

[1] Micah 6:8

[2] 2 Peter 2:19

[3] James 4:2

[4] James 1:15James 4:5.

[5] 2 Peter 2:19.

[6] [6]  2 Corinthians 4:18

[7] John 4:24

[8] Deuteronomy 10:16

[9] Psalm 16:11 

[10] Revelation 3:16.

[11] Genesis 3:5

[12] Galatians 5:19Galatians 5:20Galatians 5:21

[13] Galatians 5:22Galatians 5:23

[14] James 4:11Psalm 100:3 KJV.

[15] Jeremiah 31:3

[16] Exodus 34:6Psalm 63:3Exodus 22:27Daniel 9:9Deuteronomy 32:41 Thessalonians 5:21James 1:17; 2 Peter 3:9Psalm 100:5;  Exodus 15:13Psalm 106:11 Chronicles 16:34Psalm 107:1Psalm 118:4Psalm 136:22

[17] Jeremiah 21:8

[18] Proverbs 22:6

[19] Ephesians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

[20] 1 Timothy 2:42 Peter 3:9.

[21] Mark 1:35;  Psalm 119:147

[22] John 6:63

[23] Romans 10:17Hebrews 4:12.

[24] 1 Corinthians 9:251 Corinthians 9:27

[25] Philippians 3:14

[26] 1 Timothy 1:5

[27] 1 John 4:16

[28] 2 Corinthians 10:5.

[29] Matthew 6:33Isaiah 45:23 Romans 14:11

Some of these got out of order, working on them…

[30] Romans 6:16

[31] James 4:3 John 3:30

[32] Deuteronomy 6:5

[33] Leviticus 19:18

[34] Romans 12:2 

[35] Ephesians 2:8.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: