Wednesday, January 18, 2023

SALVATION: Only According to Father's Word

 Psalm 119:41 May Your lovingkindnesses come to me, Yahweh. Your Yeshua (Salvation) according to Your Word.

 

I would propose that this verse is one of the most important verses that we will ever read, in our entire lifetime. Here, in the longest chapter of the Bible (both in the number of verses and words) we see a poem, written by David, that uses the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet to lavish his great love for Father’s Torah.

 

In this verse specifically, he asks for Father’s great mercy and then for His Yeshua (salvation). I’d like to draw your attention to how he requests that Yahweh’s Yeshua (salvation) comes to him – “according to Yahweh’s Word.”

 

And here is where the importance of “how salvation comes” becomes our main focus. The absolute only way that Yahweh’s Yeshua (salvation) can come is when it is according to His Word. It cannot come any other way, for all others are not sourced in Him. We see the most familiar use of this “word” in Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden/treasured Your Word in my heart, so I might not sin against You.“Word” here, in Hebrew is “imra” and refers simply to speech or commandment.

 

It does not take a Bible degree to know that when David penned this, the Torah was the only “Word” that existed. Father’s Torah Instruction was (and is) what defined sin. Therefore, the treasuring of it in one’s heart, kept one “free from sin” (as we saw in the literal life of Yeshua/Salvation).

 

This continues into the Newer Testament as well. As in Acts 4:11&12 where we see “This Yeshua (salvation) is ‘the stone, rejected by you, the builders, that has become the chief cornerstone.’ There is Yeshua (salvation) in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved!”

 

Friends, there is only One Yeshua (salvation) and any other that does not bear His Name and entirely fit the criteria of the Word is a false messiah. The Bible makes this perfectly clear. If we truly allow the Word of Elohim to be our absolute authority, Salvation must come through the name of Yeshua (Salvation) and this Yeshua (Salvation) must be the One that fits the criteria of the Word.

 

Herein is why I believe that this verse is of utmost importance for us to meditate upon - perhaps for days and weeks. Please study this verse more for yourself and, if deemed necessary, allow Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see. We must be found knowing Yeshua (Salvation) according to Yahweh’s wonderful Word, for there is salvation in no other. 


Selah. 

Saturday, January 07, 2023

A SHELTER and a SHADOW

Psalm 91:1 One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will lodge/abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

DWELL: "yaw-shab'" To sit down, remain, stay, inhabit.

SHELTER: “say'-ther” Secret place, hiding place, covering, a protection.

LODGE: “loon” To stop over, pass the night.

SHADOW: “tsel” As on a dial, also speaks of protection yet is always transient; moving.

We can follow this theme throughout the Scriptures. When we consider our natural parents in the Garden – all that they needed was provided. Intimacy with Creator was perfectly established. Had they remained there, in that condition, Paradise would have continued. Yet, as we know, they broke Father’s Instruction, went their own way and were banished from the SHELTER that Yahweh had placed them within. As we know, they chose to go their own way and suffered the consequence of doing so – separation from Yahweh. They willingly left His protection and provision via disobedience.

At Passover, all who entered the house and did as they were commanded were spared. They were protected and preserved. Judgment came for those who did not heed the Word of Elohim. Those who obeyed then prepared themselves (literally) to venture out and sojourn into the unknown – the Caster of the SHADOW was about to lead Them out. The Most High was about to show Himself mighty and go before Them, just as He had promised.

When the children of Israel ventured out and literally followed Yahweh - in the form of fire and cloud - protection, security and provision was always present. Endless patterns were instated in this span of time. When Yahweh’s People went their own way (exiting the sheltering qualities of Father), they were vulnerable, at risk, in danger.

We, of course, know that They were busy fashioning a golden calf at the exact same time that Yahweh was extending His Instruction to Them. Their unwillingness to reside in His SHELTER moved them outside of His covenantal protection. Father’s People are always wrestling with committing to follow His Ways and then abandoning Them entirely, due to doubt, fear or self-preservation (ourselves included).

Enter Yeshua. The human form – the physical manifestation - of the Caster of the shadow amongst humanity. He had nowhere to lay His head. He called men to leave all behind and follow Him. He was and is the Great Shepherd and His sheep, who know His voice go wherever He leads. He told men to leave their livelihoods and families in order to go where He would lead. With Him, in Him, is a SHELTER – a secret hidden place of provision.

This is yet another reason why we must know of Yeshua’s correct identity and function. As Rabbi, it was understood that His students would always be found following His every step – watching, learning – literally found in His SHADOW. This has crossed all time and been extended to us today. We now have the same covenantal promises of Father AND the Example of Messiah Yeshua (our Rabbi) who perfectly lived Them out. We can literally look back through time - watch and follow the SHADOW that His life cast. Yeshua taught His Father’s Torah, by example, and was the perfect , flawless satisfaction of It! We have the wonderful offering of the New Covenant and are now empowered by Holy Spirit to have the want-to - to follow Yahweh wherever He leads. He is still “the“ SHELTER. Because Yeshua perfectly stayed within the secret DWELLING of the Most High, at all times, we can as well, via His pattern. The beauty of the New Covenant!

This is where we must insert the proper understanding of “lodge” or “pass the night”, in regards to the SHADOW. (First mention: Angels with Lot – Genesis 19.) When we look back, we see that the SHADOW was always moving. It never remained in the same place. The proper biblical definition of Yahweh’s People, while in a foreign land, is a People of movement. If we are going to be at all like the Hebrews 11 saints, we must live like this land is not our home. We must spend the rest of our days pulling up the tent stakes of the religious doctrines of men that have taught us to go our own prescribed way. This has unknowingly moved us out of His safety and provision, We must learn from those who went before us, lay aside our own wanderings and follow the Rabbi.

When we willingly forsake man-made traditions, idolatry and ways of the nations (Gentile-living), we make Yahweh our SHELTER, our Dwelling. How? By doing what the children of Israel did (when they obeyed) and what Yeshua always did – we follow the SHADOW, wherever He leads. We willingly lay aside all that is not sourced in Him – our entire Provision. This is where we must insert the proper understanding of “lodge” or “pass the night”. (Biblical first mention: Angels with Lot – Genesis 19)

In conclusion, I’d like to offer how I believe that we can extend this type of living to others. I would submit that we invite them to “look in” – into this secret abode. Example: “Would you be willing to ‘look in’ and see this safe place?” Father has prepared a place for His People, but it is a covenantal dwelling. It was and is a lodging for those Who choose to submit to His covenantal Ways. It was the way in then and it is the exact same now.

One followed the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night and one today now looks to Yeshua, the exact representation of the same. He is the Door into the same hidden, covered dwelling. What a wonderful residence that He has extended to us! A SHELTER literally fashioned by Yahweh for His covenantal People! His Possession! His Set Apart Ones! This place is hard to find and few, even upon finding it, will enter in. Like all who have gone before us, it will cost us everything, but it is the only safe SHELTER, for it is of the Most High. All who choose to covenantally dwell here will “lodge” in the ever-moving shadow of the Almighty. Selah.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

A Christmas Consideration

This article started out as a brief posting of some Scriptural considerations for those that I know who are wrestling with the fact that Christmas was established by the state Church. As I sit and complete this, it is Christmas Eve. Many are being found willing to see that the holiday was strategically positioned, at its origin, to coincide with pagan festivals that were already ongoing. These individuals are beginning to ask some tough questions about the Christian traditions that most of us have inherited. Specifically, why Christmas was instated to give Christians their own holiday - one that was “State Church approved” when elite men took the liberty to do so. (Think Trunk or Treat, which has recently become an acceptable “substitute” for Halloween although it is no different, really.) Christmas, at its inception, was merely an act of influential men mixing together multiple idolatrous holidays and creating it to “celebrate Jesus’s birth.” Perhaps you too are willing to put this mainline holiday through some biblical testing.

Most records show that the Catholic church first instituted the “Mass of Christ” around 336. Few people in Christianity are willing to discuss how many Believers have rejected the holiday, even in recent history. Puritans outlawed the celebration of Christmas entirely, in 1659, on the grounds that Christmas, as a celebrated holy day, was never even mentioned in Scripture. Christmas was banned in the city of Boston from 1659 to 1681 and was deemed pagan by many Christians. In New England, Christmas did not become a legal holiday there until 1856. Most importantly, to me, is the fact that we have no record whatsoever of the Body of Messiah celebrating His birth for the three hundred years that followed His earthly life. Until when? When the “Apostolic Church” that hijacked the Seat of Moses (and believes that they thereby oversee the entire populace) stepped in and created it.

We know this via only a topical review of simple religious history. The doctrine of Catholic papal infallibility states, "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, the Bishop of Rome defines the doctrine concerning faith and morals to be held by the whole Church.” This would come to include their proposal of Christmas.  In other words, if “the new Church” (post 300) tells you to celebrate this new holiday, you celebrate it. Otherwise, you will be persecuted. Just like the non-believing Pharisees that Yeshua corrected, the Catholic church established a law code that exalts man-made leadership to a status higher than that of Moses and the Torah given to and through him. This has been so incredibly successful that it literally permeates all of the Christian denominations alike. It has worked so well, even agnostics and non-Believers line up alongside Christians to celebrate this fabricated holy day. It is, by very nature, defined as a unified holiday of the idolatrous nations. All of mankind unites under the banner of Christ-Mass, just as the Catholic church intended.

As is always the case with traditions, although the change was gradual, people slowly began to embrace the tradition that is Christmas until, as we see today, you are odd if you do not celebrate it. The pressure of culture and the power of the religious system won out. Few people today turn to the Bible alone to deem what is acceptable and right in Yahweh’s sight. Predominant tradition rules and generation after generation go in the ways and traditions of their fathers, with no questions asked. In fact, we are so far removed from what the ancient People of Yahweh celebrated, abstaining from Christmas celebration today will get you called anti-Christian.

Before I share a few of Scriptures that should cause great concern for a true Believer, I’d like to add something that I recently shared in the “Pharisaical Christmas” video series. The birth of Yeshua was never instructed to be observed as a set apart day in the entire Bible. Never. Not once. Not by Yahweh. Not by Yeshua Himself. Not foretold by the Prophets. Not observed nor taught by the Apostles, on the other side of Messiah’s coming. No one in the Bible speaks of it. Ever. However, the Feasts of Yahweh, that were instituted, endorsed, and celebrated *by all of the above,* are deemed “not for Christians today.” Despite Their being the defining events that had always marked Yahweh’s People, we (in Christianity) have been given new holidays now, a literal edict from the Catholic church. The Israelites, the prophets, the Disciples, the Apostles and even the Messiah Himself all celebrated Yahweh’s Appointed Times. Yet, we now have a new set of holidays. Whether you like it or not, if you celebrate Christmas today, you do it because the Catholic Church told you to.

If Christians today studied as the Bereans of Paul’s day did, as they “eagerly welcomed [Paul’s] message, searching the Scriptures (OT/Tanakh) every day to see if the things Paul was saying were true” (Acts 17), Christmas, as a celebrated holy day for Yahweh’s People to memorialize, would simply not exist. It would be easily exposed as an adopted, pagan practice of the nations and would thereby be classified idolatrous and prohibited entirely. The Bereans would have surely known, from studying the Scriptures, that one cannot take something worldly/profane and make it holy. Yahweh always commanded His People to incinerate (often literally) the idolatrous ways of the nations and never adopt them as Their own.

The centerpiece tree, the gift-giving, the mistletoe, the garlands, St. Nicholas, the colors themselves – all of these have deep meanings that are firmly rooted in idolatry of the nations. Few attempt to argue this point, and to most, it just does not matter. “That’s not what it means to me” is the common, casual response of justification. However, this is not about the specifics today. (We’ve covered that many times before, over the years.) The heart of the issue is what must rise to the surface - what we see in Christmas is celebratory idolatry that has been inherited from idolatrous nations and deemed acceptable by Believers and non-Believers alike, via the State Church’s demands so many years ago.

So, below are just a very small sampling of the many Scriptures addressing the dangers of idolatry. Again, an idol is something that we love. Something that has become of great value, that one cannot see themselves living without. So please consider your ways well, friends. This is of utmost importance for anyone who takes their spiritual condition seriously and truly desires to be found pleasing to Yahweh with every facet of their life. My motivation is a desire to be a watchman on the wall that continues to cry out about this, as I have for the last nine years now. Being willing to walk away from man-made holidays and traditions years ago led us to finding our celebratory identity in Father’s Appointed Times. Now I want to do my small part to call the Body of Messiah to awaken from Their slumber, for the good of the entire Body as a whole, so that They too might be given eyes to see and be set free!

We must lay aside all that exalts itself over Father’s Ways and become prepared to be presented as a pure and undefiled Bride to our Bridegroom. Freedom is on the other side! Please take the time to read and consider the following Scriptural texts, as you consider what traditions you join yourself with – during this season and always. - J


Exodus 34:11-14 Obey what I am commanding you today. Behold, I am going to drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites before you. Watch yourself, and make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, or they will become a snare among you. Instead, you must break down their altars, smash their pillars and cut down their Asherah poles. For you are to bow down to no other god, because Yahweh is jealous for His Name - He is a jealous Elohim.

Deuteronomy 7:4-6 For [the son of the idolatrous nations] will turn your son away from following Me (Yahweh) to serve other elohim (gods). Then the anger of Yahweh will be kindled against you, and He will swiftly destroy you. Instead, you are to deal with them like this: tear down their altars, smash their pillars, cut down their Asherah poles, and burn their carved images with fire.  For you are a holy people to Yahweh your Elohim - from all the peoples on the face of the earth, Yahweh your Elohim has chosen you to be His treasured People.

Deuteronomy 12:2&3 You must utterly destroy all the places where the nations that you will dispossess served their elohim - on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You are to tear down their altars, smash their pillars, burn their Asherah poles in the fire and cut down the carved images of their Elohim (gods), and you are to obliterate their name from that place.

Galatians 4:8&9 But at that time, when you did not know Elohim, you served those who by nature are not gods at all. But now you have come to know Elohim - or rather you have come to be known by Elohim. So how can you turn back again to those weak and worthless principles? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?

Micah 5:9-14 Now in that day - it is a declaration of Yahweh - “… I will cut off your carved images and your sacred pillars from among you, so you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. I will uproot your Asherah poles from among you and destroy your cities. So I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not listened.

1 John 5:18-21 We know that anyone born of Elohim does not keep on sinning; rather, the One born of Elohim keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot touch him. We know that we are of Elohim, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of Elohim has come and given us insight, so that we may know Him who is true - and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Yeshua the Messiah. This One is the true Elohim and eternal life. Children, guard yourselves from idols.

1 Corinthians 10:14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee (escape from) from idolatry.

Psalm 135:15-18 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them - so will all who keep trusting in them.

Isaiah 44:18&19 They [who create their own idols] do not know or understand! For He smeared over their eyes, so they cannot see, and their hearts, so they cannot understand. This man does not reflect in his heart, with no knowledge or discernment.

Deuteronomy 7:25&26 The carved images of their Elohim (gods) you are to burn with fire. You are not to covet the silver or gold on them or take it for yourself - or you could be snared by it, for it is an abomination to Yahweh your Elohim. You are not to bring an abomination into your house - for you, like it, will be a banned thing. You must utterly detest and utterly abhor it, for it is set apart for destruction.

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was full of idols.

Exodus 20:3-6 I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other Elohim (gods) before Me. Do not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or on the earth below or in the water under the earth. Do not bow down to them, do not let anyone make you serve them. For I, Yahweh your Elohim, am a jealous Elohim, bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to the thousands of generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.


Friday, December 23, 2022

Flee & Escape Idolatry

1 Corinthians 10:14 Therefore, my dearly loved ones, flee from idolatry.


As I look around me, I feel the necessity of challenging us to properly view idolatry. It would seem that our era of Christianity has been led to believe that in order for something to be classified as idolatry, we must envision carved images on altars covered with candles. Or perhaps we see gatherings of dark, evil men with sadistic plans to overthrow the world. We think on ancient civilizations that had graphic rituals that, we have been told blatantly replaced and usurped Yahweh. But this would not have been the case to most throughout history. Idols had great, personal meaning. They had purpose. They were beloved and provided something of identity to the worshipper.

To address this according to more modern Christian-speak, perhaps we may reflect on the endless sermons that present idolatry as an alcoholic who is unwilling to let go of his love for alcohol, or at least the comfort that it brings. Maybe it’s pornography where the lust of a mans heart overrides moral boundaries and prohibits him from true intimacy with his wife and Heavenly Father. The Christian church has no issue calling this out as idolatry. But what of a man calling out what the masses hold dear and looks more appealing? Oh no! “*That* could *never* be idolatry! It’s impossible!”, is a common response, despite it looking more like the Garden deception and rebellion. Idolatry, which is sin, is desirable. It is alluring. It is captivating and beautiful to the one who is gazing upon it, in his heart.

Herein lies idolatry at its finest! It would do us well to remember the heart of idolatry. It is something that is close to us, friend. It is something considered so valuable and cherished. Idolatry is, by nature, something we treasure and are unwilling to lay down in surrender and even consider living without. An idol has literally become part of us. That is what worship is intended to do! We must remember that we are never given license to approve what *we* think is proper worship, ascribed to Yahweh. The clear, biblical pattern that runs from cover to cover is this: Yahweh determines what is proper worship of Him, as He prescribes. Man does not and his attempts to offer worship unto Yahweh, via our own means is idolatry. Period.

In this season, my heart is grieved to see how this issue abounds. I long to see people willing to discuss even the remote possibility that what the masses hold as so dear, could be idolatry. They are becoming more in number, but they are few, by comparison. Could something that we have been led to believe is wonderful, in any way, actually be idolatrous? If we say no, we are primed and ready to be deceived and led into idolatry. This is a heart issue, and we all have it. Until we are willing to lay *absolutely everything* out before Father, and His People, to judge according to the Word alone, we will all adhere to our idols. Why? It’s simple. We see them as good. We see them as beneficial to us. We love them. We justify them and move on with our lives, no questions asked.

So, friend what is an untouchable place/thing/belief/tradition for you? What in your life – in your very heart – is a “no fly zone”, in regards to what you adhere to? What will you simply not tolerate questioning and challenging towards? I have personally seen the fruit of many (my household included) who are willing to start by saying, “You know what, as dear as ‘this’ is to me, I’m willing to listen to you and the Word to see if it makes it through the filter of Truth.” Time and time again I have seen men who are willing to openly dialogue about what we have wrong be changed! Humility of heart must *look like something*. True humility is not threatened by challenges to our traditions and religious exercises. In fact, we are told that iron sharpens iron, in the process of literally clashing on a matter.

*This* is biblically how we see change, and then fruit - growth! Sadly, many despise hearing even a hint that they might have something wrong. It is quite crippling to the Body as whole. The current status of the Church makes this clear. People get hurt and leave this place for another. Relationships are severed and are even deemed unnecessary entirely. Even worse, many isolate and abandon the instruction to not forsake the literal gathering of the Body. Alone, they are set on cruise control, maintaining the spiritual course that they embarked onto years previous – unchallenged, unchanged. Idolatry can flourish here – unchecked by the Body as a whole, properly using the Word of Elohim.

I believe that we all must *start* here. Openness to being wrong. Willingness to at least see if there be any idolatrous, wicked way in us. As I always say, this should be of no great surprise to the ever-maturing follower of Yeshua. In fact, we should be expecting more and more layers of idolatry to come to the surface, as we journey into our sanctification process. If we have not wrestled with, and then walked away from an increasing amount of traditions and natural-man ways, with great regularity, I’d challenge any man’s spiritual condition. Repentance leads to repentance.

To examine today’s text just a bit more (although it is of course pretty self-explanatory): The word for “flee” can also be understood as “escape”. This is quite fitting, to me, as we properly discuss idolatry. It is not merely running away from idolatry but equally *being freed from it*. When one escapes a circumstance that is detrimental for him, he is set free and runs out, to another location. He is freed to move into a place of safety, deliverance and freedom. Many times, we do not even know that we are in bondage and in need of escaping to freedom.

This too, is idolatry at its finest. We may not even know that we are in bondage while attending to something that we take great delight in because it’s simply what we have always done, via inheritance. This is why it’s imperative to feast upon Yahweh’s Word (with unbiased *spiritual* discernment), and openly allow others in the Body to bring us correction, in order to allow It alone to define idolatry! Otherwise, we will simply continue on forever with what is right in our own eyes. We will risk calling good evil and evil good.

We should strive to constantly examine ourselves, not merely confirm and condone what we already believe, adhere to and rationalize. This too is a sign of idolatry, as the Word proves. Countless generations of those who preceded us simply walked out the idolatrous inheritance of their fathers and were thereby deemed guilty themselves. Only men, such as the biblical examples of men like Hezekiah, Josiah and even Paul were deemed righteous because of their willingness to step outside of what they were handed as truth. They allowed themselves to be humbled and corrected when Truth was revealed, that exposed their condition.

These men were willing to stand up and call out *themselves and others* in order to return to Father’s Ways and abandon the traditions of their fathers. By doing so, they paved the way for others to do likewise, in freedom and liberty – reinstating *proper* worship unto Yahweh alone. May we be like these men. I am thoroughly convinced that the shift that is taking place this very hour is dependent upon those being found willing to lay it all on the table! For the man that is willing to examine every inch of his heart for idolatry – even the most precious places – there is freedom! Freedom that most of us may not even realize that we need. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Daniel: A Man Not Moved

 


Daniel chapter 6 contains a prescription for the Church of this hour. What is it? If you have been consistently going before the LORD on your knees in prayer and thanksgiving, go into your house and keep doing what you've been doing. If you've not been doing this, start. Start... right... now.


Decrees come and go, it's the ways of the nations. No document, no paper" can stop the man of God from going into his house and communing with Yahweh Elohim. Daniel was not threatened or moved by the decree of the land. He was sure. He was set.
Today, may the Church of this hour be like Daniel instead of being so easily roused to anxiety. Unmoved and unfazed as he. The culmination of this event was that Daniel's God was declared the God of the land.

Why? Because one man simply continued to do what he had always done. We see no uprising. No militia was assembled to overthrow the evil men conspiring against him. There was no picketing. No demanding of his "rights" to worship that were being assaulted.

What do we see? A man of God worshiping Yahweh Elohim as he always had. Church, stop trading in your praise and declaration of thankfulness for a disgruntled voice constantly declaring your "rights" in a land of national decrees. If you live by "national documents" you will continue to be governed by them, subject to them as they change.
Today is the day to come out and be separate, Church. Be free. Selah. - J

* Yesterday I recorded a very brief video study of this text: https://youtu.be/kfXLNbOkknk