Do You Know God?

 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for her; in order that he might sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word; in order that he might present to himself the church glorious, not having a spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she may be holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5:25–27 (LEB)

I shared an article on our Facebook page recently about an Assembly of God pastor who found the truth about the Sabbath and the Feasts of God. This pastor felt that the Father was telling him that He wanted the pastor to really know Him. Imagine the Creator of the Universe speaking to a man who had six years of Bible school, and is an ordained pastor in the Assembly of God denomination, telling him that He wanted this man to know Him. I encourage everyone to watch this video and see the interview in this following link.

I am not a pastor or a teacher, but I am compelled to speak about these things. It helps me to see that the Father is reaching out to other people with the same message and people are responding. In this pastor’s case, his association allowed him to change his Sunday services to the Sabbath and start teaching the feasts. This is amazing because typically the churches are not on board with breaking tradition to follow scripture.

When Peter and the other Apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin for teaching what Yeshua had shown them, one of the members of the council came to their defense.

Acts 5:38–39 (LEB): 38 And now I tell you, keep away from these men, and leave them alone, because if this plan or this matter is from people, it will be overthrown. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them, lest you even be found fighting against God.” So they were persuaded by him.

I must therefore ask the question to everyone who reads my blog posts: Do you know God? I am not speaking about knowing what the churches teach about God, our opinions about God and theology, or what traditions one might be following. I mean do you know God and what His heart and mind are about?

Matthew 7:21–23 (LEB): 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 And then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’

The Assembly of God pastor in this video had something about him that made the Creator want to call him out. I thought I knew God, but I didn’t. I knew a God that had been fabricated by religion and my own thoughts. I don’t know why some people are impressed by God with these things, but I am thankful that I also had a similar experience as this pastor and now must tell people. It is happening more, and people react in different ways. Some people are angered and lash out. I understand why this happens because it is hard to hear that we have inherited many lies in the church. We have been duped and bamboozled by the enemy to accept lies as doctrine. It’s not all wrong, but as Paul states, a little leaven affects the whole lump. However, the best reaction is to turn anger into determination, and turn to the scriptures to see “if these things are so”. This is where God will show Himself.

Acts 17:10–12 (LEB): 10 Now the brothers sent away both Paul and Silas at once, during the night, to Berea. They went into the synagogue of the Jews when they arrived. 11 Now these were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica. They accepted the message with all eagerness, examining the scriptures every day to see if these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and not a few of the prominent Greek women and men.

The unfortunate reaction is to block one’s ears. Many choose this path without daily checking the scriptures or praying. “I believe what I believe” they declare, without knowing God.

Isaiah 24:1–6 (LEB): 24 Look! Yahweh is about to lay the earth waste and is about to devastate it, and he will twist her surface, and he will scatter her inhabitants. And it shall be as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the female slave, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the one to whom he lends. The earth shall be utterly laid waste, and it shall be utterly plundered, for Yahweh has spoken this word. The earth dries up, it withers; the world languishes, it withers. The elevated of the people of the earth languish, and the earth is defiled beneath its inhabitants. For they have transgressed laws; they have passed by statutes; they have broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and the inhabitants in it suffer for their guilt. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth burn, and few men are left.

What happens when we have a “yeah whatever” attitude towards God? It returns on our own head. If we refuse to seek and listen to God, He will refuse to listen to us. This is how the kingdom of God works.

Leviticus 26:40–45 (LEB): 40 “ ‘But when they confess their guilt and the guilt of their ancestors in their infidelity that they displayed against me, and moreover that they went against me in hostility— 41 I myself also went against them in hostility, and I brought them into the land of their enemies—or if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and then they pay for their guilt, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob; and I will remember also my covenant with Isaac and also my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 And the land shall be deserted by them, and it shall enjoy its Sabbaths in its being desolate from them, and they themselves must pay for their guilt, simply because they rejected my regulations, and their inner self abhorred my statutes. 44 And in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies I will not reject them, and I will not abhor them to destroy them, to break my covenant with them, because I am Yahweh their God. 45 And I will remember the first covenant for them—whom I brought out from the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am Yahweh.’ ”

The main theme of the Bible is repentance. God’s people continually get it wrong, God gets angry, the people repent and they are restored. We have almost two thousand years of heading down the wrong path. It is time to make a serious correction. This was tried during the Protestant reformation, but they held on to tradition. Anytime the Creator God makes a move, the enemy comes and tries to mimic and derail it. It is clear this has happened again looking back over the last 500 years.

The church, known for its inquisitions, crusades and indulgences, has become spotted and wrinkled. Imagine how people that understand what the crusades were about feel when a Christian “crusade” comes to their city today. The Billy Graham crusades picked a very poor name for their services. Reading about the atrocities that the church conducted from 500 to 1500 CE sheds light on the reformation movement and its importance. Unfortunately, the same spirit that murdered thousands of people in the name of “God” throughout the reign of the church in Rome also took hold of the reformation movement at one point. They also murdered people and the movement turned to deception and antinomianism, robbing them in the spirit too. Paul is used to draw people away from the instructions of God. However, Paul explained the spiritual aspect of the law versus the carnal man’s flesh that is always working against the law if we do not live in the Spirit.

Romans 7:21–25 (LEB): 21 Consequently, I find the principle with me, the one who wants to do good, that evil is present with me. 22 For I joyfully agree with the law of God in my inner person, 23 but I observe another law in my members, at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that exists in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself with my mind am enslaved to the law of God, but with my flesh I am enslaved to the law of sin.

Yeshua frees us from this battle where our flesh wages against the ways of the Creator. We can then do “good”. The only definition of “good” comes from doing what the Father told us to do, most importantly, justice, mercy and love. However, do not neglect the smaller instructions. Faithfulness in the small things of God yields better results in the larger areas.

Matthew 23:23–24 (LEB): 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you pay a tenth of mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the more important matters of the law—justice and mercy and faithfulness! It was necessary to do these things while not neglecting those. 24 Blind guides who filter out a gnat and swallow a camel!

Luke 11:42–44 (LEB): 42 “But woe to you, Pharisees, because you pay a tenth of mint and rue and every garden herb, and neglect justice and love for God! But it was necessary to do these things without neglecting those things also. 43 Woe to you, Pharisees, because you love the best seat in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces! 44 Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, and the people who walk over them do not know it!

Love for God is doing what He said to do. Knowing what He said to do is how we know God’s character. It corrects the misconstrued personality of God that we are told about. Once a person understands the hatred the Creator has towards false gods and their symbols, it is easy to have the same passion against these things. It is also easier to identify them. The commandment says literally, “no have you other gods in front of my face”, in Exodus 20:3, spoken in an audible voice to all twelve tribes at Mount Horeb. There are many “other gods” that are flaunted in front of God’s face today in Christianity, but most do not recognize them. This is one of the reasons God reached out to this Assembly of God pastor and said, “I want you to know me”.

Featured photo was provided by Emma Vail Photography.

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 And we all have become like the unclean, and all our deeds of justice like a menstrual cloth, And we all wither like a leaf, and our iniquities take us away like the wind.

Isaiah 64:6

Are we able to save ourselves by performing the correct acts at the appropriate times? What is the formula for salvation? What if we didn’t go to the right number of church services or didn’t give enough money to the right church denomination? What if we smoke or consume alcohol? What if we didn’t wear the proper clothes? When I was a young person, I remember there being a suit and tie debate where if someone didn’t “dress their best” for church, there were likely deeply rooted spiritual problems, or the person had a rebellious heart. One of the common misconceptions when someone leaves behind church traditions and starts keeping God’s commandments, is that the person is trying to earn their salvation.

Deuteronomy 6:24–25 (LEB): 24 And so Yahweh commanded us to observe all of these rules and to revere Yahweh our God for our benefit all the days that we live, as it is today. 25 And it shall be righteousness for us if we diligently observe and do all of this commandment before Yahweh our God, as he has commanded us.’

After Moses retold the story of the Creator God, “Yud Heh Waw Heh“, who had given the commandments to the people of Israel, he continued by telling the people why they were commanded to obey these commandments. There are three reasons given to keep God’s commandments in the verses from Deuteronomy 6 above.

  1. To revere Yahweh. Revere is used for the Hebrew word Yirah, which means to fear, honor and respect.
  2. They are for our benefit. Benefit is used for the Hebrew word Tov, which means, good, well being, prosperity and joy.
  3. It shall be righteousness for us. Righteousness is used for the Hebrew word Tsadiqah, which means ethically right, honesty, justice and moral conduct.

The idiom “fear God” means to keep the commandments. We keep His commandments out of respect for who God is and because He will save us. The Messiah Yeshua told us the commandments were eternal life.

John 12:49–50 (LEB): 49 For I have not spoken from myself, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So the things that I say, just as the Father said to me, thus I say.”

Doing what the Father told us to do is what makes us righteous. It is not because we perform righteousness, but because we are doing what He told us to do. Our good deeds are meaningless if they are not in line with God’s commandments. These are the deeds we determine to be important, not the commandments of God. One must learn the difference between the traditions of men and the commandments of God.

Isaiah 64:5–6 (LEB): You meet with the one who rejoices, one who does righteousness. In your ways they remember you. Look! You were angry and we sinned against them in ancient times and we were saved. And we all have become like the unclean, and all our deeds of justice like a menstrual cloth, And we all wither like a leaf, and our iniquities take us away like the wind.

Our deeds are like filthy rags, but this is not talking about His righteous deeds. Doing the Father’s righteousness is to our benefit because it will keep us safe, it is healthy and we will be blessed. If we look around us, most of the problems in people’s lives come from not obeying God’s commandments. It is not punishment as much as it is the way the system is designed, much like the laws of physics. Everyone knows if they fall from a high place they will fall at an acceleration rate of 32 feet per second or 9.7 Meters per second. No one questions this, even though most have not conducted the experiment themselves. We can witness someone falling and hitting the ground and rationalize it knowing that is what happens when someone “breaks” the laws of physics. Yet when we look at someone living a life contrary to God’s laws, dealing with various issues and turmoil as a result, it is not as obvious to the bystander. God gave Israel the instructions to successively live on planet Earth, and they handed it to the rest of the world through Yeshua the Messiah. This is the reason Yeshua is called the door. All of the promises were given to Israel. They only get extended to everyone else through the “seed” of Abraham, which is Yeshua.

John 10:1–10 (LEB): 10 “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who does not enter through the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up at some other place—that one is a thief and a robber. But the one who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. For this one the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Whenever he sends out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. And they will never follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what it was that he was saying to them. Then Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All those who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep do not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and will go out and will find pasture. 10 The thief comes only so that he can steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Keeping God’s commandments are beneficial to us because there are blessings associated with them. Here are a few of the blessings for keeping God’s commandments. This is the abundant life Yeshua promises.

Leviticus 26:2–5 (LEB): “ ‘You shall keep my Sabbaths, and you shall revere my sanctuary; I am Yahweh. “ ‘If you walk in my statutes and you keep my commands and you do them, then I will give you rains in their time, and the land shall give its produce, and the trees of the field shall give their fruit. And for you the threshing season shall overtake the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall overtake the sowing, and you shall eat your food to your fill and you shall live securely in your land.

If one keeps the Sabbath day holy it does not mean they are working for their salvation. It is simply aligning oneself with the kingdom of God. All of the commandments are this way.

John 14:23–26 (LEB): 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will take up residence with him. 24 The one who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word that you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. 25 These things I have spoken to you while residing with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name—that one will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything that I said to you.

The Israelites knew that they would not reap the benefits of the covenants by trying to earn them. How can a man impress God to the point where God thinks they are worthy of a gift from the Almighty?

Genesis 26:2–5 (LEB): And Yahweh appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land which I will show to you. Dwell as an alien in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. And I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and I will give to your descendants all these lands. And all nations of the earth will be blessed through your offspring, because Abraham listened to my voice and kept my charge: my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Abraham caused God to bless all the nations of the Earth, “because Abraham listened to my voice and kept my charge: my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” What if everyone did this? The world would be a much different place. Often the thief on the cross is used as an example to try to say that we do not contribute anything to the difference between life separated from God, and life in the kingdom of God. Is this true?

Luke 23:39–42 (LEB): 39 And one of the criminals who were hanged there reviled him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself—and us!” 40 But the other answered and rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, because you are undergoing the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for what we have done. But this man has done nothing wrong!” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”

One thief acknowledged his guilt and one didn’t. One asked Yeshua to remember him in the kingdom, and one didn’t. If the one that repented was able to get down off of the cross and return to a life of sin, what would his end be? Nicodemus, a Pharisee and leader, met Yeshua at night and these are some of the truths he spoke to him.

John 3:3–7 (LEB)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is an old man? He is not able to enter into his mother’s womb for the second time and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born of water and spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘It is necessary for you to be born from above.’

John 3:20–21 (LEB): 20 For everyone who practices evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed. 21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, in order that his deeds may be revealed, that they are done in God.

Yeshua told Nicodemus one has to be “born from above” and born of water and spirit to enter the kingdom of God. This is a transformation that gives us a new body at the resurrection because “flesh and blood” cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is our role in obtaining eternal life? Can we do anything that will save us? The answer is of course “no”, because it is a gift from God to pardon us, but it appears there are things we must do in this walk leading to eternal life. The Spirit transforms us when we repent and yield to God. Repenting is doing something. “Practicing truth” is keeping God’s commandments. “Practicing evil” is not keeping God’s commandments. The thief on the cross that repented is the one that will be in the kingdom on the day the dead are raised. The one that mocked Yeshua will not. There is a substantial difference between the two.

Mark 10:17–22 (LEB): 17 And as* he was setting out on his way, one individual ran up and knelt down before him and* asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do so that I will inherit eternal life?” 18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all that you have, and give the proceeds* to the poor—and you will have treasure in heaven—and come, follow me.” 22 But he looked gloomy at the statement and* went away sorrowful, because he had many possessions.

Do we want a “thief on the cross” experience and reserve a place in the kingdom at the last minute after a life of sin, or do we want to please the Father our whole life by keeping His commandments and practicing the truth? Fear God and keep His commandments just as Moses and Yeshua both told us to do!

Featured photo was provided by Emma Vail Photography.

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And the dragon was angry at the woman, and went away to fight against the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony about Jesus.

Revelation 12:17 (LEB)

There are many views in Christianity on the afterlife and eschatology. The two most common views I am familiar with are firstly, the idea that when a person dies, some part of that person, likely non-material, ascends to be with Jesus in heaven with their deceased friends and family. If they didn’t “believe in”, or “accept” Jesus, they will be doomed to a place called hell with the devil. Secondly, another view is that there is going to be a secret rapture of the church in the immediate future. After this secret rapture of the church, a figure called the “antichrist” is going to rise and Old Testament prophecy will resume. There will be the time of Jacob’s trouble where the nation of Israel will allegedly face off against the antichrist, while the Christian church watches from an ethereal place in heaven. These ideas are not the exact theologies of any particular group, but they are what I see as the perception of many Christians.

When I speak of dispensationalism theology, I am sure there are many who were like me and do not know much about the theology, such as where it came from and what it teaches. It has been so embedded into Christianity over the last one hundred years, that it has become Christianity in the churches I have been involved with, in two different countries, Canada and the USA. The following is from theopedia.com concerning the theology of dispensationalism:

Dispensationalism is a theological system that teaches biblical history is best understood in light of a number of successive administrations of God’s dealings with mankind, which it calls “dispensations.” It maintains fundamental distinctions between God’s plans for national Israel and for the New Testament Church, and emphasizes prophecy of the end-times and a pre-tribulation rapture of the church prior to Christ’s Second Coming. Its beginnings are usually associated with the Plymouth Brethren movement in the UK and the teachings of John Nelson Darby.

Dispensationalism maintains:

  1. a fundamental distinction between Israel and the church, i.e. there are two peoples of God with two different destinies, earthly Israel and the spiritual church,
  2. a fundamental distinction between the Law and Grace, i.e. they are mutually exclusive ideas,
  3. the view that the New Testament church is a parenthesis in God’s plan which was not foreseen by the Old Testament, and
  4. a distinction between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ, i.e. the rapture of the church at Christ’s coming “in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17) precedes the “official” second coming (to the earth) by 7 years of tribulation.

The feedback I get from speaking against dispensational theology comes from people who understand it very well, not from people like me, who believed it, but didn’t know what it was called, or that it was even a system of theology. These people get very angry, but never systematically explain why they are so adamant about this belief system, or why they would call me a heretic for exposing it. The name calling and three letter abbreviations and emojis on social media indicate a spirit of antichrist to me, not someone that is spreading any type of good news. Why is there such an attachment to this theology? Some of the verses that people use to support this belief system are the following:

Ephesians 3:1–6 (KJV 1900): For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

In the King James version of the Bible, it gives us the term “dispensation of grace”, so do we need any more evidence than this to accept everything dispensational theology teaches? The answer is an emphatic “yes”. There are so many Bible translations at our finger tips today that we can look to for other meanings of these verses. Here are these verses in the New International version of the Bible, a very popular Bible version.

Ephesians 3:1–3 (NIV): 3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.

The word for “dispensation” and “administration” are translated from Strong’s G3873, οἰκονομία (oikonomia). This has nothing to do with different “dispensations” of history where God dealt with different groups in different ways. The following definition is from the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology:

οἰκονομία G3873 (oikonomia), management, office; οἰκονόμος G3874 (oikonomos), steward; οἰκονομέω G3872 (oikonomeō), manage, administer, plan.

CL oikonomia, attested from Xen. and Plato on, denoted primarily the management of a household, but was soon extended to the administration of the state (the title of one of Xen.’s books), and finally was used for every kind of activity which results from the holding of an office.

Some Christians hate the New International Version of the Bible. The Greek word is the same “οἰκονομία”; however, in the King James version of the Bible and in the New International Version of the Bible.

Paul is telling us that he was given the insight as to how the people of the nations could be included in the family of God. He calls them “fellow heirs”, not a separate entity called the “church”. Paul was also given the ability to bring this good news to these same people. The people of the nations are called gentiles. Paul understood scripture and knew this good news is all through the Old Testament. He explains how it is possible in many of his letters, yet it is generally misunderstood. Ephesians chapter three has nothing to do with modern dispensational theology.

Romans 9:23–26 (LEB): 23 And he did so in order that he could make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory, 24 us whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he also says in Hosea, “I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and those who were not loved, ‘Loved.’ 26 And it will be in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ ”

All of scripture points to the house of Israel being cut off for the sin of idolatry and fornication, seeding the nations, then returning to the Father like the prodigal son. Moses told us about this in the Torah.

Deuteronomy 32:18–21 (LEB): 18 The rock who bore you, you neglected, and you forgot God, the one giving you birth. 19 Then Yahweh saw, and he spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. 20 So he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what will be their end, for they are a generation of perversity, children in whom there is no faithfulness. 21 They annoyed me with what is not a god; they provoked me with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those not a people, with a foolish nation I will provoke them.

Dispensational theology gives our current, so-called dispensation, the ability to ignore the laws of God. After all, we are in the “age of grace” now. Following the commandments of God is supposedly over for the believer after the cross. However, the prophets never prophesied about a time in the future where a new people of God would rise up and not have to be obedient to God. They did; however, predict this sequence of events in many places. Here are two places where the prophets told us about our lawlessness.

Isaiah 5:20–21 (LEB): 20 Ah! Those who call evil good and good evil, those who put darkness for light and light for darkness, those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Ah! Those who are wise in their own eyes and have understanding in their view!

Jeremiah 23:16–17 (LEB): 16 Thus says Yahweh of hosts: “You must not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are deluding you with visions of their mind, They do not speak from the mouth of Yahweh. 17 They are continually saying to those who disregard the word of Yahweh, ‘Peace it will be to you,’ and to each one who walks in the stubbornness of his heart they say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’

Putting these type of verses in a different “dispensation” is a clever way for the enemy to trick the current age of believers into thinking these verses are talking about someone else. The explanation is given earlier in the letter to the Ephesians. The dividing wall, dogma, and the things written against the house of Israel and nations, in which they assimilated, was removed by Yeshua. Inclusion into the family of God was extended to everyone through the scattering of Israel into the nations and the mission of Yeshua. The older brother, Judah, was not happy about this, just as in the parable of the prodigal son. The younger brother, Ephraim, was able to come back as a son, and not just a servant. This is why the new covenant is with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. There are no gentiles in the family of God. If someone thinks they are still a gentile, then they have not been adopted by God. Gentiles are outsiders, from the nations.

Ephesians 2:11–16 (LEB): 11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, the so-called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision in the flesh, made by hands, 12 that you were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, not having hope, and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you, the ones who once were far away, have become near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of the partition, the enmity, in his flesh, 15 invalidating the law of commandments in ordinances, in order that he might create the two in himself into one new man, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in himself.

 “That you were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, not having hope, and without God in the world” means that we are no longer strangers to the covenants of promise and we are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel. The church absolutely did not replace Israel, but those who come through Yeshua can be included in the commonwealth of Israel sharing in their promises and covenants. Do not rebuild the wall. Scripture opens up, and we can clearly see where we belong in prophecy, once we have this understanding. Modern day dispensational theology eschatology evaporates with this understanding. This will be important to know as times draw to the end. Just as the verses of the prophets still apply today, the verses in Revelation, supposedly in a dispensation after the church, are applicable to us. I am hoping people can see that the Creator would not set things up so that only one group of people in all of history can ignore His instructions. We are told that from the cross to the “rapture of the church”, God’s commandments do not apply, but they apply to everyone else before and afterward. Isn’t it convenient that the “rapture of the church” is always just in front of us, and we can continue ignoring God’s instructions according to this belief system? Yet we are told to “get ready” for the return of Yeshua at any moment. What better way to be ready for the return of Yeshua than to be found being obedient to his instructions?

Revelation 12:17–18 (LEB): 17 And the dragon was angry at the woman, and went away to fight against the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony about Jesus.

Revelation 14:12–13 (LEB): 12 Here is the patient endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “in order that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow after them.”

This last verse talks about resting from our labors when we are dead. The Bible tells us those that die in Yeshua will sleep in Sheol. This is the grave. It is very unlikely that a non-material part of us goes to heaven to see our predeceased relative’s ghosts. This comes from Egyptian mythology and Greek philosophy, not the Bible. The Bible predicts a resurrection of the dead when Yeshua returns. The only rapture will be that of the people who are alive when Yeshua returns and will be transformed as the dead are raised and transformed into their new bodies. The timing of this event is also clear throughout scripture as being at the second coming of the Messiah.

Luke 12:42–46 (LEB): 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful wise manager whom the master will put in charge over his servants to give them their food allowance at the right time? 43 Blessed is that slave whom his master will find so doing when he comes back. 44 Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that slave should say to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time to return,’ and he begins to beat the male slaves and the female slaves and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in two and assign his place with the unbelievers.

Be found doing what pleases the Master when Yeshua comes. Repent and believe the gospel!

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Living in Liberty


But be doers of the message and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, because if anyone is a hearer of the message and not a doer, this one is like someone staring at his own face in a mirror, for he looks at himself and goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. But the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues to do it, not being a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts, this one will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:22–25 (LEB)

Psalms chapter 119 is divided into twenty-two paragraphs, each assigned a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This is a great lesson because it shows the order of the Hebrew alphabet, along with the letters, dating back to the time of King David around 885 BCE. There are many portions of scripture that have this pattern, where the paragraphs correspond to the meanings of the letters in order. Psalms 119 tells us how to live in liberty, and it is not what one would expect if they listened to modern theologians. The letter that is the heading of this portion of scripture is the vav, also pronounced “waw”.

Psalm 119:41–48 (KJV 1900)

VAU.

41  Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, Even thy salvation, according to thy word. 42  So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: For I trust in thy word. 43  And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; For I have hoped in thy judgments. 44  So shall I keep thy law continually For ever and ever. 45  And I will walk at liberty: For I seek thy precepts. 46  I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, And will not be ashamed. 47  And I will delight myself in thy commandments, Which I have loved. 48  My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; And I will meditate in thy statutes.

How can the writer of the Holy Spirit inspired book of Psalms “keep thy law continually for ever and ever” and “walk at liberty”? Are we not told today by super evangelists, pastors and teachers that “keeping thy law continually” is burdensome and the opposite of being liberated? King David must have been confused and didn’t realize that no one could keep the law and have freedom at the same time. Perhaps he was in a different dispensation and the Creator’s laws and instructions worked differently for David than for us? That is what we are lead to believe in the twenty-first century by dispensationlists. What if the Torah of God is as good as David thought it was, and as liberating even today? Scripture tells us there will be people that deceive everyone into thinking evil is good and good is evil. That is not only happening in the world, but also within Christianity. One would have to live in a cave, or be entirely deceived not to see that this is happening. The deception goes back to the first century.

Acts 20:27–31 (LEB): 27 for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God which he obtained through the blood of his own Son. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 And from among you yourselves men will arise, speaking perversions of the truth in order to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.

This idea that the instructions of the Creator are burdensome, and in some cases, sin, is the biggest trick the adversary has played on the church. The church preaches this deception, winning converts to a lawless gospel that has no future. At the very least, it will cause hardship throughout the life of the believer, sickness and demonic oppression, and the worst case scenario is weeping and gnashing of teeth when meeting Yeshua face to face.

Matthew 7:21–23 (LEB): 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 And then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!

Yeshua faced this problem of deception and negation of the commandments from the religious leaders of His day. They hated Yeshua for exposing their bad theology to the people. Imagine telling a pastor or priest today that their converts are twice as much a son of hell then they are? They deceived people with made up doctrines that make the commandments of God void. Maybe without this deception, the convert would have found the truth. Lies and deception concerning God’s commandments cause people to enter into a delusion. Maybe this is why Paul tells us the law is spiritual. Yeshua told the religious leaders of His day that they were creating converts that were worse than themselves. Are we not still witnessing this today in Christianity?

Matthew 23:15 (LEB): 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you travel around the sea and the dry land to make one convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are!

How can God’s instructions, or Torah, give us liberty? One way this happens is that one is freed from the dogma and man-made rules presented as doctrine. This happens in both Christianity and Judaism. Yeshua constantly corrected the religious leaders in the first century. Christianity has only adopted a different set of rules depending on which one of the thousands of denominations one belongs.

Another way to achieve liberty through obedience to the father is by not fighting the Holy Spirit of grace’s conviction. If one listens to the Spirit, these things will tug at one’s spirit and heart. The choices are to sear the conscience with a hot iron, or be attentive to the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us we can walk in the Spirit, or walk in the flesh. Through walking in the Spirit, listening to the Spirit’s voice, we can please God and do what He has said to do. This is all possible through the Messiah’s atonement. However, before the Messiah ever went to the cross, people were still able to “keep the perfect law of liberty”. The difference being, there was no true atonement when someone failed, and everyone fails or sins.

Luke 1:5–6 (LEB): It happened that in the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a certain priest, Zechariah by name, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous in the sight of God, living blamelessly in all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.

The parents of John the Baptist “were both righteous in the sight of God, living blamelessly in all the commandments“, but they were not perfect. Look what happens.

Luke 1:18–20 (LEB): 18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “By what will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years!” 19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

James also speaks of the law of liberty in his letter to the church. The letter is to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, which Stephen labeled as the church, in Acts chapter seven.

James 1:19–25 (LEB): 19 Understand this, my dear brothers: every person must be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, 20 for human anger does not accomplish the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all moral uncleanness and wicked excess, welcome with humility the implanted message which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the message and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, 23 because if anyone is a hearer of the message and not a doer, this one is like someone staring at his own face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself and goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues to do it, not being a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts, this one will be blessed in what he does.

The only perfect law is the law of God, or His Torah. James understood the only scripture he had in the first century. This was before the wolves came with their lawless doctrine. This was before the Walt Disney gospel of dispensationalism, which tells us God made a mistake and our dispensation of time is the only one that God’s law or instructions do not apply.

Psalm 19:7–11 (LEB): The law of Yahweh is perfect, reviving life. The testimony of Yahweh is firm, making wise the simple. The precepts of Yahweh are right, making the heart rejoice. The command of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Yahweh is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of Yahweh are true; they are righteous altogether, 10 more desirable than gold, even much fine gold; and sweeter than honey, even honey in the comb. 11 Moreover, your servant is warned by them; in keeping them is great reward.

Paul understood the perfect law of liberty.

Romans 2:13 (LEB): 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.

Romans 7:12 (LEB): 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Just as there are people today who claim keeping the commandments of God is not necessary, there were people in Paul’s and James’ time claiming it was the only way to be justified before God. Paul tells us that justification comes through faith in God and not the law. The law defines sin for us, it does not save us. However, if we are lead by the Spirit we should not be found sinning, which is defined by the law. People use Paul’s message to justify sin, or say certain parts of God’s law are no longer sin. This is how we have so many branches of Christianity. All of the law defines sin. It is that simple. It is not just the laws certain people call “moral” or “ceremonial”. Many laws in the Torah are no longer possible to do without the temple and the Levite priest system. That system is not gone by accident. Yeshua ended the sacrificial system, or at least paused it until the Millennial kingdom.

1 Timothy 1:8–11 (LEB): But we know that the law is good, if anyone makes use of it lawfully, knowing this, that the law is not given for a righteous person but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and totally worldly, for the one who kills his father and the one who kills his mother, for murderers, 10 sexually immoral people, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God that I was entrusted with.

The rebellious person will say “I can do whatever I want now”, or “the Sabbath is any day I choose, or not important at all”, when the law of God says otherwise. One cannot uphold the law as Paul did, and at the same time tell his followers to break the law. How many of God’s laws does a person have to intentionally ignore or proudly say “they don’t apply to me” to hear the Savior say, “Depart from me you worker of lawlessness.”? I guess we will have to wait to find out. The prophet Daniel told us the Messiah would end sacrificial law.

Daniel 9:24–27 (LEB): 24 “Seventy weeks is decreed for your people and for your holy city, to put an end to the transgression and to seal up sin and to make atonement for guilt and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal vision and prophet and to anoint the most holy place. 25 And you must know and you must understand that from the time of the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until an anointed one—a leader—will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be restored and will be built with streets and a moat, but in a time of oppression.

26 “And after the sixty and two weeks an anointed one shall be cut off, and he shall have nothing, and the people of the coming leader will destroy the city and the sanctuary, and its end will be with the flood and on to the end there shall be war; these desolations are determined. 27 And he will make a strong covenant with the many for one week, but in half of the week he will let cease sacrifice and offering and in its place a desolating abomination comes even until the determined complete destruction is poured out on the desolator.”

In these verses there is the anointed one, cut off in the middle of the week, in other words, Yeshua nailed to the cross. There are the people of the coming leader, still the anointed one, who made a strong covenant with the many, for one week with the bread and the wine. His death and shedding of blood made the sacrifice and offerings unnecessary. In it’s place, a desolating abomination comes until determined complete destruction.

John 6:54–55 (LEB): 54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

I know that some of these verses are used to describe the antichrist in dispensationalism theology. We have to insert over 2000 years arbitrarily within the 70 weeks for this. The weeks match sequentially much better with history, if we view the seventy weeks literally as weeks of years.

Does one submit to the Spirit of grace and walk in the perfect law of liberty, or does one stiffen their neck and walk in the flesh continually sinning before God? Everyone must make this choice. The decision has eternal consequences. Do we believe Messiah Yeshua or the imaginations flowing out of men’s minds?

Matthew 5:17–19 (LEB): 17 “Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one tiny letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all takes place. 19 Therefore whoever abolishes one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps them and teaches them, this person will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

I want to be called great in the kingdom, walk in the Spirit and possess the Spirit of truth promised to those who keep the commandments.

John 14:15–17 (LEB): 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, in order that he may be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it does not see him or know him. You know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.

Repent and believe the gospel! Walk in the law of liberty and be a doer of His word not simply a hearer.

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Jeremiah 16:20–21 (LEB)

Religion is complicated. How many different religious belief systems are there? In each major religious group, how many sects does it contain? In each sect, how many disagreements would we find? Wars are fought and people are martyred over their religious beliefs. If we look at the origin of some Christian denominations, we will see they came about by external forces, in some cases, and internal disagreements that could not be reconciled in other cases.

The Anglican church exists because King Henry VIII had a disagreement with Pope Clement VII concerning divorce. King Henry VIII was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic church and started the Anglican church. After the American Revolutionary war, the Episcopal church was formed by the people who did not remain loyal to the king of England. The oath the clergy took to be loyal to the kingdom in the Anglican church caused much division. This is one reason we have no business taking oaths to secular governments.

The American Civil war also caused divisions in denominations. The Baptist followed the political views of the North and South, and the Southern Baptists broke away to form their own organization. The Methodists and Presbyterians also split over issues in the Civil War. More recently, the United Methodist organization split over gay marriage differences. Other splits involve less mainstream doctrine such as in the United Pentecostal churches. I do not know all the details, but just from observation where I live, the United Pentecostal church split and there is a “sister” church in each community where originally there was just the United Pentecostal church. I assume these splits had to do with dress codes and oneness doctrine that the United Pentecostal churches teach.

There are probably thousands of denominational splits that we could examine. Everyone could also justify picking a side in each one of these splits. How can the church, supposedly the body of Christ, have so many disagreements? When someone insists one must attend church, my question is simply, “Which one?”. If I go to the United Pentecostal church, some would say that it is a cult and I should not go there. Well then, why not go to the United Methodists to fulfill my church attendance duty? The Global Methodists, along with many others, would not count attending the United Methodists church because they affirm now gay marriage. So, if someone tells me I am required to attend church, it usually means I must attend a church that believes similar to the way they believe. If I was in the United States in 1850, where I attended church might have to do with my thoughts on slavery. In 2022, maybe it would have to do with my beliefs on gay marriage, or whether women should wear pants. There is no anchor or solid bedrock that anyone regards. It is opinions about which beliefs people perceive to be Godly at any particular time in history. All of these various belief systems claim to use the Bible as their source of truth; however, they simply invent doctrine out of consensus of opinion.

1 Corinthians 1:10–17 (LEB): 10 Now I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing and there not be divisions among you, and that you be made complete in the same mind and with the same purpose. 11 For it has been made clear to me concerning you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 But I say this, that each of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” and “I am with Apollos,” and “I am with Cephas,” and “I am with Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I give thanks that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Now I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Beyond that I do not know if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the gospel, not with clever speech, lest the cross of Christ be emptied.

Each of us have created our own religion and plugged it into a church denomination where it best fits. Some will grow and learn and have to move to another denomination because their belief system no longer fits their current church. Sometimes denominations change their tenants of belief and move on, leaving the person behind, such as in the case of the United Methodists. Maybe some women just get tired of long hair and skirts, and want to be able to dress the same way they do when they are not with their church friends, as we find in the United Pentecostal church. How do we know our personal religious beliefs are anything close to what the Creator of the universe expects from us? How do we avoid being manipulated by pastors and organizations that want to keep people trapped in man made dogma and are not concerned with the true nature of God?

“Education prevents manipulation” is a saying that I recently heard that we can easily apply to religion. The last thing many churches want a person to do is to study the Bible for themselves and start asking hard questions about the church’s belief system. The person that questions doctrine will just be shut down because that is how man-made religion works. Religious institutions have been infiltrated by the adversary to obfuscate the truth. Alice Bailey was a proponent of the new age and a theosophist who wrote many books in the early twentieth century. In The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, she described how society would be transformed: “The three main channels for which the preparation for the new age is going on might be regarded as the Church, The Masonic Fraternity and the educational field”. She wrote this prior to 1950, and over seventy years later, this is exactly what we have seen transpire.

Do we just “believe what we believe”, or should we do the following: 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV 1900), “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”? “Rightly dividing the truth” can even be twisted, as it is done in dispensational theology, if one does not understand what the New Testament writers mean by “truth”. John Nelson Darby, one of the people that helped make dispensationalism theology mainstream, protestant theology, would say that dispensationalism is the only way to rightly divide the truth. Maybe “rightly dividing the word of truth” is just a bad translation. How can truth be divided? Here is the same verse in context:

2 Timothy 2:14–19 (LEB): 14 Remind people of these things, solemnly urging them before the Lord not to dispute about words. This is in no way beneficial and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, a worker having no need to be ashamed, guiding the word of truth along a straight path. 16 But avoid pointless chatter, for it will progress to greater ungodliness, 17 and their message will spread like gangrene, among whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have deviated concerning the truth by saying the resurrection has already taken place, and they are upsetting the faith of some. 19 However, the solid foundation of God stands firm, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who names the name of the Lord must abstain from unrighteousness.”

“Everyone who names the name of the Lord must abstain from unrighteousness.” If one knows how truth is defined by Paul, it will be easy to define unrighteousness. Yeshua said he is the truth, and he is the word of God in flesh.

Psalm 119:142 (LEB): 142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is truth.

Psalm 119:151 (LEB): 151 You are near, O Yahweh, and all your commands are truth.

Psalm 119:160 (LEB): 160 The whole of your word is truth, and your every righteous judgment endures forever.

God’s commandments are truth, as well as His word. Yeshua is the word of God. This does note negate the actual words of God. Yeshua only said what he heard his Father say. It is the same truth. Truth can only be found in the word of God. One learns the truth by studying the words of God and applying it in their life. The other option is to block one’s ears from the word of God and believe their own imaginations, then get plugged into a church denomination that best fits these imaginations. However, in order to abstain from unrighteousness, we must learn how to be righteous.

Deuteronomy 6:24–25 (LEB): 24 And so Yahweh commanded us to observe all of these rules and to revere Yahweh our God for our benefit all the days that we live, as it is today. 25 And it shall be righteousness for us if we diligently observe and do all of this commandment before Yahweh our God, as he has commanded us.’

Truth and righteousness point us to the instructions God gave through Israel to be extended through the whole world by the truth in flesh, Yeshua. We become righteous only when we do His righteousness, not our own. Yeshua made it possible through the Spirit to do the righteousness of God, which is His instructions for life. Our doctrine must come from God’s instructions, not our own imaginations. In other words, we do not get to define righteousness, truth or sin.

Jeremiah 16:19–21 (LEB): 19 O Yahweh, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth, and they will say, “Our ancestors have inherited only lies, vanity, and there is no profit in them. 20 Can a human make for himself gods? Yet they are not gods!” 21 “Therefore look, I am about to let them know, this time I am going to let them know my power and my might, and they will know that my name is Yahweh.”

Furthermore, we cannot boast in our own knowledge. We must give credit to God for everything He reveals to us through scripture. One cannot have truth revealed to them without the holy Spirit of truth. Truth without action is not useful. The Spirit of grace convicts our hearts of our sin and the Spirit of truth shows us everything Yeshua taught. John 14:26 (LEB), “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name—that one will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything that I said to you.”

James 2:14–19 (LEB): 14 What is the benefit, my brothers, if someone says that he has faith but does not have works? That faith is not able to save him, is it? 15 If a brother or a sister is poorly clothed and lacking food for the day, 16 and one of you should say to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but does not give them what is necessary for the body, what is the benefit? 17 Thus also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your* works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder!

Somehow, the brother of Yeshua, James, ended up getting a new English name. His real name was Jacob, and he understood faith required action. In these verses, he says to give people food, which can also mean the meat of scripture. So many churches deny people their daily bread. We see the writer of Hebrews discussing the elementary message of Christ being repentance, faith in God, baptism, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. How many view these subjects as elementary? The resurrection of the dead and the eternal judgment are not taught today. Most sermons are along the lines of “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so”. They may not even get this deep in some denominations for fear of offending someone.

Hebrews 6:1–8 (LEB): 6 Therefore, leaving behind the elementary message about Christ, let us move on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and faith in God, teaching about baptisms and laying on of hands, and resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For it is impossible concerning those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and become sharers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the coming age, and having fallen away, to renew them again to repentance, because they have crucified again for themselves the Son of God and held him up to contempt. For ground that drinks the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth vegetation usable to those people for whose sake it is also cultivated, shares a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to a curse, whose end is for burning.

If the Spirit of grace is convicting someone, they may not know what to do because of the lack of teaching. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Acts 3:16–23 (LEB): 16 And on the basis of faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know, and the faith that is through him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 But the things which God foretold through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he has fulfilled in this way. 19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be blotted out, 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and he may send the Christ appointed for you—Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things, about which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from earliest times. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You will listen to him in everything that he says to you. 23 And it will be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet will be destroyed utterly from the people.’

Learn what the prophets said, listen to the living word in flesh, Yeshua, and repent! Those who refuse to listen to Yeshua will “be destroyed utterly from the people“.

Featured photo is by thom masat on Unsplash.

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Matthew 22:12–14 (LEB)

In the last Blog post we saw people that Yeshua said would get the wrong gospel and be outside gnashing their teeth because they could see in to where the people, who received the right message, are able to fellowship with Abraham, Isaac and the prophets. These people followed the narrow path or entered through the narrow door. The purpose of these blog posts is that I do not want to be responsible for anyone to be sitting outside gnashing their teeth and wailing. I certainly do not want to be there myself. We are told not to listen to any other gospel, yet seldomly look around to see if the ones teaching us actually have the right gospel. We create a god in our head based on what we are taught and what we perceive. We say things like, “I believe what I believe” or “that’s not what it means to me” as if it matters to God what we think He should be and do.

In many cases the gospel being taught as correct is simply “believe in Jesus”. Anything else is considered “another gospel”, or a works based gospel. One of the verses this comes from is found in the letter Paul wrote to the Romans.

Romans 10:9 (LEB)

that 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.

Even the verses around this statement explain what it means.

Romans 10:10–13 (LEB)

10 For with the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who is rich to all who call upon him. 13 For “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Strong’s G3933 is the Greek word translated “confess” and it means to agree and confess guilt before, or bind oneself in an oath with a deity. Confessing and believing implies a covenant relationship, which is just like Mount Horeb. We must find our role to play in the new covenant, and it is not doing whatever we want while we “believe in Jesus”.

ὁμολογέω G3933 (homologeō), promise, confess, declare, praise; ἐξομολογέω G2018 (exomologeō), promise, confess, praise; ὁμολογία G3934 (homologia), confession.

CL homologeō (Soph. onwards) and homologia (Hdt. onwards) are compounds of homos, the same, similar, and legō, say, or logos, word, speech. Hence homologeō means to say the same, i.e. agree in one’s statements, and homologia means agreement, consent.
The legal connotation is dominant. A man agrees with another’s statement, concedes or confesses something (e.g. his guilt before a judge), agrees to something (e.g. another’s wish) and so promises. This agreement expresses itself in an act of commitment, promise, or confession in a court or legal contract.
The religious use of the words is probably derived primarily from their use in the language of treaties and the law-courts. The man who binds himself by an oath (homologeō) enters into a treaty relationship with the deity. This concept was then transferred from the solemn confession of wrong-doing before a court of law to the confession of sin to the deity.

D. Fürst, “Confess,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 344.

Paul also quotes Joel the prophet as he spoke about the great day of the Lord, Yahuah, in Romans 10:13.

Joel 2:30–32 (LEB)

30 And I will set wonders in the heavens, and on earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun will be changed to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh. 32 And it will happen—everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be rescued, because on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as Yahweh said, and among the survivors whom Yahweh is calling.

There is a correlation between calling on the name of Yahuah and having faith in His salvation, Yeshua. The thief on the cross confessed his allegiance to Yeshua and was promised a place in the kingdom. Would he have the same future if he had lived longer and turned back to a life of sin? Over and over the scriptures tells us to stop sinning, repent and conquer.

Revelation 2:7 (LEB)

The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will grant to him to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.’

I love the Logos Bible software packages. I have the modules that focus on original languages, plus countless Bible dictionaries, translations, commentaries and theological resources. I also have a decent physical library. There are different ways to view the scriptures. One can view them through their denominational lenses, so there are Logos modules from everything such as Anglican to Pentecostal, each tailored for that belief system’s literary resources. Then there is the purely academic modules which weed out the denominational bias and try to be honest with what the words are trying to convey. This word that is translated “conquer” is Strong’s G3771 and is defined as victorious. If we were left to our own devices we could assign being victorious to anything our imagination would allow. With the help of the solid, academic work of Greek and Hebrew scholars, we can see this word is used in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures at least once for the Hebrew word meaning to be morally clean, pure and speaking justly, Strong’s H2131.

How can we know this is the Hebrew word John would have used if we had the Hebrew translation of Revelation? It is easy because we find out again what it means to conquer and have access to the tree of life towards the end of the book.

Revelation 21:7–8 (LEB)

The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowards and unbelievers and detestable persons and murderers and sexually immoral people and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their share is in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.

This is all after the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua. Many churches do not allow anyone to preach from the book of Revelation. I suppose this book ruins the dispensational narrative once people actually start reading and understanding it. There are many commands Yeshua gives us in Revelation, just as He did in the gospels.

Revelation 2:14–17 (LEB)

14 But I have a few things against you: that you have there those who hold fast to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat food sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15 So likewise you also have those who hold fast to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent! But if you do not, I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war with them with the sword from my mouth. 17 The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give to him some of the hidden manna, and I will give to him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

There is a mystery about the teaching of the Nicolaitans and why it was so offensive to Yeshua. It probably remains hidden because there are people who would be exposed today if we knew exactly what they taught. Thankfully, we do know in part, because Yeshua implies they are the same as Baalim with the word “likewise”. Balaam was a prophet for hire that showed Balak that the way to curse Israel was to lure them with pagan idolatry. They went with the women of Moab and basically had their first “Christmas” festivities with Baal Peor, thereby cursing themselves.

Baal-peor. Moabite god worshiped on Mt Peor. It is probable that this god was Chemosh, the national deity of Moab. While camped in Shittim the Israelites were seduced by Moabite women who persuaded them to worship “Baal of Peor” (Nm 25:3). For that act of idolatry God struck Israel with a plague that killed 24,000 persons (Nm 25:9; Ps 106:28–31). Baal-peor is also spoken of as the place where Israel worshiped “the Baal of Peor” (Dt 4:3; Hos 9:10). That location may be identified with Beth-peor near Mt Nebo.

Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Baal-Peor,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 241.

NICOLAITANS (Νικολαΐται, Nikolaitai). An enigmatic group condemned in Revelation for its heretical teachings and practices. Little is known about the Nicolaitans, but they appear to have advocated participation in pagan religion and immoral behavior.

Andrew Coutras, “Nicolaitans,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Mixing the practices of other religions and gods is very offensive to both the Father, Yahuah, and Son, Yeshua. It is the broad gate that leads to destruction. I don’t want to be guilty as the ones who tolerate pagan idolatry as Baalim, Jezebel and the Nicolaitans apparently did. I also do not want to see anyone else be led astray by a false gospel that mixes these religions with the one true God.

Matthew 7:13–23 (LEB)

13 “Enter through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it, 14 because narrow is the gate and constricted is the road that leads to life, and there are few who find it!

15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits: they do not gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do they? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit, nor a bad tree to produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 As a result, you will recognize them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 And then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Who are the people who Yeshua tells to depart? For one, they practice lawlessness. He is not talking about getting a parking ticket. The whole Bible tells us plainly what lawlessness is through example and word.

Matthew 13:41–43 (LEB)

41 The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all the causes of sin and those who do lawless deeds, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears, let him hear!

We see Yeshua quoting Malachi concerning the people who do lawless deeds and cause sin. This is one of the reasons the pretribulation rapture is so hard to reconcile with scripture. That theory has believers taken and the sinners “left behind”. The people that hold to this doctrine do not think the Old Testament scriptures apply to them.

Malachi 4:1–3 (LEB)

“For look! The day is about to come, burning like an oven, and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says Yahweh of hosts. “It will not leave behind for them root or branch. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, with healing in its wings, and you will go out and leap like fattened calves. You will trample down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I am going to act,” says Yahweh of hosts.

This is the same gospel Paul told us to adhere to. The words of Yeshua. Peter told us the same thing in Acts. Yet teachers are saying’ “Jesus does not condemn you, go in peace my son”. When the Savior comes back He says we will be judged.

John 5:25–30 (LEB)

25 “Truly, truly I say to you, that an hour is coming—and now is here—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, thus also he has granted to the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has granted him authority to carry out judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not be astonished at this, because an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and they will come out—those who have done good things to a resurrection of life, but those who have practiced evil things to a resurrection of judgment. 30 I am able to do nothing from myself. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.

We are being afforded a great window of opportunity to be able to repent and be part of the kingdom. In Revelation, he was telling the people in the churches to repent or else be on the outside looking in gnashing their teeth. It is hardly a “just believe in Jesus” sermon that was preached after the death and resurrection of the Messiah.

Photo by MEHRAX on Unsplash.

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Luke 13:26–28 (LEB)

As a child I was taught not to engage in conversation with anyone that believes differently concerning religion. This carried through to my adulthood where I would dread anyone that came door to door pedaling religion for fear of having to engage with them. I suppose the fear comes from being weak in faith and that somehow one could easily become persuaded into a “cult”.

1 Timothy 6:3–5 (LEB)

If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not devote himself to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, he is conceited, understanding nothing, but having a morbid interest concerning controversies and disputes about words, from which come envy, strife, slanders, evil suspicions, constant wrangling by people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain.

The people that hold to the belief that Paul is the only person from whom those coming from the gentiles are to receive their doctrine, should be able to clearly see that he is telling us in his letter to Timothy to devote ourselves to the words of Yeshua the Messiah and teaching that is in accordance with godliness. Yeshua taught the scriptures and that is the only place to find teaching in accordance with godliness, so by this statement the theory that we are only to listen to Paul is negated by Paul himself. He also told us to have nothing to do with people teaching any other gospel.

Galatians 1:6–10 (LEB)

I am astonished that you are turning away so quickly from the one who called you by the grace of Christ to a different gospel, not that there is a different gospel, except there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed! As we said before, and now I say again, if anyone is proclaiming a gospel to you contrary to what you have received, let him be accursed! 10 For am I now making an appeal to people or to God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.

In the letter to the Galatians, Paul is accusing the people of turning away from the one who called them, the Creator, by the grace given through Messiah Yeshua. He says we should not listen to anyone who proclaims a different gospel, and there is not another gospel, only distortions of the gospel of the Messiah. There is only one gospel, and not one for Jews and one for non-Jews or “gentiles” as some sects of dispensationalism theology teach. He also says to be a slave of the Messiah, not of people; therefore, we should only be concerned with what Messiah Yeshua thinks of us.

I am now likely considered to be someone who is preaching another gospel by many Christians because I speak continually against the gospel of dispensationalism theology in my blog posts. I only do so because I was captivated by this false doctrine in my life without understanding this was the doctrine I was being taught. Now I want other people confused by this doctrine to understand it is a new way to read the scriptures and a bad interpretation. It is not the gospel Paul was teaching. If I came to the door of my former self, that old me would be hiding behind a closed curtain hoping the new me would think no one was home. It was to my former self that the letter to the Galatians applied. The Galatians were starting to return to the traditions of men forsaking the commandments of God, which Yeshua taught against. Peter also wrote a letter to the Galatians.

1 Peter 1:1–2 (LEB)

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen who are residing temporarily in the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Peter was talking to the dispersion, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. These were the ones that were cut off for sin, the prodigal son, who was lost among those in the nations with their idolatry. Through the seeding of the nations it enabled the whole world to be saved through “the sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ”. Jesus Christ is just a Greek variation of the name Messiah Yeshua.

If one does not understand the covenant at Mount Horeb, Peter’s intro, “for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ‘ may be hard to understand. The covenant at Mount Horeb was ratified between Israel and Yahuah, Creator of everything, with the blood of bulls being sprinkled on them. This eternal covenant was renewed, or made new, with the sprinkling of Messiah’s blood in the heavenly tabernacle. I believe this is the significance of the bread and wine of communion. By drinking the wine and eating the bread we are agreeing to the covenant. The covenant was not the law, it was an agreement to do what God said (obedience) and He would do what He said. In the new covenant, God’s laws are written on our hearts instead of stone tablets. This is done through the work of the holy Spirit.

Hebrews 9:18–28 (LEB)

18 Therefore not even the first covenant was ratified without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying,

“This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded for you.”

21 And likewise he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the utensils of service with the blood. 22 Indeed, nearly everything is purified with blood according to the law, and apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 Therefore it was necessary for the sketches of the things in heaven to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf, 25 and not in order that he can offer himself many times, as the high priest enters into the sanctuary year by year with blood not his own, 26 since it would have been necessary for him to suffer many times from the foundation of the world, but now he has appeared once at the end of the ages for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this, judgment, 28 thus also Christ, having been offered once in order to bear the sins of many, will appear for the second time without reference to sin to those who eagerly await him for salvation.

Peter was reminding people of all of this just in the opening line of his letter. The people he wrote to were obviously familiar with these concepts, where today we generally are not taught this in most Christian churches. Peter also tells the people in Galatia to be holy, meaning set apart or different then the rest of the world.

1 Peter 1:13–21 (LEB)

13 Therefore, when you have prepared your minds for action by being self-controlled, put your hope completely in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former desires you used to conform to in your ignorance, 15 but as the one who called you is holy, you yourselves be holy in all your conduct, 16 for it is written, “You will be holy, because I am holy.”  17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves with fear during the time of your temporary residence, 18 because you know that you were redeemed from your futile way of life inherited from your ancestors not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb 20 who was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has been revealed in these last times for you 21 who through him are believing in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Peter is telling the Galatians, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former desires you used to conform to in your ignorance”, then quoting the Torah about being holy. What is he telling the Galatians to be obedient to if not the commandments of God? Is this a different gospel than Paul was preaching? I hope not, because if it is, we may as well abandon the whole thing and play video games. Is Peter speaking to Jews only and Paul speaking to gentiles? That would be two gospels and Paul claimed there was only one gospel, and one people of God through Messiah. First, let’s look at the references Peter was quoting. “Be Holy for I am Holy”, is the way Peter was telling the Galatians to live. One reference is that of the ten commandments.

Leviticus 19:1–4 (LEB)

19 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the community of the Israelites, and say to them, ‘You must be holy, because I, Yahweh your God, am holy. Each of you must revere your mother and your father, and you must keep my Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God. You must not turn to idols, and you must not make for yourselves gods of cast metal; I am Yahweh your God.

Staying holy is also not being like the nations who eat everything when the one who created all things says, “these are not food for you”.

Leviticus 20:24–26 (LEB)

24 So I said to you, “You yourselves shall take possession of their land, and I myself shall give it to you to possess it—a land flowing with milk and honey”; I am Yahweh your God, who has set you apart from the nations. 25 And you shall distinguish between the clean and the unclean animal and between the unclean and the clean bird; and you shall not defile yourselves with the animal or with the bird or with anything that moves along the ground that I have set apart for you as unclean. 26 And you shall be holy for me, because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have singled you out from the nations to be mine.

The problem with the people in Galatia, in part, was that they were returning to their former pagan ways. They followed the signs in the heavens, the fairies and mythological traditions. The Galatians descended from the Celts which some believe were from the Chaldeans. Christianity follows some of the pagan traditions handed down from the Celts. The following is from the World History Encyclopedia.

Galatia was a region in north-central Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) settled by the Celtic Gauls c. 278-277 BCE. The name comes from the Greek for “Gaul” which was repeated by Latin writers as Galli. The Celts were offered the region by the king of neighboring Bithynia, Nicomedes I (r. 278-255 BCE) and established themselves in three provinces made up of four cantons (wards) comprised of city-states (known as oppidum) governed, respectively, by the three tribes which made up the initial group: the Tectosages, Trocmil, and Tolistogogii.

Another issue in Galatia was that a certain sect of Jews, called the circumcision party, were teaching that a person had to be circumcised to be saved. Paul said these people were not even following the law themselves. I can relate to that. People telling me I had to do this or that to be saved and they were not even doing it themselves behind closed doors. Luke 11:46 (LEB), So he said, “Woe to you also, legal experts, because you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers! Yeshua did not teach the laws of Judaism, He taught the laws of God. If one studies the laws of first century Judaism, when Paul speaks about the law, it is much easier to understand what he is talking about.

Galatians 6:11–16 (LEB)

11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 As many as are wanting to make a good showing in the flesh, these are attempting to compel you to be circumcised, only so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For not even those who are circumcised observe the law themselves, but they want you to be circumcised in order that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But as for me, may it never be that I boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And all those who follow this rule, peace and mercy be on them and on the Israel of God.

The book of Acts records a letter sent to the people of the nations coming into the faith and reinforces this idea that they should be taught in accordance with the way Yeshua taught holiness. That was through the words of God given through Moses and Israel.

Acts 15:19–21 (LEB)

19 Therefore I conclude we should not cause difficulty for those from among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but we should write a letter to them to abstain from the pollution of idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. 21 For Moses has those who proclaim him in every city from ancient generations, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

I recently read that these items the gentile converts were to start with were from the same list that any non-Jew would have to adhere to in order to enter the courts of the temple. It all makes perfect sense because we are talking about the same God. The Father of Yeshua is the same God that gave the rules of holiness, dictated the functions of the temple and sent His Spirit to guide and convict the followers of Galatia. The Spirit of grace convicts us of sin which is defined by breaking God’s laws. It is very simple.

1 John 3:4–8 (LEB)

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that that one was revealed in order that he might take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Everyone who resides in him does not sin. Everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him. Little children, let no one deceive you: the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as that one is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed: in order to destroy the works of the devil.

How can anyone say they love God yet hate His laws and commands? How can anyone say they love Jesus (Yeshua), God’s word made flesh, and hate God’s word or Torah? Those serving the one and true God cannot make up their own gods. That is what the rest of the world does.

Psalm 1:1–6 (LEB)

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the advice of the wicked; nor does he stand in the way of sinners; nor does he sit in the assembly of mockers. Instead, in the law of Yahweh is his delight, and on his law he meditates day and night. And so, he is like a tree planted by streams of water that gives its fruit in its season; its leaf also does not wither. Therefore all that he does prospers. Not so the wicked. Instead, they are like the chaff that the wind scatters. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

The Psalmist is writing about God’s laws. The Hebrew word in this Psalm for “law” is Torah. The word “Torah” comes from the verb “Yorah” which means to teach or shoot like an archer. It is the straight way, mark or bull’s eye.

Luke 13:22–28 (LEB)

22 And he was going throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his journey toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, are there only a few who are saved?” And he said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able to, 25 when once the master of the house has gotten up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ And he will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from!’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets!’ 27 And he will reply, saying to you, ‘I do not know where you are from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown outside!

I believe wholeheartedly that I used to listen to that distorted gospel that Paul warned about. It did not come from some stranger knocking at my door with a different gospel. It came from the very place I was hoping to find the truth. It came from gods that I made up thinking it was the one true God. It is not hard following the instructions of the Creator, it is men that make it hard. Yeshua came to teach Torah the way it was intended and sprinkled his blood so we can follow his teaching. I certainly do not want to be in that place where I can see Isaac, Abraham and all the prophets, yet not be able to be with them, cast aside as an evil doer for not loving the ways of God. This picture of the narrow door and people shut outside gnashing their teeth should at least cause people to continually seek God and study his word. Messiah warned us. Don’t be deceived.

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash.

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John 5:46–47 (LEB)

Is Jesus the antithesis of Moses? That is what we are lead to believe. After all, Moses was all about mean laws of God no one could keep and Jesus is the one who supposedly released us from these “bad laws” as some like to call the holy words of our Creator. In modern theology, Jesus is pitted against Moses. Is this the way to view scripture? Absolutely not.

Deuteronomy 18:15–19 (LEB)

15 “Yahweh your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst, from your countrymen, and to him you shall listen. 16 This is according to all that you asked from Yahweh your God at Horeb, on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘I do not want again to hear the voice of Yahweh my God, and I do not want to see again this great fire, so that I may not die!’ 17 And Yahweh said to me, ‘They are right in what they have said. 18 I will raise up a prophet for them from among their countrymen like you, and I will place my words into his mouth, and he shall speak to them everything that I command him. 19And then the man that will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I will hold accountable.

Is Moses talking about Jesus, or in Hebrew, Yeshua, in these verses? In the context of these verses, Yahuah spoke from the mountain in an audible voice with thunder and lighting and everyone thought they would die if it went on this way. ” And Yahweh said to me, ‘They are right in what they have said.” Yahuah promises to raise a “prophet like Moses” and place His words in his mouth. Do you suppose these are going to be different words then he spoke to Moses? Did you know these verses were in Deuteronomy and speaking of the Savior? I am not alone in this idea that this is specifically taking about Yeshua. Peter links these verses to the Messiah.

Acts 3:17–24 (LEB)

17 And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 But the things which God foretold through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he has fulfilled in this way. 19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be blotted out, 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and he may send the Christ appointed for you—Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things, about which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from earliest times. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You will listen to him in everything that he says to you. 23 And it will be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet will be destroyed utterly from the people.’ 24 And indeed, all the prophets from Samuel and all those who followed him have spoken about and proclaimed these days.

Stephen makes the same connection a little later.

Acts 7:36–40 (LEB)

36 This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and who with our fathers received living oracles to give to us, 39 to whom our fathers were not willing to become obedient, but rejected him and turned back in their hearts to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go on before us! For this Moses, who led us out from the land of Egypt—we do not know what has happened to him!’

Acts 7:51–53 (LEB)

51 “You stiff-necked people and uncircumcised in hearts and in your ears! You constantly resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so also do you! 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand about the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become, 53 you who received the law by directions of angels and have not observed it!”

Stephen accused them of killing the Righteous One, and receiving the law by directions of angels yet not observing it. Did Yeshua come like Moses with the words of His Father in his mouth, or did he have a different message altogether? How can someone be like Moses, and at the same time have something completely different to say? Especially if the information was coming from the same source, Yahuah?

John 12:44–50 (LEB)

44 But Jesus cried out and said, “The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me, 45 and the one who sees me sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, in order that everyone who believes in me will not remain in the darkness. 47 And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I will not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has one who judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken from myself, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So the things that I say, just as the Father said to me, thus I say.”

Yeshua said He has the same message as the Father, who started out by talking to the people directly from the mountain. The people could not bare God’s presence so they told Moses to go up and find out what He says. Yahuah told Moses He would send someone like him to speak the words directly to the people, Yeshua. Does anyone think now that the words of the Father would be different through Yeshua, then they were through Moses?

Luke 16:27–31 (LEB)

27 So he said, ‘Then I ask you, father, that you send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he could warn them, in order that they also should not come to this place of torment!’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must listen to them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead“. In this parable, Yeshua was telling his audience that if they don’t listen to Moses, they wouldn’t listen to Him. It is true because the religious leaders of the day had doctrines in opposition to Moses, and they did not listen.

John 7:16–19 (LEB)

16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not mine, but is from the one who sent me. 17 If anyone wants to do his will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or I am speaking from myself. 18 The one who speaks from himself seeks his own glory. But the one who seeks the glory of the one who sent him—this one is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law, and none of you carries out the law? Why do you seek to kill me?”

Yeshua said, “If he called them ‘gods’ to whom the word of God came—and the scripture cannot be broken—36 do you say about he whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? ” He was speaking about Moses and Aaron and verifies the word of God came through them.

John 10:31–38 (LEB)

31 Then the Jews picked up stones again so that they could stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good deeds from the Father. For which one of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “We are not going to stone you concerning a good deed, but concerning blasphemy, and because you, although you’re a man, make yourself to be God!” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? 35 If he called them ‘gods’ to whom the word of God came—and the scripture cannot be broken—36 do you say about he whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the deeds of my Father, do not believe me. 38 But if I am doing them, even if you do not believe me, believe the deeds, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Here are the verses that Yeshua was quoting:

Exodus 7:1–2 (LEB)

7 And Yahweh said to Moses, “See, I have made you as a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. You will speak all that I will command you, and Aaron your brother will speak to Pharaoh, and he will release the Israelites from his land.

Another time, Yeshua claims one cannot believe him if they do not believe Moses. The Greek word meaning for believe is “having faith” or “trust”.

John 5:44–47 (LEB)

44 How are you able to believe, if you accept glory from one another, and do not seek the glory which is from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father! The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope! 46 For if you had believed Moses, you would believe me, for that one wrote about me. 47 But if you do not believe that one’s writings, how will you believe my words?”

When I read these verses about the people putting their hope in Moses, then Yeshua scolding them by saying, “For if you had believed Moses, you would believe me, for that one wrote about me“, He is pointing out that they are living in the past. They may honor Moses with their lips and speak of the great things that happened, putting their trust in them, but Moses spoke all about the future. Moses told the people how they would break the covenant with God, get scattered and forget their identity, but God would send someone like him in the future to make a way to bring them back from disobedience. Yeshua is saying now is that time! Repent and believe. Just like many people in the time of Yeshua did not believe, many do not believe now. They have a make-believe Jesus that conforms to their lawless belief system.

Matthew 24:3–5 (LEB)

And as he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came up to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Watch out that no one deceives you! For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will deceive many.

Many come in the name of Jesus, fulfilling this prophecy today. They make up an unique Jesus for their particular denomination. The similarities with all of these fake messiahs are that they all oppose Moses. The real Messiah, Yeshua, says. “But if you do not believe that one’s writings, how will you believe my words?”. Do not be deceived with your silly, meaningless traditions. Repent and believe the gospel!

Featured photo by Youhana Nassif on Unsplash.

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Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s Colonnade.

John 10:22–23 (CJB)

I know that Hanukkah is not a commanded, Biblical feast day or celebration found in Leviticus. Someone who strictly follows those days may hate Hanukkah and think its origins are tainted. Those in Christianity will think it is just a Jewish holiday that has nothing to do with them. This blog post is mainly to inform Christians that do not understand Hanukkah, why it is significant, and that Christianity would not exist without the events that are celebrated at Hanukkah.

One of the reasons that Christians know so little about Hanukkah is that the books that talk about the history surrounding the holiday were removed from their Bibles. Then, they are told not to read these books of the Maccabees because it talks about praying for the dead, and that it is where the Catholic church gets the idea of purgatory. It’s time for everyone to get away from this dark ages mentality.

“Christianity” started from a group of Torah observant Jews who followed the protocols of the Temple. Jesus, or Yeshua in Hebrew, came from the tribe of Judah, and needed the temple to be in place to fulfill his God ordained mission of saving the world. Without Hanukkah there would be no temple, no tribe of Judah, no Messiah and thus no deliverer, and we are dead in our sins. Could the Creator God have found another way? No, not really. He could not go against His own words.

Genesis 49:10–11 (LEB)

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to him shall be the obedience of nations. 11 Binding his donkey to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washes his clothing in the wine and his garment in the blood of grapes.

This prophecy Jacob pronounced over his son Judah could not be fulfilled if it was not for Hanukkah. Hanukkah is simply the celebration of the cleansing of the temple after the Greeks grossly defiled it. It is recorded history that affects every Christian denomination’s very existence, yet nothing about Hanukkah is taught, and heaven forbid if a Christian were to celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas. It is no accident that Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated around the same time of the year.

1 Maccabees 1:41–53 (NRSV)

Installation of Gentile Cults

41 Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and that all should give up their particular customs. 43 All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. 44 And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land, 45 to forbid burnt offerings and sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and festivals, 46 to defile the sanctuary and the priests, 47 to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and other unclean animals, 48 and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane, 49 so that they would forget the law and change all the ordinances. 50 He added, “And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die.”

51 In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people and commanded the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice, town by town. 52 Many of the people, everyone who forsook the law, joined them, and they did evil in the land; 53 they drove Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had.

This evil king was trying to wipe out the remnant of Judah and force them to sacrifice to foreign gods, forsaking the Creator. If he had succeeded there would be no route for the Messiah, Yeshua to take the throne. This event happened in 167 BCE.

1 Maccabees 1:54–61 (NRSV)

54 Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah, 55 and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. 56 The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. 57 Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the king. 58 They kept using violence against Israel, against those who were found month after month in the towns. 59 On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar that was on top of the altar of burnt offering. 60 According to the decree, they put to death the women who had their children circumcised, 61 and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers’ necks.

On the twenty-fifth day of Chislev, the Greeks sacrificed a pig on the alter of the temple of God. This was around the time of the winter solstice and they sacrificed to Zeus. The interesting part is that this would have been the very pagan festival that Christmas draws much of its traditions. In one town the priest, Mattathias, would not stand for the blasphemy of the Greeks forcing his people to break the covenant and the defiling of the temple.

1 Maccabees 2:19–28 (NRSV)

19 But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice: “Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, and have chosen to obey his commandments, everyone of them abandoning the religion of their ancestors, 20 I and my sons and my brothers will continue to live by the covenant of our ancestors. 21 Far be it from us to desert the law and the ordinances. 22 We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left.”

23 When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein, according to the king’s command. 24 When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him on the altar. 25 At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. 26 Thus he burned with zeal for the law, just as Phinehas did against Zimri son of Salu.

Phinehas was the priest that was so angry with Zimir for being involved with the idolatry of the Moabite women. This example of blending pagan idolatry with the things of God is used as an example throughout scripture. It is even discussed in the seven letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation.

Numbers 25:6–13 (LEB)

And behold, a man from the Israelites came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman before the eyes of Moses and before the eyes of all of the community of the Israelites, and they were weeping at the doorway of the tent of assembly. When Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest saw, he got up from the midst of the community and took a spear in his hand. He went after the man of Israel into the woman’s section of the tent, and he drove the two of them, the man of Israel and the woman, into her belly. And the plague among the Israelites stopped. The ones who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand. 10 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, turned away my anger from among the Israelites when he was jealous with my jealousy in their midst, and I did not destroy the Israelites with my jealousy. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I am giving to him my covenant of peace, 13 and it will be for him and his offspring after him a covenant of an eternal priesthood because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the Israelites.’ ”

Getting involved with other nations’ gods and their items of worship makes Yahuah very angry. Mattathias was in good company being compared to Phinehas.

27 Then Mattathias cried out in the town with a loud voice, saying: “Let every one who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” 28 Then he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the town.

This started a war in which this band of Jews, dedicated to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, would eventually beat their oppressors at great odds.

1 Maccabees 4:36–41 (NRSV)

36 Then Judas and his brothers said, “See, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” 37 So all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion. 38 There they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket, or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers of the priests in ruins. 39 Then they tore their clothes and mourned with great lamentation; they sprinkled themselves with ashes 40 and fell face down on the ground. And when the signal was given with the trumpets, they cried out to Heaven.

These men cleansed the temple as per the instructions of God and had a great celebration when they once again could have a functioning temple.

1 Maccabees 4:52–59 (NRSV)

52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-eighth year, 53 they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering that they had built. 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55 All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and joyfully offered burnt offerings; they offered a sacrifice of well-being and a thanksgiving offering. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and fitted them with doors. 58 There was very great joy among the people, and the disgrace brought by the Gentiles was removed. 59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.

This year the 25th day of Chislev coincides with December 19th. The very pagan religion that was fought against by the remnant of people from whom the Messiah was born, is now the central theme of the birth of this same Messiah in Christianity. How ironic is this? It really is a terrible situation.

Yeshua is recorded coming down from Galilee for the celebration.

John 10:22–23 (CJB)

22 Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, 23 and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s Colonnade.

If we fast forward several hundred years after Yeshua was celebrating Hanukkah at the temple, we will see something very disturbing. Christianity, now in the hands of the Greeks and Romans, has eerie similarities to 167 BCE when the Greeks were trying to force the remnant Jews to break the covenant with the Creator. The following is from the second council of Nice in 787 CE.

Canon VIII.
That Hebrews ought not to be received unless they have been converted in sincerity of
heart.
Since certain, erring in the superstitions of the Hebrews, have thought to mock at Christ
our God, and feigning to be converted to the religion of Christ do deny him, and in private
and secretly keep the Sabbath and observe other Jewish customs, we decree that such persons
be not received to communion, nor to prayers, nor into the Church;
but let them be openly
Hebrews according to their religion, and let them not bring their children to baptism, nor
purchase or possess a slave. But if any of them, out of a sincere heart and in faith, is converted
and makes profession with his whole heart, setting at naught their customs and observances,
and so that others may be convinced and converted, such an one is to be received and baptized,
and his children likewise; and let them be taught to take care to hold aloof from the
ordinances of the Hebrews. But if they will not do this, let them in no wise be received.

In other words, if a Hebrew abstains from eating pork or keeps the sabbaths as commanded by the same God that these church leaders should be following, they will be cut off from the church. I am hoping everyone can see the irony in this. If not, I will spell it out.

The Greek leader, Antiochus Epiphanes, forced God’s only people on earth to abandon the commandments of this God, Yahuah, making them eat swine’s flesh, and sacrifice to pagan gods at the time of the winter solstice, almost completely wiping out this tribe of Judah from which Messiah Yeshua would come. A brave priest and his family fought back and beat this Seleucid Empire, cleansed and rededicated the temple, and declared a yearly celebration of this dedication of the temple called Hanukkah. Yeshua was born a little over one hundred years later, was circumcised on the eighth day, celebrated all the biblical feasts at the temple, yes even Hanukkah, as well as the Sabbaths. He kept the commandments of God perfectly and taught his followers to do the same. Fast forward about 700 years and the “church” is celebrating the same pagan festivals as the Greeks, calling it Christ’s Mass, and falsely assigning it to the birth of the Messiah. Then if a Hebrew wants to join the “church” they must eat swine’s flesh and not observe the God ordained Sabbaths and feasts.

According to Paul, anyone coming into the faith is grafted into the natural olive tree of Israel through the root of Jesse, or in other words, Messiah Yeshua. Those who cross over as Hebrews being born again in the faith should not be acting the same way Antiochus Epiphanes acted forcing everyone to eat swine’s flesh, forsake Sabbaths, and celebrate the feast of Zeus by falsely renaming it “Jesus’ birthday”. This is a very good reason to celebrate Hanukkah!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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Are You Satanic?

And he humbled you and let you go hungry, and then he fed you with that which you did not know nor did your ancestors know, in order to make you know that not by bread alone but by all that goes out of the mouth of Yahweh humankind shall live.

Deuteronomy 8:3 (LEB)

When most people think of the word “satan” they will picture an entity of the underworld with a pitch fork or trident waiting for the souls of the dead to come who were evil during their mortal time on Earth. This is actually Egyptian and Greek mythology that was introduced into Christianity partly through the works of Plato. Paul warned of this sort of thing happening in one of his letters to Timothy.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (LEB)

For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate for themselves teachers, because they have an insatiable curiosity, and they will turn away from the hearing of the truth, but will turn to myths.

There are many myths the church embraces that come straight from the mythologies of Osiris, Ashtoreth, Mithra etc.. When one understands this, they are at the beginning of understanding the word “satan”.

“Satan” is a Hebrew word that is defined in the A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language as adversary, accuser, accuse, hate, go about to and fro, and rove with variations of the word meaning diabolic and devilish. We could look at this as being crooked, zig zagging, wandering or deviant. We see the word “satan” in Job.

Job 1:6–7 (LEB)

And it happened one day that the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan also came into their midst. So Yahweh said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered Yahweh and said, “From roaming on the earth and from walking about in it.”

In this translation of the Bible, the Hebrew word is transliterated into English. This means English phonetics are given to Hebrew letters. “Satan” is שטך in Hebrew, but is not really a proper name. It is a word with the definition noted above. The word is used in other places for adversary.

Numbers 22:32 (LEB)

32 The angel of Yahweh said to him, “Why have you struck this donkey three times? Look, I have come out as an adversary [satan] because your conduct is perverse before me.

“Satan” may not really be a proper name for the arch enemy of God. It is more of a description or title. It is an adversary or one who goes to and fro. In the case of Balaam, the angel of the Lord was actually acting as a “satan” to him. Language is an interesting study, and the Bible was not written in English. I remember there was a time when the country of Iran was said to have called the United States “the great satan”, and everyone was looking at it as a religious statement, yet this can be translated simply as “the great adversary”. See how words can be manipulated?

The Creator told Moses to tell the people YHWH (yud, heh, waw, heh) sent him in Exodus chapter three. This is where we get the name Yahweh or Yahuah. There was no mention of His name being Adonai or Lord at this time, yet many people think it is wrong to use the name given to Moses to proclaim to the people. I even heard a Messianic Rabbi mock people that use the name “Yah” for the Creator, when it is clearly used in scripture. This is where we get the transliterated word “Hallelu-yah” for praise the Lord.

Psalm 150:6 (LEB)

Every breathing thing, let it praise Yah. Praise Yah.

Both in Judaism and Christianity the practice is to hide and obfuscate the name of the Creator with titles such as Lord, Hashem and Adonai, but then the word “satan” is transliterated to a proper name for someone that is being an adversary.

The word “satan” is clearly used in scripture for something that is adverse or contrary to the Creator, such in the case of Job where an entity roaming the Earth came and accused Job before the Creator and acted as Job’s adversary. A derivative of the word “satan” in English is “satanic”. We limit this word’s meaning greatly when we define “satan” as some entity that is an adversary to God. Even though there clearly is an entity in this role, his proper name is somewhat mysterious, so we give him the title of “the satan” or “Satan” for short. We could say anyone or anything that is in opposition to the Creator’s instructions, character, personality, or ways is actually satanic. After all, what is the goal of the entity given the title of Satan, other than to oppose God and get everyone on Earth deceived into doing the same thing?

Genesis 3:2–6 (LEB)

The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but from the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, God said, ‘You shall not eat from it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’.” But the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die. For God knows that on the day you both eat from it, then your eyes will be opened and you both shall be like gods, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate. And she gave it also to her husband with her, and he ate.

The serpent in this case was an adversary to Eve and told her to diverge from what the Creator had specifically commanded concerning the fruit of the tree. This was definitely a satanic act, but was the name of the serpent “Satan”? It is highly unlikely. The title “satan” certainly fits the serpent for deceiving Eve into doing something God said not to do. There have been many people throughout history that have specifically told us to do things contrary to what the Creator God told us by way of His set-apart people Israel. He even tells us He will send people that are “satanic” our way to see if we love Him enough to take the time to learn His ways.

Deuteronomy 13:1–4 (LEB)

“If a prophet stands up in your midst or a dreamer of dreams and he gives to you a sign or wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes about that he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (those whom you have not known), and let us serve them,’ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer, for Yahweh your God is testing you to know whether you love Yahweh your God with all of your heart and with all of your inner self. You shall go after Yahweh your God, and him you shall revere, and his commandment you shall keep, and to his voice you shall listen, and him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.

Following other gods is most definitely satanic and the one with the title of Satan gets the worship of these other gods. Anytime one worships, pays homage to or utilizes symbols of these other gods, it is being sent directly to demons, devils and “Satan”. They are called “elohim achreem” which simply means other gods.

I. אַחֵר adj. another (prop. one coming behind) Often with the collat. sense of different, as ˊבְּגָדִים א‍ other garments ; with that of strange, alien, as ˊאִישׁ א‍; esp. in the phrase אֲלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים other gods. Of time, following, next (rare) ˊבַּשָּׁנָה הָא‍ in the next year; דּוֹר ˊא‍ poet. the next generation (in prose = another generation).

Richard Whitaker et al., The Abridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament: From A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Francis Brown, S.R. Driver and Charles Briggs, Based on the Lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius (Boston; New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906).

Who is this entity that is a master deceiver, opposes God, given the title of “satan” or adversary and accuser? We can find him every where in the world’s mythology and is represented by various gods. The god Pan may be a good representation of this entity. The following is from Wikipedia with the source text listed as Gods Associated with Male Fertility and Virility.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pan (/pæn/;[2]Ancient Greek: Πάν, romanized: Pán) is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs.[3] He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in rustic Arcadia, he is also recognized as the god of fields, groves, wooded glens and often affiliated with sex; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring.

Pan is connected with the groves, fertility and springtime. These are celebrated at the winter solstice and equinox festivals and have been celebrated this way for thousands of years with fir trees, cones, eggs and rabbits. This is what is so interesting about mythology. No matter what culture or time in history, the gods have similar themes and symbols. This has all been embraced wholeheartedly by Christians everywhere. People have recently renamed where I live Arcadia, where Pan was said to have lived. I haven’t seen Pan around here and hope I never do. Pan is definitely satanic, along with his groves and sex rites. Is he the one everyone calls “Satan”? No, he is a Greek myth. The fact that Pan represents everything the real Creator God, Yah, says not to do is a good indication that the adversary of God is behind Pan. The fact that Christians embrace Pan’s groves and fertility symbols at Christmas and Easter show how deceptive the real “satan” can be.

1 Kings 14:22–24 (LEB)

22 But Judah did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, and they annoyed him more than their fathers did with their sins that they had committed. 23 They also built for themselves high places and stone pillars and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 24 There were also male shrine prostitutes in the land, and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which Yahweh had driven out from before the Israelites.

These verses from First Kings make it sound like Pan would have been right at home in Judah at this time. Stone pillars, sacred trees, sacred poles and temple prostitutes are all satanic because Yah hates them. He told us not to have any part of these things, yet Christmas trees are placed on the alters, or “high” places in churches right now.

Mithra is a Roman God that is closer to the god that Christians serve during their holy days. This is due to the Roman influences. The sun god became the son of God. The following is from imperiumromanum.pl

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the “Birth of the Invincible Sun”) was a celebration dedicated to Mitra, identified with the Roman god Sol, or the Sun. Sol Invictus was an ancient cult, originating in Persia, but revered mainly in Rome, from where it also received its name. The cult was introduced by Emperor Aurelian in 274 CE.

Festive was devoted to Mitra, identified with the Roman god Sol, meaning the Sun. The holiday commemorated his birth in the mountains of Zagros. The Romans on that day gifted each other and made wishes; kissed under the mistletoe.

To replace the pagan festivals, the Christian authorities decided to place Christ’s birth at this date – this is indicated by the commentary on the twelfth-century relationship of Dionysius Bar Salibi, who says that it was custom of the pagans to celebrate this day (December 25) the birth of the Sun. As people were accustomed to celebrating pagan festive, it was decided to celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December. Interestingly, in the litany of the Most Holy Name Jesus (probably founded in the fifteenth century), we find the naming of Jesus “the sun of justice.”

The Creator’s Sabbath, initiated at creation, has been changed to the “venerable day of the sun”, which is also taken from this sun cult. We know of this day as Sunday. If we are to believe Deuteronomy 13 and the example we see with Eve and the serpent, it leads us to the conclusion that changing God’s special day and melding His son Yeshua with the sun god Mithra is going after “other gods” and actually fits the definition of satanic.

Genesis 2:1–3 (LEB)

And heaven and earth and all their array were finished. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. And God blessed the seventh day, and he sanctified it, because on it he rested from all his work of creating that there was to do.

We see the adversary temping the real son of God, Yeshua, recorded in the gospels. This is likely the same entity that challenged the Father concerning Job. Yeshua handled him by quoting the Father’s words to him every time he suggested doing something that was satanic.

Matthew 4:1–11 (LEB)

4 Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, and after he had fasted forty days and forty nights, then he was hungry. And the tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order that these stones become bread.” But he answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man will not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the highest point of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down! For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’and ‘On their hands they will lift you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand it is written, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him, “I will give to you all these things, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan, for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and began ministering to him.

Here the Greek word “Diabolis” has been translated “satan” and we see a comparison to Beezeboul in the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology.

διάβολος G1333 (diabolos), adj., slanderous; noun, slanderer, the devil; διαβάλλω (diaballō), accuse, bring charges with hostile intent; Βεεξεβούλ (Beezeboul), Βεελξεβούλ G1015 (Beelzeboul), Βεελξεβούβ (Beelzeboub), Beelzebul, Beelzebub; Βελιάρ G1016 (Beliar), Beliar; Βελιάλ (Belial), Belial; Σατάν G4927 (Σατάν), indeclinable, and Σατανᾶς G4928 (Satanas), the Adversary, Satan.

H. Bietenhard and C. Brown, “Satan, Beelzebul, Devil, Exorcism,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 468.

Beelzebul, sometimes called, lord of the flies, could be the great adversary of God, or just some lower ranked entity. All through the mystery religions, which these myths all have in common, there is one entity that opposes the Creator God. However, in these religions it is the Creator God that is evil and the supposed good god that tries to free humankind from his clutches. They would view the serpent as the good entity and the Creator as evil. Sometimes this entity is called Enlil. There is also the view that the Creator God is both the good and bad god at the same time. This is where we get the dark and light aspect of God or “as above, so below”. However, all of this is satanic because there is no darkness in the real Creator God, Yah.

1 John 1:5–7 (LEB)

And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

We see these false gods everywhere today. When Yeshua was tempted by the adversary, they were both using scripture to make their case. This happens today. The adversary comes as an angel of light. How do you know which scriptures to follow? Yeshua told us.

Mark 12:28–30 (LEB)

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them debating. When he saw that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.’

The adversary or “satan”, whatever his real name may be, has been very successful using religion to deceive people. He has many Christians believing that the instructions of God and His covenant are no longer important, thus creating a false Messiah, and at the same time, he has deceived those in Judaism into denying the real Messiah because they think he is the lawless, torah breaking, Christmas tree Jesus that Christianity presents. It is a win-win situation for this adversary. This is all prophecy because he deceives the whole world.

Revelation 12:7–9 (LEB)

And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. And they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Revelation 12:17 (LEB)

17 And the dragon was angry at the woman, and went away to fight against the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony about Jesus.

In these verses in Revelation. there is the woman, the man child and “those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony about Jesus“. Satan is angry when people keep the commandments of God and believe Messiah Yeshua. It seems very clear to me.

John 8:42–47 (LEB)

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love me, for I have come forth from God and have come. For I have not come from myself, but that one sent me. 43 Why do you not understand my way of speaking? Because you are not able to listen to my message. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father! That one was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand firm in the truth, because truth is not in him. Whenever he speaks the lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I am telling the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Who among you convicts me concerning sin? If I am telling the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 The one who is from God listens to the words of God. Because of this you do not listen—because you are not of God.”

The one who is from God listens to the words of God”. Anything that deviates from the words the Creator gave us is satanic by definition. It is to and fro, and adverse to God. As Yeshua stated, quoting Deuteronomy chapter 8, “not by bread alone but by all that goes out of the mouth of Yahweh humankind shall live”.

Featured photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash.

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