Category Archives: Teachable

Following Yeshua’s Example In Celebrating Yahweh’s Appointed Times

The Lord’s appointed times are important to Yeshua. He knew some were plotting to kill Him. He no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews. He knew that the religious leaders who wanted to kill Him would expect Him to possibly come up to Jerusalem for Passover and they made plans to seize Him if / when He did. What we see if we continue reading in John 12, is that Yeshua actually went up to Jerusalem anyway to be there for Passover.

The Lord’s Moedim, appointed times, are described in Leviticus 23 among other places. Scripture shows us they were important to Yeshua and His disciples. We should follow our Lord’s example and seek to learn more and celebrate them as He did to the extent we can still do so today. Let us devote our time and efforts to the Lord’s holy days rather than man made holidays.

John 11:47-57

Conspiracy to Kill Jesus

     47Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48“If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.

      54Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.

      55Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover to purify themselves. 56So they were seeking for Jesus, and were saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?” 57Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they might seize Him.

It seems obvious also, but perhaps worth calling out. Yeshua in His obedience to Yahweh was unmatched. He went to Jerusalem where He knew they were looking for Him to kill Him to honor the Father. Let us not be turned away from our obedience by fear of rejection by man just because they don’t understand.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Humility To Be Teachable and Boldness To Test Everything Against God’s Word

The account of Yeshua declaring Himself to be Messiah, “Son of Man”, in John 9 brings with it some interesting thoughts in the verses that follow. For context, He has healed a man who was blind since birth. The man testified that Yeshua healed Him and thus must have been sent by YHWH before the religious leaders. They put the man out of the temple because they declared him to be wrong, holding fast to their belief that Yeshua is not from YHWH… despite the obvious miracle. They did not have eyes to see. They were not humble enough to consider that their preconceived idea might be wrong and to test it, and Yeshua’s teaching, against the scriptures. That refusal to test what they believe against YHWH’s word ends badly for them. They remain blind.

The man who was healed, on the other hand, was persecuted for standing up for Yeshua. He was willing to look to the evidence around him and stand for Yeshua, even in the face of persecution. He received not only physical, but also spiritual sight because he was humble enough to know he may not have all the answers, and bold enough to test what the religious leaders were saying against evidence rather than simply taking their word for it.

This lesson in humility to be teachable and boldness to challenge and test everything against the word of YHWH is a powerful example to each of us even today.

John 9:35-41

Jesus Affirms His Deity

      35Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

Perhaps the most interesting verse is 41. I am not sure exactly how to understand the context of this verse. Clearly He is talking about spiritual blindness. I believe He is referring to their lack of humility, their stubbornness, to refuse to accept that they don’t have the answers. It closes them off from recognizing and accepting Messiah, even as He stands before them doing miracles and teaching the scriptures properly. Their refusal to “see”, to accept Christ, means they remain in darkness and remain accountable for their sin before YHWH.

We face similar situations today. Many in leadership of “Christian” churches teach things that are obviously and wildly out of line with what the Bible teaches. Many people just want to accept it because it is easy, because the religious leaders say so, because teaching has been changed to encourage believers to just blend with society or accept their sins without repenting and changing themselves. The sermons just tickle the ears and fill the seats.

Pray for YHWH to help you stand boldly to test everything, even teachings you have grown up with all your life, against the word of YHWH. Don’t seek answers only in the opinions of others. Many wise people have many different opinions. Seek answers personally by reading and studying the word of YHWH in the Bible daily. Challenge assumptions of basic doctrine that are taught by finding scripture to back it up rather than just accepting it because someone smart or someone who went to seminary said so.

One simple example… where in the Bible do we find any reference to Sabbath being on Sunday, the 1st day? No where. Man moved that to Saturday to distance themselves as “Christians” from the “Jewish” people. However, Yeshua was a Jew. The Jews are the people of YHWH. Scripture says we are grafted in to the vine (Christ). We were not supposed to start our own vine that is essentially a new plant and different. This is but one example. Scripture said we should base our calendar on the moon and the days in Biblical record started at sundown and went to sundown. Man changed it to midnight. Man changed it to the solar calendar we use today.

Most Christians say the law or instructions given to Moses are no longer valid because of Yeshua. But Yeshua lived according to those laws. He referred back to the Torah and its teachings. What did He actually say about this?

Matthew 5:17-19

   17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Some changes just mentioned are from long ago. Others changes are more recent. In my lifetime I have seen what was left of the Sabbath disappear. Despite celebrating on Sunday instead of Saturday, people used to at least rest. Stores were closed. Families spent time together… not frantically going to and fro… but resting. Now that is all but gone. So too with churches now embracing homosexual and transgender sin rather than helping people find Yeshua and turn from their sin. Did YHWH suddenly change His mind? (Spoiler alert… He is timeless and unchanging so the answer is no, He did not.) These sins are no worse than other sexual sin rampant in our society. They are no worse than coveting, which is our true national pastime if you look at how many people suffer from it.

We will never pull out of this decline in our society unless we start differentiating ourselves as followers of Christ from the rest of society. We need to be different to be a light. We need to focus on serving YHWH His way rather than our own ways. We need to change ourselves to be more in His image rather than change His image to reflect our own so we need not change. We need to give ourselves over to total transformation and submission, not just partial. We can’t say we serve YHWH and then insist on keeping certain traditions and lifestyle choices that are different than what He instructed His people to do.

Wisdom reminds us that we may not have all the answers, we may not be doing everything right, we may need to change, even if painful to do so. For those who want to look to “religious leaders” of today and say… “how could they all have it wrong?” Consider how many of these leaders disagree with each other on even significant issues. All of them may be, but most of them must be wrong about certain issues. Further, if you think there is strength or confidence in numbers, consider the religious leaders during Yeshua’s earthly ministry. They “all” or mostly were on the wrong side. They did not have everything wrong, but they had messed up quite a bit of YHWH’s instruction for the people… just like today.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

All Of God’s Word Is Important For Us To Live By

As Moses was preparing to die and transition leadership to Joshua, YHWH told Him the people would rebel and go their own way. Moses took it upon Himself, knowing this, to write down the law in a book to help serve as a guide to the people for what is right and what is wrong according to YHWH. He knew the people would adopt other customs and traditions and that this book could serve as the unchanging guide to bring them back to YHWH’s ways. The same scriptures serve us today with the same law. More has been added, yes, but only what is consistent with and building upon / referencing the Torah, which is to say the first 5 books of the Bible from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. This remains our foundation of YHWH’s instruction. It is not obsolete. It has not been replaced. It is entirely consistent with the teachings of Yeshua, who often referred back to scripture (Old Testament scripture as the New was not yet written) while teaching.

Deuteronomy 31:23-29

Joshua Is Commissioned

      23Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.”

      24It came about, when Moses finished writing the words of this law in a book until they were complete, 25that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 26“Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may remain there as a witness against you. 27“For I know your rebellion and your stubbornness; behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the LORD; how much more, then, after my death? 28“Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them. 29“For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.”

Ask yourself what is more consistent with a loving, eternal, unchanging God… giving His people instructions and then changing them radically later or laying out a single, consistent foundation of instruction that continues to build upon itself to help guide His people. Most good parents and teachers would understand immediately from teaching children that you do not train them up in one way only to make them do it completely differently later. That is confusing and a waste of time.

Study the whole word of God. Apply all of it in your life today. Live the way YHWH instructed rather than the way you have been raised by parents or by the way the world tells us to or even what is taught in churches (which is also often wrong). Devote time to study it yourself. Do not simply delegate that to a pastor or even spouse. Study it and pray. Dialog and debate the meaning with other Christians. Test everything. Do not simply accept what we have been taught.

Remember that when YHWH set His people free from slavery in Egypt, He called them to change from the ways they were used to in Egypt to His ways. He calls us to do the same as we embrace Him and turn away from a life of sin and self and worldly traditions and guidance.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Choose Life

We have the same offer today from YHWH, the same choice. He has set before us each a choice. It is up to us to choose life and blessing over the curse. However this means we must choose Him, we must choose to love Him, walk in His ways, and keep His commandments, His statutes, His judgments… rather than our own or those devised by man. The source of truth is not what is taught in churches. The source of truth is God, Himself and He has provided to us a written record of His instruction in the Bible, which is available to all.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Choose Life

     15“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17“But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

To choose God and the ways of man is not to truly choose God. We can each have only one master. Choose and choose wisely. There are eternal consequences in addition to the trials and / or joy we can experience in this world. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. To do so, we realize that we must be open to change our understanding of His instructions as we study further the Bible and learn more of the ways in which the instruction found in churches today does not line up in many cases with the Bible itself and God’s instruction. Praise the Lord, we find His instructions are not burdensome, but draw us nearer to Him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

People Are Divided Over Jesus And Will Remain So Until He Returns

Yeshua invites us to come to Him. Those of us who realize our lives are empty without Him and are called by the Lord will accept Him and come to Him. Others will remain opposed to Him. Do not expect everyone to unite around Him before He returns. Do not let the fact that others oppose Him stop you from following Him. Choose Him over the world and be ready to deal with conflict. Pray for strength and help from the Lord to stand firm in living your life for Christ when others come against Him and possibly you as well.

John 7:37-53

   37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Division of People over Jesus

      40Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” 41Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? 42“Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. 44Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

      45The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” 46The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” 47The Pharisees then answered them, “You have not also been led astray, have you? 48“No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? 49“But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.” 50Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them, 51“Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?” 52They answered him, “You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.” 53[Everyone went to his home.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

We Choose Our Path, But We Do Not Get To Choose The Consequences

YHWH is no more pleased with us today when we take His blessings for granted and accept false gods among us than He was when the events in Deuteronomy 29 unfolded. He has provided us a great nation, founded in Christian principles, focused on Christian morals in both government and schools. Yet over the past 50-100 years we as a people have rejected Him more and more. We have embraced atheism (which requires more faith than accepting YHWH)… we have embraced false religions from around the world such as Islam and changed our culture and our schools and our government to accommodate their false beliefs. We have embraced paganism, celebrating Christmas and Easter and other occasions which have more roots in paganism than Christianity… no matter how much lipstick people try to put on those pigs by inventing Christian meaning to apply over pagan origins. Why not instead celebrate the appointed times that YHWH revealed in Leviticus 23?

We accept and normalize sin such as abortion and homosexuality. Rather than try to help the people who genuinely need it, we tell them they are fine and persecute the Christians who live out God’s word. As a culture, those who call themselves Christian embrace the world’s values and make excuses for ignoring or rejecting God’s word.  We see in our lifetimes Sabbath disappear from our culture, but somehow accept it and convince ourselves it is fine. We no longer even recognize the failing of our forefathers in walking away from God’s instructions over the past thousand years. One example is redefining the calendar from the Biblical calendar to the Gregorian. Man changed even how to count the days. Biblically they counted from sundown to sundown. Sabbath as Yeshua celebrated it was on Saturday, not Sunday.

We are not allowed to “hurt people’s feelings” by telling them about their sin, whether it is homosexuality, killing unborn children, gluttony, coveting, sloth… etc. All of that is unacceptable to be rebuked and all is provided many excuses. But should a Christian speak God’s word to rebuke someone or refuse to pretend their sin is ok and speak out against it… that must be punished with public shame and lawsuits.

There are many more examples. Man has continually separated himself from YHWH by adopting his own instructions rather than obeying those of YHWH.

YHWH is no more pleased about this than He was as the events of Deuteronomy 29 unfolded. After all He has done to bless His people and prepare them, a time still comes where they depart from His ways. His blessing is removed and as a nation we walk into a curse.

Deuteronomy 29

The Covenant in Moab

      1These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb.

      2And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; 3the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders. 4“Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. 5“I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot. 6“You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORDyour God. 7“When you reached this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out to meet us for battle, but we defeated them;8and we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites. 9“So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

      10“You stand today, all of you, before the LORD your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12that you may enter into the covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath which the LORD your God is making with you today, 13in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

      14“Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORDour God and with those who are not with us here today 16(for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed; 17moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them); 18so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood. 19“It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’20“The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21“Then the LORD will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.

      22“Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it, will say, 23‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’ 24“All the nations will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ 25“Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26‘They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them. 27‘Therefore, the anger of the LORD burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; 28and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’

      29“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

As a nation we need to return to YHWH and His ways. As His people we must humble ourselves and pray for our nation. Let us give thanks for the blessings and ask forgiveness for our nation. Let us intercede on behalf of our nation and ask Him to awaken people to the truth and to lead them by His Spirit to a powerful revival not just to the American roots of Christianity, though that is a good start. Let us pray He would take us back to a thriving Biblical view of obedience and faith in YHWH through Yeshua.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

To Whom Shall We Go?

Sometimes God’s word is difficult for us to fully understand. That does not make it wrong, but rather reveals our own lack of full understanding. It should be an opportunity for us to humbly admit we have more to learn and to seek the Lord in prayer and study of His word. Instead, all too often people who claim to follow Yeshua instead start to assume that if scripture does not make sense to them, it is wrong and God is wrong, and instead that they are correct. In some cases they just call scripture “dated” and ignore it as if it can be come obsolete. God’s word is no more obsolete because of its age than the law of gravity.

Too many just accept public opinion or their own opinion in place of the truth of God. Are we to seek refuge in ourselves rather than God?  We must decide if we will follow the Lord or not. If not, to whom shall we go?

John 6: 59-71

Words to the Disciples

      59These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

      60Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” 61But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?63“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64“But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

Peter’s Confession of Faith

      66As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69“We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” 70Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.

We must recognize that only those who are called by the Father will be able to see and come to Yeshua. By definition, not all will accept Him. Let us not be surprised by this, nor should we feel it is our failure when we can’t convince someone to accept Christ. We should certainly resist, at all cost, watering down the truth or changing it just to make it more acceptable to people. Yeshua Himself stuck by hard teaching and let it, intentionally, drive away those who were not sincere in seeking Him. Those who remained with Him and sought to understand more were rewarded richly by relationship with Him… by learning from Him. They knew they did not have the answers. Thus if there was hard material to deal with, they accepted that they had more to learn and put their trust in Yeshua. They changed their beliefs and understanding based on ongoing revelation of God’s word. They never redefined God’s word to fit their understanding. Humility is required. Trust and faith in Christ are required.

Ask yourself… if you will not follow Christ and follow the Word of God fully, then to whom shall you go?

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Confirm The Words Of His Law By Obeying Them

Deuteronomy 27 reminds us to confirm He is our Lord and we are His people by living out His commands. It is not enough to simply say He is Lord. Rather, we should confirm He is Lord through our actions and attitudes, that should conform to His commands.

Deuteronomy 27

The Curses of Mount Ebal

      1Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged the people, saying, “Keep all the commandments which I command you today. 2“So it shall be on the day when you cross the Jordan to the land which the LORD your God gives you, that you shall set up for yourself large stones and coat them with lime3and write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over, so that you may enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you. 4“So it shall be when you cross the Jordan, you shall set up on Mount Ebal, these stones, as I am commanding you today, and you shall coat them with lime. 5“Moreover, you shall build there an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones; you shall not wield an iron tool on them. 6“You shall build the altar of the LORD your God of uncut stones, and you shall offer on it burnt offerings to the LORD your God; 7and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and eat there, and rejoice before the LORD your God. 8“You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very distinctly.”

      9Then Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying, “Be silent and listen, O Israel! This day you have become a people for the LORD your God. 10“You shall therefore obey the LORD your God, and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.”

      11Moses also charged the people on that day, saying, 12“When you cross the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13“For the curse, these shall stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. 14“The Levites shall then answer and say to all the men of Israel with a loud voice,

      15‘Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’

      16‘Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      17‘Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary mark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      18‘Cursed is he who misleads a blind person on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      19‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      20‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s skirt.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      21‘Cursed is he who lies with any animal.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      22‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      23‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      24‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor in secret.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      25‘Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

      26‘Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Prayerfully reflect on whether you truly choose God’s commands over your own choices and those openly accepted / preferred by our culture? It is easy to say we do, but ask the Spirit to convict you of areas where your life more closely reflects the world’s opinion, or perhaps the beliefs of even a church but may not actually line up with the written word of the Lord. Test everything against scripture, not against what you have been taught by men. That includes the Old Testament as well as the New. Yeshua often referred to the prophets and the law in His teaching. It helps us understand the New Testament in proper context. It is the foundation of our faith and all that is in the New Testament. The two do not contradict one another, once properly understood.

If you read something you don’t understand and it may conflict with what your church teaches, do not just dismiss it and assume the church has explained it for you. Test it, study it, pray about it. Many churches teach incorrectly about large portions of God’s word. Test the church against God’s word, not the other way around. Then make sure you life changes as needed to reflect what God’s word says rather than what people say.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Prophet Has No Honor In His Own Country

It is an interesting observation… a prophet has no honor in his own country. Yeshua observed this in regards to His own positive reception in Samaria, contrasted to the reception He got from many in Israel and in particular in His home region.

Sometimes this is true beyond just prophets. Sometimes people who have the opportunity to know you better actually reject you more freely when you try to tell them about our Creator and what you have learned about how you should live. It becomes difficult for them to accept the message from you, while they have no problem listening to someone they never met and no nothing about… but who teaches that with which they are familiar. Sometimes it is easier to accept that someone you do not know may be an expert rather than someone you do.

John 4:39-45

The Samaritans

      39From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” 40So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41Many more believed because of His word; 42and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”

      43After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. 44For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast.

When you have the opportunity to hear someone who is seeking to share the gospel and teach what YHWH has revealed to them, you do well not to dismiss too quickly the person delivering the message. Do not discard it based on whether or not the person has a degree or whether or not you know the person.  Instead, test what is said. Test it not against what you find familiar and have been taught before, because that may be wrong! Test it instead against the scriptures themselves. Ask yourself and then seek to discern what YHWH say about it in the Bible!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Seek The Light; Reject The Darkness

It is interesting that Nicodemus came to Yeshua by night, as if to avoid being seen, and yet claims he knows that Yeshua has come from God as a teacher. But none the less, I will give Nicodemus some credit for coming to Yeshua to learn more when his peers would likely have pressured him to reject Yeshua all together. We will sometimes have to make similar decisions if we are to learn more about and grow in relationship with Yeshua. Many of those around us will pressure us not to do so.

Though we may struggle, like Nicodemus, to fully understand being “reborn”, it is none the less a real experience and an important one. Yeshua clearly states that we must be born of water (natural birth) and of the spirit (spiritual birth or rebirth) if we are to see the kingdom of God. Being born of the Spirit has to do with our submitting to Christ as Lord and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us as helper for us to experience the kingdom of God, to see things the way God sees things rather than just from our own perspective focused on self.

We must look to Christ and believe He died for our sins and rose again. He came to create a way for us to be forgiven and reconciled to God… it is the only way and not one of many. We must love the Light (aka Christ) more than the darkness (aka sin and self).

John 3:1-21

The New Birth

      1Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      4Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

      9Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11“Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12“If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13“No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

      16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

Do not be content to simply claim with words that you follow Christ. Test yourself against your life choices and attitudes. Ask YHWH to help you. Our actions will reflect truly whether or not we seek the Light of the darkness more than our words. Our behaviors and actions do not save us, but they certainly reflect our heart and whether or not we believe in Christ as savior and submit to Him.  Do not fool yourself into thinking you are submitted as it is your own salvation at risk. Test yourself against the truth of scripture… against your actions and attitudes.

Ask the Spirit to guide you and be willing to recognize you need to change to be more like Christ. It is not a journey we complete in this life, but rather one we continue on throughout our life. So if you have found yourself complacent and satisfied that you are as much like Christ as you “need to be”, then take that as a warning and check yourself. As with any journey, when you believe you have arrived, that is as far as you will ever go.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.