Category Archives: Sin

Seeking The LORD In His Moedim (Holy Days)

Each year as Passover approaches, I am reminded to reflect on my personal journey with Yeshua. I was raised in a household that identified as Christian. We went to church weekly, but we did not study the Bible or seek to apply it in our lives actively. We watched things on TV which we should not have. There was little discernment about separating from the commonly accepted ways of the world to seek out the set apart ways of YHWH. We embraced and celebrated every common cultural holiday, apparently unaware or unconcerned about the significant pagan influence in shaping each of these holidays. In fact, holidays like Christmas and Easter often have more pagan roots and traditions than Christian.

As YHWH has continued to lead me, he has opened my eyes to his appointed times, or Moedim. They are described in Leviticus 23 and other places in scripture. Do not get tied up into the traps of whether or not they are required and if required, how “must” they be celebrated. Start by learning about YHWH’s holy days and participating in them. They look back at the relationship he has with his people and look forward to it as well. Each has meaning, not just from a “Jewish” perspective, but also from a Christian perspective. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of these celebrations, including looking forward to his second coming. They are not “Jewish” holidays, but rather YHWH’s holy days. We can not or do not have to try to live them out perfectly as they were laid out for his people in the Torah, in Leviticus to harvest value from celebrating them.

We do not have to celebrate them absolutely according to what is now Jewish tradition. Only seek to study and better understand them so we better understand our relationship with God. Celebrate them as a great way to help teach your children as well. How much more rich than just “book learning” alone!

Here are a few resources where you can learn more about the Moedim, the Creator’s calendar (often called the “Jewish” calendar), and given this time of year, Passover in particular.

I hope you join me in a pursuit to know, love, and serve our Father more. Learning about and celebrating the Moedim is a fun and meaningful way to continue together on this journey. I invite you to start with Passover, which takes place in the upcoming weeks.

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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.

Don’t Be An April Fool

A lot of people start thinking about fooling people as a way of recognizing “April Fool’s Day”. Some find this fun and some do not. I think it provides an opportunity for us to reflect on what God says about being a fool and test ourselves to make sure we are not a fool in His eyes, in April or any other time.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.
7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
13On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found,
But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding. 14Wise men store up knowledge,
But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.
1The wise woman builds her house,

But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

2He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD,
But he who is devious in his ways despises Him.

3In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back,
But the lips of the wise will protect them.

Proverbs 14:15-18

15The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps.

16A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless.

17A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.

18The naive inherit foolishness,
But the sensible are crowned with knowledge.

Proverbs 18:2

2A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.

Proverbs 20:3

3Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel.

Proverbs 20:5

5A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out.

Proverbs 29:11

11A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.

Ecclesiastes 4:5

5The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.

Ecclesiastes 7:9

9Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.

Titus 3:3-11

1Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. 9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

There is much in the Bible to help us understand how to be wise and avoid being foolish. Let us seek not to be fools, no matter what month it is!
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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Light of the Righteous Rejoices, but the Lamp of the Wicked Goes Out.

Proverbs 13

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1A wise son accepts his father’s discipline,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

      2From the fruit of a man’s mouth he enjoys good,
But the desire of the treacherous is violence.

      3The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

      4The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
But the soul of the diligent is made fat.

      5A righteous man hates falsehood,
But a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully.

      6Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless,
But wickedness subverts the sinner.

      7There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing;
Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.

      8The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,
But the poor hears no rebuke.

      9The light of the righteous rejoices,
But the lamp of the wicked goes out.

      10Through insolence comes nothing but strife,
But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.

      11Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles,
But the one who gathers by labor increases it.

      12Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

      13The one who despises the word will be in debt to it,
But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

      14The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
To turn aside from the snares of death.

      15Good understanding produces favor,
But the way of the treacherous is hard.

      16Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
But a fool displays folly.

      17A wicked messenger falls into adversity,
But a faithful envoy brings healing.

      18Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline,
But he who regards reproof will be honored.

      19Desire realized is sweet to the soul,
But it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil.

      20He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

      21Adversity pursues sinners,
But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.

      22A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

      23Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor,
But it is swept away by injustice.

      24He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

      25The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
But the stomach of the wicked is in need.

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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.

Satan Wages War on the People of YHWH

To develop a deep understanding of Revelation, we will have to do more study and prayer than simply reading through it one pass. There is much symbolism and prophecy. It can be intimidating in that it is hard to fully understand, a bit frightening in what it prophecies, and yet we can put our trust and faith in the LORD. If the LORD gives you a hunger to understand more deeply, then pursue it!

Revelation 13

The Beast from the Sea

     1And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

      7It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. 9If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

The Beast from the Earth

      11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

To take a first step at diving deeper… try the Barnes Commentary on Biblehub.com.

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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.

The Way of Righteousness is Life

Biblical truth often conflicts with how we see people act in the world around us. One such example is the perception that discipline is only punishment. The Proverbs highlights that those who accept and embrace discipline will learn and become wiser. Having the right attitude makes a big difference. Of course it is hard for anyone to ask for discipline, but in fact in many cases they may be better off if they receive it and it helps them learn and avoid trouble later.

Proverbs 12

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.

2A good man will obtain favor from the LORD,
But He will condemn a man who devises evil.

3A man will not be established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous will not be moved.

4An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.

5The thoughts of the righteous are just,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.

6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.

7The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.

8A man will be praised according to his insight,
But one of perverse mind will be despised.

9Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant
Than he who honors himself and lacks bread.

10A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal,
But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.

11He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.

12The wicked man desires the booty of evil men,
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.

13An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
But the righteous will escape from trouble.

14A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words,
And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.

15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

16A fool’s anger is known at once,
But a prudent man conceals dishonor.

17He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

18There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.

20Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.

21No harm befalls the righteous,
But the wicked are filled with trouble.

22Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
But those who deal faithfully are His delight.

23A prudent man conceals knowledge,
But the heart of fools proclaims folly.

24The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the slack hand will be put to forced labor.

25Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,
But a good word makes it glad.

26The righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
But the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27A lazy man does not roast his prey,
But the precious possession of a man is diligence.

28In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.

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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.

Is Deception Always Wrong?

David must surely have been both someone desperate and very bold to escape Saul by living among the Philistines, of whom he had fought and won many victories. 1 Samuel 27 is a very thought provoking chapter.

1 Samuel 27

David Flees to the Philistines

      1Then David said to himself, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.” 2So David arose and crossed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s widow. 4Now it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he no longer searched for him.

      5Then David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your sight, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” 6So Achish gave him Ziklag that day; therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. 7The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months.

      8Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites and the Girzites and the Amalekites; for they were the inhabitants of the land from ancient times, as you come to Shur even as far as the land of Egypt. 9David attacked the land and did not leave a man or a woman alive, and he took away the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing. Then he returned and came to Achish. 10Now Achish said, “Where have you made a raid today?” And David said, “Against the Negev of Judah and against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites and against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11David did not leave a man or a woman alive to bring to Gath, saying, “Otherwise they will tell about us, saying, ‘So has David done and so has been his practice all the time he has lived in the country of the Philistines.’” 12So Achish believed David, saying, “He has surely made himself odious among his people Israel; therefore he will become my servant forever.”

David does not explicitly seek the LORD for whether or not he should go to Philistine. While there, he deceives the Philistine ruler with outright lies and intentional plans to back them up and make them convincing. Further he makes raids on neighboring people and leaves none alive. He leaves none not because God said so and not because it was necessary to get the supplies he needed, but to make his lies and deception to the ruler convincing. He does so repeatedly.

There is no rebuke for this behavior recorded.

This must surely cause some to struggle and others just to not think about it much and quickly turn the page. Is YHWH ok with David’s approach? He does not punish David for it and elsewhere He does punish David for his sin, at times in dramatic fashion. Is this leading us to accept that sometimes we can not be absolute in our desire not to lie? For example, is it ok to lie in order to accomplish a greater purpose or avoid a greater threat? Yeshua did  reinforce that we must give more thought to how we apply / obey the commands than simply absolutes in many cases. One such example is recorded in Mark 2.

Mark 2

Question of the Sabbath

      23And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. 24The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; 26how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” 27Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28“So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

If this is a bit uncomfortable concept to accept, let it sink in awhile. Do not dismiss it. Pray about it and reflect on it. Remember, we test everything against scripture, and not against teaching of men in churches. However, do not let this be an invitation to lie and deceive freely. May it never be.

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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.

Keep God’s Commandments and Hold to the Testimony of Christ

Revelation 12 lays out some key fundamentals in the spiritual warfare between Satan and YHWH’s people in some attention grabbing visualizations. Notice you will find now labels of “Jewish” or “Christian”. These labels are not always meaningful as many call themselves by these names but do not follow YHWH or do not hold to the testimony of Yeshua. In verse 17 we see that the key is not what label someone claims, but who actually “keep[s] the commandments of God and hold[s] to the testimony of Jesus”.

It seems obvious that the Jewish people do not hold to the testimony of Yeshua. However, it may only be slightly less obvious that most who identify as “Christian”, holding to the testimony of Christ, do not keep the whole of the commandments of YHWH. Common Christian teaching holds to some commandments and dismisses many others. It is not simply about “the 10 commandments”. There is so much more to be learned and followed in studying the foundational books of the Bible, the Torah (written by Moses) and the writings of the prophets.

I encourage Jewish people to seek Messiah in Yeshua. I encourage Christians to seek to study the Bible and challenge to deepen our understanding of the Hebrew roots of our faith and the fullness of the wonderful things in the law of YHWH.  (Focused Ministries – Understanding the Hebrew Roots of Christianity)

Revelation 12

The Woman, Israel

     1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.

The Red Dragon, Satan

     3Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

The Male Child, Christ

     5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

The Angel, Michael

     7And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old 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. 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

      13And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

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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.

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked…Again!

YHWH has a lot to say about righteousness and wickedness. We should listen carefully, ask for His help and turn from wickedness and toward righteousness.

Proverbs 11

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.

2When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom.

3The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.

5The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.

7When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of strong men perishes.

8The righteous is delivered from trouble,
But the wicked takes his place.

9With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.

10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.

11By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

12He who despises his neighbor lacks sense,
But a man of understanding keeps silent.

13He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

15He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it,
But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.

16A gracious woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches.

17The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.

18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

19He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life,
And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.

20The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their walk are His delight.

21Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished,
But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.

22As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout
So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

23The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

24There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.

25The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.

26He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

27He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

29He who troubles his own house will inherit wind,
And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.

30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.

31If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

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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.