Which One Are You

In the Bible we see many people who rejected Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name). They usually had a reason, for example, some read the prophetic scriptures and concluded Yeshua was not the promised Messiah. They assumed they knew where He was from and therefore, He couldn’t be from God. In Nazareth they knew Yeshua and His family, but they didn’t know He was born in Bethlehem or that He was from God, born of a virgin. (John 7:27; 6:42).

  • The prophets said He would be David’s son, from Bethlehem. They thought we was from Galilee and didn’t know He was born in Bethlehem; was in the lineage of David through both Joseph and Mary, and were unaware of the prophecy about Galilee. (Micah 5:2; Matt. 4: 13-16).
  • They refused to believe the miracles He performed as signs of the Messiah and doubted when they didn’t see it personally, though thousands witnessed it. (Matt. 11:21,23). 
  • They were looking for a warrior Messiah who would deliver them from Roman rule. He came as a meek servant, poor, rejected by the influential and powerful, a preacher of God’s truth and love. (Isa. 31: 4-5; 53: 3-12).
  • They relied upon the religious leaders who were not looking for the Messiah or God’s will and only cared about preserving their positions of power. (John 11:48).
  • They were pursuing their own interests, religious traditions and had no real interest in the Messiah or God’s will. (Matt. 19: 21-22; 6:5).
  • They saw Yeshua only as a man who did not satisfy their worldly desires and expectations. (John 6:26-27).
  • They were consumed with hatred of the Roman occupation and thought they must produce their own deliverance. Similarly, they weren’t looking for the Messiah and had little or no knowledge of him.  (Luke 23:18-19).
  • Yeshua’s message of selflessness, mercy, forgiveness, humility and the true nature of God’s love was offensive to their prideful lifestyle. (Matt. 23:23-26).
  • Yeshua’s words of knowing God, doing His will, fulfilling prophecy, and demonstrating He was the Messiah made them mad, so angry they tried to kill him more than once. (John 8:59; 10:31).
  • They didn’t believe in God and/or the God disclosed in the scriptures. (John 9:29).

Today, there are new objections, such as: He was never an actual person; He was killed by the Romans and stayed dead; the resurrection never happened; the whole Bible is a myth, only science is Truth; Christians are evil and bad, etc. Most believers were under one or another of these delusions, but something happened to change everything. For example, Saul was imprisoning Believers until Yeshua showed up and confronted him. It may have been a scripture, message, or testimony they heard, or a serious event that got their attention and suddenly as though the lights came on, and there was the Lord and Savior, Yeshua Messiah. Scripture says everyone who seeks finds. (Luke 11:10). If you seek Him, you will find Him in some manner, like the woman at the well who was expecting the Messiah. (John 4: 7-26). Have you sincerely and earnestly sought the only one who can give you life abundant, true peace, and healing within your innermost being?

Efforts and Grace

I was reminded of several interrelated things today. First, I was sad that an irresistible swarm of cabbage leave worms attacked and consumed every leaf of  Kale and Turnip greens in my garden. I have bees, so I could not fight them with insecticide and organic methods were useless against such a horde. Then I considered a volunteer watermelon plant that came up all on its own and produced three giant watermelons in just a couple weeks. At this time my granddaughters were catching grasshoppers in the yard and containing them in overturned cups on the drive. When I told them their mother was on her way to pick them up, they ran out to the driveway to move their precious menagerie of grasshoppers. Finally, out of the blue I remembered a tax case I worked on about twenty years ago. It involved a gain that resulted from a massive liquidation, distribution and reorganization of a multinational consolidated group. The gain was overlooked due to complex basis computations and rarely applicable sections of tax law. The representative attorney maintained that he did not understand the issue, though it was fully explained in a report with a description of the issue, facts, law, argument and conclusion. Of course, it is not necessary to agree with a tax position, as the facts, law or argument can each be disputed. What made this event memorable was that he prevailed with no other position than “he did not understand the issue.”

Then, I realized all these observances and recollections had a theme – we attribute concern for the fruit of our labors – but that which we receive by grace is often ignored or welcomed with less gratitude. Perhaps its why we spend so much effort trying to be happy or content in this world, even though we recognize that this world is not our home and our true longing and destination is with the Lord in Heaven. “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-6)

Lord, show us where and how best to expend our efforts and to be led by your Spirit. We thank you that all things work for our good as we love you and are called according to your purpose. Forgive us for not recognizing all the grace you give us each day. Help us to put more faith and hope in your grace than our efforts.

Antithesis Significance

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ….” Martin Luther.

I was listening to a discussion of purpose and meaning. One party suggested that he found purpose in service to his fellowman. The other asked whether this purpose of serving others was founded in his religious beliefs. He paused before answering, “No, I think it could be, but anyone could as it is fundamental to human nature to find meaning in service to others.” (That reply set alarms off in my spirit). The other party redirected, replying that in his experience such service was tied to faith in God, but ignored the premise and its ultimate conclusion.

This conversation is an illustration of the Humanist lie, that has so successfully infiltrated our society and is now reeking havoc across numerous spheres of authority. Such a falsehood regarding foundational truth cannot be disregarded like a child’s denial of getting into the cookie jar. There is a creator or not, humans are inherently prone to evil or not, these are not relative issues, even though the physical evidence may be inconclusive to many. Therefore, to accept an assertion that humanity is inherently good, noble, and willing to serve others, above self, is merely a dream of those who came before like Karl Marx, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Margaret Sanger and others whom I will not list, but rather suggest a Google search wherein this idea will be overwhelmingly exalted, due to its designed bias for humanistic principles.

Secular Humanism is defined as, “a philosophy that embraces human reason, secular ethics, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, and superstition as the basis of morality and decision making. Secular humanism posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or belief in a deity. It does not, however, assume that humans are either inherently good or evil, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature.” This definition illustrates the significance of antithesis, which is, “if anything is true the opposite is false.” The humanists reject absolutes in favor of their own rule, definitions, and judgments. With complete power they expect to be proven righteous, but they exercise no limit of means to achieve their aims, including lying, fraud, collusion, deceit and crime.

Our apologetics can no longer overlook or ignore such a critical falsehood or premise through the misplaced notion and hope for mutual agreement in less contentious issues. Through this acquiescence Judeo-christian principles have become confined within the church and banned from the classroom, workplace, Courthouse, marketplace, sports arena, and internet forum/platform. Many who have maintained sound reason, faith in God, and traditional American principles, are bewildered by the stark lies and bias in TV/Internet Media. They are perplexed that the rule of law has seemingly vanished. They are baffled and mystified by a national election that pitted the most successful incumbent President in history with an admittedly corrupt, demented, repeated failure, who didn’t even campaign or win by popular vote in his own party primary. Malaise is on the horizon and it may be too late to mount a defense considering the state of societal decline. There will be no consolation or accountability from those who seek our destruction.

Yet, Truth lives and God is Sovereign over all. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:12-13). “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1-2).

A Day as a Thousand Years

Scripture says, “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:7-8). This scripture is about the the end and the Lord’s patience. God transcends time.

“For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6). I believe everyone who ever lived will be given a revelation of God as an opportunity to accept God by faith and basis for judgment. “Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” (John 5:25). Yeshua said His voice had the power to give life to the dead. I believe this has a multi-dimensional application, as to the physical, spiritual, and soul. Every Believer has been raised to a new spiritual life. “After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,….” (1 Peter 3:19-20.) “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” (Luke 20:38). God is Spirit and the spirit within each man returns to God at death, but that is not the end before God, just as God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all existence is open and present before Him.

God is beyond time, there is no comparison, He is faster or slower than time measures. Yeshua was in the grave dead for three days and Peter gives just a hint that a proclamation was made to imprisoned spirits who were disobedient before the flood. Moreover, the gospel was preached to the dead regarding their judgment. Not a lot is said about this and to speculate is not good, but it does illustrate the relative nature of time with respect to the spirit. Whatever Yeshua accomplished in the grave took three days of physical earth time, but could have been equivalent to three thousand years in grave time. So, just as God can wait thousands of years for the entire human family to be born and live their lives here on earth, for Him it is as a few days, but in the end the Universe will be destroyed by fire, and then the judgment will come. Yeshua said, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:28-29). Read the Bible for yourself, even if you can understand only a little, start with the Gospel of John. 

Anger Rising

We are made in the image of God; not that we are equal or just like God, but we favor him. One aspect we share is the emotion of anger. God was angry with Israel. “Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you….I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me. And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too.” (Deuteronomy 9:7-8, 19-20). Again we find, “God’s anger rose against them…” and “Because of their guilt, God’s anger came on Judah and Jerusalem.” (Psalm 78:31; 2 Chronicles 24:18).

Was Yeshua ever angry? As fully human, He must have been and I remembered when he drove the money changers out of the temple, but it concludes, “His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ ” (John 2:17). There is one account, “Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ ” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” (Mark 3:4-5) It seems very rare, but His anger did not prevent miraculous healing, because He is divine as well as human.

God is perfect, therefore, even His anger is just and righteous. In the end God’s wrath and anger will be appeased. “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” (Romans 2:8; Matthew 18:34-35; Hebrews 4:3). We are far from perfect, so our anger is not good or just. “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:22). “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8). “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold….Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:26-27, 31). The devil will get a foothold in order to harm us, if we succumb to anger, rather than producing God’s goodness. As James says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20). My son-in-law put this into action when he told me, “If I feel the blood rising within from anger because of something said or heard; I wait till I calm down before responding, even if I must wait till tomorrow.” Lord, we see anger in the news and many things trigger anger within us. Help us release the anger through forgiveness, restore the peace, and cut off Satan’s influence.

Yeshua’s Church

This is a sad truth, in history there have been churches that accepted tyranny, evil, and wickedness in opposition to Yeshua. Apostate refers to a person or group who renounces a religious belief. The teaching of Yeshua should be accepted by His followers, to side with the world’s beliefs rather than God’s word is to betray Yeshua’s teaching. Before WW2 the German church accepted Hitler and his Nazi edicts, this was Apostasy, even if the leaders claimed they did not know of the death camps, there was no denying that Hitler was evil. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a leader in the German church who saw the evil of Hitler and refused to be disobedient to Yeshua. The Russian Orthodox church later became apostate by accepting communists murder of fifty million Russians who chose not to worship the State above God. In America there is an Apostate church that accepts the world’s perverted detestable behavior and substitutes man’s reason for God’s truth, seeking the approval of men before that of God. 

It is not our place to judge individuals in the church, but rather we are to pray that God will restore them to Himself. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.” (1 John 5:14-16). In John’s Revelation chapter two and three Yeshua judges the seven Churches, and we must take heed, because we are members of His Church. He is the Lord of all Believers and He holds us in His all powerful, loving hands, but we must submit ourselves to His rule and the Spirit’s leading. With respect to praying for our fellow believers, Daniel was a great example for us in this regard, he said, “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill—while I was still in prayer,….”. (Daniel 9:20-21). We see that Daniel interceded for the sin of his people Israel. Our natural inclination is to condemn, criticize, and denounce those who fail to follow Yeshua wholeheartedly, but our first effort in their reclamation should be intercession, and that after recognizing our own sin as well.

Just as there are serious failures of certain churches in history, there have been many great testimonies of victory and faithfulness. Moreover, every nation that has followed Yeshua diligently has found favor and blessing, England and America are two examples. Part of that blessing is to share with others. Also, as Believers we have a priestly calling for intercession and sharing the Good News of Yeshua with the world. John says, “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:4-6)

Lord, Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) forgive us for our fear of man and failure to stand with you and upon your word. You gave yourself for us and we owe all to you. Send your Holy Spirit upon your congregation of Believers to turn our hearts back to you so that we may be unified, wholly obedient to your word and lordship. In these last days, distinguish us from the world and show yourself powerfully through your Congregation of Believers.

Future Automotive Design

The release of the newest automobile had been kept secret, just like a weapons development project, top secret. Though there was an industry of speculation, it was not fed by hints, leaks or anything, but imagination and history. The transformation of automobile design started with the abandonment of historical evolutionary processes, where each new release stood alone, no versions, editions or adaptations of a predecessor model. After marketing had been supplanted by actual engineering, substance ruled over form and it changed everything. Patching up last years model with a few new shiny bells and whistles had become antiquated. The technological advancement of design enabled UPD, Universal Point Development, such that a baseline was no longer the starting point – history was eclipsed and discarded, just as physical memory had replaced serial tape storage.

These new releases were completely new units. One might ask why develop new parts when last years part is still viable? The answer is that the innovation of the assembly line, over a hundred years ago, had become defunct. There are no unimportant parts, the whole is no longer the sum of the parts. UPD removed limitations that resided, even in the designers subconscious mind. Former efficiency in design, production and assembly had produced a product life-cycle lasting from five to ten years, but now there is no cycle of incremental versions, new releases are altogether new. The old, so called, efficiencies were altogether replaced by new technologies, processes, and materials.

What everyone is interested in these days is not the “How”, but the “What”. “How fast can it go”, was replaced by “what can it do.” The last release was waterproof to three meters. It was shown driving down the beach into the water until it disappeared just below the surface, after the suspense built, it slowly emerged up onto the shore and tore off in a spray of mist and sand. The releases are beautifully unique, but their style does not betray functionality as large, heavy, and bulky models once denoted back country accessibility. These vehicles can transform with adaptive design. Of course, every function is not universally desired and some features serve multiple functions, for example, a sound proof car is also a waterproof car; an all terrain vehicle is also self-repairing, and multi-fuel options can keep them running longer in any environment. Aesthetics, the concern with the nature and appreciation of beauty, is not diminished, but enhanced in this unlimited realm of design. Vehicles can repair themselves of scratches and certain damage, just as they can repaint and recolor themselves. The thought of purchasing a vehicle of a particular color, is a concept that has lost all meaning. This sounds like science fiction because the words “repaint” and “repair” convey images of laborious activity done in paint and body shops. However, the replacement of steel exteriors and fluid paint with micro perforated fiber and light diffusing particulates enabled these laborious tasks to become as easy as opening a valve to release agents that fill holes and change color. 

One final point should be explained, these vehicles are very expensive, so much that only the super-wealthy can afford them, but they out bid each other trying to secure just one of the latest releases. However, the high price is not due to production or assembly costs, but simply as much as the market can bear. After all, it’s not important, as Yeshua said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15). Moreover, we know that only one thing is needed, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12).

Israel’s Awakening

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.” (Ezekiel 28:25-26). This was fulfilled beginning in 1948 and 1967 where the nations observed seven days of punishment on Israel’s neighbors who together set out to annihilate Israel. What does it have do to Believers today? It is proof of God’s true righteous faithfulness to keep His promises. What is coming in the future?

“Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow— so great is their wickedness!” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.” (Joel 3:12-16). The prophet Joel saw the final battle where the returning Messiah will come from Jerusalem to vanquish a host of many nations that again seek to annihilate Israel.

“I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” (Zechariah 14:2-5). The prophet Zechariah provides more detail of the city as the Lord goes out to meet the nations and how a perfectly timed earthquake will prepare an escape passage for Jerusalem’s residents.

“Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:16). Upon the return of the Messiah many prophecies will be fulfilled including the final battle, but greatest will be the acceptance of Israel’s Messiah, such that all Israel will be saved. “For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.” (Hosea 3:4-5). God brings everything about in its perfect timing and He tells those who listen what will happen. He does this to encourage His people and confirm His word. ” ‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.’ ” (Zechariah 2:10-12). God draws people to himself and works in the heart of people. He opens our eyes to see Him and His salvation. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10). This is like Yeshua returning for Thomas who doubted the resurrection, but believed when he saw Yeshua’s pierced hands. (John 20:25-28).

“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins’ .” (Romans 11:25-27). Every Believer is a recipient of God’s grace and favor; that He chooses to save Israel fulfilling His longstanding promises is just and loving. It is through the same faith of the patriarchs that all believers share salvation through Yeshua Messiah. Come Lord, Yeshua.

Kingdom Preparation

This is our duty to prepare ourselves for readiness, though our role is limited in the greater ongoing preparation in heaven. Yeshua said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3) What sort of preparations have we been doing? Have we been busy preparing a more comfortable place on this earth? Have we done all the preparation we know do to and we are waiting patiently for the next step? Not only is a place prepared for each believing child of God, but there is a place of eternal fire prepared for the enemy and his fallen angels. (Matthew 25:41). The entire creation, physical and spiritual dimensions, will be prepared for the judgment where good and evil will be separated. All the lies, deception, and everything false will be separated from truth, righteousness and holiness on the day of judgment.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). When we prepare our mind and heart for obedience we will encounter opportunities prepared for us. Of course, the Spirit is our guide leading us and empowering us to accomplish God’s purposes. Even Moses, the prophets and Apostles followed the same process of being alert, hearing instruction, and obeying. All the power, coordination of others, even amassing the enemy for defeat is organized by God; we simply show up, believe and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:20-22). Lord Yeshua, as our King and Brother, thank you for bringing us into your Kingdom and family. Thank you for giving us a small part in your redemptive work on earth. Let us be alert, watchful, and prepared for your return.

Chernobyl and Lies

It seems that some of the best movies are knockoffs or inspired by documentaries of the same events, consider:

– A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood vs Want You Be My Neighbor 

– Captain Phillips vs Pirates of Somalia

– Sully vs Miracle Landing on the Hudson

– Ford vs. Ferrari vs The 24 Hour War

– Chernobyl vs Building Chernobyl’s Mega Tomb

It confirms the saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” 

Chernobyl is a 2019 TV miniseries. I thought is was very interesting and well told. The documentary is more focused on the replacement building that encapsulates the entire reactor. The miniseries is rated 9.4 on IMDB and has some excellent actors that play real participants in the disaster. A theme runs through this movie, “the cost of a lie” and the story is filled with lies told by practically everyone except those who sacrificed their lives in an effort to mitigate the disaster and prevent further devastation. Mikhail Gorbachev stated years later after the collapse of the USSR that it was Chernobyl that brought it down. It should be a wakeup call to America, when the State (government) becomes more essential than the truth, a nation is finished. When there are no sanctions or restraint to lies, it is a path that will lead to certain destruction. The extent of lies serving as news today is proliferating, such that we may not be able to afford to repair the damage and destruction these lies will one day demand. 

This is not about politics, but politics is the vehicle that excuses lying. Integrity is what we need and that comes from individuals who have courage, commitment, and a sound moral foundation. These virtues are under assault by the same people who have sold their souls for political purposes. It doesn’t take courage or any virtue to hate. When we become so arrogant that we will do anything to achieve what we want, we are not just wrong, we have become wicked. Those who are attempting to overthrow traditional America are consumed with contempt, but they will not be thwarted by hate. Hatred kills those who harbor it like a parasite which sucks the life blood from its host. 

Hope remains as long as there is a remnant of people who put their hope and trust in God alone. God is rich in mercy. (Eph. 2:4) “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3). 

Media Credibility

CBS, the producer of 60 Minutes, has a history of lies, distortion and fraud. The President’s interview with Leslie Stahl is the latest example. Fortunately, for Trump, he had a full uncut version exposing the bias and evil intent, masked as ignorance, of the 60 Minutes producers. All one has to do is realize that CBS is the network of Dan Rather, who was dismissed after he knowingly lied on his newscast about President Bush. I thought at the time he should have been prosecuted because it was so premeditated and purposeful. He was just recently given an award by the corrupt Hollywood socialist media for his career of bias. Another evil premeditated fraud involved NBC that put incendiary devices onto a Chevrolet truck and reported that the truck regularly caught on fire. This was litigated civilly with NBC paying a very large fine. It’s hard to single out CBS as ABC was also involved in a constructed, premeditated fraud on Food Lion Grocery Store that went to court finding ABC guilty.

These are just a few cases that garnered massive publicity but they illustrate the corruption and bias of the major networks. The founders of America expressed interest in a free and open press to shine truth on government and public corruption. However, when an oligarchy of media corporations violate the trust of the AmerIcan people, it is not enough to slap theirs hands with fines or in Dan Rather’s case to remove him from his position. The same was done with respect to Hillary Clinton, who was allowed to continue her candacy for president, though she committed several felonies. She lost the election but was never held to account.

Mr. Trump was exactly right to tell Ms. Stahl that she had discredited herself. I believe CBS was shopping for phrases to parse and edit into a characterization of the President as a mean person, bigot, and/or worse. On the eve of another presidential debate structured and organized by a bias corrupt Committee on Presidential Debates, why would anyone expect to see a fair representation of the candidates positions? If I were Trump I would not participate in another setup by the socialist lying media. Until these frauds are prosecuted and criminals are held accountable, this behavior will not stop. The FCC should bar ABC, CBS, NBC and other organizations that intentionally foist fraud upon the public. The media operate under a public trust and are licensed accordingly. Their bias over thirty years is gross and undisputed. These massive corporations cannot be put in jail but their fraud on the public can be stopped permanently and it is high time that a fraudulent media without credibility should lose its control and monopoly over the public airwaves. 

Accepting the Word

 Most religions have professional clergy that facilitate the requirements of the religion to the common people. In Judaism the priest offered the sacrifices that covered sins. The eastern religions have priests that serve a similar role. In some Christian sects a priest is necessary to absolve sins and administer sacraments. However, the Bible teaches that Yeshua (Jesus Hebrew name) became our one and only high priest bringing atonement through his blood sacrifice once and for all who believe. (Heb. 4:14-14; 5:1-10). Therefore, each person who believes receives salvation and the impartation of the Holy Spirit which leads us into all truth. (John 16: 13)

Teaching can be good, but should not be the believers only or primary connection with God’s word. I hope the encouragement given in this communication causes people to read the Word themselves in an open dialog through the Spirit. We must learn to eat the fish and spit out the bones of men’s teaching. An example can be seen in the withered fig tree. “Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard him say it….In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.” (Mark 11:13-14, 20) The fact that it was not the season for figs, yet Yeshua cursed it for having no figs creates a problem for some men, so they teach that there could have been some other edible portion (taqsh-nob fruit or Berba-off season fig) on the tree. Their need to justify Yeshua’s curse by a fault of the fig tree overcomes the fact of God’s sovereignty. God can not be judged by man’s sense of justice. God is sovereign and does according to His will and pleasure. (Eph. 1:5). Paul observed that man is in no position to question why God does anything. “One of you will say to me: ‘Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?’ But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:19-21). 

Any man could cut down a tree for a walking stick, tool, implement, firewood or any purpose. Yeshua cursed this tree to teach His disciples that faith is powerful and said afterwards, ” ‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.’ ” (Mark 11:22-23; Matt. 31: 19-22). It is not necessary to concoct an answer for anyone who asks, “Why did Jesus justly curse a tree to kill it?” Particularly, when scripture says it was not the fig bearing season. Some suggest the leaves indicated a possibility of edible fruit and this indicated hypocrisy in the tree, thus deserving the curse. Of course there are all sorts of symbolic teachings, but at least we understand these are merely conjecture and speculation. This was not a parable.

Beware of teaching that strains the clear meaning of words and scripture. This portion of scripture is about believing faith in action, not about the properties of fig trees or why it was just to curse the tree, which He did to show the power of faith. The Holy Spirit is able to lead each Believer into all truth. Do not assign to men the duty of the Holy Spirit.

You’re Fired

Donald Trump made this phrase popular on his TV show, “The Apprentice.” Each week contestants would compete with others on teams or individually till only one champion remained and was hired as an apprentice by Trump’s Company. The major point of interest to the audience was who would be fired and why. Mr. Trump and his advisers would provide the results of competition and question various contestants regarding their participation and decisions. It was highly rated entertainment because the judgments were based upon facts, actions, results and business acumen, rather than subjective or irrelevant criteria.

Today, top bureaucrats and heads of government agencies should be held to standards, expectations, actions and facts relating to their performance. James Comey, Director of the FBI, is a fine example, of one who was fired, but far too late. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General is another example, of a fine person with excellent principles, who let a fake investigation ramble on far too long under Robert Mueller and should have been fired, but resigned. Dr. Anthony Fouci, head of the National Institute of Infectious diseases should be fired. He claims to be a medical expert, and is qualified, but acts as an unelected politician. His agenda for managing the Covid-19 pandemic has been plagued by bad decisions, horribly inaccurate predictions, inconsistent communication, worthless actions, fake misleading statistics, and political rather than medical pronouncements. 

If Dr. Fouci were operating in a competitive business environment his company would be out of business and he would be held to account. His theory of “flattening the curve” was marginally successful, but achieved nothing other than wrecking the country’s economy. Covid-19 was rampant in New York and now across many other states. He stated early that masks were ineffective, he opposed certain drug proscriptions that were shown to be effective, he proposed to close churches, yet supported protestor riots. He undermined the President in interviews, then denied his own politically based statements. Any number of qualified medical experts could replace Dr. Fouci, immediately without recourse.

The media and socialists Democrats support Dr. Fouchi because he helps their political goals; in his ineptitude he keeps the pandemic alive and the economy dead. He makes statements based on political positions rather than medical science. The best example is his refusal to restrict rioters, but freely demands that churches must not meet. This is an unelected bureaucrat that must be held to account and the chief executive of the USA is Donald Trump. It appears it is once again time to convene the advisors, lay out the facts, present Dr. Fouci’s performance results, analyze his decisions and say, “You’re Fired”. I believe the majority of American people will understand and concur. Of course, the Deep State, Democrats, and the lying media will object, but that is to be expected, they only want death and destruction in America, just as they defended Hillary, Comey, Mueller, and the rest of their followers.

With Faith

My grandson told me that he had to make a Medieval shield in an upcoming school assignment. He could draw one on poster board and cut it out or if he could make one out of wood or metal he would earn creativity points that were up to fifty percent of the grade. He asked, “Would you help me make one?” I immediately responded, “Yes”, you need to sketch out some ideas or designs of what you want and I will see what we can make with wood and metal. I followed up several days later and he had not drawn anything. Later, I inquired again and then forgot about it. After a week or so, we were over at his house keeping his younger sister. He explained that the due date on the shield was two days away and he was going to do it on poster board.

I had been looking forward to working with him and even got an idea for including some metal parts, so I offered to put something together the next day and he could paint it the night before it was due. I thought it would be best to make it rough, so as to look authentic. I fabricated some flashing for the outside edges of the wood and a protruding round metal hump in the center, as I had seen on TV and movies. Before I dropped it off, his parents called and asked if I could make sure he got it painted with the appropriate elements as dictated by his teacher, such as a crest of initials, goals, achievements, and a motto. Although I had not volunteered for this part, I agreed since his parents were both having to work late. 

As my grandson was painting the shield, I said, “If your teacher asks if anyone helped you…”. He interrupted, “Tell them you did it.” “No, tell them I did part of it.” I was concerned he might be tempted to claim that he had no help, but that never occured to him. My wife was sitting nearby and suggested that his part had been rather insignificant. I thought for a moment and I realized that my grandson had acted upon his faith. By asking for my help and trusting in my care for him, he had unlocked, by faith, more than he could have ever achieved on his own. He had acted upon scripture which says many times and in various ways, “Ask and you will receive.”

The spiritual similarity is right on point. We believe our loving Father will give us good things as he has said and demonstrated in the past. We expect to do our part, but we are weak, easily distracted, and limited. God does his part and remains faithful, even when we are not. God does more than we can ask or imagine. We are right to give God the credit and recognize our limits, failings and unreliability. God does not begrudge giving good things to us and His love and compassion reaches out to us engendering relationship. It begins with faith. Yeshua said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17: 20). 

James addressed those who trusted in themselves and their evil selfishness, saying, “…You don’t have because you don’t ask.” (James 4: 2). Yes, we can ask amiss or for selfish reasons, but true faith placed in God surrenders the outcome and means to God. Our faith may be weak, we may doubt at some point, but that addresses the quality of our faith, rather than its existence. The opposite of faith is self-reliance, wherein we never even consider seeking God. The enemy raises doubts, questions, rationalization, accusations, and lies to quench our faith, hoping to destroy faith and its powerful effects. To build up faith we step-out relying more and more on God and His word, rather than attempting in our own strength to eliminate doubt or by limiting our requests to things we can do ourselves. By doing so we might reduce occasional disappointment, but we will certainly diminish God’s work in our lives, those around us, and the pleasure God finds in us. (Heb. 12: 6).

The Perfect You

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139: 14). Scripture acknowledges the wonder creator God incorporated into the human being. Even so, our fallen human nature in this fallen world full of corruption is far from perfect. Mankind’s legacy on earth is one of total depravity, with the singular notable exception of Yeshua Messiah’s, together with His influence, leading and ongoing presence in the congregation of believers, which is a work of God.

Men still like to imagine various states of utopia on earth, the perfect society and economy was to be communist socialism. The perfect city was to be the Tower of Babble reaching into the heavens. True perfection does not exist on earth and never will because it is infinite and eternal. Science has discovered that the earth was created at a point in time and located within an expanding universe. Scripture tells us that the earth will wear out and be destroyed by fire. (2 Peter 3: 10-12). This truth of “wearing out” is described by the second law of thermodynamics which states that our physical world is transforming into less complex states as energy is released over time. As to the earth’s destruction by fire, it is very possibly a nova or even an extra large solar flare could destroy the earth. 

In spite of these truths regarding human depravity (confirmed by at least six thousand years of history), the physical environment (with myriads of failed utopian ideas) and social experimentation (communists, socialist, dictatorships, and kingdoms – none have never produced a lasting or just government/nation, let alone a utopia), a rising tide of secular humanistic idealism is gaining popularity across the world. It is so flawed and ridiculous on its face that no reasonable person would give it a second thought, but it has a hook that so intrigues and appeals to certain people they embrace it as heartily and forcefully as a large bass striking a lure, leaping out of the water in an explosive attack. The lure is three pronged, 1) the standard of true perfection is replaced with a notion of goodness defined by the individual. “I’m good, I say the right things; I’m accepted by other Humanist, and my science is better than the foolish religions.” 2) Mankind is capable of anything, we are in charge of our own destiny. As we throw off the yoke of being subservient to a creator God, we become god. We can settle another planet as this one becomes uninhabitable.  3) Rationalism, reason, and relativity are our tools to reshape society by the most brilliant and elite among us. Through political correctness, history revision, and indoctrinal education we can teach and enforce our higher ideals of the supremacy of secular humanism.

In fact, God has destined man for relationship with himself in heaven, but apart from Yeshua nothing holds together. (Col. 1: 16-17; John 1: 3). Scripture explains that when our earthly physical bodies fail in death all believers will inherit a new heavenly body that will be eternal and far more wonderful and glorious than our earthly body. All this is through Yeshua Messiah who has opened access and restored relationship with Almighty God as our Savior and Lord. The perfect you will be fully realized in heaven, eternally in God’s presence. “When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else….So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body….And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man….in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor. 15: 37, 42-44, 49, 52-53). Praise God for His indescribably good gift to man, the Savior Messiah Yeshua, in whom are hidden all the promises of God.

Emotional Beings

I have a granddaughter with a face of a thousand expressions each one with meaning, emotion like a complete table of emoges. Scripture reminds us the we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps. 139: 14). “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2: 7). Science has very little understanding about the essence of life. Though a person can be taken apart and investigated in minute detail life can not be initiated or explained. “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139: 1-5). God knows each of us intimately, though we may not sense Him.

God created mankind for himself, in His own image and for relationship. That relationship is a long one comprising the greatest love story ever told, still ongoing from our perspective with the best yet to come. The end times draw nearer with turmoil and catastrophic upheaval in the earth, sky and space. The worldly secular man will be confounded and follow the enemy, while the Congregation of Believers will begin to shine like the Bride of Messiah. Then Yeshua will return as Israel’s Savior, defeating the enemy and uniting God’s people. “The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” (Zechariah 14: 9). The Lord will reign for a thousand years and then the final judgement of the enemy and all people who ever lived. (Matt. 21: 31: 46). Thereafter, everything will be made new with mankind completely restored to God. “No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”  (Rev. 22: 3-4).

In heaven there will still be emotion but none bad.  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21: 4). The writer of Hebrews explains how Believers enter into a joyous destiny. “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12: 22-24). Every Believer has cause to rejoice in a destiny of glory and joy everlasting. 

World In Decline

It is quite easy to observe the decline of this world’s system. It can be quite interesting to remark and analyze the nuances of its encroachment and outright attack upon truth and righteousness. I have written about certain of these aspects, but lately, I’ve been convicted regarding the virtue of such pursuits. As American citizens we have every right to speak out against evil and insanity regarding our government and violations of constitutional foundations. As Believers and citizens of God’s Kingdom, we have no participation with or in this world’s decline toward ultimate rebellion and debauchery. My friend and I often reflect on the subtleties of the enemy’s latest deception or schemes because as children of the Light we see the Spiritual warfare that is waged against the truth. Nevertheless, as one of the Brothers said, I’m not surprised at the wickedness of the lost, but rather that it is not far worse than it actually is. God restrains evil and is reserving the wrath it accrues until the proper time. In other words, what should we expect from a fallen, broken, rebellious world but evil.

Even so, David was also distracted by the wicked in sixty-four psalms, often with multiple references in these psalms. In Psalm 37 he distinguishes the wicked from the righteous. “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.” (Ps. 37: 1-2). In Psalm 73 he shares a personal perspective, “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills…. When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!” (Ps. 73: 2-5, 16-19). 

When we have the mind of Messiah the Holy Spirit leads us in peace and the knowledge of His will. What is worthy to think on is enumerated in scripture, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4: 8). It’s true and there are so many of these evidences of God’s mercy and goodness that we can contemplate and appreciate. Yeshua is the supreme being in the universe and His words and deeds could fill the earth according to John 21: 25. Yeshua said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matt. 13: 31-32). I believe the Kingdom is advancing more than we can see. God is drawing people to Himself more than ever, especially in countries that try to suppress the truth. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1: 32-33). Praise God.

Love’s View

At one time or another we picture God as far away in heaven viewing down upon the earth as though it is an insignificant speck in creation. God is high and lifted up ruler above all, but He demonstrated His true nature of love through Yeshua. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2: 6-8). Yeshua, was sent and came to save the lost, to redeem mankind, and to bear the burden of sin. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2: 24). Yeshua brought a message of forgiveness and He healed many telling them, “Your sins are forgiven.” God wanted relationship with man to be restored, He gave His one and only son in order to redeem a people for Himself. “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.’ ” (Revelation 5: 9). 

God is not distant looking down indifferent to the distress in this world. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, so He still sees as did Yeshua, up close with mercy, forgiveness and love. He is the shepherd of His people. “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40: 11). God is compassionate and rich in mercy, He does not turn away from those in need or despise the weak, lowly, or outcasts of society. He experienced every hardship, injustice, hatred, betrayal, rejection, violence, and evil that man inflicts upon one another.  “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53: 3-5). This is God Almighty, lover of our soul, and champion of our reclamation. He is Love and our response must be, “Yes and Amen, your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 

Humility

This is the most powerful state of being for the Believer. It is the key to unlock the door of God’s will. Yeshua took on the form of a servant and humbled himself. He taught us, “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23: 11-12).

Scripture admonishes the Believer to follow Yeshua’s example. “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2: 5-11).

How is a humble posture maintained? What is meant by becoming a servant or exercising the obedience of humility. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6: 5-6). In faith we place all confidence in God and none in us or men. We do not consider only what is seen or let our natural reasoning guide us. The disciples often questioned Yeshua’s decisions and timing because they reasoned in the natural. (John 7: 4:6; 11: 6-10). The Holy Spirit leads the Believer into all truth.

Paul explained what the Lord said to him, ” ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”(2 Corinthians 12: 9-10). It is only possible to fully and completely follow the will of the Lord by exercising a selfless humility. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.’ ” (Matthew 16: 24-25). This concept is central and essential to discipleship. Following the direction of the Lord will usually be counter to our rational analysis. It may cost your reputation in this world. It may require you to go and do what you never thought to do. You will be setting yourself against the majority, the educated and esteemed, the ruling class in this world, and you will be considered strange, odd, eccentric or weird, as to this world’s standards. Every Believer will be required to lay down in humility the most precious and dear aspect of their own self image. Just as Yeshua called the rich young ruler to give away his money, so he calls each of us to give our most cherished attribute. It could be beauty, intellect, esteem, fame, influence, skill, talent, athleticism, money, family reputation, even our rights. Have you ever heard the adage, “You have to stand up for yourself” – it’s a worldly lie. We tend to defend ourselves, particularly when we are falsely accused, when the credit due us is not acknowledged or worse, given to another. That is pride, which raises itself continually unless it is rejected through the submission of humility. When we place all on the altar to Yeshua, God’s attributes will take their place in our surrendered life and the hidden life of the Spirit will transform everything. It’s a daily activity, but a small thing to enable the power, peace, and presence of God to be released in and through us.

Message to the Nations

This message is for people of all nations, but most importantly to those who are smaller or struggling. Your national identity is from God. (Acts 17: 26). “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.” (Psalm 22: 27-28). You might be tempted to compare yourself with other nations and people’s – don’t. Your hope and good future does not come from other nations or things they control. The Lord Yeshua, Messiah is the hope of all nations. “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.” (Matthew 12: 18-21). Heaven will contain those who represent the honor and glory of the nations among all whom the Lord will save. “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.” (Revelation 21: 24- 26).

You people from small and struggling nations, turn to your one true Ruler and hope, Yeshua Messiah. He will raise you up, family by family. He will give you favor that springs forth in blessing and peace. Through God Almighty nothing is impossible. He will give ideas and wisdom to those who stand in fear and awe of Him and trust in His unfailing love and compassion. He will redeem and restore that which the enemy has stolen and destroyed through selfishness, greed, and wickedness. God’s favor is so effective and dynamic that men can not begin to match or even explain it – this is supernatural work. God’s lovingkindness is everlasting for all who turn and accept Him. “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.” (Rom. 4: 16).

God On Earth

“Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you my tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48: 12-14).

God is present among His people and they have access to Him. The unseen world is more vast than the universe which will one day be rolled up as a scroll to make way for heaven. We know this by the Spirit who gives understanding of God’s Word. God gives good things to His people, the congregation of Believers. He brings forth words of encouragement set in song. The Holy Spirit aligns hearts, minds, and voices in praise and worship. Spiritual communication is through relationship with Yeshua in the innermost being. Yeshua said, “He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16: 14-15).

These evidences of the Spirit are like wind rustling leaves and branches, bending the slender trunks with its force, marking His leading. (John 3:8). The repercussions leave change, hope, stir up righteousness, and release all the good there is in life. It’s like the rain that drives against walls, washing and softening the dry earth restoring fertility. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father in whom there is no shade or shadow. His work goes on bringing about, carrying along, driving behind, drawing all things forward to Himself. (Psalms 139: 1-12). 

It was God’s idea to fashion a living temple were He would be pleased to dwell. The building bricks were fashioned after His own image. God’s house is living by His Spirit presence that resides in each living spiritual stone. God living in a temple that lives in Him. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor. 3: 16). “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2: 4-5). The whole earth could not contain God Almighty, but the living God dwells in the living temple of His people. God has not abandoned His creation and He is near to all who call on Him. (Ps. 145: 18).

What the Bible Says

I was visiting my ninety-seven year old father-in-law and he was telling me about the old man who was cutting his lawn at that time. He interjected, “He speaks in Jibber-jabber.” I paused offering a quizzical expression, to which he added, “We used to call them Holy Rollers.” I just said, “Oh”, as there are few things to discuss with a ninety-seven year old, but afterwards I wondered what would have been his reply if I had asked, “Did you know that speaking in tongues or heavenly inspired language is in the Bible?” It is not worth talking about things which others have already decided apart from the facts. Moreover, the gifts of the Spirit are distributed by the Spirit as He determines. (1 Cor. 12: 11). If one does not have a particular gift it may be very difficult for them to accept that anyone has such a gift. I know people who do not believe in many clear teachings of scripture because they have not experienced what is taught there in. It’s like what Yeshua said to Thomas, “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20: 29). The Apostle Paul did not believe Yeshua was the prophesied Messiah, until he was confronted by Yeshua himself, though as a Pharisee he must have been well aware of the Scriptures. 

The issue of spiritual gifts is rather mystical because they are Spiritual, consequently a purely rational or mental reasoning will not produce a working knowledge or understanding of the Holy Spirit. I once asked a minister friend about the Holy Spirit and His reply was, “It’s the third part of the Godhead.” He had very little personal  experience regarding the Spiritual life, though he was a true Believer and I do not doubt his Faith in God, nor do I offer any judgment regarding his service to God. We speak of what we know. (John 3: 11). Another scripture that is simply tossed aside for some strange reason has to do specifically with the organization of the church. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues….Now eagerly desire the greater gifts…”. (1 Corinthians 12: 27-28, 31). 

A case could be made that Yeshua selected and appointed twelve apostles and that was the end of the office of apostles when they died. There could be apostles in our day, some leaders have proclaimed themselves apostles. Prophets are the second office in the Church and they are ignored even by those who recognize the gift of prophecy. David Wilkerson is the only prophet I know who held such an office in the church, but he was also a gifted teacher and evangelist. Teachers are the third office in the church and they have taken precedence over the entire church organization. Why is this? Is it scriptural? What would be the consequences of following the scriptural model provided.

What about the remaining giftings, where do they fit in?

I believe natural reasoning of a worldly mind has been given precedence in the church and seminaries because the Spirit is easily quenched and the Spiritual life is one of surrender and submission to the the Holy Spirit, whereas human reason, effort, striving, and argument come from pride which is opposed to humility, the way of the Lord, Yeshua Messiah. We all experience this struggle of pride verses humility within ourselves. Can you say in your life that humility has most often prevailed? If so, you probably are advanced in the Spiritual life. Also, you are probably a nobody in this world, and perhaps in the church. Yet, if you have combined love with humility, you will be great in the Kingdom of God.

The scriptures provide a glimpse of what a Spirit lead and organized church would be like. “So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’ ” (1 Cor. 14: 23-25). Like I said, we all struggle and fail too much, but the Lord will save us by His great grace, likewise he will save all Believers, even those that have given in to much worldly thinking. Yeshua alone is the judge and we have no authority to judge anyone, particularly the servant of another. What I’m encouraging is to believe every word of God, act on it, seek humility, love and the Spiritual life in Yeshua. Accept every good gift God offers in this life and the next, it requires faith alone.

Give Me Jesus

The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom is one of my favorite books and movies. My friend likes it perhaps more than I and we have had great fellowship discussing its lessons of God’s love in the midst of horrific unjust circumstances. I have walked in the courtyard at Yad Vashem where a tree memorializes the ten Booms and Oscar Schindler, among others, who are honored as friends of Israel. Loving one’s enemies, laying one’s life down for others is the teaching of Yeshua, which He demonstrated so perfectly. These acts are folly to the worldly mind, but they express and evidence faith and love of God above all else. 

Scripture says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’ ” (Hebrews 13: 5-6). It seems that the Lord’s presence is as precious and powerful as determined by a ranking of all the other things that reside in our heart. When Corrie and her sister, Betsy, were in the Nazi concentration camp, every aspect of a normal life was taken away, but their faith and love could not be taken away. The promises and presence of God became miraculous and though Betsie died as a Saint in the camp, Corrie was released through a clerical error, to tell the amazing story of their lives and share the good news of Yeshua all around the world.

It is my belief that when we increase the value, yearning or necessity of Yeshua’s presence, over and above other desires such as, pleasure, comfort, entertainment, power, fame, influence, etc., then we will experience more of His presence. Yeshua said, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11: 9-10). It is not necessary to be imprisoned to exalt or earnestly seek the presence of God. During this covid-19 quarantine, isolation can be trying, particularly if resources become scarce, but the promises of God remain as faithful as ever. Scripture says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded….Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4: 8, 10). When we earnestly seek God He responds because He loves us and wants a relationship. The things of this world and/or our worldly thinking can crowd out our devotion to God’s Word, Spirit, and presence. Lord Yeshua, help us get the attitude expressed in the song lyrics, “You can have all this world, Give me Jesus”.

New Life

Perhaps the most current, tangible, widespread and ongoing evidence of the truth and power contained in the message of the Bible is the transformation experienced by every believer. It is described therein, by Yeshua Himself in a conversation with Nicodemus, a zealous religious leader who admitted to Yeshua, ” ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’ Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’ ” (John 3: 2-3). In this verbal exchange Yeshua expounds on the transformation that begins with being born again, even as Nicodemus expresses his failure to understand each aspect disclosed to him. Nicodemus was himself a teacher who should have understood that certain realities can only be understood in their conceptual framework. For example, Truth, Love, Faith, and Courage, can not be picked up and handled or dismantled physically. Even certain physical aspects of nature require conceptual analysis, such as air, gasses, gravity, and light. Therefore, undergoing a spiritual birth, being “born again”, is real albeit intangible. The Believer understands through experience it is as though you become a new person. (2 Cor. 5: 17).

Next, Yeshua touches upon the promise foretold in scripture. “Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.’ ” (v. 5). This spiritual infusion was prophesied by Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36: 26). John the Baptist preached this message about the coming of the Messiah and alerted Israel at that time that the prophecy would be fulfilled by Yeshua. (John 1: 33). When a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit there is a new dimension of power and life released within by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Yeshua illustrated to Nicodemus what the Spirit-filled life was like, replying, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” The Spirit moves within, upon, and around the Believer in a mysterious unseen manner, but with effect and demonstration. An explosion of vision, understanding and authority come with the Spirit’s presence. The scriptures are filled with acts, (tangible and intangible), directed, accomplished, and explained by the dynamic release of Holy Spirit among the congregation of Believers. Yeshua said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8).

Finally, Yeshua explained how these characteristics of Salvation’s work upon the Believer would be inconceivable to the world and the lost soul. He said, “Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.” (v. 11). It is virtually impossible to describe light to a person who has never seen. However, there is hope for every living person, because today still remains the “Day of Salvation”. It appears that the Nicodemus story ends well as he defended Yeshua, brought spices for his burial and it was mentioned that many of the leaders subsequently became believers. It’s not suprising that a sincere encounter with the Supreme, Son of God, King of Kings, Messiah would result in blessing and a life changing event – it happened to me.

How Yeshua Looked

There are no images or specific description of Yeshua, but the Bible tells us something about His countenance. “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” (Isaiah 53: 2-3). He was not handsome with attractive looks. He would not have been a TV or movie personality with pleasing desirous features. He was a man of suffering and familiar with pain, sorrow, rejection, held in low esteem because of the burden of rejection and despising. We know that He had no money, house, or fine clothes to enhance His appearance. 

Yeshua said of Himself, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17: 26). Yeshua’s mission was to reveal Father God and He accomplished this through words and deeds, but it may be that He was able to convey truth and meaning through His expression, gaze, and in His face. This is fundamental communication in human relationship. One example is a man who asked Yeshua what he needed to do to inherit eternal life? “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Mark 10: 21-22). Yeshua was the greatest communicator of all, His words expressed so much more and cut to the heart of every issue, question and contrived trap. His words transcend time speaking clearly and effectively today, dividing between spirit and soul.

Yeshua expressed emotions of anger, joy and wept with empathy, He was both fully human and devine. Yeshua was a Jew descended from king David of the tribe of Judah, so he likely had Hebrew coloring and features. The disciples saw in Yeshua His devine nature through faith. “Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ ” (John 1: 45). “Then Nathanael declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.’ Jesus said, ‘You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ He then added, ‘Very truly I tell you, you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man’ .” (John 1: 49-51).  “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.’ ” (Matt. 16: 16-17). Yeshua’s demonstrated authority, power, and miracles also revealed His devine appearance and the disciples were witnesses.

To Believers down through history, Peter says it best, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1: 8-9).