Month 2:8, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5939:037 AM|
2Exodus 1/40, SHABBAT 2:1, Omer Count Sabbath #3
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 6 May 2014
Strike the Dragons
Humility, Spirituality & Faith
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with you all. Though the Jericho March for this year is over, the events and prophecies linked to it and to Pesach (Passover) are obviously not as this year of great calamity continues to unfold. It is our responsibility to continue getting the warning out and to prepare people who will listen as best we can.
Training Godly Leadership
One subject that has very definitely imprinted itself on my mind as a result of this seven days of Jericho prayers is the utmost importance to train godly leadership. As I mentioned yesterday, finding suitable leadership is no easy matter at a time when good leadership is critical. Leadership is needed at home, in the local assemblies and in the nations as they emerge from the wreckage of what is coming. The problem that we face is not a lack of people wanting to be leaders but a lack of people who truly are leaders and are called to Yahweh to be them. And even those genuine leaders who are called tend sometimes to be 'handicapped' by their strongest asset: humility or meekness which can render them passive. Calling these men and women is therefore our greatest priority in the days ahead and particularly in our new congregations which are growing rapidly.
Main Areas of Failure in Leadership
The three most common failures of leaders concern:
Enter the False 'Scroll of Mormon'
- 1. Gifted men who have untamed passions - these are sensually-driven men like King Solomon;
- 2. Privileged but weak men who handle power in a licentious way - they are vain men who think the universe revolves around themselves and just can't handle power righteously - King Rehoboam is a good example (1 Ki.12ff.); and
- 3. Men of promise who have an unteachable temperament like King Saul.
I never cease to ber amazed by the number of highly gifted, brilliant men that are to be found both in the messianic and evangelical communities. Only the other day I was shocked - appalled, incredulous - that one brilliant minister should conclude after a two year study that the Book of Mormon is a genuine record of the Tribe of Joseph and include it in the fourth edition of his personal Bible translation alongside other frauds of the House of Esau such as the Book of Enoch, Book of Jasher and others. Renaming the book 'Scroll of Mormon' or 'Sepher Mormon' and changing the language of the text to make it sound messianic doesn't mystically make it kosher. Having spent the better part of ten or more years dissecting the Book of Mormon and coming to the inescapable conclusion that it is a clever, demonic fraud makes the news of this man's decision all the more saddening - both for him and his people - because he has no idea what spirits he is letting in. These are dangerous religious spirits that appeal to the theologically vain.
Etymology of Mormon
The name 'Mormon' itself should be setting of alarm bells. Joseph Smith claimed it was a combination of the English 'more' and the Egyptian 'mon' (which he said meant 'good') so that 'Mormon' means 'more good'. The absurdity of this claim is made no more start by the fact that there never was an Egyptian word mon meaning 'good' (it's actually 'na'fir) and the English language (let along England), along with the English word 'good', didn't even exist at the time the ficticious character 'Mormon' in the Book of Mormon claims to have lived. In fact, Joseph Smith borrowed the Greek word mormo meaning 'hideous baboon' or 'hobgoblin' as he did the Greek word 'Nephi' which he probably borrowed from the King James version of the Apocrypha in 2 Maccabees 1:36 where it means the place called 'Naptha'.
Abandoning the Creation Calendar
I am saddened also because this brilliant mind, with others, finally persuaded me of the truthfulness of the luni-solar calendar, only now he has abandoned it for a man-made calendar from a couple of his canonised Pharisee pseudepigrapha. Now he doesn't seem to know what he is doing, having to tweek his false 'Enochian' calendar here and there to make it fit with his false scriptures. The canon is not in doubt and we have no business tampering with it.
I say none of this to boast for I have myself been down the Mormon road and been lured by its temptations. I know that religion like the back of my hand and how it was supernaturally constructed by the dark side to make a counterfeit of the true emunah (faith). This leader is not alone in his Solomonic weaknesses. Others could tell you stories they would rather not be known. Yahweh deals with us all in His own time.
Leaders Must Be Judged First
I start my address today with leaders purposefully for we who are called to lead must first be judged. We who are teachers especially are called to greater account than to those who listen to us and may believe. Please do not assume that 'older' leaders are necessarily zaqenim or elders in the spiritual sense. And whilst we are commanded in Torah to show respect to those who are older, for a number of good reasons, never assume that age equates with wisdom and emet (truth). The story of Solomon is included in our Bibles to warn us against such over-simplistic conclusions.
How Do I Know I am Called?
Every believing man who is called to be a leader - and that goes for women called to be leaders in their own areas of responsibility too - asks himself the question: How do I know I am called? And the answer to that question is that you won't properly or fully know until you get to the destination that Yahweh's call was designed to take you. But one thing I promise you is this: when you finally reach that destination you will, most definitely, know that it is our Heavenly Father who brought you there.
The Gifts are Divinely Appointed, Not Earned
If you are wondering where I am coming from this morning I have to tell you - if you haven't already picked up - it is from a place of having been judged. During the night one or more walls fell within me and I awoke sensing my sinfulness in a way I hadn't before. The news was not exactly 'new', it was just more stark - more blatant. I became aware, in a new way, that I truly have 'nothing' to boast of and that my own leadership calling is not because of any merit but because of divine appointment and nothing more. Whatever giftedness we have is not because we earned it by some heroic mental, emotional or physical deed, or combination thereof, but because of His will and nothing more. Nevertheless the flesh often tricks us into believing that we have had some part in being brilliant, or sensitive, or compassionate. These are all of Him and from Him. Ours is to choose to exercise them or to be tempted by their opposites to serve the kingdom of darkness.
A False Teaching About Grace in the Book of Mormon
If there is one sentence in the Book of Mormon - if I may be permitted to raise that matter again - that establishes that the book is the work of the devil (there are many more) it would be this one:
Saved by Grace Through faith
"For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 22:23, LDS edition).
This is a very clear mutilation of the apostle Paul who taught the correct doctrine:
Our Doctrine of Grace Indicates Whether We are in the Truth or Not
"For by grace you have been saved through emunah (faith), and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Elohim (God), not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph.2:8-9, NKJV).
If you get your grace doctrine wrong you'll get everything else wrong too. The Book of Mormon statement is a contradiction in itself for grace, being the unmerited favour or the undeserved loving-kindness of Elohim (God) is by very definition not linked to anything we might do and is therefore unearnable. The moment we think we have something we have to do in order to experience that grace we embark on a false path of works-based salvation.
Saved to Do Good Works
Rather we are saved by grace for good works, that is to say, we are saved by grace so that we can do good works. We live Torah because we are saved, not in order to be saved, a lesson that Mormonism in all its various denominations has never learned. And it doesn't matter that our messianic minister has rejected all of Joseph Smith's later works like the Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and Inspired Version of the Bible ('Joseph Smith Translation') because the moving spirit behind them all was the same.
Scroll vs. Gold Plates
There never was, in any case, any 'Scroll' of Mormon because the claim of its author was the book was originally written on metal plates, not papyrus or leather. Indeed, the book never had an tangible, physical existence before Joseph Smith wrote it gazing into a seerstone in a darkened hat, a stone he had used for treasure-hunting with the help of spirits and talismans, for all the witnesses who claimed to have actually 'seen' the golden plates later admitted that they had either only seen them 'in vision' or 'by faith' - they had never actually seen them physically nor handled them with their flesh-and-blood hands. Every single one of the witnesses abandoned Joseph Smith and his claims.
Amongst the Mormons to Learn Counterfeit-Spotting
I have often wondered why Yahweh permitted me to experience the Mormon 'thing' but I now know it was to teach me how to spot counterfeits. That is why I show no mercy to those who go chasing after Jewish apocrypha and pseudepigrapha which I myself once used to chase after because I know the the vast majority are frauds, whatever tidbits of truth may be found in them with which to lure the unsuspecting. Any minister or teacher who believes the Book of Mormon is an authentic document is well off the beaten path of emet (truth) even though that book does contain elements of emet (truth) much of it lifted from Joseph Smith's King James Bible. That is why have made repeated warning to messianics in particular, who are salivating at the mouth to embrace anything that might have a whiff of 'Jewishness' about it, not to believe the Book of Mormon peddlers. They're about and they are shipwrecking souls. If you are being seduced by this Bible look-alike, please take a careful look at my website.
Blundering into the Truth
Back to age and wisdom. The younger you are, the more you think you can manage it all; the older you get the more you realise that were it not for Yahweh you would never have made it. We very often blunder into the right way, never dreaming or planning to go there, yet Yahweh brings us through the many strange places we wander through and uses our experience to bless others with if we let Him. So don't categorise those who have wandered through strange religious and sectarian terrain on their way to salvation for every one of us, it will turn out, has blundered their way home to some degree or another, even those who have been raised in households where the Besorah (Gospek) was taught in an as-near-pure state as was possible. No matter how we are raised, we all have to cut our way through the jungle of the flesh. We all have to come to emunah (faith) on our own. No one is 'born' a believer with perhaps the exception of a few special cases like John the Baptist .
How Do I Get to the Place Yahweh Wills in My Life?
A legitimate question ever believer asks is, How do I get to the place that Yahweh has chosen for me? What must I now do? The answer is simple: if you honour the directions He has already given you - the mitzvot (commandments) in Scripture and the inner leadings of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) on your mind and heart, you will get there. And the more obedient you are, the straighter and less convoluted that journey will be. Put another way, the journey will be more pain-free the less you sin. That's not to say others won't cause you grief because they absolutely will but at least you won't have to suffer too much for your own stupidity. As I said, once you get to your destination - and all the stop-overs along the way which you will be able to recognise - then you will be absolutely certain in your mind that not only you were on the right path but, more importantly perhaps, you will also realise that if it were not for Him you would never have made it there at all.
Mission to the Last Generation
My mission has mostly been to serve the last generation. My calling has been to be a pioneer and negociate the maze which is mortality. You younger ones will have your own pioneering and your own negociations of the ever expanding demonic maze too but you will at least have a manual of those who went before you. That is why I have been commanded to document it in such detail. This morning my wife told me, a little bit to my surprise, that I am not today the same man she married all those years ago. I hasten to add that was a compliment! Decades hence, if you have remained true, you will be able to say the same. But if you have wandered off the Derech (Way) that leads to Eternal Life you will not only have stagnated but forgotten even the emet (truth) you once had known when you were younger. So don't wander, please. And if you do, repent quickly - don't forget there are modern 'Amalekites' who delight in picking off stragglers from the Camp of Israel. They will not hesitate or delay long in targeting you.
Six Weeks Became Forty Years
It often surprises new students of the Bible to learn that the journey from Egypt through the Sinai to the Promised land was a mere 100 miles. If the children of Israel had not sinned but been like Moses, Joshua and Caleb, it would have taken them no more than six weeks! Yet as we all know it took 40 years. I could list all the sins that turned a 6 week journey into a 40 year one but the main one was the sin of complaining and grumbling. The Israelites would not at first accept that they had to make this journey and instead launched a futile and costly attack in which they were defeated. So impatient were they that even 6 weeks was too long for them! They wanted to be in the Land overflowing with milk and honey immediately. Their zeal was not matched by their wisdom because they had none and sadly most kinds of wisdom have to be learned in the desert and cannot be learned in the land overflowing with milk and honey. That's one of the main reasons we are on this earth in the first place.
Carpo, Demon of Capring Criticism
On the fourth day of the Jericho March while I was praying to Yahweh about my illness and He kept repeating over and over again, CARPO. For those of you not familiar with that word, it's the name of a demon whose characteristics Yahweh revealed to me a couple of years ago. It is one of the most destructive demons to our emunah (faith), well-being and shalom (peace) that you could imagine. Yahweh continually recites it throughout Scripture as one of the things that angers Him the most.
Carrying Paradise Within
Potentially, there are an infinite number of things we could complain about if for no other reason that this world is not Paradise, in spite of odd moments when it becomes heavenly in a particular place. We carry our paradise within in the form of a life in Messiah. The utopians - those who want to create paradise on this earth before Yah'shua (Jesus) returns - always disappoint, and every Utopian experiment - whether communistic, Catholic, Muslim, Mormon or any other - has always degenerated into hell for its citizens. Have realistic expectations. Paraise is the promise of what is to come. The best we can do is carry Paradise within us and encourage others to acquire it too through emunah (faith) in, and obedience to, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
The Desert and the Heart
So be warned about Carpo but even before Carpo starts poking his ugly head in through your window or tries to force his way through your front door, or into the walls and fabric of your very being, understand this: the shortest route is not always the best route because it can bypass some of life's most important lessons. Why, then, are we allowed - even driven down - the longest route? Why all these unpleasant desert experiences? We are taken down the long route for one reason, and for one reason only, from which flows many other reasons: we are taken the long route so that we can get to know what is in our heart. Why would we need to know that? Because until we do, we can never know who we really are not be able to answer the questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? and Where am I going?
Mirror to the Soul
We need to know who we really are on the inside - not the people we think we are and certainly not the disfiguring fake masks and make-up we wear in order to try and impress or survive. What are we supposed to look like inside? Does the soul-image that Yahweh intended us to be match up with the prententious or self-depracating one we have created through mental and psychic surgery?
The Difference Between David and Saul
Yahweh takes us through the wilderness experience so that we can learn, through the humility of our own heart, to see our own heart for what it really is. One thing that is wodnerful about our Heavenly Father is that He knows how to humble us without humiliating us, and to exalt us without flattering us, something we're not very good at doing to others until we have first done away with pride and arrogance and have acquired a humble heart and spirit. For all his sins - and we know he committed two terrible ones - David had a humble heart where as Saul, who always wanted to look good and powerful in front of people, was arrogant.
Two Ways to Learn Humility
There are two ways to learn humility:
All Eyes on Yah'shua
- 1. To keep your eyes continually on Yah'shua (Jesus); or
- 2. To have it beaten out of you through divinely permitted hardship and tribulation.
The latter is commonplace even though we rarely possess the humility to attribute anything good to Yahweh when He permits evil to enter our lives. So let us give some attention to the former first. Paul said:
Humility Amongst the Common Folk
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), who, being in the form of Elohim (God), did not consider it robbery to be equal with Elohim (God), but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore Elohim (God) also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yah'shua (Jesus) every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Master, to the glory of Elohim (God) the Father" (Phil.2:5-11, NKJV).
Who do you suppose heard Yah'shua (Jesus) the more readily? It was the common man, the (as a rule) humble man. The power-brokers were the ones who fought Him because the Besorah (Gospel) of Humility threatens pride. It is only possible to imitate or emulate the Master in humility - pride copies noone except perhaps those who are evil. We learn humility by observing and copying how Yah'shua (Jesus) lived, walked and died. It is a tough way but it's the best way, and the Father exalted Him because of it. When you walk together with a person who is humble you will walk away from that person overwhelped by the spirit of humility. It doesn't matter how successful you may be in your ministry, how theologically correct you may be, or how well you have done in any other aspect of the walk of your life, because unless you are humble you will remain in the desert even though you think you are in Paradise. Yahweh still wants you to humble yourself because without humility you will discover that you are the opposite of what you think you are:
Let all zeal be unto teshuvah (repentance).
"Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' -- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked -- I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent" (Rev.3:17-19, NKJV).
If you refuse the path of humility by no longer having your eyes on Yah'shua (Jesus), Yahweh will, I guarantee it, push you onto the other path because He loves you enough not to let your pride consume you. Thomas Aquinas wrote:
Pride Will Destroy Your Soul
"In order to overcome pride, Elohim (God) punishes certain people by allowing them to fall into sins of the flesh which, though they may be less grievous than pride, are outwardly more shameful. From this indeed the gravity of pride is made manifest for just as a wise physician in order to cure a worse disease allows the patient to contract one that is less dangerous. So also the sin of pride is shown to be more grievous by the very fact that as a remedy God allows men to fall into some other sins."
In other words, if you don't deal with pride, He'll know how to bring you to that point of dealing with it and learning humility. You can't be a believer and not deal with it. Indeed, unbelievers are themselves oppressed by pride because the master of pride is Satan himself. When Billy Grahan prayed: "Lord, please let me not do today that which will destroy what has taken decades to build", he had in mind the devastating consequences of pride which lead to so many debitltating and destructive sins.
John Wesley, Man of Humility
One of my great heroes of the Reformation is John Wesley who impresses me as a truly humble man. He travelled 250,000 miles on horseback preaching a total of 40,000 sermons whilst working with 15 different languages, as well and printed 600 pieces of literature (some large) in his life. I've been writing and preaching for a little over half that period of time and have only managed about 4,000! At the age of 80 he was angry with his doctor because his doctor would let him preach more than 18 times a week. At the ripe old age pf 86, he wrote in his journal: "Laziness is slowly creeping in. There's an increasing tendency to stay in bed after 5.30 in the morning." He was one of 19 children raised by Susanna Wesley who was herself one of 29, an amazing woman.
What is Sin?
John once asked his mother: "How do you define sin?" She replied: "Whatever weakens your reasoning, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God or takes away your relish for spiritual things - in short, if anything increases the authority of the flesh over the spirit , that to you becomes sin however good it is in itself." The memorial stone to Charles Wesley in London has the following inscription: "Reader, if you feel constrained to praise the instrument, stop, and give God the glory". What a lesson in humility for us all!
We are What We are By Grace Alone
We have nothing extraordinary over anybody else in this world, we are not more special than any person alive, and certainly not just because we may stand in front of a congregation or an audience and proclaim it. Nothing about us or our ministries is 'more special' than anybody else or anybody else's. We are what we are by grace alone and need to maintain that perspective of humility. We ultimately preach our last sermon and are called to give an account before Yahweh. Charles Wesley said that "God burys His workmen but His work will go on." We must never forget that.
Live by Every Word of Elohim
The second most important thing we must pursue after humility is spirituality. Yahweh told Charles Wesley that He had taken him through the 40 years of his ministry for one purpose only, namely, so that he would learn that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Elohim (God). That is quite a profound thought! Does the Davar Elohim (Word of God) hold a place of such value, do we trust it so much, do we love it so much that we must live by every davar (word) that proceeds from it? or do we just pay lipservice to it, worshipping the Bible rather than living by its contents?
Wealth is the Enemy of Spirituality
Money - or at least the love of money - is the great enemy of spirituality. The more wealth we get, the less time we seem to have for Yahweh. In places which are still impoverished, people are still crying out to Elohim (God) in the hope of getting into closer communion with Him but in places where wealth is abundance, people are not interested in that. Can you understand why He wants the West poor? So that people will seek Him again, need Him again, desire communion with Him again. We have so much here that we have forgotten even how to say thank you before we bow down and enjoy a meal. How many people do you know who say grace at mealtimes? And how many who do just do it mechanically, not really feeling particularly grateful for the abundance of food on our tables still? Yahweh desires from you and me that we understand this body will one day be shed and cast away. It's not the main thing. What really matters is that spirit which Yahweh has given to us, that inner reality, that inner you, and how much it will ultimately count in eternity. It is so easy to lose sight of that when we are surrounded by abundance. It takes discipline to remain spiritual in times of abundance.
In Pursuit of Fame
There is an insane pursuit of fame these days. I don't know how many school children have ambitions to be famous pop stars or actors. When Elvis Presley lost his fame, his life collapsed and drugs were his only escape. The loss of fame is what ultimately destroyed him. Fame, as Ravi Zacharias puts it, amounts to a hill of beans as someone else shoves you aside as they reach the top of the ladder and you are on your way down. There is no stability in that. There's actually no point in it at all for the satisfaction of having 'achieved' something like is but a flash in the pan. It doesn't last and it certyainly doesn't satisfy our deepest needs. We may not succed in getting famous - most done - but people still pursue a similar quest, the desire to be recognised, liked and admired. This too is vanity.
Quest for the Deep
What we're looking for, deep, deep down, the hunger and longing that we sometimes find hard to express because we have lost our sense of what it means, is to be connected to our Heavenly Father in a real and meaningful way, to the One who created and shaped us in His image. Nothing else will satisfy us. Nothing else will fit into that shape in our souls that needs to be filled.
The Predominance of Deuteronomy 8
"Man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yahweh" (Deut.8:3, NKJV).
As you know, Yah'shua (Jesus) quoted this verse from the Torah in Matthew and Luke 4:4. Did you know that Yah'shua (Jesus) quoted from the Book of Deuteronomy (Devarim), and particularly the 8th chapter, more than any other book and chapter in the Tanakh (Old Testament)? It's worth reading many times to find out why. And do you know what the context of that passage of Torah was?
Hunger was given to teach humility and dependency, something that carnal, prideful man hates.
"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yahweh" (Deut.8:3, NKJV).
After humility and spirituality comes emunah - faith or trusting. Emunch (faith) is not credulity, it actually has substance because it's based on reality, not fantasy, even if it's not visible. Naturalists love to make fun of those who believe in Elohim (God) as though we believe in tooth-fairies yet they too believe in invisible and unseeable things like thoughts and Big Bang's and fantastic tales of 'evolution' where nothing made something out of nothing. You can't, however, have a relationship with evolution, of Chas Darwin (who's dead), but you can with the Creator!
Expect Miracles the Right Way
Yahweh does His miracles in those people who least take credit for what is done. In other words, miracles are experienced by the humble, the spiritual and the faithful. Pursue, therefore, these things.
Humility is the keynote of my message to you today...followed by spirituality and emunah (faith). Ahavah (love) proceeds naturally enough out of these, at least the right kind does. We're at war now, the Jericho Days notwithstanding, and we must expect to be heavily engaged for some time ahead. There are dragons to be dug out and expelled from good walls as well as calling for bad walls to fall down. Get your staffs out, beat those walls, beat those dragons and expell them in the Name and by the Blood of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)! Seek Yahweh on your face, ask to be humbled and to walk in this humility in emunah (faith) in the spiritual life. Do it now. Amen.
 "For there are faithful ones (believers), which were so born from their mother's wombs..." (Matthew 19:12, HRV). The Aramaic anmyhm is ambiguous and can mean 'eunuch' or 'faithful one'/'believer'. It is clear from Deuteronomy 23:11 that 'eunuch' cannot be the correct reading here since castration is an abomination in Yahweh's eyes and those who were so under the Old Covenant were considered unclean. See Beyond the Rivers I: Revealing Yah's African Kingdom for a full exegesis
 Ravi Zacharias, from a sermon on Deuteronomy 8 entitled, Interpreting Failure, Conserving Victories, given at Calvary Chapel Chino Valley on 23 February 2014