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Month 6:08, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5939:156 AM
2Exodus 2/40, 4th Sh'mittah - Year 49/50, USA Judgment - Day #T-49, Global Judgment - Day #T-136, Sinai Count - Day #32/40
Gregorian Calendar Saturday 22 August 2015
The Onesimus Factor
Preparing for Black September


    Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with us all on this the 32nd day of the Sinai Count. I have invited all who are a part of MLT together with all those who want to unite with us next spring by covenant and by sacrifice, who accepted the offer to join the online NCAY Catechumens Group several months ago, to join with us this morning. I have not invited those who did not express interest outside this group.

    Messiah Draws All Men

    I should perhaps make one or two things clear about our policy here before I get into the substance of my message today. Firstly, we pursue no one, either when it comes to preaching the Besorah (Gospel) of salvation to the unsaved or when it comes to fellowhip in this remnant kehilah (congregation). We preach the message of salvation to whomsoever will hear it and it is up to those who hear it whether or not they receive Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus). We believe Yah'shua (Jesus) draws all people to Him (Jn.12:32) and that He opens windows of opportunity for salvation at special moments in their lives when, because of circumstances and the state of their souls, they are best prepared to receive Him. At such times He frequently sends ministers like myself to bear witness.

    The People We are Looking For

    Secondly, concerning those who are saved -- we also inform them of this remnant kehilah (congregation), again at moments of time best suited to their receiving this calling, telling them that those who come to us must be called by Yahweh and be prepared to become serious, dedicated and loyal talmidim (disciples) by entering covenants of Torah-obedience and to Yahweh and to this spiritual family. We don't want people who are unsure, uncommitted or likely to move on at the first opportunity. Of course people can leave if they want to - it's a lot harder to join us than to leave us - but we don't, by the same token, want casual, uncommitted people either. We do not have the time or energy for them - we are not in the entertainment business and we're not here to put rings in people's noses and drag them to the trough of discipleship. We're a family team and want those who love family teamwork. Of course, we accept people where they are, problems, issues and all - your background is not nearly as important as the fact that you are spiritually regenerated, deeply rooted in emet (truth) and on fire for the Kingdom as taught and preached by this messianic evangelical community!

    In Resonance With the Community

    So we do not pursue people to become members of this international kehilah (congregation) because we only want those who have been called into it by a special revelation from the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). They too must be drawn to it by Yah'shua (Jesus), they must resonate at the same spiritual frequency with the teachings and the spirit of the kehilah (congregation) and want to be a part of it with all their hearts. The lukewarm are not welcome. If the saved do not believe they have been called here, then we are absolutely fine with that and bless them on their way so that they can find their spiritual home on earth. What we do not want is those who do not believe they have been called here or who are not sure. They can have all the time they want, of course, but not the privileges of membership in the days of their indecision. Everyone needs to be somewhere - there are no solo believers in the Kingdom.

    The Wider Body

    The fact that people may not feel called to be a part of us does not mean that we will have nothing or little to do with them, of course. We will maintain friendships with individuals and walk in fellowship depending where they are. It is all one Body. There's obviously deeper fellowship, and greater satisfaction too, when there is mutual committment by covenant and anointing. However, there are many who are fearful of such things because they may have been burned through bad experiences with authoritarian groups of believers out of divine alignment or tavnith or pattern.

    Time to Heal

    The same is true of individuals who have had bad marriage experiences and hesitate to recommit in new marriages for fear of being hurt again. True, time is often needed to heal, and that must be respected - people must never be pressured to join fellowships or enter marriages they feel unprepared for. Equally, through, some people can react unnecessarily negatively by making unwise self-vows not to recommit to deep relationships, either because they are afraid to go through the pain of separaration and divorce again or because they just don't feel able to give of their all. And 'giving' lies at the very heart of the Besorah (Gospel). It is in mutual giving that we find our greatest simcha (joy) in Messiah.

    Corporate Salvation

    The messianic model given in Scripture is communal. There is personal salvation, represented by the spring feasts but the saved soul is supposed to mature and enter into corporate or communal salvation too - no believer can become a part of the Bride of Messiah without that corporate salvation which begins with the corporate or communal covenant represented by the summer festival of Shavu'ot (Weeks).

    The Betrothal Covenant

    The Bride of Messiah is represented by the autumn or fall festival of Sukkot - no-one can be a part of that before they have entered into the betrothal covenant of Shavu'ot (Weeks) and grown to spiritual maturity. The spring festivals correspond to a kind of 'engagement' but the kind of personal commitment represented by Pesach (Passover) is nothing like that of Shavu'ot (Weeks) which itself is but a seed compared with Sukkot (Tabernacles).

    The Passion of Yah'shua for Echadness

    You can scrape your way into Heaven by never enterting into the Shavu'ot or Sukkot life but you can never receive of the fullness that comes with the deeper covenant ofShavu'ot (Weeks). You will be spiritually emaciated by comparison. Yahweh never intended you to just be alone with Yah'shua (Jesus) - He isn't your personal property but has to be shared with the whole Bride. You have to be joined with others as a uniplural bride. We learn of Yah'shua's (Jesus') understanding and desire for this corporate unity or echadness in what has come to called the High Priestly Prayer of Messiah, the longest and most passionate of His recorded prayers, given as it was just before His torture and death. You'll find it in John 21. Yes, He desires us one-to-one, the personal relationship, but His greatest simcha (joy) is in the relationship that comes through the union of saved and exalted believers. Here is a short extract from that prayer - listen to the Saviour's heart as I read it to you:

      "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be echad (one), as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be echad (one) in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be echad (one) just as We are echad (one)" (John 17:20-22, NKJV).

    Like Marriage

    Yah'shua (Jesus) is not here calling for superficial, distant spiritual relationships between the members of His uniplural Bride. He is calling for fire and intimacy which is why he compares this union to marriage. It is to be of similar intensity, commitment and ahavah (love). So we learn how to do this echad love of the Bride through the lessons of marriage. And those of you who are married will know what a tough obstacle course marriage can be! It isn't easy. It is full of challenges, full of risks, as spouses open up to each other and risk being hurt through being vulnerable. Working with others with such commitment and fire forces you to die to self and to give selflessly, because self is the great stumbling block to echadness (oneness). And you can only do that by allowing Yahweh to progressively crucify the carnal nature to the Cross. And that hurts but it is most definitely worth it.

    The Polygamous Nature of the Allegory

    Our spiritual union to Messiah is not, of course, a literal marriage but it resembles it in some ways which is why the allegory of a polygamous marriage is used and why the nation of Messianic Israel is founded on the polygamous marriage of Jacob to his four wives and why David and his wives are used as a messianic type of Yah'shua (Jesus) and His plural Bride - us. Two concepts are central to this marriage - ahavah or sacrificial love and submission. First there is the submission of the Bride to the Bridegroom:

      "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to (in the same way to) the Master [Yah'shua/Jesus]. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Messiah is head of the messianic community (church); and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the messianic community (church) is subject to Messiah, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything" (Eph.5:22-24, NKJV; also Col.3:18).

    Total Submission

    This submission is not selective - in those areas which we are comfortable in - but "in everything". That's a big word. It describes a totality, not something that is partial. Everything is everything, not 'some' things. The promise is given that if we dare to risk such submission in our own marriages and to Messiah that we shall come to that unity that Yah'shua (Jesus) so passionately prayed of the Sukkot (Tabernacles) Bride in Gethsemane, because He was prepared to die to self as His part of the relationship too. That is why Paul goes on to say:

      "Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the messianic community (church) and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Davar (Word), that He might present her to Himself a glorious community (church), not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be qadosh (holy, set-apart) and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself" (Eph.5:25-28, NKJV).

    Different Rôles

    The rôles of husband and wife are somewhat different, just as the rôles of Messiah and His many-souled Bride are different, but the intensity of love and the self-giving is the same. It is the kind of giving that even 'unto death' should it be required:

      "Greater ahavah (love) has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (John 15:13-14, NKJV).

    Mutual Submission - Does It Exist?

    What does all of this have to do with the mission of this kehilah (congregation) of Remnant believers? Why do we insist on such total commitment? Because this kind of congregational relationship demands mutual submission for it to become real and alive:

      "Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for 'Elohim (God) resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble'" (1 Peter 5:5, NKJV).

    The Co-headship Heresy

    Now we must be careful with this "mutual submission" business and make sure we explain it carefully because it is a much abused passage. Indeed, it is used to justify the false principle of co-headship in marriage which not only contradicts what Paul said about the submission of wives to husbands in all things and of the Messianic Community (Bride) to Messiah in everything, but reduces the Bride of Messiah to a single person when she is, in fact, many or plural - us.

    The Pride and Humility Connection

    There is a principle of mutual submission, I would suggest, but Peter makes it very clear what that consists of when he links it to grace, humility and pride in the same sentence. Indeed, the phrase "be submissive to one another" isn't even in the majority of manuscripts and the passage in question reads:

      "In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of (submit to) the elders. And you must clothe yourselves with humility, in your dealings with one another, for 'Elohim (God) opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (NRSV).

    Mutual Submission to Truth and Patriarchy

    If 'mutual submission' exists then it can, given the very clear tavnith (pattern) of Scripture describing marriage relationships, only be in reference to the emet (truth) and not to personal whims or desires. So what does "accept (or submit to) the authority of the elders" mean? Well, it certainly doesn't mean a man's wife submitting to the authority of an elder in the local congregation as she is bound only to submit to her husband. The text specifically is an admonition to youth to be submissive or obedient to their elders, as of youngsters to their fathers. The passage simply establishes patriarchal Torah-centred authority in the home.

    Responsibility and Atonement

    There is potential for abuse here which is why I think many are fearful of this passage. Authority has its limits and those limits are established by Torah for general conduct and by the structure of the family. If a man's wife is out of order in the local congregation, then the husband is responsible and is subject to the discipline of the local elders as if he were culpable if he does not discipline his wife. That is part of the responsibility of headship which is taught to us in the principle of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) accepting responsibility for our sins! It's the basis of atonement. If a wife wrongs someone in the local fellowship, the husband apologies on her behalf and she apologies to her husband. That's not to say that she cannot go and apologise to the person she has wronged too, for she should, but she must also apologise to her husband who has accepted responsibility for her action. That is divine tavnith (pattern).

    The Burden of a Pastor

    Parents understand a similar tavnith (pattern) when it comes to their children. If your child smahes a neighbour's window, guess who pays the bill? That's the principle of atonement that comes in headship. Headship is not about lording it over others but accepting responsibility before Yahweh for the conduct of those over whom one is head and their obligation to be submitted under divinely-apopointed toqef (authority). So just think what the accountability of pastors must consist of! They must give account for their people as fathers and husbands give account for their children and wives. So don't clamour to be a pastor until you first realise and accept the burden of responsibility that office involves!

    The Posion of Self-Entitlement

    This is a HUGE responsibility and you will find little taught about it in the churches and messianic assemblies. Can you understand why we are particular about who becomes a part of us and why? The poison of self-entitelement has no place amongst us. The secular doctrine or 'rights' as against the biblical doctrine of 'responsibilities' and 'accountability' has no part of this work.

    True Mutual Submission

    If there is a such a thing as mutual submission - and I believe there is - then it is mutual submission to the EMET or TRUTH. If the emet (truth) is in a brother or a sister and I am not in that emet (truth), should I not be submissive to it, for the sake of Christ? For sure such requires humility as it deals a death blow to pride! So, yes, we believe in this kind of mutual submission, absolutely, and the husbands, fathers elders are supposed to exemplify that. If my wife respectfully points out some untruth, should I not submit to the truth she proclaims? Yes, of course. I submit to the truth that is in her even if it may offend my pride as her head, because that pride is supposed to be dead anyway if I am a true talmid (disciple).

    Correcting Those in Authority

    So, yes, we are called to expose untruth in our better provided it is dome respectfully and gracefully. The emet (truth) is not about us - our ego - but about Messiah as it is His Emet (Truth). And He submits to the Father in His turn because the Father Yahweh is the source of all Emet (Truth). So, yes, we have not only the 'right' but the positive duty to correct error for the sake of the Body as a whole provided we do so with respect and in humility if it is someone in authority over us we are correcting because Yahweh gave a commandment that we treat our husbands, parents and elders with respect. This we stand for in this kehilah (congregation).

    Care With Translations ansd Handling Truth Rightly

    So be careful with Bible translations and be sure to check out potentially controversial passages thoroughly because false doctrine leads to wrong attitudes that poison relationships. Preserving Echad or Unity in all Emet (Truth) is BIG with us. It is central, indeed, to the task and calling of this work. It is important and we don't compromise it. So do you understand why we have been commanded to be careful about whom we admit? We won't dilute the emet (truth) for the sake or fellowship or anything else because truth defines everything, including love. Nevertheless we must handle emet (truth) with humility and with grace - the undeserved loving kindness of Elohim (God).

    Imminent Financial Collapse

    You are probably wondering why I have taken time to briefly break the silence of the Ark by addressing those of you who are not of MLT. I'll not today go into all the trouble in the world other than to mention that imminent financial collapse is glaringly obvious to all but those who choose to remain uninformed or who are walking in a state of spiritual paralysis and blindness. Stock markets in many countries are already collapsing. The end of Babylon as we know it is nigh, but it is not the end of the world and Yah'shua (Jesus) is not about to come. And certainly no one is about to be raptured. You'll forgive me if I keep on repeating this but there are lying tongues out there trying to make out that we are saying the opposite of what we actually are.

    The World is a Powder Keg

    I am particularly anxious for those who, as individuals, families or congregations, are walking alone hoping they will be able to manage the storm when it hits them, wherever in the world they may be. You have probably heard that North and South Korea, who have been at war now for the last half century, since they have no peace treaty signed by their governments, have started exchanging artillery fire which could escalate into a full military campaign again unless forces be brought to bear to quieten things down again so that the two sides resume their ceasefire. The world is a powder keg and unfortunately there are powerful forces hell-bent on igniting it because they consider their only chance of surviving and maintaining power and privilege is through war. And as should be obvious, our leaders, though elected by their peoples, do not serve the people's interests but élitist bankers and corporations whose highest men and women are satanists serving an evil agenda. So it is only the Hand of the Almighty that is preventing all hell from breaking loose into a Third World War. But it could happen at any time.

    Still Not in the Sanctuary, Still Not on the Ark

    So my concern today is for those of you who are still not in the Sanctuary, who did not board the spiritual Ark, who are wondering what they should be doing now beyond seriously getting their prepping complete and getting right with Yahweh. And you may sincerely believe you are on track. I pray, for your sakies, that you are. Unfortunately, all of us have areas of spiritual blindness and there is one in particular that I am led to bring up today by asking you all this question: ARE YOU POSSIBLY AN ONESIMUS? And if so, what can you do about it?

    The Story of Philemon

    Many have wondered about the place of Paul's letter to Philemon in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament). It's very short, as you know, but very profound in its spiritual content. You might like to turn to it if you have a Bible with you this morning. The story revolves around a wealthy Christian, Philemon, who lives in the city of Colossae about 161 kilometers - 100 miles - inland from Ephesus where the apostle John lived and where the Messianic Community was headquartered for a good period of time. It was from Ephesus that John authored his epistles and quite possible his Gospel too. During Paul's thee-year ministry in Ephesus, from 52 to 55 AD, Philemon heard the Besorah (Gospel) and was converted. He began to serve the messianic community at Colossae and opened his home for regular meetings.

    The Dilemma of Paul and Onesimus

    As most of you know, Philemon had a bond-servant called Onesimus who fled to Rome, quite possibly having stolen money or property to fund his escape. He had become a fugitive and a criminal. Doubtless he hoped to disappear into the great Roman metropolis and there remain undetected. Under a remarkable set of circumstances that demonstrate Yahweh's sovereignty, Onesimus somehow came in contact with the apostle Paul and became a believer. As he grew in Messiah, he spent a great deal of his time becoming an indispensible help to Paul while he was in prison. And much as Paul would have loved to retain his invaluable services, he knew that Onisimus' fugitive status, his severed relationship and wrongdoing against his master needed to be dealt with. What followed was a letter by Paul to Philemon begging the latter to take into consideration the fantastic spiritual transformation that had taken place in his escaped slave and to receive him back, not merely as a bond-servant but also as a fellow bond-servant in Yah'shua (Jesus) (v.16).

    Are You an Onesimus?

    What I want to do now is not look into the many questions about slavery that this epistle raises but to ask you to consider the question: Might you possibly be an Onesimus? And if so, what should you do about it?

    The Moral Dilemma

    Life can consist of many complex situations with difficult moral dilemmas to resolve that aren't always covered by Torah. You can, for example, be doing lots of good in the situation you find yourself in - as Onesimus was doing in Rome after he was converted - whilst a black cloud of unresolved sin is hovering, like the sword of Damocles, above your head.

    A Hypothetical Situation

    Let's take a hypthetical situation. Let us say that a Christian man abandons and divorces his wife for no just cause, moves to another town, starts up a ministry, does much good in bringing souls to Messiah, builds up a congregation, and does many other good works. His devastated wife, in the meantime, remarries, commiting adultery. Because he is blessed in this new work he is doing he assumes that Elohim (God) has overlooked his earlier sin of forcing his wife into adultery and supposes he can just continue with his new life as though nothing had happened. The trouble is, that sword of judgment, because of unresolved sin, is still hovering over his head and at some point - when grace is exhausted and the law of Yah's justice demands a verdict and a punishment - everything will go sour and he will likely lose his ministry and much more, which itself will do much damage to the cause of Christ and to many of those he has converted. There will be casualties because of his earlier crime against his wife sand Yahweh's Torah.

    Crucifixion or Branding

    Onesimus, however useful to Paul, was not ultimately indispensible and he had to return to his master to plead forgiveness and make things right. He had been sullen, resentful, lazy and rebellious and it had been these character faults that had ironically caused him to make the break and run. Yahweh used his error to bring him good - salvation - but he still needed to straighten things out and do what was honourable and right before Elohim (God). Even more ironically, the penalty for a runaway slave in those days was crucifixion but if his master was generous he might save his life and have the letters 'FF', meaning 'fugitive', branded on his head instead. He would have to wear that mark for the rest of his life but he was, at least, alive.

    Paul Interceeds

    There are many believers who have 'FF' invisibly branded on their heads that only those with the Ruach (Spirit) can see. We do have to be careful and sensitive with such people and particularly with those they have wronged. Paul tells Onesimus to return to his master whom Paul had known personally. So he writes this letter to smooth the reunion. And since the penalty for desertion was so severe, the tone and content of the letter were important. But Paul also knew that Onesimus could not run away from his past. An important part of making teshuvah involves, wherever possible, putting the past right.

    Useful Onesimus

    There are subtleties in this letter that might not be immediately obvious that only careful study brings out. Paul is tactful and diplomatic. For one, he uses a pun on Onesimus' name because the name 'Onesimus' actually means 'useful' and was probably given to him by Philemon. See how subtle and humerous Paul is:

      "Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me" (Philem.11, NIV).

    The Place of Humour in Puns

    I can picture in my mind Philemon smiling as he read that! You see, the Ruach (Spirit) was using Paul to soften Philemon up by using a bit of humour. Yes, humour has its place provided it is qodesh (holy, set-apart) and is used to build up and edify rather than tear down.

    A Picture of Justification and Sanctification

    The story of Onesimus is a spiritual picture of us, is it not? It is a picture of our salvation. We are the slave who ran away from Yahweh. We were no use to Him, but Yah'shua (Jesus) came and paid our debts and presented us back to Yahweh again this time as a useful servant again. So Onesimus is a lovely picture of the doctrine of justification - Onesimus is, in addition to being received back as a servant, also, under Paul's urging, to be received back as a son. Here, then, is also a picture of sanctification for Onesimus is now even more useful to his master than he was before.

    The Unknown of Repentance

    We do not know how things finally ended with Philemon and Onesimus and I suppose there is a reason why we are providentially kept in the dark, and it's this, I believe: we don't know what will happen when we set off back to resolve serious sin issues. We can only trust Yahweh to make things right even if that means a complete change in our circumstances that might not seem so appealing at first. The point is, you cannot remain where you are without fixing what must be fixed. It may have been scarey for Onesimus going back to receive an uncertain fate but we are left with tiqveh - hope. That is how any of us must return to Yahweh when it comes to unresolved sin issues.

    Sending Recycled Souls Backn to Yahweh

    Indeed, in this story, Paul was simply doing for the slave Onesimus what Yah'shua (Jesus) had done for him. He was saying to Onesimus, "Yah'shua (Jesus) paid for you and rescued you and recycled you and sent you back to serve Yahweh. Now you go and do that to others." In other words, our relationships to others are conditioned by what Messiah has done for us. We must recycle people and send them back to Father Yah. We must be willing to pay the price for them in time, effort, patience, long-suffering and whatever else we are called to do for them until they are willing to make that journey back to the Father or else just walk away from us and from Him. And our behaviour toward such as Onesimus must be based on the same way that Elohim (God) has treated us.

    Facing Unresolved Issues

    I know two prominent ministers who are carrying dark secrets such as the one I have mentioned in the example I cited earlier. Each took different ministerial paths, one even changing his name, in the hope that he would remain undetected. They have both been successful in the ministry but both have an accounting coming. These are ministers, who have a higher accountability, but the same law applies to all of us, no matter our position in the messianic community. I am urgently led to bring this up now because none of us wants major unresolved issues in our lives at a time such as the one that is rapidly closing in on us. It could be the difference between being in the Santuary and the Courtyard - between being exposed to the rage of the Enemy and being protected under Yahweh's spiritual tent.

    Black September Approaches

    All the autumn festivals fall in the month of Black September when, I believe, a dark cloud will descend on the whole world - and especially those nations like the USA coming under judgment first - that will make it very difficult to resolve the kinds of major issues I am speaking of without considerable risk to life and limb, and possibly even to salvation should the Master decide to take any of us home suddenly.

    Why Issues are Left Unresolved

    Ironically, since we are speaking of a bond-servant, Onesimus, today, we ourselves - like Philemon of old - are, when we are born again, bond-servants of Christ. We are all looking for completion in Messiah, or ought to be, and nothing will frustrate or hinder that yearning more than unresolved sin that we are aware of but which we keep pushing down into unconsciousness. Why do we do it?

    Rejected First, Accepted After

    I suggest it could be for any number of reasons. It may well be that we are afraid of coming under a judgment from which we cannot emerge unharmed, and we want to preserve life or reputation or both at all costs. Maybe we are afraid of being humiliated and rejected. And yet, as Dr. Gregory Mantle has noted, "no man can be fully accepted until he is totally rejected." What did he mean by that?

    Burning That Last Bridge

    To answer that question we have to view Yah'shua (Jesus) on the cross, totally rejected of men, yet fully accepted of His Father. Rejection preceeds acceptance. Acceptance only comes once we have overcome that which rejects us, which is our own flesh - only once it has fully rejected us from the place we choose to occupy in the Light of Messiah can we finally have the courage to reject the flesh and so remain permanently in the Ruach (Spirit). Rejection - either way - of the flesh by the spirit, or the spirit by the flesh - means burning that final bridge between the two. Only when that bridge is burned can be finally be who we were designed to be, sons and daughers of Messiah. And when that happens we become the Sukkot Bride 'married' only to Messiah, for no woman may have more than one husband. Then we will have true shalom (peace), then we will stop pursuing the unrealistic and the impossible promises made to us by the flesh and finally stop trusting ourselves, trusting Yah'shua (Jesus) alone.

    Only a Few Days Left

    The 40-day Sinai count has been granted to us in order to get right with Yahweh - completely right - prior to the unleashing of darkness and tribulation. We have until the end of this Roman month of August, a mere 8 days, to be ready, I believe. Once the darkness descends we will be occupied with so much else we probably won't have time to engage in as much sober introspection as is being granted us now. I can't say that will be true everywhere, of course, but I expect that will be the general experience.


    It therefore remains for me to bless you all in all that must yet be done to get right with Yahweh. You know who we are and what we expect and why we are who we are. Many are called but few are chosen (Mt.22:14). You know that the spirit of self-entitlemnt must go and understand the importance of communal fellowship and service under covenant. And you now know that we are all like Onesimus and that our good works cannot pospone repentance in areas we are running away from. It's time to get fully right with Yahweh, and to do it quickly. May the Ruach (Spirit) go with you to that end, I pray, in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.


    [1] David Pawson, Unlocking the Bible: A Unique Overview of the Whole Bible (Collins, London: 2007), pp.1078-1082
    [2] The ESV Study Bible (Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois: 2001), Introduction to Philemon (p.2354)

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