Month 1:29 (Aviv 29), Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:29 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50, Omer Count - Shabbat #2
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 6 May 2016
Cutting the Tether
Tradition & the Imprisoned Remnant
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with you as we approach the Throne of Grace for wisdom, understanding and empowerment for the days ahead, that the Remnant might not succumb to the strong and deadly deception that is everywhere abroad in the world. We have enemies round about us and one of the greatest, which trips up so many time and time again, is tradition.
The Curse of Man-Made Tradition
It was the late great Anglican theologian, E.W.Bullinger (1837-1913) who warned that "tradition is like the tether which prevents an animal from getting a blade of grass beyond the length of that tether" . And I have, sadly, seen so many promising ministers, like a goat tied to a post, able only to understand so much because tradition held them bound. Therefore:
Filled With Spiritual Wisdom and Understanding
"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding" (Prov.3:13, NIV).
Like it or not, discernment is very definitely a function of wisdom and understanding. Indeed, there are altogether 72 references to this pair of attributes in Scripture, all of which are positive and are therefore enjoined upon all the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones). Using the same kind of language as being filled with the Ruach (Spirit) (Ac.15:32), the apostle Paul affirms:
Every Part of the Word is Truth
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking Elohim (God) to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Col.1:9, NIV).
Only foolishness and, I suspect, a number of other negative aspects of fallen man, make light of them. Yahweh is the one who unlooses these things on those who love and pursue Him through His Davar (Word), and this clearly for a purpose that is by no means to be in any way viewed as inferior. To understand His full scope of redemption we must not riddicule or diminish any activity demanded of us by the revelation of His Davar (Word) and therefore we must resist those who would seek to diminish them.
Tethering vs. Untethering?
Additionally, the issue here is not one of tethering vs. untethering but of becoming untethered from man's limiting posts of confinement whilst remaining firmly attached to Yahweh's, which is to say, to use another metaphor I more generally employ, remaining within the hedge of Torah (cp. Job 1:10). That is Biblical freedom. We must therefore both encourage men and women to unloose themselves from man's traditions as well as bind themselves to space within the Torah fence of protection.
When Money Calls the Tune
That is one problem. Another, in the world of both organised religion, politics, industry and science is money. In Germany and Austria they have an expression which roughly translated goes, respectively:
"Whose bread I eat, his song I sing" or "The singer sings for those who feed him"
and its English equivalent,
A False Accusation
We were recently accused, quite falsely, that a group we were funding felt 'obliged' to follow our teachings in order to secure continued funding and yet, ironically, that group was secretly, without our knowledge, being funded by others, whilst still claiming to follow our doctrine, and predictably 'agreeing' with the doctrines of the other contributors. We were then effectively rebuked for promoting 'denominationalism' and suppressing the 'right' of those under our care to pursue whatever doctrinal path they felt right.
How We Have Admitted New Congregations
Now I agree that denominationalism can be a problem when it stifles free enquiry. That is the curse of both religion and secularism. However, when you join a congregation or an association of congregations, as we have been now for a very long time, you do so because you are attracted to it and agree to its teachings. Indeed, we have gone out of our way to refuse membership to those who are not walking in agreement with us. Unlike many, we're not in the business of finding 'recruits' but only for those who wish to walk in unity with us. The rest we bless to follow whatever path they believe Elohim (God) is calling them to walk, respecting, as we must, the conscience of the individual to choose. This is why we have had a policy of not admitting a congregation or group of associated congregations into this work until they have completed a minimum of three years probation to ensure that nobody is forced to be a part of us against their will because they don't agree with our teachings or believe they are called elsewhere. Indeed, we won't even admit as probationary congregations whose pastors and elders are not fully in agreement with our doctrines. We sit down with them, several times both before and during the probationary period, and present them with my article, Lev's Hot Potatoes, in which we present all our doctrines and practices, and especially pointing out those which are at variance with traditional Evangelical Christianity and Messianic Judaism. We tell them: "Look, if you have any difficulties with any of these, it is your responsibility to tell us now and ask searching questions so we can answer you to your satisfaction. We cannot - will not - admit you, even as probationary members, unless you - the pastors and elders - have a witness from the Ruach (Spirit) that these teachings are true."
Open Discussion About Doctrinal Disharmony
If questions are raised, we present them for open discussion and debate until everyone is satisfied. I can give you one such example which took place back in February 2015 when there was uncertainty and disagreement as to how to establish Aviv 1 or the Biblical New Year. We had a big discussion, back and forth, publishing everyone's views until it was clear what the emet (truth) was. This is how we resolve controversies and disagreements in doctrine. You can read about this particular discussion in The Aviv 1 Quest: From Search to Discovery. Sometimes a long discussion isn't necessary and a detailed article satisfies everyone.
Problems arise when leaders of applicant congregations aren't honest and then try to blame-shift. One particular group was regularly asked if they were in agreement with our 'hot potatoes' statement and were told they were free to go their own way at any time if they wanted to as we had no desire to hold anyone captive against their wills. We were led to believe that the pastors, elders, deacons and ordinary folks had come to agreement after two years of systematic teaching only to be shocked to discover, when a minister from another denomination paid an unannounced visit to this group of congregations, that there was anything but doctrinal unity. Indeed, some members were Sunday-worshippers, some Saturday and some (the minority) Luni-solar (like ourselves). Our pastor had never informed me. Of course, by then, he had not only become the beneficiary of large sums of money from our people but had also solicited funds from elsewhere too, something we had encouraged him to do provided he told these beneficiaries of his religious association and covenant with us, albeit probationary. That way the beneficiaries would not be misled into thinking that the pastor was seeking association with them. This he did not do, even changing the name of his congregation on one occasion and making sure that no reference to any connection with this ministry could be made from the content on his social media websites where he was soliciting for funds.
In the end we had to let these congregations go as they were being duplicitous. Worse, we were then accused by others of holding them prisoner in a 'denomination' and then accused of forcing them to believe as we do in order to receive our funding! We were then given a lecture on the virtues of congregations being independent so they don't feel forced to conform their doctrines to a denomination!
There are many organisations who agree with the 'independent congregations' doctrine and who are willing to fund others of like-mindedness. Understandably, they do, nonetheless, seek to doctrinally influence these 'independent' groups they help economically and put pressure on them to do their Bible courses and get converted to their way of thinking. It is this kind of approach which leads poor congregations to play-act being a 'part of' 'or involved' with many organisations with divergent doctrines.
A Fraudulent Ministry in Benin
Many years ago we had a group of congregations in Benin, West Africa, where we financed and set up a chicken farm. They played this game too though on a massive scale. They joined three organisations (one was our own), without the either knowing of the others. Using three sets of pre-printed stationary, three different email accounts, and representing themselves in three different sets of photographs containing the names of all three ministries, they effectively created three different churches with one set of members, many of whom turned out to be stage-props. Each of these 'churches' had different doctrines. The pastor in charge received funding from all three ministries.
Exposure of the Fraud
The fraud was eventually exposed when one of the sponsors from Australia saw we had created a website for this group of assemblies and recognised the pastor as one who had been claiming to be an exlusive member of the their ministry. The truth then came out and we discovered an American ministry that had been duped as we both had been. All three of us called him to repentance and dropped him like a hot potato to stew in his own rotten juice.
Covenant Family vs. Independent
There is a big difference between being part of a Family Covenant Association, which we have always been and have stated so unambiguously, and seeking to be supported with no strings attached as an 'Independent'. In this this situation, one who entered into a covenantal relationship with us (like a marriage) carried on as though he was still independent ('single') without the mutual obligations devolving upon those in a covenantal obligation and 'flirted' with other ministries. In their minds, we were obliged to finance, guide and teach but not to expect any reciproal loyalty, as proven by the devious way in which other associations were made. Though this was exposed and repentance offered, in truth they continued as before. Being dependent on other donors now, they were forced to 'recant' their previously confessed belief in a female Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), in accepting full membership of polygamous families and in implementing the Creation Calendar. This was then twisted to insinuate that we 'forced' them to believe in these doctrines which they are now saying they never at any time accepted. Therefore they could no longer remain in association with us because of their 'conscience'. In short, the blame was shifted back on us and they tried to make us responsible for their own dishonesty and excuses were made for their ungodly behaviour.
Integrity and Honesty in the Remnant
Integrity is essential to any relationship, especially between brethren. That is why we must insist on honesty from the beginning. We do not want people to compromise their beliefs in order to 'get' something from us. Our teachings are all free online. Anyone can help themselves whether they join us or not. We don't charge for anything. It's hard to join us and easy to leave unlike the cults where the reverse is true. THE REMNANT MUST BE TRANSPARENTLY HONEST. We are open about our beliefs and don't expect anyone to join us unless they are genuinely convicted of the emet (truth) of the full Besorah (Gospel) we teach and preach. We don't want anyone to join us who does not have his or her heart fully in the work and who won't be honest about areas of doctrine in which they struggle. There is always struggle because there are so many lies in the world and in the churches. We are handicapped at every turn by the false traditions and philosophies of men who hate to have them challenged. The tethers, preventing a full blossoming in discipleship, are many.
Mothers' Day and May Day
I don't propose to made a study of man-made pagan traditions today for the obvious reason that there are simply far too many of them and it wouldn't be very edifying. Tomorrow millions of people in America will be observing Mother's Day and it was less that a week ago that billions celebrated May Day, better known amongst occultists, New Agers and Satanists as Beltane. Most people think nothing of them and for those who think little of the gods these observances honour they will observe them and fail to detect any negative spiritual forces at work.
The Remnant Bride's Sensitivity to Purity
For a member of the Remnant seeking purity in order to become the Bride of Messiah (as opposed to being saved which is trusting in Messiah's work on the cross alone), being faithful to Her Husband, honouring His Name, Character and Heart, becomes extremely important. They know, because they have been sensitised by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), that these pagan activities, however apparently innocuous, defile, and defilement they cannot afford in their high profession of emunah (faith). For one who is already defiled, ritually passing through the same defilement year after year will have little or no impact and indeed, because they are carnal, they will embrace them all the more fervently, slowly acquiring the attributes of the spirits that inhabit these observances.
Other Pagan Observances
Mother's Day and May Day, defiling through they are like any pagan or pagan-influenced observation, are minor (relatively-speaking) compared to the 'bigger' abominations like Christmas and Easter which even atheists celebrate, at least the pagan aspects of them. So too with a number of Messianic abominations like Kabbalism and Zionism.
Three Challenging Doctrines
For most who come to this work, they may raise their eyebrows over such 'details' at first but most of the wrestling comes over the meatier doctrines like, as I have already said, the Creation Calendar, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) being our Heavenly Mother, and the acceptability of polygamy for those called into it. Yet all of these are important doctrines, and for different reasons, mostly because to believe a lie is to put a restricting spiritual tether on yourself and deny yourself choice blessings.
The Luni-Solar Sabbath is a Tough One for Most
Yes, living a luni-solar sabbath is tough but doable if you're willing to submit to Yahweh and change. It has forced, as I believe Yahweh intended all along with its restoration at this time, people to leave the Babylonian job market and system and become economically independent as farmers and offer self-employed services where they are free to organise their own work timetable.
The Female Gender of the Ruach haQodesh
People - lots of them - are responding to these and other truths being restored at this critical juncture. I had a letter from a minister in the USA four days ago and this is she wrote about one of our articles on the femaleness of the Ruach (Spirit):
"I am visiting your wonderful [web]site for the first time....I thought your article [on the Ruach/Spirit being our Mother] was wonderful. Thank you!"
For many, modifying the Catholic-originated Trinitarian doctrine in any detail is tantamount of heresy and meriting eternal damnation even though this pagan Greek-influenced formulation appeared long after the original apostles and post-apostolic fathers. So many are terrified of losing their souls for not believing the Godhead is all-male yet can't seem to grasp the simple family arithmetic of Father + Ruach (Spirit) = Son.
The Difficulty of Polygamy
Polygamy is a tough one for sure and it's important to state that we absolutely do not expect our members to enter into it because most are absolutely not called to live this way. But we do expect them to be in agreement with the doctrine even if they never live it because godly men and women today, as anciently, are called by Yahweh to live this way, their families being called to mirror the union of the Messianic Community (Church) with Messiah on a miniature scale. We will have the whole of a very large Holy Echad Marriage website, consisting of many hundreds of in-depth articles, up this summer sometime which explains why this complex form of marriage is a necessary part of the end-time Remnant and Messianic Bride. We have had many congregations in the past seeking to join us because their polygamous members felt, at last, they could be free of the stigmatism ans restrictions imposed on this practice by the anti-polygamy churches. We have always stood up for them and will continue doing so. It has been decriminalised in several non-Moslem countries (like Colombia) and is now legal in some non-Moslem countries (like Kenya).
Problems Associated With Whole Congregations Joining
Many pastors of struggling congregations try to join this work too quickly and it is typically our task to put the brakes on their applications to make sure they know what they're getting into. Many don't care about doctrine and are only concerned to get some international preachers to assist with evangelis and have a foreign sponsor to enable regular funding and government recognition.
Nature of the Gathering of the Remnant
Our mission is not to help struggling churches hidebound by tradition and resistant to change  but to sow seeds of emet (truth) amongst them. As has been made very clear to us in the days since the spring festivals ended, we are not, except in very exceptional cases, going to receive whole congregations into NCAY any more. This is not how the Remnant is to be gathered. An individual from one city, a family from another city, is the way it is to be done according to Scripture. One by one, family by family, they will find their way home, having not only been directed to us by the Ruach (Spirit) but taught by the Ruach (Spirit) too. Most finding us have been taught many of the doctrinal pieces of the Bridal Puzzle in advance.
Who are the Remnant?
Our headquarters in Sweden, which doubled up as our home and as an international conference centre for representatives from congregations around the world to assemble at the festivals, is now to be used to receive seeking and converted individuals and families for fellowship, training and sending-forth of the Melchizedek Priesthood preparatory for the gathering of the twelve tribes. What kind of people are these that we might recognise them? And what will those around them be like?
Surprising Origins of the Remnant
"For all the people walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the Name of Yahweh our Elohim (God, Mighty One) le-olam-va-ed (forever). On that day, says Yahweh, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away, and those whom I have afflicted. The lame will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; for Yahweh will reign over them in Mount Zion now and le-olam-va-ed (for evernmore)" (Micah 4:5-7, NRSV).
Are you surprised to learn what the Remnant's origins are? The lame, those who have been driven away and those whom Yahweh has afflicted. They cannot walk because they have been beaten and worn down by persecution, they have been driven away - expelled by the churches and messianic churches - for refusing to be tethered and for not submitting to their traditions and perversions, and they have been afflicted by Yahweh, both for their own sins (to get sin burned out of them) and for the purposes of refining, ground like fine flour to make fine living lechem (bread). They are not heroes in the world's eyes, or in the eyes of compromised Christians and Messianics, but they are well-beloved of Yahweh.
Made From Weakness
The Remnant is made from weakness and turned into strength. It is known for its constancy and determination:
Have a Right Mind
"I trust in your unfailing ahavah (love); my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to Yahweh because He has been good to me" (Ps.13:5-6, NASB).
Maintain that right attitude, never lose tiqveh (hope), be loyal and true. With Elohim (God) all things are possible, but you must do what He tells you to do, and go where He tells you to go, even if that makes no sense at first. Instruct your soul firmly and with resolve when it is tempted to despair:
Embrace the Whole Foundation
"Why are you in despair, O my soul (being)? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in Elohim (God), for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my Elohim (God)" (Ps.43:5, NASB).
Do not be put off by the meatier things like the Creation Calendar, the identity of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) or by the higher forms of marriage. These things exist, in part, to sift out the Remnant-Bride from those who will not trust or obey. They are a part of the bigger foundation of emet (truth) that the end-time "restoration of all things, which Elohim (God) has spoken by the mouth of all His qaadosh (holy, set-apart) nevi'im (prophets) since the world began" (Acts 3:21, NKJV) must be built squarely on. We are not reviving the old church system, we are replacing it with something new and better! The old system is about to perish.
Therefore "let the Ruach (Spirit) lift [you] up" that you may behold "the glory of Yahweh [rising] from its place" (Ezek.2:12, NRSV), breaking the bounds of your doubting and ignorance, strengthening you in your weakness, turning your lame legs into powerful instruments of witness. Get away, get away, from the nation of destruction, get out and to the place appointed far away. Come home and be at rest. In Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
Last Word: Perparing for the Coming Jericho March
Tomorrow, at Rosh Chodesh, we shall commence our Fifth Annual seven days-long Jericho March of intensive spiritual warfare on behalf of our families and of the Remnant as a whole. Come and join us over the next week. This is the spiritual barrage that must be laid down before the great assault!
 E.W.Bullinger, Commentary on Revelation (Kregel, Grand Rapids, MI: 1984), p.xvi
 We have had many of these over the years from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines to Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda