Sermons Series 3:108, 25 August 2007
Your Good Works
Are They of Yahweh or Satan?
Have You Been Accredited by Yahweh or the Sark?
Shabbat Shalom and welcome back to our in-depth study of issues that divide evangelicals and messianics, and scriptural solutions as to how to bring them together as the end-time One (Echad) House Messianic Israelite Bride. I have rather a lot to share with you today so you may possibly want to go over this sermon several times when I have finished.
We have seen how the two principal trees in the Garden of Eden get confused and the two different kinds of doing 'good' - the one which is self-righteous (and gives glory to self) and the other which is in Yah'shua (and which gives Him all the glory). We saw last week how two totally different and spiritually separate questions tend to get confused by both parties: one is lawlessness vs. Commandment-keeping and the other is commandment keeping in the flesh vs. commandment keeping in Yah'shua. Messianics and Evangelicals tend to go around in circles, each having an essential piece of the puzzle and neither seeing that both are right.
In Search of Eternal Life
How, for instance, do you get eternal life? As you browse through the New Testament, where do you go in search of your answers? If you get apparently contradictory sets of answers, to which do you give the greater weighting, and to which set of scriptures do you give primacy? Last week I told you about the error I made in thinking that an upgrade program was the total software I needed - how do we get upgrades in Yahweh's revelation confused with the foundational revelation? Do we throw out one and keep the other? Which order do we view them in? How did the first believers view Scripture?
If we want to be a 'New Testament Church' or a 'New Covenant Assembly' as so many groups claim to be restorations of (like the Campbellite Churches of Christ, the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and others), shouldn't we be approaching Scripture in the same way the first believers did? The answer is, yes - obviously - and especially the way Yah'shua did. And without exception, the Torah or Old Testament was viewed as the primary, foundational Scripture to which they looked for verification of their beliefs and confirmation of the revelation that both Yah'shua and subsequently the apostles were bringing. Indeed, it was the only Scripture the early Messianic Community or Church had! The new revelation that was being brought forth by the apostles never contradicted what came before.
So how do you get eternal life? To whom, as Christians or Messianics, should we be going to get the answers? To Christ or the Messiah, of course! And what did He say? Well, we first of all have to go to the discussion He has with the rich young man, don't we, because He was very precise as to what we have to do to get eternal life. We have three testimonies of this in three gospels so the Torah requirement for the establishment of truth is firmly grounded (Mt.19:16-26; Mk.10:17-31; Lk.18:18-26). Make a careful study of these three accounts and then ask yourself this question: how is Yah'shua telling me I must get eternal life? How do I secure myself a place in heaven?
The Three Messianic Conditions for Getting Eternal Life
Firstly, Yah'shua said, obey all the Ten Commandments, deny yourself (in the rich young man's case, give away his wealth because he had an idolatrous attachment to it - in other words, separate yourself from idolatrous connections) and follow Yah'shua! As you Americans say, wow! These are the three conditions for obtaining eternal life! How many evangelical pastors and messianic rabbis are teaching you this? Let me summarise the three requirements:
1. Obey the Ten Commandments;
2. Remove idolatry from your life; and
3. Follow Yah'shua the Messiah.
Authorities in the Bible Books
And as you well know, the Ten Commandments are a summary of the whole of Torah - all of Yahweh's mitzvot. Here Yah'shua is telling us our approach to Scripture too:
1. Start with the Old Testament (the Law and the Prophets ... plus the rest);
2. Find Scripture that exposes idolatry; and
3. Read Yah'shua's instructions.
This means that anything else that Yahweh reveals must come in fourth place:
4. Follow the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.
Who were they? Well, there were 12 of them - we are to follow the teachings of the eye-witnesses of Yah'shua first because they are the appointed Judges of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Mt.19:28; Lk.22:30). Not all of them wrote Scripture (others like Barnabas may have but it never got canonised) - the only ones who did were John, Peter, and Matthew (Matthias - Ac.1:26). The writings of the rest must then take fifth place:
5. Follow the Teachings of the other apostles and their witnesses.
Who were these? Well, Dr.Luke was a witness of the apostles and wrote Acts and a Gospel and John Mark was a Gospel writer. The only other writer was Paul who was not of the Twelve but was a special emissary to the gentiles. This means we should follow Luke, Mark, and then Paul, last of all. Paul called himself the "least of the apostles" (1 Cor.15:9) because Yah'shua appeared to him "last of all, as to one abnormally born" (v.8). Why, then, do Evangelicals put Paul at the top of the Scripture pile? How can that be right? His witness came last - he was building on what had gone before. His message is an upgrade, not the original.
What Following Yah'shua Means
So we are back now at how to obtain eternal life and Yah'shua has told us, through three apostolic witnesses (Matthew, Mark and Luke), in the encounter with the rich, young ruler. He told us that in order to inherit eternity that we had to obey the mitzvot (commandments), overcome idolatrous tendencies, and follow Him. If we are in any doubt as to His actual meaning, Yah'shua continues to explain in quite shocking language to the carnal ear that if you give up fathers, mothers and brothers for Him, deny yourself, and take up your cross, you shall have eternal life (Mt.19:27-29). In other words, He explains what "follow Me" actually means practically-speaking. And if we want a third witness we have only to look elsewhere at His teachings in the Gospels where He makes plain that those who follow Him lose their lives in this world - that is, consider the world and its lusts dead to themselves - in order to serve the Master and in so doing inherit eternal life (Jn.12:25-26).
To be In Him and Remain In Him
Now I say this in order to introduce some balance to what I was talking about last week. Last week we were looking at the spiritual realities of being IN Yah'shua. But that isn't the end of it. To remain IN Him will naturally result in a consecrated life of set-apart obedience to Him with very concrete, practical and not infrequently challenging implications for living in the outer world. One who is walking in "eternal life" is not living for the self-life by definition, and not walking in the self-life means we are living in such a way that will create emnity between us and the world. It is wholly unavoidable.
If we are walking in the self-life, we will be at peace with the world but have a seared conscience as to what we should be actually doing relative to Yahweh's Kingdom. The world will want us to deny the guilt that always haunts the one who has turned away from the Messiah-centred life and the enemy will want you to believe that this sense of guilt is somehow 'bad', and must be mercilessly suppressed. But guilt is given to us, not to condemn us, but to save us. It is a tool given in love by Yahweh to the heart to give us a second chance to repent and obtain deliverance when we wander off the way of self-denial and are seduced back into that cul-de-sac - that dead-end - called Self-Appeasement. Like pain when we injure our physical bodies is designed to make us take steps to get medical attention or dress a wound, so guilt is given to us to persuade us to take the necessary steps to prevent Satan from taking charge and setting up his own régime of lies, oppression and internal civil war within our souls.
Doing Good and the Tree of Idolatry
Last week I told you that the Messiah-centred life was simple. And it is. Doing what is right, living the right lifestyle, living for and in Yah'shua is simple. What isn't simple are all the smoke-screens thrown up by the flesh and the wisdom of the world - the 'wisdom' of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which, when it isn't trying persuade us to do naked evil, will be persuading us to do good in the self-life and so commit idolatry - one of those three stumbling-blocks to eternal life. Self-preservation, self-interest, self-anything is your ticket out of the simplicity and shalom of a life in Yah'shua and into a life of undisguised or open hell. So successful is the 'fruit of the knowledge of good' that we should not be surprised to find our adversary using it constantly. And he does. Everyone trying to do good in the world outside of Him is committing the sin of self-righteousness or idolatry. This is what we discussed last week.
If we are walking IN Yah'shua, if we have eternal life operating in us, then we will be doing the three things that Yah'shua explained that those with eternal life would be doing, and they are obeying the mitzvot, overcoming idolatry (self-centredness) and following Yah'shua not just in word but in very deed. And how easy it is to talk of these things!
The Great Controversy
Last Sabbath I woke up to start my morning Bible study before getting up which I had neglected somewhat for a few days and wished to re-commence. I was led to the section of John known as 'The Great Controversy' (Jn.7-10) which begins with Yah'shua's unbelieving biological brothers giving him some advice. They said to Him:
"'You should leave this district and go into Judaea, so that your disciples there may see the great things you are doing. Surely no one can hope to be in the public eye if he works in seclusion. If you really are doing such things as these, show yourself to the world'" (Jn.7:1-4, NEB).
I couldn't but help think of Job's friends as I read those words. You know, in the past when I have been looking for some scripture to back up something I wanted to say in a sermon or an article, I would do a word or thematic search on my electronic Bible and often ended up finding something that matched perfectly in the Book of Job. I have then enthusiastically incorporated the passage into my sermon only to then discover that the words being spoken were actually the bad advice (they thought it was 'good') of Job's tormentors! That has been embarrassing! We must always check the context of the material we quote and remember that Satan knows how to present a good intellectual argument for everything he stands for, and even make it sound pious and very religious.
Openness and Secrecy
Yah'shua, of course, told His accusers that He always taught openly and not secretly when they accused Him of fomenting rebellion (Jn.18:20). From this incident Christians rightly teach that we should be open about our teachings and not have some 'secret doctrine' as the occult orders do for their 'initiates'. However there are times when it is prudent not to answer those who are trying to trap you with tricky questions. When the Pharisees asked Yah'shua by what authority He did what He did, He refused to tell them, didn't he? Instead he turned their question around by asking what John the Baptist's authority was knowing full well that if they told the truth, they would have no alternative but to accept Yah'shua's authority too. They also knew that if they didn't, the people would stone them (Lk.20:1-8). They were juggling with the good and evil fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. Yah'shua did not always answer the questions of His accusers. Sometimes He would turn them around, sometimes He would ignore them. He did what His Father in Heaven told Him to do - always - because He knew the desperately wicked hearts of the children of men and their murderous intent.
Any Time is Right for the Wicked
So here are Yah'shua's brothers urging Him to be just a little 'more public'. "Go on," they were urging Him, "you'll never get famous until you are more open! Don't go doing miracles in secluded places - do it in the city centre!" Now like those Pharisees, they did not actually believe in His mission at all - at least not until after His death and resurrection. But at that time they were carnal and not on the same side as Yah'shua at all. They sounded 'good' - their advice 'made sense' but it was not in Yahweh's will. Yah'shua replied to them:
"'The right time for me has not yet come, but any time is right for you." (v.6, NEB).
Two Kinds of Good Deeds
Have you ever really though what Yah'shua meant by that? He's saying that what's 'right' for the carnal is not right for the spiritual. How can that be? Because there are two different realities in this world. On this planet there is the reality of what's going on around you visibly but there is also an invisible reality which directs everything that goes on around you in the physical world. In the invisible there are two powers in operation, one of which operates through the Tree of Life which manifests as an absolute 'good', and the other through the Tree of Death which manifests both as evil and apparent 'good' - the 'good' which the world loves, the same world which rejects Yah'shua and would put Him to death. Yah'shua explains further to His brothers:
"'The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me for exposing the wickedness of its ways'" (v.7).
Here, then, is the distinction between the 'good' that comes from the Tree of Life and the 'good' that comes from the Tree of Death: the 'good' that comes from the Tree of Death is a counterfeit 'good' because it doesn't expose the wickedness of the world - IT HAPPILY CO-EXISTS WITH IT!! It accommodates it! It lives side by side with it and says: "I'll turn a blind eye to your evil if you'll let me get on with my self-righteous 'good'". That is why the world does good deeds and the evil aren't bothered one bit because most of the evil people are doing such good deeds themselves for a variety of reasons.
Thus fornicating, adulterous, blasphemous, Messiah-hating and otherwise lawless pop stars can put on a pop concert and raise millions of dollars for the starving of the world, and the world loves it. The word feels a part of this, their sin-seared conscience is appeased, and they think that their bad deeds are outweighed by their good ones, so they hope that 'God' will accept them because they have filled a few bellies. Was it wrong to feed those starving people? Absolutely not. What they did was right but how they did it was wrong and they will hate me and anyone else for daring to say that what they are doing still does not qualify them for heaven, assuming any are actually serious about making that their desitination (which most aren't). They will accuse: "what did you do to help the starving, you hypocrite!" Yet I guarantee 99.999% of them won't do any sort of consistent giving - it will be a one-off thing. The idea of regularly and consistently paying tithes to the poor (alms) which Messianic beilevers do, and as is commanded by Torah, will make them balk. Oh how evil and self-deceiving is the human heart! The selfish heart wants to do good its way, when it wants, which is simply its own failed way of addressing guilt for sin and rebellion.
Now I am not saying that there aren't people who both know Yah'shua and who don't know Him who are genuinely moved by the Ruach haQodesh to make contributions to such causes arranged by pop stars and other popular figures. It is not for me to judge anyone individually or even collectively for that matter. Only Yahweh has the right to do that. I won't be stopping or openly criticising people for raising money for the poor and starving. I will, however, exposes all lies and teach the truth - all of it - as far as motives are concerned and spiritual realities, as Yahweh reveals it to me, and urge both myself and my fellow Christian and Messianic brethren and sisters to live the way the Master wants. My concern is not to stop good works - Yahweh forbid - for as I have said many times, and said last week too, just because our heart is wrong does not mean we should stop doing good works. Yahweh uses the good works of the hypocritical and the unsaved to bless people too. Ultimately He uses everything for the good which, though a little hard at times for us to see, is demonstrated historically in the way He used, for example, Israel's enemies to being Israel to repentance and thus back home to Him. Nothing is wasted in the divine economy of things.
Now many people have critcised the way I have done things in my family and in the ministry. Sometimes they have been right but as a husband, father and pastor I have the stewardship and responsibility to act as I believe I am led. The reason this passage in John 7 hit me so forcefully, I suspect, is because many have criticised me for not being more 'open' and 'public' in the ministry about some things. Believe me, I have wanted for years to go out into the world and evangelise, but each time Yahweh has told me it is "not the time". There are times and seasons for all things, and even though we may get frustrated and impatient, we must do as He says. Abraham and Sarah had to wait years for Isaac. I have made serious mistakes in going ahead of the divine schedule.
Well, Yah'shua did eventually go public and attended the second half of the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) as His brothers had wanted Him to do. They had been right about Yah'shua going public but their timing and motivation were wrong. And when you try to do things the world's way by not following the correct timing, things often go seriously wrong. The Prodigal Son had the right to his inheritance but he wanted it before time. He not only squandered the lot but ruined himself spiritually as well. Operating in Yahweh's timing is important. Therefore as a husband, father and minister I must often hold back when others are pressing me forward, often impatiently and sometimes adversarially. Over the years I have seen where the hot-headedness of these people has got them and I am sure many of them are looking back and deeply regretting they did not take my counsel. I know I regret not having taken the counsel of many who were wiser than myself.
Circumstantial vs. Absolute Righteousness
"'The right time for me has not yet come, but any time is right for you'", Yah'shua said to his unbelieving brothers. How can "any time" be "right" for the children of the world? Well, the 'rightness' here is not an absolute but circumstantial and contextual 'rightness'. Anything is 'right' for those operating out of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. People who operate out of it are absolutely and often passionately convinced as to the 'rightness' of their choices and actions because in the absence of the opposite tree to give contrast and divine context there can be no 'wrong'. It's all existentialism. Oh yes, there is a 'comparitive' or 'relative' 'rightness' and 'wrongness' but it's based on Satan's system, not Yahweh's - it's white occult versus black occult, good cop versus bad cop. You may even have once known what I am talking about but now I may make no sense - I know people who knew these things, made wrong choices, and then forgot everything. That's what happens when you exchange trees. That's why the wisest can become the most foolish, as Solomon became. It just goes to prove that it's what you're IN - whether Yah'shua of the world - that determines whether you are on the road to heaven or the slippery slope into hell.
Primary vs. Secondary Choices
How can people who were in the truth, and then abandoned it, forget? It's easy. When you are in a world where the only land-marks in your soul are the 'good' and 'evil' of the Tree of Death, then those are the only 'choices' you have - other than to choose Yah'shua and the Tree of Life again, which is a 'level' above, as it were. Choosing Yah'shua or self is a Macro-Choice - choosing the 'good' or 'evil' within the self-life are Micro-choices - thay are within a 'bigger' choice, the choice to abandon Yahweh. So obviously for anyone in a good/bad world where these are the only two fruits available every choice will be 'right' because it's the same Tree. They will do what is "'right' in their own eyes" (Judg.21:25). When you make choices within that spiritual 'realilty', you're choosing the Tree of Death and Satan no matter what you do, 'good' or 'evil'. Whether you choose 'good' or 'evil' YOU LOSE because you have already made the only choice that matters - to partake of the Tree of Death instead of the Tree of Life. And if you have rejected the Tree of Life and have made your home with the Tree of Death and don't want the Tree of Life, you'll hate me and bad mouth me for saying these things to you, just as Yah'shua predicted would happen to all those who abide IN Him and the Tree of Life. I guarantee it. And it won't be because I'm more important or 'special' - it'll because I am IN life and you aren't. Simple as that. And I can just as easily choose to leave it as you can choose to enter it - the rôles could be reversed in a second.
Last Sabbath, as I said, I was reading John 7. And then Yahweh took me to Luke 14:12-24 about throwing parties for friends which I read with wholly new eyes. The revelation that Yahweh had been giving me on the two Trees was putting things into sharper focus than ever before. What caught me were the words, "...and so find happiness".
Now who here doesn't want to be happy? Is there anyone who has not totally given up on life who is not seeking happiness? Sadly, there are some who believe we should not be happy - ever. The whole point of this parable that Yah'shua taught was that He wants us to be happy, and the only place to be happy like that is at His banquet partaking of the Tree of Life.
Come to Dinner, Please
Have you ever found yourself in the social situation of inviting someone over for a meal and them inviting you back? I am sure you have. I grew up in a family that was always inviting people over for meals or parties and then being invited back. If ones hospitality was not returned there was shock and occasionally indignation. Families do this all their lives inviting and being invited back and forth in a ritual that whilst it may at times be enjoyable can become a terrible burden because how do you end the cyle without looking 'mean' or 'ungrateful'? You get into a quid pro quo situation where you feel you can no longer invite people spontaneously but have to reciprocate so as not to lose social status or acceptability or seem to be rude.
Yah'shua says in this parable that not only is this the way of the world but it does not bring happiness. It creates a cycle of bondage. I remember my mother telling me of a couple my mother and father used to invite back home month after month and year after year who never invited them back to their home. I used to think what a terrible, selfish family that was for never inviting our family back to their house! When my mother reminded me of this family recently I had to start chuckling inside and I thought to myself: "How marvellous to be invited and not to be expected to reciprocate". One of the hallmarks of the Tree of Death is RECIPROCATION - you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
Reciprocation vs. Grace
The whole purpose of Yah'shua's parable to His hosts at a party was to tell them that Yahweh's Kingdom does not remotely operate in the way they thought, and that what they thought was eternal life was in actual fact death. As you read the parable you will understand that the one who has eternal life acts, gives and loves without any expectation of the favour being returned because is ISN'T A FAVOUR AT ALL - it's GRACE. And that's what living in Eternal Life is - that's what Eating the Tree of Life is - GRACE:
"Freely you have received, freely give" (Matt.10:8, NIV).
The first lesson of the Kingdom of Yahweh is this; don't expect or wait to be reciprocated. Don't keep a record anywhere - on paper, on your PC or in your heart. Love keeps no record of deeds done. It does not keep an account. - of any good works you have done (1 Cor.13:5b). Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (Mt.6:3). The principle of doing good because you expect to have good done back to you in return is one of the foundation stones of the 'Kingdom of the World' and of the 'Good Fruits' of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The principle of loving because you expect to be loved in return in order to 'build relationships' belongs to the world and the Tree of Death because it is not freely given - it has a terrible, a greedy, price-tag on it. It is a wicked LIE. It's the world's way of living and loving.
Yah'shua says that in His way of life we don't have to worry whether a spouse, brother in Yah'shua', friend or even an enemy reciprocates love or good works because our supply comes from Him and not them. He is continually warning about getting dependencies based on the good cop/bad cop setup of the Tree of Death because when you are IN Him, you don't have this need. This was the whole basis of the New Olive Leaf revelations that were given to me years ago (OB 44; 99; 214). I recommend you re-read them. Let me remind you of just a few principles from the second of the three which I think you will see dovetails perfectly with what Yah'shua teaches about these things in the Scriptures:
"Love is free, and comes to its own according to the immutable laws of Heaven. It cannot be forced or imprisoned, but can only be directed. But if it is directed for selfish gain, behold, it shall work against you, and consume you. It is impossible to imprison the love of Elohim which is greater than all things, for it shall break free, returning to its source if a man abuses it. A man cannot live without love, for it is the substance and power of life and all that lives. It flourishes when it moves from one living soul to another, but whithers away when it is still and imprisoned, vanishing as the hoar frost before the morning son. Therefore love one another, even as I have commanded you, not withholding your love, but giving it freely within the boundaries of Torah, otherwise the love which you have shall depart from you, evan as it is taken away from the profitless servant. For if you do not love one another, you do not love Me, neither do you receive love that you might give it to others, but that you might consume it upon your lusts. And unless you share freely the love which I impart to you, you shall not be refilled, nor shall it multiply within your souls. And you shall be without increase" (OB 99:5-13).
No Repayment Needed
Let's now read that parable that Yah'shua taught:
"'When you give a lunch or dinner party, do not invite your friends, your brothers or other relations, or your rich neighbours; they will only ask you back again and so you will be repaid. But when you give a party, ask the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; and so find happiness. For they have no means of repaying you; but you will be repaid on the day when good men rise from the dead'" (Lk.14:12-14, NEB).
The Heavenly Savings Account vs. The Worldly Current Acount
The Tree of Life expects no repayment but the Tree of Love or Gnosis does. However, there is repayment but it comes from YAHWEH and it is received at the resurrection. Yahweh rewards us for our selflessness on earth with a peaceful heart filled with love and in heaven with blessings pertaining to the Millennial Kingdom. It's like we have a current bank account which we can draw from daily 'down here' and a deposit account with interest which we will draw from in the world to come 'up there'. There are two types of reward. However, He blocks or cancels any rewards in the deposit account if we act carnally and seek the approval of men down here:
"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly [in the world to come]" (Matt.6:1-4, NKJV).
"Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly [in the world to come]" (Matt.6:16-18, NKJV).
The carnal want their reward in the here and now and they get it in terms of the fleeting approval and admiration of the world. They do their 'good works' before the children of men for self-glory because they are eating from the 'good' fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But that 'good' fruit doesn't last. It really doesn't! The 'kick' we get from the praises of men soon wears off and our deeds are lost into the darkness of forgetfulness. But what we do for Yahweh is remembered eternally and is rewarded eternally because He Himself is eternal! That is the reward of the Tree of Life, the reward of abiding or living IN Messiah Yah'shua.
So who was invited into the banquet in the parable Yah'shua told? And who do these guests represent in the spiritual life, both the ones who refused and those who accepted? You will see that this is, in fact, a lesson about self-sufficiency and self-righteousness, the fruits of the 'good' side of the Tree of Death. Let's read more of Yah'shua's words:
"A man was giving a big dinner party and had sent out many invitations. At dinner-time he sent his servant with a message for his guests, 'Please come, everything is now ready'. They began one and all to excuse themselves. The first said, 'I have bought a piece of land, and I must go and look over it; please accept my apologies.' The second said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am on my way to try them out; please accept my apologies.' The next said, 'I have just got married and for that reason I cannot come.'" (Lk.14:16-20, NEB).
The 'Good' Excuses of Men
What excuses are you making to reject the Tree of Life? Each of these guests was being idolatrous. They refused not because they wanted to do evil but because they wanted to do 'good' - self-good or self-righteousness. To them land, farming animals and marriage were more important than following the Saviour of the World. They wanted the short-term and fleeting blessings of the world, though they were all lawful. You can't take land and things with you into the next world, and a marriage which is not in Yah'shua will not last into the next world either. So these things are all utterly useless in the eternal perspective. The choices these three guests made were no different from Esau exchanging his birth-right for a bowl of soup! People are exchanging a Kingdom of Glory for perishable trinkets and relationships all the time. They deceive themselves into believing that because these activities and interests are lawful and 'good' that they are de facto IN Yah'shua when they're not. ANYTHING that is not in Yah'shua - both the good and the evil - perishes without Him! Everything! Why? Because it is all IDOLATRY. The master's reaction in the parable is how our Heavenly Father feels when we act in this manner:
"When his servant came back he reported this to his master. The master of the house was angry and said to him, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring me in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' The servant said, 'Sir, your orders have been carried out and there is still room.' The master replied, 'Go out on to the highways and long the hedgerows and make them come in; I want my house to be full. I tell you that not one of those who were invited shall taste my banquet'" (Lk.14:21-24, NEB).
Remember, that Yah'shua is here talking about the self-righteous, those who pursue good and lawful things in the world! He is really angry about their behaviour and says that they will not taste the banquet prepared for them in Heaven. They will be excluded. So the next time you hear someone eulogising someone who has done good works but has rejected the Saviour of Mankind remember this parable - these people's 'good works' are utterly and totally useless. They already have or had their reward - they're getting it or have already got it on earth. And who knows, if the first guest gets into debt, he'll have to sell his land. The second's oxen might get killed and the third's marriage might break up. What reward to they have then? All is then lost - permanently - because there is no making of new marriages in heaven (Mk.12:25).
Who are the Called-In Ones?
So who does the Master - who is Yahweh, our Heavenly Father - call in? He's not speaking here of literal vagabonds, beggars and poor but those who are poor in SPIRIT, those who feel homeless and without a spiritual home in the world system, and those who know they cannot earn Yahweh's favour but must beg for it:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see Elohim. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of Elohim. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:3-10, NIV).
These blessings have nothing to do with the teaming masses of poor and starving people, or those politicians trying to make peace between nations - Yah'shua is saying that the blessed are those who are poor in spirit - the humble and the humbled. Yah'shua is saying that those who share the word of salvation with the unsaved so that peace can be made between them and Yahweh through Yah'shua are the shalom-makers - this has nothing to so with the world's artificial 'peace' - indeed we are warned to beware of the world's peace! (Jer.8:11). So what of the politicians and those feeding the poor? Is this bad? Absolutely not. These are 'good' works but they are not everlasting. They are the works of the Tree of Death, needful but useless as far as the eternities are concerned. The politicians and those campaigning for the starving have their reward in this life. Let them continue to do it - Yahweh uses them, and they have their reward - the accolades and plaudits of the world - but these works do not put them into right relationship with Him. Not at all. But if they do these things IN Yah'shua, because of Yah'shua's love in them, then, if they are not seeking worldly recognition, they will receive a reward in their heavenly deposit account. Nevertheless, the primary meaning of Yah'shua's words in this the Sermon on the Mount has to do with the Tree of Life and getting into right relationship with Elohim.
Brethren and sisters, don't be deceived by the 'Good Fruit' of the Tree of Gnosis or Death. Don't be! So many billions are, and plenty of Christians too. This fruit fills you with self-righteousness, vanity and pride. Just look at the faces of the movie and pop stars when they are applauded for their campaigns to feed the world or other charitable deeds. If they were IN Messiah, we wouldn't even know they were the benefactors. Their left hands wouldn't know what their right hands are doing. Instead, their agents secure the maximum publicity for them that they can get. They have their reward, just as the snobbish Pharisees did two millennia ago.
Finding Favour with Yahweh
Our desire should always be to be approved of, and find favour with Yahweh, in no matter what we do whether as land-owners, ox-owners or in our marriage relationships, because they all belong to Him when we are IN Messiah. Our land, our oxen and our marriage relationships will be blessed if we go up to the banquet, not the reverse! When we say otherwise, we are, in truth, worshipping at the altar of SELF, which is the altar of Satan in his 'good cop' rôle as 'Mr. Nice Guy.' No wonder Yahweh is angry! No wonder He hates religious hypocrisy! Don't think that because you're not committing adultery, murdering, thieving, bearing false witness of your neighbour, taking Yahweh's Name in vain, or disobeying the commandments as the rich young ruler wasn't doing that you are in Yahweh's favour and heaven-bound! Don't make that fatal mistake! Instead, ask yourself: Am I, in my lawful and Torah-compliant pursuits, being idolatrous and self-righteous?
"Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please Elohim" (Rom.8:8, NIV).
No Neutrals in Heaven
Somehow it never seems to occur to believers that we can be under the control of the sinful nature in our doing of 'good' works. Remember the Pakistani drug baron who built a drug rehabilitation centre? Why was that 'good' work displeasing to Yahweh? Because the motive was corrupt - it was born of an evil heart for a self-serving end, to make him appear 'righteous' and gain the respect and admiration of the very public he was seeking to corrupt and destroy with drugs. Most people do these kinds of 'good' works. They have ulterior motives. They're engaging in a huge theatre to gain acceptance while they pursue unrighteous gain. Politicians are expert at it. Adolf Hitler, who loathed communism and communists, imprisoning and killing them, nevertheless made May 1st Nazi Germany's official 'Workers' Day' just as in the communist world and, today, in almost every Western democratic country. Why did he do this? To appease the workers. Satan is adept at giving us scraps of food while starving us. Do not be deceived by 'good' works! Go to the heart where Yahweh judges. Equally, don't be deceived by 'evil' works and - even more tricky ' works of ommission. A person who does an evil deed does not have a good heart and one who fails to do a good deed when he should do so is equally revealing a bad heart. There are no neutrals in heaven - what we do or fail to do reveals what we are sometimes. Remember, not all 'good' works reveal a good heart. Unfortunately, people fall for the 'good works' and 'good fruits' lie time and time again. So what did Yah'shua means by "good fruits"?
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matt.7:13-20, NKJV).
Well, Yah'shua is not here talking about isolated 'good works' which a drug baron may do from time to time but the whole life of a person. It's possible to artificially put a harmless blackcurrant on fatally poisonous deadly nightshade fruit bush, give that blackcurrant to someone, and persuade them that the bush is a blackcurrant bush. That's fine so long as that person doesn't return to the bush and, thinking he is helping himself to another blackcurrant, instead takes one of the numerous deadly nightshade fruits and kills himself. Another type of person has no fruits at all and artifically puts black currants up. Of course they aren't naturally produced so they don't last - people who are being fake can't maintain the act indefinitely because it's a lot harder to set up real fruits on a fruitless tree than to naturally generate them. When the fake artist gets worn out, the fruits cease appearing and they are revealed for what they really are - spiritually barren. "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit".
Be the Real Thing
What is so sad is that it is so much easier and rewarding being a genuine fruit tree than a fake one. People often do this because they have bought into the satanic lie that they'll never be anyone so it is better to fake it. Well, no matter who you are, when you choose Yah'shua and abide IN Him, He promises to make you something very special and attractive indeed but the glory goes to Him, not you! Your reward is shalom-peace, happiness, fulfilment, and contentment. What more could you want? The glory of the world is, in any case, all vanity, and you can't take any of it with you at death. Better, rather, to get that heavenly deposit bank account filled up as your heavenly 'retirement pension', only I guarantee it's nothing like the tiny pension you get in this life from government or private firms. Solomon said:
"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Rich and poor have this in common: Yahweh is the Maker of them all" (Prov.22:1-2, NIV).
Having a Good Name
This 'good name' is what in Hebrew is called a shem which isn't just any old name - it is a name held in honour and in high esteem in Heaven (Is.4:1b). Now in the world we 'achieve' a good name by our works - and that would include the public image of the philanthropic drug baron - but when it comes to Yahweh, that name is not earned but is assigned. How is that? Because our name is attached to the Name of Yah'shua when we are IN Him! When Brother James is IN Yah'shua his name is James ben Yah'shua - James, son of Yah'shua; and when Susan is IN Yah'shua her name is Susan bat Yah'shua - Susan, daughter of Yah'shua. That is how we get a good name in the New Covenant! We have not earned that good name because Yah'shua did all the earning through His perfect Torah-obedience and His faultless love. We bear in us royalty not because of anything we have done but because of His undeserved loving-kindness, His redeeming grace, His divine favour. But we only have that divine favour for as long as we are walking IN Yah'shua, as I was telling you last week.
As In the Days of Noah
Do you remember some of the signs I told you of one walking IN Yah'shua's grace and favour? When we are doing these things naturally and spontaneously with a heart full of love - i.e. it's not a sham, act or theatric display- then we have a "good name". That is the treasure that is desirable above all earthly wealth, including land, oxen and even marriage. One who has this good name and is walking IN Yah'shua is naturally behaving in the same way as, and doing what, Yah'shua did. How did Noah find favour in Yahweh's eyes? (Gen.6:8)
"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with Elohim" (Gen.6:9, NIV).
It seemed appropriate to me to choose Noah because Yah'shua said that we are living in a time identical to his (Mt.24:37; Lk.17:26). Clearly we need his blessings and his good name to make it in this end-time. Noah's whole life was focussed on one thing and everything else served that purpose: to build an ark to save the world from an impending deluge of water. His family was fully occupied in the task - his wife, his three sons and their wives. His family was his 'ministry team'. No one else supported him. This was a 'one family project'.
We too, today, often find ourselves in a similar situation. Everything looks 'right with the world' in our time just as it did back then. As now, the world of Noah did not heed the warnings. All of those disbelieving souls ended up in hell. While Noah preached and built, Yahweh waited patiently, didn't He? (1 Pet.3:19-20) Yahweh looks at all the 'good works' in the world today and His anger is kindled. That anger will, at any time, burst forth again, as it did in Noah's days, of which Isaiah warns:
"'In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,' says Yahweh your Redeemer. 'To Me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth'" (Isa.54:8-9, NIV).
Building the Twelve Places of Refuge
'Brethren and sisters, we have been called to do the same as Noah did - to build not one ark, but twelve of them - places of refuge not for one family and an assortment of animals, but for many people. Yahweh waited patiently in Noah's day just as He does in ours. He sees the hypocrisy and deceitfulness of the 'good' works of man, religious as well as irreligious, and His anger is kindled.
Vision of the Raging Fire and Cheetah
Last Yom Rishon (Sunday), early in the morning, He spend two hours showing me visions from about 5.30 a.m to 7.30 a.m in which I was shown so many things I was barely able to write them all down. In one of these visions He showed me a raging fire that was sweeping the earth so fast that a cheetah, fleeing the flames, was barely able to keep ahead - and you know how fast those wild cats can run. However, a cheetah can only run in short bursts, as you know, so that in such a situation, it would have been overwhelmed by exhaustion quickly and overtaken by the flames. The meaning of this vision was plain - just as the world was overcome by a baptism or immersion of water in Noah's day, so a worldwide baptism or immersion of fire is about to sweep ours (2 Pet.3:7-10). There will be no place to hide from it except in the arks which our Heavenly Father will provide. These arks, however, have to be built, just as Noah's was, and they are marked to house men, women and children, not animals.
We do not know the details of Noah's ministry or the tribulations he faced, and perhaps that is just as Yahweh intended so that our hearts do not faint in anticipation of what is to come in our day. But the movie-makers have had a go. Some of you may have seen, Noah's Ark: The End of the World. The Beginning of Hope starring Ion Voight, Mary Steenburgen and F. Murray Abraham which, though having brilliant effects, is historically a mishmash of disparate events (Sodom and Gemorah are mixed in too) and has added a good deal of fantasy - great entertainment but useless spiritually. Few reading the biblical account can fail to notice the similarity between our day and his:
"Now the earth was corrupt in Elohim's sight and was full of violence. Elohim saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways" (Gen.6:11-12, NIV).
Sounds familiar? Well, Yahweh then gave Noah detailed instructions on how to build the ark, and we are told:
"Noah did everything just as Elohim commanded him" (Gen.6:22, NIV).
This is How it will Be
Then the account of the flood follows. As simple as that. All we are told is that Noah was obedient.
"For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matt.24:38-42, NIV).
The End will be Sudden
Now most people seem to have this idea that before Yah'shua returns there will be a series of calamities that will build up to great panic and culminate in the Second Coming. That's not what Yah'shua says here. He says that everything will be proceeding as normal - people will be doing what they normally do, as though nothing was seriously wrong. The impression I get is that evil will be 'uniform', as it were, so nothing will seem 'extraordinary' or 'abnormal'. Realistically, what's left on the menu of sin that hasn't become universal? Legalised pedophilia is probably next leaving legal murder to finish off Satan's à la carte menu - by 'legal' doesn't necessarily mean there won't be laws forbidding murder, just that the law won't be enforced - we know this is already happening. Pretty much everything else is accepted. Read through the Ten Commandments and see what isn't protected by the laws of the nations any more. There's not much left. So the only signs you need to watch out for, in my view, are legalised child sex and murder. The former is practically here already - in some countries it's permitted as young as 12, but the age will be lowered or the law ignored. Governments are already 'legally' murdering people - people disappear. Those 'rights' will be progressively extended until we have a satanic world government and state. Are you ready for it? More importantly, are you ready for the baptism of fire that will descend upon the world soon?
No one will survive what is to come if, (a) they are not IN Messiah, and (b) if they aren't obedient as Noah was in all things. That means obeying Torah. The two are pretty much inseperable because someone who is IN Messiah is automatically hearing and doing what He says. Their works will, moreover, be the true 'good' works of the Tree of Life and not the counterfeit idolatrous and self-serving ones of the Tree of Death. Those doing 'good' and 'evil' deeds from this Tree will likewise perish.
Yah'shua in the Mundane
A soul who is IN Yah'shua also recognises Yah'shua in all things. Do you see Yah'shua in even the most mundane things? My wife has often complained in the past about the drudgery of housework and in particular cooking and washing-up. I myself have nearly gone insane with the monotony of writing millions of lines of comptuer programming for our webpage. Did Abraham, the Great Patriarch and our spiritual father to whose family we belong through faith in Yah'shua, used to sit on a golden throne in his palace and bid his servants entertain his guests with displays of his great wealth while he ate expensive food and drank chilled new wine? No. What do we, rather, find him saying and doing to his guests?
"Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way -- now that you have come to your servant" (Gen.18:4-5, NIV).
Who were these guests? The three malakim, one of whom was ELOHIM. How did Abraham behave towards these complete strangers whose identity he did not know at first?
"So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. 'Quick,' he said, 'get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.' Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree" (Gen.18:6-8, NIV).
Do you see this? He behaved like a servant, not a potentate, hurrying around to please his unknown guests, standing at the respectful distance of a slave under a nearby tree so that he could watch out for their needs. This is FATHER ABRAHAM we are talking about! This is one of Yahweh's Friends, Blessed, and Exalted. He had no problem seeing Yahweh in menial work. I doubt if he thought negatively of what he was doing, or resented it in the least. He served with gladness and why? Because Yahweh was IN him! He bore Yahweh's shem or name.
When we are in Yahweh's grace or favour we are fruitful in every dimension of being from the spiritual to the physical because we are acting from the core of our being. And what is that core? Elohim! How can it be anything else if we are IN Him? When you are IN Him, then you act as Yah'shua acted as a Servant, and as all His servants IN Him acted and still act. This is one of many means by which we can know what we are operating out of spiritually - whether it is self or Elohim.
Esau and Jacob
Esau and Jacob (Israel) are always compared as opposites when it comes to Yahweh's blessings and favour. Esau was unspiritual and married pagan wives. He did not seek the Kingdom of Heaven. He sought his own stomach, wealth and interests. Yes, he was 'good' to Jacob when they finally met up by the Jordan after years of wanting to do 'evil' to him, and even Jacob did 'good' until he overcame at Jabokk and received a change of shem. Yes, when he stopped living the deceitful life as a trickster and finally yielded full sovereignty of his life to Yahweh and overcome his carnal tendencies, he got a new name to indicate that he was now IN Yahweh. There is a wonderful contrast to be seen at this meeting between Esau and Jacob upon the latter's return from Padan-Aram:
"Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. 'Who are these with you?' he asked. Jacob answered, 'They are the children Elohim has graciously given your servant'" (Gen.33:4-5, NIV).
Now we Anglo-Saxons and Westerners in general tend to be somewhat sentimential and unrealistic when we see touching scenes like this. The reconciliation between the two brothers is touching. But had Esau changed? Actually, no - very little. Yes, the hatred and emnity had worn off because of time but his spiritual outlook was pretty much the same. He had just stopped eating one of the evil fruits of the Tree of Knowledge (wanting to kill Jacob) and decided to eat a good one (let his brother live) but had this not been a relative, do you suppose Esau would have had a change of heart? Maybe. I doubt it, somehow. Esau was still the hated fruit even though he chose to eat a 'good' fruit this time. If Esau had changed, why didn't the two brothers live together? Why did Jacob not follow Eaau back to his land? It was because the two brothers were still spiritually incompatible. We read:
"'I have loved you,' says Yahweh. But you ask, 'How have You loved us?' 'Was not Esau Jacob's brother?' Yahweh says. 'Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.' Edom (the land of Esau) may say, 'Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.' But this is what Yahweh Almighty says: 'They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of Yahweh. You will see it with your own eyes and say, 'Great is Yahweh - even beyond the borders of Israel!'" (Mal.1:2-5, NIV; cp. Rom.9:13).
Western Christians are puzzled by such revelations because they fail to make a clear distinction between the 'good' works of the flesh and the good works of Yahweh's own prized possession - someone who is IN Him. Believers are fooled by Satan's 'goodness' again and again and again because they lack discernment. And why do they lack discernment? Because they follow sentiment instead of truth. They follow the flesh - the psyche - instead of the Ruach haQodesh. They are psychics, even 'psychic-filled Christians', that is, 'self-filled believers'.
Those who do the 'good' works of the Tree of Death are what Michael Wells calls 'unbelieving believers'. They're 'Christians' yet 'not Christians'. Unfortunately, as spiritual tares in the Body of Messiah, they are not discerned by the undiscerning until they ripen in iniquity and their evil fruits are totally visible. Only the spiritual can spot them with the eye of faith, maturity and wisdom. Michael Wells relates this story:
"Once when I was in a small town in India, a woman asked if she could have some time alone with me in order that we might discuss her problems and look to [Yahweh] for the solution. She had written on a small piece of paper the many items about which she was concerned, including questions pertaining to her unbelieving husband, her children, relatives, and, of course, her own personal struggles with [Yahweh]. Her English was very poor and my Hindi was non-existent, so I enlisted the aid of the pastor to translate for us. With every question, we opened the Scriptures and looked to the answer that [Yahweh] would give, each of which was [Messiah]-centred and pointed her to a moment-by-moment relationship with [Yahweh], which I was persuaded would cure the problems. However, with each answer she would immediatelty ask another question. After one hour of this routine, I realized that although this particular woman was reading her Bible and praying more than four hours a day, she was an unbelieving believer" 1
What does he mean by an 'unbelieving believer'? An unbelieving believer is someone who has been born again, will arrive in heaven (unless they completely abandon the faith and become an unbeliever) as one of the least in the Kingdom (Mt.5:19). The problem with this person is that she has not believed in Yah'shua with the whole of her being. Such a person believes everything the Scriptures say about Yah'shua's care, concern, love and grace which makes her a believer BUT - and this is a HUGE 'but' - BUT she remains in charge of HER life. She feels that she must change the lives of those around her - her husband, children, relatives and friends - but isn't making much of an effort to bring transformation into her OWN life and thus make herself pleasing to Yahweh. In other words, emotionally - in the heart - such a person remains unbelieving. Such people run to Yahweh with their minds and words but run in the opposite direction with their feelings and hearts.
There can be many reasons why people become 'unbelieving believers' and the reasons are not necessarily the same. Double-minded people can 'switch' between believing-believer and unbelieving-believer. In truth, most of us are a bit like that. The differences lie in the matter of degree. Head and heart have been split in the modern world. We see them as two different things. The ancients were no so divided but had a holistic approach to the soul, and so should we. Yahweh made us as one.
Two Ways of Knowing
It should be clear by now that there are two ways of 'knowing' in the world, one of which comes from Yahweh and the other from Satan. How can we know which is which and have full confidence in the genuine article? I believe ultimately there is only one way of knowing and that the door to that knowing is only realised when we have a heart full and bursting in love for Yahweh-Elohim and His Torah. Yah'shua gives us the key:
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Luke 12:34, NIV).
What is it, then, that you treasure above all else? For what ultimate cause, goal or reality will sacrifice everything you have? What is it that gives you the greatest joy in your heart? For a true believer the answer is always - in word, deed, sentiment and emotions - the relationship we have with our Creator. Because this is the only way to really know everything, we are commanded to love Him with all our heart and strength. Only with our hearts tuned towards Yahweh can we ever have confidence and surity in what we know. All other kinds of 'knowledge' will leave us with uncertainties and lingering doubts. The moment our attention is removed from the Source of Life and Love, we cannot possibly know whether what we see and hear is based in reality or not.
I once knew a girl in the deliverance ministry who had the facilties of sight and touch completely reversed because of Illuminati programming. Though her eyes functioned perfectly normally biologically - as was proved after she was delivered - she could not see anything in the outside world with her eyes fully open in a lit room - until she touched something with her finger and then she could 'see' everything clearly. A demonic power lay behind this reversal which, when expelled, restored her eyesight to normal.
Two Spiritual Organs of Perception: Heart and Sark
We too have two spiritual organs of perception and knowing which the authors of the book, Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You [A] call the 'heart' and the 'sark'. The heart is the organ of 'true knowing' when it is tuned to Yahweh - that is, when it is IN Yah'shua. Thus we have two ways of knowing - the first or heart which can sometimes be right and sometimes be wrong, and the second, or sark, which is always wrong. What do these authors mean by 'sark'?
Sarx is the Greek word used by Paul to refer to the 'flesh', that is, the fallen, carnal Adamic disposition which Adam and Eve inherited from Satan the moment they believed his lie and ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Sarx is:
"The human ability to know, judge or perceive good and evil. It is this knowledge of good and evil which we were never intended to have and which always results in false knowing. No human being can correctly distinguish good and evil regardless of their spiritual state, knowledge of scripture, or experience. Our only capacity to form such a judgment comes from the sarx, and the sarx is always wrong. This seems so simple that it is hard to believe. We should never have had a sarx, and we should be in a hurry to get free from its influence" (Op.cit., p.67).
So why don't we flee from it? Because, like alcohol or drugs, it is addictive and intoxicating. We almost exclusively use this 'knowledge' to glorify self, get admiration, win approval and acceptance, become useful, gain advantage over others, protect ourselves from intellectual predators, or whatever. We use it to survive in our own power. It's a jungle survival tool and the world loves and exalts it. Friesen et al continue explaining:
"True knowledge seems to be hidden in a great thorny maze of confusion and misconception which stand guard around our thinking about the heart and the sarx. Even the word sarx, translates as 'flesh', 'old nature', or 'sin nature' inspires so much confusion and emotion that many people simply stop thinking entirely at the very mention of the word. Meanwhile, some Bible students assume they understand the Greek word sarx so quickly, that they don't stop to think it over again" (Op.cit., pp.67-68).
What is the Heart?
People get equally confused over the meaning of 'heart' too because of what Jeremiah warned:
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jer.17:9, NIV)
They deduce that the heart is to be trusted in nothing. But the next verse contradicts this conclusion:
"I, Yahweh, search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve" (Jer.17:10, NIV).
Examine Your Kidneys
Obviously Yahweh can't reward the heart and mind if only deceit come out of them. But hang on, is that translation right? Isn't it true that the Hebrews made no distinction between heart and mind, calling both lev? The answer is, yes, heart and mind are considered as one. This being so, how come Jeremiah makes a distinction? The answer is, he doesn't, but in this case the NIV translators do. When the NIV and other versions "examine the mind" the KJV and HRV (for example) "try the reins", yet the Hebrew word here, kilyah, means 'kidneys'. If lev means mind and heart combined, what are the kidneys?
"While the Syrians and the Arabs viewed the liver as the center of life, the kidneys, in contrast, held a primary place of importance in Israel. In Hebrew tradition, they were considered to be the most important internal organs along with the heart. In the Old Testament most frequently the kidneys are associated with the most inner stirrings of emotional life. But they are also viewed as the seat of the secret thoughts of the human; they are used as an omen metaphor, as a metaphor for moral discernment, for reflection and inspiration. This field of tension in metaphoric usage is resolved under the conception of the kidneys as life center. In the Old Testament the kidneys thus are primarily used as metaphor for the core of the person, for the area of greatest vulnerability" 2
A better translation would therefore be:
"I Yahweh search the heart and examine the moral discernment and the deepest inner stirrings of the soul, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve" (Jer.17:10). 3
In other words, Yahweh is looking to see the totality of what drives and moves us into action - the deepest, most profound and most vulnerable part of us - which is reflected by our deeds, behaviour or conduct. This includes not only our feelings and thoughts but the way we have allowed our life force to be harnessed - whether in service to Yahweh or in service to self, and in the case of the latter, whether for 'good' or 'evil'. If we are in Yahweh's service, and thus IN Yah'shua, then everything we do will be reflected in a UNIFIED LIFE-DRIVE which leads us to ONE thing above ALL others to the extent that that drive will dwarf everything else. And what should that drive be?
"Seek first [the] kingdom [of Yahweh]" (Matt.6:33, NIV).
You can't not have that overwhelming, passionate drive if you are IN Yah'shua and in Yahweh's service. That means any and every natural activity will be subtended to that. Our primary Kingdom-drive will determine our career, who we marry, where we live, how we live (our lifestyle) - everything. We won't have the Kingdom in one 'compartment' and our own personal ambitions in another because such will lead to inner division and disharmony.
A Companion for the Kingdom
When a man of Elohim marries, he marries the woman Yahweh chooses for him because he knows that such a woman will want, above everything else, to build the Kingdom with him and will have no other ambition, goal or interest unless she departs from Him and instead pursues self-life. A man or woman pursuing a companion for any other reason is pursuing the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Love Him with All Your Heart
But back to Jeremiah. If the heart, as opposed to the flesh or sarx, is the only means of true 'knowing', how come Yahweh says, "who can know it?" Well, if you try to psycho-analyse the human heart, you won't ever know or understand it. It's just too vast and complex. All Yahweh is doing is telling us to make sure that our hearts are spiritually healthy and the only way they can be preserved in that condition is to make sure that we see and hear Yahweh as our primary goal. To do that we must love Him with ALL our heart, and not just a portion of it. That means there can't be one part for Yahweh, one part for our spouse, one part for our children, one part for our career, one part for our hobbies, and so on. If you only give Yahweh a portion your heart will becoime spiritually sick and diseased. We must, as Friesen et al (who are Evangelicals, incidentally) correctly observe, "love [Yahweh] with all our heart according to both [Yah'shua] and the Law of Moses (Torah). [Yah'shua] Himself comes to dwell specifically in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17)" (Op.cit., p.68).
The Threefold True vs. False Knowing
There are thus three conditions of true knowing:
- 1. Our hearts must be the ones that Yah'shua gave us upon being truly born again of the Ruach haRishon;
- 2. Our hearts must be tuned toward Yahweh by careful study of the Torah; and
- 3. We must deligently weed out the words, feelings and judgments of the sark.
The three conditions of false knowing are, by contrast:
- 1. We are listening to our own understanding (the sark);
- 2. Our hearts are too sick, blind or deaf to discern Yahweh and the Ruach; and
- 3. Our hearts are not turned toward Yahweh-Elohim but are loving and listening to a different source.
"Trust inYahweh with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (sark); in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight" (Prov.3:5-6, NIV).
If you're emotionally or mentally in turmoil, if you are being buffetted to and fro not knowing which direction to go, then I guarantee you are not trusting in Yahweh with all your heart - you've only made available a part of it and given the rest to self and Satan, and that will make you double-minded and unstable (Jas.1:8). If this is your condition in any degree, then you are out of alignment with Yahweh, out of favour, out of His fullest blessing, and need to repent - change or adjust direction of your life. The solution is NOT, however, complex. The complexity only arises out of juggling the good and evil fruit of the Tree of Knowledcge which neither our first parents, nor we, were ever supposed to touch. This behaviour results from a lack of obedience and trust because it is the result of accusing Yahweh of denying you the best. It stems from the same old lie the serpent told Eve.
False knowledge - the kind that comes from the Tree of Knowledge - always results when our hearts get sickly, dull, hardened and sometimes stone-cold. I have watched with horror as people once alive and joyful in the Tree of Life have switched trees and become cold, hard and totally self-absorbed. I have experienced this in the heart of the home and it is horrible. I did it myself for two months and saw the devastation it caused on others. And others, in their turn, have done it to me and the rest of the family
Now I said that the third thing a person who is truly knowing will be doing is "weeding out the words, feelings and judgments of the sark". This is not something that happens passively. It takes training and practical diligence to accomplish this. The spiritually lazy do not spend much, if any, time in this activity. The spiritual sluggards are careless, compromising Yahweh's Torah standards. To assist us Yahweh gives us night dreams so that we can observe the processes at work within and take steps to repent of our yielding to the sark. This 'weeding' process is the means by which we progressively crucify the 'old man' or 'old woman' in Messiah - it is what Paul calls "working out your salvation in fear and trembling" (Phil.2:12) because salvation is both past (the day we trusted, committed and were born again), present (the ongoing struggle to overcome the sark) and future (the end of our life when we have run and, hopefully, won the race). If you don't struggle because you assume that the initial new birth is all that matters, then by degrees you will become an 'unbelieving believer' and possibly, if you fail to repent, lose your salvation altogether! Remember, there's no such thing as 'OSAS' - Once Saved, Always Saved - that's the sluggard's gospel. No-one can be causual about the new birth and expect to make it automatically - you have to actively REMAIN IN Yah'shua! Do you suppose your arch-enemy Satan will be content to leave you there, abiding in Life and challenging his kingdom? Through external temptations, through the sarx or flesh, Satan will be waging war on your soul until either your life is over or you have totally surrendered to him. It is both naïve and foolish to suppose otherwise. As a pastor I know exactly what Michael Wells means when he says:
"It must be very frustrating to the pastor who is preaching weekly to a congregation filled with unbelieving believers, for no matter how well the sermon is organised or what amount of power it exudes, it will accomplish nothing in the life of the listeners. Equally discouraged is the congregation that has an unbelieving believer as a pastor, for every sermon that is delivered will attempt to stir the assembly to action through guilt, manipulation, or intellectual argument. The lesson will always point to what members must do to improve their condition, without emphasising what [Yah'shua] has already done to improve the malady.
"It has been said that unbelief is the mother of every sin! When we feel the weight of concerns upon our shoulders, when we are once again courting the sin we thought long gone, when we are withdrawing from those who love us, and when we find ourselves returning to the world, is not unbelief the cause? Is it not the root of every evil? 'When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?'" (Op.cit., pp.39-40).
The Three Stages of Heart Illness
The narratives of the history of Israel and Judah in the Old Testament show us how the heart gets progressively sick. Israel has its first 'heart check-up' during the last year of the reign of King Uzziah. Yahweh tells Isaiah to warn the people that their hearts have become "fat" or sick and have become "sluggish":
"'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed" (Isa.6:9-10, NIV).
The people can't know truth anymore not because they don't have the Torah or good ministers like Isaiah, not because they weren't alive in the Ruach earlier in their lives, but because like a lazy gardner letting his garden get overrun by weeds, they have allowed their hearts go blind and deaf. And yet they are convinced they're OK! They brush aside or ignore all the contradictions in their lives, they dismiss their seared consciences when they do evil, and so, lo and behold, their hearts start dying.
A century later Yahweh sends His people for another heart check-up, this time to Dr. Jeremiah, who gives an even worse diagnosis than Isaiah. The people's hearts are now so spiritually deteriorated that they are INCAPABLE of knowing! It's rather like an old lawnmower I have that can never be repaired again. My youngest son pushes it around and fills the petrol tank with water and stones, and imitates me when I use the mower that works. When a heart is dead, religion is just imitation. It's all pretence, an act. Let me re-quote what Jeremiah said but translate literally from the Hebrew:
"The heart is deceitful above all things and sick-sick (beyond cure). Who can understand it?" (Jer.17:9, NIV).
The heart isn't just sick now, it's "sick-sick" - beyond cure. The illness is terminal! When you use a word twice in Hebrew it adds emphasis, just as a word repeated twice in Malay makes it a plural. Thus we could equally translate this as "deathly sick" or "extremely ill". If something isn't done, this heart has had it - it's the end. And whilst it is true that the heart is "desperately wicked", this translation into English is somewhat misleading. The point is that a "desperately ill" heart cannot be trusted to discern or know anything.
Three decades later we get our third and final examination by another heart specialist, the prophet Ezekiel. It's all over now. The sark infestation is so bad that the people's hearts are completely and totally DEAD. Yahweh says to the prophet:
"Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman's monthly uncleanness in My sight" (Ezek.36:17, NIV).
Getting a Heart-Transplant!
What is the solution? What do you do to revive a stone-dead heart? Well, to begin with, you can't revive a dead heart. You need a new one. You need a heart-transplant! Yahweh tells Ezekiel how this will be done:
"I (Yahweh) 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. And I will put my Ruach (Spirit) in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezek.36:26-27, NIV).
What was it that caused the people's hearts to die in the first place? They stopped loving Yahweh. How did they stop loving Yahweh? They stopped obeying His commandments! What does Yahweh say they will be empowered to do when they get a new heart, a new spirit, and are filled with the Ruach haQodesh? He will "move" them to do what? To FOLLOW HIS DECREES and be careful to KEEP HIS LAWS. In short, they will then have the ability to live the Torah, which is what you do when you love Him.
So how to we get a "new spirit"? How do we get a "new heart"? How is our cold, stoney-dead heart surgically removed? By Yah'shua! This is the heart that Yah'shua gives us supernaturally when we trust Him - cling to Him, adhere to Him - and repent of our sins by changing our lifestyle to fit His. Then with that new heart filled with the Ruach haRishon we are filled with love, and what does that love lead us to do?
"If you love Me (Yah'shua), you will obey what I command" (John 14:15, NIV).
What did He do? Obey Yahweh. How did He tell us to do that? Obey Torah. But we're in the New Covenant now, not the Old, so surely that doesn't mean we must do everything that's in the Old Testament? What about animal sacrifices and such thing? That is correct. Some things have been done away with because they have been fulfilled by Yah'shua, who is the last and final sacrifice for sin. Thus it is is written in Hebrews:
"For the [ceremonial] Torah contains but a shadow, and no true image, of the good things which were to come; it provides for the same sacrifices year after year, and with these it can never bring the worshippers to perfection who come continually. If it could, these sacrifices would surely have ceased to be offered, because the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any sense of sin. But instead, in these sacrifices year after year sins are brought to mind, because sins can never be removed by the blood of bulls. That is why, at His coming into the world, He says: 'Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire, but Thou has prepared a body for Me. Whole-offerings and sin-offerings Thou didst not delight in. Then I said, 'Here am I: as it is written in the scroll, I have come, O Elohim, to do Thy will''. First, He says, 'Sacrifices and offerings, whole-offerings and sin-offerings, Thou didst not delight in' - although the Torah (Law) prescribes them - and then He says, ' I have come to do Thy will'. He thus annuls the former to establish the latter. And it is by the will of Elohim that we have been consecrated, through the offering of the body of Yah'shua the Messiah once and for all" (Heb.10:1-10, NEB).
This, then, explains our relationship to the Old Covenant. The moral and ethical Torah remain - only that which was fufilled by Yah'shua in His death and resurrection have been removed, including the old Levitical Priesthood that administered it. Read the whole of the Letter to the Hebrews to get a fuller picture. Thus we are bound to the Ten Commandments, the moedim or Divine Appointments (Seven Annual Festivals - minus all the sacrificial offerings), the kashrut or food laws, the sex and marriage laws, the civil laws (in a true theocracy), and so on.
Living Without Sin
Living from the new heart that Yah'shua gives you when you totally surrender your life to Him, abandoning your former lifestyle and adopting a Torah-obedient one in response to the love with your heart is supernaturally filled with when you are born again, not only allows you to live Torah and live life to the full, but it also allows you to live life without sin. On the one hand the apostle John says:
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He (Yah'shua) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives" (1 John 1:8-10, NIV).
On the other he says:
"Everyone who sins breaks the Torah (law); in fact, sin is Torah-lessness (lawlessness). But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him" (1 John 3:4-6, NIV).
In other words, when we are IN Yah'shua, we stop sinning, and we see Him and know Him. When Yahweh looks at us, He sees Yah'shua, and we are justified. When we sin, we move OUT of Yah'shua, and we become blind and ignorant. How do we know we are sinning? Because we are disobeying the commandments, for one thing, as revealed by Torah - which is one reason we must study Scripture - and for another, because we feel that there is a brass wall between Him and us. The lines of communication are gone. We feel alone and cut off. When that happens, we do one of three things: we either (a) repent and get right with Him, doing what we're supposed to be doing by eating of the Tree of Life; (b) we go to others who are likewise dead, blind and lost and get fellowship with them, sharing the Tree of Death with them and compounding our own sinfulness; and/or (c) we compound our rebellion further by turning to false spirits - demons - and getting counterfeit help ... which always leads us to disobey Torah and gradually takes us back into the world and/or into dead churches.
What is the New Heart Like?
OK, well, I don't know about you, but I want to reamin IN Yah'shua, stop sinning, grow in grace, and really commune with Yahweh. I desire to be free, alive and in right-relationship through obedience. I get tired of the buffetting that results when I wander off into the self-life. Life is short - we only get one chance to do this right and none of us knows when Yahweh will take us home. There is no guarantee. He expects us to walk by faith in that one too. Through our hearts we get to see ourselves and each other as Yahweh sees us, and when we get a heart-transplant from Yah'shua and abide IN Him, what we get is a smaller version of the heart of our Master. But the characteristics are the SAME. Moreover, He has so made us that no two hearts are the same. He has made us like the organs of a body, dependent on one another to function as an even bigger heart collectively.
We Need Each Other
The hearts of husbands and wives compliment each other's in this way - they complete each other. It's the same in the local assembly, as Paul taught. One heart may be more kind, another more long-suffering, another gives while another restores. And all are growing and maturing, and as each heart loves the other, so each heart leavens the other. We all grow together in love in this way. Everybody who is walking IN Yah'shua has something that the other doesn't which is why we need each other. We are all made in Elohim's image: men are made in the image of Yahweh Himself, and women in the seven images of the seven Ruachs - there are seven types of woman and each sister has her own Ruach-type. Each heart that abides IN Him resonates with His character - His personality - but each one also demonstrates some specific aspects of Yah'shua's personality more intensely than others because of (a) our giftings and (b) our choices. We are, as Friesen et al rightly observe, "hand-crafted by [Yahweh-Elohim] for a very specific purpose in His Kingdom" (Op.cit., p.69):
"For we are Elohim's workmanship, created in Messiah Yah'shua to do good works, which Elohim prepared in advance for us to do" (Eph.2:10, NIV).
Our Foreordained Callings
In other words, we were foreordained to do specific "good works". These will both be general as fathers and mothers, and husbands and wives, but they will also be specific. Each man has a kingdom labour and his wife is called to be his help-meet in that as she is his help-meet at home. He may be a metaphorical 'help-meet' to a pastor or to a missionary team. But whoever we are, we have foreordained callings with gifts which we are both born with and which we have to grow into by active discipleship. As we seek the Kingdom first, so we will know our overall purpose and have clear direction and goals.
From around the time I finished university, I have always known that I would be a teacher, both career-wise and (later) of the Word. This was a gift I pretty much always 'had' but being a minister is something I have had to grow into, and am still growing into, many of the skills for which I learned parenting.
Getting Your Heart Ready
To 'fit' our mission on earth - to do what we have been called to do - does require training and authorisation, and specifically our heart has to be fitted for that mission. It is only as a soul lives increasingly from his heart, and according to the heart's design in Yahweh - for it is Yahweh who places the desires there that will lead you into your mission - so these godly heart-characteristics will become more self-evident both to you and to other believers, so that together you can develop a testimony of what your life-calling is. These characteristics of your heart reveal the general scope of your mission. BUT there is always that tricky sark trying to lead you elsewhere - into a world of self-seaking pleasure, 'fulfilment', 'self-realisation' and other satanic impulses to deflect your heart from the course Yahweh made for it. Which brings us back to that difficult spiritual task to "diligently weed out the words, feelings and judgments of the sark". One of my prophetic callings has been to help people to recognise, confront and renounce the sark and I can tell you few people want to know about this - only those totally committed to Yahweh want to know the truth and overcome.
I want to end today with what I hope will be a few 'helps' in guiding us both in discovering our mission as well as in dealing with those nasty 'sarkic' impulses that seek to take us off the Way.
As so often happens, I get new insights into scriptural truths by reading different Bible translations. We can so often get send down wrong avenues of understanding by the use of English words that don't accurately reflect the original writrers' intent, words actually hard to render into another language. Words like emunah - 'faith' - are notoriously difficult. I want to end with another notoriously difficult English word, namely 'authority' with which we render the Greek exousia but which finds no parallel in Hebrew. This is a subject I have spoken of much in the past as it is very important in the Torah lifestyle ordained by Yahweh.
So much of our life mission is defined within the context of the spiritual authorities under which Yahweh places us because all authority is delegated. In the sense in which it is used in the New Testament, authority is the rightful, actual, and unimpeded power to act, or to possess, control, use, or dispose of, something or somebody. Exousia is not, however, any old power, for which we have another Greek word, dynamis (from which we get the English word 'dynamic' or 'moving power'), but specicially refers to lawful power. Exousia may be used with the stress on either the rightfulness of power really held, or the reality of the power rightly possessed.
With few exceptions, exousia is theological - in order words, it has to do with power delegated by Yahweh Himself. Since all authority or power is delegated, those to whom it is given must answer to Yahweh as to how they used it. By the same token, because all authority is ultimately Yahweh's, submission to authority in all realms of life is a religious duty, and part of our service to Yahweh. As far as Scripture is concerned, there is no ambiguity in this matter. Needless to say, the lawless and rebellious are constantly sniping at this aspect of Yahweh's Rule - and without doubt this subject has stirred up the greatest controversies in this ministry not because it is hard to understand but because the sark does not want to understand it. In my experience, the greatest battles Western Christians fight is over this issue, which makes it a matter in the greatest need of attention as well as one that I repeatedly raise, not because I have a personal problem with it myself, but because the world does. Unresolved it prevents believers moving into and staying IN Yah'shua. For the sark is anti-authority to the core.
What is Your Spiritual Accreditation?
Our approach will be the matter-of-fact approach of Yah'shua Himself since He is the one we are called to imitate, the One who had no sin in His life. You will notice in what He says a total absense of sophistry, playing with words, psychologising, excusing or otherwise trying to wriggle out of what is probably the starting point in conquering the sark and getting IN to Yah'shua. My concluding passage is from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John as Yah'shua defends Himself against the charges of the Judeans:
"I (Yah'shua) do not look to men for honour. But with you it is different, as I know well, for you have no love of Elohim in you. I have come accredited by My Father" (Jn.5:41-43a, NEB).
"I have come accredited by My Father" - meaning He was 'officially recognised' by Yahweh, of 'guaranteed quality','orthodox', 'true', since the one sending Him was all these things. We must back-track a few verses to see why Yah'shua was thus "accredited":
"'In truth, in very truth I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He does only what He sees the Father doing: what the Father does, the Son does'" (v.19, NEB).
Our accreditation - our authorisation - comes in the viewing and in the imitation. That's how children learn - they imitate their parents.
The other day some new friends (who are not Christians) were heaping praises and compliments on our children, saying they had never seen anything like the kind of excellence of behaviour they were displaying whilst they were playing with their children. I was quite taken aback and didn't know what to say because this is about the fifth time they have said this. You might say that my credentials as a parent were revealed in what my children did.
Yah'shua says that everything He did was by imitation of His Heavenly Father - He was not bringing some 'new' teaching which He Himself had originated but was getting everything from the Ultimate Source. He also admitted that He had no power to do anything save what His Father had granted Him to do. He was fully submitted and obedient, following His Father's example in everything.
"I have come accredited by My Father", He said, "and you have no welcome for Me; if another comes self-accredited you will welcome him" (v.43, NEB).
I have read hundreds of Christian websites on line and in a good many of them the ministers say who ordained them or from which seminary or Bible School they got their ministerial qualifications or accreditation. Paul had 'accreditation' too as Messianically-speaking an unbelieving Judean - he was schooled by the great Gamaliel! But did he use that as accreditation in his subsequent ministry as a believer and follower of the Way? Not once. He even said that his Pharisaic upbringing, being a Benjaminite Judean, whilst of some use, was not a valid accreditation for the mininistry. Neither birth, education, nor anything the world regards as 'qualification' has any bearing on our accreditation as far as Yah'shua is concerned. I have a whole string of academic qualifications but they are irrelevent as fas as the ministry is concerned. Yah'shua was a regularly ordained Rabbi, 'accredited' by the ruling religious powers, but did He ever cite this as His authority?
No. His authority lay in imitating His Father and in obeying Torah. His lifestyle was his authority along with his works. But were these His ultimate authority? No, they were important, but they are not what counts the most. Where, then, is His certification - His legitimation, His accreditation, His qualification? Well, there are actually two - one in public at the River Jordan and the other reserved for the inner core of the apostles at the Mount of Transfiguration. Here they are:
"And Yah'shua, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt.3:16-17, KJV).
"Then Peter answered and said to Yah'shua, 'Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah'-- because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!' Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Yah'shua with themselves" (Mark 9:5-8, NKJV).
The Primary Authorisation
Hear Him - obey Him - follow Him. Everything else Yah'shua did - His sublime teachings, His miracles - all these were but confirmations of the original endorsement of Heaven. Alone, these two witnesses - the one in private and the other in public - were more than enough, but because mankind struggles with his sark and so soon forgets, and weakens in unbelief, Yahweh sends other witnesses - things we can see and imitate. These are the secondary witnesses. The presence of Moses and Elijah, and their subsequent disappearance, was also a testimony that Yah'shua was the chief of the Torah (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). He had, and has, all authority. His accreditation is flawless.
Now, what of us? What accreditation do we have? What are we born with and what must be subsequently receive? Husbands are born accredited by Yahweh to be obeyed by their wives, fathers are born accredited by our Heavenly Father to be obeyed by their children - no other 'qualifications' are needed. However, in order to be received the more readily, secondary witnesses are helpful though not needed. If Yahweh thought secondary witnesses were important for His Son Yah'shua, then secondary witnesses are important for husbands and fathers too. They need to be imitating their own Head, Yah'shua. And yet so many wives and children rebel, just as the Judeans rebelled against Yah'shua. We continue in our text:
"How can you have faith so long as you receive honour from one another, and care nothing for the honour that comes from Him who alone is Elohim?" (v.44, NEB).
How can a wife have faith in her husband, or children their father, if they care nothing for the accreditation that Yahweh gives husbands and fathers? How can they? Then they will simply view authority in terms of behaviour, which is never enough. Is behaviour important? Yes, to obtain respect, to get esteem and high regard - it is very important but it is not the ultimate basis of authority. That is critical to understand. All authority is ultimately based on Yahweh's Word and it is on our response to that we will be finally judged.
The same is true of ministers. They, however, are a little different to husbands and fathers. Under the Old Covenant, ministers were born through the Tribe of Levi. Today thay have to qualify solely on the basis of the Ruach. In New Testament times, a pastor's accreditation came from the apostle who set him apart by the Ruach haQodesh. It was simply a matter of finding out who ordained the minister because the one doing so was specifially commissioned by Yah'shua Himself while He lived. Today there are hundreds of men (and some women) claiming to be 'apostles' and others with different titles (like popes, cardinals and patriarchs) claiming to be operating in the apostolic office. Obviously they aren't all apostles since their teachings and their works betray otherwise. So how are pastors and other ministers to be accredited today? The same way that Matthias was? The trouble is, this replacement of Judas was primarily because he walked with the mortal Messiah like the other 11. No one living soul today meets that criterion so there can be no more apostles like the original twelve. They are in a class and category that is unique to them. But there are other types of apostle such as Paul who was called personally by Yah'shua by revelation and who confirmed his apostolic calling by both his teaching and his works ... just like Yah'shua confirmed His. You might say that these are 'secondary apostles'. We don't have time to examine this important ministry today but I will be examining it more closely at another time.
"How can you have faith so long as you receive honour from one another, and care nothing for the honour that comes from Him who alone is Elohim?" (v.44, NEB).
Recognising Yahweh's True Ministers
Why is it that Yahweh's true ministers are not recognised today? Why do believers no longer concern themselves with the biblically-sanctioned credentials of these men? Well, the answer is not difficult to obtain:
"Do not imagine that I shall be your accuser at Elohim's tribunal. Your accuser is MOSES on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses you would believe what I tell you, for it was about Me that he wrote. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how are you to believe what I say?" (vv.45-47, NEB).
Now if Messianic Jews and Israelites are not doing what Yah'shua and the apostles He authorised did - let alone non-Messianic Jews - how on earth are Evangelicals going to fare, who don't set their hope on Moses and do not believe what he wrote as being relevent any more? Yah'shua endorsed Moses, and Moses endorsed Yah'shua!
An End to the Law and Prophets?
The reason Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists and others don't do what Yah'shua says completely is because they don't believe Moses. Yah'shua made it perfectly clear that He had not come to do away with the Law (Moses) or the Prophets (Elijah) but to bring their witness to completion in Himself. And don't be fooled by gentile translations of the New Testament with their antinomian (lawless) agendas because they deceive. For instance we read:
"The Law (Torah) and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of Elohim is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it" (Luke 16:16, NIV).
That passage alone has two errors in it. The first and most serious error is that it gives the impression that the "good news of the Kingdom" has somehow 'replaced' the "Law and the Prophets". Oh yes, they'd like you to believe that lie! We only need to look at the Hebraic New Testament to expose the fallacy of this position:
"The Torah and the neviim (prophets) were CONCERNING Yochanan (John the Baptist)..." (Lk.16:16; RSTNE).
Compare this to an earlier witness of Yah'shua:
"For all the neviim (prophets) and the Torah prophesied CONCERNING Yochanan (John the Baptist)" (Mt.11:13, RSTNE).
Unbelievers Treat The Kingdom with Violence
Returning to the passage in Luke 16, the modern versions are also asking us to believe that we are to enter this Kingdom "violently" as Maurice Cerello and other charismatics teach - through forceful prayer, tongues and other nonsense. They want us to believe that believers are using force to gain entrance into the Kingdom. It's from this lie that we have so many modern heresies. But it is unbelievers who treat the Kingdom with violence:
"Since then (the time of John the Baptist) the Kingdom of Eloah (Yahweh) is proclaimed and all men treat it with violence" (Lk.16:16, HRV).
This message we preach - death to self and the sark life, living IN and for Yah'shua, and obedience to Torah is - HATED! Why? Because it exposes ALL lies and pretences. All of them! This message leaves no hiding place for the carnal man or woman. It's the raw, undiluted 'Good News', not the watered-down version of Protestantism nor the legalistic version of most Messianics. This is the message of Judah and Israel re-united! This is the One (Echad) House message and right now we are a tiny voice in the wilderness, hardly being heard by anyone, Evangelicals and Messianics alike. Why have so many people invested so much time and energy on such a small group? Why have we been persecuted so ferociously? Why have some sworn not to rest until we have been totally erradicated? Doesn't that strike you as a bit extreme? What is it that is so threatening about our message? I'll tell you - and I have one of our chief detractors to thank for this testimony - it's because we preach the Bible exactly as it is, untrimmed, unmassaged, 'untamed' and unapologetically. This was the greatest compliment that anyone has ever paid to me as a teacher of the Word. It made him our chief persecutor but has merely confirmed what we have always believed. Yes, the world seek to treat the genuine Kingdom with violence. It is a good thing for them that we are peace-makers - we want them and everyone else to know and enjoy Yahweh's shalom.
Primary Accreditation Needed
So I have some parting questions for you. We know what Yah'shua's accreditation was, and we know was the original apostles' was. What is your accreditation as a believer? Are you a believer or just an 'unbelieving believer'? Do you come accrediting yourself? And if you do, on what basis do you accredit yourself? If my message has found a place in both your hearts and your 'kidneys', then THE PRIMARY accreditation that you have is based solely on your obedience to your head. It has nothing to do with your works of righteousness (which are as filthy rags in any case when done in the sark, and are YAH'SHUA'S works of righteousness when done by us IN Him) and it has nothing to do with how you feel in your heart because these works, and these feelings, are only SECONDARY ACCREDITATION. So if your primary accreditation is based on your obedience to, and imitation of, your head, then you have only one question to ask yourself today, because until you have answered it, no other accreditation is of any value at all. And why not? Because of what Yah'shua said:
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt.7:21-23, NIV).
I asked you earlier if you were divided within and I am asking you to once again consider why. Is it because you have failed in acquiring your primary accreditation? Have you perhaps been majoring on the secondary and minoring on the primary? Are you trying to justify disobedience on what you think or feel righteousness should be apart from obedience to what Yahweh has alreadey told you? Who is your Head? You or Yah'shua? You or your husband? You or your father? Are you rebelling against a delegated head and justifying rebellion based on a claim that secondary accreditation is more important? Are you rebelling against a husband or a father? If so, consider today's unsaved Jews and ask yourself if they are accredited? Yah'shua said:
"The Father does not judge anyone, but has given full jurisdiction to the Son; it is His will that all should pay the same honour to the Son as to the Father. To deny honour to the Son is to deny it to the Father who sent Him. For in truth, anyone who gives heed to what I say and puts his trust in Him who sent Me has hold of eternal life, and does not come up for judgment, but has already passed from death to life" (Jn.5:22-24, NEB).
Are we getting this message? Or is the sark outraged? Has any Old Testament-believer any right to bypass Yah'shua if the Father has given all authority to His Son? Can he claim to be made right with Elohim because he has obeyed Torah but rejected the Son? By the same token, if Yah'shua has appointed husbands to be heads over their wives, and instructed their wives to obey they in all things (that do not contradict what they themselves have been commanded to obey, namely, Torah), what does that make a wife who makes her obedience and loyalty conditional upon anything else other than Torah-obedience?
"Now as the Messianic Community (Church) submits to Messiah, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything" (Eph.5:24, NIV).
We are never going to get off the ground, we are never going to reunite the two Houses, we are never going to be empowered from on High, and we are never going to be triumphant and victorious over sin until we have the PRIMARY ACCREDITATION in place. Am I saying that the secondary accreditation is unimportant? In no way! It is extremely important but it is useless if we haven't got past the starting post. Why am I emphasising these things so much? Why has this become a mantra of sorts? It is because of the unceasing witness of the Ruach haQodesh to me - it's a warning that if we don't get this right, we will be judged as "evil-doers" at the last day no matter how many 'good works' we do, no matter how wodnerful we may feel the love in our hearts may be, because ALL love is judged relative to obedience to the First Principle of Eternal Life - there is no passage from "death to life" otherwise. So long as this lie remains entrenched in our homes, our homes will be the battle grounds instead of the world, and the world will eventually overwhelm us. No army can be successful in battle until there is discipline and order in the ranks - then the shining examples of the officers can count for something, but not before.
This work to which we have been called is not going to die but Yahweh will and has already passed over those who sought for their own glory and pleasure, as each guest invited to the banquet chooses the world before Him. My question to you is this: are you going to stand or flee? And if you're going to stand, will you order your life after the Ruach or the sark? If you are IN Yah'shua, the first thing you must do is obey Him in everything, covenant to do so, and orientate your life around that committment, and diligently weed out all the words, feelings and judgments of the sark or carnal nature. We have a lot to do, the enemy won't wait for us. Let's restart:
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor.6:2, NKJV).
[A] Friesen, Wilder, Bierling, Koepcke & Poole, Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You (Shepherd's House Inc., Pasedena, CA, 2000)
Michael Wells, Sidetracked in the Wilderness, Devotional Life Press, Littleton, CO; 1991, p.38
Giovanni Maio, The Metaphorical and Mythical Use of the Kidney in Antiquity, in American Journal of Nephrology 1999;19:101-106 (DOI: 10.1159/000013434)
Other examples of the usage of the word 'kidneys' in Scripture are Job 16:13; 19:27; Ps.7:9; 16:7; 26:2; 73:21; 139:13; Prov.23:16; Jer.11:20; 12:2; 17:10; 20:12; Lam.3:13; Rev.2:23 (Gk. nephros)
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 24 August 2007
Last updated on 24 August 2007
Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved