Saturday, February 6, 2016

Easter vs Passover

Easter used to be my favorite holiday.  I absolutely loved celebrating the resurrection of my Lord and Savior!  The bright colors of spring, and the warmth of the sunshine (when it didn't rain or worse - snow!) added to the joyfulness of the occasion.  I never once questioned the origin of this special holiday, until I began homeschooling my children.  

I have shared before how the homeschooling journey led me to discover things that I never imagined.  I expressed how my heart sank at the realization that beloved celebrations of the church are really contrary to the One Whom was being celebrated!  I might have also confessed that I pushed that information to the back of my mind because at the time I was not willing to address it.  

Now, however, I have fully accepted that the way I once worshiped my Savior was not how He wanted to be worshiped.  In fact, He has forbidden that way of worship in His Word! 

Deuteronomy 12:4(NLT)
 Do not worship the LORD your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods.


Before I continue with what the Scriptures say, I want to share with you what I found on the Roman Catholic Church's (RCC) website concerning Easter, and also what they call the "EASTER CONTROVERSY" (the controversy apparently being the timing of Easter), and why I believe that Deuteronomy 12:4 is applicable to Easter.  In the first article, I read: 

"Easter: The English term, according to the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v), relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity, however, is otherwise unknown, even in the Edda (Simrock, Mythol., 362); Anglo-Saxon, eâster, eâstron ; Old High German, ôstra, ôstrara, ôstrarûn ; German, Ostern"

Concerning Easter Eggs: 
"Because the use of eggs was forbidden during Lent, they were brought to the table on Easter Day, coloured red to symbolize the Easter joy. This custom is found not only in the Latin but also in the Oriental Churches. The symbolic meaning of a new creation of mankind by Jesus risen from the dead was probably an invention of later times. The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter."

Concerning the Easter Rabbit: 
"The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility (Simrock, Mythologie, 551)"

But what also concerns me is the apparent antisemitism that accompanied the decisions of our supposed "early Church fathers".  I noticed this when researching the Sabbath as well. Concerning Easter, the RCC article states:

The emperor himself [referring to Constantine], writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea, exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: "At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. . . And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin. . . for we have received from our Saviour a different way. . . And I myself have undertaken that this decision should meet with the approval of your Sagacities in the hope that your Wisdoms will gladly admit that practice which is observed at once in the city of Rome and in Africa, throughout Italy and in Egypt. . . with entire unity of judgment." From this and other indications which cannot be specified here (see, e.g. Eusebius, "De Paschate" in Schmid, "Osterfestfrage", pp. 58-59) we learn that the dispute now lay between the Christians of Syria and Mesopotamia and the rest of the world. The important Church of Antioch was still dependent upon the Jewish calendar for its Easter. The Syrian Christians always held their Easter festival on the Sunday after the Jews kept their Pasch. On the other hand at Alexandria, and seemingly throughout the rest of the Roman Empire, the Christians calculated the time of Easter for themselves, paying no attention to the Jews. (bold mine)


As I was reading through these articles from the RCC's website, I came across a term that I had never heard of before - "Quartodeciman".  Evidently this was a term given to those who continued to observe Passover.  Here is a brief explanation taken from Wikipedia:  

"The Quartodeciman controversy arose because Christians in the churches of Jerusalem and Asia Minor celebrated Passover on the 14th of the first month (Aviv), while the churches in and around Rome changed to the practice of celebrating Easter on the following Sunday calling it 'the day of the resurrection of our Saviour'. The difference was turned into an ecclesiastical controversy when synods of bishops which held to Apostolic tradition condemned the practice." (bold mine)

What I see from this one resource alone, is that Easter has pagan origins, and was mandated by Constantine and the RCC to be celebrated by everyone instead of Passover.  There are many other resources that support this finding, and I highly encourage you to research this more.
 
So what does Scripture say about Easter?  Well, the word "Easter" is not even in the Bible, except some translations use that word in Acts 12:4.  However, if you look at the original language, you can see that the word is "pascha", which means Passover.  Also, if you read through the New Testament carefully and slowly, you will notice that the early Followers of Yeshua continued to keep the Feasts of Yehovah - His "appointed times" - even after the ascension of Yeshua.  This is something that I had not really noticed before, or if I had, I just didn't think it was applicable for me today. But now I see that from the very beginning of Yehovah's giving of His Feasts,  He commanded His children to keep them as an "everlasting law": 

Exodus 12:14 (ISR) 
And this day shall become to you a remembrance.  And you shall celebrate it as a festival to Yehovah throughout your generations - celebrate it as a festival, an everlasting law

Therefore, since Easter is NOT commanded by Yehovah, but has pagan worship origins, Deuteronomy 12:4 applies: "Do not worship the LORD your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods."
  
Leviticus 23 explains Yehovah's appointed times, so I highly recommend that you read it.  If you do, please note where it is said that these appointed times are a "law forever", and/or are to be kept "throughout your generations". 

Yehovah's appointed times were established for very specific reasons.  Every aspect of them point to the coming of Yeshua, the Messiah!  The more I learn about each feast, the more amazed I am at how intentional my Heavenly Father was and the lengths to which He went to in order to reveal Himself and His Son to His creation.  I have gained so much from keeping His appointed times - which is no shocker - because He states over and over about how He will bless those who follow His ways and keep His commandments. 

So why am I sharing all of this?  Well, it's NOT to make anyone angry or to cause division (although I know that is a possibility, after all, I was angry myself at first). I really hope to ignite a spark of curiosity if nothing else.  I want to encourage my brothers and sisters in Messiah to search the Scriptures (see Acts 17:11) and test everything that we have been taught throughout our life times.  Much of what the current church considers to be Biblical just isn't.  Much of the traditions and doctrines that are being practiced in churches has been handed down to us from the Roman Catholic Church and/or others who did not want to be "Jewish"! (please read my post on "Foot Binding", which is an analogy the Holy Spirit showed me concerning traditions and doctrines of men)  I hope to help lead others to following Yehovah according to His Ways.

Hosea 14:9 (ISR)
Who is wise and understands these words, discerning and knows them? For the ways of Yehovah are straight, and the righteous walk in them, but the transgressors stumble in them.

Lamentations 3:40 (ISR)
Let us search and examine our ways and turn back to Yehovah.



Friday, January 29, 2016

Foot Binding

This morning while cleaning the house, preparing for Shabbat (Sabbath), in my mind I heard the term "foot binding".  Then I heard the Holy Spirit explain to me that today, spiritually speaking, many people are suffering from this barbaric practice. 

A quick Internet search helped me better understand what foot binding entailed.  Foot binding began in China, apparently because extremely small feet were considered a desirable trait for women. It was difficult for a woman to find a husband if she did not have tiny feet, so when girls were very young (around ages 5-7), parents would break all their toes except the big toes, fold them up underneath their feet, and then wrap them with 10ft long bandages. Foot binding was a tradition of man that literally, physically bound women and kept them from walking freely in their daily lives.

Traditions and doctrines of men that have no Scriptural basis continue to be passed on, binding our feet - spiritually speaking. False doctrines based on a misunderstanding and/or distortion of Yehovah's (God) Word are much like the bandages that bound the girls' feet, and these false doctrines are keeping the Body of Messiah from freely growing and being fully effective for the Kingdom of God

In Ephesians 6:11-18, the Apostle Paul exhorts the Body of Messiah to put on spiritual armor.

Put on the complete armour of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil. Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies. Because of this, take up the complete armour of Elohim, so that you have power to withstand in the wicked day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand, then, having girded your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace;
above all, having taken up the shield of belief with which you shall have power to quench all the burning arrows of the wicked one.Take also the helmet of deliverance, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Elohim,praying at all times, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching in all perseverance and supplication for all the set-apart ones;
(italics and bold mine)

I don't think that it's a stretch to say that if our feet are bound, it makes it difficult to stand.  The only thing that we are to have our feet fitted with (spiritually speaking) is the Good News of peace (see Mark 1).  The Good News is that everyone has the ability to stand without condemnation before Yehovah if they have trusted in His Son, Yeshua (Jesus), and have repented (turned away from) of their sin (lawlessness - see 1 John 3:4).  Truth,  righteousness, and even peace are words used to describe Yehovah's Torah (see Psalm 119), so according to Scripture - the Torah should be our spiritual armor.  Our spiritual armor is something that we must intentionally choose to put on each day.  If we are not clothed in what Yehovah has called truth, righteousness, and peace, then we are not wearing garments approved by our Heavenly Father.  If the garments we prefer to don are made of man-made traditions and doctrines, then we are basically binding our own feet.  It's time we, the Body of Messiah, take a good hard look at ourselves inwardly speaking so that outwardly we appear to be Children of the Most High God!  Let us unbind our feet from the traditions and doctrines of man so that we can freely walk in Yehovah's truth, righteousness, and peace! 


  



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Please, Don't Misunderstand Me

I think more and more people are starting to notice some life changes that my family and I have been making.  Many of these changes have caused curiosity for some, and unfortunately, confusion and hurt to others.  

This morning as I was praying about these things, my heart once again became overwhelmed to the point of bursting (or so it seemed)!  I felt the need to try and better explain what is taking place in my heart.  I will let my husband and my children speak for themselves. 

I have often wondered what it meant when Peter said,  

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy".   1 Peter 1:14-16 

That "be holy" part seems rather vague, doesn't it?  What does that even look like?  That was always one of the questions that I tucked into the back of my mind.  1 John 2:6 is another verse that usually made me go, "Hmmm?!", yet I didn't ever really meditate on it or find out what it meant more specifically.  


Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
1 John 2:6 

So...how DID Jesus live? 

Well, to use His own words: 

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.  
John 5:30 

 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
John 6:38

All of Torah tells us what the Father's will is. All of Torah points to Jesus! 

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:27
 
Going back to what Peter said, "for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy".  The passage of Scripture that he was referring to is in Leviticus 11. In this chapter, God is giving instructions on what is to be considered clean (for food) and unclean (not food).  Why would Peter quote this passage of Scripture if it was no longer applicable?  Now, this post is not going to be entirely on what is considered clean and unclean, but it is a pretty important aspect of how we are to live in obedience.  Jesus would NEVER have eaten an unclean animal, and He would NEVER have told anyone else that it was OK to eat anything unclean.  Jesus NEVER sinned.  He came to redeem us from our sins, not tell us it was OK to sin because He lived a sinless life for us and would love us anyway.  So, one of the things that my family and I have started doing is following the dietary instructions found in Torah.  We do this because Jesus did.  Jesus loved the Father.  We love the Father.  Jesus walked in obedience.  We desire, and are trying, to walk in obedience.   (I know I said I would let my husband and children speak for themselves, but I do know where they stand, so it's hard not to include them.) 

Something that I find ironic and somewhat disheartening is that since we've implemented this change (as well as keeping the Sabbath set-apart, observing God's appointed times, and other commandments as we come to understand them), some people have accused us of being "holier than thou".  Aren't we instructed to "be holy"?  What does that look like?  We are told what it looks like in Torah!  So, following Torah out of love for Jesus and the Father, is what it looks like and is to be holy!  What does holy even mean?  It means "consecrated" or "set apart".  From what/whom are we to be set apart?  The world!  How can we be set apart if we are living like the world?  We can't!  



 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15

 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 
 1 John 5:2-3

What did Paul have to say? 

 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 
(emphasis mine)



Please, don't misunderstand me! I am not saying that I have it all figured out!  I am not saying that I am holy! What I am saying is that I am searching the Scriptures and as I come to better understand what my Father has instructed, I am striving to be obedient - because I love Him!  That's all my family and I desire to do.  We do not think we are better than anyone else. We do not judge anyone else who is not walking the same way we are.  We do not believe that we are saved by works, but we now better understand that what we believe will be made evident by what we do (or do not do).  

Paul exhorts us to:

 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17 
(emphasis mine)

Again, God gave us His instructions, His Torah so that we can know what His will is!  If God expects us to be holy because He is holy, then this IS something that is achievable.  

I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:13 




 




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Obey God, Not Man

My family and I are on a quest to better follow God's Torah (instructions).  Among them is the keeping of, or setting apart, God's Sabbath Day.  From the very beginning, God (I will sometimes use YHWH) established the seventh day of the week to be set apart, or holy:



 By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.
Genesis 2:2-3 

So why do most Christians not observe the seventh day, but instead consider the first day of the week to be the Sabbath?  One of the resources that YHWH has used to teach my family comes from the 119 Ministries.  They have a video teaching entitled The Sabbath Day.  I highly recommend your watching this teaching.  I have also heard the teaching from Tom Bradford's Genesis study found at www.torahclass.com/  Tom Bradford states: "Around the late 2nd century A.D., it became a goal of the now gentile dominated church to abandon anything that seemed to apply to the Jewish people, eventually in the 4th century the church officially abolished the Shabbat." (Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath) Tom encourages others to see the actual church documents that validate this statement, so I did.  I searched for "Council of Laodicea document, 364" and came across this site, where I read the following:



CANON XXIX.
CHRISTIANS must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.


CANON XXXVII.
IT is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts of Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them.


CANON XXXVIII.
IT is not lawful to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety.


Even earlier than when the Council of Laodicea convened: "The Roman Emperor Constantine, a former sun worshiper, professed conversion to Christianity, though his subsequent actions suggest the 'conversion' was more of a political move than a genuine heart change.  Constantine named himself Bishop of the Catholic Church and enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321." (sabbathtruth.com)

I then went to  http://ecclesia.org/truth/sabbath-history.html where I read this:



15th Century. Norway

1. "We are informed that some people in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed Saturdaykeeping. It is severely forbidden - in holy church canon - one and all to observe days excepting those which the holy Pope, archbishop, or the bishops command. Saturdaykeeping must under no circumstances be permitted hereafter further than the church canon commands. Therefore, we counsel all the friends of God throughout all Norway who want to be obedient towards the holy church to let this evil of Saturdaykeeping alone; and the rest we forbid under penalty of severe church punishment to keep Saturday holy." Catholic Provincial Council at Bergen. 1435 Dip. Norveg., 7, 397. 

and this:
16th Century. Council of Trent

1. "On the 18th of January, 1563, the Council of Trent ruled that Tradition is greater than Scripture, after a powerful speech by the Archbishop of Reggio, in which he said that the fact that the Church had changed the Fourth Commandment clearly proved that Tradition was greater than Scripture." H.J. Holtzman, Kanon und Tradition, 1859 edition, p. 263.


Matthew 15:3, 6-9. Jesus replied "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?", " You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

In the book History of the Sabbath, by J.N. Andrews, I read about the genesis of the Sunday sabbath doctrine: 

"The true doctrine of the Christian Sabbath was first promulgated by an English dissenter, the Rev. Nicholas Bound, D.D., of Norton, in the county of Suffolk.  About the year 1595, he published a famous book entitled 'Sabbathum Veteris et Novi Testamenti', or 'The True Doctrine of the Sabbath'.  In this book he maintained 'that the seventh part of our time ought to be devoted to God - that Christians are bound to rest on the Lord's day as much as the Jews were on the Mosaic Sabbath.'" 

By the way, if you will notice the first Scripture I shared, YHWH set apart the Sabbath at creation - not with Moses.  Moving on. J.N. Andrews continues: 

"Dr. Bound was not absolutely the inventor of the seventh-part-of-time theory; but he may be said rather to have gathered up and combined the scattered hints of his predecessors, and to have added to these something of his own production. His grounds for asserting Sunday to be the Sabbath of the fourth commandment are these:

That which is natural, namely, that every seventh day should be kept holy unto the Lord, that still remaineth: that which is positive, namely, that day which was the seventh day from the creation, should be the Sabbath, or day of rest, that is now changed in the church of God. (bold mine)

He says, that the meaning of the declaration, 'The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,' is this: 
There must be one [day] of seven and not [one] of eight.

But the special key to the whole theory is in the statement that the seventh day in the commandment was "genus", that is to say, it was a kind of seventh day which comprehended several species of seventh days, at least two.  Thus he says: 

So, he maketh the seventh day to be genus in this commandment, and to be perpetual: and in it by virtue of the commandment to comprehend these two species or kinds: the Sabbath of the Jews and of the Gentiles, of the law and of the gospel: so that both of them were comprehended in the commandment, even as genus comprehendeth both his species.

 Huh?! 

J.N. Andrews explains: "He means to say that the fourth commandment enforces the seventh day from the creation to the resurrection of Christ, and since that enforces a different seventh day, namely, the seventh from Christ's resurrection.  Such is the perverse ingenuity by which men can evade the law of God and yet make it appear that they are faithfully observing it." 

When talking about changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, many people point to the Roman Catholic Church - with good reason.  I went to check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church and read this: 

"Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ: Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death."

But when you look to Scripture, it is extremely clear that YHWH established the Sabbath day - forever:

"And the Lord said to Moses, “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep My Sabbaths, for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between Me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed." Exodus 31:12-17

I don't know about you, but the arrogant statements made by the men quoted above gave me chills (and there are many more)!  It astounds me to think that mere men had the audacity to usurp YHWH's authority! Having participated all of my life in something that was NOT ordained by Him has really been quite sobering for me.  Now that I know and clearly see in Scripture that YHWH has not changed His mind about His Sabbath (or any of the other commandments), I must follow through with obedience.  I want to be obedient!  Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) also made things clear when He said: "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15)


It's not easy to stop following the traditions you've always known, but it does get easier.  My family and I have been keeping the Sabbath Day now for about five months, and we are finally getting into what I call a "Sabbath groove".  It truly is a day that we all look forward to, knowing that YHWH created it for us - to rest. 

I know that there are many people who will disagree with our decision.  Many people believe (as did we not long ago) that the Torah (or Old Testament in general, or the Law specifically) was "nailed to the cross", and that we are no longer "obligated" to keep it. But now I wonder, just what is it in the Torah that is so objectionable for Christians to follow?  Aren't we supposed to "die to self"? (1 Peter 2:24) Don't get me wrong, there are some things that I still don't quite understand the why of, but I still want to be obedient  - out of love for YHWH.

The bottom line is, even though the majority of Christians observe Sunday as their day of rest, we will choose to observe the day that YHWH commanded us to keep.  

"Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  Joshua 24:14-15 

And as Peter said in Acts 5:29, 

We must obey God rather than men.   

For even more quotes and resources, check out the article "The First day of the week, the Lord's Day and Sabbath" found here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Going Back to the Roots


 My garden continues to help me understand spiritual applications.  This morning while picking green beans, I noticed a vine with blue flowers mixed in.  I have not yielded a bumper crop of green beans so far this year, and I wonder if these blue flowers and their encroaching vines are the reason.


Getting to the green beans was quite challenging because of these invasive intruders; I thought of how they could be very symbolic on a spiritual level.  These pervasive weeds (to me they are weeds because I did not plant them and I don't want them in my garden) represent false teaching.  These false teachings look alive (and they very much are alive), and their leaves look very similar to the leaves of the green beans (truth), but they are not, well, green beans.

The darker green leaves on the left are the green bean leaves.

They grow just like the green beans grow, and they have become extremely entangled with the green beans.  In fact, it was very difficult to discern which vine was the weed (false teachings) and which was the green bean (truth). So, I decided that if I wanted to know which was which, I needed to go to the roots, and that is what I did.  I found a vine of the weed and traced it back to the ground where I found the root system.  Each time I did this, I found that the weed had grown up very near to the green beans and then wrapped itself around the green bean vine. There were so many of these weeds they were choking out the green beans!  Once I determined which was which, I yanked up the weeds.

That is what my family and I have been doing spiritually speaking.  We started noticing that some things in our lives that we have believed and participated in were not stemming from the truth of God's Word.  They were no more than weeds (false teachings) and they were choking out the true vine, which meant we weren't producing a bumper crop for YHWH.  We have been going back to the root system of our faith.  Recognizing that as children of YHWH, and being grafted in to Israel (Romans 11 talks about this), means that we are now part of Israel.  Therefore, we need to live as YHWH instructed Israel to live.  We need to follow His instructions, which is found in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).

Going back to the root system has helped us to recognize what is truth and what is false.  We are now growing exponentially in our understanding of YHWH's Word!  We have learned more in the last six months that we have our entire lives!  Hopefully we will start seeing bumper crops soon - all for the glory of YHWH!
This picture is of a previous year's crop.
  
Another thing that I noticed is that the pests seem to go after the green beans more so than the weeds.  Hmmm... interesting!  I definitely see that in the spiritual realm as well.  Satan doesn't go after false teachings, now does he?  Nope. He goes after the truth and he does his best to distort our perspective of the truth.  In fact, he plants false teachings in close proximity so that it is difficult to discern at first glance which is which.  That is why it is vital for Believers to go to the root system!

Now, can we produce fruit even with some false teaching in our lives?  Yes, I believe so.  I can look back and see when and where YHWH used me & my family and blessed us in spite of not following His Word completely - in spite of the false teachings.  However, He has promised that when we walk in obedience, blessings will be abundant - we'll have a bumper crop!  I truly believe that I can speak for my family in that we would much rather benefit from YHWH's blessings because of what we believe and do instead of in spite of it. Does that make sense?

If you are a Believer and Follower of Yeshua (Jesus Christ), and you want to know more about the root system of your faith, I encourage you to do the research.  First of all, search the Torah. Go back to the beginning.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth (John 16:13).  Find out how the Bible defines truth (John 17:17, Psalm 119:142, Romans 2:20, Matthew 5:18). Find out what YHWH says about your current belief system and the things you participate in in the way of worshiping Him.  He makes it clear in the Torah how He wants to be worshiped.  Remember that often times it is difficult to discern what is beneficial, so go back to the roots.










Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Troubling Dream - Do Not be Deceived

I woke up from a dream. I saw lightening strike nearby. I looked up into the sky and saw clouds part. A UFO came out from behind a cloud. I saw a sign that read simply PEACE. I yelled, "It's started!" I was yelling at a crowd of people who were underneath a pavilion. They couldn't see what I saw.

I have bing as my home page. The picture for today (see below), September 1, 2015, has this one description: "Who rides the bronze steed where the bright lights of a Ferris wheel radiate with royal glory? The Sun King, naturally."

I clicked on that link, which took me to Wikipedia. Part of the write up on this "Sun King" reads:"...he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule..."

This combined with my dream gave me chills!

1 John 2:18-29

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life.
I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

 In the 1 John 2 passage, I put in bold letters verse 24.  What was it that YHWH's children had heard from "from the beginning"?  YHWH's Torah!  His Torah points to His Son, Yeshua (Jesus), and Yeshua always pointed to Torah:

Luke 24:44-48
 Then he said to them, These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

If we don't want to be deceived (which the majority of people will be deceived by the Antichrist), we must remain in Yeshua.  Yeshua IS the Word (John 1, Revelation 19:13), His Word IS Torah.  Torah instructs us on how to live out what YHWH has commanded us, to love Him first and foremost with all our hearts, soul, and mind, and second to love our neighbors as ourselves.  

Christy Ellis's photo.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Desire to Delight in God


 
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalm 37:4-5

There was a time in my youth when I claimed these verses for myself.  I would pray them to God, reminding Him of His great promise to me to give me the desires of my heart.  At the time I was not petitioning Him, but rather demanding Him to give me the desires of my heart!   And He did.

What I most desired at the time was not what God wanted for me.  What I most desired at the time eventually brought me extreme pain and misery.  God knew that to begin with. What's worse is that I knew that God knew that, because He had told me so! But I was too stubborn, selfish, and prideful to admit it.  I wanted it, and God's Word said that He would give it to me (at least the way I was reading it), so that was that!

Later, after licking my wounds, drying my tears and wiping my nose, I went back and read these verses again.  This time, however, I actually saw them.  The very first part of the Scripture instructs me to "delight yourself in the LORD".  That's the part I skipped over!  I neglected to keep my end of the bargain.  If I had delighted in the LORD, then I would have listened to Him and realized that the thing I wanted was not right for me.  He had something much better in mind. I also obviously neglected to "commit" my way to Him as well.  I wanted my way - plain and simple.  But again, His way was so much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9), but I was not willing to believe it, which means I didn't really trust Him.


How often do we see what we want to see in God's Word?  How often to we take a part of Scripture here, but leave others?  How often do we lay hold of God's promises, yet refuse to see our responsibility?  How often do we take advantage of the grace of God because we are ignoring His holiness and the command that He has given to us to "be holy as I am holy" (Leviticus 11:44, Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter 1:16)? I would like to say that I learned my lesson the first time, but like so many others, I'm a slow learner!  I hate to admit that off and on throughout the years of my life, I have gone back to claiming parts of Scripture for myself without fulling acknowledging that there is an act of obedience that precedes God's blessings.  Just as with a parent/child relationship - if a child wants to experience freedom and rewards, they must prove they are responsible and obedient (honestly, I hesitate using such simplistic analogies because our Heavenly Father is so much greater than any earthly model).

My point is this: Picking and choosing the parts of Scripture that make us feel good while leaving out the parts that hold us accountable to Almighty God, will only hurt us in the long run.  We are short-changing ourselves when we try to manipulate Him!  There is a reason that God has commanded His children to walk in obedience, to delight in Him, to trust Him, and that reason is because He is God and He knows what is best for us.  Yes - it is that simple.

Not only are we short-changing ourselves, but we are grieving our Heavenly Father, Who is holy, righteous and just!  When we walk in partial obedience, we are actually walking in complete disobedience.  And the results will always be pain and disappointment.  

So, I exhort you to read through the Scriptures slowly and intentionally.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth (John 16:13, Psalm 25:5), to show you wondrous things in God's Torah (instructions) (Psalm 119:18), to help you to trust Him with all your heart & to lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Ask the Holy Spirit to help you walk in obedience and keep His commandments (2 John 1:6).

Delight yourself in the LORD, and (then) He will give you the desires of your heart.  You know why?  Because then your desires will be HIS desires, and He desires His best for you!