Faithful Servant – Bloody Moons – Another Divorce

23 January, 2014

Those who persecute God’s people the most tend to be those who believe they are His people or formerly were. We are approaching a rarely occurring phenomena when there will be four blood moon eclipses that are predicted to correspond with some of the feast days of the LORD. When things like this occur, students of eschatology make a lot of noise and people, particularly believers, take certain

Moon over Jerusalem

Moon over Jerusalem

interest. Rabbinically, lunar eclipses are said to be a sign indicating God’s judgment on His people whereas solar eclipses are said to indicate God’s judgment on the nations. Jesus speaks of this on this wise:

Matt 24:9-14
9 Then will they deliver you up to be afflicted, and will kill you: and you will be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then will many be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another.
11 And many false prophets will rise, and will deceive many.
12 And because iniquity will abound, the love of many will wax cold.
13 But he that will endure unto the end, the same will be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then will the end come.
MKJV

Many picture governments doing horrendous things to the people of God but let us not forget who delivered up Jesus to the Romans and compelled them to crucify the Lord, who delivered up Paul and the other apostles, who lead the Spanish inquisition and the crusades, and who, today, speaks with the most hatred towards believers. It is, with few exceptions, fellow believers. As Jesus says:

John 16:1-3
16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
MKJV

There are many who look forward to the end of days with excitement and anticipation. I’ve noticed that, without exception, in the eye of the beholder all the bad things that will happen are going to happen to some else. What does Yahweh say in this regard?

Amos 5:18
18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
KJV

What is going to happen and why are believers going to be hated of all nations? If persecution tends to come from fellow or former believers, what is going to compel them to be so cruel and act without love, mercy, and grace?

Zion is about to be born and the eyes of Judah are about to be opened wide to who the Messiah is. But what happens first? A divorce is coming, one brought about by our own making. When Jesus says, “And because iniquity will abound, the love of many will grow cold,” He isn’t referring to unbelievers but to believers. Iniquity is when a person knows that what they are doing is sin but instead of turning from it they twist everything around them to justify it. And who has love but the people of God who are supposed to love Him with all their heart, being and might, and their fellow as themselves? As Isaiah says:

Isa 50:1
1 Thus says the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have you sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
MKJV

Believers are bringing about their own divorcement by selling themselves out to sin. This is to what Paul is referring in 2 Thess 2:3 when he declares a great falling away or more properly, according to the Greek, a divorce. This will cause many in the Body to be offended and betray one another (Matt 24:10).

When will these the things occur? It seems to me that it may be in our near future. Perhaps you have heard of the blood moon tetrads that are forthcoming. The moon represents the Bride of Messiah and ideally is supposed to shine forth His light as the moon does the sun. Every month a woman goes through a time of purging to renew her uterus in preparation to receive a seed to produce life. Thus can range from mild to so traumatic it feigns contractions. What holds the greatest sway is the blood which flows forth during this time. If the blood is cold, it will become stagnate or goes into a stasis state and gets trapped causing great pain. However if the blood is warm and flows freely, it will be able to flow forth with little incident.

What does this have to do with anything? It points us to various prophesies such as Isaiah 4.

Isa 4:3-4
3 And it will come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, will be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
4 When the Lord will have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and will have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
MKJV

An example of this is Sodom and Gomorrah. Before God decided to destroy them and the surrounding cities, He sent messengers to judge and see if the accusations against those cities were true, one of which was that men were intimate with their wives during their menstruation. The messengers found it to be so and hence commenced the purging with only three escaping: Lot, who was considered righteous, and his two daughters.

If what Jesus tells us in Matt 24 comes to pass during this time and the love of many believers grows cold, this menstrual cycle will be one of great pain and travail. It will be a time of tribulation such as the world and the LORD’s people have never known. When we think of God pouring out His Spirit, we think of Acts and the wonders that came about with it. We look forward to Him pouring out His Spirit again in the last days but something we overlook is that part of that outpouring will be judgment and purging. As Joel says:

Joel 2:28-32
28 And it will come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32 And it will come to pass, that whosoever will call on the name of the LORD will be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem will be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD will call.
MKJV

This set of verses parallels Isaiah 4. The only way a person will be delivered is if he calls upon the name of the LORD. All other means of salvation are futile. It is only after this judgment and purging that the survivors in Mt. Zion and in Jerusalem or in the nation of Israel and the Greater Israel in all the nations will find refuges. As Isaiah continues:

Isa 4:5-6
5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory will be a defense.
6 And there will be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
MKJV

Why is the LORD doing all this? What does Jesus tell us?

Matt 24:13-14
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then will the end come.
MKJV

It is so the gospel will be preached in the entire world for a witness unto all the nations. As Isaiah declares:

Isa 66:19-20
19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they will declare my glory among the Gentiles.
20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
MKJV

When God poured out His Spirit the first time, it was to empower those who were His to go into the world and fulfill the Great Commission. When He pours His Spirit out again in the last days, it is to bring that commission to its fullness or conclusion. The disciples wondered before Jesus’s ascension, “Are you going to restore the House of Israel at this time?” The House of Israel cannot be gathered into His barn until they are first harvested. The last days is going to be the season of the greatest harvest. It is when God is going to show that He has fulfilled His promise to Abraham to make his descendants as the dusts and sand of the earth.

So what, then, is this judgment and purging?

Matt 24:42-51
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore you also be ready: for in such an hour as you don’t think the Son of man comes.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes will find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he will make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant will say in his heart, My lord delays his coming;
49 And will begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And will cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
MKJV

The good servant is the one who is doing the work that the Master gave him to do. The same is also the servant who is likened unto the goodman who watches and not the servant who’s standing there looking out the window, the wise virgins, and the servants who did right by their Master with the talent of gold He gave them.

Being a good servant requires more than simply obeying the commandments, statues, and ordinances; they are the house rules that are expected to be followed by every servant. Being a good servant requires more than sharing the gospel; the Master expects every servant to invite others in, feed them, clothe them, and meet their needs. What is the personal work that the Master has given you to do? Are you doing it? Then you are the same as the good servant who is watching for His master to return and won’t be caught by surprise. The servant who doesn’t obey the house rules will be punished but still remains a servant (Luke 12:47-48). The servant who doesn’t feed, clothe, and visit the least of these will be cast out because the Master doesn’t know him (Matt 25:41-46). The servant who isn’t about his Master’s business and buries his talent of gold will also be cast out (Matt 25:24-30). Everything we have is a gift from the Master. He has given some of us much and of the same will require much. Every servant’s needs are met by the Master. Everything beyond that, the blessings, are the abundance He gives us to do the work He has called us to do and meet the needs of others. If we keep these blessings to ourselves, we are burying the talent of gold He has given us in the dirt.

Historically, a tetrad (four) of blood moons has been a time great travail for God’s people. Historically, God’s people (as a whole) tend to be confronted by and fall into the hands of their enemies when they are living in sin. When judgment comes, it always begins with His people starting with those who have been given the most responsibility. If at any time in history there has been a greater need to turn to the LORD in repentance, it is today. As He tells us in Isaiah:

Isa 1:24-28
24 Therefore says the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease myself of my adversaries, and avenge myself of my enemies:
25 And I will turn my hand upon you, and purely purge away your dross, and take away all your tin:
26 And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning: afterward you will be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
27 Zion will be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners will be together, and they that forsake the LORD will be consumed.
MKJV

Judges, in the book of Judges, are most often thought of in regards to how they delivered the people of Israel from their enemies. But their greater task was to lead His people to repentance. If we are living in sin, iniquity, and transgression, God is under no obligation to deliver us nor have we the right to expect Him to no matter how many promises we claim. Of all the people that were delivered from Egypt, only two entered into Yahweh’s rest. If we think we are as righteous as they, we are sorely mistaken. Our hearts are not undivided like Caleb’s nor have we made Yahweh our salvation. It is time to stop serving God only when it is convenient but also when inconvenient. It is time to stop relying on our works to save us and fully put our trust in God.

Again, I implore you, seek God in repentance, do the work He has tasked you with, do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

I Want You to Want Me

Couple Watching SunsetBelievers today like to spend time with God and do things for Him, yet they have no desire to be intimate with Him, to expose themselves before Him, or to wholeheartedly give themselves over to Him.  What is the first thing you think about when you get up in the morning?  What is the last thing you think about before you go to sleep? The LORD has commanded us to love Him so much that it is He who is foremost in our hearts at these times (Deut 6:5, 7).  Yet the thoughts of your heart are not enough; what is the intention of your heart?

Jesus’ desire isn’t simply that you spend time with Him, but that you desire to do spend time with Him and that your soul aches to wrap itself in Him.  Must He always draw you?  Must His spirit continually call out to you, invoke your emotions, and give you a spiritual high?  When will you press in?  When will your desire for Him be greater than all else?  He wants your desire; that is what arouses His passion.  When His people withhold themselves from Him, it only arouses His anger.  He is a jealous God.  He wants you to want Him more than your most sensual experience.

The Spirit shouldn’t always be the one to initiate.  When will you engage the Spirit?  If the Spirit must always be the one that prompts you, His power through you is limited to your whimsical interest.  If, however, you invoke the Spirit, He flows through you like a mighty rushing wind and a flood of living waters.  The difference is huge!  Jesus already commanded us to GO!  He shouldn’t have to tell us again and again.  Are we deaf?  Why is it we enjoy spending time with God so long as He doesn’t ask us to do anything boldly for Him?

Ps 37:4
Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he will give you the desires of your heart.
MKJV

If you delight yourself in the LORD, then He is the desire of your heart.  When your desire is for something or someone, your senses, your thoughts and your intentions are consumed and directed towards that particular object or person.  Remember back to when you first allowed Jesus into your life, your “heart.” It was at that moment that He completely, without hesitation, filled you with His whole self.  But we, still daily waging battle with our flesh, must initiate the moment-by-moment surrender of ourselves over to our Lord.  Another way of saying it is that we should not ask God for Him to fill us with more of Himself, for He has already freely given over Himself to us, filling us up.  But we are to give up more of ourselves to Him, so that we may not quench the Spirit of God that is already encompassing the entirety of our beings.  Our willingness to do so or not indicates where our desire lays.

Seek Him, pursue after Him, draw Him into the innermost chambers of your being, and give yourself to Him fully and completely.  Hide nothing from Him.  Though you are ashamed, He is wanting and aroused when you put your trust in Him and not your fear.  Learn this lesson and apply it with all your might.  Drink deeply of His love.  Desire Him so lustfully that your appetite is unable to be sated.  He can only fill you to the depths of your desire.  Desire Him, more of Him, and intimately Him.  Start now, this very moment.  He loves you and wants you to want Him, to burn for Him, and to be overcome with passion for Him.

Give us a heart, oh God, to know that You are Yahweh that we may be your people and You our God, and that we will return unto You with the undivided heart of Caleb (based on Jer 24:7).

co-author: Julia Dale

End of Days Crisis

There is a major crisis among the believers today. Many have become so caught up in the Messiah’s return that they have lost focus on what is important. It has turned into a cancer eating away our life killing us slowly until we no longer even realize we are dead.

Do we really know the details of God’s plan or are we assuming too much? Are running around seeking to save our own life? Where is our faith? Are we acting no different than the world?

burdenIt is one thing to be aware of what is going on but let’s keep in mind that life is lived today, not tommarroww or some arbitrary point in the future. Most things people get caught up in don’t even matter. How much time are we spending focusing on Israel and what is happening in the news when the reality is that none of it matters? Nothing that Washington does and nothing that happens in Israel has an effect on or means anything in regards to our daily life until it does. The only thing it serves to do is get a person all worked up over nothing causing worry and speculation over things that are unknown and/ or cannot be changed. This is utter foolish.

Life is lived today. What does it matter if the world ends today or the Messiah returns tommarroww or at some arbitrary point in the future? Our hope is not in this life, our hope is eternal. Are we are seeking to save our own life trusting in things that don’t save? Materialistically we are as prepared as we need to be. If we don’t feel like we are prepared, then it doesn’t matter how much we acquire to prepare we will never feel like we have enough causing us to live in anxiety and fear. If we feel like we are prepared, then it doesn’t matter how little we have we will feel like we are prepared causing us to live in peace and joy. I’m not talking about deceiving ourselves becoming complacent but adopting a different perspective in our approach.

The reality is that the only thing that does matter is that your heart is right with God and you are walking according to His will for your life. God is looking for a people whose hearts trust in Him. When the Messiah returns, will He find faith in the earth? Where is our faith? Our Messiah told us to live today but are we? If we are overly focused on His return, everything we see, everything we do, everything we talk about revolves around that. We will only ever find what we are looking for. Because of this, many have neglected the work that God has given them, been robbed of their joy, have become stressed out, feel helpless, and have been robbed of life.

It’s time to start living again. Indulge in the things that do make a difference. We are all commanded to minister to people and make a positive difference in their life. When is the last time you did something to show someone the love of Jesus? Are you being the light that Jesus commanded us to be in a dark, hurting, and dying world or are you hiding it under a bush, in your house, and in your assemblies? We seem to have the ‘assembling ourselves together’ part down alright, but we are neglecting to go forth from there into the world.

How do we spend our days? When we were young, we took pleasure in hanging out, walking, sitting around a fire, shopping, engaging in hobbies, mowing the lawn and drinking a beer, and simple things in life. Have they eluded us? Have we forgotten the joy we derived from them? My grandpa always says that life is about camping, hunting, and fishing and he is absolutely right. If we are not enjoying the simple things in life and thankful for what we have, then we are not living so what’s the point of our existence? If we are not ministering to those around us, then we are not living according to responsibility God has given us so what’s the point of our existence? Life is meaningless and meant to be lived today, in the moment. It is meant to be enjoyed and shared with people and those we love. The abundance of that is meant to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. It is time to live again.

Take a moment to reflect upon if this is you. If it is, take a deep breath and realign yourself with your first love and your first works. Remember the admonitions of Solomon in Ecclesiastics and take heart; come back to the land of the living and live again. Perform the work that God has given you to do and stop fondling the end of days. When they are upon us, they are upon us but until that time they don’t matter. We are to be seeking the lost sheep of the House of Israel and searching for the people of God in every nation. We are to be a light and salt in this present age. It’s time to repent of our foolishness and be ministers of the Gospel as Jesus commanded us and the disciples showed us.

*originally posted December 12, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

heartWhat does God want from us more than anything?  What has He always wanted from us more than anything?  What is the one thing He’s done everything and more to capture?  Isn’t it our heart?  *f1  What is more valuable to Him?  If God has captured your heart, He has captured you and all you are; as a man who so thoroughly captures the heart of a woman she remains faithful through everything, no matter what, beyond comprehension and explanation.

Our synergy with the Creator is, always has been, and always will be about relationship.  We must look at everything in Scripture, in our life, in our thoughts, in our deeds, and in our words through the perspective of that relationship.  Your life isn’t about you anymore.  Your life isn’t even about Him.  When a man and his bride come together, life is all about them and who they are together.  Your relationship with your Groom is personal; it is all about you and Him and who you are together.  That is what must define you; it must be your life.

How does God capture your heart?  More than anything it is an attitude and secondly it is a life-long process of drawing closer to Him.  If ever you think your heart is right with God, it is a tell-tale sign that you have hardened your heart and have become no different than Pharaoh and children of Israel who rebelled in the wilderness and were judged.  Pride says, “I am right with God!” but in the day of tribulation you will fall (Prov 16:18).  Humility says, “Show me, O God!  O LORD, be gracious to me and reveal to me how I can draw closer to you!  O Redeemer be merciful to me and expose my sin to me so I can repent and serve you!” (Luke 18:10-14)

Did you know that you cannot repent from a sin until that sin is revealed to you?  Repentance, shuv (שׁוּב), doesn’t simply mean to ‘turn away from your sin’ but to also ‘press toward home’, to relentlessly pursue our Father and Husband at all costs, no matter how we may feel.  Repentance is all about relationship and drawing closer to God.  And as we draw closer to Him, He will reveal not only our sin but everything that gets in the way of our relationship with Him.  As Jesus says, “Every valley will be filled and every mountain brought low . . .” (Luke 3:5); i.e. every obstacle and hindrance that come between you and Him will be vanquished!  And He has told us exactly how this is done!  Our God is so amazing!

The book in the middle of Torah, the heart of the Law of Moses is Leviticus.  It reveals God’s heart to us.  The Hebrew name for Leviticus is ‘Vi’ekrah’ (וַיִקְרָא) which means, ‘and he called’.  Church, ekklesia (εκκλησια), means ‘called out’ and is the equivalent to two Hebrew words:  qara (קַרָא), to ‘call’ and qahal (קַהָל), to ‘assemble’. *f2  The reason the book is named Leviticus is because God chose them, called them out from among all the tribes of Israel.  Although, it should be more properly called Israel, for it was Israel that God chose; He called them out from among all the nations to be His bride.  But we must remember that Israel is the people of promise after the seed of the Spirit, not the seed of the flesh alone (Gen 17:19-21, Gal 3:29, 4:28, Eph 3:6, Rom 9:6-8).  More properly in our day this book should be called ‘Church’ for God has called us out from among the nations and adopted us as His sons and daughters and betrothed us to be His bride. *f3  We are the people of promise; we are Israel *f4.

No book is more pertinent to our relationship with Jesus than Leviticus/ Church.  How does that make you feel?  Does that upset you or make you curious?  If it upsets you, that’s okay.  It upset me when our loving Father first started showing me these things in ’01.  But I humbled myself before Him and prayerfully sought Him to change my heart and show me what He was trying to tell me.  It has only been in the last year (winter of 2012) that He began revealing to me what the book of Leviticus is about :).  It is all about drawing closer to our Savior, how to humble ourselves before Him so He can capture our heart, making it right with Him and conforming us into the likeness of His Son, His very image.

The book of Leviticus/ Church begins with what is most often referred to as the five sacrifices.  The first image that comes to most people’s minds is a helpless animal being brutally slaughtered.  Where does that image come from?  It has been instilled into us from our youth, but our God is not like the gods of the nations.  ‘Sacrifice’ is not an adequate translation of the Hebrew word used in these passages.  Many versions translate that Hebrew word as ‘offering’ and some as ‘oblation’, but even still those are not an adequate translation.  The Hebrew word is korban (קָרְבָּן) and means to ‘draw close’ or ‘draw near’.  Of those, four involve the death of an animal.

How then do we draw close to God?  The first korban is the burnt offering (Lev 1).  It requires that an animal without blemish be brought to the door of the tabernacle.  The person who brings it must do so of his or her own free will.  The animal, a substitute, is lifted up in smoke upon the altar that is at the door of the tabernacle, and its blood is sprinkled round about the altar.  That person is then atoned for; his sins are covered so that he may enter into to the house of the LORD.

This is an exact picture of what Jesus did for us.  Jesus is without blemish, and He offered Himself up as a substitute for us atoning, covering us with His righteousness so that we may enter into the house, the family of God (Is 61:10, 2 Cor 5:21).  His blood was poured out by the door.  He is the door and nobody can enter in except through Him (John 10:9).  When we enter in, we become legally adopted into His family.  We submit ourselves to His authority, entering into a threshold covenant with Him *f5.  But we must come of our own free will.  This is the first step we take when we enter into a relationship with our Creator.  It is the very first way we ‘korban’, draw closer to Him!

The next korban is the meal offering also known as the meat offering (Lev 2).  This is where we begin to fellowship with God, begin to eat the bread of life, and this the second part of entering into a convent with the LORD, but why food?  This is the place where Christians (all believers) mature in their faith.  What I am about to share is a hard lesson, one I struggled with for a long time.  To this day I find it challenging as God speaks to me more about my diet.  The first sin involved what God said to eat and what not to eat (Gen 3).  In the letter that James and the Apostles wrote to the Gentile believers, three of the five, over half of the admission, had to do with food: “. . . meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled . . .” (Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25)

Peter also wrote to the Gentile believers saying:

1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, [and] hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at [the] revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning [yourselves according to] the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which has called you [is] holy, so you be holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, You be holy; for I am holy.
MKJV

Where is it written?  In the book of Leviticus/ Church, the book that teaches us how to draw close to God.

Lev 11:44-45
44 For I [am] the LORD your God: you will therefore sanctify yourselves, and you will be holy; for I [am] holy: neither will you defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
45 For I [am] the LORD that brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: you will therefore be holy, for I [am] holy.
MKJV

What we choose to eat and what not to eat is ultimately a matter of the heart, relationship.  When we eat what God tells us to not eat, we are eating from the Tree of Knowledge just as Adam and Eve did.  As long as we are eating from that tree, we will never be able to rule over the sin and corruption in our flesh because we are feeding it.  If we cannot rule over our belly, then our belly is our god, not the LORD.  This is the reason why what we choose to eat is so important.  Only when we choose to eat what God says He created for food are we able to be holy, set apart, removed from the world as He, our example, is set apart from the world.  Until we do this, it is impossible for us to even begin to be like Jesus.  If we cannot deny this seemingly small desire of our flesh, we will continue to struggle with sin and giving into temptation.  Doesn’t it say that Jesus was tempted in all the same ways we are yet still remained without sin? (Heb 4:15)  Paul tells us this:

Phil 3:18-19
18 (For many walk, [of] whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is] their belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
KJV

The point is that food has a stronghold in our life both physically and spiritually.  It is not to condemn you but to encourage you to draw closer to our Messiah who gave Himself for us.  When we start out as believers, God does not expect these things from us; that is why James only asks new believers to abstain from “. . . meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled . . .” but goes on to encourage them to learn the Law of Moses (Acts 15:21).  As we mature in our faith and draw closer to God, He will expect these things from us.  Why?  He loves us and He desires a relationship with us that is and will continue to be more and ever more intimate.

There is also fasting in which we deny our flesh the pleasure of any food for a time.  But fasting is supposed to be an outward manifestation of inward grief.  On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we are commanded to afflict our soul (Lev 16:29-34).  God specifically ordained this day since the beginning of creation as a special appointed time for us to draw near to him through repentance (Gen 1:14).  *f6  We are supposed to be so grieved by the sin in our life that we are cut to the depths of our soul.  The outward expression of that affliction is fasting (Zech 8:19).

King David shows us what it means for our soul to be afflicted (2 Sam 12:13-23).  His firstborn son through Bathsheba was struck and became very sick.  David knew it was because of his sin; thus, he was so grieved that he sought God in repentance for the child’s life.  As he fasted, he refused food, slept in the dust of the earth, and wept sorely.

When you fast, the purpose should be to draw closer to God.  But an outward show of fasting means nothings if it isn’t the heart that purposes it.  During times of fasting you should be seeking the LORD with prayer.  Giving up food should free up several hours that can be used to seek His face and draw closer to Him and feed on His bread and drink His drink (John 6:35, 53-58).

The third korban is the peace offering (Lev 3).  In our world today, peace is thought of as being in a state of tranquility or not at war.  But in Hebrew peace, shalom (שָלוֹם) means to be ‘complete’ in the sense that nothing is diminished from your being.  For example, if someone steels your garden rake, even though it may be small thing, they have diminished from your being by taking something that belongs to you.  If someone calls you an idiot, they have diminished from your being by defaming you.  In order for that person to be at peace with you two things must happen:

  1. They restore what they have diminished from you.
  2. They reconcile with you.

Jesus commands us to be peace-makers and to actively seek restitution and reconciliation (Matt 5:9, 25-26).  If we don’t there will come a day when we will be brought before a judge whether here on earth or the Great Judge at the end of the age.  But a judge only has the power to restore; he cannot reconcile two parties.  Again, this is a heart matter.

When Jesus says, “When you bring your korban to the altar and there remember your brother has something against you, . . . go unto him and reconcile with him.”, He is speaking of this korban (Matt 5:23-24).  We draw closer to God by being peace-makers, by restoring unto and reconciling with those we have wronged.  And God in turn can then restore unto us the things that have been diminished from our being that the Adversary has taken from us but He does so as our righteous Judge (Joel 2:25).  If we don’t, however, restore unto and reconcile with those we’ve wronged, He will also act as righteous judge on their part judging justly and showing mercy according to our works and measure by which we treat others (Matt 7:2).

God then reveals the sin that you’ve committed out of ignorance to you so that you can repent and be forgiven.  This is the fourth korban, the sin offering (Lev 4).  The LORD, by His mercy through His grace, reveals what is sin to us gradually over time so we are not overwhelmed.  As Jesus told His disciples, “I have many things I want to reveal to you but you are not yet able to bear them.” (John 16:12)  Even so, He waits to reveal our sin committed in ignorance to us until we are strong enough to bear them.  As it says, “you will bear your iniquity,” but it is not so we can carry them (Lev 5:17).  Sin always weight us down but when we know something is a sin and do not repent, then it becomes an iniquity and a heavy burden and borders on transgression or rebellion against God.  But it is not for us to bear; it is revealed to us so that we can give it back to Him (1 John 1:9).  As John the Baptist says, “Behold the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

God wants to remove our sin from us, but He cannot do so until we give it to Him and we can’t give it to Him until it is revealed to us but He can’t reveal it to us until we are able to bear it and we aren’t unable to bear it unless we draw closer to Him for as we draw closer to Him, our strength, over time, is no longer our own but His (Is 12:2).  This is faith, belief, trust.  Faith comes by hearing and obeying the Word of God (Rom 10:17, Deut 6:5).  The purpose of hearing and obeying the world of God is that we might draw closer to Him.  It is a cycle.  As David says, “Lead me in your cycles of righteousness O LORD.” (Ps 23:3)  *f7  It is a daily walk, the seasons of our life.  The more we die to ourselves, the more we can live in Him.  It is all about relationship, becoming one with our Messiah just as a man and his wife become one (Gen 2:24).  The man must leave his house and cling to his wife.  Jesus left His house so that He could cling unto us.  After the man clings to his wife, he brings her back to his father’s house, his inheritance.  She no longer belongs to her father’s house but is called by the name of her husband.  Even so, until the Messiah takes us as His and calls us by His name, our father is the devil and we belong to him.  But praise God that He sent His son who willingly left His father’s house to cling to us and to take us as His bride!  He made a way that we might be adopted into His Father’s house and be one with Him, even as He is one with His Father! (John 17:20-23)

Lastly, God confronts the willful, rebellious sin inside us.  These are the things we know are wrong and come between us and Him.  This korban is the trespass or guilt offering, for when we willfully sin, we are guilty and subject to punishment without mercy (Heb 10:28, Deut 19:15).  But our Love does not want us to die but to live.  If we refuse to repent of our willful sin, we will die because it shows that our heart is hard, being unwilling to give it to Him (Luke 13:27, Prov 21:15, Ez 33:12-16).  The Holy Spirit cannot soften your heart, only you can.  *f8  Those in the wilderness whose hearts were hard were no different than Pharaoh who perished in the Red Sea.  He, just as they, was found guilty.  This is like a baby who perishes in the womb before it is born.  If we don’t pass through the waters, if we are not found innocent, we will at best be stillborn.  Jesus said that when we pass through the waters, He will be there (Is 43:2).  He can only be there if we have a relationship with Him and draw close to Him.  Even as Peter drew closer and closer to Jesus, the waters threatened to overtake him, but Jesus was there and rescued Him.  When we refuse to repent and turn from our willful sin, we are telling God that we will bear the burden of our sin, that we are our own salvation, and sin, when it has become full grown, brings death (James 1:15).  The only one that can save us is Jesus.  The only way He can save us is if we have a relationship with Him, and we can only have a relationship with Him when we fully and completely surrender ourselves unto Him of our own free will.

The rest of the book of Leviticus/ Church goes into the details of drawing close to God.  Let’s look at one example.  Lev 19:18, the second greatest commandment, tells us:

Lev 19:17-18
17 You will not hate your brother in your heart: you will in any wise rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
18 You will not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you will love your neighbor as yourself: I [am] the LORD.
MKJV

This is a detail that is part of the peace korban.  We cannot draw closer to God if we don’t obey this commandment.  You will not find greatest commandment in Leviticus/ Church.  Why?  Because if you do not love your fellow believer as you love yourself, it is impossible to love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and might (1 John 4:20-21).

Be sober.  Our days of freedom are coming to an end even now as I speak.  Persecution of believers in America has increased exponentially but the media is doing a good job of hiding it from us.  A time is coming, and is even at hand, when if you don’t have the closeness of a relationship with God, you will not withstand your day of tribulation.  It is time to stop talking about crucifying you flesh; it needs to die right now.  Be strong and be strengthened!  Our God is faithful; cling to Him!

Footnotes:

All scripture is taking from the Modernized King James Version (MKJV).  Words in {braces} are the Hebrew words.  Words in [brackets] are added, and words in (parenthesis) are mine.

f1:  (Deut 5:29, Deut 8:1-5, Deut 10:12-13 & 16, Deut 30, 1 Kings 8:61, 1 Kings 9:4, Ps 24:3-4 Matt 5:8 . . .)

f2:  Ekklesia (εκκλησια) is a compound Greek word of ek (εκ) meaning ‘from’, ‘out’ and kaleo (καλεο) meaning to ‘call’.  Ekklesia is directly equivalent to qahal (קַהָל), to ‘assemble’, and by extension also equivalent to qara (קַרָא), to ‘call’ and miqra (מִקְרָא), to ‘call out’, ‘public meeting’, ‘rehearsal’.  Linguistically speaking ‘church’ is all over in the Old Testament.

f3:  (John 1:12-13, Mark 14:24-25, Jer 31:31-34, Hos 2:16-20)

f4:  (Rom 4, Gal 3:6-11, Gen 17:1-8, Jer 31:31-34, Gen 48:19, Is 11:10-13, Zech 2:10-11)

f5:  A threshold covenant is a covenant that originated ancient times that is still practiced by those who live in and are from the Middle East.  For more information: http://vimeo.com/21026940

f6:

Gen 1:14
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons {moed, מוֹעֲד}, and for days, and years:
KJV

moed (mo-ed) (מוֹעֲד) means an ‘appointment’ or a ‘fixed time’ to meet.  It is like planning your wedding.  You and your spouse-to-be set aside a certain day in which you will come together and be transformed into husband and wife.  Thereafter that day is set aside because it is special.

These appointed times have been known since the beginning of time but were not written down until Leviticus/ Church 23.

Lev 23:1-2
1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, [Concerning] the feasts {moed, מוֹעֲד} of the LORD, which you will proclaim [to be] holy convocations, [even] these [are] my feasts {moed, מוֹעֲד}.
MKJV

While we can meet with God at any time, He has set aside certain times when He wants to meet with us as a Body.  Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was set aside for us as a Body to seek Him in repentance and for our Creator to reveal our sin to us and the things in our life that ought not to be.  This day should also be a remembrance for us that our Messiah atoned for us, bore our sins, and made a way so that we might be adopted into the family of God.  It is a time for us to set our differences aside and unite together in love for one another and our King.  Just as a wife can go to her husband at any time, there is something extra special when they come together on the anniversary of their wedding.

*f7  Remember, the Word of God is the seed (Luke 8:11).  Our heart is the ground in which it is planted.  A person can hear the Word of God and if they harden their heart and that Word will not grow.  Or a person can soften their heart and that Word will take root, grow, and produce fruit.  Either way, each individual must decide what they will do with that seed; the seed cannot produce life without an egg.

*f8  Most versions translate ‘cycles’ as ‘paths’ from the idea that a path is made by wearing away the area from repeated use.  The literal meaning, however, is to wear away the area by treading in a circle like an ox used to grind grain by pulling the millstone around in a circle.

Healing Bitter Waters

Living Water

Bitter water is everywhere in our world today.  Few places exist anymore where fresh drinking water can be found.  What about the waters of our belly?  Has it become bitter?  What purifies it so it may flow fresh?  Why does it become bitter?

Water is the source of life.  Without it, we would die.  If the source of the water is polluted, so will be all the water that proceeds forth from it.  Bitterness, marar (מרר) in Hebrew, is about the source of water becoming polluted.  If there is bitterness in us, everything that proceeds forth out of us will be polluted.  Something that is polluted produces death and is unclean and removed to outside the camp, outside the presence of the living God which is the opposite of eternal life (John 17:3).

What turns our water bitter?  There are many things that can turn our spirit bitter.

  1. here are many things that can turn our soul bitter.  bitter? Loss of something you had or thought you had.
  2. Doing something before its time.
  3. Discomfort.
  4. Stopping up the flow of water so it becomes stagnant.

Loss of something:

Esau came to his father Isaac fully expecting God’s blessing to his fathers, Abraham and Isaac, to be bestowed upon to him.  Instead, by the will of God, it was given to his brother Jacob.  Esau lost what he thought was rightfully his and he wept bitterly that day.  All the days of his life he hated Jacob with a passion because of this.  This bitterness was passed on to his descendants and they have taken their bitterness out on the world and it is still with us today unseen and unknown to most people. (Gen 27:34)

Naomi lost her husband and two sons.  They were entwined in her life; they were her life.  She desired no longer to be called Naomi, my delight, but Marah, embittered.  It wasn’t until her daughter-in-law, Ruth, gave her a grandson that she was comforted and life was restored unto her.  The Messiah also descended from her. (Ruth 1:20, 4:13-17)

Impatience:

When grapes and other fruits are harvested before they are time, they are sour or bitter and some are even toxic.  Even so, when we do not wait on Yahweh, when we do things ahead of God’s timing, the result is bitterness.  Yes, God is gracious and can still use the fruit, but this is not His perfect will.  (Deut 32:31-33)

Discomfort:

Probably the most well-known record of bitterness in the Bible is that of the children of Israel.  A king arose that did not know Joseph, who did not experience the salvation Yahweh graciously gave to Egypt through him.  He enslaved Israel and made them serve with rigor and hard bondage making their lives bitter.  God caused Pharaoh to know Him and delivered His people and everything was peachy keen.  That was until they didn’t have water.  They happened upon water and found it to be bitter, why?  Because it was reflecting the condition of their heart.  The Father provided for His children but He also caused them to be uncomfortable to test them and reveal to them what was in their hearts and so that they might repent and trust in Him.

Deut 8:2-3
2 And you will remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not.
3 And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you didn’t know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.
MKJV

Stagnant Water:

The definition of bitterness, marar (מרר), mean to ‘trickle’.  Pictographically it means ‘head of head waters’ or ‘source of head waters’.  For example, in Minnesota, we have over 15 thousand lakes and thousands more swamps.  The headwaters of the Mississippi river is Lake Itasca.  But what is the source of Lake Itasca?  It continues to supply the Mississippi river but never exhausts its supply of water.

The basic difference between a lake and a swamp is water flows freely out of a lake.  A swamp can be a stream of water that has been dammed up by a beaver only allowing a trickle of water to flow or a body of water that is completely stopped up.  Because the water of a lake is moving or alive, it doesn’t become overgrown with algae and cesspool for bacteria.  A swamp is rotting and dead.  Yes, things can live in it, but it is overgrown with things that are slimy and nasty that typically cannot live in a healthy environment and the stench of the bacteria wafts a good distance round about.

What about us?

What does all this have to do with us?  Inside every one of us is a well, a source of life (John 4:13-14).  Jesus said:

John 7:37-38
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast [of Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
MKJV [added for context – 7:2]

The headwaters of the river of living water that spring forth from our belly is our spirit.  Everything that flows forth out of us is a product of our spirit.  What is the source of our headwaters; what spirit is our spirit of?  There are only two sources, two spirits at work in the world and in the lives of all people:

  1. The Spirit of God.
  2. The spirit of anti-messiah.

If the Spirit of God is working in our life, our spirit will be alive and all that comes forth out of us will bring life.  If the spirit of anti-messiah is working in our life, our spirit will be dead and all that comes forth out of us will bring death.  The first person it affects is us.  We are either bringing life to our soul or death.  If you’ve ever taken time to visit someone in a nursing home, you know what I mean.  You can see whose life has been filled with bitterness and whose has been filled with life.  The bitter person finds no pleasure in anything.  They never smile unless it is at someone else’s misery and even then.  Whereas a person whose spirit is alive still finds things to smile about.  Despite their condition they are thankful and gracious to those who visit them and help them.  (Matt 6:22-23.  ‘Eye’ is ayin (עין) in Hebrew meaning ‘fountain’ from which water willingly flows.)

What causes our spirit to become bitter?  The same four things I mentioned about earlier:

  1. here are many things that can turn our soul bitter.  bitter? Loss of something you had or thought you had.
  2. Doing something before its time.
  3. Discomfort.
  4. Stopping up the flow of water so it becomes stagnant.

Loss of something:

We live in a world subject to entropy.  At times tragedy befalls us.  Other times God is removing something from our life that shouldn’t be there because it is obstructing our relationship with Him.  When these things are an integral part of our lives, something that composes us, is part of who we are, the result will always be bitterness.

Impatience:

If we don’t wait upon Yahweh and do things in His time according to His purpose, the result will always be bitterness.  Saul is a tragic example.  God told him to wait for Samuel to come and perform the korban, aka offering, to draw them near unto Yahweh.  Saul became inpatient and feared mankind (or rather what he foolishly thought others thought) more than he feared God.  In the end he performed the korban himself and it eventually resulted in his kingdom being ripped from him, bitterness.  This gave way for a spirit (of anti-messiah) to torment him all the days of his life.  This kind of bitterness we bring upon ourselves. (1 Sam 13:5-14, 15:1-35, 16:14)

Discomfort:

Lack of comforts show us what is in our heart.  When we are uncomfortable, do we complain, do our voices rise up in murmuring shouting profanities of the good ol’ days (Ecc 7:10)?  Or are we thankful for what we do have?  Do we bless the name of the LORD for giving us another day of life despite how miserable we may be feeling at that moment?  When we murmur and complain, we are sowing waters of bitterness but if we are grateful, we are sowing waters of life.  Comfort is a state of mind more than it is a state a being.  Our attitude, how we perceive what we are experiencing, largely dictates how we experiences comforts and discomforts.  Granted this isn’t always the case; sometimes we are just down right miserable but we still need to try and have a good attitude.  I’m trying to teach my niece, Arayah, this while she is young.  Yes, her attitude is understandable when she is miserable but that is not an excuse to have a bad attitude.  It is a hard lesson to learn and a hard thing to apply.

Comfort comes from ‘come to the fort’.  Our perspective of comforts should be the same as Yahweh’s.  Inside the camp are safety, provision, and grace.  Outside the camp are judgment, separation, and death.  We want to be inside the camp.

Stagnant Water:

Lastly, we can dam up the Spirit of God from moving in our life in two ways:

  1. We deny or ignore Him.
  2. We don’t share the things He is giving us with others.  (Or when we do it is not in a loving manner (i.e. it is bitter).)

If we are His, the Spirit of God is working in our life showing us things we need to change, sins we need to repent from, works we need to perform, and lessons we need to learn.  The Spirit of God is unable to change your heart unless you let Him.  When you quench His Spirit not allowing Him to work in your life, your heart becomes hard and calloused and a root of bitterness takes hold poisoning your soul killing you.

All the while the Spirit of God is speaking to us filling us up.  Firstly He speaks things to us that He wants us to know and do but they are not intended for us to keep locked up inside.  You need to let them out speaking life and love and hope into people’s lives.  If you don’t your belly becomes stopped up and the good things that the Spirit has birthed inside of you, the burdens He has placed upon your heart turn bitter.  How are you sharing the words He has given you to speak?  If it is not with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then they are words of bitterness and your spirit needs to be healed.

The Cure:

Today our world is full of bitter waters.  There are few places a person can go and drink the tap water without fear of getting sick.  This is a mirror revealing to us the spiritual state of our world.  How does a person cure bitterness?  One day there was a place the children of Israel came to in the wilderness.  From afar they could see the sun glimmering off the surface of the waters.  They had been traveling all day in the dry and desolate wilderness.  Dust clung to their sweat-soaked bodies and coated the inside of their mouth.  The anticipation of fresh water filled their minds and stayed their longing.  Finally, the wait was over.  They plunged into the crystal liquid drinking deep only to find that the waters were bitter!

The people were enraged and murmured against Moses.  Moses cried out to Yahweh and Yahweh showed him a tree.  Moses cast the tree into the waters and they became sweet.  The LORD provided for His people and there He made a statue and an ordinance for them saying:

Ex 15:26
26 And said, If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you.
MKJV

Isn’t this what Jesus alluded to early in John 7 and other places?  What the people of God experience at Marah was a reflection of their own heart.  They were not listening to the voice of God, they were ignoring His Spirit.  Thus they were also not hearing, sh’ma (שמע)(Deut 6:5), His commandments even though they may have thought they were.  Yet Yahweh was still merciful and gracious to them.  He provided a tree to heal their bitter waters so that they could live and have life abundantly (John 10:10).  Even so He has been merciful and gracious to us.  He has shown us a tree called the cross that has the power to heal us should we believe in the One who used it to conquer sin and death.  Without this tree, our waters will forever remain bitter killing us and radiating death to all those around us.  (Prov 18:20-21)

Too many believers have set the cross aside and are full of bitterness.  I have done this and I see, by the grace of God, the bitterness that has taken root in my life.  Some have gone so far as to trample it down turning it into an object of scorn (Heb 10:28-29).  The only cure is the same cure that procured our Salvation to begin with; repent at the foot of the cross and return to our first Love.  If we do not, we will die in our bitterness deeply grieving the One who died for our sinful souls.  This is not His desire for us; this is not His will or the wonderful plan He has for our lives!  (John 10:10)

Why?:

Why are we given bitter waters to drink?  It is the test of the jealous husband (Num 5:11-31).  Our Husband is a jealous God (Deut 4:24).  When we drink bitter waters, God is testing us to see what is in our heart.  Have we committed adultery?  Then we will bare our iniquity  and the bitter waters will take root and sicken our soul.  Our belly, the source of our water, will swell as a beaver dam enlarges a swamp.  It will rot our thigh, i.e. we will fall (Rot is naphal (נפל) meaning to ‘fall’.  See Prov. 24:16).  If we have not committed idolatry, then we shall be cleansed and set free and produce fruit (v 28).

Do you have bitterness in your life?  Has the loss of a part of you caused you to become bitter?  Are you doing things ahead of God’s timing?  What is your attitude when you are uncomfortable?  Are you quenching to Spirit of God or keeping the things He is showing you to yourself?  Your words are spirit.  If they are words of life, they will bring life to those you speak them to but if they are words of death, they will poison those you speak them to.  If there is bitterness in your life, you need to repent and return to cross and the One who heals else your soul will die.  Be strong and be strengthened; He has made the way, all you have to do is pick up your cross follow.  May our dry bones live again!

Image is Everything

Image is nothing, thirst is everything.

Image is nothing, thirst is everything.

Do you remember when Sprite coined the phrase, “Image is nothing, thirst is everything”?  At the time I agreed with the first part but after a while I realized they are wrong on both accounts.  How we think others view us is how we view ourselves and how we view ourselves is how we view other people.

Once upon a time there were twelve spies, heads of their respective families, men of renown.  God had given His people His covenant of freedom, fed them, watered them, led them through a desolate wilderness and forgave all their sins, iniquities and transgressions.  It was time, after two long years, to take hold of their inheritance, the Land of Promise.  Moses sent these men forth to spy out the land and bring back a report of its goodness, but that is not what they did.  Instead they spied out the land with eyes of flesh and exclaimed, “Behold! We appeared as grasshoppers in their eyes and so we are!”  Out of their hard hearts sprang wicked words that determined their fate.  None the less there were two that seen with eyes of spirit; their report was quite the opposite but the words of death were the ones that prevailed crushing the hearts of their fellow believers leading them to an untimely death.

How we see ourselves has a profound effect on the people around us.  We need to see ourselves through God’s eyes and our attitude must conform to that of our Father.  So how does God see us?  We often view ourselves through human eyes.  God sees us for who we are; people see us for who we were.  Who we were is a part of who we are but who we were is no longer who we are.  The only thing that matters who we are.  How we perceive ourselves determines who we will be. This, in turn, influences the future for all mankind like the ripples on the water.

Who are you?  What is your image?  If you don’t like your image, what are you doing to change it?  What you do to change starts on the outside; that is the most volatile layer.  And what you do to change starts on the inside; that is the core layer.  From thus commences the strategy of divide and conquer.  To start, you must figure out who you want to be.  Who you want to be should be who you are deep down, the stone that God created you to be.  And from there you need to start exhibiting that on the outside, not only for your sake but those around you because they can only see who you are on the outside.  It is hard to change who you are and how you express yourself because people expect you to stay the same.  Sometimes you need to change your environment and change your friends.  Bad company corrupts good character.  Who you spend time with shapes who you are.  Evil feeds evil and good feeds good.  Evil will destroy you but good will restore you.

What is evil?  Evil is taking something or someone created for a purpose and destroying it making it useless.  Evil stems from a wicked heart and pollutes others firstly with words.  Evil will gossip tearing other people down stealing their value giving the gossiper a false sense of greater worth.  Evil will grumble against God in attempt to satisfy one’s own lustful desires.  Evil concentrates on the things that appear as faults.  Evil is never satisfied, it always wants more!  Evil will always find something to complain about.  Evil poisons the minds of others and in the end evil murders others, evil murders one’s own self.

What is good?  Good is something or someone functioning according to the purpose it was created for.  Good stems from a righteous heart and manifests firstly as deeds.  Good will build people up reminding them of their value.  Good blesses God, even in the most adverse circumstances.  Good concentrates on the things that glorify God.  Good is never thankful enough, it always wants to do more.  Good will always find something to praise God about.  Good strengthens the hearts of others and in the end good will bring life and blessing to others and to one’s own soul.

Weigh the words and life of those closest to you.  If what they talk about and do is evil, separate yourself and run for your life else they will kill you and you will die!  Yes, there is a need and a time to minister to such people but not at the expense of you.  Remember, you cannot soften someone’s heart; the Spirit of God cannot even soften someone’s heart.  Above all things you must guard your own heart for out of it flows the issues of life.  If the living water inside you becomes poisoned, it will poison all those around just as the wicked spies poisoned the hearts of their fellow believers.  Recall the wisdom of our Savior, “The eye is the light of the body, if the eye is one with me the body will be filled with light but if the eye is evil the body will be filled with darkness and if light is only darkness, that darkness will be great.” (Matt 6:22 – 23)  Our eye beholds everything we see and everything we think about.

If you want an idea about someone’s heart, ask them about the weather.  If you want to know what is in your own heart, pay attention to what you say about the weather.  Solomon says, “As in water face shows face, so a person’s heart reveals the person.” (Prov 27:19)  How you dress, how you act, and what you say is an outward reflection of how you see yourself and how we see yourself greatly influences how you feel, how you think and how you live; your image is everything.  If you want to know what you heart says about you, pay attention to what you say about other people.  When you talk about the faults of others, more often than not you are revealing a tree that has grown in your own life that needs to be cut down with the roots torn out.  Always remember, God has created you for a purpose.  If you are not functioning according to that purpose, evil has befallen you.  Jesus’ arm is not too short to save.  You need to remove the cataracts from the eyes of your spirit and see again and fill your body with light.  Your worth cannot be measured.

Blind Seers

blindWhere are we at in the Messianic movement today? What have we become? Are we better off now that we were before? Where are we going and what is next?

Rev 2:1-7
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.
4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent.
6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘
NKJV

This describes the Messianic movement in our day; this is spoken directly to us. We have come out of the Church system, freed by the knowledge given to us by the Spirit of God. But we have forgotten our first love. Our freedom has become bondage to us. ‘But how?’ you may wonder. We cling to our knowledge above all else. Like Gideon who made the ephod of gold as a reminder that Yahweh delivered Israel from their enemies, it later became a snare to his household. We know we’ve been lied to. We know that drinking and smoking and swearing, the big three, are not sin. And this knowledge has set us free. But we have indulged in these things abusing the freedom granted to us. We have become no different than the world. We have replaced the sin in our life with things that are not sin yet still edify the body. Both states quench the Spirit of God and that is why we are not seeing His Spirit move in our midst and in our life like He once may have been.

We know that the only covenants are with Israel yet instead of having compassion on those who do not realize this and all it entails we have gone so far as to say they have no salvation and all their good works are vanity. How foolish of us. Don’t we know that the same Spirit that works in us is the same Spirit that works in them? If you can’t bear to hear this then your knowledge has blinded you. God’s grace and mercy is extended to all His people. It was extended to us before these things were revealed to us and it is extended to us even now else we would be destroyed in God’s wrath. I don’t think we realize how close we are to experiences God’s anger. In our pride we think we are exempt. But we have become a stiff-necked, rebellious people no different than the children in the wilderness. If we don’t repent and change our attitude and our ways we, like them, are going to perish in the wilderness.

We need to stop picking at the speck in our fellow believer’s eye and whittle down the log in our own eye so we can remove it. We have become a very prideful people. Our knowledge has puffed us up and become a stumbling block to us. We are in worse state now than we were before. Once we were blind but then we saw and have become twice blind. The Torah is only able to save our flesh and in the end we still die but it is the Spirit that brings life. The Torah without the Spirit of God is dead and we have removed His Spirit and it is killing us and we don’t even realize it. Seeing we don’t see and hearing we don’t hear yet we think we do.

A servant who does not know his Master’s will will be punished with few stripes but the one who knows his master’s will and does not do it will be punish with many. The same has become a rebellious and wicked servant. We compare the Church leaders to the religious leaders of Yahshua’s day. We are those leaders. Where has our compassion and love gone? Where is our desire to save the lost? How bad do we want God to manifest His Spirit and birth a revival? What are we doing for a hurting, broken and dying world? There was a time we craved all these things but no more. Now we are busy running around trying to save our own lives and in doing so we are losing them. Yes, such was part of the road that God has led us down but for a comfort lest we be overwhelmed, and as a test to reveal what is in our hearts. We have taken our eyes off the one who saves and placed them upon things that don’t save. And by our knowledge we justify such actions forgetting that Elijah had nothing but his cloak and a staff and God saved him and brought him through three and a half years of famine.

Where is our faith? We have none. Where is our love? It is gone. When Yahshua said, “Have no care for food or raiment” he was talking to us. We have become no different than the children in the wilderness. Our eyes are focused on material things, the jewelry of the world. Our Father brought our forefathers and will bring us out of Egypt as an eagle bares her young. Material things make us strive for fleshly comforts. When we become uncomfortable we grumble and complain and God’s wrath is flared against us because we don’t go to Him first and when we do go to Him it is to fulfill our lustful desires, not do the work He has given us to do or glorify His name. If we don’t reflect on these things and repent and remove of the things that have taken root in our life that shouldn’t be there, then we are going to fail the tests and die in the wilderness. Our candlestick will be removed and we will be the unwise virgins.