Monday, June 18, 2018

Unrecognizable

On my work one day I saw a man painting a mural high on the corner of a building near a parking lot. I was curious as to what it was exactly that he was painting, as the mural itself looked to be a bunch of flesh tone boxes. As I drove on in my confusion I began to be annoyed by what passes for art in today's society.  Throughout my shift I was annoyed by this, at that time unfinished work, admittedly more than I should have been. It wasn't until the following Monday on my commute that I saw the finished product
 
 


I was a traffic light and I stopped and looked at it and realized what it really is, a painting of the Savior with his face pixelated. Commentary of religious censorship in America not withstanding, the work of art has stuck with me for weeks and I find myself reflecting on this faceless Messiah. Ultimately I came back to this:

Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men.-  Isaiah 52

Have you ever thought about this?  That man was created to bear the image of God, and there on that cross God was unrecognizable as he bore the image of a man? Our Christ, Yeshua, the Savior, the Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords who was there at man's creation and said:

 “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  - Gen 1


We were born to bear the image of God.  I cant help but think about how in our sins, we are the ones that are unrecognizable to our purpose. We are the ones that act like animals, carnal, rebellious and unreasonable. In our flesh we are hostile to the purpose of God, and Christ on that cross took all of that.  There is no forgiveness without the recognition of sin, and we must look upon that cross knowing that it testifies that our behavior has not been of God. We must recognize that when we continue on in our sin we make the Christ unrecognizable in the world. I think about Moses

So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the Lord and you; intercede with the Lord, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.”  And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.- Numbers 21

Could it be said that they were looking upon a reflection of their action? That they were looking at heir deeds and acknowledging that they had walked in the manner of the serpent, the adversary, the enemy. When they recognized that God was the only one that can save, just as we look at our Beloved on the cross, when they accepted their guilt, then there and only there can there be redemption. One cannot have forgivingness if they refuse to acknowledge that they have committed an offense.  Our pride and our self will and our arrogance in defiance of God makes unrecognizable as His children. Our rejection of the sacrifice of the Messiah, makes us unrecognizable as believers.
 Our rejection of God's ways, God's commands, and God's Law, makes us unrecognizable to the Messiah

 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ - Matt 7


I'm fortunate for the pixelated mural on the way to work, because it puts me in the mindset that I can be recognized as a Son of the living God, redeemed, forgiven.... because of his work becoming unrecognizable as a man.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Dividing wall

One of the characterizations that most Messianics have experienced, and hate, is that notion that by being obedient to the commands of God one is either A. Trying to earn salvation or B. That they're trying to prove themselves superior by having special knowledge. Christians often make these generalizations looking at some of the fruit of a few weirdos and then painting the whole group with the strokes of the outliers. That is a frustrating thing for many messianic people because they believe this in an unfair assessment.
One of the characterizations that most Christians have experienced, and hate, is that notion that because you're a believer, you therefore A. Hate people that struggle with Homosexuality B. you're judging everyone based on their sins. The world often makes these generalizations by looking at some of the fruit of a the likes of the Westbro Baptist Church and then painting the whole group with the stokes of the outliers. That is a frustrating thing for most Christians because they believe this is an unfair assessment.


I had a conversation with a Messianic person who was railing against our brothers and sisters in the Christian church because many of them do not understand the commands of God the way that many Messianics do. This man went so far as to state that because they are not keeping the Sabbath in the fullness of the manner in which the Bible prescribes, that they're not saved and took great issue with my referring to Christians as Brothers and Sisters. I consider myself a Christian. I also consider myself Messianic. I also consider those who read the bible and pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be my Brothers and Sisters. I tried to point out to this man that he was essentially teaching that keeping the commands is what saves you even though he was trying to make the case that he wasn't saying that. When I was first a believer and I called out to a God of whom I was told would never leave me or forsake me, I knew nothing of the right way or the wrong way to keep the Sabbath, eating clean, or what a Tzitziot even was. Was my soul less placed in the hands of God through the atoning blood of the Messiah through faith because I didn't yet know the details of how God prefers that we worship Him?  Yet somehow with many Messianics this mindset persists.

 "Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”" - Acts 15

Its easy for a Messianic to miss these warnings when they hold a bitter view of Christians, Christianity, and to some degree a hostile regard to the "new Testament" since they spent much of their life reading that and now want to focus more specifically on "Torah". Ironically many in the Christian church hold a bitter view of Messianics, Hebraic thought, and a hostile regard to the "old Testament". Many in the Christian church trample those of genuine faith in the Messianic belief because they hold to the idea that once saved, works/ fruit should be manifesting in your life. many turn their head from the definition of sin, Ignore 2 thes 2's warning against lawlessness, and disregard where Christ himself states that there will be many who have done all kinds of Christian things who Christ will say "depart from me you who practice lawlessness, I never knew you". 


"Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”- Romans 15

Where is this fall withing the body of Christ in Christians and Messianics? Are we so partisan to our own understandings that we exclude our brothers at their understandings to grow and walk with them? If we do have insights into the walk of the Messiah that others do not yet see, do we hold animosity against them or do we bear their weaknesses?  Think about this


" Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; 26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."- Acts 18

Do you see the power of graciously coming along a brother or sister with a zeal and a love of God and the Savior, and equipping them with other tools to help illuminate the path?
When it comes to judging others remember this

 "Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall"- Ephesians 2

We all used to be unbelievers. We all used to be baby believers. We all grew in our understanding as God teaches and grows us. Don't look down on those who believe contrary, reach out to them. Be gracious to each other. Tear down the dividing walls that keep us from being one in Christ.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

so KoDESH!!!

Messianic people you know the ones I'm talking about. They're walking around at a party telling everyone that they're TRUELY KODESH and set apart. You know the people that make judgments on your life without having ever really talked to you, saying that you're spiritually immature when they never really struck up a conversation about a spiritual matter. They're usually the ones that brag about how much they fast or pray or how long they have been walking in the Holy Spirit and point out how you should be Holy the way that they are Holy. These people that talk a big game and do a lot of work to polish the outside...but are often blind to the reality.

Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. 'But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner! 'I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” - Luke 10


Seems contradictory no? That the one who is a total mess is in a better place than the one who boasts about his good works and judges everyone else? How does that passage start: And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt. The past few weeks have been rough on me if I can be candid. It's like there were those who sought out friends of mine, close people, and filled them with words about how flawed and unholy I am. How I am not like other people in so much I consider myself a regular flawed dude. I'm the first to admit my flaw, and I am very much and very deeply flawed. Do my flaws mean that I am not saved? Not at all. Do my flaws mean that I do not stumble, merely because I am forthright about them? No.

"Imagine yourself in the vicinity of the Garden of Gethsemane on a warm April night 2,000 years ago. As you watch, a man walks up to Jesus and begins kissing him. You would probably conclude, “How this man must love the Master!” Shortly after this you are shocked to hear another man bitterly cursing Christ. Now your conclusion would be, “How this man must hate the Master!” but both times you would be wrong. Judas, the man who kissed Christ, really hated him, and Peter, the one who cursed Him, really loved Him."- Dr. H. L. Willmington

The only one you should be comparing yourself to is Christ, with the caveat that you occasionally look at your former self to acknowledge that God has begun a work and you and has brought you closer to Him.

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment- John 7
When you casually glance at someone laughing with a group and fostering a sense of community with them, can you get the picture of someone behind the scenes sitting for hours ministering with broken and hurting people, pointing them back toward Christ? Do you judge that because you don't openly see from across the internet that the right hand is not doing things to the standard of the left hand, that it is not part of the body? Is this righteous judgment?
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.- Matt 6
Be careful out there. There is a form of pride that masks itself as righteousness. It pretends to be holiness and it can deceive you into thinking that you are a great crusader of the faith, when you are wielding a sword against your brothers and sisters of faith.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Get to the Chopper

The other day I was at work and was talking about learning to ride a motorcycle. A nurse overheard the conversation and he went on a rant about the dangers of motorcycle riding and how other people  have wrecked, and the accident landed them in the brain injury ward of the hospital where he and his co-workers had to wipe their butts. As I listened to how whole drawn out story of danger, the only thing that really cautioned me against the ride was the thought that I'd be stuck in the hospital and having to eat the cafeteria food for weeks on end. I've thought about his story since then and it wasn't until this morning that I tied the ideas together on a different point. Balance. You could get totally destroyed driving a car the same way that you could get wrecked on a bike. You could, but you probably wont. Why ride a bike? For me there isn't much more liberating and that risk is worth the reward, as long as I take precautions.

This got me thinking about the Torah and the Law of God. I couldn't tell you how many times I have heard some brothers and sisters in Christ say that the Law of God is legalism and that if you start doing it you have to turn off the power to your house one day a week, you can't drive anywhere and its so much stress that eventually you end up being spiteful towards God. Some say that when you follow the law of God you turn into this judgmental hypocrite that runs around stabbing people with the scriptures and heaping prideful damnation upon them in your ego driven zeal, proclaiming yourself something of a prophet.  The interesting part, is yes, that can happen. If you are careless on a motorcycle and reckless you're going to lose balance and focus, get thrown and live the rest of your life with a burn on your ankle where your skin hit the exhaust on the way down... not that I'd know anything like that. Ok, I would. However, if you are looking to the commands of God in proper context, if you are rooted in the Savior

"For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully" - 1 Tim

To avoid the proper application of the Law in your life because others have misused it would be like avoiding eating food because obesity is an epidemic and people occasionally choke to death on steak they didn't chew right. There are real threats and concerns, but not if you're doing the right thing the right way. Fear is not a good enough reason to keep from doing the right thing.

In your zeal to not be these guys:

Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”- Acts 15

Don't be these guys:

 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’- Matt 7

Find your balance, wear a helmet, enjoy the ride

Monday, February 19, 2018

Engagements

For whatever reason a few years back (could be 3, could be 10, I don't know they blur together for me) it seemed like there were like 40 different bride shows and all kinds of wedding movies. Out of all of that I think that is where the term "Bridezilla" came about. According to Google, Bridezilla is a word and it's defined as: "A woman whose behavior in planning her wedding is regarded as obsessive or intolerably demanding." These are the people that take something that is supposed to be a joyous occasion and get really angry over the centerpieces being 2 inches off of center, or a groomsman having a carnation pinned slightly higher than another groomsman (I don't know, I made those things up but someone is out there thinking, that is the worst). They lose focus of the bigger picture.

Recently on Facebook, I started a page called Questions4Pastors with the idea that there are questions that each person that reads the Bible must reconcile with the doctrines in their church. In a sense, We hope to engage a dialogue using the Socratic method to either have people research the answers as to why the believe God's law has been done away with, or hopefully, for them to ask their Pastors and get them involved in the study. I see these things as planned engagements in critical thinking.  How do we as Torah believers engage the Church, as there is a vast body of people that are hungry for the Truth of the word but have inherited bad doctrines. What, and how, are we reaching these people to bridge the breakdown in understanding.

Now, some of the Torah community have offered suggestions for questions to us. The questions, though logically sound, would not be perceived well. Take this question for example "If the Church says that the Law of God was done away with, then that means that I can marry my sister right?"
Even though this is an example of how the logic of the church breaks down, It presents the asker as an incestuous weirdo who wants to marry his sister instead of someone that is loves God and His Law. In this question and questions like it, what the Torah presenter thinks that they're showing flawless reasons as to why the Torah should be kept, when in reality they're show  a hostility and anger toward the one that does not understand. That isn't to say that the occasional shocking question isn't needed to jar someone awake to a mindset that they're sleeping in, but that shouldn't be our default reasoning should it? Think about the Bridezilla that sucks any sort of happiness out of the occasion of establishing a covenant relationship. Is that how we are presenting the Torah to non-torah believers, not by words but by expression? It makes me think of Luke 12
 Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?”  And the Lord said, Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 44 Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; 46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, 48 but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
Beating other believers and not giving them their rations at the proper time. Our job isn't to make other believe, but our job is to not be odious in our engagements. Our job is to reflect the Messiah and His glory, not our anger at their rejecting him or our pride at them not submitting to us. Don't be a Bridzilla in your evangelism. Be a loving bride inviting others to the joy of a relationship with the bridegroom.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Dangers of Bad Logic.

Being in Messianic circles you run into a fair share of weird ideas that pop up now and again from conspiracy prone minds. Many times people come into some understanding of Torah, and feel so betrayed and lied to by many of the doctrines and falsehoods shared with them from the church and many teacher, that they go so far to reject almost everything that they were taught. Many throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak.  Some people rail about the earth being flat, some people rant about lizard people under the Denver airport. My favorite is that the tap water is turning the frogs gay.  You might ask, so what? What does that hurt?  Well, for one, it can be a great damage of the actual truth. I've seen some strings of weird controversy that if I didn't know any better, I'd say was a counterintelligence effort to undermine some doctrines of Torah... but that in of itself would be a conspiracy. If I go around telling you that you need the Savior to redeem you from your sins, that is likely something that you have some knowledge of or have heard said. If I add to that message that you need the Savior to redeem you from your sins because the illuminati is running a shadow government coupled with planned parenthood where they have secret parties to eat babies for power and dark arts and they're coming for you specifically... That is a whole semi-truck load of weird stuff that I just dumped on your lawn that chases the message of the Redeemer a little farther away.

I want to talk about some things that I have seen that flex some bad hermenutics or express some flawed logic, that though those who use it may have the best intentions... may actually be stifling themselves and others. This is one passage that came up recently

37 Thus says the Lord,
“If the heavens above can be measured
And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel
For all that they have done,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 31:37

The narrow scope of this verse was brought up in the context that NASA was a some strange propaganda entity ( which maybe it is) that was spreading falsehood because by this verse, they had extrapolated that the universe cannot be measured. Since NASA has recorded how much they have measured from here to the sun, from here to the moon, and they have measurements of how much they have measured of the universe... then they are telling a lie because by one reasoning of logic on this passage, the heavens cannot be measured. This is bad logic.  How do we account for a passage like this with that logic?


Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
And marked off the heavens by the span,
And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure,
And weighed the mountains in a balance
And the hills in a pair of scales?- Isaiah 40:12


Did God measure out the heavens and mark them off or is it without measure?  There are several ways of looking at something and they either make sense or they don't. Sometimes people take a bad foundation and they build upon it until everything that they have is shaky doctrine.

'As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.'" - Jeremiah 33:22

In one of the discussions I had on this logic, I asked "Can sand be measured?"  Is not one grain of sand a measurement? A scoop of sand a measurement? If I fill 1 bag of sand, does this mean that the line of David has been cut off because I have made a measurement and therefore defied scripture? Does my scooping a cup of beach dirt some how mean that I am abandoning the bible and its precepts in favor of some sort of scientific elevation and infusing the doctrines of men with the scriptures of God?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.  That would be ridiculous.

Think this type of reasoning is new? It's not. There are a lot of people that think that if you don't take a passage by the very stringent literal narrow interpretation then you're presenting something without study or you're ignorant. I see this a bit in the flat earth area.  Look at this hard to swallow passage:


Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. - John 6

Right now we still have people that read a passage like this, and would argue these types of logic. "Jesus can't have come from heaven, because he's got a father named Joseph and a mother named Mary. Scripture states it right there. If you believe something other than this, they you need to study it more the way that I have and stop making science your god or something" Bad logic would state that when he says He is bread that came down from heaven, he's literally a loaf that fell out of the sky. It continues, and gets even more complicated

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.

52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”


Do we take this logic to mean in the absolute literal sense that we're to be cannibals? Are we to take this logic and apply it to eating the corpses of dead pastors? Thats so gross I almost dont even want to write it. This is the same narrow scoped reasoning and bad logic.  There are some people that take a large abstract theological concept and they reduce it to a narrow focus and get hung up on it.

Going back for a second to the NASA issue ( It shouldn't even be an issue, but I'm trying to highlight the deeper point here) There are two words  Strongs H 5375. nasa  which means in the Hebrew to lift and Strongs  H 5377. nasha which mean in Hebrew to deceive. The root word for both of these is the same and has the same spelling. Some people in the flat earth persuasion are taking this as a point to buttress the idea that the earth is flat and NASA is lying to us, even though this has no bearing on anything as NASA is an acronym and its meaning of lift is more than likely coincidental.  Why is this seemingly nothing thing dangerous? Because when you start making the claim that similar things are the same things, even though they are different things you start eroding at credibility and truth. Its a little drop of deception that gets sown in and grows to a big deep rooted lie. In my conversation I brought up the words wind and wind.  In reading that sentence you see that the two words look the same, are spelled the same... but I feel the wind on my face when I am outside, and I turn the dial to wind my watch. They have different meanings and different words. I'll give a few more examples before I get to the greater point.

Here in America, we had a president named George Bush. He had gray hair. He was an old white guy that wore suits. He had a wife. He ordered combat in Iraq. I am speaking about one of these men: 


From the facts presented, do you deduce that these are the same man even though they are similar? Even those they come from the same root? Do you assume they are the same man because they held the same job and title? If you hold to this notion then what you start to do is bastardize history and make things inconsistent with history in the long run. Both of these men are George Bush but they're not the same. Why is this important?

People think that Horace the ancient Egyptian false god is Christ based on false similarities. They're making movies like Zeitgeist ( which is garbage by the way) asserting false claims about who the Messiah is based on some things being similar (even though most of the similarities are false) There are studies refuting these things. People say that the flood of Noah is just the story of Gilgamesh. People say that Samson was just Hercules. I have seen people get swept away in these types of things which are bad logic, deceptions and twisting of truths that seem true on the surface. Some people have left the faith because of little pockets of deception that sprung out of true sounding lies. Lets get back bad logic and narrow interpretations.Here is a comment that presented some very good reasoning to a narrow view of a passage

"Psalm 103:11-12 says, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." 

Based upon flat earth logic, earth has a dome. Thus the heavens are limited, which applying that to this verse means God's love for us is limited. In flat earth logic, there is an edge to earth. That means if I went east, I'd hit west and that would be the western edge. Same if I went the other way. Applying that logic to this verse, it would say that God's removal of our transgressions are limited. 
However, both of us would agree this isn't the case. God's love is infinite, and the removal of our sins is infinite. This is described by imagery of how the earth works. There is infinite space above us, and there is no edge to the earth. If I go east, I will always go east, even if I come back to my original spot. If I lifted up in a rocket, I'd hit infinite space. These ideas are poetically put into this passage to describe how great and grand God's love for us is."
Do you see how a conflict of scriptures is bound to arise when there are more than one way to consider a passage, and the one that is held to is held with bad logic? We're all in trouble if God has limited love.

Psalms 75:3 
“The earth and all who dwell in it melt; It is I who have firmly set its pillars. 

There are some who read the above passage as proof that the earth is flat and sitting on some sort of pillars.  Does their logic consider such things like, say Carlsbad caverns?


Are these not pillars under the earth? Are they not in caves? Does this mean that the earth is flat? No. Does it mean it's round? Not in of itself, but if you use that verse as logic to refute another point of view without accounting for other variables, one could find themselves in the danger of looking through the scriptures with tunnel vision and only looking to confirm what they believe instead of what probably is. This is called confirmation bias.

What about the logic in this, if we take this passage literally

The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh- Gen. 2:23-24

If we apply the same literal narrow scope, we're to believe that when a couple says their vows they turn into something like this:

We'd also probably have to take it that he never sees his mom and dad again. This is bad logic. We know that they don't merge into one flesh. This is a symbolic meaning for a deep concept. This may seem silly, it may seem juvenile, it may even seen like a cartoon characterization of a point of view, but what if I told you that this was the type of logic that was used to tempt Christ in the wilderness?

6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You’;
and
‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”


Two scriptures, two passages of the Bible that are true and they are correct, but used with bad logic and twisted in such a way as to offer temptation to the Savior.  How many when offered these verses like this would be able to discern that they're being misapplied?  Some people might even accuse you of being anti-bible for not accepting the bad logic that is presented.  What was the response of the Savior?

 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Here is another point that I see in a lot of circles in the misapplication of standards of logic and reason.  There are many that hold to these narrow views on certain passages to support an idea, but then go on to seemingly disregard such warnings as:

 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.- Rev 22
Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
6 Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.- Proverbs 30

Some hold to the idea that very narrow interpretations of specific scriptures are to be followed, then ignore these passage and insist that apocryphal books such as Enoch and Jasher be considered scripture. When you consider something scripture that isn't scripture you get all kinds of- not only off base doctrines, you get entire religions. This type of bad logic gave us the Mormon religion. Islam and the Quran.  When you take a set of verses out of context or base them on a very narrow and limited logic, then build upon those ideas, and you introduce other writings at some point you are not only in danger of drifting away from the truth, but you're in danger of leading others after your own folly. Just because it is mentioned in scripture does not make something well, Biblical. Herod is mentioned in scripture, that doesn't mean that I should make a doctrine killing anyone under the age of 2.

It all snowballs together.  Most recognize Peters warnings for the reading of Paul when he says
"Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."- 1 Peter 3


The warning is that people will wield the Scriptures in a way that leads to bad things. Bad logic. Bad reasoning. Blaming a LaCrae video for having a triangle in it meaning that he's crossed over to the illuminati....even though there are other geometric shapes in the video ( Who knows, its show biz, maybe he did... but some parallelograms aren't enough for that kind of leap).

" And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many."- Matt 24.

The context above is in relation to people actually claiming to be Christ in his return I believe, and many false prophets will arise teaching things that are not of Christ....   but, people are going to end up fallowing many of these falsehoods because they've swallowed little bits of bad logic and tiny deceptions that have caused them to start to look at these false teachers as teachers they think are teaching truth. There are people out there watching men with crazy eyes who excuse HITLER, literally ADOLPH HITLER, based on their misconceptions. Those types of bad reasoning lay the ground work for a FALSE Christ to step in, reaffirm the bad logic and twisted scriptures and false doctrine so that people who THOUGHT they were in a secure place are deceived into delivering other believers into tribulation, hate and death.

I have heard people say that we need to study out the occult in order to combat the works of Satan and guard against it/ This is really bad and dangerous logic. Isaiah says this:

 For thus the Lord spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
12 “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’
In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy,
And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.
13 “It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy.
And He shall be your fear,
And He shall be your dread.

Are the Rothschilds and the Rockafellers and all the banks and the Koch brothers and all those people behind the banks pulling strings to plot against you and throw you in a FEMA camp???  Probably, man... who knows. What I do know is that the Words says that those who are destined for captivity will go to captivity and that that those destined for the swords will go to the sword. It also says that who among you by worrying can really do anything?  What are you gonna do, horde gold in your back yard? How are you gonna hoof it in the tribulation with that?  Where you gonna exchange it when the banks are after you? How does any of this weird stuff and trying to save your life by losing it really help preach Christ in the end?

At the bottom line, we lose the focus on patterning ourselves after the Messiah when we get stuck in these foolish controversies. When he says this in John 10

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

We need to be more focused on the Voice of the Master than anything else.  Focus more on the God of the Word and not the worship of the actual words, and you should see harmony in both the Spirit and Truth.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Enemy Within

You know how some people in the Church seem to have this idea that you shouldn't ever be contentious or direct or offensive? I'm not talking needlessly causing offense, I am talking about calling out people, rebukes, and warning people about things that rise up in the church that are a danger. We often hear about not judging others ever and how we're all supposed to love like we're all one big happy family where nothing is ever wrong. That family is more like the abusive family where the father is drunkenly beating the children while the mom just turns a blind eye and pretending that nothing is wrong as her kids have black eyes and arms in a sling. This isn't the way it supposed to be.
What do you see when you read these passages?



Acts 20:28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.


Do these passages not point to people in the church, among the brethren that are not themselves the brethren? In both Messianic circles and Christian alike, we have men and women who claim to be of God who offer strange fire in the form of certain doctrines. Some of these people seem less concerned about the truth than they do having a platform for their own point of view and persuasion. Most of these people aren't going to stand out like someone wearing all red and holding a pitch fork mind you. No, many of these people will present things that on the surface have the appearance of truth but are not rooted in the fullness of the faith. Here's the thing on that... when it comes time to address some in these ways, one of the first things that they may do, is call those who are speaking to the problems, projecting that they themselves are the problem.

“These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2 They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. 3 These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.
-John 16:1-3

A friend of mine names Jon once shared a quote with me that said something like, "the sheep are terrified of the sheepdog because he has fangs like a wolf does. Most do no realize that the sheepdog, though similar to the wolf, is there to protect the flock from the wolf. It knows how the wolf thinks."

A wolf pretending to be a sheep will sometimes point to the sheepdog and call them a wolf. I've seen it. I've experienced it. That is to say that there aren't going to be times when two people disagree on a topic, and that topic will get heated... therefore someone in the disagreement is a wolf or a sheepdog protector. That's just two people disagreeing. But to continue..


Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. - 2 thes 2

John 6
64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” 66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71 Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.

From the start, one of the 1 was KNOWN to be the betrayer. Scripture states that people will put us out of our own churches.... because they didn't hold to the truth and we see here Judas was going to betray our Savior and he knew it from the start. There is this thing called a Judas goat. It's an animal that mixes in with the flock but its purpose is to lead the animals to the slaughter house. So it is with some so called brethren they speak words of flattery and maybe toss around a scripture or two yet encompass this:


How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you, Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? 4 They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position;They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. Selah.


If some brothers are like Paul and Peter, in the sense that Paul openly rebuked peter and contended with him for the things that are right and correct, challenging the thoughts that Peter was things that were resulting in actions...  how many people in our own church would condemn Paul as stirring up strife or contention for calling out an idea that was not well?  How many people are in our churches that bless with their mouth but inwardly they curse? How many people hold to some self elevating pride and should you get anywhere near you, try to spin the conversation to make it sound like you are trying to shame them or tar and feather them or something.


I dont mention all of this to breed paranoia in the church, but quite the contrary. When the time comes and its coming sooner and sooner it would seem... that you're kicked out of a church for the right things, be it personal adherence to the Torah with Faith in the Messiah or for telling someone in authority of an area that needs to be addressed that they're preaching sin from a pulpit... take some heart because these things were spoken of. Dont lose faith.  When you see someone in the church with some weird doctrines who is looking for any platform they can find to speak them,  that gets mad at you when you point to the scriptures, and logic and reason that God gave us to refute the bad doctrines, and they accuse you of stirring controversy or strife... don't fall for it. Be without sin in addressing it.