Month 7:19, Week 3:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year:Day 5936:197 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 5 October 2012
VI. The Things That Count
Continued from Part 5
Shalom and Chag Sameach Sukkot kol beit Yisra'el! Welcome to the sixth day of the festival and to the fifth day of the week, Yom Chamashee, corresponding to Yom Teruah or Day of Trumpets (Shouting). On this day, as you know from our recent celebration, Yahweh announces the return of His Son and of the judgment of the wicked. For this year that judgment has already been and is past but at the final Sukkot (Tabernacles) this day we will recall the judgment of both the living and the dead from every generation.
Sukkot is Not for the Ultra's
Today's message is for radical, extremist or ultra-messianics as I call them who believe that any Christian not using the divine names or not obeying the Torah cannot possibly be used by Elohim (God) and that their every spiritual experience is by default fraudulent.
A Miracle from India
I am about to share the experience of a dear friend who is currently on a mission to India and who has been experienceing all kinds of miracles as he shares the alef, alpha of the simple Besorah (Gospel) of Yah'shua whom he mostly calls 'Jesus'. I know one or two of you are familiar with this story but it is worth sharing again. In sharing this I am not, of course, or by any means, saying that we are excused from using the correct Names when we know them or that Yahweh will not hold us unaccountable when we choose to be antinomian or lawless when we already know the plain biblical emet (truth) - all I am saying is that Yahweh is not as narrow-minded and hard-hearted as some messianics I know think He is and that He does operate when people are ignorant of the emet (truth), even when they follow false names, don't observe the correct moedim, even when they don't eat kashrut, even if they buy into Babylonian Godhead doctrines. How do I know these things? Because Yahweh worked with me in the days of my ignorance, revealing His ahavah (love) and salvation to me in spite of my ignorance - and because He continues to do so with millions of others still, even those who are supposedly even more 'separated' from Him because they haven't got any theology at all! But let me share Brother Lahry's story with you first and then we can continue this discussion.
Experiential Salvation Before Theology
"Across the street from Pastor Melchi’s parents home, is a family of hard working people. There is a young woman in their family, who is paralyzed from the neck down. Pastor Melchi told me about her, the first day I arrived here. She had some kind of disease about 7 months ago. Worse, she lost her husband also to disease. The young woman has not eaten in 20 days or so. I knew the situation was desperate battle over life, both physical and spiritual.
"So I’ve been praying about what to do, since I learned of her condition. I begged the LORD to show me HIS will and how to minister to her. So this morning, the LORD showed me that Pastor Melchi’s 22 [year old] sister was to be involved in the healing. I sat down with her and pastor Melchi, and told them what the LORD had showed me. The greatest need of the moment is love, and to get her to eat. The LORD showed me that this young lady also needs the WORD read in front of her daily. So I told Pastor Melchi’s sister, that [s]he is to visit this lady daily, love her, and read one chapter of the Gospel of John to her. How long? As long as it takes to get her healed and on her feet again.
"So this morning, I had Pastor Melchi ask the mom if I could come and visit the young lady. She said she would like to bathe her first. So about an hour later, she said she was ready. Pastor Melchi, his sister, and his father went with me. The young lady was asleep when we arrived, but the mom woke her up. But she would not look up at anyone. She was laying on her side, and her mom had folded her arm up underneath her head, so her head was laying on it. She was a pretty young lady, and you’d not guess she was ill, except she was getting quite thin.
"So I asked her if I could hold her hand, and she acknowledged that I could. Then I told her how happy I was to be able to come and visit her. I told her how far the LORD had sent me, just to visit her. As I was ministering to her, tears began to flow from her eyes. I told her I was sent to tell her how much HAYAH (Yahweh) loved her, and had sent me to express HIS love for her. Finally, I asked her if she would look forward, and not behind her. I assured her she had much living yet to do, and it was all good. I told her that HAYAH (Yahweh) was not pleased with her not eating, and asked her if she would begin to let her mom feed her. She said she would. After I finished consoling her, I told her that in my country, hugs were real important. I asked her if it would be alright if I hugged her. She said yes. So I knelt by her bed and just lay my head on hers, and patted her back softly. I held her like that for several minutes. By this time I weeping and crying out to the LORD myself.
"Finally, I got up, kissed her on the temple, and told her that HAYAH loved her so much, and I did too. I told her I would pray for her, and I would be waiting for a good report on her. She smiled real big. We prayed again for her. The manifest presence of HAYAH (Yahweh) was very obvious in the room. I told her goodbye, and we left.
"But wait! There's more. This morning before departing Pastor Melchi's home, the people across the street asked me to come and pray again. When I walked into the room, the young lady was sitting as you see in the pic, and she was able to move her left arm. She had eaten twice since yesterday, and had hope written all over her face. HALLELUYAH! It is more than I have ever hoped for. Probably the number one event since I've arrived in India. Is our ELOHIM so very good or what?
"We prayed for her again, and then I anointed her with oil, as well as her family. What a blessing. I'm believing the whole family will be saved. Glory!"
Yahweh wants His ahavah (love) and grace to be made known to people long before the details of the ordained talmid's (disciple's) lifestyle. Any conversion that does not begin here is never going to be an authentic one, let alone a whole one. We are not saved by only being converted to theological propositions but to the authentic presence of the Master that brings to our levim (hearts) a revelation of His being, conviction of sin, and an awareness that we are in need of atoning forgiveness. Theology is the mental, emotional and practical track for the one who is already thus converted.
When we recapitulate the previous festivals during the seven days of Sukkot (Tabernacles) we are supposed to remember these things. The child of Pesach (Passover) is conceived of the Ruach (Spirit) because He has met the living Elohim (God) through His Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Those, of course, who meet Him, can and do fall away, if they do not take their spiritual Conception (Pesach) to the New Birth (Yom haBikkurim) and experience the reality of His resurrection power. And even then, if they will not receive the Shavu'ot (Pentecost) anointing of Ruach (Spirit) baptism and enter the Betrothal Covenant of Torah-obedience they will not move forward to the full marriage of Messiah, which is Sukkot (Tabernacles). Nevertheless, even if they refuse to receive these things or live the heavenly lifestyle, this does not invalidate their conception and new birth whether it be in the name of Jesus or the true Name of Yah'shua or other variants.
Our Two Duties to New Converts
Having said this, we have two duties to perform:
Minimal Torah Teaching for New Converts
- 1. Not to quench this revelation and new birth by throwing doubt on their genuine experience and inner change - I can only imagine Yahweh's extreme displeasure on anyone who does that, by intimating that they are following a false, demonic god because they don't use the true Names - Yahweh have mercy on any such people! and
- 2. To disciple them in Torah and not suppose that we are in somehow invalidating their encounter with Messiah by doing so. Indeed, it is our obligation to do so, in ahavah (love), patience and long-suffering, sowing seeds, recognising that most of us come to Torah-Emet or Torah-Truth a little bit at a time and not all at once.
We are not here to destroy what Yahweh has already done through evangelicals for the sake of petty sectarianism but neither are we to leave them floating around in the milky Besorah (Gospel) to starve. We have an obligation to witness of all emet (truth) while supporting them in what they already know to be true, rebuking those dead legalists and ultra-messianics who would condemn these saved souls to hell. We are not to put stumbling blocks before the children in the Besorah (Gospel), calling into mind the minimum requirements that the Council of Jersualem imposed on new born-again gentile converts, viz. to abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. This means that new converts unfamiliar with Torah should, right at the beginning, have the Torah teaching on these four subjects taught to them. If you have not already read it, please see my devotional, The Terrible Yoke: What the Jerusalem Council Actually Said which looks into this in greater depth.
In the Right Order
As talmidim (disciples) it is our job to witness of every aspect of the Besorah (Gospel) in the right order of the festivals with the right emphasis being placed so that none choke on meat and none starve on prolonged usage of just milk. This requires wisdom, sensitivity and an acquaintance with the workings of the Ruach (Spirit) who knows where every believer is in his or her spiritual walk and what their immediate eneds are.
Who are We to Judge a Soul's Final Status?
I think that the work people like Lahry is wonderful and blessed of Yahweh. We don't agree on many doctrinal issues but he remains my brother in the basic salvation that is the Besorah (Gospel). And that is the attitude I have toward most evangelicals in all their varying degrees of antinomianism. At Sukkot (Tabernacles) in particular, which points to the final gathering of the faithful and Bride of Messiah, can any of us here and now know who will be there? Do we have the knowledge of their levim (hearts) to be able to say, with the remotest degree of certainty, who's going to make it to the first resurrection or not? And if not, who are we to pass judgment whether someone is saved or not - or will be saved or not based on what they are and aren't doing now - when the final judgment takes place? We should fear to trespass on Yahweh's omniscience, specks of cosmic dust that we are.
I think so much of the simcha (joy) of Sukkot (Tabernacles) can be quenched by falsely categorising and judging people of different Christian or Messianic belief systems, remembering that the primary issue is not theological correctness (important though that is) but whether one is born again and moving toward Yah'shua (Jesus) in ahavah (love) and emunah (faith) or not. Every one of us is a work in progress and all we can do is change ourselves, not others - that has to be their own choice. We can, and ought, to witness - in ahavah (love) - but it is not our business to force anyone or judge them if they refuse to believe us. It may, after all, be our negative and maybe even arrogant delivery that's at fault, turning them off and driving them away. Many a person has tried to teach me the emet (truth) in a nasty way and all they have done has been to delay my repentance. May it not be so with us!
May you have a blessed sixth day of Sukkot (Tabernacles). Amen.
Continued in Part 7