Sermons Series 3:50, 12 August 2006
The Third Wave
Part 4: Truth vs. Lies
Click here for Part 3
Grace and peace in Yah'shua our Messiah. I wasn't sure I would be able to address you this morning as I have been down with 'flu for a week and am still quite rocky. You will find I have cited the work of a lot of other people today and this is the reason, so this sermon will not be one of my typical ones. I hope you will bear with me and any disjointed thinking.
Lord Kenneth Clark, internationally known for his television series, Civilization, lived and died without faith in Yah'shua the Messiah. In his autobiography, he wrote about an overwhelming spiritual experience he had while visiting a beautiful church: "My whole being was irradiated by a kind of heavenly joy far more intense than anything I had known before". Unfortunately, the "flood of grace", as he described it, created a problem in him. If he allowed himself to be influenced by it, he knew that he would have to change. His family might think he had lost his mind. Or perhaps the intense joy would prove to be an illusion. So he concluded: "I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course."
I have to confess that it baffles me when people make decisions like that, especially intellectuals like Lord Kenneth Clark. It's a bit like a man in an aircraft that is on fire and plunging towards the ground to destruction and the pilot saying to himself: "Everything in me tells me I should bail out and save myself. But I love this plane so much I could never abandon it". Perhaps you've heard of captains who have purposefully gone down with their sinking ships rather than save themselves and continue to be useful, productive and fulfil their responsibilities to comrades, family and society. They say it is easier to die for a cause than to live for it and I personally believe that. The world is plummeting towards anarchy and oblivion because of the philosophies of men and yet the so-called wise stay with the sinking ship and defend it even as the waters cover their heads. As I write this the war in Lebanon rages with Iran in the background threatening to drop a nuclear warhead on the Israeli Republic. Two days ago a Muslim terrorist plot to blow up 10 planes at Heathrow Airport was narrowly foiled. Things do not look good. Nearly every social experiment created by man - atheistic as well as religious - has failed. Today people are dying in the Middle East defending either the 'Western way' or the 'Islamic way'. Nobody can win this war because the doctrines on which they are being fought are false. One may be 'better' than the other - the Westerners may not cut off hands or crush the arms of petty thieves, or stone adulterers to death, or arrest and kill people for changing religion (yet) or make non-Muslims second-class citizens, but they bring with them a train of their own sexual, drug and musical abominations, and their less obvious version of persecuting minorities like Christians. It all boils down to good cop vs. bad cop.
In a world where feelings have replaced clear thinking, people are increasingly doing more and more irrational things. Dedicating one's life to promoting evolution and spreading the gospel of atheism and humanism, for example, ranks in my mind as one of the greatest follies of modern time. A little honesty would demonstrate conclusively that evolution is no more than a religious fairy tale. It astonishes me that people invest so much passion and, often, hatred, towards a Being, Yahweh, whom they say doesn't exist! There is no rational explanation, any more than it would make sense for me hating Santa Claus and devoting my life and money to proving he doesn't exist and lambasting those who do as dangerous cultists. There is, in fact, only one explanation for such behaviour, and it is that there is a second invisible being who hates Yahweh so much that he would do anything in his power to stop men and women from knowing Him.
Astronauts who have been into outer space and looked down on planet earth have all experienced the same basic sense of awe. Those of us who have met Yah'shua have had much the same kind of experience, though unlike the astronaut who cannot remain in outer space for the rest of his life, those who have met Yah'shua and maintain the relationship would never wish to exchange it for anything else, let alone deny its veracity. And as I pointed out last week, those who have persecuted true Christians have been baffled when they have preferred death rather than deny not only the reality of something beyond themselves but of something that they desperately want no matter the cost. When you have once been dying of thirst you and know the wonder of having it slaked by cool, refreshing water, you don't go listening to people telling you that water is a myth, however angry they may become at you for not believing them. Neither do you take them seriously when they tell you drinking is like an opiate - a drug that you'd be better without. "Be a free thinker, deny the existence of water!" doesn't really impress you when you see they are wearing thick sunglasses and water is right there in front of their parched lips and dehydrated bodies. So why do they get angry? Because they see you have something desirable they don't and refuse to accept it because they don't want to change the course of their life.
Of all creatures on this planet, human beings are, to my mind, not only the most brilliant but also at times the most stubborn and stupid. What's perplexing is that such brilliant minds - and I personally believe that all people, no matter what their genetics, class, caste, gender, cultural background or upbringing is, are capable of brilliance - what's perplexing is that they ever behave in such absurd ways. And the only logical explanation that I have come up with is that there is a deliberately malicious power which they have unknowingly listened to and believed in, and which has somehow gained access to their thinking processes, that has gone and rewired their brain circuits so that they say and do ridiculous things.
The Bible says that we are made in the very image of the Elohim and that those who trust and obey His Son, Yah'shua, will resemble Him when He returns (1 Jn.3:2). Think about that: those who follow Yah'shua will resemble Him in nature, love and intelligence! The Bible also says that there are dark spiritual entities called demons, who are fallen, rebel angels, who in their blind hatred for Yahweh whom they can never destroy, go about seeking to destroy the apple of Yahweh's eye, human beings, instead whom He created in His image. I therefore contend that much of the irrational behaviour we see in human beings is not caused by human beings being inherently evil but by a fallen nature shaped in the image of malevolent forces, and the direct action of the malevolent forces themselves on people who gain access by our believing their lies.
I am sure you have seen small children in a quarrel where the one says the exact opposite of the one he is quarrelling with. Grown-ups sadly do this too just to be 'bloody-minded', not because they're interested in truth but for one reason only: to cause as much discomfort, grief and irritation to the one he is contradicting. There are some people who are just deliberately obstructive and unhelpful and sometimes they have no idea why they are behaving this way, especially when it's towards people they love. So why be nasty to someone you love? It makes no sense whatsoever rationally until you add a malevolent supernatural factor to the behavioural equation. And I know from thousands of case studies where I have worked with people who behave in this way where dealing with the demons who mess around with their thinking and feeling soon takes care of the problem, and in place of meanness, loving-kindness results. But it is very hard to help such people when they deny the reality which is their lives. Whether it's water or demons, both are real, even if only one is visible with the physical eyes.
Now it is perfectly true that one can see mirages of water in the desert caused by optical illusion just as one can blame demons for things which have nothing to do with demons at all, but neither disprove the existence of either water or demons. Furthermore, you all know the tendency in people who have done something wrong to want to hide. Extrapolate that to supernatural proportions and you can understand why demons would have an interest in not being detected for as long as possible. Like a spy who does not want to be uncovered, so demons do not want to be exposed and will happily try to convince you that they are either yourself or pure fantasy. They've invented a whole language of psycho-babble to explain themselves away.
Some of you may have heard of a Chinese institution called An-kang which translated means 'Peace and Health'. Political opponents of the atheistic communist régime in China have, since the 1950's, been categorised by psychiatrists as being 'political maniacs' or 'criminally insane' and imprisoned for expressing thoughts not in harmony with the government's antidemocratic, totalitarian, evolutionary and atheistic world view. The psychiatric institutions of both the former Soviet Union and contemporary communist China were or are full of so-called 'lunatics' who could not be forced to conform to a totalitarian mindset. And you would be wrong to conclude that this mindset only exists in extreme communist or fascist nations - it is increasingly coming into existence in our so-called liberal, pluralistic democracies. All around us our former bastions of freedom are slowly mutating into totalitarian systems whilst disjunctively retaining all the old freedom labels. The Soviets were masters at this psychological game and played the 'peace' card just as Hitler did. Rudolf Hess, the deputy leader of the Nazi Party, openly proclaimed Hitler as "the guarantor of peace" in our time at one of the early Nuremberg rallies. The peace-loving atheistic Soviets killed millions of citizens in the Ukraine in the early 1930's through forced collectivisation, murdered millions of dissidents in the political purges, killed and raped millions of German citizens between 1944 and 1947 in Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The pagan Hitler, the 'guarantor of peace' killed millions of soldiers, civilians and untermenschen with bombs and bullets and through the gas chambers. Muslims are murdering Christians in Sudan, Egypt, Indonesia and elsewhere. And in their secret underground nests, protected and concealed by people in influential positions, Western Satanists are sadistically systematically torturing, raping and murdering men, women and children.
It is easy to play with words and lie with them, but what is reality?
Yah'shua said that He is "the way, the truth and the life" (Jn.14:6) and that the truth would set men and women free (Jn.8:32). All truth is relative to Him. He also taught that Satan and his demons were liars, have always been liars, will always be liars, and that there is not a particle of truth in them (Jn.8:44).
One of the axioms of Christianity is that one should not lie but 'tell the truth'. Obviously atheists are only bound to 'tell the truth' in courts of law but even then, as we shall see, they have their own unique way of presenting 'truth'. But let's, for the moment, focus on Christian perceptions of truth and lies. Today I am going to look at two great theologians - one Catholic and one Lutheran - who discuss this important subject. The first - the Catholic - tries to categorise types of lie, and the second - the Lutheran - helps us understand truth within the context of reality. I think you will find the latter particularly interesting.
The early Catholic theologian Augustine did a lot of thinking on the theme of lies and lying and came to some important conclusions both in the spiritual sense and practically in our social lives. He concluded that there were eight types of lie. If you are able to read the full discourse it's well worth your while and even though this theologian was fundamentally wrong in many areas such as Torah, the Godhead and sexuality, in most other respects he has much wisdom to share with us. Here are the eight types of lie he speaks of:
- 1. The first type of lie is a deadly one which should be avoided and shunned from afar, namely, that which is uttered in the teaching of religion, and to the telling of which no one should be led under any condition.
- 2. The second is that which injures someone unjustly: such a lie as helps no one and harms someone.
- 3. The third is that which is beneficial to one person while it harms another, although the harm does not produce physical defilement.
- 4. The fourth is the lie which is told solely for the pleasure of lying and deceiving, that is, the real lie.
- 5. The fifth type is that which is told from a desire to please others in smooth discourse.
- 6. When these have been avoided and rejected, a sixth kind of lie follows which harms no one and benefits some person as, for instance, when a person, knowing that another's money is to be taken away unjustly, answers the questioner untruthfully and says that he does not know where the money is.
- 7. The seventh type is that which is harmful to no one and beneficial to some person, with the exception of the case where a judge is questioning, as happens when a person lies because he is unwilling to betray a man sought for capital punishment, that is, not only a just and innocent person but even a criminal, because it belongs to Christian discipline never to despair of the conversion of anybody and never to block the opportunity for repentance.
Now I have spoken at length concerning these last two types, which are wont to evoke considerable discussion, and I have presented my opinion, namely, that by the acceptance of sufferings which are borne honourably and courageously, these lies, too, may be avoided by strong, faithful, and truthful men and women.
- 8. The eighth is that type of lie which is harmful to no one and beneficial to the extent that it protects someone from physical defilement, at least, from that defilement which is mentioned above" (Augustine, 'Lying' in Treatises on Various Subjects, ed. R.J.Deferrari, Fathers of the Church - New York: Catholic University of America Press, 1952; vol.14, chap.14).
We all of us face dilemmas when it comes to lying in life. Some of you may know the story called The Fourth Wise Man who lies to a Roman soldier in order to save a baby's life. And sometimes, it is true, we are justified in breaking a lower commandment (lying) in order fulfil a higher one (saving life) when the two come into conflict. The Torah, as you know, has categories. I think also of some of the forced confessions denying their religion that people kidnapped and abused by cult-deprogrammers make who then renounce those confessions when free. Were they justified in making a false confession in order to save themselves from abuse? Where do you draw the lines? What of tAmerican prisoners-of-war in Vietnam and Korea who were made to sign confessions converting to communism and attacking Western imperialism? The early Christians preferred to suffer martyrdom than deny the Name of Christ. Yah'shua does say that those who deny Him personally He will deny before His Father in Heaven (Mt.10:33), so I think there is a difference between denying the Saviour and, for example, something more nebulous like a 'religion' or a 'church' but the line can be a little hazy at times. In many of these dilemmas, there are no hard and fast answers and each soul must answer to his or her own conscience. To me there is only one absolute and that is never denying the person of Yah'shua or Yahweh. Nevertheless my conscience constrains me to be true in everything wherever possible, and to be silent when forced into a situation where to speak would be to lie or to give the impression of a lie. Yah'shua was often silent when falsely accused by people seeking to trick and destroy Him.
Dietrich Bonhöffer was a German Lutheran theologian arrested and murdered in a concentration camp by the Nazis in 1944. He has some interesting things to say about lying which I want to share with you today especially in the current climate where accusing voices are seeking to discredit and destroy my person and this ministery. He goes further than Augustine in linking truth-statements to reality. This is quite a long extract but one which I think is very important. He had this to say:
"From the moment in our lives at which we learn to speak we are taught that what we say must be true. What does this mean? What is meant by "telling the truth"? What does it demand of us?
"It is clear in the first place it is our parents who regulate our relation to themselves by this demand for truthfulness; consequently, in the sense in which our parents intend it, this demand applies strictly only within the family circle. It is also to be noted that the relation which is expressed in this demand cannot simply be reversed. The truthfulness of a child towards his parents is essentially different from that of the parents towards their child. The life of a small child lies open before the parents, and what the child says should reveal to them everything that is hidden and secret, but in the converse relationship that cannot possibly be the case. Consequently, in the matter of truthfulness, the parents' claim on the child is different from the child's claim on the parents.
"From this it emerges already that "telling the truth" means something different according to the particular situation in which one stands. Account must be taken of one's relationships at each particular time. The question must be asked whether and in what way a man is entitled to demand truthful speech of others. Speech between parents and children is, in the nature of the case, different from speech between man and wife, between friends, between teacher and pupil, government and subject, friend and foe, and in each case the truth which this speech conveys is also different.
"It will at once be objected that one does not owe truthful speech to this or that individual man, but solely to God. This objection is correct so long as it is not forgotten that God is not a general principle, but the living God who has set me in a living life and who demands service of me within this living life. If one speaks of God one must not simply disregard the actual given world in which one lives; for if one does that one is not speaking of the God who entered into the world in Jesus Christ [Yah'shua the Messiah] but rather of some metaphysical idol. And it is precisely this which is determined by the way in which, in my actual concrete life with all its manifold relationships, I give effect to the truthfulness which I owe to God. The truthfulness which we owe to God must assume a concrete form in the world. Our speech must be truthful, not in principle but concretely. A truthfulness which is not concrete is not truthful before God.
""Telling the truth", therefore, is not solely a matter of moral character; it is also a matter of correct appreciation of real situations and of serious reflection upon them. The more complex the actual situations of a man's life, the more responsible and the more difficult will be his task of "telling the truth". The child stands in only one vital relationship, his relationship to his parents, and he, therefore, still has nothing to consider and weigh up. The next environment in which he is placed, his school, already brings with it the first difficulty. From the educational point of view it is therefore of the greatest importance that parents, in some way which we cannot discuss here, should make their children understand the differences between these various circles in which they are to live and the differences in their responsibilities.
"Telling the truth is, therefore, something which must be learnt. This will sound very shocking to anyone who thinks that it must all depend on moral character and that if this is blameless the rest is child's play. But the simple fact is that the ethical cannot be detached from reality, and consequently continual progress in learning to appreciate reality is a necessary ingredient in ethical action. In the question with which we are now concerned, action consists of speaking. The real is to be expressed in words. That is what constitutes truthful speech. And this invariably raises the question of the "how?" of these words. It is a question of knowing the right word on each occasion. Finding this word is a matter of long, earnest and ever more advanced effort on the basis of experience and knowledge of the real. If one is to say how a thing really is, i.e. if one is to speak truthfully, one's gaze and one's thoughts must be directed towards the way in which the real exists in God and through God for God.
"To restrict this problem of truthful speech to certain particular cases of conflict is superficial. Every word I utter is subject to the requirement that it shall be true. Quite apart from the veracity of its contents, the relation between myself and another man which is expressed in it is itself either true or untrue. I speak flatteringly or presumptuously or hypocritically without uttering a material untruth; yet my words are nevertheless untrue, because I am disrupting and destroying the reality of the relationship between man and wife, superior and subordinate, etc.. An individual utterance is always part of a total reality which seeks expression in this utterance. If my utterance is to be truthful it must in each case be different according to whom I am addressing, who is questioning me, and what I am speaking about. The truthful word is not in itself constant; it is as much alive as life itself. If it is detached from life and from its reference to the concrete other man, if "the truth is told" without taking into account to whom it is addressed, then this truth has only the appearance of truth, but is lacks its essential character.
"It is only the cynic who claims "to speak the truth" at all times and in all places to all men in the same way, but who, in fact, displays nothing but a lifeless image of the truth. He dons the halo of the fanatical devotee of truth who can make no allowance for human weaknesses; but, in fact, he is destroying the living truth between men. He wounds shame, desecrates mystery, breaks confidence, betrays the community in which he lives, and laughs arrogantly at the devastation he has wrought and at the human weakness which "cannot bear the truth". He says truth is destructive and demands its victims, and he feels like a god above those feeble creatures and does not know that he is serving Satan.
"There is a truth which is of Satan. Its essence is that under the semblance of truth it denies everything that is real. It lives upon hatred of the real and of the world which is created and loved by God. It pretends to be executing the judgement of God upon the fall of the real man. God's truth judges created things out of love, and Satan's truth judges them out of envy and hatred. God's truth has become flesh in the world and is alive and real, but Satan's truth is in the death of all reality.
"The concept of living truth is dangerous, and it gives rise to the suspicion that the truth can and may be adapted to each particular situation in a way which completely destroys the idea of truth and narrows the gap between truth and falsehood, so that the two become indistinguishable. Moreover, what we are saying about the necessity for discerning the real may be mistakenly understood as meaning that it is by adopting a calculating or school-masterly attitude towards the other man that I shall decide what proportion of the truth I am prepared to tell him. It is important that this danger should be kept in view. Yet the only possible way of countering it is by means of attentive discernment of the particular contents and limits which the real self imposes on one's utterance in order to make it a truthful one. The dangers which are involved in the concept of living truth must never impel one to abandon this concept in favour of the formal and cynical concept of truth. We must try to make this clear. Every utterance or word lives, and has its home, in a particular environment. The word in the family is different from the word in business or public. The word which has come to life in the warmth of personal relationship is frozen to death in the cold air of public existence. The word of command, which has its habitat in public service, should never sever the bonds of mutual confidence if it were spoken in the family. Each word must have its own place and keep to it. It is a consequence of the wide diffusion of the public word through the newspapers and the wireless that the essential character and the limits of the various different words are no longer clearly felt and that, for example, the special quality of the personal word is almost entirely destroyed. Genuine words are replaced by idle chatter. Words no longer posses any weight. There is too much talk. And when the limits of the various words are obliterated, when words become rootless and homeless, then the word loses truth, and then indeed there must almost inevitably be lying. When various orders of life no longer respect one another, words become untrue. For example, a teacher asks a child in front of the class whether it is true that his father often comes home drunk. It is true, but the child denies it. The teacher's question has placed him in a situation for which he is not yet prepared. He feels only that what is taking place is an unjustified interference in the order of the family and that he must oppose it. What goes on in the family is not for the ears of the class in school. The family has its own secret and must preserve it. The teacher has failed to respect the reality of this institution. The child ought now to find a way of answering which would comply with both the rule of the family and the rule of the school. But he is not yet able to do this. He lacks experience, knowledge, and the ability to express himself in the right way. As a simple no to the teacher's question the child's answer is certainly untrue; yet at the same time it nevertheless gives expression to the truth that the family is an institution sui generis and that the teacher had no right to interfere in it. The child's answer can indeed be called a lie; yet this lie contains more truth, that is to say, it is more in accordance with reality than would have been the case if the child had betrayed his father's weakness in front of the class. According to the measure of his knowledge, the child acted correctly. The blame for the lie falls back entirely upon the teacher. An experienced man in the same position as the child would have been able to correct his questioner's error while at the same time avoiding a formal untruth in his answer, and he would thus have found the "right word". The lies of children, and of inexperienced people in general, are often to be ascribed to the fact that these people are faced with situations which they do not fully understand. Consequently, since the term lie is quite properly understood as meaning something which is quite simply and utterly wrong, it is perhaps unwise to generalise and extend the use of the term so that it can be applied to every statement which is formally untrue. Indeed, here already it becomes apparent how very difficult it is to say what actually constitutes a lie" (Dietrich Bonhöffer, "What is Meant by 'Telling the Truth'?" In Ethics, ed. Eberhard Bethge, New York; MacMillan Co., 1965, pp.363-72).
Today, of course, the family as an 'institution' is under attack. It was generally accepted as an institution when Bonhöffer was alive though the fascists were trying to recraft it as an adjunct of the state and the Bolsheviks had gone even further, even briefly dissolving the estate of marriage until it became obvious that this causes social chaos. Communism tried to reduce the family to an appendage of the state and modern socialistic liberal democracies are trying to do the same, in small not-so-easily-discernable increments, without saying so directly because they know no self-respecting parents would ever accept the proposition outright, be they theists or atheists. These crypto- or 'pink communists' (as I call them) want the state to be our children's parents with the biological parents being hired, through various tax incentives, to do the biological raising while the government-owned schools, which were inspired by Prussian totalitarianism, are left to do the indoctrinating and brainwashing. The programming is extended into the home too by means of state-controlled TV and radio.
The point Bonhöffer is making here is that ultimately truth is a function of deep, personal relationship with people and that there are different levels of truth-telling and therefore lying. For example, when the lover of the Song of Solomon says: "I am a rose of Sharon" (Song 2:1, NIV) it could be argued that she is lying because a human being is not a species of flower. She could have said, "I am like a rose of Sharon" in which case all would clearly understand that she was using a simile. As the statement stands literally, she has told an untruth - she has lied unless you put it into the context of a personal relationship. Likewise a woman may say of a gallant hero: "You are my knight in shining armour" even though he is neither a literal knight nor wearing shining armour. The statement is true only within the context of a spiritual or abstract reality.
We face similar problems when considering the Old and New Covenants which, though similar, have different content and depth. Yah'shua reformed much of the Old Covenant, bringing it to completion. In addition to eye-for-eye justice of the Mosaic Code, He added mercy and forgiveness. We can still follow the Mosaic Code if we want to. We can demand the death of an adulterer. We can demand that someone who breaks the Sabbath, or commits murder, or issues a false prophecy, or hits his parent, be stoned to death, all of which was required by the Mosaic Code. But if we do, we can't claim to be a follower of Christ because Yah'shua has paid the penalties due to men who violate this Code. The sins have not changed. Adultery, Sabbath violation (Sunday-worshippers please note), murder, issuing false prophecy, and physical violence against parents still carry a death sentence spiritually but the physical penalty was abolished in the Cross. Does that mean we can take these things lightly? By no means. Yah'shua told the woman caught in adultery: "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11, NKJV). There is mercy. And He told His followers that if they did not forgive in this manner, their own sins would not be forgiven by our Father in Heaven (Mt.6:12; Lk.11:4). This being so, is it true to say that all adulterers must be stoned to death? The answer is: that was the truth then, but Yahweh has taught us a higher truth through Yah'shua: He says we are to forgive because He has already forgiven us the death penalty for numerous sins.
And then we have another factor that Bonhöffer brought up, and that is truth as a function of maturity. Many of you may have seen a post put up by one of our members in our Cyber Group recently showing how in Muslim Iran a child was sentenced to have his arm crushed to pieces by having a truck run over it. What was his crime? Stealing a loaf of bread. Is a child liable for crimes it cannot understand? When I was a boy, if I smashed a neighbour's window by, say, hitting golf ball through his greenhouse, my father was liable, not me. Like the child who lied about his father's drunkenness in his school class, the teacher was responsible for that lie for forcing him into a situation he was to immature to handle. Truth is also therefore a function of maturity. A child who lies may need some sort of correction but the penalty will not be the same as for an adult necessarily. Thus there are different degrees of 'truthfulness' or 'lying'. Yahweh also says similar things of adults:
"Truly, these times of ignorance Elohim overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man [Yah'shua] whom He has ordained" (Acts 17:30-31, NKJV).
We cannot be judged in our ignorance whether as adults or as small children. There was a time when, as an atheist, I would make sport of God and things godly. I assented when a friend ripped up a Bible and even though I was shocked by the material destruction I agreed with the point he was making. I even invented a mocking song about the Trinity when I was a student prior to conversion. These things I am ashamed of now but at the time I was ignorant. These sins Yahweh overlooked but obviously it would be a different matter if I were to do the same again. So if a believer back then had told me: "You are going to hell for singing that", I would have to say he was a liar because I acted in ignorance. Today I would have no excuse. You can imagine how Yahweh will treat those who stand in judgement over the ignorant knowing the Bible truths about not judging unless you are prepared to be judged in the same way yourself. Indeed Torah itself states that if we false accuse someone of a crime, then we come under the condemnation of that crime as though we had committed it ourselves. Again, though, that would only be true if I knew the Torah statute.
Like everyone I know, I have been guilty of many sins both as a believer and as an unbeliever. Currently an atheist is accusing me of being 'evil' and warning people to have nothing to do with me because years ago I made a false prophecy. And it's perfectly true, I did. Moreover, I confessed it at the time, made public apology, and left it up on the net for everyone to see so that people would know I was not hiding anything. It's still there, just like King David's sins are recorded in the Bible. I made no attempt at a cover-up. Yahweh showed me something that would happen to Norway, which hasn't happened yet but will happen, and I, in my eagerness for it to be fulfilled, sought a date and practically tried to force Yahweh to tell me. I got a false answer and learned a hard lesson. Today I make sure I never do that again. Rather, I listen and wait, and if nothing comes, I say nothing. And it is true, that under the Old Covenant, I would have been pronounced 'evil' and stoned to death. And had I been born under that Covenant, I am quite sure I would have been much more careful just as my accuser would have been had he been. When I think of all the sinners coming under the death penalty of Old Covenant Torah who are saved today I can only rejoice that Yah'shua paid that death penalty and that their sentence was commuted. Former murderers, adulterers, false prophets, parent-haters and Sabbath-violators are today living productive, joyful lives and helping improve the lives of people around them. They extend the same mercy to others as they have had extended to themselves, because they know what redeeming grace is. I pity those who don't. My atheist accuser would love to stone me to death one way or another - I feel sorry for him, for he is putting himself under the same judgement even if for now He may not believe in a God. And if He's a Jew who doesn't know Yah'shua, well, he must then abide and be judged by his own standard. The commandment about not bearing false witness still stands. Finally, I think it rather strange that an atheist should accuse one religion (Christianity) using another religion's (Judaism's) standards.
It is essential that we maintain not only a standard of truth but the correct one. Under the New Covenant there is greater liberty than the Old but no justification for anarchy or lawlessness. We have free choice now and are not under compulsion. Yahweh still expects and upholds the same standard of truth but in His loving kindness has paid the price for sin through His Son, knowing that no man could ever live Torah fully. We work with handicaps and within limitations. In Sweden, unlike the USA, it is physically impossible to live a 100% kosher diet so we can only do our best. In many countries it is illegal to speak out against untruth. In short, Yahweh wants us to bear in mind a higher standard, namely, to judge in the same way we would like to be judged (Mt.7:2). Those who compromise this are adjudged hypocrites and if they claim belief in Yahweh come under the most severe condemnation.
In order to interact with truth as it really is, we have to interact with the real world and with real people. We need to know Yahweh's heart, wherein is the Ultimate Reality, and we need to know people's hearts. Most are too scared. They are afraid what's in their hearts so they bury them deep and dress themselves in clever talk. Most of the battles people fight are over words. You can't know people by their words alone, however. You have to reach for what lies underneath them. "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostilities", Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, and he's right. And that is what Yahweh wants to do now, and what the Third Wave is all about - He wants you to see your own hearts for what they are, given them to Him, and start seeing others' hearts the way He does. Then real peace can come. Amen.
Click here for Part 5
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 18 March 2007
Last updated on 18 March 2007
Copyright ©2006 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved