Sermons Series 3:73, 13 January 2007
To Bar Mitzvah and Adulthood
Growing Up in an Infantile World
Did you know that Elohim has no grandchildren? Actually, I had never thought about that until someone made that observation, and probably because I have no grandchildren of my own yet. It's a fact that no matter what generation you are born into that you, your parents, your children, your grandchildren, your grandparents or your great-grandparents are all viewed by Yahweh as His children. Yahweh is our Father in Heaven and we, no matter how old we are, are His children. Paul says we are Yahweh's "offspring" (Ac.17:28-29). We are all His children - His offspring - no matter what we believe, or don't believe, because He created us. He created us in much the same kind of way that I created my children - they remain my children whether they believe the same way I do or don't, whether they like or dislike me. Even atheists are His children even if they believe their ancestor was a monkey, or before even that, a rock. Your physical body is derived over many generations from a single pair of human beings, Adam and Eve, whom Yahweh created - the man from clay, and the woman from man.
I once met a man who proudly claimed to have his family tree charted all the way back to Adam. It was quite impressive, assuming it was correct. And whilst it is possible, I think the chances of tracing your ancestors that far back is quite remote unless you happen to be in a famous genealogical line. I have only been able to trace mine back a thousand years to Denmark, or at least one line, and then only because one of my foremothers was the sister to a famous historical character. Some people, like the Mormons, are obsessed with genealogies, and spent a lot of time and money tracing their roots. It's a fascinating subject to be sure ... if you have the time and money. Ever since the film Roots was screened, there seems to have been an upsurge in interest in this subject. But the only ancestors I know about in any detail only go back to my great-grandparents, and I only ever met one them in real life. If you're lucky you may get to know 4 generations but beyond that it gets too impersonal unless they left detailed records of their lives. What matters most are the people immediately around us so that a close friend means more to us than, say a great-great-grandmother whom we know no more about than her name and her children's names, and perhaps a few inherited genetic traits.
To Yahweh, who is not bounded by time, every single person who has ever lived, is living, or will live, is as intimately known to him as though it was His one and only own child. As the Creator of every living thing and human, He, more than any earthly father, can claim to be our Heavenly Father in the most complete way imaginable. And He has billions and billions of children all of whom He knows, as though each and every single one of them were the only being in the universe. However, the reverse is not necessarily true. When we are born into mortality, we lose a great deal of our earlier heavenly memory as we cross a veil of temporary forgetfulness. How does this take place? Why do we forget?
I'd like to invite you sometime to find a piece of very quiet music and play it very low on your hi-fi equipment. I want you to listen very carefully to it. If the room where you are listening to it is quiet, you can close your eyes, focus on it intently, and listen to it. The longer you listen to it, the more clear it will become. I expect you've heard that blind people have a keener sense of hearing than those of us who can see because when they lose one sense, the others becomes more heightened. Then while you are listening with your eyes closed to this soft music being played very low, invite someone to have another piece of hi-fi equipment at the ready to turn on another piece of music after you have been listening for about half an hour. Ask them to turn it on very suddenly and quite high. It will probably make you leap out of your seat if by then you are in a half awake state. Hearing two different pieces of music simultaneously will be quite disturbing at first but then ask your friend to turn the volume down after, say, 10 minutes, so it is nearly at the same level as the first piece of music, and then ask him to fade the sound out altogether so you can hear the original piece of music clearly again. Then, after another ten minutes, as him to turn his piece up gradually until it is very high and leave it on. It won't take long before you won't be able to hear the original piece of music any more. All you'll hear is your friend's.
Coming into this world is a bit like that. We lived in a spiritual dimension of much greater refinement than the coarse, material physical one we occupy here. When your father and mother conceived you, your spirit aligned itself with the zygote in your mother that slowly developed into an embryo over a nine month gestation period. That period was not at all unlike the scenario of two pieces of music being played simultaneously at about the same volume. A child in the womb picks up sounds from outside, though they are muffled by the mother's body, as well as picking up emotions from the mother, hormonal surges, chemicals in her food, and the psychic presence of others like the father. The mother and father are very important to that child's healthy development and much responsibility falls on them. The sudden birth into the world can be quite a shock, like the second piece of music being turned on high. The muffled voices become clear and piercing, the lights blinding - everything is very intense. These physical world sounds come to predominate so that the original 'music' can no longer be heard very clearly and is, in time, largely forgotten. A new-born child is still closely connected to the spiritual, heavenly world for about the first 12 months but slowly comes to forget by a process of what I call, first, 'overlapping' and finally 'drowning out'.
The family you are born into is very important. That family may bring you great happiness or, at the other extreme, trauma, pain and misery. If a child is born into a good Christian home he has the opportunity to respond naturally and spontaneously to all that he is taught and grow naturally into a disciple, growing in faith, and not experience what most of us as converts do later on in life. In such a situation Dad and Mum not only become his natural physical parents but also his spiritual parents as well. Other children - who may have been converted when they were young, or who were not so trusting, for whatever reasons, even though they were brought up in Christian homes - can point to a time or moment when they were 'converted'. And if you were not raised in a Christian home, then that 'conversion' may have taken place at any point in your adult life, and may in some cases have been very dramatic so that the point of conversion assumes a very special place in your calendar of treasured memories. Whether you made lots of little acts of commitment or one big dramatic one is not so important as the fact that your life is pointing towards Yahweh, through faith in the Messiah Yah'shua, and you are being obedient to the Ruach haQodesh and Scripture. Any act of commitment, or any number of acts of commitment, are valuable in so far as they contribute to the same spiritual end.
When you are conceived and born, you are 100% your father's or mother's son or daughter in the flesh. But spiritual birth is not the same. We become spiritual sons and daughters by degrees, and sometimes not at all. We may grow up in a home where we were horribly abused and traumatised in which case we have no spiritual parents at all and our only connections are genetic. When that is the case, then there remains in the child a hunger - a terrible hunger - a yearning for love, affection and guidance which can lead that child, as it grows up, and even as an adult, to search in all the wrong places for the covering, protection and nurturing that their parents ought to have given them but failed to do so. Faith and trust, so essential for a healthy mental, emotional and spiritual life, need food and exercise if they are to grow. Where that as absent, not only do we find a lot of spiritual orphans released into the world in adult bodies but also spiritual orphans who are emotional dwarfs and incapable of interacting normally in society. And the more such people are fed into society, the more dysfunctional society becomes.
We are all Yahweh's children by an act of special creation but we do not become His spiritual children until we make a conscious choice to be His and to learn faith and trust. It becomes especially hard if we have been told lies about Yahweh, or even that He does not exist. We are accustomed to identifying persons who we can see, hear and touch. Interacting with a Being who is invisible to our natural eyes who can appear distant is not easy. To do that we need to turn the volume of the second music down so that we can again hear the first, and remember. We have to learn to adjust the frequency of our inner sensory system to pick up the divine wavelength again. To do such requires re-education, and to be re-educated requires careful investment of time in Scripture study and prayer in a quiet place. It requires disciplining ourselves to listen in a new way, and to do that requires patience and sometimes a little planning. We have to both make time for Yahweh and to make it quality time. Yah'shua said:
"When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (Matt.6:6, NKJV).
The first and most important place where we must learn to meet our Heavenly Father is not in an assembly or church meeting hall, important though meeting Him communally is, but in private. To learn to hear Him requires carefully set-apart quality time for prayer, study and praise. It's not until we meet Him one-to-one in a real and meaningful relationship that He ceases to be only an Elohim or Ruler and becomes an intimate Father too. As we interact with Him, so we gradually become His child and He becomes a Divine Father not just by default as our Creator but, perhaps even more importantly, experientially.
Now growth in faith, like all growth processes, may not necessarily be smooth. It may consist of a series of ups and downs. I know my education at school was like that. I started off brilliantly, then it was a disaster, and finally I crawled back up again to do well and earn academic honours. To do that, however, required commitment, especially in the dark times when I wanted to give up. Up and down patches commonly occur in older adolescence when the young person may decide to test his faith against alternative lifestyles and religions before deciding whether to reject it or not, and make it his own in a more mature, adult way than before. And not untypically, you may find biologically older people going through the same stage, people who were stunted in their emotional and spiritual growth by either smothering or cruel parents and who had to learn to reject the artificial and spiritually crushing confinement of spiritual dwarfdom and risk growing up.
Wise parents and wise pastors recognise these ups and downs for what they are. Today in particular spiritual leaders must recognise that increasingly society is producing spiritual dwarfs who think they are adult simply because the majority of people around them are just as they are. Yah'shua said, "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matt.10:8, NIV) and also, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" (Luke 12:48, NIV). What, them, should one expect of the one who has stunted spiritual growth? What should we expected? Do we leave them as they are, perpetual prisoners of spiritual infancy, or do we raise them just as ordinary parents to, knowing that they will rebel and throw tantrums and all the usual things that growing children normally do? Or shall we treat them as adults and expect of them what they cannot possibly do yet?
Treating a child as an adult is not psychologically healthy. Watching gun-toting children fighting in civil wars in Africa, or blowing themselves up as terrorists in the Middle East is horrifying enough. A biological child with a gun is not safe, and an adult who is a child inside with a gun is arguably even more dangerous because he has the dexterity and intelligence of an adult, along with his craftiness, yet is emotionally irresponsible. So what should be done with these children in adult bodies?
The most important part of spiritual growth is always choosing to face life responsibly. We cannot remain in the crib indefinitely nor expect to be bottle-fed all our lives. Physically adult men and women are wandering this planet in their millions seeking to be bottle-fed by gurus, cult leaders, politicians and others who will make their life decisions for them so that they don't have to exercise responsibility. Facing life's responsibilities means taking responsibility for ones actions and choices - in other words, making decisions, seeing them through and taking the consequences - managing one's life well and using all Yahweh's other gifts properly.
Now a lot of spiritual dwarfs react very negatively to such a challenge. We get a lot of people coming to this ministry who want to be bottle-fed like infants and who react angrily when we finally expect them to grow up and mature. Ironically, they come looking for a cultic environment where they will be taken care of like babies and then accuse us of being cultists when we tell them they have to take responsibility for their own lives, resulting in them not untypically throwing temper tantrums. Not that we are unwilling to help them - the problem is that they want spiritual mothers and fathers but don't want to grow up to be mothers and fathers themselves.
One of the most important skills a child must develop is decision-making and that's not as east to teach as you might think. The secret of raising a child to make responsible decisions is to start small. A small child needs unthreatening and 'protected' questions first: 'Which would you rather do first - play football with Joe, have an apple, or play with some building bricks?' Later on a child might be able to cope with: 'Would you like to go to the park or to the playground?' and not panic at the thought of what he is missing in choosing the one or the other. Later on, he might need the freedom of: 'What would you like to do?'
It's important not to give children too much choice too soon. Small children can get really distressed because they have been asked to make a decision which was simply beyond them. Learning to do this with small biological children is easier than with small children in adult bodies because you can't easily tell the inner age of a physical adult by just looking at them outwardly. You need to know them and their histories over a good period of time. As children grow older, they have a bigger share of the decision-making in a wide range of things like school subjects, interests, careers and so forth. I know a man who was forced to be an engineer by his father and hated it. He went back to university at the age of 50 and trained to be an architect. Now he is happy in what he is doing because he finally took responsibility and made his own choice.
Now it is very easy for parents to go on picking up pieces for their children when it would be far better for everyone if they didn't. Rushing to school with a book they have forgotten to stop them getting into trouble could be one example of being overprotective. We can wait on our children as parents and ministers too much like tidying up after them when they could be doing it themselves - and not just toys but the spiritual baggage that people carry around inside too.
If we want our children to be faithful to their marriage partners all their lives then they will have to be trained in 'stickability' from an early age since the message they will be getting from other sources will be: 'If you don't like it, give it up and try something else'. There is too much impermanence in this world today. If things don't work any more, people prefer to throw them away rather than repair them. I was amazed when one day I was walking in Oslo and I found a PC sitting in a container (skip) on the street. I took it home and repaired it and it worked perfectly for my son for several years. We live in a disposable society where people want everything fast with the minimum of effort. This is not a healthy society because people end up treating people in the same way they do things - as disposable commodities.
Children will only learn stickability if they see it at home. If they don't, they will imitate what they see when they grow up. They must learn to see and imitate what responsibility is like - to learn to stick things out even in the bad times and not want to simply discard and start again. They must learn to see things through to the end. Of course, children must learn to experiment, but after a considered and unrushed decision has been made, they need to stick with that decision. Committing themselves to one thing one day and then opting out the next is not conducive to learning anything - except a pattern of unfaithfulness.
A toddler in a temper tantrum is a toddler out of his own control. A spiritual dwarf in a temper tantrum that looks adult but in reality is just wildly striking out because of some inner hurt from the past is a spiritual dwarf in an adult body out of control. Now I am sure if you are a parent hearing me today you will have used various 'solutions' in dealing with a child's tantrum. In all the case studies I have looked at, along with my own experience, I have noticed that there are three basic working solutions but with one constant factor between them all: when a child is throwing a tantrum you can either ignore them, hold them or reason with them. But there is one thing you must do in all three solutions and that is to remain calm and in control of the situation no matter what you may feel inside. This may not be easy but it is important. An adult who is unable to remain calm and loses control in such a situation usually has a maturity issue of his or her own.
One thing a parent or pastor must not do is to give in to a tantrum for the sake of 'preserving the peace'. Many Christians have this false belief that to be a Christian means allowing people to walk all over you. When you take that approach you send the message: 'Getting angry is a good way of getting what I want' when what the person should be hearing is: 'You will never get your own way through behaving like that.'
A good minister does not compromise on the truth even if he has to loose half his flock, but a better minister is one who does not compromise in calmness and firmness. The same is true of a better parent. Yelling and screaming achieves nothing even if the parent wins. Then the child will do the same to his own children when he grows up because he will get the message: 'Might is better than right'. Now I am not saying that all tantrums are necessarily bad. Sometimes a child may just be desperate because he isn't being heard because he needs something important like food or is just over-tired. Parents need to sense a child's needs. Parents do make mistakes and need to make things right after the child has calmed down like: 'I know how badly you wanted that ice-cream but it's soon supper time. Getting angry like that won't do you any good. Next time I say 'No' and you feel like doing that again, I'm sure you'll remember that and manage much better, and I'll be very pleased.' That transfers a little bit more responsibility to the child who is expected to be more considerate next time without crushing the life out of him. Some tantrums may just be pent-up emotions and what they need is just a bit of physical exercise.
A good parent or minister gives more and more responsibility gradually to the child or spiritual dwarf. It is good to be generous but not indulgent. The more generous you are, the more they will take it for granted and expect more. Rich families often have the biggest problems in these areas. It is right to be kind and thoughtful but it is also right to teach children to stand on their own two feet whilst being ready to support them as necessary. Rare treats are always better appreciated than treats given all the time.
Now what I am talking to you about today may seem very basic and I realise it is a little different from my normal more theologically-oriented type of sermon. However, it is important that we constantly return to basics as we did last week in looking at the elements of true faith. We are converting adults from a very hedonistic, selfish and immature society who have to literally be retaught all the basic values of Christian life. Most will never have known or seen a good Christian home, or may only have come from a nominal one that is not unlike the secular society around them. As Messianic Israelites we have to teach the set-apart life, not to isolate ourselves from people but to preserve and enhance the essentials of what it is to be truly human and free.
In the last part of my address to you today I want to talk about the 'Four R's' - and I don't mean the three you have likely heard, namely, 'reading writing, and 'rithmatic'. The Four R's of the Gospel of Yah'shua the Messiah are REALITY, ROOTS, REASONS and RELATIONSHIPS.
Now reality I have spoken to you a lot about already - it's a theme I stress again and again in our world of illusion and fantasy. We first need to see for ourselves, and then help our children see the same, that having a biblical perspective and viewpoint is seeing things as they really are, and living Yahweh's way is experiencing real life. Yah'shua claimed to be the truth (Jn.14:6), and so Christianity is not simply the 'best' way of life - it's a life based on REALITY.
The next 'R' is ROOTS. We want our children to develop roots that will grow through all that is temporal and into eternal realities. How will we accomplish that? Through human love, acceptance and care, into the deeper, richer soil of Yahweh's favour and purposes.
The third 'R' is REASONS. Knowing Yahweh has a purpose in Creation, our children can find compelling reasons for living, as well as a rational, integrated and harmonious explanation for the state of the world and for things that happen day by day. I am not saying that there are no mysteries or that all questions have answers. Rather, we can show our children, in the absence of explanations, that they can confidently trust Yahweh knowing that He has His reasons for all things and that these will be made clear one day.
Finally, the fourth 'R' is RELATIONSHIPS. Judging by the marriage statistics, where on average over half of all marriage relationships fall apart in the West, we need to rescue our children from this misery - and divorce is miserable both for the parents and for the children - by helping our children see that the quality of life is largely determined by how and whom we love and how and by whom we are loved. Being loved by and loving Yahweh brings out the very best in us and affects all other relationships and circumstances - and Yah'shua died to make that possible.
If we present the Gospel to our children over many years as the truth as relevant to all life and relationships and as essentially good news and not some stuffy formalism, then we have done our best, and the rest will be up to the Ruach haQodesh and to them. Then we will have done our full duty. We in this ministry have learned, often through painful experience, that when it comes to discipling biological adults that we must, in this generation of spiritual dwarfs, spend much more time with converts than ever before. Never have there been such immature 'adults'. This means we need to carefully follow the rules in Torah, especially when it comes to men, to that we 'raise' true men capable to leading and loving their wives and children. According to Torah, normal boys don't become men until they are 20, and men are not qualified to be ministers until they are at least 30. Obviously there are exceptions and Yahweh does raise young ministers like He did the apostle John and the evangelist Timothy, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Also people are marrying or getting into relationships far too young because of exposure to pornography and other filth. We need more innocence in our people and that means buffering them against the evil inclination of our end-time world. Raising this first generation is not, as I have told you many times, an easy task at all - it is incredibly difficult, challenging and taxing to the extreme. This generation is not ready for the Tribulation - it's too weak and immature. We need this one to cut out new frontiers and pioneer a path through the jungle of wickedness to a place of both safety as well as maturity. We have literally had to tear this ministry out of a filthy rag and wash it, and wash it again and again, until we had something approaching what Yahweh has in mind for us.
Our Adversary, Satan, has poisoned individuals and families to such an extent that men have become wimps and women Amazons. And if the truth be known, neither are particularly happy about it. The men want their women to be women, and the women want their men to be men while the demons want to maintain the status quo and to continue totally reversing the true Order of Heaven. We have always stood unapologetically against male machismoism and feminism, the twin evils of our world, and have preached that men should learn to be firm, strong and humble as servant-rulers in subjection to Yahweh, while women become firm, strong and humble as helpmeets in righteous subjection to their husbands. We want men who are male and women who are female the way Yahweh made them, and we want our children to imitate them. We don't want women in bondage to boys wielding authority and power trying to be men but for which they are too immature, and neither do we want women to be mere shadows of themselves to serve and scrape at the feet of these adolescent egos pretending to be grown-up. There has to be a general repentance of both genders so that they become true human-beings made in the image of our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, respectively. It is the responsibility of men, called to be heads, to take the example, step forward, repent and learn how to be true men.
Bringing up children and spiritual dwarfs to see and live Yahweh's way of Torah in the Messiah is very demanding. I'll not pretend otherwise. Sometimes it feels as though one is fighting the tide with sandcastles. But it's also exciting, as parents and ministers, to learn and grow together in homes and assemblies where Yah'shua is Master and where the Ruach has free access to every heart. Such homes and assemblies are like beacons and heavens to those who have lost their way in life or who are being buffeted by storms. The fathers and mothers in these homes are like salt in society. This does, however, make them very unpopular with the 'prince of this world' - and as result, he and his followers are out to discredit and destroy Christian families and ministries. And there are not a few rebellious spiritual dwarfs out there throwing tantrums at both ministers and Yahweh Himself for telling them truths they don't want to hear about themselves, like the necessity of growing up and taking responsibility for their choices. However, we must always remember that Satan met his match at Golgotha and need never have the upper hand, for as John the Apostle said: "the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4, NIV).
Once upon a time there was a farmer and his wife. They were sitting in the shade of a very special tree in their orchard - one that had grown from the king's tiny brown pip, and was now able to withstand the storms of winter and to bear leaves, blossom and fruits.
'Been a lot of hard work, this tree,' said the farmer, thinking of the long days and nights of tending the young plant, watering it in drought, protecting it from frost, animals, blight and other terrors.
'Go on, you've enjoyed every minute of it!' retorted his wife, teasingly, patting his knees.
'Well, I wouldn't go that far,' said the farmer, with a laugh, 'but of you mean, 'Was it worth it?' - then of course it was.
'Worth every minute,' his wife agreed.
How, then, should we go about raising our children and the spiritual dwarfs who come to us out of society in adult bodies? What should we teach them. I'd like to end today with a few suggestions.
Firstly, let's start with those years leading up to Bar or Bat Mitzvah, when children become sons or daughters of Commandment at 12 years old. Here are 10 Guidelines:
- 1. Yahweh is great and powerful, just and fair, loving and good;
- 2. He wants to be 'number #1' in our lives, otherwise He won't be able to give us, make us, show us or teach us all He wants to;
- 3. When we ask Yah'shua to be our Saviour and Friend, the Ruach haQodesh can start giving us, making us, showing us and teaching us all those things, little by little;
- 4. Yah'shua will go on doing these things if we want Him to, ask Him, keep obeying His mitzvot (commandments), praying, worshipping, reading our Bibles, and learning from other believers;
- 5. Living Yahweh's Way is an adventure (read or tell stories of believers who live adventurously and courageously in different ways to illustrate this), and it's the way He planned we should live for our own good, as well as for other people's;
- 6. Yahweh has plans for each life, which we can discover and fit in with or ignore and go our own way;
- 7. Satan, Yahweh's enemy, has quite different plans, and many people today are fitting in with them, just as they have always done - which is why there is so much sin and sadness in and around us;
- 8. Whatever we do and choose brings consequences, so choosing to live life Yahweh's way leads to one sort of life, and choosing to live Satan's or our own way leads to another: the choice is ours;
- 9. We have to start learning to see everything we have and are, and all that happens to us, from Yah'shua's point-of-view, and to act accordingly; and
- 10. This will not be easy because many people don't see things from this viewpoint, but Yah'shua will help and bless us.
The second set of guidelines are for our teens. There is much to teach them in a short time for they grow up quickly. Here are some more Guidelines I would like to suggest:
- 1. Basic Christian doctrines so that there is a clear understanding who Yahweh, Yah'shua and the Ruach are and what they do and how they can be experienced;
- 2. Relationships with oneself - personality, emotions, worry, fear, the tongue, self-control and the like;
- 3. Relationships with others - boys and girls, marriage, patents, other believers and nonbelievers;
- 4. Practical Christian living - the Christian and work. Guidance, the Messianic Community, secular society and the world at large, sects and cults, evil, morality, the supernatural, leisure, the media, creativity and the arts;
- 5. Christianity in practice - it's important that our teens are exposed to other believers who are serving Yahweh so that they can see Yahweh at work in others' lives, people who are living out their faith in various situations;
- 6. Bible Studies - how to understand and apply Scripture, its accuracy and the fulfilment of prophecy;
- 7. Creating the counterculture - our teens need to know that we are fighting against a wicked tide and that the protective hedge of Torah must be fought for and continually strengthened. To do that we must teach them that:
- 8. True riches are spiritual, not material, and true goodness must be inward, outward, and Godward;
- 9. True love is strong, sacrificial, unconditional and unstoppable - and only Yahweh's Ruach haQodesh can produce it, along with other qualities in us;
- 10. True freedom and joy come as by-products of loving and obeying Yahweh's mitzvot and His personal instructions to us - in general, growing to be like Yah'shua, taking care of the world, and sharing the good news - and specifically, in relation to the work we do and all other decisions and details of our daily lives - and loving and serving others for His sake;
- 11. Real life is Messiah-centred, not self-centred, and involves humility and constant forgiveness and help from Yahweh; and finally,
- 12. There is a spiritual war raging all around us and we need spiritual armour for it - all events are sent or allowed by Yahweh and can be opportunities to know, trust, love or serve Him better. Amen.
|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 20 March 2007
Last updated on 20 March 2007
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