Sermons Series 3:97, 9 June 2007
Dying to Self
Coming Out of the Downward Spiral
I read the other day that as much as 80% of modern ministers from Protestant churches are falling into serious sin like adultery. Judging by what ones reads in the newspapers, pedastric Catholic priests aren't faring much better and few of these are coming out publicly to confess their sins unless they are forced to following exposure. If these statistics are true, then there is a very high probability that the minister you meet is unsafe in some way. And that is an uncomfortable feeling for anyone, especially for a new believer. This was, however, one of the signs of the last days that Yah'shua prophesied, and a trend that was already underway during the apostolic era (see 3 John). Our enemy, Satan, is relentless, and he targets those he fears the most. 'Destroy the shepherds and the sheep scatter' holds true in all generations.
Another amazing statistic in our 21st century is not the incredible number of Protestant denominations and nondenominational churches but the incredible number of 'trans-churches' or, as they are better known, 'ministries'. Thousands of them are springing up all the time making an uncountable number in total. Potentially every single believer could become a 'ministry', make a web site, print pamphlets, write books, or whatever. I can't imagine how many ministries there are altogether. And you don't need me to tell you what a babble of voices there are out there.
I am writing this to you today as one who has been a pastor and minister for nearly 20 years. A few months ago I stepped down as a congregational and apostolic leader to do some serious soul-searching. Nobody should ever enter the ministry without a serious self-examination and that self-examination should be repeated regularly. Yahweh has appointed Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement - for everyone to do the same, but ministers must view this day with ever greater fear of Yahweh because, as it is written:
"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).
As leaders we are measured by Yahweh daily. And each week we have a mini-Yom Kippur - if we bother to take that seriously - on the day before the Sabbath (to be honest I have not been too good at that until recently). As housewives and children get the house cleaned up the day before the Sabbath, so husbands, fathers and ministers should be getting themselves cleaned up to - weekly - as they prepare for the Day of Rest. But the truth is, most of us don't. We've often been so busy comparing ourselves with others - with unbelievers, with those who teach false doctrines, with the faults of different denominations, with our family members, with those around us, that we entirely forget to look in the mirror ourselves. Or when we do, we mentally block it out or project a fantasy picture into it. Thus Paul would write of the Judeans of his day:
"Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law (Torah) and brag about your relationship to Elohim; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law (Torah); if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law (Torah) the embodiment of knowledge and truth - you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law (Torah), do you dishonour Elohim by breaking the law (Torah)? As it is written: 'Yahweh's Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you'" (Rom.2:17-24, NIV).
The excesses of modern Messianics and their many false doctrines has led to the opprobrious labelling of us as 'Yahwists' by antinomian Protestants reacting to these Messianics' dishonouring of Yahweh and the Torah by their appalling conduct and false teachings. And there is tremendous arrogance amongst Messianics who think they are a cut above the rest because of their law-keeping, as though this has earned them some special soterological (salvational) place of honour and privilege. What could be more blasphemous than that! The first believers were called 'Christians' by gentiles in a similar hostile manner, thus blaspheming the Name of the Messiah! All believers are under a mandate to represent the truth and purity of Yahweh and Yah'shua but when ministers fall from grace, the blasphemy is a manyfold, depending on the extent of their influence. James warned:
"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1, NIV).
So to begin with, do we, as ministers, start in the ministry - and continue in the ministry - with the kind of attitude that fears to blaspheme the Name of Yahweh? Do we fear to bring that Name into disrepute by our conduct? We're talking about the Creator of heaven and earth here, and the One who died for our sins. Men are commended if they want to serve in the ministry because it is the natural heart-response to salvation but established ministers are also counselled not to ordain such too hastily in case vanity leads them to a fall (1 Tim.5:22). And part of the problem we face is that with so few apostles actually authorised by Yahweh to ordain - because they don't walk in the Ruach but in psychic counterfeits - people are either going to false apostles or simply ordaining themselves. Catholics and Mormons offer a legalistic solution - which in reality is no solution as the statistics which I have spoken of already show. Torah says we can only be called as Aaron was (Heb.5:4). The big question is: how does that work in the anarchistic situation in which the Body of Christ finds itself?
Well, it's not my purpose to go into that question today. I want to be more personal and look into the reasons we do things, our hidden and not so hidden motives. Catherine Boyle, author of the groundbreaking book, Hungry Souls, says that Yah'shua put Judas in charge of the things - in his case, the apostles' purse - that would either give wings to his heart's corruption or for his repentance. She writes:
"[Yah'shua] gave Judas ample opportunity to see, hear and participate in the truth of His mission, yet Judas held his heart back. He refused to follow where the Lord led, because where the Lord led meant the death of Judas' dreams. Where the Lord leads usually does mean death to our selfish desires, but it also means birth to something more spectacular" (New Look Press, Chester, VA., 2007, p.150).
Judas was an apostle. He was a minister. He was part of the intimate circle of Yah'shua's closest followers. He heard everything that Yah'shua taught, he witnessed the miracles, saw how the Ruach worked. He represents the dark, unredeemed selfish side of us that will not let go of carnal or ambitious dreams. He represents a dark undercurrent that can drive even the godliest of men and women outside the pale of salvation, a force that at some point has to be faced and dealt with, because there is always a time of exposing for every hidden thing. Yah'shua warned:
"There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known" (Matt.10:26, NIV).
And if that is making you feel uncomfortable, let me tell you here and now it's supposed to make you uncomfortable. I have never been so uncomfortable in my whole life! For me, as a minister, it has been exposure time, not publicly by my adversaries (though even enemies do speak a grain of truth sprinkled in their symphony of lies) but privately by those nearest and dearest to me - the ones who actually know me.
Every minister must honestly look into the deepest recesses of his being and ask himself why he entered the ministry and why he is still in it. Those considering the ministry should not rush forwards into it until they are sure it's Yahweh's will and the time is right. Motives can, and do, change along the way. We may start out with pure-hearts but get corrupted. Or the corruption may have been present all along. Remember also that Yah'shua called Judas into a position of authority and responsibility knowing full well what he would do. Even though Yahweh knew the outcome, Judas did not. He had a real opportunity to repent many times. He had genuine free choice. But he chose what he chose. Who can say what his true motives were? He was certainly a thief. He robbed the apostle's purse just as ministers enter the ministry for financial gain as a career rather than as a vocation. Many are millionaires living like Hollywood stars travelling in private jets and living in the best hôtels money can buy. And the truth is, they enjoy that lifestyle. They want it. Do you think they'd remain in the ministry if Yahweh asked them to give all that up? Perhaps some would but I suspect that most would respond as the rich young ruler did to Yah'shua when He asked him to sell all he had and follow Him (Lk.18:22). At least that is not one temptation I have had for I have never desired wealth, sought it, nor indeed obtained it.
So what caused Judas' fall? What was it that caused his nation's namesake, Judah, to fall so many times too? What is it that causes all of us to fall if we are not careful? His fall was caused by his unwillingness to let go of his dreams. Now you may thing that your dreams are righteous. Believe me, I have heard people telling me lots about their dreams. And on the surface they all seemed so right and reasonable, as I am painfully discovering in my own situation. Where Yahweh leads does, as Boyle rightly observes, mean death to our selfish desires. 'I want to start a ministry. I want to serve Yahweh!' someone might cry. But is that totally true? Is it possible that the reason we want to 'serve' is for some selfish end? Could it be a desire for power? Fame? Popularity? Attract a potential wife? Security? To get rich? Could what propels us actually be the opposite of what is needed in a true minister? Are we not, in fact, often driven pride and selfish ambition? If so, we need to find out fast and do something about it.
As most of you know, I spent three years as a Mormon. And Mormonism is a dangerous mix of truth and lies. It extols family virtues. I loved those. It extolled order and self-discipline. I loved that. It extolled headship and obedience to the commandments. I loved that too. In fact, I loved a lot in Mormonism and still do. It has much with which to allure in an unsafe world of declining moral values and shattered families. But it took me years of self-examination and discovering what the true Christian faith was about, to learn that the heart of Mormonism is actually power and Empire-building, just like the Free Masons who so heavily influenced them at their inception, and the Illuminati who have controlled them for half a century. The Kingdom the Mormons were building, though called the 'Kingdom of God', was, in fact, a kingdom of men. They were even setting up a 'Council of Fifty' (temporal rulers), as it was called, and ordaining themselves 'kings' in the 1840's and afterwards, and their founder even sought to be the President of the United States. Lots of red flags were raised while I was a member of that group, signals which I missed because I got sucked up into that spirit without even knowing what was going on. And little did I know that part of me continued in that spirit even after I had broken away and, years later, started my own church. I was still Empire-building but didn't know it. Yahweh swept that 'kingdom' from under my feet three times before I realised what was actually going on.
I had a dream and I was unwilling to let go of it. And sometimes those dreams may well be true but the fulfilment of them either belongs to the ministry of others (1 Cor.3:5-9) or to a later time. How many times did the Israelites want to enter the Promised Land without going through the refining fires of the desert? Remember Kadesh-barnea? After a token repentance for one of their many rebellions, they attempted an invasion of Canaan and were humiliatingly defeated. Their repentance was only superficial. The real spiritual issues remained undealt with. It was not a true turning away from sin.
The sin of Empire-building is the lust for power and unrighteous control over others. And it can be a devious power if unchecked. It was the sin of the original antichrist, Nimrod. And yes, we must be prepared, as we look into our dark hearts, to start seeing parallels between ourselves, Judas, Nimrod, the Antichrist, Ahab, Jezebel, the whore of Babylon, and wicked men and women generally. That nature is latent within every soul if we allow it a place. What we actually discover, when we look deep enough - and we react in horror when we see this - is that we are the most despicable of creatures. There isn't anything 'naturally' good within that is worthy of preservation! THE revelation of true Christianity - and if you haven't seen it or embraced it you have not yet understood what Christianity is - is that there is nothing good in man. There is nothing we can boast about. Nothing at all! The devil will keep lying and saying there is and keep you bound to your false dream. There is none good but Elohim (Lk.18:19).
What was Judas' false dream? He dreamed of a restoration of the Davidic Empire by force of arms. He wanted a rebellion against Rome but saw in Yah'shua a potential leader superior to the revolutionaries who were at large. He was a zealot, a first century Maccabee, the personification of that false festival called 'Hanukkah' which we only recently discarded because of its antichrist spirit. Many believe that Judas betrayed Yah'shua to force a public display of His power. Some believe that he was lashing out in anger because Yah'shua publicly rebuked him whilst the woman was anointing Him for His burial. Maybe he was jealous. He certainly had murderous intent. It doesn't really matter what Judas thought so much as what he did - and what he did was to betray the Saviour of mankind to Satan's minions. And don't suppose that you and I aren't capable of doing that. We are! And don't deny that dark thoughts of this nature have not crossed your mind at sundry times, because they have! I'll admit it, they have crossed mine. However, we have a choice - to realise those dark thoughts, as Judas did - to take them to their terrible conclusion as that fallen apostle did, because of stubbornness, pride, hate, or whatever- or we can say, 'No! Enough! This is far too scary! This is insane. I can't go down this dark avenue. I repent!' Once Judas had made up His mind to hand Yah'shua over to the authorities then, as Boyle remarks, "a very different and painful reality came crashing down around him" (Ibid.).
No one here has the slightest doubt that Judas was a wicked man but few believers would even dare to suggest that that same condition is latent in themselves too. Calvin was right. We are all wicked. We are all depraved in our natural, unspiritual state. We so easily walk around in the delusion that we could never do such a thing because we're a 'cut above' those who actually do such terrible deeds. Don't you believe it! Remember that Peter betrayed Yah'shua three times, but the difference between him and Judas was that he repented before it got dangerous for his salvation. He discovered just what a liar and wicked man he was after all. Mind you, he had known that earlier too (Lk.5:8). And that's a painful thing to discover when you believe you have made so much progress spiritually, that you think you're at the entrance of Heaven's Gates, when in fact you're knocking on hell's door instead. If you're in the 'once saved, always saved' brigade, then the chances are that this delusion is real in your life. Beware!
"Self-delusion is a character-trait of wicked people", says Catherine Boyle. "Judas blinded himself because he resisted [Yah'shua's] call to surrender all that he was to [Yahweh]" (Ibid.).
If you think you have anything of your own self to offer to Yah'shua that is inherently good or righteous - if you think that you were born with special talents that can be used for the building of the Kingdom of Yahweh and that you ever owned or originated them yourself, you are under a big time delusion! I'd even state here and now that that thought is wicked because the truth is we have nothing that does not come from Yahweh originally! Nothing! Yahweh says that such 'gifts' are as filthy rags (Is.64:6). Start by realising this instant that you have nothing of yourself to give to Yahweh that can be said to be 'yours' or the fruit of your own labours. All you have is your life, the life Yahweh gave to you, to decide whether to keep it for yourself or lose it back to Him. That may deal a deathblow to pride but then that's really what keeps us separate from Him in the first place - pride.
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud" (Prov.16:18-19, NIV).
"For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:16-17, NKJV).
And it's pride that drives the Mormon system and other Empire-builders like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, and a good many Messianic Jews because they believe they are a 'cut above the rest' because of what they believe, teach or what they do or are. They think of themselves as an exclusive club with the only admission tickets to heaven, Yahweh's pampered favourites. What they don't realise is how Yahweh views this prideful attitude. Peter came to this realisation in another context a while after his own betrayal of Yah'shua when he said:
"I now realise how true it is that Elohim does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right" (Acts 10:34-35, NIV).
He was a bigoted Talmudist before. We can extend that understanding and grace to every race, every Christian or Messianic denomination and to both genders. What is it that causes us to "fear Yahweh and do what is right"? Well I can tell you here and now what has caused me to fear Yahweh in the last few days - it is the realisation that all my self-effort has not only been in vain but prideful. I have laboured - sweating myself half to death, sacrificing all I had, and almost killing myself in the process and quite possibly those around me who followed my vision, because unbeknown to myself I was still Empire-building. It makes no difference that the building-blocks - the teachings - were, by and large, true. I still believe our theology is pretty accurate. I have tested and re-tested it so many times. Many men and women have tried to build Christian utopias based on the Word of Yahweh. The Mormons tried their Deseret which failed. The Catholics tried to build their world Empire (and are still trying, by hook or by crook) and have been thwarted time and time again. The Jehovah's Witnesses are still trying to build their 'Watchtower Theocracy'. And each are boasting of this fruit or that, yet the truth remains that the power that drives them - the spirit of Empire-building, the same one that drove Judas, was wicked. They may not have realised it until it was too late - the Mormon founder Smith was assassinated and the Beaver Island 'prophet' Strang who tried to imitate him was shot too (both crowned themselves theocratic kings and died for their arrogance) - but they were driven by a lust for power and even enforced it militarily, just like the Hasmoneans. They may have clung to it for fear that if they didn't anarchy might follow but failed to realise that this is actually the excuse for the imposition of all dictatorial powers historically. The nazis appealed to that fear and Western governments are doing the same today with their 'Homeland Acts', eroding our freedoms to protect us against the very menace they created themselves to enslave us.
I can't begin to imagine what went through Judas' head that led him to finally do what he did. Why is it that men and women get caught up in this power trap? It is driven by a carefully planned fear constructed and orchestrated by Satan through threatening life situations that leads to greater and greater self-delusion. People will defend their strongholds, their castles, their nations, their reputations, their public image, to the last breath and often last drop of blood, when what they should have done was surrendered peacefully and come clean long before. That's all Yah'shua wants. Men in particular - more so than women - as leaders commissioned to guide, teach and made decisions for those under them - fear to be made to look foolish in front of others. They fear that if they let the façade of dignity slip that no one will ever love or respect them again. And if the truth be know, they also fear to lose their power-base. Not that I am saying they should surrender the natural headship in the home because they shouldn't but they should perhaps seriously consider how they go about building it.
It may well be, as Catherine Boyle suggests in her book, that our mission in life is not what we think it is or dream it should be. We have this stereotypical image that to be serving Yahweh means to pastor a church or lead a ministry and just teach Bible. Well, Boyle suggests that a life's mission might, for example, to be to break a generational curse that has destroyed thousands of ancestors and will destroy thousands of souls yet to come if we don't do something about it, by working through our own issues and overcoming. That is not a small calling. The salvation of souls is still at stake. There are few if any public accolades for that kind of work so the reward comes in knowing we have done what Yahweh wanted us to do. We will have our reward.
Yahweh has not called us to save the world! He has given us a small patch in His vineyard - not the whole vineyard! And he has lots of workers in it from all kinds of backgrounds and Christian traditions. He puts everyone to work wherever they may be in their understanding and knowledge of the truth. If you've read of the incredible things Yahweh has done through boys and girls between 6 and 18 in China in the last half century - many were originally beggars before conversion and were wholly illiterate and unschooled - you'll know what I mean. Incidentally, some of them have had the most profound theological truths revealed to them. One of them was shown a vision of the seven lamps before the throne of Yahweh, and each had a flame the colour of one of the rays of the rainbow. He was told that each flame was one of the seven Ruachs of Elohim and that together they represented the Ruach haQodesh amongst us! (They knew nothing of John's vision in the Book of Revelation). So we are by no means the first to have been shown these truths. Yahweh speaks how and to whom He will. We are never indispensable. He can raise whom He will, when He will, where He will.
It alarms me when I see Messianic ministries arising where the leaders progressively come to view themselves as Yahweh's exclusively ordained earthly saviours to the whole of mankind. Such a minister comes to believe that he has been divinely called to save Christians, Messianics, everyone. He's the Herbert W. Armstrong, Joseph Smith or Ellen G. White of Messianics. No! This is false! It's the demon of Empire-building which I have myself been disentangling myself from. It's end is not good. Other believers are not necessarily our enemies nor all their denominations. Some may be pure evil in which case we have to turn away from them. They may be wrong in lots of things and they may well be swallowed up into the end-time One World Religion delusion, and may well be far along into that already, but Yahweh has His people in all of them still, labouring to save souls. The 'Empire of Heaven', if I can call it that, is not to be seen in the same terms as worldly Empires, Kingdoms and Republics - you can't draw borders on a map to define where they begin or end. Yahweh is much bigger than that. There are borders, to be sure, but some of them are not drawn in order to allow salvation to break through in specially designated 'Zones of Grace'. His "mercy endures for ever" (1 Chr.16:34). It is not for us to upbraid or restrict those whose hearts Yahweh knows better than we do. We don't always see what He sees. I'd rather co-operate than be adversarial.
In saying all of this I don't want anyone to think for one minute that I am suggesting we revert back to Protestantism or lawlessness. That would be to fundamentally misread what I am saying. We are to continue to adhere to all truth uncompromisingly. Where we have to change - or should I say, where I have to change first of all (this sermon is primarily for myself) - is to realise that we are not here building an exclusive élite club. Will there be 12 end-times communities? Yes, I believe so, absolutely, but our whole effort should not be consumed in their construction. That will happen as other things are put in place. Our primary effort is in the wider vineyard with its undefined borders, hazy wildernesses, and myriads of lost people trying to find their way home through mists of delusion and sin. We must lend a helping hand wherever Yahweh calls us to do so. We must collectively and individually work where Yahweh wants us, united by the common vision and the truths that have been revealed to us. But first we have to start with ourselves - everyone has to pass through the Third Wave - no-one escapes that. Everyone has to choose whether to go back where they started or die to self and let Yahweh take control. We're not here to build 'MLT' or anything like it. We're here as souls to be built first. As I have said before years ago, and have occasionally forgotten, Yahweh is the builder. We can leave that to Him for He says:
"Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house will you build for Me? says Yahweh. Or where will my resting place be? Has not My hand made all these things?" (Acts 7:49-50, NIV).
The building-blocks of the Kingdom are people. We have to be deconstructed supernaturally by dying to self and then rebuilt so that we are of the same spiritual material that Yahweh has used for millennia with which to build His temple in heaven. And it is easy to say, even easier for me, as a teacher, to teach it, but going though that is not so plain sailing. It sounds so pat saying 'die to self'. How do we "die with Messiah" (Rom.6:8)? How do we "die" and become hidden with Messiah in Elohim (Col.3:3)? What is the meaning of that "trustworthy saying" which goes, "If we died with Him, we will also live with Him" (2 Tim.2:11, NIV)?
Now as a teacher of the Gospel I know the theology well. It's easy to be trite in reciting these passages of Scripture. Each time I think I've understood them, I discover that some part of me has not died to Him. The death that the apostle is talking about here is death to the old self, death to the old ways, death to the sinful life. Those of us who have been Christians for a long time may have been working on this for years only to discover that there's yet more that needs to die under the surface. Sometimes we discover that we have only been acting out the Gospel in certain areas of life. We have trained ourselves to be polite and kind only to discover underneath that there is anger, resentment and bitterness that wants to launch a volley of verbal obscenity. Now obviously if that is inside, we have not died yet! And if you're one of those who view themselves as a perfectionist, that can be so depressing. Obviously, if there is so much to be done to crucify this sinful nature, dying to self is both a reality and a hope. Each day we are confronted with choices to die or not - not all at once, but as much as Yahweh thinks we can handle. I am sure most of us only take a bite of that bittersweet fruit and hope we can spread it out over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, Yah'shua did not have the opportunity to atone for the billions of souls who have ever lived, or who will live, over a long period of time. It was expected of Him in just a matter of hours. When I think of that, it makes me realise just what a coward I am.
How casually I have read scripture before! So much of it has seemed impersonal in the past as though it had no personal application to me and then, suddenly, out of the blue, out pops this dark side that blows that illusion to smithereens. Now reading Scripture has begun to feel like a judge delivering a verdict while I stand in the dock:
"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of Elohim is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Col.3:5-10, NIV).
The way that is phrased - "put to death" - bespeaks no gentle therapy but decisive and painful action. On top of that another action is required:
"Therefore, as Elohim's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Col.3:12-14, NIV).
Now obviously the command to "put on" virtue does not mean put on a façade - a mask, an act. It doesn't mean pretend to love by putting on a fake smile and conjuring up an artificial voice of interest and consideration. Civility is better than rudeness - and indeed Paul says love is not rude (1 Cor.13:5) - but Paul isn't talking about good manners here. He's talking about a spiritual action that actually causes us to love genuinely - the love that "binds" all these virtues together as a single entity so we don't have to go through a checklist to see if we're being compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient - because if we are loving, all these things will be one or echad. So this is something very tangible and real and alters our behaviour in a way that is obviously not fake. But Paul doesn't stop here - he has much more to say:
"Let the peace of Messiah rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to Elohim. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Master Yah'shua, giving thanks to Yahweh the Father through Him" (Col.3:15-17, NIV).
That is quite a big list of things, yet they're all integrated and animated by the same Ruach. When all these things are happening, we are equipped to deal with the next instructions He gives - wives submitting to husbands, husbands loving their wives, children obeying their parents, servants obeying their masters (vv.18-22). Finally he says:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for Yahweh, not for men" (Col.3:23, NIV).
This for me currently is the crunch line - "work at it with all your heart". Our behaviour towards others will be viewed by Yahweh as behaviour towards Him. What do you do when you feel turned off, distant, remote, disengaged, disinterested? Your mind wants to do what you know you have to do, but your heart stubbornly refuses. Then we have to ask some life and death questions, for if the heart is closed down, death is present and is claiming its turf. Repeating words intensely mantra-fashion won't work. Willpower is not enough. Empires are built by will. The Third Reich was built by will and in its early days celebrated by a famous film, following their gaining power, called Triumph of the Will. Willpower makes us focus on the outside of our self - the part that is supposed to die. Heart-power makes us look on the inside which, as Catherine Boyle points out, "requires a level of honesty and openness that is painful and intimate" (Ibid., p.121). Willpower, if it is our sole aim, bypasses this painful part of the process. You can will your behaviour for so long but the heart ultimately has the last say. For years and years I was living part of my life through sheer will and as a result exalting the power of will until I just had no energy to do it any more. In a day it just collapsed and sent me reeling in a backwards spin because what was feeding that willpower was no longer there: the validating input of others.
As human beings we have, as one of our weaknesses, a tendency to live life as a means of validating ourselves in front of others. This is especially true if we feel we have not been loved or been abused. Ministers in particular, who are rightly absorbed in their work, can often deceive themselves into thinking that they are serving others when at ground level spiritually they are crying for some desperate need in themselves to be met. Many may be saying: "Look, I'm hurting badly. I am serving you with all the power I can muster. Please validate me with some recognition - some compassion, some sympathy".
Now I don't know if you've been in that situation. It doesn't have to be the ministry. It could be anything. Politics, sport, motherhood - you name it, there are an infinite number of self-validation scenes. Some wives who feel unloved by their husbands turn to their children for validation, but when the children grow up and move on, those children want to be treated as adults and equals. They don't want to be constantly gratefully responding to mamma's cooing and spoiling. They wanted to be treated as grown-ups. For 'Mamma' such a movement away from her is a 'disaster' (from her point-of-view) because her supply of self-validation has suddenly dried up. What follows from her is bitterness and complaints over her children's 'lack of gratitude' for all she has done when in fact she has been Empire-building for herself. Her children were her empire! But children grow up and don't want to remain imperial subjects. They declare independence and the Emperor (or Empress) responds angrily by sending in the troops or gunboats - emotional blackmail, alternated threatenings with lollipops and other trinkets to seduce back into the power sphere.
There are fathers like this too. Parents can end up doing exactly what Paul told them not to do:
"Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged" (Col.3:21, NIV).
Unfortunately there are a lot of controlling fathers and mothers who do not see their children as potential adults - they want to permanently keep them under their thumbs.
They say that most psychiatrists enter psychiatry because they need personal help and it would not surprise me if a lot of ministers enter the ministry seeking to be ministered to as well. They are seeking for self-validation from their flock instead of getting their issues resolved first. That is not to say that a minister needs to be sin-free to qualify to be a minister because no one lives in that luxurious condition. Ministers do need ministry and they should get it from maturer ministers while they serve. A calling is a calling, but if things get out of control and that 'dark current' starts coming to the surface years later and leading that minister to become a latter-day Diotrepehes (3 John), then he needs to step down and have a break before Yahweh cuts him down like He did Nebuchadnezzar to protect the flock. Satan, of course, waits for these opportunities. That's when he can destroy whole congregations. But whether you are a minister or not, those long-suppressed dark forces, when they surface - and Yahweh will uncover them - need to be addressed swiftly even if it means taking a sabbatical or, if it's really bad, resigning and starting afresh. We can't whitewash them. Many a minister has fallen into deep sin and just blithely continued in the ministry as though nothing had happened after a 10 minute 'repentance' in front of the assembly. That's Kadesh-barnea all over again and sends the wrong signals to other believers. It tells them that repentance can be bought off cheaply. Proper repentance requires a Sinai-walk, not a ten minute announcement on TV with crocodile tears.
If the dark force is a layer that undergirds your whole personality then a quick verbal repentance won't work anyway. The chances are that if it has been around long enough that it has permeated your whole soul, or much of it, that requires nothing less than full soul-death. You may discover that you never yielded everything to Yah'shua when you became a believer, but just a part of you. Judging by the seven baptisms of Naaman (2 Ki.5) and the seven overcomings described in the Book of Revelation, I hazard to guess that we have many rebirths to go through. Getting to ground level may not be as easy as we think because of years and years of self-protection and self-justification. When there is major delusion, it may take a while for reality to sink in. Nebuchadnezzar required seven years to be unravelled and restored to a sane mind. We may not all require that long, but some just might. Repairing a damaged home can be expensive enough but total demolition followed by total rebuilding requires, ultimately, total surrender and total commitment.
If you are in that position, you may have become aware, over the years, of dangerous instabilities in yourself, like a tottering skyscraper blowing in the wind. You've felt it was about to collapse but have prayed that Yahweh would intervene to keep it from tumbling. However, Yahweh will not allow us to postpone our repentance indefinitely. There is a point where we must make a last choice before the door to the pit opens up and swallows us up whole as it did Judas and his forefather Korah. Better to let Yahweh demolish everything and build something you'll know is safe and which will endure all storms than try to patch up an imminent demolition project. We can think ourselves clever and build thick-walled defences like Jericho but that, you will recall, proved to be no match for the power of Yahweh. A bit of shouting and some shofar blasting took care of that.
"At the point Judas tried to return his blood-money to the priests, [Yah'shua] was still alive," writes Boyle. "Judas could have turned to Yah'shua and begged His forgiveness. [Yah'shua] would certainly have forgiven Judas; [Yah'shua] forgave Peter's contemporaneous betrayals. Despite the remorse that Judas felt, he did not want to die to his sin; he preferred to go his own way. Quite possibly, Judas' sin had so blinded him that he could not see that [Yahweh] would still forgive him" (Ibid., p.151).
One thing that Satan wants us to believe is that everything is hopeless and it's too late. He wants to disengage our mind from our heart and confuse both so they don't know whether they are coming or going. I know I have felt that. But it's not true. And it's easy for me to sit here and write this from a safe and comfortable distance - comfortable from feeling remorse, comfortable from feeling the sting of a pierced conscience as we realise what it is we have done to hurt others. It is harder when you have invested your whole life in an artificial edifice - it is hard to accept that you may have thrown your life away serving an illusory dream, building something that the tide of Yahweh's Word is going to wash away anyway. It's hard to accept that you have been so stupid, and it's frightening to realise that the years you have thrown away can never be recovered. But it's never too late. Like Hezekiah, Yahweh can extend our years so that we can do things His way and make something for Him and by Him instead of for ourselves and by our own efforts. The encouraging thing is that in spite of our monumental blunders, Yahweh can and does turn everything around for the good if we'll let Him and not hinder Him.
My years in Mormonism were not entirely wasted. I learned much of value. Many have been my instructors along the way and all have taught me things that are permanently useful, because they were of the truth. Even if your waste of years was as an alcoholic, drug addict, prostitute, devil-worshipper, or a criminal, there is nothing that Yahweh cannot turn round for the good. That's what He promises. We can be usefully occupied, happy, and have a secure eternity no matter what the mistakes of the past have been. Undoing the pain and suffering we may have inflicted on others may be a little more difficult and may require some time, patience and even heartache, but it should be attempted as best we can. We may fear their reactions and instinctively want to conceal ourselves, and indeed may do so for a while, but we can do it - in Him - even if they hate or mistrust us for a while. I am not pretending it is easy. Personally I have found it terrifying, and still do. I do believe most definitely, though, in the observation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whom I repeatedly quote:
"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."
Isn't that truth worth pursuing? We often forget what it is that has made people the way they are. And whilst that is not to absolve them of their wrong choices, our awareness of it will foster compassion in us and persuade us all the more to help them get free - if they want to. And how will we know if they want to? C.S. Lewis suggests:
"When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less".
It is amazing also how Satan makes us believe that changing direction (repentance) is too difficult or too complicated. I have been caught up in this a lot so I do know how that feels and don't pretend to be fully out of it yet. The downward spiral is both terrifying and disorientating. We need a spiritual horizon to get our bearing and that, more often than not, is usually someone else who cares about us enough to keep reminding us of the essential landmarks along the Way. What we don't need are the moral and theological lectures of Job's friends or his wife's telling him to quit. "Spiritual spirals", as Catherine Boyle reminds us, "always lead somewhere, either swirling up to heaven, or coiling down to hell" (Ibid., p.145). What those in the spiral need - and especially those heading downwards - is to be carefully taken to the place where they can experience whether Yahweh or their controlling demon is the ultimate reality. They need an encounter, just like the Israelites did, when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. They need - we all need - an encounter that will end the self-validation techniques we have used in order, as we supposed, to survive. Boyle says:
"Elijah challenged the priests to show which god was real, either Baal or [Yahweh]. In 1 Kings 18:28, the priests '...cut themselves according to their custom ... until the blood gushed out on them'. The endorphin release from self-cutting perpetuates this idolatrous practice. Ancient Baal worshippers thought that shedding their own blood would show their god strong, but only [Yah'shua's] blood can do that" (Ibid., p. 146).
Catherine Boyle, in describing women who are anorexic or bulimic, says:
"...the sense of power and control over her body increases as everything else seems to spin away. The swirl of events becomes more bearable as her body becomes a slave. When a person is made a slave, life is instantly, immediately turned upside down. Gone are the former freedoms and pleasures. Present is only the work given by the master. The work may seem like drudgery, but eventually a slave's heart fears not slavery, but freedom" (Ibid., p.146).
I have discovered that this principle is true in almost any situation where you become a slave to a dark power. The downward spiral turns everything upside down so you end up doing the opposite of what you want and should be doing. You fear the very thing that would set you free. There is a spiritual 'cutting' too - the dark powers release a kind of anaesthetic to dull the pain of your heart so that you feel less inclined to make the choice for freedom. Everything that you love, cherish and desire just spins away and you end up doing the opposite of what your heart is crying for. This has the effect of making those around you believe you don't care any more when you do but feel powerless to, like someone being sucked into a whirlpool with their hand above the surface begging someone to take it. The truth is, only Yah'shua can rescue us from the whirlpool and that requires a leap of faith into the unseen. Catherine Boyle says:
"Sudden slavery comes when idolatry, excessive pride and weakly built spiritual walls give way" (Ibid., p.146).
Yes, it's showdown time. The old self-protective devices are stripped clean away and we must either turn to Yah'shua or sink into oblivion. Provided we don't rail against Yahweh and blame Him for everything, there is hope of deliverance. If we blame the Creator, He promises quick and complete captivity, and the dark power that enslaves us will lead us like animals. Sacrificing for the demons that are the axis of wilful sin will send us spiralling down into the mire.
Getting a grip can be difficult. The Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu said:
"Men cannot see their reflection in running water, but only in still water."
When your emotions are in turmoil, or frozen down, you can't 'see' clearly. There have to be awakenings in the stillness of Yahweh's presence. For me this often happens very early in morning when there is great clarity of mind. Needless to say the spiral drains you of your life energy - it is alike a huge vacuum cleaner sucking your vitality out - and gets turned back on when you lose your centre in Yah'shua, especially when others trigger you.
Yahweh does, however, give us some promises. He says:
"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in Yahweh will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isa.40:30-31, NIV).
We above all need hope in the dark times when everything seems to slip away from under our feet. Yahweh tells us where He will meet us as we continue to exercise that hope:
"In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. Yahweh alone led him; no foreign god was with him" (Deut.32:10-12, NIV).
As I said at the beginning, this is a sermon to myself principally and it's already gone on long enough. My interest now - and the interest of everyone who has got trapped in a dark spiral - must be to die to self. How can we know we have died to self? A Christian who understands these things has suggested that these are signs of one who has died to self:
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
- When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
- When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
- When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility - and endure it as Yah'shua endured.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
- When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of Yahweh.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
- When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
- When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question Yahweh, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.
THAT IS DYING TO SELF
- When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.
Are you dead yet? In these last days, the Ruach would bring us to the cross.
"That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto His death" (Phil.3:10, KJV).
(The Biblical Counselling Online Workshop) 
I believe that a lot of the techniques that modern Christians use to solve issues are nothing short of New Agey and occultic. The 'name it and claim it' movement', the 'health and wealth' movement and what I call the 'wishful thinking' movement are attempts to move the heart of Yahweh by means of simply desiring something. One of the latest fads, being promoted by psychics Esther and Jerry Hicks, is that if you totally desire and focus on what you want, you'll attract it automatically by means of a Cosmic Law being moved into action. Real life does not, however, work like that. Only in the fantasy life of Hollywood and its endless movies promoting the same hogwash, wishing upon stars with Walt Disney, and generally hoping that thinking and wishing positively will connect you to ultimate reality, is just another form of that old sin called self-absorption. That's why willpower is never enough either because it's all about the love of self. Catherine Boyle notes:
"Women living inside the self-sufficiency bubble often think that only their own hard work will produce meaning for their lives. They think they have to be strong, that they can't rely on anyone but themselves. The belief in their own strength and abilities underscores the serious distrust and distance from others who might otherwise be able to come alongside and help them through their struggles. The self-sufficiency mode of living makes it very difficult for these (people) to grasp the free gift of [Yahweh's] love and salvation offered through faith in [Yah'shua the Messiah]. Self-sufficiency commonly evolves from a sense of powerlessness. Self-sufficiency desires to be strong, to be in control. Because in their hearts, self-sufficient women believe that no one will take care of them...
"Self-sufficient people hate weakness; they are repulsed by weakness and utterly reject any frailty in themselves. They avoid people perceived to be weak at any cost. Sadly, the refusal to appear weak circles back around to intense loneliness" (Ibid., p.66).
Charles Lindbergh once said:
"Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered, and the courage with which he maintains the struggle against overwhelming odds"
If you are going through a struggle as I and many others are currently - and I know many of you are - then take heart in these words of Yahweh through the prophet Jeremiah. They are true for us today:
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares Yahweh, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares Yahweh, 'and will bring you back from captivity...'" (Jer.29:11-14, NIV).
Catherine S. Boyle, Hungry Souls: What the Bible Says About Eating Disorder, New Look Press, Chester, VA., 2007
|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 6 June 2007
Last updated on 6 June 2007
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