Sermons Series 3:109, 1 September 2007
A Grain of Atheism
Guarding against Boredom
Welcome back to our continuing examination of what it means to be IN Yah'shua the Messiah and what naturally follows in terms of diligent and faithful Torah-obedience. We had a long discussion last week about many things and I know several of you have read it through several times as there is much to absorb and chew on. I am assuming you have had time to digest it all before we continue.
Fascination With What's 'New'
One of the things we discussed last time was the feast that the man who represents Yahweh made and the three excuses that three of the guests made. You will remember that these were new land, new oxen and a new marriage. Something had turned up or happened that, because they were 'new' and exciting, turned the hearts of the guests away from the summonse of the Master to His feast. What is it about 'new' things that grips us so? Why is it that we always seem to assume that something 'new' is automatically 'better' than what is old?
Every month a book bus comes to our home and the children fill sacks of books to read. Once back at the house, they can barely contain themselves and for a few hours there is usually complete silence as they bury their faces between the pages. At length the interest wanes and they are reading as often as they normally do.
It's the same if you buy a new piece of software for them - a new game. For the first few days they want to play it for hours but by the by interest flags and they return to other more familiar games. Things 'new' seem to grip up because they offer the hope of something 'better'. A new car, a new set of clothes, a new shade of hair dye, even a new boyfriend or girlfriend. There is this deep-seated need to be 'renewed' and we are subconsciously seeking it all the time. Unfortunately, we tend to seek it in the wrong places.
The Solution to Boredom
When we wander out of Yah'shua and into self, one of the major problems that results is either anxiety or boredom. Boredom is one of the chief afflictions of children - how many times have you heard a child say, "I'm bored"? Rarely do you hear adults say this - the chief affliction of adults tends to be anxiety.
Anxiety results when we come to believe we have too much to do at any one time and boredom results when we come to believe that we have nothing to do. Needless to say neither state is a fruit of being IN Yah'shua. Anxiety results from uneasiness and apprehension whereas boredom resuts from mental tiredness, listlessness and discontentment. In both instances, the focus is wrong no matter what your circumstances. Boredom can be especially difficult when one is waiting on Yahweh for answers to prayer or for promised events. Yet no matter what one is waiting for, and no matter how long one is called to wait for specific promises to be realised, we can be happy and productive. There is never an excuse for a believer to be bored.
The solution to boredom is not new to you and I think that's part of the problem: the carnal man wants to find something 'new' because he is looking for an easier way. But Yahweh warns:
"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it'" (Jer.6:16, NKJV).
And yet the same mistake is made again and again, generation after generation - "there must be a better, newer way!" people cry. "There must be a shortcut!" "We refuse to walk in the old paths!" But it's a lie. New philosophies, new religions, new political ideas, new church programs, new doctrines, new age paradigms, new this, new that is a huge MYTH when it comes to spirituality and happiness because as Solomon discovered by experimentation:
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, 'Look! This is something new'? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time" (Eccl.1:9-10, NIV).
Satan just changes the labels and outer wrappings and wants to convince us, just as He did Eve, that there is something better, something newer, something Yahweh has not thought of tailor-made just for you. But THERE IS NOTHING NEW! Don't go looking for it! Don't do into the unknown. The set-Path is illuminated already. Yahweh's revelation to mankind is self-contained and doesn't need improving. Yahweh knows us. He knows your thoughts, feelings, urges, impulses - everything about you. He knows what you need and He knows what is best. He wants you to stick to the "old paths" because they are the "good way". All other paths are, de facto, 'bad'. Obviously. There is nothing new out there - no new way, no new system, no new fangled philosophy, no private existentialism universe with your own private 'truth', no something Yahweh has carelessly omitted that you need to go looking for that is going to make you happier. I guarantee it! He does not lie.
The problem is, the carnal self refuses to believe. The self-life insists that something is 'missing' because the soul will not seek solutions Yahweh's Way, and so it goes off in a useless and dangerous quest viâ the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - the Tree of Death - as we discussed last week. There is no 'easier way', so 'simpler way' no 'less demanding way'. They're phantoms. Illusions. And Yahweh says you needn't waste your life going down such fruitless and painful avenues. So whether you're anxious or bored, the solutions remain the same. And Yah'shua reiterates them. So what must you do? Get ready for some repeat instruction!
Firstly, like it or not, you must deny yourself:
"Then [Yah'shua] said to them all: 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it" (Luke 9:23-24, NIV).
All your personal desires, schemes, plans, and ambitions have to be laid before the Master and yielded to Him. Yah'shua's simple message is as follows. People who are obsessed with self are never happy and people who lose themselves in service to Yahweh are never bored!
Secondly, like it or not, if your heart is not firmly rooted in heavenly things and ways you'll never find happiness on earth:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt.6:19-21, NIV).
Earthly pleasures are, in any case, only fleeting - they don't last. And there are the inevitable let-downs, aren't there? Will we be like Prince Moses or Pharaoh? Of Moses it is written:
"He chose to be mistreated along with the people of Yahweh rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time" (Heb.11:25, NIV).
So many of the 'freedoms' that the world trumpets are nothing more than "the pleasures of sin for a short time". The reality that we must align our thinking and feeling to is this: the only permanent possession we have is in heaven. If we're not storing up there, we're not storing up anywhere. This means that all our affections must be placed on heavenly things. Any affection that is not will divide us and give the devil a door into our lives. Any affection that is not heavenly will lead to an illusiory 'happiness' that is all too brief and leave us empty and hungry.
So does the sacrifice of "the pleasures of sin for a short time" mean that we must live miserable lives down here? One of the lies that Satan wanted Eve to believe was that she was being forced down a path that was inferior and detrimental to her personal happiness. She bought into the illusion that she could have the privileges and joys of being a goddess though Satan never actually said what these privileges and joys supposedly were beyond some abstract "knowing" or gnosis. In fact he was offering her something that didn't exist. Like the child-catcher in Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang who offered the children free ice-creams and led them into a waggon that was a prison cage, so Satan offers you something 'new' and 'better' that doesn't exist. But he paints such an attractive picture, doesn't he? And basically what he is saying is that you can have all that Yahweh offers, and more, without responsibility, or at least not very much. Satan will give you what Yahweh denies without cost! Well, Adam and Eve got far more than they bargained for - guilt, shame, and the loss of the most sacred relationship there was - intimacy with Elohim. You see, what that crafty fallen angel does is, in fact, strip you naked and parade you before the billions of his dark, filthy demonic hosts. He makes a public spectacle of you, degrading you and bringing you to ruination. There was no ice-cream - it was a prison cell.
Let us kick the 'god' and 'goddess' lie in the rear-end and instead embrace the truth! Yahweh's world is absolutely not inferior. It is not a kill-joy world of drudgery and boredom. Quite the opposite. But Satan will want to make out that it is by trying to get you to go down a path which is COUNTERFEIT which is ultimately dull, dreary and boring. This is what Yah'shua promises, and please mark it well:
"If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands (Torah) and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:10-11, NIV).
Complete, total, Yahweh-fulfilling joy! And what's complete can't be added to or improved upon, can it? If, then, we have enough faith in Yah'shua and His teachings - which are Yahweh's commandments which are Torah - then we will be attacking one of the root causes of boredom and it won't matter what your circumstances are. The problem is never what's on the outside but what's going on inside.
Now it is not for us to question what Yahweh knows is best for us. We may have all sorts of ideas as to whyat would be best for us, what will make us happy, what will bring us true satisfaction. However, I have a question for you all: how can you or I know what complete joy is if we have never experienced it? Can we as a result reject the means Yahweh says willlead to complete joy? Our only points of reference will be in what we have already experienced. It is neither logical nor wise to assume that we can know better about something we have neither seen nor yet tasted.
The solution to boredom is surrender to Yahweh's will. And that will is not something vague - it is concrete. That which brings true happiness is always SERVICE - not any old service, but service to Him in the place He has put you.
Most people get bored because they have come to realise that their efforts mean very little. They look back on their lives and ask themselves: What have I actually accomplished? That is because their efforts are either directed to self-interest or to interests not specifically assigned to us by Yahweh. There is potentially an 'infinite' amount of good we could do in the world but only one path will bring us full happiness and enable us to do the maximum good for Yahweh and others. We think we are the judges of what will make us happy and bring to pass the maximum good at our hands. But we are wrong. We don't know. We can't know. We just don't have that prophetic knowledge. Only Yahweh does. The person who decides in his or her own will how he or she is going to serve Yahweh is still serving self! And remember, Satan has plenty of recruits building mighty ministerial empires in the name of 'God', Yahweh, Yah'shua and 'Jesus' which are not in Yahweh's will at all. And they don't necessarily have to be teaching false doctrine or practice - many of these ministers are simply in the wrong place ministering to the wrong people at the wrong time.
I think it helps to consider doing Yahweh's will in terms of our own - and other's - salvation. Salvation, as you know, is both past, present and future. We must continue to work out our own. And working out our own means operating in Yahweh's will. If Yahweh says: I want you to stay at home and build an internet ministry, and you decide you will fly off to Puerto Rico or Tahiti and build a church or assembly there, you'll not only be failing to work out your own salvation but also be failing to bring the salvation message where Yahweh knows it is needed at your hands. Will there be a need in Puerto Rico or Tahiti? Always. But it is not for you or me to decide where I am to be or what I am to do. If I operate in my own will, then I am not operating in Yah'shua's presence. I am operating out of self and opening doors to massive self-deception. Only Yahweh has the eternal perspective. Unless we operate out of the eternal perspective, whose fruits and blessings are eternal, we'll be operating out of a temporal perspective whose fruits and blessings are fleeting. People can spend years planting and watering and have nothing to show for it years later because they were in the wrong place doing the wrong thing even though they were preaching out of the same Bibles we use.
I began this ministry at home. A year later I was in the mission field planting congregations, the result of concrete revelation in the form of a vision. Then Yahweh told me to go onto the internet and build there. It was a very clear revelation. And He has told me that at a time of His choosing He will send me into the mission field again. I have felt frustrated because I have wanted to rush ahead into the mission field again because I measured 'fruits' or 'success' in terms of the the number of congregations that were being raised or not raised. Well, Paul had to wait his hour too. He spent years in prayer and study after his conversion before Yahweh sent him out. We must be where Yahweh wants us, doing what He wants us to do, and not presumptiously assume we should be somewhere else doing something else. There are, as Solomon reminds us, seasons of activity and ministry.
Yah'shua wants all we do to have eternal consequences. Everything a true believer does should be linked to the eternal but believers get dissasisfied with their lot and try to go ahead of Yahweh. King Saul did it, Sarah did it, Jacob did it, lots of Yahweh's people have done it and have had to be disciplined. I have done it and had to be disciplined. If we mean what we say about belonging to Him, then we must be prepared to do as we are told and be where He wants us to be, doing what He wants us to be doing. Whether it's working as a janitor in a jail house or preaching to the President of Russia in Moscow, whatever He decides is right, beneficial and has eternal consequences for all those who are touched by the activities of those who are doing what they're supposed to be doing. He knows better. We don't.
Our first priority is the salvation of our own soul. Yah'shua said:
"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Matt.16:26, NKJV).
As I pointed out last week, there are a lot of 'unbelieving believers' out there. All must first get IN Yah'shua to live out of His life, not their own psychic life.
The second priority is saving others' souls:
"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16, NIV).
Moreover, doing these things will not cause you to break any commandment. If, for example, a wife believes she has been given a call to preach in Algeria while her husband has been called to minister in the USA, then it is obvious that the wife has been deceived because her first calling is to be a helpmeet to her husband, build his home, support his ministry and raise his children under his directorship. Yahweh does not rend asunder what He has brought together. He doesn't send husbands and wives to opposite sides of the globe. Husband and wife are an indissoluble team with a single mission, not two! Yahweh doesn't go and do one labour and the Ruach haQodesh another. Like Yah'shua, the Ruach does exactly what Yahweh says. John the apostle wrote:
"It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (3 John 3-4, NIV).
What was the source of John's great joy? The knowledge that his children - the souls that he was responsible for - were walking in the truth. Our joy comes in the fruits of the labours that Yahweh has called us to, not what we have chosen for ourself. If Yahweh wants me to work with a dozen souls in my neighbourhood, this will bring me infinitely more joy that winning thousands of souls somewhere else in the world in a field He has not called me to because these fruits then become unlawful fruits - they become the 'good' fruits of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why is it people have such a hard problem accepting this truth? Why are they baffled by Yah'shua's words when He says:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt.7:21-23, NIV).
I think, amongst others, of all those boastful Messianics who proudly claim to be doing Yahweh's will because they are using His correct Name 'Yahweh', 'Yah'shua', or whatever. I think of those proud charismatics who are doing all sorts of miracles. And yet they are called "evildoers" because what they did was NOT in His will!
Yah'shua then goes on to say:
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock..." (Matt 7:24, NIV).
And the rest of the parable you know. Are you building on the rock of His will or the sand of your own? Don't you realise that it doesn't matter how theologically-correct or Torah-observant you are - it doesn't matter how missionary-centred or social good works-orientated you are - if you're out of His will? That means you must be IN Yah'shua or your cause is a lost one! Worse, you're lost! And the people you are trying to help will likely get lost too because if it's out of Yahweh's will, He simply "ain't there".
I want you to soberly ask youself in what you believe you will find your joy? This is such a serious question. We know what John's was. Do you know what Paul's was?
"For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Master Yah'shua when He comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy" (1 Thess.2:19-20, NIV).
Here is an apostle speaking of his converts - an apostle directed where and when to go by the Ruach haQodesh. Step by step he was IN Yah'shua, walking in the Way of the Ruach. Now not all of us are apostles but each and every single one of you has his or sphere of operation. Every wife's sphere of operation is her family under her husband. She is his glory when operating in her right place: "the woman is the glory of man" (1 Cor.11:7, NIV). That is the first source of a man's joy - seeing his wife carry out his instructions so that she and their children are walking in the Way of All Truth. The source of a woman's joy is seeing the fruit of her labour in her children under her husband and any other ministerial work he may give her. First, we begin with our own individual salvation, then our family's. Without this bedrock nothing else can be built - the Messianic Community or Church is dead off the ground until the family is in place because the Community is a collection of grounded families. We start here and either live or perish here.
Did you know that your labour at home - with your family - has cosmic consequences? If ever you thought that work was insignificant, consider again!
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of Elohim, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand" (Eph.6:12-13, NIV).
If you're bored, it means you've stopped warring in the invisible. If you're waring in the invisible - and one of the principle means of doing that is through prayer - I guarantee you'll never be bored! Boredom begins when atheism begins creeping in. Then we fail to see the cosmic dimension of life and can only see what's immediately around us. Then we are limited to what our carnal eyes can see. And what is that? Well, for the majority of people on this planet, that means fairly simple and by temporal standards, pretty humdrum lives. But it is not so for one quickened by the Ruach - there is never any boredom! Because we are called to arms. Are people ever bored during wartime? No! People are galvanised into action by either fighting on the frontline or working frantically in the factories manufacturing munitions on the home front. You know what Paul went on to say in that passage I just quoted from Ephesians to you - it's about getting kitted up and getting into action:
"And pray in the Ruach on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Eph.6:18, NIV).
You'll never be bored doing that but equally you'll never find pleasure in it either if you're living for yourself. And if you're doing that then I have to most seriously warn you that there is a grain of atheism in you that will grow and spread like weed through your garden unless it is mercilessly rooted out. But for the soul who is IN Yah'shua, the heart of David will be in him, bursting and overflowing:
"The Torah (law) of Yahweh is perfect, reviving the soul. The testimony (statutes) of Yahweh is trustworthy, making wise the simple. The chukim (precepts) of Yahweh are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of Yahweh are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of Yahweh is pure, enduring forever. The mishpatim (ordinances) of Yahweh are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward" (Ps.19:7-11, NIV).
If Solomon had listened to these words of his father he would not have experienced such vanity in life and probably wouldn't have needed to write Ecclesiastes. He would have had David's "great reward" - his eternal reward! Though doubtless exciting at first, Solomon's carnal works all turned out to be the fruit of VANITY (Eccl.2:10-11) and he was forced, through a wasted life, to conclude that the true purpose of man and woman was to "fear Elohim and keep His commandments" (Eccl.12:13, NIV) because "Elohim will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (v.14). Even then he did not heed his own advice.
Boredom is the result of pre-occupation with the vanity of this life. Yah'shua came to deliver us from any listlessness and discontent with life and He does so by giving us cleart-cut direction in life so that we can find joy in serving Yahweh and His children. When you come to true faith in Yah'shua, there is never any excuse for boredom!
The Three Excuses
I mentioned at the beginning the 'three excuses' offered by the guests invited to the dinner (Lk.14:15-24). These three items are not accidental. They were land, oxen and marriage. Today's 'oxen' would likely be cars, farming equipment or machinery to reduce our labour like household appliances. Yah'shua says that if we seek first Yahweh's kingdom, all these will be provided (Mt.6:33; Lk.12:31) - all the necessities of life. And Yahweh had provided these three men with these blessings but like so many of the sick people whom Yah'shua healed, they went away celebrating their new found health - their new land, oxen or marriages - and failed to give thanks to the Giver. When that happens - when we fail to give credit where credit is due - then we start failing to appreciate what we have and go seeking for new lands, new oxen, and new marriages thinking that thereby we will gain greater satisfaction and joy. Yahweh was especially angry with men (and this could equally well be directed at women these days) who sought to trade in old marriages for new ones:
"Another thing you do: You flood Yahweh's altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, 'Why?' It is because Yahweh is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not [Yahweh] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth" (Mal.2:13-15, NIV).
Dissolving marriages and starting new ones seems to be as casual and common these days as continually moving house and replacing household appliances and cars. Anciently one stayed on the same bit of turf all ones life. Houses were kept in families for generations. Indeed, Yahweh gave Israel a command to remain in their tribal territories and maintain the inheritance there generation after generation. So important was this for Yahweh that if you sold your land to clear a debt, you could redeem it and get it back at the Jubillee.
As we examine our behaviour in relation to Yahweh's divine Torah we seriously have to ask ourselves whether we are 'saved' or not. 'Saved' is one of those clichés in Christendom and Christians rarely pause to consider what it actually means. How is a person saved? What is it that Yah'shua has actually accomplished for us? As we examine that question, we find that there are three things:
- 1. We are born again in Yah'shua by having faith in Him;
- 2. We are forgiven of our sins through the blood of Yah'shua; and
- 3. We are saved through the life of Yah'shua.
It is possible to be born again and forgiven of sin without being saved. People who are born again and forgiven of sin, but are not saved are, as Michael Wells puts it, those who "never entered salvation in their daily lives. They are those who did not find [Yah'shua] as daily Saviour from vexing sins that control, the guilt that follows, and the unavoidable, inescapable bondage" 1.
The word "saved" has acquired a whole meaning and theology around it that ignores the simple meaning of scripture. To be 'saved' or yasha means to be 'eased'. Yah'shua means 'The salvation or deliverance of Yah'. It is through Yah'shua the Messiah that we are 'eased' or 'delivered'. In most cases in Scripture to be 'saved' means to be delivered from present conflict, circumstances and enemies. When people repeatedly called out for the Elohim of their Salvation, it was always with a view of immediate deliverance. It wasn't a one-off thing. There is no concept in the Tanakh or Old Testament of salvation being some future, heavenly state. Salvation belongs to the here-and-now. Being born-again may get us into heaven, if we continue trusting in Yah'shua, but we need daily salvation from the things and circumstances that oppress us. That is why we call upon 'the Salvation of Yah' daily in everything - we need Yah'shua for daily victory and salvation. We need to be constantly IN Him to be winners.
The idea that salvation is a process upsets a lot of dogmatic theologies in the evangelical world. But Paul says it is just that:
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of Elohim" (1 Cor.1:18, NKJV).
Salvation here is in the present-continuous - it's going on all the time not just in people generally but in every single believer on a daily basis. That means that we can experience moving out of the power of the cross, it means that we can experience perishing, because when a believer is thus perishing and removed from the power of the Cross, he demonstrates that he has moved OUT OF Yah'shua: he is no longer IN Yah'shua. Only by being IN Him daily - from hour to hour - are we delivered from our enemies. We are being continually saved - salvation-present. We know this is true because Paul confirms the same idea elsewhere in terms of salvation-future:
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Messiah. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved - and that by Elohim" (Phil.1:27-28, NIV).
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is Elohim who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose" (Phil.2:12-13, NIV).
Is there any doubt that salvation is for the here-and-now and has to be continually worked out so that one can speak of a future salvation? A person saved yesterday may not be saved today; and a person saved today may not be saved tomorrow. Michael Wells illustrates the difference between being born again, forgiven in the blood, and saved in this illustration:
"Envision a man released from prison because the death sentence that he deserved is commuted by the act of another, such as the leader of the country. The man who is released and forgiven has a heart full of joy and thankfulness; he is, to say the least, relieved. But what of the circumstances, events, bondage, sin - indeed, the very nature of the man - that brought him to such a place of being worthy of death? If these do not change, though the man is forgiven, his joy will not continue for long, and his repeating failure will cause his own heart to condemn him. This man not only needs forgiveness, but freedom from all that took him to the point of death" (Ibid., pp.41-42).
In other words, the man still needs rehabilitation so that he can meld into society again. We need to be born again to see the Kingdom of Yahweh so that it is a clear-cut goal (Jn.3:3). But seeing is not being. And we also need the blood of atonement to be cleansed of sin before an offended Elohim. But neither of these assure a transformed personality. Being born again initiates such a change but it has to be maintained - it has to be 'worked out' as we seek deliverance from the sins that operate in us. And the only way we can do that is by remaining IN Yah'shua so that His resurrection power can renew our minds and hearts, thereby cleansing and sanctifying us. This we normally call 'deliverance' yet fail to understand that by it we also mean 'salvation' because both words mean the same thing. Michael Wells explains further:
"What would be the loss to my life if I believed that salvation is only for a future time? Very great, for I would continue to suffer defeat today, looking forward to freedom in the future, when all the while I could have lived in victory had I seen the Saviour as Someone who delivers today and every day until the final deliverance from this body" (Ibid., p.42).
When Yah'shua said: "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NIV), don't you think He meant that literally? If we are full of unbelief, our minds will be comforted by such words but our hearts be horrified. What exactly did Yah'shua mean by these words? What 'doings' did He have in mind? He explains:
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples" (John 15:5-8, NIV).
Let's not beat around the bush here, let's not twist these words to fit into preconceived Protestant theology. Let's accept what Yah'shua said literally, because He means what He says. And what does He say? He says that if you don't remain in Him you will cease producing fruits and you'll not be able to accomplish anything in the Kingdom. Worse, you'll not remain in the Kingdom because if you move OUT of Yah'shua - if you fail to remain IN Yah'shua - what's going to happen? You'll be "thrown away and whither" - you'll perish as far as salvation is concerned! You will be "thrown into the fire and burned". In short, YOU'LL LOSE YOUR SALVATION. Could He be any plainer?
Brethren and sisters, we can't play around with such a serious matter - we dare not. Would you please also notice that being IN is not simply some abstract, esoteric idea: to be IN Him also means to have HIS WORDS in us. In fact Yah'shua is referring to the Torah:
"Fix these words of Mine (Yahweh's) in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that Yahweh swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth" (Dt.11:18-21, NIV).
Never forget that Yah'shua is addressing Torah-compliant Israelites. He's saying that so long as you are IN Him, and so long as His words - which are His Father's words - are IN you, then "ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you". Doesn't this radically alter the whole concept of prayer that we were taught in the Protestant and other churches? Yahweh will give us whatever we ask for IF we are IN Yah'shua and if Torah is IN us - in our hearts, penned there by the Ruach. And if we have been genuinely born again, they will be penned there:
"'This is the [New] covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,' declares Yahweh. 'I will put My Torah (law) in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their Elohim, and they will be My people" (Jer.31:33, NIV).
Can you see now how those who say "Lord, Lord" won't be recognised by the Saviour? The true "Lord" or "Master" is the One whose Torah-words are written in the heart when he abides IN us. Any 'spirit' that says 'pooh' to the Torah can't therefore be the genuine Ruach haQodesh. It's another spirit and "another gospel" (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6, KJV).
Friends, we're talking SALVATION here. Can you see the connection between the true Gospel and the 'new' teachings that water Torah down - and why it is people stop being content with the "old paths" and the "good way"? They want everything handed on a plate to them without responsibility because they don't want to GROW UP. They want to stay on the milk. They refuse to be weaned.
Evangelical Protestantism is, for the most part, milk gospel, and Messianism is, for the most part, meat. The evangelicals starve to death and the Messianics choke to death! They need each other. They need to be one - and that's where we come in. That's our calling. To announce peace between the evangelicals and messianics - between 'Ephraim' and 'Judah' and to make them one Evangelical Israelite Faith:
"There is one body and one Ruach (Spirit) - just as you were called to one hope (tikvah) when you were called - one Lord ("For YHWH is echad/one" - HRV - see Dt.6:4-5), one faith ("one emunah/truth" - RSTNE), one baptism (mikvah); one Elohim and Father (Abba) of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Eph.4:4-6, NIV).
This oneness or echad between Israelite, Judahite, Greek, Aramean and every tribe and kindred can only come to pass when there is one (yachid) hope (tikvah), faith (emunah) and baptism (mikvah). There aren't different gospels - there aren't "evangelical" and "Messianic" versions - there's only one Gospel, one Truth. Any Gospel or message that does not integrate all truth can't be All Truth and therefore can't lead anyone "into all truth" (Jn.16:13). And this isn't just a matter of theology - it's a matter of life. Because I don't know about you but I want to be IN Yah'shua and to have His Words (Torah) IN me because I want ALL my prayers answered, I want ALL my requests granted because I am in His will. I want nothing less. And I don't care if the whole world turns against me for wanting this because what is there to lose except lies and bondage? And what else is there to gain but a final and total salvation. If you are of this mind and heart, then please join us. We want you. We want to go INTO all truth (emet) together with you because we long for your fellowship. I want life in Yah'shua free of boredom and anxiety - not necessarily free of all problems ... I expect difficulties in this life, I expect opposition, I expect to be persecuted, hated and villified - but these things mean nothing if I am living and experiencing echad with my Creator, operating in His perfect will and Life.
I want the old paths and the true way. I am not ashamed of the old. Is there to be new? Oh yes, always! New insights and understandings are always coming but they do not replace the old - they build upon it. Yah'shua said:
"Therefore every teacher of the Torah (law) who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old" (Matt.13:52, NIV; see also Song 7:13).
Please don't go and confuse these with new and old wineskins (Mt.9:17) - this refers to covenants. And yes, the Old Covenant, along with its Levitical Priesthood and animal sacrifices, is totally dead and gone, even if a lot of Messianics wish it weren't and simply want to 'renew' it - we live in the New Covenant, under the Melchizedek priesthood (Heb.5:6), a much "better covenant" (Heb.7:22, NIV) which is "superior to the old one" (Heb.8:6, NIV).
Welcome to the old paths, welcome to the good way, for in it you will find spiritual rest, abiding IN Yah'shua and in Yahweh's Words. Welcome to a life of vitality and to the banishment of boredom! Amen.
Mark A. Copeland, Faith is the Victory
Michael Wells, Sidetracked in the Wilderness, Devotional Life Press. Littleton, CO: 1991, p.40
|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 2 September 2007
Last updated on 2 September 2007
Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved