Friday, December 2, 2011

And now for something completely indifferent...

...I could do yet another post about how Christmas is poopy and that we have the choice not to embrace it, but meh.  Instead, I'd like to get all interactive and ask you to submit your worst story of "flirt to convert/missionary dating".  I don't care about perfect spelling or grammar so much as I care about a powerful testimony about how this practice has failed you or someone you know.  The entry that I dig the most will be published by yours truly on here.  So good luck, and may Yah bless you into the newt year.

Friday, November 4, 2011

In praise of northern Nazarenes

Please don’t think that we say “eh” and “aboot”.

Thank you for returning the one idiot who does to their village, as they’re making the rest of us look bad (see Proverbs 10:10-23).

Please don’t think we travel by dogsled or canoe.

Thank you for understanding that this would pose an unclean problem should a doggy die + we have to touch it (see Leviticus 5:1-2).

Please don’t think our winter lasts three seasons.

Thank you for taking time to visit, and discovering it’s so nice here you might just fall in love with things (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

Please don’t think that I live in an igloo of ice.

Thank you for realizing this would be impractical come spring as it would melt and my mezuzahs would fall down (see Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

Please don’t think of me as caring about hockey or beer for that matter.

Thank you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hats off

Peace all, and happy Rocktober!  Although it is a bit sad for some to welcome even more seasonal changes, there are also some reasons to rejoice in addition to Sukkot.  One would have to be that we’ll no longer be subjected to Lazy Rhonda living in her backyard most days, letting her apparently disturbed doggies out to yell at everything and nothing at all as she subjects us to the equally disturbing view of her in Daisy Dukes or too short summer dresses; ugh.  And shortly, it will be winter.  This got me thinking about how soon I’ll have to whip out my winter hat, which got me thinking on hats in general.  Headgear can be a source of division, particularly with us Messianics.  But seeing as truth will always divide and we shouldn’t live in fear of that, let’s study it: 


The passage of Scripture most commonly cited in regards to this topic would probably have to be the words of Shaul in 1st Corinthians 11:3-15.  Before I dig into it though, I’d like to bring up a few simple points in order to lay a solid foundation.  Firstly, the terms “long” and “short” are relative; what one may consider long may be considered short to another and vice versa.  Nowhere has Yahuah told us what is acceptable and what’s not down to the exact inch.  Secondly, if you think that these words were written just for Jewish believers then please go read my blog on dispensationalism while I go suck on some yummy pasta for a brief moment.  Oh that’s good, if only Chef Boyardee could be ministered unto.  And thirdly and most importantly in my view is the context of the passage, one that’s apparently easy to miss.  Before I continue, let me just preface it by repeating that I am NOT in any way a Shaul hater; I believe the Renewed Testament writings are quite clear about his love and obedience to all the Torah.  I also believe that his personal opinions to an assembly in Corinth are not on the same context as Torah commands from Yah to all Israelites everywhere for all time, and so did he.  He was like you and I or anyone else for that matter, he had opinions on things and was allowed to.  Back in 1st Corinthians 7:6 he says that even though he doesn’t think marriage should be sought out amongst most single believers, he also doesn’t think his opinion to be on the same level as a command: “But I say this as though to the weak, not as a commandment”.  I admire him a great deal, I just don’t adhere to trying to label someone as a sinner for wearing or not wearing head wear when Elohim Himself doesn’t.  To replace the rules of Him with the opinions of anybody is a most serious offense, one not to be taken lightly.  This is why Yahushua took issue with the Pharisees and Saducees, they had either added on to or outright replaced His Father’s laws with those of Rabinnical opinion; those of Talmud.     


Brother Shaul’s personal take was that men shouldn’t cover their heads during prayer or prophesying, as we read in the 4th verse: “Every man who prays or prophesies while his head is covered dishonors his head”.  He repeats this theme in the 7th verse: “For a man ought not to cover his head, because he is the likeness and glory of Elohim; but the woman is the glory of the man”.  He also doesn’t seem to dig the hippy look, as we read in the 14th verse: “Does not even nature teach you that it is a shame for a man when his hair grows long?”  Some think that Shaul used covering and hair synonymously; I personally don’t for reasoning I’ll get into later.  Now I don’t have any trouble with someone saying they respect Shaul so much that they want to follow his words of Scripture not supported by Torah, but if you’re going to do so then don’t it with hypocrisy.  I am taking aim at those Messianic congregations that won’t admit men unless they are wearing a head covering, to their own shame.  By making it into a mandatory rule, it not only goes directly against brother Shaul’s words but it also seeks to add to Yah’s laws.  Could it be the leadership fears offending their more Orthodox members?  Maybe they place the Talmud on the same level as the Torah or higher?  Perhaps they are greedy for power?  I don’t know, but I’m not even going to get into how the kipa hat (not Kepha, Peter’s real name) is a sign of bondage that was forced upon all the Israelites during Greek captivity.     


We see that he holds the opposite perspective in regards to women by reading the 5th verse: “And every woman who prays or prophesies while her head is unveiled dishonors her head, for she is on a level with her whose head is shaven”.  What I find particularly intriguing is the verse that follows it: “For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or to be shaven then let her be veiled”.  The reason I don’t believe hair is being referred to here is because if it was then the verse would make no sense at all: “For if a woman is not veiled with HAIR, let her also be shorn; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or to be shaven then let her be veiled”.  So in other words, if a woman is shaved then take her and shave her?!  It’s also been said from the pulpit that the reason it was shameful for a woman to have short hair/no hair was because that’s the look the prostitutes had who hung around the temple.  That may or may not be so, but since it’s not in the text I’m not going to go there.  What is in Scripture is that this is a shameful/humbling thing done to foreign women taken as captives during battle as seen in Deuteronomy 21:10-14.  I personally wouldn’t have a problem if I had a Nazarene queen that covered her head during prayer, as long as she understood she was following an opinion of Shaul and not a law of Yah.  Would you?  Shalom.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Revelation revisited

Shalom everyone, hope summer found you safe and happy.  I’ve put the blog up on a bit of an auto-pilot in recent months, because in all honesty; a pale white boy needs some time at the beach.  Also, letting other people post their truth on here from time to time helps to make this site different; thanks again ladies.  But I’m back, to enrage some and entertain others with my thoughts.  I’m thinking about the changing seasons now, and how some of you are making the change to go back to school for more edumacation.  So, why not briefly look at a book that’s all about change; about how things will one day be?  You guessed it, Revelation time!  It can be confusing and hard to read though, so let’s shed some light on a few misinterpreted/mistranslated verses and see what happens:

At the beginning in 1:10 we read: “I came to be in the Spirit on the Day of The Lord and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet…”  Seeing as Yahuah’s name was taken from us and replaced with the awful title of Lord (Baal in Hebrew) in the common translations, most Hebraic ones correct this to say the Day of Yah.  It’s a common thought amongst many believers that this Day of Yah mentioned here refers to Sunday, despite that fact that Sunday is nowhere to be found in the text no matter what version you have.  Why?  Probably as a result of tradition, that of conditioning people to believe that Sunday is the Sabbath so therefore it must be the Lord’s Day.  The Sabbath is actually and has always been Saturday but I really don’t have the time to get into that here, just look into what “Brother” Constantine did in 321 to find out more.  So if it wasn’t on a sunny little Sunday that Brother Yohanon got caught up in the Holy Ghost trance, then what day was he talking about?  Well, a quick glance at previous Scripture passages (Acts 2:20-21 being just one of several) plainly describe this Day of Yah as the great day of His wrath; Judgment Day.  Speaking of Acts, let’s look at 20:7 quickly: “And upon the first day of the week (Sunday), when the disciples came together to break bread, Shaul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.”  So what we have here is simply an instance where some brothers came together to sup and hear a good message, and it just so happened to fall on a Sunday; nothing more and nothing less.  But some would like to use this verse as proof that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday, the height of speculation in my opinion.  One would have a somewhat better case if it said this was a restful custom of theirs, but it doesn’t say that.  They’d also have a somewhat better case if it said this went on in a synagogue, but it doesn’t say that either.  I’m just saying, that’s all.

Near the end we also encounter a couple of things that can be taken out of context, which I will deal with individually.  Firstly, in 19:9-17 we read of the marriage supper of the lamb.  The Lamb here is obviously Yahushua Who we are to be married to, but what about that supper?  I’ve heard it said that this meal is going to be a ham dinner, much like Ishtar.  Interesting, seeing as neither ham nor Ishtar are mentioned here.  Also problematic, seeing as if Yahushua breaks His Father’s Torah by sucking on snout/celebrating an unclean holiday then He isn’t really the Messiah.  Well, if we look at previous Scripture we’ll see that there is a feast involving a lamb mentioned several times.  Passover is given in Exodus 12 and observed by Him in the gospels, known to most as the “last supper”.  It’s clearly not temporary, as it will still be done in the coming kingdom as we read here.  Neither is it just for Jews, but for all who want to covenant with their Creator.  As I tend to say on here, I don’t know everything but I can take an educated guess and say that we probably won’t be doing the whole potluck BBQ thing with our blessed Savior in the distant future.     

Another possibly confusing matter can be found in 19:9-17, in 19:16 to be specific: “And He had a name written on His garment and thigh, King of Kings and Lord of Lords (or more correctly Master of Masters).”  Sounds just a little like a tat, right?  Not if you look back at Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead nor make any marking upon you, I am Yahuah”.  So although a case could be made for piercings as long as they’re not done for the dead, ink would appear to be totally out of bounds.  And it bears repeating that if Yahushua at any time violates His Father’s Torah then He’s not really the Messiah, and we’re all hopelessly lost.  So what gives?  The answer lies in viewing it from a Hebraic lens, meaning that it was first written in Hebrew.  The Hebrew word for thigh is ragel, while the Hebrew word for banner is dagel.  The r character or “resh” just so happens to be almost identical, quite similar to the d character or “dalet” in modern Hebrew text.  In all likelihood, what has happened here is that when it was brought from Hebrew into Greek the translator mistook the dalet for a resh.  Now it makes perfect sense, hallelu.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Testimony time with the charismatic Miss Kathy

I am around 27 years old and am one of 3 children, as I have 2 sisters.  My dad was in the Navy and my mother was a CNA.  I come from a very dysfunctional, very broken and very oppressive family.  Some of my earliest memories are of my father beating my mother.  Very early in my childhood my father also began abusing myself and my 2 sisters.  We were also met with neglect; we hardly saw a doctor or a dentist.  On at least 2 occasions my teachers at school had notified my parents of my need for urgent and immediate medical attention and told my parents they had strongly considered reporting them to social services.  When I heard my parents discussing this, I remember asking Yahuah to have them reported but they were not.  My parents were professed Catholics and we went to Mass maybe 5 times.  I felt no genuine connection to Yah during those times; I felt a curiosity which quickly faded after having appealed to Him numerous times only to be met with silence.  I remember wailing uncontrollably into my pillows so no one would hear, sometimes even pulling my hair and scratching my face as a result of my deep frustration and anguish and sense of hopelessness. 

These cries and pleas and wails all carried the same question – why Yah?  Why were these things happening?  During this time my parents got divorced and re-married (to each other).  My mother was gone for over a year and this proved devastating.  All I knew was instability and apprehension; even the good times were stained with fears and doubts.  The abuse and neglect my sisters and I endured wore on our appearance much like dirty clothing did – for all to see and laugh at.  As a result, I was utterly rejected and continually sneered at by my peers for the larger part of my childhood.  My little self felt as if everywhere I turned I was confronted with disapproval and insults, my sisters marked the only 2 constants in my life.  Somewhere in the midst of all these experiences, I had emotionally rejected the idea of a relational Yah.  I was convinced that if He did exist, He was passive and cared nothing for His children.

Finally many years later, through an uncanny series of events the authorities were notified of what was happening.  Finally I had a voice.  My dad was arrested and dishonorably discharged from the Navy after almost 20 years of service while my mom was deemed unfit to gain sole custody and we were thrust into the custody of the State.  Though I wouldn’t realize it for at least a decade, this heralded the beginning of Yah’s rescue plan for my life.  My sisters and I lived in a child care facility for over a year; it was here that Yah showed me that there were others - many others who had it worse than I did.  Had I continued to believe there were no others like me, had Yah not granted me this perspective then the ghosts of my past would’ve surely chased me to a pit of depression and loneliness.  

Despite the reprieve given to me, I felt no inclination toward Yah.  I felt it was the ways and systems of the world which saved me from my parents.  The 3 of us were eventually ushered back into the custody of our mother and we all moved to Montana.  What ensued was another 6 years of distress, instability and isolation.  We were poverty stricken; the 4 of us shared a 2 bedroom trailer.  My mother was addicted to prescription pills; chain smoked 2 cigarette packs a day in the house, trailed various boyfriends in and out, and was always in and out of work.  Food boxes and stamps were the source of our meals.  Despite all this, my hope burned bright and my fortitude took root.  I was not defeated.  It was during my high school years that I began to experience what I would later refer to as “the calling”.  Interestingly, I referred to this feeling as “the calling” well before I came to Yahshua.  I felt some large, invisible and all-encompassing thing beckoning.  For a while I thought of this vast unnamable thing simply as the universe or fate.  Vast and unnamable it may have appeared, but close, palpable, and powerful it felt.  I held a deep desire to explore this unseen presence or design or power or whatever it was which continued to pull on my heartstrings.

As “the calling” continued to declare itself, I began to identify it as more of a personality and this personality felt familiar; strikingly familiar.  It was as if this presence and I were woven of the same cloth.  Little did I know the King of the universe Himself was calling me into His set apart family.  Despite these altogether supernatural curiosities and feelings – I continued to reject the idea of Elohim.  I had for the first time in my life, a very close group of dear friends.  These people are to this day some of the brightest, happiest, and most altruistic people I have ever known.  They were all atheist or agnostic.  My first introduction to religion was through the madness of my parents and my first introduction to atheism was through the kind words and loving acceptance of my dearest friends.  During this time, I intellectually rejected the idea of a relational Creator.

I graduated and left for college.  I moved to Missoula, a city 300 miles away.  Not too far from home, but far enough.  Life went on as the calling persisted.  I in no way was flourishing or making progress or healing from all that had occurred over the previous 18 years.  I was stumbling through the wilderness while my older sister Cheryl was still living at home with our mother in Bozeman.  Our younger sister Annie, who was 15, was visiting a friend of hers in Minnesota.  Then tragedy struck.  Cheryl called to inform me that our mother pawned all of our belongings including our car and moved to Florida to be with our father who had just been released from prison.  One word came to mind – Annie.  What about our 15 year old baby sister?  I was crushed and I felt abandoned all over again.  What about Annie?  I couldn’t let her fall into the hands of the State all over again, meanwhile shortly thereafter she had returned to Bozeman from her trip to Minnesota.  She came on a Greyhound, arrived late at night, with 2 trash bags of belongings and no one there to pick her up.  She called me in the dorms crying that no one was there so I was heartbroken.  Quickly I decided to move back home to be there for my 2 sisters, the only remaining family I had left.  Our mother called me once before I left the dorms to tell me that she didn’t think she’d done anything wrong.

The next 5 years provided me with another season of tremendous hardship.  Cheryl became a stripper out of desperation and Annie was all but lost to us.  She suffered from grief/depression and coped by abusing drugs, got into trouble with the law and began to disappear for long periods of time.  All through the many sorrows and all through the joys I never once had a parent to call.  I tried to be the life raft which kept my little family afloat, but at times this was impossible.  There was one crisis after another and I entered into an unhealthy and destructive romantic relationship which lasted for 4 ½ years.  I began smoking cannabis daily and became addicted to cigarettes, my drinking also increased considerably.  Thankfully I never abused hard drugs.  I tried to navigate through the hazy fog of drugs and failed time and time again.  I was lost, broken, confused and scared.  I felt incapable of change, I felt fundamentally flawed.  During this time I had many medical issues, there were a number of dental emergencies.  I also temporarily lost my vision due to a condition I developed called bilateral uveitis, thanks are to the Father for restoring my sight.  I didn’t know how to get out of this pit and out of desperation I began my search. In the beginning it was my search for truth.  As my search progressed, like a trumpet sounding, it was made clear to me that this pure truth which I so dearly sought after, was no less than Yah Himself.  Thus began my search when a monumental thing happened - I moved to Portland.

I began to read everything I could get my hands on regarding Yah, I began to be fascinated with the eastern mystic religions.  Books like The Siddhartha, The Hindu Vedas, The Baghavad Gita and The Kabbalah captivated me.  Slowly I began reading more contemporary books such as “The Celestine Prophecy”, “Ishmael”, “A Course in Miracles” and others.  I became fixated on New Ageism and this was perhaps the most dangerous part of my search.  These books are so very dangerous because they blend truth with falsehoods and offer it up as one seamless truth.  There could be no more a spiritual slippery slope than that of New Ageism.  It’s self-exalting and self-directing, the author of every book I read claimed to have received special revelation from a messenger of Yah or from Yah Himself.  Every single one of these books contradicted each other and this begged the question, “If indeed Yah did send messengers, why would He send them with conflicting messages?”  Clearly, either they were all frauds or it was the work of something more sinister.  I concluded that at least some of the authors really did believe they had a genuine spiritual experience and although this didn’t lead me to truth directly, it did affirm my belief in a supernatural world and in supernatural activity.  I assumed that if there was deliberate deception occurring in the spirit world, so too must there be goodness in the spirit world. 

In retrospect, I see that these books chronicled various types of demonic activity.  What’s interesting to note is not that every one of the books I read contradicted one another on many levels but all of them had one theme in common – they aimed to dethrone the scriptural Lamb.  This caught my attention because clearly these messengers were false messengers and clearly they had a common agenda.  What did they have against the Redeemer?  As I continued to read these accounts, I became more confused.  I had no fruit to bear for all my searching, I was deadlocked.  None of it made sense yet I knew Yah was there, I could feel Him as I prayed all the time.  I Prayed He would reveal Himself to me in truth as I lived with my sister when I first moved here.  She was always on the go when I had no job for almost 2 months.  I had no friends but what I did have was time and a computer, those were my only 2 resources.  One night out of sheer loneliness, I ventured into a spiritualism based chat room.  I met many nice people there and chatted about Yah so that it helped curb my need for social interaction.  There I met the acquaintance of one of the most influential people I would ever meet.  He was an older believer and quickly became a mentor of sorts.  He astounded me with his knowledge!  This man had amassed a great deal of knowledge in science, history, and scripture. 

We talked about current events, art, Yah and history.  I thought this man is truly gifted as he began to share with me details of meditation.  Naturally I began asking questions about his belief in the Yah of The Scriptures.  What struck me about his answers besides the fact that he was so astute, was how matter of fact he was.  He was unapologetic when he told me 3 things.  If I was to find truth it had to be a result of my own seeking and desire to know truth.  2nd he told me Yah had given me the ability to discern pure truth through the Ruach Hakodesh and 3rd any adopted truth must be consistent with scripture.  Indeed, all truths to be adopted are found solely in scripture.  What happened next is very difficult to conceptualize.  Shortly after meeting Robby, it dawned on me – I’m spending all this time reading about various interpretations of truth yet I won’t even as much glimpse at The Scriptures.  Why not?  Why not at least research them to find out if they can stand the test of time, if essential doctrine makes sense philosophically and intellectually?  Why not research these things before I write off faith altogether?  And so it began, I slowly pulled back the curtain of my misconceptions and began to peer into the light.  Suddenly pieces were falling into place, questions were being answered and questions I hadn’t even thought to ask arose. 

My dear friend Robby continued to witness patiently and diligently as I began renting videos.  I was in and out of bookstores eager to read the next one addressing these sacred mysteries.  I realized The Scriptures are historically accurate, indeed why would it lend itself to historical scrutiny were it not?  In fact among other ancient documents, it remains quite unparalleled.  It was a beautiful discovery and I felt like a proverbial archeologist who couldn’t quit digging.  I was hungry for Yahshua and I was thrilled at the mention of His name, overjoyed at His finding.  I kept digging when I realized quickly that the more I felt myself starting to believe in The Word, the more I was rejecting everything I had previously adopted as true.  I started to second guess myself.  What was I getting myself into?  I thought I was losing all semblance of everything I thought to be true. Then Yah showed me the following quote in the midst of my doubt: "If 1000 old beliefs are ruined in our march to truth, we must still march on."  I continued to march on and was almost there.  I felt myself inching closer to faith as I began praying in the name of Yahshua.  I appealed to Yah to answer my prayers, to continue to reveal His truth to me and to with a clear and unmistakable finality engrave the name of Yahshua the Messiah on my heart if indeed everything that scripture said was true.

I prayed for the gift of faith and I felt so close.  Then it happened, late one night.  I was crying because I was overwhelmed in doubt, confused again.  I knew once I believed, Yahshua would become life itself and this presented a huge risk.  I had been deeply betrayed all my life; trust was a huge step for me.  All this talk of promises, of redemption, and restoration, and forgiveness seemed too good to be true.  The mere depth of His love and sacrifice seemed otherworldly and implausible.  His second coming, the new heavens and the new earth left me flabbergasted.  The magnificence and glory of Yahshua was so far-reaching it couldn’t be true; I was too scared to believe.  I didn’t want to find out I was wrong, I began to sob and ask Yah to confirm Yahshua in my life if He was indeed our Savior.  I could no longer stand the confusion and not knowing, and then Yah showed me the verse that would change my life forever.  I opened up my Scriptures and asked Yah to speak to me.  He showed me the following verse: 2 Corinthians 11:3.  “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled the woman through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in the Messiah.”

I knew that instant, I had been deceived all my life.  In that moment, He revealed that everything prior to Yahshua had been deception and that only in Him would I know truth and life.  I remember saying, “Yahshua my Messiah, count me as a believer, You have won me.”  After that utterance, I felt my heartbeat for Yahshua for the first time.  My life has been completely transformed, through and in Yahshua the Messiah I have conquered all former addictions minus smoking.  I have completed school and returned home to a beautiful niece, I have found an incredible online community through the people that Yahshua brought me to.  I am rescued, I am redeemed, I am thankful.  Praise Yahshua, every moment in darkness was more than worth if in the end I am delivered into His arms.  My life can be encapsulated in two words - glorify Yah. Amen.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bridal quiz

The following comes from James Trimm, in spite of his interest in the Apocrypha/Talmud; “tithing” and need to call himself Rabbi it’s solid.

1. 1st Peter (actually Kepha) 1:20-21 says that the Scriptures are to be understood:
(a) as we feel in our hearts.
(b) not by private interpretation.
(c) as our priests or pastors interpret them.

2. According to 1st John (actually Yohanon) 2:6 and 1st Corinthians 11:1, believers should walk:
(a) free from bondage to the “Jewish Law”.
(b) as Yahushua the Messiah Himself walked.
(c) as taught by the Ishtar Bunny.
(d) as taught by our “rabbis”.

3. In Luke 4:16 and Acts 17:1-2 Yahushua and Paul (actually Shaul) were usually:
(a) going to church on Sunday.
(b) going to synagogue on Sabbath.
(c) going to mosque on Friday.

4. According to Matthew (actually Matittyahu) 5:17-19, Yahushua came to abolish His Father’s laws; true or false?

5. In Romans 3:31 Shaul:
(a) made void the Law.
(b) established the Law.
(c) abolished the Law.
(d) taught we are freed from bondage to the Law.

6. According to Jude (actually Yahudah) 1:3, the true faith was delivered to mankind:
(a) seven times.
(b) one time.
(c) two times.
(d) three times.

7. In Ephesians 4:3-6 there are this many true faiths:
(a) two
(b) many
(c) one
(d) none

8. According to Zechariah 8:23, Yohanan 4:22 and Romans 3:1-2; the true faith is a form of:
(a) Christianity
(b) Judaism
(c) Islam
(d) Mormonism

9. In Acts 24:5-14 the true faith was known as:
(a) Christianity
(b) Sect of the Nazarenes
(c) Jehovah’s Witnesses
(d) Islam
10. According to Exodus 20:8-11, the Sabbath is:
(a) Sunday (the first day of the week).
(b) Saturday (the seventh day of the week).

11. In Mark 2:27-28 and Colossians 1:16 the Sabbath was created by:
(a) The Pope
(b) Moses (actually Moshe)
(c) The Messiah
(d) Santa Claus

12. Also according to Mark 2:27-28, the Sabbath was created for:
(a) the Jews only.
(b) the people of “Old Testament” times.
(c) all mankind.

13. In 1st Yohanan 3:4 and Romans 7:7 sin is defined as:
(a) moral failure.
(b) transgression of the Law.

14. According to Yohanan 1:29, Yahushua came to:
(a) do away with the Law.
(b) take away sin.

15. In Romans 6:15 Shaul says:
(a) we should not continue to sin.
(b) don’t worry about sin since it’s transgression of the Law Yahushua ended.

16. According to Scripture (Exodus 27-31, Leviticus 6-24, Numbers 10-19 and Deuteronomy 5:29), the Law was:
(a) only for “Old Testament” times.
(b) for all generations.
(c) eventually to be abolished by the Messiah.

17. In Deuteronomy 4:2-12:32 it’s ok to take away from the Law, true or false?

18. According to Deuteronomy 13:1-11, if anyone after Moshe were to teach that we should no longer keep the Law then we should:
(a) only accept this if their prophecies are fulfilled.
(b) only accept this if they perform miraculous signs and wonders.
(c) reject them immediately.

19. In Acts 25:8-28:17 Shaul taught:
(a) against the Jewish Law.
(b) against the Temple.
(c) against Jewish customs.
(d) none of the above.

20. According to Romans 7:12, Shaul tells us the Law is:
(a) holy, just and good.
(b) bondage we need freedom from.

21. In Romans 7:14 Shaul also tells us the Law is:
(a) of the Spirit.
(b) of the flesh.  
22. According to Ezekiel 36:27, the Holy Spirit will:
(a) witness to as that we are freed from bondage to the Law.
(b) cause us to keep the statutes and ordinances.

23. In Scripture (Acts 20-27 and 1st Corinthians 5-16) Shaul observed:
(a) the Passover.
(b) day of Pentecost.
(c) the Yom Kippur.
(d) all of the above.

24. According to Revelation 12:17, the last days remnant will be a people who:
(a) accept the Messiah and reject the Law.
(b) accept the law and reject the Messiah.
(c) accept the Messiah and the Law.
(d) none of the above.

25. A Jewish person would have to change their religion to accept their own Messiah, true or false?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Guest blog by the lovely Miss Leah

Narrow praise
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Book of Matthew 7:13-14, the words of the Messiah.

Narrow is the way.  Narrow.  And few find it.  What could this path look like?
Imaginations lead me to images of a secret path long forgotten; one over-grown with weeds, thorns and briars.  Crouching is not enough to discover its veiled mystery.  A deliberate mission of unveiling must be undertaken.

Yet one does not even become aware that such a road exists unless something stirring within eludes and draws one to the truth of its nature.  How difficult heeding this tiny, fleeting whisper which woos of other paths, can surely be.  The path which one does currently stand upon is beset with jewels, sparkles, and glitter; all the things which entice the eye, the mind, the soul.

Narrow or wide?  Easy or difficult?  Carnality of human nature will naturally follow the easy open road.  But the spirit within man, desirous of greater and deeper truths, hungers for the narrow, illusive ancient path to life.

Reflecting upon this verse this morning, it sobers me to my current positions, both spiritual and physical.  I find myself lusting for the sparkle of the broad way.  With all its lights, chorus and production, the excitement it generates is captivating.  It's entertaining.  But then Matthew 7:14 reminds me that the path to life may not, at first, appear so lustrous, but it is indeed, the only, narrow entrance way to what it is I truly seek: life.  Entertainment yields a grand mirage of life, but the Messiah is the only One capable of providing a cup full of the promise.

I am in no position to judge what path one may have made their current route, but if what Yahshua says is truth; the majority of us are on the wrong road.  Psychology teaches that no one wants to be wrong.  We all have an innate desire to be “right”.  But those who find it are few.  Wrong about where I misplaced my keys is one thing.  Wrong about matters of life, I find exceptionally much more difficult to swallow.

Perhaps, for a moment, we should briefly glance south, peering down towards toes and feet.  What path is it we stand upon?  Is it so wide there's room to lay length wise?  Or can you barely see the difficult path extend beyond the edges of your form?  Does it sparkle or is it a dusty dirt road?  Not that there is anything wrong with sparkles!  But though life is often entertaining, entertainment is rarely life.

After a deeper exploration of the unoriginal Greek, the broad path is said to be “entered into”; denoting a certain degree of passivity.  While the Greek for “find” in regards to the narrow path, clearly expresses a direct and deliberate searching, seeking; pursuit and discovery.  The word is “heurisko”.  In light of the contrasting connotations, perhaps it's that Yahshua was stating that there will be few who will seek and actively pursue the path which leads to life; and therefore never find it.  It as if we naturally enter this world landing on the broad and easy path, routinely plopped upon it by a less than dutiful stork. 

It takes our deliberate attempt to leave the broad and seek the Alice's chase for the illusive white rabbit, torn almost directly from the pages of Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland.  In order to continue the chase down the tiny path, Alice must somehow squeeze herself through a narrow doorway she must, first shrink herself in order to fit inside.  Who knew Carol was so spiritual?

So did you look?  At your feet, silly.  What does your path look like?  What does your “way” reveal?

Currently, my running shoes are ready for the adventure of a chase.  And at the end of this narrow and humble road I seek, is the Savior, and not a white rabbit, Who holds the keys to praising life.

To "praise".  I've been sitting on this revelation for a few weeks.  Partially, due to business, and partially, I believe, so that I could gain even more depth and understanding regarding this topic.

This revelation was opened to me with Psalm 117.  Psalm 117 is the shortest of all the psalms, composed of a mere two verses.  Yet, it swells with vibrant wisdom contained within its mysterious brevity.  The psalm is as follows:

“Praise Yahuah, all you nations!  Extol Him, all you peoples!  For His kindness is mighty over us, and the truth of Yahuah is everlasting.  Praise Yah!“ (ISR)

When studying the original Hebrew, which the text was written in, so much more can be captured than from what the English language is able to express, alone.  I began dissecting the first “praise” in verse one.  Here, the original word is “halal”.  Halal means to shine; flash forth light; be boastful; the use of a clear, sharp tone; to be foolish; to sing one's praises; to boast oneself.

I've often pondered myself and questioned via prayers, what does it mean to praise?  There are scriptures upon scriptures which allude to “praising Yahuah,” yet who has a clear understanding of what it means to praise the Creator Yah?  Many commentaries have been written, and if you were to walk into any mainstream Christian church, you'd more than likely experience a time of “praise and worship”.  This “praise and worship” time is normally composed of the playing of musical instruments and singing.  Some congregations may involve dance or drama, but they are fewer in number.  It has become so commonplace (the correlation of music to worship), that “praise and worship” has all but become synonymous with spiritual music.  I agree that the use of instruments, songs, hymn, singing, and the like, are certainly a means to worship and praise.  But there is an intuitive nature within me which cries that it is so much more.

So back to my dissection of Hebrew.  Halal, at first; struck me in its reference to the utilization of light.  At once, it brought to my mind, the image of a photo being “snapped”, captured by a sudden bursting forth of light via flashbulb.  This warmed my heart, as I have often sensed His guiding Spirit, inspiration, and glow in capturing a certain scene by means of a shutter and lens.  Other photographers I've spoken with, also speak of their greatest photographs being captured by a means of inspiration.  It is not our creation which we esoterically capture, but by capturing His beauty, we somehow become co-creators with the divine – boasting of His marvelous handiwork, as the scriptures describe it.

Which brings us back to another possible definition for halal: to be boastful.  If one is like me, the word “boast” automatically rouses notions of arrogance, sports; and esteeming oneself above the rest.  Yet, I find a different connotation from “boast” in this definition.  This boasting arises without the self as the sole purpose of the boast.  The self becomes a mere vessel to point the boastful finger at another.  It is like that neon orange “DETOUR” sign which, at first, draws attention to its bold statement, only to redirect the traveler to a more important location.  I see this kind of boasting in the boast used to praise.

I have a very talented friend which this form of praise reminds me.  This friend is a fabulous tailor.  He is skilled in color, design, sewing, and displaying his unique fabrics.  Everywhere he wears his divinely inspired fashions, he gets looks, comments, accolades, and inquiries as to how one can obtain one of their own.  The means in which my friend carries himself is in the most humble manner.  There is no need for him to draw attention to himself, for the clothing shouts for itself!  In this way, his boastful clothing draws on-lookers to him and his talent.  But it does not halt there.  For my friend always points his admirers to the source of his skills.  He gives credit to another.

All this was gathered from the first “praise” in verse one.  The second “praise” is translated the same but has a different Hebrew root word.  The original word here, is “shabach”.  Shabach means to soothe, still; stroke.  I see this relating to praise in the hands of a potter, smoothing his clay upon his wheel.  I see it in the stroke of the artist's paintbrush.  I see it in the way a playwright soothes his audience with the graceful orchestration of plot and setting.  I see it as the hand which soothes the ill, stroking frail hands and soothing a broken spirit.  I see this praise as one which nourishes the soul, stirring it in a calming and regenerative fashion.

The Arabic understanding of “stroke” is in relation to waters, such as in stilling a wave.  This automatically takes my mind to Yahshua's calming of the stormy sea in Mark 4:39.  Yahshua spoke to the sea, “Peace, be still.”

Psalm 117 is addressed to “all you nations.”  For a religion which originated in Hebrew culture and among the Hebrew people, the invitation is not limited to their ethnic descendants.  It encompasses the native and the foreigner, alike.  It extends to all the world, all of creation.  For, as verse two declares, “For His kindness is great over us, and the truth of Yahuah is everlasting.  Praise (“halal”) Yah!”

Perhaps my brief introspection into what it means to “praise” has shined forth some light of illumination upon what many of us have always known to be a deeper truth.  I hope all the artists out there, no matter what your preferred medium may be, is encouraged and inspired to keep making praises among all of creation, in the way that only you are able to co-create!