What do you know?
Yet we are also told knowledge puffs up but love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1). Let us gain knowledge, but let us strive for it lawfully in the right spirit.
True knowledge leads us to someone, not just some thing. It leads to the tree of life, not just the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! That tree of life is Yeshua. The Torah is but a shadow of the tree of life, the living word, the lamb of God. True Torah knowledge leads us to a living communion with our Saviour, Yeshua, the Tree of Life. The Torah and indeed the entire body of scripture from Genesis to Revelation is His Book, it's all about Him and for Him and by Him. Yeshua is the bride groom, and his word is the love letter leading us, the bride, to him. Torah is relational.
If our Torah study doesn't lead us to Yeshua then there is something wrong. We aren't really gaining Torah, we are merely chewing on the outer husk, not the inner reality. If we can fathom all mysteries but don't have love, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). And if that is so then all we have is knowledge of stuff. In that case we actually have 'stuff all' (nothing) -as some might say here in Australia! A heart that is out of communion which at the same time is connected to head full of stuff, is a recipe for pride. Knowledge of stuff puffs up. We have an inflated view of ourselves and a lower view of others. It is not the way things really are, just the way we perceive it to be. We see through our sinful eyes and we fail to see things as they are! Pride is really a form of ignorance!
Pride is not a fruit of the spirit, and it is abhorred by God.
Psalms 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off:
him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
מְלָשְׁנִ֬י בַסֵּ֨תֶר רֵעֵהוּ֮ אֹותֹ֪ו אַ֫צְמִ֥ית
גְּֽבַהּ־עֵינַיִם וּרְחַ֣ב לֵבָ֑ב אֹ֝תֹ֗ו לֹ֣א אוּכָֽל׃
One thing that we need to do is keep humble. God dwells with such as these. In fact God himself is humble, and so is His Son! And so must we be.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
כִּי֩ כֹ֨ה אָמַ֜ר רָ֣ם וְנִשָּׂ֗א שֹׁכֵ֥ן עַד֙ וְקָדֹ֣ושׁ שְׁמֹ֔ו מָרֹ֥ום וְקָדֹ֖ושׁ אֶשְׁכֹּ֑ון וְאֶת־דַּכָּא֙ וּשְׁפַל־ר֔וּחַ לְהַחֲיֹות֙ ר֣וּחַ שְׁפָלִ֔ים וּֽלְהַחֲיֹ֖ות לֵ֥ב נִדְכָּאִֽים׃
What we know is not as important as who we know, and to Him we must give an account. Let us not be too quick to compare ourselves with others. We are fallen, fallible human beings. If we would make comparisons, let us compare ourselves to the moral beauty of Yeshua HaMashiach, the perfection and essence of Torah. Let us gain knowledge of Torah, but let us gain it with the right spirit.
Let us not be like the Sneetches who looked down on others...
by Dr. Suess
The Plain-bellied Sneetches had none upon thars.
The stars weren't so big; they were really quite small.
You would think such a thing wouldn't matter at all.
But because they had stars, all the Star-bellied Sneetches
would brag, "We're the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches."
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort, "
We'll have nothing to do with the plain-bellied sort."
And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
they'd hike right on past them without even talking.
Obviously the above 'poem' is concerned with attitudes. I am in no way trying to belittle people for walking in obedience. I know that there are many Messianics that have had a real hard time just trying to keep the Torah commandments because of criticism from Christians that don't understand their heart or the revelation that God has given them. They are not out of trying to earn their salvation, but are simply keeping kosher or wearing tzit tzits or studying Torah from a heart of humble and joyful obedience. So long as we do things in the right spirit, and with the right motivation then our lawful obedience is sign of true son-ship and holiness.
Yet sometimes we can start in a good spiritual way and end up being carnal. Sometimes attitudes can gradually creep in that are not holy. They may mascaraed as legitimate but they are not. They are sinful attitudes of the heart. And they enter us for different reasons. Unfortunately our flesh has a way of worming to the top even as we begin to walk in greater obedience to Gods word.
When the Star-bellied children went out to play ball,
could the Plain-bellies join in their game? Not at all!
You could only play ball if your bellies had stars,
and the Plain-bellied children had none upon thars.
When the Star-bellied Sneetches had frankfurter roasts,
or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
they never invited the Plain-bellied Sneetches.
Left them out cold in the dark of the beaches.
Kept them away; never let them come near,
and that's how they treated them year after year.
It is true that beginning to take the Torah seriously and doing things that Christians have long said "that's done away with now" will create friction with some.
It is one thing to be persecuted or misunderstood for our new found understanding. But I have seen the flip side too. Sadly I have observed all too often that in our zeal we can go about keeping Shabbat or Kosher or observing the Feasts with an exclusive, holier than thou attitude. Perhaps, if we are tempted to feel superior we need to remember these words.
Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
It is actually taken for granted that we obey our Lord. Torah obedience is expected. The gentile church threw off some things like Sabbath, Feasts, Kosher and said they were above all that, misinterpreting the word to suit themselves. But these things are pretty easy to do, it's not rocket science. We shouldn't pat our selves on the back. We are still 'Jacobs' rather than 'Israels' for the most part. We miss the mark in many ways. David said that he was shapen in iniquity, are we any better. We need to think a little more soberly.
Mark 10:44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
As soon as we begin to walk in pride we begin to walk in the spirit of Satan. God hates the proud and proud looks. There are so many verses regarding pride verses humility. All I know is that when I am walking in pride I am out of communion. But perhaps those that are tempted to look down on others should take these words very seriously;
Lev 26:19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
There are all sorts of reasons why sometimes our prayers seem to go unanswered so don't be discouraged if you are having a hard time of it. But if there are stubborn, proud, unbending ways in you, if you have a tendency to walk proudly and push with your horns then watch out!
Even if you are a believer in Yeshua, and have embraced Torah, the above verse applies to you if you walk in a proud way! I have seen so much of this amongst messianics. That is why I have written this article. I know that this applies equally to Christians too, often they think too much of themselves. Obviously it is a very human tendency. I write this not to discourage you but to save you from the fire!
I'd rather be a Hammer than a Nail
I must have Simon & Garfunkel on my brain today, I'm just thinking about the following wonderful lines from their 'Bodyguard' Song which asks "why am I soft in the middle now. Why am I soft in the middle. The rest of my life is so hard .."
Aint that the truth! Most living people have a soft beating heart whose feelings can be hurt. We all bleed. And we can all react the wrong way. But if we don't take these things to the Lord in prayer and trust in him a root of bitterness can form (Hebrews 12:15).
It then can develop into a way of thinking and doing that hurts ourselves and others while giving us the feeling of power and control. I once had a christian friend who was pretty hard with people and I sort of admired him to a degree and it rubbed off on me. It takes longer to rub these things out again, that's for sure. I had got a hardened heart through this learned bad behaviour pattern. And I also had other issues including doubting God was there. This was due to unfulfilled expectations. I expected God would do certain things for me and when he didn't it broke my heart. Then I rebelled, this was after believing in Messiah and getting saved!
After many years I now see what was wrong. There was an unbrokenness in me. I was a believer, but there was a lot of Jacob in me. And we know that the good Lord loves Jacob. But as a loving Father he allows Jacob to go through many trials that bring him to the end of himself, to the cross, becoming 'Israel'.
By the way this word 'cross' is another word the many Messianics like to avoid, perhaps for fear of upsetting the Jews. But the cross is simply the means of execution of the old man of sin within us so that the life of Messiah shines in us. The work of the cross is central to our redemption. And although Yeshua died, and was buried, he arose for the grave. He is risen. The disciples did not steal the body. There is no body of evidence to support that idea. He is alive! So I say, l'chaim (to life), but I do so having entered the waters of baptism, and death to my old way of doing things. I fall often myself, I am often a Jacob and not an Israel. But we must set our sights on Yeshua the author and perfecter of our faith and press on and press in to Him.
The fact that I discovered that there was a depth to the word of God that I had never seen before really encouraged me as a believer in Yeshua. Now there was something meaty to get into. We all like some sort of challenge and mystery, and the Torah is the most wonderful, mysterious and complex, yet elegant thing any human mind can be engaged in studying. And it brings us to the Messiah! Praise Yahweh. Thank you Father for giving us your Word, thank you for the depth and height of it. And thank you that it is very near to us, just like You.
It seems that the only real growth in spiritual understanding in the church is in the Torah. (Some messianics don't like the word Church because of it's anti Torah overtones. I mean its use as the called out congregation of the the Lord, his, Kehellot.)
These days there are many in what is called the Church who are afraid to think. Our Christianity has become watered down to the point that the one thing that unites modern day evangelicals and Pentecostals is that neither of them know anything. Of course I am generalizing and there are perhaps exceptions, but the rule is proved all too often. According to www.christianpost.com;
Most Evangelicals Believe Good People are Heaven-Bound
"The majority of Protestants and evangelicals believe that good people and people of other religions can go to heaven, according to author David Campbell."
Funny, I thought our Lord warned us of quite the opposite;
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
You can understand then that when judgment comes to this entity we call the church it is because it is the congregation of the Lord in name only.
Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
There's a warning. If some in the church are martyred it could be for faithfulness. But if many are killed it could be because they have become tasteless and without a preserving affect in their society. They have lost their saltiness.
I suspect like a certain fig tree 2000 years ago, it was without fruit and attempts to revive it became fruitless. Like Ephraim who says I got riches, The Church of Laodicea thinks it has it needs. It doesn't see it's shame, it's sickening lukewarmness. And So the woodsman comes to the tree with his axe. The tree by the time he arrived didn't even have any leaves. It didn't know the word of God. And sadly, with one well marked swoop of the woodsman's tool the tree fell headlong and it's innards gushed out. It was already dead and rotten to the core.
Now there are true blue believers amongst the church, but there is a great deal of rottenness. There are those that hear in the Church of Laodicea, but they have to leave the church to speak to our Saviour, outside the door. Just like those that spoke with Moses outside the camp.
Now we've got stars on ours
were moping, just moping alone on the beaches,
sitting there, wishing their bellies had stars,
up zipped a stranger in the strangest of cars.
"My friends, " he announced in a voice clear and keen,
"My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
I've heard of your troubles; I've heard you're unhappy.
But I can fix that; I'm the fix-it-up chappie.
I've come here to help you; I have what you need.
My prices are low, and I work with great speed,
and my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed."
Often people that come to a realization of all things Hebraic, can get fixated upon the outward appearance of things, upon various 'chachkas' and messianic paraphernalia. This is natural. When I was younger my mind was much more fixated upon the material universe. Now we are not disembodied spirits, and this universe is real. But there is a higher reality behind it. And as we grow as believers we should begin to walk more and more in that reality. While still having our feet on the ground we should begin to spread our wings. Our mind should begin to be enlightened into the height and depth and breadth of our calling and the Love of God in Yeshua HaMashiach. Mark the perfect man, the end of that man is Peace (Psalm 37:37). Perfection comes through death. This is the lesson of Numbers 33, the creation of a perfect man, through his mortification, in this case that perfect man is the nation of Israel in the wilderness. The wilderness experience is actually a picture of the work of the cross, sanctifying us, separating us. Our eyes are tuned back into seeing as God sees things, not as we did in Adam, when we ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From the moment of our first disobedience, our eyes became alienated from seeing reality as it really is. The communion was broken. The experience in the wilderness was used to train a new generation to see things as God saw things, to walk with Him by faith and to believe and obey his word. To not look upon the outward appearance of things but to judge things in the light of his Word by his Holy Spirit. And so the process of mortification began, a death to our dependence upon our senses. And from death springs a new life. With Israel in the Wilderness, the old generation with it's old Egyptian ways and fears and idolatry gives way to a new generation, a generation that has fed upon the spiritual manna and believes God's word. It's mind has been elevated, and they follow the Pillar of cloud and fire into battle and conquest.
Then quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
put together a very peculiar machine.
Then he said, "You want stars like a Star-bellied Sneetch?
My friends, you can have them . . . . for three dollars each.
Just hand me your money and climb on aboard."
They clambered inside and the big machine roared.
It bonked. It clonked. It jerked. It berked.
It bopped them around, but the thing really worked.
When the Plain-bellied Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did, they had stars upon thars!
The Messianic movement at best could be described as the new wine skin. But it is not the new wine. It is the outer shell of a new beginning. It has been a gradual work of God's Spirit to begin to awaken the sleeping Israelites. But this generation of Israelites, messianics included is more a generation of Jacob's than Israel's. They are as yet, for the most part, good intentioned but unbroken. A horse that is unbroken, is a horse that one cannot ride. Until we can see our utter dependence upon the Messiah in our lives we are still living a life of illusion. We only begin to perceive a life beyond the veil when we realize that we are helpless, that the nature of the Universe and our everyday experience in it is far more divine than it's outer husk at first appears. When the Lord begins to break us down, when we truly fall upon the Rock, it is then that we truly grow, our ego begins to diminish and break down before the realization that God is all around us and in us and has been working through the things that are against us to bring us to Himself, to bring us to Unity, to bring us into Communion. With all our focus on the details of Torah we must not lose focus on the Messiah himself. But those that are Messiah's will crave that deeper walk, the actual Life, the Torah being the schoolmaster to bring us to Him. The Torah is actually for His Disciples, and His Spirit leads us into all truth. There are some that crave knowledge and they get the husks of truths, but that never brings them into a deeper walk with Messiah. All they get is stuff.
Then they yelled at the ones who had stars from the start,
"We're exactly like you; you can't tell us apart.
We're all just the same now, you snooty old smarties.
Now we can come to your frankfurter parties!"
Solomon and the Spirit of Antichrist
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries gave an amazing commentary on Solomon's dedication of the Temple and the Song of Songs.
We are all familiar I hope with Solomon. He was a believer, and a King, from the Royal line of the House of David his father.
Solomon had a very different life to his father the Warrior Poet. Solomon was more a lover than a fighter. He loved God and God gave him great wisdom. But Solomon had other loves also. He loved other Women and soon followed their evil pagan religions.
There were three commandments amongst others that applied to kings in the Torah, they were, not to multiply wives, horses or gold (Deuteronomy 17:16,17). Solomon broke all of these. And he paid the price. After his death the kingdom was divided into two houses (1 Kings 12). It has been divided ever since.
Like his father he was a builder, but there was a difference. If you read his dedication to the temple, he magnifies himself. He is full of himself and his achievements and the temple that He has Built!
Solomon seems to have come to a true repentance towards the end of his life, seeing the futility and vanity of many of his works. We see this in his last words in the book of Ecclesiastes, the whole book being a lead up to this conclusion. Praise the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
13 סֹ֥וף דָּבָ֖ר הַכֹּ֣ל נִשְׁמָ֑ע אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִ֤ים יְרָא֙ וְאֶת־מִצְוֹתָ֣יו שְׁמֹ֔ור כִּי־זֶ֖ה כָּל־הָאָדָֽם׃ 14 כִּ֤י אֶת־כָּל־מַֽעֲשֶׂ֔ה הָאֱלֹהִ֛ים יָבִ֥א בְמִשְׁפָּ֖ט עַ֣ל כָּל־נֶעְלָ֑ם אִמ־טֹ֖וב וְאִמ־רָֽע׃
I would recommend you listen to the talk by mark Biltz regarding Solomon's Temple dedication because there are many clues as to the Antichrist nature of those that build, but not according to God's Spirit. Solomon was a child of God but he spent most of his life chasing rainbows and expending his considerable God given wisdom on wood, hay and stubble. There is also much in the messianic movement that is essentially a work of flesh and filled with the spirit of Antichrist. This includes doctrine, but it is even more than that. Sometimes the spirit that we do things, the motivation is not right, it's not straight, it's crooked. Such things will be burnt up in the judgment that is coming upon America and the World. This is another reason why judgment has to come even to many Messianics, because they are not as straight as they think they are.
I have been sorely disappointed. I know that there were times past when the church had more spiritual men. They might not have know about the Hebrew Calendar etc but they were men that walked with God, they were spiritually aware. They could tell when something didn't smell right. Sadly this generation, including many of the older ones don't have such discernment. I guess that is what a generation is like that is about to go into judgment. It is carnal. Even as God breaths on us and awakens us to truths of Torah we are immature, unbroken and self willed. We build works, not by his spirit, but according to the flesh. This is not true in every case, it is a generalisation, but it is generally true in many cases. Somethings may appear Holy and built to the plan, but they are profane like Esau.
We are all familiar with this verse that refers to Yeshua,
Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Of course this is a quote from Psalm 118:22-23. Isaiah 28:16 and Zechariah 3:8-9 are also related.
Some Christians think that the building of the temple is Antichrist. I don't believe so. But it is at the centre of the conflict between heaven and hell. Every temple has been built in righteousness and destroyed through wickedness.
But there is the 'tail of the serpent' that runs like the Gihon spring through the temple, seeking its moment of opportunity. And there is a gentile component to it's building or beautification.
Now Edomite Free Masonry, is very much obsessed with the building of the third temple. And there has been a gentile hand in building the previous Tabernacle and the Temples. Bezaleel who was the architect in charge of building the Tabernacle was a descendant of Kenaz (Gen 36:11) through Caleb who was adopted into Hezron's family in Judah (1 Chronicles 2:18-20). He was a gentile convert from Edom! For more references concerning Bezaleel have a look at; Ex 31:2, Ex 35:30, Ex 36:1-2 (2), Ex 37:1, Ex 38:22, 1Ch 2:20, 2Ch 1:5, Ezr 10:30. Not all Edomites are evil, it is commanded in the Torah to not abhor the Edomite (Deuteronomy 23:7)! There are true converts from Edom. Our duty is to be watchful and ensure no compromise to the Torah and the testimony of Yeshua. We need to be men (and women) filled with the Holy Spirit and well instructed in his Word by his Spirit.
There were more gentiles involved with the temple's construction. Hiram King of Tyre had an Israelite mother, and he was no doubt a believer in the God of Israel. Herod the Edomite (Idumean) was a proselyte of some description who basically rebuilt or remodeled Ezra's temple. So we see Edom has a very strong hand in fashioning the temple. This temple represents among other things the body of Messiah, the Angelic Hierarchy of the New Adam. So it shouldn't surprise us that Edomite Free Masonry wants to continue their old tradition. The Masonic, Egyptian and temple inspired design of the Israel Supreme Court is just another indication of this pent up desire. The picture below shows the Supreme court. The dimensions of the main building resemble the ratio of the Holy of Holies and the Holy place. Notice the all seeing eye of the Pyramid over the Holy of Holies.
Back to the Pyramid with the all seeing eye. It is the same idea as on American one dollar bill with New World Order in Latin, "Novus Ordo Seclorum" (Literally "New Secular Order"). I think Edom is getting a little too cocky these days, bragging so openly.
Jewish people are not stupid. But sadly the Jews are the last to figure such things out, but they are waking up. The Supreme Court is Secular. I guess that comes from Novus Ordo Seclorum (Secular). And it is a real foe of the settlers. I guess Ephraim's territory is being kept for Ephraim, by divine decree. By why can't Jews settle the land of Judea? It is a struggle. But I guess God is preparing a remnant of the Jewish people to conquer these territories once World War 3 breaks out. One of the most difficult places to occupy is Hebron. You have to be Tenacious to hang in there. Despite my differences with the settlers with regards to Yeshua, I say 'cal kavod', all glory to the settlers hanging in there. They are taking quite a buffeting, but are staying strong. Praise the Lord. It will be a great day when Israel merits the day to see the Palestinians driven from the land and thrown into the sea in accordance with prophecy. They should not take for granted the right to defy the Jewish people in their ancestral land.
This highlights the extreme similarity of the true and counterfeit. Israel and Edom can have the same temple plans but the Spirit of them are directly opposed and irreconcilable. One is truly Torah based, with good fruit, the other has the letter of the Torah only, and not the Spirit, leading to bad fruit. One is humble and one is proud. One is Wheat that when mature for harvest hangs its head in submission. The other is Tares (Darnel) who's head stands proud and unbowed. One is from above and one is from below.
Those that are truly born from above will long for the tree of life, not just the knowledge of Good and Evil. They will long for Communion, for connection to the Divine in and through Yeshua HaMashiach.
...OK, since I have used so much of the little Dr Suess poem, here is the rest of the Sneetches story for those like myself who are truly children at heart!
"Good grief!" groaned the one who had stars from the first.
"We're still the best Sneetches, and they are the worst.
But how in the world will we know," they all frowned,
"if which kind is what or the other way 'round?"
Then up stepped McBean with a very sly wink, and he said,
"Things are not quite as bad as you think.
You don't know who's who, that is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends, do you know what I'll do?
I'll make you again the best Sneetches on beaches,
and all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.
Belly stars are no longer in style, " said McBean.
"What you need is a trip through my stars-off machine.
This wondrous contraption will take off your stars,
so you won't look like Sneetches who have them on thars."
That handy machine, working very precisely,
removed all the stars from their bellies quite nicely.
Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about.
They opened their beaks and proceeded to shout,
"We now know who's who, and there isn't a doubt,
the best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without."
Then, of course those with stars all got frightfully mad.
To be wearing a star now was frightfully bad.
Then, of course old Sylvester McMonkey McBean
invited them into his stars-off machine.
Then, of course from then on, you can probably guess,
things really got into a horrible mess.
All the rest of the day on those wild screaming beaches,
the Fix-it-up-Chappie was fixing up Sneetches.
Off again, on again, in again, out again,
through the machine and back round about again,
still paying money, still running through,
changing their stars every minute or two,
until neither the Plain- nor the Star-bellies knew
whether this one was that one or that one was this one
or which one was what one or what one was who!
Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
the Fix-It-Up-Chappie packed up and he went.
And he laughed as he drove in his car up the beach,
"They never will learn; no, you can't teach a Sneetch!"
But McBean was quite wrong, I'm quite happy to say,
the Sneetches got quite a bit smarter that day.
That day, they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches,
and no kind of Sneetch is the BEST on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars,
and whether they had one or not upon thars.