Sunday, October 28, 2018

So What???? Either Way, It's The Gospel

Philippians 1: 12

Nevertheless, I want you to understand brothers that things against me occur, to a greater degree, for the advancement of the news of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Messiah. 

Here we have Paul wanting the average Christian to understand that he has experienced persecution, far greater than most Christians at this time. He is not necessarily bragging, but he is setting up an example that all True Believers can emulate.

Philippians 1: 14

As a result, my bond-servitude in Messiah has been made known in all the Roman judgment halls and everywhere else. Also, an increasing number of brothers, in the Lord, has gain an increasing confidence, by my bond-servitude, becoming more bold to speak the Word without fear.

In these verses, we have an example of getting a wrong idea from erroneous English versions of the Bible. On the surface, this example is not bad, but it can be dangerous and shows how the average reader will absorb an erroneous concept and allow the interpreters to build a false doctrine, right under our noses. We need to get back to the original Word of God and allow the Spirit to lead us, not man. Now, back to the verse.

Most English versions of the Bible tells us that Paul has been in palaces. Palaces conjure up a vision of grandiose buildings, in which kings and queens abide. However, the word, translated as palaces, is in reality, praitorion, which means a tent. A praitorion is a movable tent, serving as a judgement hall.  It is where the Praetor lived, while out on the road. The Praetor is the leader of the local Roman Army and also served as the local Magistrate, or judge. Many interpreters also add the word, guard, to this verse. While it is true that guards would most likely be there, the verse doesn't say it.

So what's the problem. The problem is that once you add to the Word of God, the reader could begin to get the wrong idea, about what’s really going on. By not doing their homework, a great amount of scholars and commentators have leapt to the conclusion that it meant the Praetorian Guard, which was an elite unit of the Imperial Roman army, whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Roman emperor. If the Praetorian Guard was there, then your next logical assumption would be that Paul was tried in front of Emperor Caligula, Claudius, Nero , Vespasian or Titus. In reality, he was not, at this time. You see one small misinterpretation could lead to a snowball effect, leading you down the wrong path.

To conclude this thought, by all means, there were most likely guards and most of the time, these guards were actually chained to the prisoners. In this case, Paul. What better way to spread the gospel than to evangelize the guards, who would come in contact with many people, outside of Paul’s immediate influence and thereby continue to spread the good news of God’s Grace, through the Messiah, Y’shua, throughout the Roman Empire. Isn’t it amazing how God moves.

Through Paul’s extreme example of being a Bond-Servitude, many Christians, who have heard of Paul’s hardship and persecution, are now gaining a confidence to go out and spread the gospel without any fear. Don’t get me wrong, there were still plenty of chances for persecution during that day, but it served as a motivator to take the first step and live a full Messianic existence.

This brings up the fact that Christian persecution is just as prevalent today, in many countries. However, there are also many, who are blessed to live in a free society and able to actively participate and spread the gospel on a daily basis, without fear of any retribution. How about you?  No response needed... just think about that for yourself.

Philippians 1:15-17

Also, certain ones indeed preach Messiah, for the sake of envy and controversial debate, even for the sake of good pleasure. Some preach Messiah out of partisanship, to divide, insincerity, thinking to impose distress to my bond and not out of committed love, knowing that we are appointed for the reasoned defense of the good news of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Messiah.

Even  though it is wrong to do so, there were many, in that day and today, that preached and preach the Messiah for personal gain and pleasure, not for the real reason of spreading the gospel of Y’shua ha Mashiach, Jesus Christ, through a committed love for God and mankind.

Philippians 1:18

What then?(So What?) Regardless of the manner, whether a pretense or truth, Messiah is preached. Even so, rejoice in this. Rejoice! Yes, even so, Rejoice!

Now, Paul‘s response to those preachers is amazing. It is not the typical response of most Christians. Most Christians want to judge and persecute those self-serving preachers. However, Paul says, “So what!?“ don’t get bogged down about people doing the right thing for the wrong reason. They will pay for the wrong reason, when they are before the throne of God. As long as the true gospel is being preached, you should rejoice exceedingly.

With that said, it must be the true gospel, not a false gospel. We are warned against following a false gospel, which is not supported by the Word of God. There are plenty of preachers, out there, preaching the wrong gospel for the wrong reasons. Do we need to identify and revealed this to the rest of the world? Yes, we need to put the truth out there and motivate other Christians to learn the Word themselves, through the tutorage of the Spirit of God. Only by this method can those of the Messiah be differentiated from those of the Antichrist. Let God deal with the individuals, based on their own actions. Our responsibility includes only spreading that true Word of God and letting the Spirit work in the lives of those who receive it.

On the other hand, how about the individuals within our local church? The Bible is quite clear on how to approach these individuals to either lead them in the correct way, chastise them or possibly remove them from the church. In the end, their salvation and their actions are to be judged by God, not by us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Amazing Results Of A True Believer's Agape/True Love

This week, we continued in the study of Philippians, from the Original Messianic Perspective, the original Church.

Philippians 1: 9-11

And for this I offer my prayers, that your commitment exceeds to the greatest degree and more in precise and correct knowledge of ethical and divine things and all perception, not only by the senses but by the intellect, cognitive discernment, so you, can test and discern, to distinguish between good and evil in order, that you may be found pure and without offense until the day/time of Y’shua Messiah, to bring forth fruits of righteousness, which are through Y’shua Messiah, for the glorious worship and praise of God.

The word, translated as commitment, is Agape. Many have already heard this word, for it is used a lot in the modern church. It is considered Godlike Love. However, I believe that Godlike Love is somewhat vague, because many don't understand many true attributes of God. A good example of this can be found in 1 John 2:15-17.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

In Corinthians 13:2-18, it is gives the true definition of Agape.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Notice that Paul desired and prayed that your agape, your commitment, would exceed the greatest degree. Yes, there are varying levels of maturity that a True Believer goes through, on his/her quest towards true Echad/Oneness, with God. This maturity could take a moment in time or last your entire lifetime. This is the resulting maturity, that comes naturally, when you place you complete faith, in the work done by God, through his son, Y'shua. This maturity quest is what Paul is talking about in Philippians 2:12-13.

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.

Many interpret this as a list of "Have To's" to fulfill your salvation. No. Working out your salvation is the progress through which you gravitate, by faith, towards being Godlike. Notice, in the above verses, that it says that it is not you doing stuff to obtain or fulfill your salvation, ... it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure, based on your ever increasing faith. This is reiterated in Ephesians 2:12-13.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by ones own works, so anyone can boast.

Your agape will result in Godly knowledge. What is Godly knowledge? Knowledge isn't just knowing things. It is living it. Making it your own. It's having an inward Godly perspective to perceive the difference between good and evil, which is only possible by having the precise knowledge of ethical and divine things. Is this really possible? Many say, No. But, here in Philippians, Paul alludes to the possibility. How? Again, by living the Word of God, not just knowing it.

Making the Word of God your own, for the betterment of others and especially yourself results in having the mentally knowledge and cognitive discernment to test others and yourself and distinguish between good and evil. This naturally results in you and others becoming pure, which results in the manifestation of fruits of righteousness. What are fruits of righteousness? They are the natural resulting righteous and just actions of the True Believer, when they place an ever increasing faith in God and in God's Word, which was manifested in Y'shua.

These verses also tell us that this quest of Godlike pureness and its resulting acts of righteousness, only through the Messiah Y'shua, the Word of God, will result in being without offense, blameless, at the time of the return of the Messiah, which includes the Day of Judgement.

As a side note, these two events will be the fulfillment of the Fall Feasts of Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur.

As an additional benefit of this quest is that you will have the strongest spiritual armor possible, so you can, as Ephesians 6:10-18 says strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

You will automatically have

...on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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 God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.

And after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Finally, if you ask most people to define Godly Praise and Worship, they will begin to describe their music service, prior to a sermon. Even though that is true, here, we are told that living our Agape, our total commitment is Glorious Praise and Worship, through the Word of God, the Messiah Y'shua.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yom Kippur-The Day Of Reckoning

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most solemn day of the year, started at sundown. On this awesome day, on a future Yom Kippur, all accounts between Yahweh and His covenant people are settled. And it is on this day that the final jubilee year is reconciled. God's people will be gathered themselves together in a solemn assembly before Yahweh, to present themselves before the final judgement seat. According to Messianic Judaism, Y'shua, the Son of God, the Messiah, along with the saints, will stand in judgement over those who refuse to believe. On that day, the Book of Life will be opened. Therefore, is this yearly day of Atonement a prophesy Of a future day of reckoning? 

Gemar Chatimah Tovah.(May your final sealing be in the Book of Life)

Shabbat Shalom (Sabbath Peace) 

Monday, September 10, 2018

BREAKING NEWS!!! The Tenth Red Heifer Has Arrived. Is The Prophesied Third Temple Just Around The Corner?

On the 17th day of Elul, 5778, (August 28, 2018), a red heifer was born in the land of Israel. The red heifer candidate is being raised and specially cared for under the auspices of the Temple Institute's 'Raise a Red Heifer' program.

One week after its birth, the heifer underwent an extensive examination by rabbinical experts, who determined that the heifer is currently a viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer, as described in the book of Numbers, chapter 19. This is a necessary prerequisite for the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple.

For almost 2000 years, the world has dismissed the Third Temple prophecy, as impossible. However, they said the same about the Israel becoming a nation again for the Jews. Then there was the Jerusalem becoming the Jewish capital and earlier this year, that too became a reality.

The ancient Jewish scribe Maimonides prophesied that there would only be ten red heifers, in the Temple's History, before Messiah come. This would be the tenth and final one. Obviously, the Temple would be built on the Temple Mount, with the Dome of the Rock presently in the court of the Gentiles. This would be very controversial and cause turmoil for all nations. This is also prophesied in the Bible.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.”

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”

Zechariah 12:2-3

Amazingly, there are people and actual Christians, that say that all Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled, even when the prophecies continue to be fulfilled in front of our eyes. Now, is the time to get into the Bible and check it out. It's time to sit back and see how God makes this happen.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Happy Rosh Hashanah!!!!

Beginning tonight at sundown, Yom Teruah, the beginning of the Feast Of Trumpets begins. Most Christian believers believe that the Messiah, Y’shua, Jesus, will fulfill the Fall Feasts, in the same way, he fulfilled the First Four Feasts, by snatching up the true believers, the Remnant, at the last Trump, of Yom Teruah. If it’s this year, I’ll see you there.

On the other hand, some believe that it will mark the appearance of the Antichrist and start the beginning of the End of Days. Whether you are a believer in pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation, one thing that the Bible guarantees the Remnant is that the Rapture will occur prior to the Wrath of God. Whatever happens, we’re in for a wild ride.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

We Are Echad. The Natural Flow Of Christ-Like Love And Committment

Philippians 1:7a

In so much, it is right I think this of you all, because I possess you in my heart.

Wow! What love Paul had for the Philippians. He felt this way for all true believers, regardless of the church, assembly, synagogue, etc. they attended or attend. He felt that all believers were his responsibility, to the point that they were actually a possession for which he was intimately responsible. That's a love, a commitment that all the Remnant has for each other. Notice that I didn't say, "… should have for each other.". It's not a forced commitment, but a natural outpouring of love, as a result of the Spirit of God, that is within all true believers. We all belong to each other as a possession of each of our hearts. Let's act that way. Let the Spirit naturally flow.

Philippians 1:7b

Also in my bond/chain and defense of the proclamation of the news of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Messiah, you all are partners of my grace.

Notice the word bond/chain. The Greek word used here is "desmos", which could mean chain or bond or obligation. The funny thing here is that it's also a singular noun. Therefore, to properly translate, it would be chain not chains. Obviously, Paul was in prison at the time of this letter and it is to directly imply his actual chains, but the word also could be used to convey his and our position in the Messiah...our bond or bond-servitude. So, what is the Holy Spirit trying to get across, if anything?

I believe that he is telling us that once we become Christians, Bond-Servants of Y'shua, the Messiah, we have an eternal obligation to his Gospel, his Good News. Why? Because Y'shua has paid that sin debt that we were unable to pay for ourselves. A debt that otherwise would have resulted in eternal damnation. Therefore, our natural obligation is to be grateful and wanting, not willing, to spread the Gospel, the Good News. To make the Gospel your own. As a result, you will defend it like your own, in the same way that Paul did. But, what is the Good News?

** As a quick side note, keep this in mind, the duality of "desmos" (bond/chain), when we get to verse 13.

What is the Gospel/Good News?

As you can see, if you compare this literal translation with others, such as NIV, KJV, etc., you'll notice that the actual Greek word, "euaggelion", actually means, "the proclamation of the news of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Messiah". It is my understanding that it was a new form of a Greek word, "euaggeliz┼Ź", which means, "Good News". I think it's important to understand the distinction. The word, "euaggelion", actually says that the Good News is about the Grace, the Mercy of God made possible by the act of the Messiah. It's also says that this Grace was pledged. It was promised in the Tanakh, the Old Testament, long before the B'rit Hadashah, the New Testament was written or before Y'shua walked upon this earth.

*** As a side note, in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, the Apostle Paul tells us that the Gospel is the following:

...that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures.

Paul also tell us that we are partners, co-owners of his grace, which flows from God himself. This shows that the Grace of God is a Grace that is one within all believers, a theme that is a Jewish concept of Echad, onesness, constantly proclaimed by Y'shua, during his ministry on Earth. This is also iterated within the daily Schma of the Jews.

Hear Israel, Yahweh, Elohim is One. Yahweh!!!

Love Yahweh Elohim with your inner being, mind, will, heart, soul, spirit, understanding with all your might.

Philippians 1:8

For God is witness how I long for you in the compassion of Y’shua Messiah.

Finally, how we are to commit ourselves to one another is through the natural compassion within all true believers. The Compassion of Y'shua, the Messiah, which permeates our body, soul and spirit, by way of God's Holy Spirit, that dwells within us. That compassion comes from a internal yearning to be filled with the fullness of God, in the same way Y'shua was indwelled. We should long to be with each other, teach each other, be edified by each other, as we are committed to the spiritual and physical well being of ourselves.

Remember, We Are Echad, One With God Through His Son, Y'shua, the Messiah.

Finally, notice how many witnesses there are. Two. God and his Son, Y’shua. This fulfills the requirement of the Law, stated in Deuteronomy 19:15.

A matter is established by two or more witnesses. 

I think we’ll be surprised when we stand before Jesus and our righteousness is shown to fall severely short of God’s Law. Praise God for Y’shua being obedient unto death on our behalf.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

How Do We Live Our Christian Lives?

Philippians 1:2

Grace is yours and peace with God our Father and Lord Master Messiah Y'shua.

At the beginning of last nights Bible Study, I asked the question, "What is Grace?", which prompted Ginger to say, "God's Riches At Christ's Expense.", followed by Debbie adding, "Undeserved Riches.". That's it! Grace is getting some kind of favor that we don't deserve. In our case, we get God's undeserved love, resulting in God going to great extremes to reconcile us back to him. We were indebted to him, because of our disobedience. We owed God a reconciliation sacrifice of ourselves, but God gave his one and only Son for us to offer him up to God, for our sins. Jesus said it.

"There is no greater love than for one to lay down his life for another."

That was the greatest undeserved example of Grace, known to man.

How about Peace? We throw words around, without knowing their true meaning. Peace is tranquility. Joe responded, "It's like a little baby nestled in his mothers arms. Not a care in the world, relying totally on his mother's love." That's a sweet and perfect description of peace with God, our Father. Rick responded with, "It's like the assuredness we get when place our faith, as adults, and coming to God, as children." That's a great Biblical connection to bring it home. Again, Jesus said,

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

Again, Sweet!!!

Now, back to the verse. Notice, in the Word for Word translation, it says,

"Grace is yours."

Wow!! What a very confirming statement, instead of the normal translated, "Grace and Peace, to you."

Rick and I both made the point that it sounds pretty presumptious of Paul, to say this. It sounds almost conditional and that Paul was conveying Grace and Peace, instead of God, everytime he wrote a letter. However, in the Greek, it's a resounding confirmation of Grace belonging to those who have given themselves over to the Lord. You are a saint and you have the Grace of God. Claim it as yours and Run with it. It is a very affirming confirmation of this fact.

"Peace WITH God, our Father", not FROM God, our Father. Again, the normal English almost makes it sound conditional, which it is not. Paul is really saying that you are God's children, showered with the Grace, provided by Jesus, now, live a tranquil child like existence with God, our Father.

"...and Lord Master Messiah Y'shua."

Who is the catalyst to this type of existence? Of course, the one and only Son of God, who was obedient unto death, to freely give his GRACE and PEACE providing sacrifice, on our behalf, Y'shua ha Mashiach, Jesus Christ, our lord. AMEN!!!!

Philippians 1:3-6

Thanking my God, at every thought of you. Every time, within all my prayers, on all your behalf, making requests joyfully, for your communion in the good news, from the first day until now.
Confident this entity that begun it's good work in you unto perfection until the day of Messiah Y'shua

Look at the intimate Godlike love of Paul, towards the Phippians. This is the same love that you and I should have for each other, always including each other in our prayers. The type of Agape Love through which:

We should joyfully edify, build up each other intimately, as we would build our own self.

We should joyfully care about each other intimately, as we would care about our own self.

If one hurts we should all hurt, as if it was our own self in pain.

If this isn't the type of love that you feel for one another, it's time for a severe self evaluation. Get back to the love that brought our lord Jesus Christ to the cross, the altar of God.

In this verse, notice the word, communion, which is normally translated as partnership or participation, which falls severely short of the meaning the Spirit of God is trying to get across. The Greek word is a familiar word to most Christian. It is Koinonia. Actually, the word, Koinonia surprisingly means intercourse, which is the perfect word. As in intercourse, two people become one. This is the same model for all true Christians. We are one entity. Koinonia goes perfect with Jesus' commandment to love each other as ourselves.

With all that said, it brings us to the how. How do we love each other as ourselves? Honestly, it's not a natural human response. The answer is a supernatural one. Notice verse 6.

Confident this entity that begun it's good work in you unto perfection until the day of Messiah Y'shua .

Most English versions will erroneous and presumtiously insert "Being confident of this very thing, that he...". Almost implying an external influence on us. In reality, the Greek says it correctly. The one who begun IT'S good work, INSIDE YOU, is the Gift of God, his Holy Spirit. It is God's Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to live our lives as God wants us and perfects us until the day, Y'shua/Jesus comes back for us.

Have you ever notice that the one who inspired the men of the Bible, to write the Bible, goes to great lengths not to get the Glory that is due the Father. Why? Because there isn't a separate entity called the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God, himself, that dwells inside of us all, in the same way that his fulness dwelled and continues to dwell inside, the only man, who sits at God's right hand, Jesus Christ.