Love Hurts

Yeshua’s model on love, correction, and discipline:

In about 90 AD, Yokhanan had a crazy experience on Yom Kippur [The Day of יהוה  , NOT ‘sunday’].

He was told to write 7 letters, one to each Kahal [assembly].

The first one started with “I know your works, how hard you have labored, how you have persevered, and you cannot bear wicked people…”

The second one started, “I know how you are suffering and how poor you are, and the insults of those who call themselves Jews and are not…”

The third: “I know where you are living, where HaSatan’s throne is, yet you are holding on to My Name”…

The fourth: “I know your works, your love, trust, service, and perseverance…”

The fifth: “I know your works, that you have a reputation for being alive, but in fact you are DEAD”

The sixth: “I know your works: See, I have put in front of you an open door, and no one can shut it. I know that you have but little power, yet you have obeyed my message and have not disowned me…”

The seventh: “I know your works, that you are neither hot nor cold; O, how I wish you were one or the other!”

I began contemplating some different aspects of these statements a few days ago. First, while these are seven letters to seven different earthly congregations, they are also a single message to the One Kahal of Messiah Yeshua.

He begins by lauding the Kahal that assembled in Ephesus, He started with honoring them, because honor was due them. They had works. They were ‘doing’, and they did not abide the wicked, or those who break Torah. He lauded them for that. Yet, He told them to return to their first love: studying Torah! If we read Acts, we find that they were the city where Shaul rented a public meeting place for two years, to teach them the Torah, The Word of יהוה  ! [Acts 19:9]. He tells them, “REMEMBER how you fell, TURN FROM SIN, and DO what you DID at first!” You must remember, the wrongly dubbed ‘new testament’ had not been written! ‘Turn’ is “repent”, and in biblical parlance it means ‘turn to Torah’, since Torah tells us what sin is, we turn to it to know how to turn from sin.

Can we ‘hear’ Yeshua’s ‘tone’ in these letters? No. But, can we infer certain things about it? Yes. He is compassionate here, then scolding, then encouraging: “You have this in your favor: You HATE the Nicolaitans’ works, AS DO I !” WHAT? Yeshua hates something?

HATE. It has such negative connotations in our baby-fied society that thinks love is nothing but ‘soft’. Yeshua’s great LOVE for truth demanded severe HATE for error. But, notice, He hates their WORKS! NOT the people! And He praises the Kahal for hating those WORKS. What ‘works’; in their case, ‘controlling the people’ and bilking them for money, explained to another congregation later.

Then, He encourages them again, and makes a promise of blessing: “To the one who is victorious I will give the right to eat of the tree of Life which is in Gan Eden of Elohim.”

So, we have Yeshua giving honor FIRST. Then, we have Him chiding them for their error. Then He encourages and reinforces what they do right, and makes a promise of blessing, conditioned on their becoming ‘overcomers’.

The next congregation does not get praised first, because they were suffering. The first thing Yeshua does is show compassion for their suffering. Ephesus, the first one, was not enduring suffering. This one was.  Sometimes we suffer. And He shows them compassion in their suffering. He strengthens them by telling them DO NOT FEAR, and WARNS them that their suffering is not over!

Yeshua does not ‘candy coat’ anything. If it’s bad news, He gives it! But, with the bad news comes a message of hope and encouragement: “remain faithful, even unto death, and I will give you a crown of LIFE.”

It is so tiring to hear people sugar-coat the gospel, and whine and cry about how everyone should just get along. People sin! It is a hard life! Sometimes, the people of God suffer; sometimes they suffer more than anyone else. If one comes to Yeshua thinking life is nothing but cake and ice-cream, they came to Him with a grave misunderstanding, and selfishly motivated. Those who have this understanding are typically those who reject Him eventually, following deceiving spirits that promise “real love” where nothing goes wrong and where one can do no wrong. That is WRONG thinking. SIN is still SIN.  And life still happens to believers.

Life is REAL, and we are NOT promised a trouble-free life in this world! We are in fact promised trouble, by Messiah Himself: “IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE.” Isn’t it compassionate of Him to have told us that! And now we know He sees our struggles. BUCK UP! ENDURE! “Khazak V’Ematz!” Because in the next world, THERE there will be no sorrow; we will get there IF WE are faithful! To Messiah and His Torah. He certainly is faithful to us!

This pattern of recognition/honor, correction, and honor with reinforcement is seen through the next messages to the congregations.

It is the third Congregation where the Nicolaitan error is again addressed, and more fully expounded. Yeshua calls it the error of Bilam. What was that error? Profiteering off of the people of G-d by controlling them, and keeping them from the Word of יהוה ! “Nicolaitan” means ‘controlling the people’. This was the beginning of the infiltration of the pagan idea of “clergy vs. laity” in the congregations. When the congregations were established, there were always multiple ‘overseers’ appointed, not just one man. Multiple pastors, multiple ‘deacons’, etc. And NONE of them were paid positions! The only people serving the people who received money from the people were those on missions who had left their homes and possessions and means of income! Shaul himself worked with two other Jews, making tallits, so that he could support HIMSELF. [Acts 18:3]

Is it not interesting that He starts five of these letters with “I know your works”? And two times those works were NOT HONORABLE. Remember, He is addressing believers!

“Avodah”: That’s a very Jewish term, my friends. It points to the Torah, which tells us we must ‘serve Elohim.’ There is so much more to ‘service’ than just “good deeds” [helping the poor, sick, afflicted, and helpless]; there is ‘service of worship’, assembling with the brethren on the prescribed times of assembly. prayers, etc. The Torah instructs us in ALL of these things. Our ‘works’ have to be His Works! Not men’s!

In His message to the fifth congregation, and the seventh, we also learn of Yeshua that He will NOT give praise/honor to those who have not earned it! Look at the message to the fifth congregation: He starts chiding them immediately! “You ‘look’ alive, but you are DEAD!”

Where is lovey-dovey ‘Jesus’ all of a sudden?

Today’s teachers think that we have to drum up ‘praise’ for the unruly child who has done no good; or for the congregant who does not serve the Body, but only ‘wants’ from the body, begging for ‘love and compassion’ without being willing to actually do the HARD WORK of LOVE! Love means accepting offenses and moving past them! It means looking into oneself and being willing to accept ones own error. Love is so much more than a feeling.

If one is not SERVING in His Congregation, they deserve NO HONOR~! Nothing is more disgusting than disingenuous “positive reinforcement”. In fact, it does nothing but perpetuate BAD BEHAVIOR. Yeshua warned these two congregations to straighten up and fly right! “Remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and TURN FROM YOUR SIN! For if you don’t wake up, I will come like a thief; and you don’t know at what moment I will come upon you!” And, “Because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!….As for me, I REBUKE and discipline EVERYONE I LOVE; so EXERT yourselves, and TURN from your sins!”

We dare not forget that He was speaking to believers in these messages.

Love, “Ahava”, is a wonderful commodity, not an emotion. Love is an ACTION that offers good OR bad emotion! The ‘negative’ emotion of CONTRITION, provoked by tough love, is a powerful thing, and is absolutely NECESSARY in those who trust in Messiah. “FEEL” BAD, if you are not obeying Him! Because if He does not discipline us, we are NOT His children.

Love is SO MUCH MORE than being ‘sweet’. That is only one side of it! And it’s the side we all want. But that is immature, to think that’s all there is to it. It is sickening, what the world thinks love is! Sometimes, love is DEATH! “GREATER LOVE has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Yeshua set the example on how to love. And sometimes, that means being a little tough on people. There is much at stake.

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9 thoughts on “Love Hurts

  1. LOVE HURTS…What a title!!! I enjoyed reading this. When YESHUA was walking among the people, at that very same moment, Yokhanan (John) was waiting as a “prisoner in the third cell”, hoping YESHUA to redeem him. But it did not happen. Did Yeshua not love Yokhanan? Indeed Yes!. Why didn’t Yeshua get him out of his third cell, and death…especially when YESHUA could do it, and knew YOCHANAN’s suffering? Love does Hurt!!! This is a hard subject. Not everyone can address this.

    Thank you Brother Daniel!

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  2. Yeshua’s great LOVE for truth demanded severe HATE for error-Daniel Perek
    I love this statement! We have misunderstood God’s love way too far…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for this well written and thought out blog.
    I have been a believer 23 years, and much of that time was spent in charismatic churches. It is all I knew outside of the Catholic school I went to as a child. I feel so cheated, yet honestly, I always knew that these churches bore no resemblance to the Book of Acts church that I fell in love with and longed for as a baby Christian. I came to Christ because I wanted my life, and death to count for something.
    I am so grateful that Yeshua has finally opened my eyes to what He truly desires from His Congregation and has equipped us to do!
    Christianity badly needs a Martin Luther King type movement, where believers will lay their lives down if need be, to expose the corruption, and reveal the putrid foundation that the harlot is built on. Talking points and buzz words run rampid through churches with nary an original thought, reminiscent of how politics operate. How incredible it would be to have a grassroots movement of Truth in the churches?
    When I read how Constantine gave incentives to the churches to bring them into his flock, it repulsed me to think that Hitler did the same thing in Nazi Germany, and to this day the church is still in partnership with governments.
    Shame on me for not researching the history of Christianity sooner, when my spirit knew something was amiss.
    Glory to God for His tender mercies and loving kindness!

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    1. Steve,
      Thanks so much for your thoughts…. The Congregation of Messiah needs LIFE, not a ‘movement.’ The Body needs the HEAD to be Messiah Yeshua Himself. He IS the Torah. Movements are usually political in nature, as much as/or more than they are spiritual, including Luther’s. I get what you are saying, and why. I just need to express some clarity. I do not admire Luther, at all, like many in the community of faith. Having read his own words concerning his loathing for our Jewish people, and the history of his persecuting [murdering] other believers [Anabaptists at Munster, and others], I do not see him as a ‘pillar’ in the community of genuine faith. His words were foundational to the Holocaust. Also, he completely ignored the Torah, founding his whole ‘doctrine’ on the book of Romans alone. He did start some on a search for truth, but Abba uses all things for His purposes. There were ‘protestants’ against xtianity and popes LONG before Luther: nameless ones who died for Messiah and His Shabbat and Torah. History has buried their legacy. Religion of man has buried their legacy. Truth is never in the hands of the ‘popular’ in this world.

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  4. I was referring to MLK, and while he was greatly flawed also, still, he knew that his life would be greatly shortened while attempting to liberate his fellow blacks. I can’t imagine how much worse off our Country would be if we continued to segregate and descriminate (and far worse), as we did back then?
    I wholeheartedly agree with you on political movements. We should all be encouraged that Yeshua chose a Zeolot as a Talmidim and that He showed him the true way to liberate mankind.

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    1. Alrighty Daniel,
      I almost need an aspirin 🙄
      I did write “King” in the original comment, and if I had written it in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, this would have been a much shorter conversation… but then I would have needed at least 10 aspirin because I don’t know those languages and English is already a struggle for me.🤔

      Liked by 2 people

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