נִתְקָרְבָה נָא בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם

“”Therefore, let us draw near with a whole heart, in full assurance of absolute trust, having our hearts sprinkled and cleansed of evil thought and our bodies washed with pure water.” ~ Ivrim 10:22

I ‘practiced’ this today.  And then I thought of this verse.  Let me explain what I mean.

There are times, for me, that it seems nothing I ‘do’ in regard to worship seems to ‘work.’  I do not mean in the sense of ‘feeling goose bumps’ or emoting to any degree.  I mean in the sense of finishing prayers, and having absolute “shalom,” even though the circumstances of life have not changed.  Don’t get me wrong, many days I do that.  But sometimes I think that is quite by accident, and not a cognitive function.

There was a moment in my life, during the hardest year of my life to date, the year I lost both my parents and both my grandparents, mom and dad only six weeks apart, grandmother barely eight weeks later, and grandpa right near my birthday.  During all that and the collateral turmoil, I just could not get ‘shalom,’ and I still remember the very spot I was standing when these words came across my lips in a plea from deep within:    ” יהוה Ro’i, lo ‘ekh’sar”….  And I ‘gave’ myself over to Him.  In a moment, in the blink of an eye, all the angst left me.  I stood there in joyful shock, having thought that I’d never have a still mind again.  There I stood, in perfect shalom.  I will never, ever forget that brief moment, whose ‘shalom’ lasted for quite some time.

But, since then, there have been times when I struggle to get to that place.  I slip back into the human habit of thinking it’s G-d’s job to come to me.  I slip almost subconsciously into typical human thinking and behavior, forgetting the reality of His Presence, of His Compassion, and His ‘khafetz’ toward His people, His deep, affectionate desire for us to draw near to Him.  To delight in HIM.  To TRUST that He is waiting there for us, and for us to ‘move’ into Him.

I consciously had to do that again today.  The last week or so has been inordinately stressful, for various reasons.  Nothing catastrophic, just things of life that must be dealt with, several converging all at once.  And I decided, consciously, deliberately, that He is waiting for me to worship Him.  To make a move.  I was singing a melody I wrote for parts of Tehillah 135 and 115, that starts out “Bless יהוה ,” and then ‘Trust in יהוה ,” speaking to Yisra’el, the houses of Aharon and Levi, and those who FEAR יהוה .  The imperative plural for ‘trust’ is ‘bit’khu’.  It dawned on me how very similar בִּטְחוּ  and  בְּתֹוךְ are, ‘bit’khu’ and ‘betokh’.  They are, ‘trust,’ and ‘in the midst of’, respectively.  They’re similar mostly just phonetically, having two letters the same.  But, It just occurred to me that my ‘trust’ is what ‘moves’ me into the ‘midst of’, betokh, the “High Tower,” the “Shield,” the ‘Buckler’, the ‘strong fortress, the ‘ever present help’, that is יהוה .

It really is that simple.  One thing I am learning more and more, is that men complicate G-d.  Men make it difficult to ‘get to Him.’  Men impede others’ progress in their walk. Yeshua said of the Rabbis that they make proselytes “Two-times the sons of Gehinom” as they are.   Men do this, because we all think the ‘systems’ of brilliant men must be ‘the way.’  Nope.  HE is.  And HIS WAY is simple.  His burden is easy.  His Torah is a DELIGHT.  And HE HIMSELF is so FULL of compassion, and a ‘desire’ to commune with us, and be our comfort.

There really is a paradigm shift in ‘shalom,’ when we come to Him with a ‘whole heart,’ like the verse quoted above says.  נִתְקָרְבָה נָא בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם   Let us ‘draw near with a WHOLE heart.  The word for heart there is its full version, ‘levav.’  Two ‘houses’ and a king.  The King perhaps ‘joining’ the two houses together.  The word there for ‘whole’ is ‘shalem.’  It is the last letters of Yerushalayim, and the root word of “Shalom.”  Shalom, in Hebrew, means ‘being complete,’ having need of nothing.  The verse I quoted those years ago, ” יהוה “ Ro’i, lo ekh’sar” has a similar idea.  “ekh’sar” is sort of an opposite of ‘shalem’.  It means ‘lack,’ not complete or whole, unsatisfied.  But, in the verse, it is negated by the word ‘lo’. ” יהוה  is my shepherd, I will lack nothing.”

This is deeper probably than I can convey herein… but I hope this helps someone whose mind ‘lacks’ shalom.  Bit’khu is ‘confidence’, being translated as trust.  I hope someone is able to ‘move’ a little closer, realizing you settle your heart by KNOWING He is also coming to you….

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Chief Soldier

“Therefore, endure hardships as a good soldier of Yeshua HaMashi’akh. No man can be a soldier and also entangle himself with the things of this life, if he would please him who has chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strives to win a contest, he is not crowned except he competes according to the rules.”

I have been praying for a few days now of what next to write.  Usually, I am compelled by something, some thing I read or heard, some experience I had with a person, some thought that plagued my mind, good or bad.  This week has been very different.  This week, my wife and I are making a monumental, life-changing decision, and the ‘war’ has been to make certain Abba is guiding us.  We came to shalom early in the week, and now we just have to walk through it in TRUST.

But, other things have been in my prayers, and in my dreams.  And I sometimes beg Abba to assure me He is with me, and guiding me.  And each time, I am compelled simply to ‘trust,’ and then reminded of a scripture to that effect.  Sometimes that’s tough, but, THAT is the ‘confidence’ of a true SOLDIER.  After having read the verses cited above, I again thought of this verse: “Adonai gives the word; those who declare the good news are a great army.”  [Tehillah 68:12]  I have come to love that verse.

In the verses above, from Timote’us Bet 2:3-7, the word for soldier is “Khayal,” which in that context is literally ‘valiant one.’  It is from this word the Eishet Khayil comes, from Mishlim 31:10, the ‘valiant woman’, or ‘virtuous wife’.  In order for one to be a valiant one, a soldier for Yeshua, he must realize he is CHOSEN, and did NOT choose G-d.  He must not entangle himself in the ‘things of this life,’ but strive to please the ONE who chose him.  He must play by the rules….

I firmly trust that the rules are the mitzvot of the Torah, RIGHTLY elucidated by Yeshua’s life and words, NOT by MEN who pervert them.  But, there are many who SAY they ‘trust’, but they do not ‘do’.  But, the worst person is one who SAYS he is following G-d, Yeshua, and/or His Torah, and yet HAS NO COMPASSION, and chooses to sit in judgment over his brother.

We’ve had those high-minded individuals to leave our congregation, and then run us down publicly, saying we hate Jews, simply because we choose Yeshua’s instruction over the Rabbis’.  They cannot ‘see’ the GOOD that our congregation does.  They are blinded by their religious pride.  And they bring a bad name to us by speaking negatively about us, by name.  They would think I am herein doing the same, but do you see me ‘naming’ anyone, trying to bring a bad reputation to their person or congregation?  No.  I’m simply pointing out what we go through, what has been done to us, by people who benefitted from us.  [Tehillah 41:10, 55:14-15, 109:3-5]

It is a tough road to walk, to expose the liars and charlatans in the ‘believing’ community, the lies of the Rabbis who REJECT YESHUA, the lies of ‘two-house’ teachers who divide the body according to DNA, and the false prophets out there, without also appearing to be committing ‘lashon harah’, the ‘evil tongue.’  But, I take comfort in Sha’ul and Kefa, who at times NAMED liars by name!  And in Yeshua, who called the Rabbis ‘vipers’, whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones’, TO THEIR FACES.

The simple truth is we live in the LAST of the LAST days, and liars and false prophets run amuck.  The Messianic community is SWAMPED with identity religionists of all persuasions: Jew-only Rabbinic Messianics, Two House Jews and Gentiles, Brit Am, Black Israelite, Hebrew Roots, Christians, all of whom DIVIDE the body.  We, tiny little Bat-Tzion, are attempting to thread the needle.  We TRUST that we can indeed put the rope through the eye of the needle, by shredding it down to its smallest parts, binding them together IN LINE behind Messiah Yeshua alone, by discarding SELF identity, and BEING Ekhad in Messiah Yeshua ALONE.  Those who ‘think’ themselves spiritually ‘rich’ refuse to do so.  They prefer their identity religion.  They prefer the twisted teachings of men.

Several times this week, I have been asked to ‘clear the air’ on one teacher or another, or one doctrine or another, in private.  This is exactly why we, our congregation, are attempting to create the liturgy needed for TRUE Messianic Congregations, those who identify in and follow the ONLY Rabbi, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, the Son of G-d.  And to create a fellowship of Messianic Peshitta congregations, and a ‘yeshiva’, to teach others the Peshat [simple] way to study scripture.  G-d really DOES make His Word very plain.  MEN complicate it.  They TWIST it for their selfish reasons. [Kefa Bet 3:14-17, Filipim 1:15-18].  Abba does indeed work in the midst of that, and save many.  But, HE is also calling HIS ARMY OUT of Bavel, OUT of ‘confusion,’ and to TRUTH.  And His Truth is unimpeachable.  It stands, regardless of what men do.

To get that accomplished, there have been many challenges.  And so few people respond to our PLAIN message, because we do NOT tickle their itching ears, but, at times, as one reader put it, send a ‘freight train’ barreling down on them.  The blast of the Shofar is indeed OFFENSIVE to someone who is ASLEEP.  Or, who is ignoring the warning of being led astray in the battle.

How do you, reader, think that Yeshua said the words he said in Luka 4, where he told His hometown, Jewish brothers and sisters, and the friends He grew up with, that they, religious Israel, were rejecting Him?  Did He yell?  Did He speak like a pretentious auntie to a baby, or did He simply plainly speak?  That is all we have ever done.  Yet so few respond, except to run us down publicly, as if they have nothing better to do.  As if we are their enemy, and did some grave offense to them personally.  Even though I personally have NEVER named anyone I know personally in any public forum, nor even hinted anything about them in my conversations, publicly or privately.  They simply are not that important to me.

It truly has grieved me this week, the way people treat each other publicly.  The way religious people run other religious people down, by name, in an effort to draw people away from someone, for a personal victory of vanity.  The way politicians mock each other and insult each other.  The way personal friends hold grudges and ‘hint’ at them on fb, hoping to raise their ire, and all the ways people are just stinking selfish.  Yeshua made the following statement to the Rabbis, who represent all that is wrong with religion, who, today, along with most religious leaders of all ilks, represent the Great Harlot of Bavel, who lead His people into confusion: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion and not sacrifice;’ for I came not to invite righteous men, but sinners.”  The problem with most religious people, is that they think they are no longer sinners.  I think I’d prefer to compete with Sha’ul and echo his saying: “It is a trustworthy saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Yeshua HaMashi’akh came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

 

Early Rain

Each week, I do a ‘drash’ at our Synagogue, where I ‘seek out’ and teach from the weekly Torah portion that Jews and Messianic believers the world over are reading during the week [hopefully!].  Many have asked me in times past, early on in the week, what specific scriptures will be read from the Bimah, and what will the subject of the ‘drash’ be…. and usually, I have to say, “I don’t know,” because I usually don’t, until that Shabbat morning when I rise early with Messiah and make my notes.

This week, as soon as I read that portion, I ‘knew’ what we would be discussing in our drash, and what scriptures we would read.  This has only happened once before, that I can remember, over the last eleven years.  And, I’ve promised to keep my drash ‘short,’ because of other things our congregation needs to do this Shabbat.  Hopefully, the impact of what is delivered will be as powerful as I feel it right now in my own heart and life…..

spring

Khazku L’vaveikhem!

“O, You rich men, weep and howl for the miseries which shall come upon you! Your riches are destroyed and rotted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are tarnished, and the rust of them will be a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh. The treasures which you have heaped together will be as fire to you for the Akharit HaYamim. Behold, the wage of the laborers who have reaped your fields, that which you have fraudulently kept back, cries; and the cry of the reapers has already entered into the ears of  יהוה  Tzeva’ot. For you have had your luxuries on earth and have been greedy; you have fed your bodies as for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered HaTzadik, and yet he does not resist you. But my brethren, be patient until the coming of  יהוה , just as the husbandman waits for the precious crop of his field, and has long patience for it, until he receives the early and the latter rain. You be patient also; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of Adoneinu is at hand.”

I recently completed the “Messianic Megilah for Purim,” which is an abridged version of the book of Eisteir, the source of the Purim celebration, and it has questions and commentary to make the Shpiel a teaching opportunity, as well as jubilant and fun for children and adults.  Eisteir is an underrated book in scripture, and gets very little attention.  I have since decided to teach this book, using the Megilah as a guide, during our Congregation’s Torah Study, after the next study, done by Paul Torason over his book, “These Things You Should Have Done,” is completed.

The book of Eisteir is replete with Messianic overtones concerning both the “Former Rains” and “Latter Rains” of Messiah’s ministry on earth.  The primary spirit dealt with in the book is that of anti-Semitism, rooted in ‘Sheker HaMashi’akh,’ going all the way back to the beginning of the history of Yisra’el.  Our upcoming study will likely link the book of Eisteir to Ezrah and Nekhem-Yah, as the episode of Eisteir probably occurred between the 6th and 7th chapters of Ezrah.  Having taught the book of Ezrah concerning ‘spiritual warfare’ some years ago, and seeing how closely related anti-Semitism and Sheker HaMashi’akh are, it is fitting to teach these things again, as we creep ever closer to the last of the Akharit HaYamim.

The passage above, from Ya’akov Chapter 5:1-8, was ‘fresh’ in my reading scripture one day on the bus as I rode in to work.  The book of Ya’akov was written to the Jewish believers in Messiah who were scattered throughout the Aramaic regions east of Yisra’el.  But, this passage seems to have been written to someone else?  It is addressing the wealthy WITHIN THE BODY Of BELIEVERS!  Our sacred scriptures are not written to the world, but only to those who trust in Elohim!  The world mocks the scriptures, and denies them, and fights against them.  The intended audience of the Words of Elohim, in general, are for those who say they trust in Him!  And if one checks the context of this passage, the previous chapter is addressing congregants who are wealthy, how they are treated versus the poor, et cetera.  This passage is written to believers, proven by the last statement, “But my brethren…” which is a reminder to hold out to the return of Messiah, continuing to trust AND obey HIM.

So, how can these previous words of warning apply to believers?  Should unbelievers hear these words and heed them?  Of course.  But, we know they will not.  That is the nature of unbelievers: they deny the Words of G-d.  But, the warning goes out to them as well, and that is who I first thought of in the reading of it.  But, it also occurs to me that there are many believers, or those who profess to believe, who need to hear this dire warning, especially in the day in which we live.  And especially in the lavishness of our lives, even among the most obedient of believers.  We cannot allow our success and worldly comforts distract us from the grander scheme of things!  It is so EASY to forget how very brief this life is, and how very critical to salvation the B’sorah is, and the need for our constantly declaring its Truth, ‘hearing’ it ourselves, as well as causing others to ‘hear’.  We are supposed to be living for and looking for the day of His return.  No matter that it has been 2,000 years since these words were written.

The first part of this prophecy about the wealthy deals only with the wealth, how fleeting and useless it is, and how it is a snare to those who possess it.  And how they will suffer for robbing their laborers.  That probably, admittedly, does not apply to most believers, but it does to some.  I’ve seen and been the victim of those robbing myself and others, professed believers who owed me wages they did not pay.  But, by and large, the average person does not fit in this category.  But, the two passages that stood out are toward the end of what I cited, before the reminder to remain faithful comes.  The first: “you have fed your bodies as for the day of slaughter.”  Some people will not understand that passage.  But, as a boy, I grew up on a little ‘ranch,’ and we kept hogs.  The sole purpose of those hogs was to get fat, so that we could slaughter them near winter and have a freezer full of meat.  Ya’akov is here saying that these people to whom he writes are fattening themselves as if for the same purpose.  Pigs eat whatever you put in front of them; whenever you put it in front of them.  I personally believe this sentence is given for layers of interpretation.  First, we are in the last days, and those who do ‘have’ are certainly obsessed with eating, so much so that the ‘diet industry’ is making a fortune off of those who are trying to keep  on eating yet look more slim.  They literally want their cake, and to eat it too.  But, also, the ‘consumption’ of spiritual junk food is run amuck in our day.  We ‘take in’ far too much bad information, ideas and images that go against the design of G-d, and we just keep on doing it.  We ‘feed’ on it incessantly, instead of consuming HIS WORD.  It is no wonder we have an epidemic of adultery and fornication, divorce, alcoholism, homosexuality, transgenderism, drug addiction and deaths, suicide, and on and on.  Our spiritual diets are fattening us for the day of slaughter, and no one wants to ‘step back’ and take an assessment.  Right thinking is all but gone!  

The next statement of note was: “You have condemned and murdered HaTzadik, and yet he does not resist you.”  This would appear at first to have been written only to the lost.  But, we MUST remember, it is OUR sin, MY sin [insert yourself here] that nailed Him to the tree!  Further, Sha’ul reminds us that anyone who continues to LIVE IN SIN after he has tasted of the heavenly gift TRAMPLES the BLOOD of  BEN HaELOHIM under foot, and spurns the covenant of that shed blood. [Ivrim 10:29]

We are indeed in the “Akharit HaYamim,” and have been for 2,000 years.  But, we who live now are at the end of the end.  Yes, there have been so many wing-nut, false prophets who have caused many to be jaded, crying ‘wolf’ about his return and making the community of faith look foolish at times, but, that does not detract from the hard truth that Messiah is about to come back.   Our scriptures predicted that people would be jaded due to false prophets wrongly predicting His Return [2 Tim 2:18], and also about those who mock as a result of that!  [2 Peter 3:3-8]  As a matter of fact, Yeshua Himself said that He will come in such an hour as ‘you think not.’  Is it possible that that hour, that moment, people have finally given up on His Return, precisely because they are jaded as a result of the confusion of false prophets and lukewarm believers?

His return is indeed at hand.  How soon?  I’m not certain, but I refuse to be jaded and numbed by all the junk out there, and end up not being prepared.  I am looking forward to this Purim, the next celebration on our calendar, more than I ever have.  Writing that little Megilah has done a lot for me, and I anticipate His coming with great excitement, and cannot wait to reinvigorate those who come to the Shpiel with more understanding of where we are, in the “Latter Rain.”

purim

Boo! Who?

“Test the spirits to find out if they are of Elohim….”

I wish I had time to do a deep study of this for this post.  But, my main point is this: either we believe ‘spirits’ exist, or we throw our Bibles away.

If they do exist, why do we not ‘deal’ with them?

In the context of the verse quoted above, the spirits about which Yokhanan warns us were to manifest in FALSE PROPHETS.  Yet so few people actually do the very specific litmus test he gave us, in order to learn if we are dealing with a liar or a person true to Messiah.

Our society is the victim of false advertising and self-absorbed ‘progress’, such that we no longer believe in spirits.  In the congregations, the only spirit anyone ‘believes’ in is the ‘holy spirit,’ and so, many who THINK they have the ‘holy spirit’ actually have a false spirit.  In society in general, however, what is actually the manifestations of ‘spirits’ is treated as mere human behavior, and excused as such, and not dealt with in a divine way, but either ignored, or medicated, or psycho-analyzed ad nauseum.

As believers in HaDavar, The Word, which manifested in the human being, a man whose Name is Yeshua, we are supposed not only to believe in Him, but also that there is a realm in which ‘spirits’ operate, in an attempt to depose our King from the human heart.  Those who say they believe do not take this seriously.  Perhaps because since the ‘enlightenment’ most of society has dismissed the idea of another realm.  While there is a lot of truth to the overemphasis on that realm before the enlightenment, and a complete misunderstanding of it due to the heavy sway paganism had on Europe during the dark ages, those ‘enlightened’ ones threw the baby out with the bathwater, dismissing even the very notion that spirits exist.  And since then we’ve [humanity] been treating mere symptoms of spiritual malaise instead of going to the source.  We’ve been ignoring even the possibility that there is another realm, which followers of Messiah were taught to deal with and given power over.   

Yes, today there are those who ‘say’ they have power over it, and ‘think’ they deal with it.  And, the entertainment industry has given a bad rap to anyone who knows they exist, and painted all spirits as more powerful than people of faith, and far more powerful than they actually are.  [Think ‘The Exorcist”] And, many in the community of faith have assigned authority and power to HaSatan himself that only belongs to Elohim, treating him as a direct opposite and mirror image of Elohim [G-d]. He is NOT.  He is completely subservient to Elohim, and must submit to HIM.  Even now.  Even though he is now the ‘prince of the power of the air,’ and the ‘ruler’ of the heavenlies of the earth [up to the third heaven].

One of the most powerful ‘spirits’ that plagues believers is ‘to’evah,’ that of ‘perversion.’  And it is perversion of HIS TRUTH, perversion of HIS DESIGN, and we are letting our society be run by this ‘spirit.’  People succumb to it, because of the ‘brainwashing’ society does, telling us that the design of G-d is no longer relevant.  A girl is no longer a girl, a boy is no longer a boy, and what one does with his body sexually is totally his choice.  This is worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.  G-d designed the human body, and gave it specific purpose.  The language of the scriptures is very clear on this issue.  But, MAN has come along and told G-d that His Word is not true, and that we do not need to align ourselves to it, neither as individuals, nor much less as a society.  How DARE we who believe HaDavar deign to impose the design of G-d on the rest of society?!

The individual who might deal with ‘thoughts’ about whether or not they are a girl and not a boy, or gay and not ‘normal’ in sexuality, or feminine and not masculine, or doomed as an alcoholic, or in need of another substance, is dealing not only with thoughts of the heart or mind, but a spirit of perversion, ‘to’evah’, to twist their life OUT of the design.  And so-called believers are oblivious to this ‘spirit,’ and actually work on its behalf to condemn the person whom HaSatan has blinded to a truth of His Word.  We [The Body of Messiah] are SUPPOSED to be here to SET THEM FREE.  To GIVE THEM SIGHT.  [Yesha-Yahu 61:1-4, Luka 4:18-19]  But instead, it seems to me, we see the human who is ‘bound’ by this as an enemy, and as such do not ‘see’ the real enemy, who has imprisoned this human to perversion.  Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that there are indeed a majority that WANTS to be perverted, they ENJOY their sin, and revel in it, and have no desire whatsoever to embrace His truth, nor to be free from sin.  BUT, there are MANY people who do believe in the Creator, even though their ideas of Him are twisted, but, they nonetheless believe, and yet they THINK that they have no choice in the matter.  The believing community, by and large, has bought the lies of the ‘elite,’ and taken their prescription, instead of seeing a simple truth of The Word, and also being WILLING to do what The Word says concerning our enemy.

GO TO WAR!  We, those who trust in Yeshua, are SUPPOSED to CARE that people are dealing with an enemy.  First, of ourselves, we are supposed to be aware of the war, of our enemy, and in response, to ‘dress ourselves down’ as if we are prepared for it. [Efisim 6].  The purpose of Yeshua coming to us was not to make us ‘sit back and take it,’ or to give in and allow sin to run amuck because we just cannot win.  It was to enlist us in HIS war with our common enemy:

“We all growl like bears, and mourn sore like doves; we look for right, but there is none; for Yeshua[h] [Salvation, the noun form of Yeshua’s Name], but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are present to us, and as for our iniquities, we know them: transgressing and denying  יהוה , and turning away from following our Elohim, speaking oppression and perverseness, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And justice is turned away backward, and tzedaka stands afar off; for truth has stumbled in the broad place, and uprightness cannot enter. And truth is lacking, and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey. And  יהוה  saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice; and He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought Salvation unto Him; and His tzedaka, it sustained Him; and He put on tzedaka [right-standing] as a coat of mail, and a helmet of Yeshua[h] upon His head, and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies…So shall they fear the Name of יהוה … And a Go’el [redeemer] will come to Tzion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Ya’akov, says  יהוה . And as for Me, this is My Brit with them, says יהוה ; My Ru’akh that is upon you, and My D’varim which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed’s seed, says יהוה , from henceforth and forever.”

We have a very vivid episode of Yeshua in contest with HaSatan, Himself being TEMPTED, and He quotes the scriptures in order to ‘stand against the fiery darts of the evil one.’  What many do not realize, perhaps, is that Yeshua quoted ONLY the book of D’varim, Deuteronomy, in standing against HaSatan in personal ‘warfare.’  D’varim means ‘the words’, or, “The Word,” in the sense of an order of magnitude.  The Book of D’varim is the ‘book of war’ that a king of Yisra’el was supposed to write two copies of HIMSELF, and keep one on his horse, as the battle plan.  Yet, our believing community and its leaders have dismissed it, hidden it away, and in some cases CHANGED its relevance to mere ‘symbolism.’  Or worse, called it ‘old’, implying uselessness.  But Yeshua quoted specific commands out of it, the book of D’varim, The Word[s], to keep HIMSELF from going against the Design of His Father.  In this way, Yeshua begins to fulfill the prophecy quoted above from Yesha-Yahu 59, where he puts on the ‘armor’ and garments of vengeance against the adversary.  Consider, just days before His temptation, at His immersion, His Father had sent the Ru’akh in the shape of a ‘dove’, and then spoke from Heaven saying, ‘You are my Ben Ha’Ahuv,’ [beloved Son].  Was not Yeshua ‘clothed’ at that moment?  And Sha’ul echoes this passage in instructing those at Efesus to put on similar armor.

Anyone who ‘departs from evil’ makes himself a prey…. hmmmm.  We are told not to participate in evil.  But, is it at all possible that this ‘departing’, in this context, is that of not facing it in battle?  And this is how we become a prey?  Is that not exactly what Yisra’el had done in history when this prophecy of Yeshua was given.  They had forgotten that worshipping G-d in any way but His prescribed way was actually the worship of demons!  And they’d opened themselves up to multiple spirits, and His Word was no longer on their lips.  And when Yeshua showed up, they’d have told you [Religious Jews] that you lie, if you said they didn’t follow His Word [they DID tell Yeshua that, who told them that very thing]!  Is this why there seemed to be so many ‘spirits’ with which to deal in Yeshua’s day in Yisra’el?  And in the days of the Shlikhim, who also fought against them in many ways?  Most definitely.  Man has turned from trusting in Elohim, and HIS people have turned from doing HIS WAYS, not even aware of the enemy that is so prevalent.  We dismiss the notion of ‘demon possession’ altogether, in its many forms, not even just the ‘spooky’ ways it can manifest.

There are many in our country right now that do not even realize we are at war for our freedom.  They think its a ‘new’ and hip thing, this socialism that so many want, and that everyone who comes to our borders is a harmless little bunny.  They refuse to see that most of those crossing illegally are in fact criminals [the very nature of crossing ‘illegally’, which NONE of us would do to emigrate to another country!].  They refuse to see that socialism always engenders poverty and a dictatorship.  Historically proven time and again.  And they refuse to see that a democratic republic is the longest surviving successful from of free government ever created, and that America’s freedoms and abundant prosperity, while hanging in the balance here at home, are the envy of the world.  In much the same way, believers are oblivious to the fact that there is a war on for their souls.  The ‘once saved always saved’ lie has sent many into a stupor of faithless living and surrender to all manner of sin.  The ‘works for salvation’ lie has caused many in fact to be the puppets of demons.  And in the meantime, people within the realm of faith are struggling with all manner of ‘battles,’ and thinking there is NO HOPE.  And, those who DO have the glimmer of an idea that we are at war, go to war alone, thinking they are some sort of super-hero not in need of an army.

I have been seeing this for a long time.  But, recently, I have begun to PRAY AND fast.  Specifically for people I know who are beguiled by this world and the lies of HaSatan, in the form of perversions they have accepted into their lives in defeat.  And the prayer Yeshua instructed us to pray, albeit tongue-in-cheek, is part of this pursuit: “He had compassion on them, because they were tired out and scattered, like sheep which have no shepherd. So He said to His Talmidim, ‘The harvest is great, and the laborers are few; therefore urge the owner of the harvest to bring more laborers to his harvest’.”

The first part of the book of Romim could have been [and in a way was] written to our country, a country founded on Judeo-Xtian ideas.  As such, I’ve slightly re-worded part of it to the first person:

“For, from the very creation of the world, the invisible things of Elohim have been clearly seen and understood by His creations, even His eternal power and divinity; so that you are without excuse. For you knew Elohim, and did not glorify Him and give thanks to Him as Elohim, but became vain in your imaginations, and your hearts were darkened so that you could not understand. And while you thought within yourselves that you were wise, you became fools, and you have changed the glory of the incorruptible Elohim for an image made in the likeness of corruptible man, and in the likeness of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creeping things on the earth. That is why Elohim also gave you up to uncleanness through the lusts of your hearts, to dishonor your own bodies among yourselves ; and you have changed the truth of Elohim for lies, and worshipped and served the created things more than your Creator, to whom belongs glory and blessings forever. Amein. Therefore Elohim gave you up to vile passions; for even your women have changed the use of their natures into that which is unnatural; and likewise also your men have left the natural use of the women and have run wild with lust toward one another, male with male committing shameful acts, and receiving in yourselves the due recompense of your error. And as you did not consent in yourselves to know Elohim, Elohim gave you over to a vain mind, to do the things which should not be done; being filled with all manner of iniquity, fornication, bitterness, malice, extortion, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and evil thoughts. You are slanderers, backbiters, haters of Elohim, revilers, proud boasters, inventors of evil things, without reason, disobedient to your parents; you have no respect for a covenant. You know neither love nor shalom, nor is there mercy in you . Knowing the judgment of Elohim, that those who commit such things He condemns to death, you not only do them, but also associate with those who practice them.”

This was written to BELIEVERS.  How is it we forget that when we read it?

I do NOT condemn ANYONE.  But, I plea with those who are reading this who see even a glimmer of it: FIGHT for those who are blind to their captors!  Yeshua came, died, went into She’ol and ‘recaptured the captives.’  But He has left the work of freeing others to us!

Again, I wish I had more time to devote to this.  But, I barely got this finished this week, although its been brewing for quite some time.  I do not mean to call too much attention to evil spirits, but enough of it.  Clearly, the scriptures compel us not only to be aware, but to confront.  On a personal level, and more importantly, as a Body.  As a ‘unit’.  An army.

“Adonai gives the word; those who declare the good news are a great army.”  ~ Tehillim 68:12