Saturday, July 31, 2010

Daily Word: The Impossible

The study of the culture and idioms of the first century Hebrews assists us to more completely understand the Scriptures. It is not that we won't get a message from reading independently of Hebraic culture, but it probably won't be the complete message. Today, we want to look at the story of the raising of Lazarus. Yahushua was very good friends with this family: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Lazarus fell sick and died. While he was living, his sisters sent word to Yahushua hoping He would come and heal their brother. Yahushua gets the message and waits two days before making the journey to see him. By the time Yahushua arrives, Lazarus has been dead four days. Is the number four significant? Why did Yahushua wait the two days before leaving? Without an understanding of Hebraic culture, the numbers don't seem too significant. However, they are very important and the local Hebrews certainly would have understood their significance.

It was the belief and custom of first century Hebrews that when a person died, their spirit hovered above them for three days. On the fourth day, that spirit descended into Sheol, the place of the dead. There was a belief that within the first three days, a miracle could occur and the spirit of the departed could return to the dead. However, on the fourth day, there was no possibility of a miracle because the spirit had departed. Now the four days make sense, don't they. Yahushua waited four days to demonstrate His divinity and power over death. Now read John 11:24-25: "Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Yahushua said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." Martha knows that her brother's spirit has departed and the only hope is a last day resurrection; however, Yahushua is about to demonstrate that with Him nothing is impossible. Yahushua then calls forth Lazarus and he is raised from the dead. This was an impossibility to them, but Yahushua was demonstrating that He is the God of the impossible.

Do you have an impossible situation today? If so, know that He is the God of the impossible. He will not fail you. Even though it may look like He is too late, He is never too late. Trust Him completely today for your every situation!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Daily Word: I Will Be

We are going to continue to spend time developing a Hebraic approach to the Scriptures so that the Word of God will become more meaningful for us. We want the Word of God to be properly understood and interpreted. We will do this by studying the Scriptures from a Hebrew perspective. Today we look at John 18:4,5: "Yahushua therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Yahushua of Nazareth. Yahushua saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them." The crowd was looking for Yahushua and Yahushua responds to them by asking the question in verse 4. Modern translations do not translate what is really occurring. Yahushua's response in the original language is "I AM (and not "I am he")." There is no "he" in the writing. The translators added "he" in attempt to clarify. Their clarification almost serves to mislead us. Instead, Yahushua is making a clear connection to the words spoken by God to Moses in Exodus 3:14: "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." Actually, the better Hebrew translation is : "I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE." This means that our God will be whatever He needs to be to bring Him glory in our lives. He is the great I WILL BE!

Yahushua was identifying Himself with the Father and voicing His authority. The power of this authority is seen in the results: they fell backyard and to the ground. Yahushua repeats the phrase "I WILL BE" in verses 6 and 8. The Jews present clearly understood what Yahushua was saying. Some "scholars" argue that Yahushua never claimed to be the Son of God. If one relied on English translations, one might be tempted to give their claim some consideration. However, once one understands the Hebraic meaning behind the actual words of the text, all claims that Yahushua never identified Himself as Messiah fall backward to!

Today, remember that Yahushua spoke with the power and force of the great I WILL BE. His words are just as powerful today as they were then. His words still bring salvation, deliverance, healing, and protection. He is God; He is our Savior. He has given His authority of I WILL BE to His disciples. May our lives demonstrate His power.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Daily Word: Christ vs. Messiah

We have spent a few days learning the true name of the Messiah. Now, we are going to study why He is called the "Christ" as opposed to the "Messiah" in our English Bibles. The phrase commonly used in referencing the Messiah is "Jesus Christ." Where does "Christ" come from? Is there any significance to the use of "Christ?" The Hebrew word for "Messiah" is Mashiach and it means anointed. Messias would be the Greek transliteration. Christos would be a translation for the anointed. Dr. Bullinger in The Companion Bible said: "Hence, the Noun [Christos] is used of and for the Messiah, and in the Gospels should always be translated 'Messiah'."

In John 4:22, the Messiah said: You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. (NKJV) Philip Doddridge commented: "for truly the salvation God has promised to his people is to arise from the Jews, and the way of obtaining it is with the greatest advantage to be learn among them." Notice the underlined portion of his comment. We would do well to remember that salvation is of the Jews. That is why we seek to reconnect with our Hebraic roots. Yeshua was a Jew; His early followers were all Jews. We need to understand the history and culture of the Jews to better understand our Messiah. But what does this have to do with Christos? There is a similarity between Christos and pagan deities. Chrestos was a common Greek proper name and it means "good." Chrestos was the name for Osiris, the sun deity of Egypt. The similarity in sound is obvious. The word Christos would have been more acceptable to Krishna worshipers, because of the similar sounding of it and Krista the pagan god. This would have made easier to convert the pagans to Christianity.

Today, begin to refer to the Savior as The Messiah. As you do, you are beginning to place Him in the proper Hebraic context. He is Jewish and we should use Hebraic terms to describe Him. As we travel the road away from the Greek model, it will require some adjustments. However, those changes will bring us closer to the Father and His Son.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daily Word: The Messiah's Name Part 4

We have been looking at the name of our Messiah. We have seen that "Jesus" has pagan ties that lead back to sun worship. So what is the name we should use? The Messiah said in John 5: 43: I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. (NKJV) The Messiah has come in the name of the Father. That is the first clue to examine. Psalm 68:4 says: Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. (KJV) His name is JAH, which is an abbreviated form of YaHWeH. Adam Clark commented on this verse as follows: "Yah, probably a contraction of the word YHWH, Yehovah; at least so the ancient Versions understood it. It is used but in a few places in the sacred writings. It might be translated The Self existent." Notice that the explanation of YAH does not include any reference to sun worship or fish. The Messiah comes in the name of His Father, YAH.

While scholars debate over the actual name of Yeshua or Yahushua, which literally means "the salvation of Yah," I do not intend to, at this time, enter the argument. Yeshua is short for Yahushua. It is like saying "Mike" instead of "Michael." Since I would not use an informal name for the Messiah, I have decided to use the more formal name Yahushua. However, since Yeshua means "Salvation," it certainly would be acceptable. The point to remember is that "Jesus" has pagan roots and should be avoided.

Today's word may cause confusion initially; however, it is truth. While we would not refrain from sharing the good news of the Messiah because it might cause confusion to some, neither should we restrain the presenting of our Messiah by His correct name. He knows your name and now you know His.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daily Word: The Messiah's Name Part 3

In John 5:43, the Messiah said: I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. (NKJV) In John 17:11, He said: Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. (NKJV) From these verses we can receive clues as to the real name of the Messiah. First, the Messiah comes in the name of the Father and not the sun-god or fish. Second, the name has keeping power in it. Third, the Father and the Messiah are one so we would expect their names to be similar.

There is no resemblance between the name of Jesus and Yahushua or Yeshua. Yahushua means, "the salvation of Yah or Yahu." "Jesus" is derived from Iesus, derived from Iesous, clearly derived from the Greek goddess of healing, Ieso or Iaso. In addition, the short form of the name Iesous is Ies, the surname of Bacchus, the sun-god. The names Jesus and Yahushua have two different origins and two different meanings. Our Savior's name contains the name of His Father. Additional support can be found in Revelations 14:1: Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. (NKJV) The underlined portion makes clear that the Lamb has the Father;s name written on His forehead. That name does not contain a link to a sun-god.

Tomorrow, we examine the name of a Savior. He has a name and that name brings salvation, deliverance, healing, and victory. We need that name today more than ever. His name has been given to us. Isn't it about time we learned it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Daily Word: The Messiah's Name Part 2

We are spending a few days looking at the name of our Savior. This is very important because Acts 4:12 says: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (NKJV) We need to have the correct name, because salvation is only in THE NAME. "Other names" won't work, so we continue our search for truth. Yesterday, we saw that Iesous was Greek for Jesus. Iesous is related to Ieso, the Greek goddess of healing. The abbreviated form of Iesous is Ies, or in capital letters IHS ("H" is the capital for the letter "e" in Greek). Have you ever seen the letters IHS in churches. I have, generally on the pulpit. Some believe it stands for, "In His Service." It doesn't; it stands for Ies the abbreviated form of Iesous.

IHS was the surname of the god Bacchus. Dr. E.W. Bullinger, the editor of The Companion Bible says: "Whatever meanings of...IHS may be given, the fact remains that it was part of the name Bacchus...." Bacchus was a well known sun god and was commonly referred to as Tammuz among classical writers. Calling our Savior Iesous was a way to assimilate sun worshipers into the Christian faith. They were used to giving honor to IHS, so they now would do the same for the expanded version, Iesous. We get Jesus from Iesous. M. Turretin said the following concerning Christianity in the fourth century: "that it was not so much the Empire that was brought to the Faith, as the Faith that was brought over to the Empire; not the Pagans who were converted to Christianity, but Christianity that was converted to Paganism." The reference to Empire was to the Roman Empire.

Do you want YHWH to move in our churches? Do you desire to see real revival? If so, I suggest we need to remove all aspects of sun worship and paganism from our practices. We need to be faithful and true to our heavenly Father YHWH. We need the power of the Name in our lives and that includes having the right Name. (More tomorrow.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Daily Word: The Messiah's Name Part 1

We are going to spend a few days looking at the name of the Messiah. This is of vital importance because Acts 4:12 says: "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (NKJV) The name is important because there is no other name that brings salvation, deliverance, healing, and victory. We need to get this right. Ask the average Christian and you will be informed that Jesus is his name. Let me state unequivocally that his name is not "Jesus." First, there is not one authoritative source which says our Savior's name was Jesus. Second, there was no "J" in the Hebrew language during the first century. As a side note, the "Jehovah Witnesses" have a problem because the name of YHWH is not "Jehovah," because there was no "J" In Biblical Hebrew. How did we end up with the name "Jesus" anyway?

"Jesus" is the transliteration of the Greek Iesous or the Latin Iesus. The Worterbuch der Antike tells us that: "JESUS: really named Jeshoshua, Iesous (Greek), Iesus (Latin) is adapted from the Greek, possibly from the name of a Greek healing goddess Ieso (Iaso)." According to ancient Greek religion, Apollo, the sun-god, had a son called Asclepius, who was the deity of healing. He had daughters and one of them was named Iaso (Ieso). The name Iesous can be traced back to Ieso, a sun-god. By removing the Hebrew name for the Messiah and replacing it with a derivation of the name of a sun-god, it was easier to make pagans feel comfortable with the new religion of Christianity.

Again, we see the effort to disconnect the followers of Yeshua from His Hebrew roots. This is done to compromise true faith in the name. There is only one name that contains salvation, deliverance, healing and victory, and it is not Jesus. Over the next few days, we are going to reconnect with our Jewish Savior who is closer than a brother. Isn't it time we knew His name. He knows ours.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 8

For the last week, we have examined some types of things that could be considered idols. Our text is Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 which says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) Today, we ask, "What is God's opinion on these matters?" Are we making issues where there is no issue? Is the study of glory, amen, holy, and the fish symbol really all that important? The real question is, "Can we 'Christianize' pagan practices and symbols?" I submit that you cannot.

If I was presenting a case to a jury, I would provide evidence for my position. The best source of truth is the Word of God. Consider the following verses:
1. Deuteronomy 12:30-32: "Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. (NKJV)
2. Deuteronomy 12:1-3: "These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. (NKJV)
3. Jeremiah 10:2: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (KJV)

The Word makes clear God's lack of tolerance of false idols and practices. Notice the underlined portions. You can't "Christianize" pagan practices and symbols. Yet, the modern church does. Where will you stand?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 7

For the last six days, we have examined some types of things that could be considered idols. Our text is Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 which says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) Today, we examine the fish symbol. The fish symbol was used because Christians were told that they are to be, "fishers of men." The church father Augustine said the following: "If you combine the initial letters of the five Greek words, which are Iesous Chreistos Theou Uios Soter, Jesus Christ the Son of God the Savior, they make the word ichthus, meaning fish...." The church father Tertullian called the Messiah, "Our Fish." Is there anything wrong identifying Yeshua as a fish? Should we place fish symbols on our cars?

Icthus, or fish, was one of the names of the pagan god Bacchus and Bacchus was another name for Tammuz, the sun-deity. E. Goldsmith in the book Ancient Pagan Symbols says: "The Fish is also associated with the sun...the god of the a fish." Research tells us that there is a connection between the fish and sun worship. Again, we see evidence of the merger of pagan sun-deities with Christianity. This occurred in the fourth century when there was a real attempt to assimilate several religions together. Our duty is to investigate and be true to YHWH. He is the One True God and we must be exclusive in our devotion to Him. Yeshua is His Son and He came to teach us how to live and correctly interpret the Torah. He is our Savior and Messiah. We should allow no room for any pagan symbols.

Today, you have read another truth that may cause you to rethink some previously held beliefs. Does it really matter if we embrace a few pagan symbols in our faith? After all, does God really mind? Tomorrow, we look at God's opinion.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 6

For the last five days, we have examined some types of things that could be considered idols. Our text is Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 which says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) Jesus said the "truth will set you free." Is the truth setting you free? You should be drawing closer to YHWH, your heavenly Father, as you remove all references to the sun-god from your life. Today, we look at the standard closing to most prayers, i.e. "amen." The correct pronunciation is "Amein," not "Amen." If you look at an older Strong's Concordance (the modern ones don't always have pronunciation guides) under number 543 in the Hebrew Dictionary and number 281 in the Greek Dictionary, you will find the correct way to say the word. Under 543, you will read, "aw-mane." Under 281, you will read, "am-ane." The point is that the pronunciation, "amen" is not used. The question is, does it make any difference?

It does. The Egyptians had been worshiping the head of the Egyptian pantheon, Amen-Ra. The Egyptian deity is known by several names such as AMEN, AMUN, or AMON. The Funk and Wagnalls, Standard College Dictionary, states: "AMEN: In Egyptian mythology, the god of life and procreation...later identified with Sun-god as the supreme deity, and called 'Amen-Ra.'" Once again we see the rudiments of sun-god worship sneaking back into our faith. Do you want to end a prayer to YHWH by acknowledging the sun-god. This is why we must search for truth, no matter where it takes us. We owe it to our Father to be as true as we can to Him. Idolatry must go!

Today, I encourage you to pray and end your prayers with "Amein." (rhymes with chow mein) As we continue to root out all references to sun-god worship, know that others may be offended if you share with them the truth. The issue becomes what is most important to you? Some Jews were trained to go into a hardware store and ask for eggs so that they could get used to being laughed at. Are you afraid to be laughed at for the truth?

For those interested in more information on the Egyptian god "Amen," please go to

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 5

Daily Word

For the last four days, we have examined some types of things that could be considered idols. Our text is Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 which says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) Today, we consider the English word "glory." So often we hear, "Lord, we want to live for your glory." There is actually a popular chorus that uses that exact phrase. In Exodus 33:18, Moses says (at least according to our English translations): And he said, "Please, show me Your glory." (NKJV) Is that what Moses really said? The Hebrew word translated "glory" is kabod and it means to be heavy, to be honored, to be great, abundant, rich, and magnificent. Glory is not among its meanings.

So where does glory come from? In many dictionaries and encyclopedias, we find many pictures of Jesus, Mary, and the apostles with radiant circles of light about their heads. Webster's New International Dictionary states: "Glory is the general term of the aureola and the nimbus." The aureola is the halo around the sun and the nimbus is the sun-disc. The Hebrew word kabod carries no meaning of sunlight, yet we see kabod translated as follows in the King James Version Bible: glory 156 times; honour 32 times; glorious 10 times; gloriously 1 time; and honourable 1 time. The translations of honour and honourable would seem to fit the meaning of kabod. Once more, we see the adoption of sun worship into the church.

Removing idolatry is far more than just tearing down statutes of idols. It is searching for truth and then removing those items that reflect anything to do with sun worship. This won't make you popular with those who will call you eccentric or crazy; however, it will make you popular with YHWH.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 4

For the last three days, we have examined some types of things that could be considered idols. Our text is Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 which says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) Today, we look at the word in our English Bibles translated as "holy." There are entire denominations that are called holiness denominations. They stress dress codes and restrictions on certain entertainments such as television and movies. However, the word holy is not the correct translation for either the Hebrew word qadesh or the Greek word hagios. Qadesh means separation, being set apart, or apartness. The words do not mean to be pious as most people believe. But, does it really make a difference? It does if the word "holy" is a reference to a pagan deity.

The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that the origin of holy found its application in heathen deities found in the Old Norse religious practices. The Dictionary of Mythology Folklore and Symbols states: "HOLY: In practically all languages, the word for holy has been derived from the divinely honored sun." The Encyclopedia of Religions states: "HOLI: The Great Hindu spring festival held in honor of Krishna, as the spring sun-god." The point made is that an effort was made in the fourth century to infiltrate true Christianity with the practices of the sun-god religion. We have seen it previously in reference to the cross. Today, we see it in reference to the word holy (and it would also include references to sanctified or hallow since they are derivatives of qadesh and hagios).

Idolatry must be resisted. We can not "Christianize" pagan festivals and references to pagan gods. We must make a stand to be true to YHWH. Are you prepared to make a stand against idolatry wherever it is found?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 3

For the last two days, we have examined some types of things that could be considered idols. Our text is Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 which says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) Today, we look at a carved image that is in most churches. Matthew 27:31, 35 say: And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." (NKJV) The underlined words are not in the Greek text. No where in the original words will you find crucify, cross, or crucifixion. What you will find is the Greek word stauros which means "an upright pale or stake."

According to Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, a very mainstream and conservative resource, "Both the noun and the verb stauroo, 'to fasten to a stake or pale,' are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed 'cross.' The shape of the latter had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz...." Tammuz was a name for the ancient Babylonian sun-god. This will be a theme as we examine over the next few days some images of idolatry that have crept into the true fellowship of believers. The "cross" is the symbol for the Babylonian sun-god. Now think about how far believers have drifted. Think about some of the hymns that cause the singer to proclaim, "Keep me near the cross." Now none of this takes away from the sacrifice of Yeshua. Candidly, the true method of execution was even more horrifying. However, the truth is, it was the pagans that brought the symbol of the cross into the church. Vine explains: "In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the 'cross' of Christ."

Do you still want truth? Or, as the crusty general in a Few Good Men, proclaimed: "You can't handle the truth!" Tomorrow, more truth is revealed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 2

Yesterday, we examined some types of things that could be considered idols. Our text is Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 which says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) What are some carved images that might fall into this category? Examples include statutes of Mary, Jesus on the cross, and even angelic beings. Some people believe that it aids their worship to have a point of reference to pray toward. Regardless of the intent, the Scriptures have specifically instructed us not to bow down to any graven or carved image.

There seems to be a human tendency to want to be able to make God a concrete physical object. We read about the children of Israel worshiping the golden calf in Exodus because Moses was too long on the mountain with God. The people wanted something they could see and touch. The same is true today when churches make up extra Biblical rules that allow them to see their religion in operation. However, faith goes much deeper than what you can see or touch. Faith and trust is walking with God when you can't see Him or sense His presence. It has sometimes been referred to as the "dark night of the soul." You don't know God is present from your circumstances, but you walk anyway in faith irregardless of your senses. That is faith and you can't walk this way with graven images in your pocket.

Today, don't dismiss this admonition just because you don't carry a Buddha with you. There many other graven images in our churches. Don't be consumed with the senses; remember, God is a Spirit. Walk today with Him whether you see, hear, or feel His presence. He is still there with you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Daily Word: Idolatry Part 1

Shemoth (Exodus) 20:3-4 says: You have no other mighty ones against My face. You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth.... (The Scriptures) Notice how God portrays idols; they are set against His face. They are in direct opposition to Him. God views idols as a direct affront to who He is. Have you ever had someone, "Get in your face?" Did you like it? Perhaps you felt spatially violated, or took offense at someone speaking to you in that manner. That is how God feels when we set an idol against Him.

Dr. Arthur Moen explained: "He will not admit any competitor. He wants your full endorsement, trust and love. He guards His relationship with you as a jealous husband, anxious to keep any threat to the union far from the door." Now we can see one of the reasons for this commandment. God wants to keep you close to Himself and He doesn't want anything to separate us. Yet, He knows our propensity to fall away. His commandment is designed to reduce the chance of that occurring. Now, what are some idols? Some are obvious and some are not so obvious. Some obvious ones include: money, career, relationships with others, church affiliations or denominations, and selfishness. If we can remove these, we can turn our attention to some carved images and "sacred cows" that are in most every church.

Today, examine your relationship with God. Have you set anything against Him? Is there some area of your life that you seek to keep from Him? He is very zealous for you. He desires to keep you close and He has given this commandment as an aid to accomplish a long term relationship with you. If you find something that you have set against His face, remove it quickly before He does.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Daily Word: God's Plan For You

Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the plans I am planning for you, declares YaHWeH, plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy. (The Scriptures) This is a promise spoken by the One True God to His people Israel who were exiled in Babylon. No doubt they must have felt very discouraged and tempted to give up. There would have been tremendous pressure to assimilate into the pagan culture. Just going with the flow would have all but eliminated the Jewish people as a distinct group. The "chosen ones" would have been no more. However, YaHWeH speaks this word to assure them that there is a plan. Often times while in the midst of a difficulty, it is enough to know that there is a plan. This can sustain us and give us hope. But, what is the plan?

Abraham Heschel said: "What is the meaning of my being? My quest--man's quest--is not for theoretical knowledge about myself...What I look for is not how to gain a firm hold on myself and on life, but primarily how to live a life that would deserve and evoke an Eternal Amen." The plan is for our lives to reflect the true worship of God and the removal of all idolatry. Idolatry exists in most churches and we must remove it at all costs, no matter how sacred to us it is. That is the plan God has for us. Remember what caused the Israelites to go into captivity; it was idolatry. Idolatry must be eradicated.

Today, you may think that idolatry is not an issue with you. However, over the next few days we will look at what idolatry is and I expect you will be challenged and confronted with truth. Don't look for a way to avoid truth, look for a way to embrace truth. It is God's plan for His people.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daily Word: Living As An Optimist

Matthew 4:21-22 says: Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. (NKJV) In an instant, the lives of James and John were changed permanently for the better. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov said: "Things can go from the very worst to the very best in just the blink of an eye." Rebbi Nachman was an optimist. He lived his life believing the next moment in time could change the impossible to the possible. We can live lives full of hope and expectancy, if we believe that things can change with one action.

The word for immediately is the Greek word eutheos and it means instantly, straightway, or forthwith. It applies a short period of time. We need to understand that we have a role to play in turning our lives around for the good. Jesus didn't make John and James leave their nets. They could have chosen to remain, but they didn't. Opportunity knocked and they seized the moment. Your action may take work, but it is often just making the decision to change that opens the door for change to occur. It can occur in the twinkling of a eye. We need to live lives expecting the opening and seizing the opportunity as doors are opened to us.

Today, live your life expecting the impossible to become the possible. Be prepared to make any change necessitated by the moment. Know that God does have a plan and it includes you. Be like a Boy Scout and, "Be prepared."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daily Word: Reaping in Joy

Psalm 126:5 says: Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. (NKJV) This verse reminds us that we need to be a constant believer in hope, even while crying from sadness. In the midst of our suffereing, we must continue to trust in the character of God. God does not act in love, He is love. God does not perform acts of compassion and mercy, He is compassion and mercy. This is not just semantics; it is revealing a truth about who God is. He is love, compassion, mercy, justice, healing, deliverance, etc. Since He is all these things, we can trust in who He is to bring about those specific manifestations of His being. That is why we can reap joy after sowing tears.

On July 11, 1942, Etty Hillesum wrote the following: "I am filled with confidence, not that I shall succeed in worldly things, but that even when things go badly for me, I shall still find life good and worth living." Etty was a young woman in her mid-twenties living under Nazi occupation in Amsterdam. She wrote these words as her life as she knew it was collasping. In the face of horror, she found grace to believe that life was still good. Etty never lost her love of life. She died in the gas chambers in Auschwitz in 1943. However, she never gave up believing that life was good although she was living under pure evil. Etty understood the power of today's verse. She continued to trust in the God of creation, the one true God.

Today, no matter what you face, know that you can trust in the character and attributes of the one true God. He is our Father, our redeemer, our deliverer, and our salvation. Never allow circumstances to dictate what you believe. Instead, believe in spite of your circumstances. Truth always trumps facts. So even if your difficulties cause you to cry, you can still reap in joy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Daily Word: A Lesson From Coffee

Psalms 37:34 says: Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. (NKJV) The word for wait in Hebrew is qawah and it means to await with the notion of holding on strongly; and during the time becoming wound together with the object of the waiting. This involves taking some time of reflection, quietness, and meditation. Waiting is active and not passive. This is not a new age emptying; it is a Biblical filling with the very words of God. This can't be done on a fast food basis. There is no drive in "waiting." This is like fine dining. It takes a while and it is meant to be enjoyed.

I think many of us have a hard time waiting. The way we drink coffee exposes our hastiness. In France, if you would like to drink coffee, you would go to a coffee shop. You could sit outside, but you would notice that the chairs all face the street or walkway. You leisurely drink your coffee contemplating all that passes before you. Now think about how we drink coffee. If you like fine coffee, you head to Starbucks. You stand in a line until you are called. You pay and move to another location to receive your coffee. You get your coffee in a paper cup and out you go to your next appointment. Where is the relaxation in that? Everything is designed to accompany our busy schedules. If we are going to wait on the Lord, we are going to have to make time to wait. It can be done, but it will take effort.

Today, look at your schedule. Are you always in a hurry? If so, make time to wait. For thirty minutes to an hour, the world can do without you. Take the time to enjoy the wait. Spend time reflecting on the beauty of God's work in your life and in those you know about. Enjoy the beauty of creation, and if the phone rings, ignore it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Daily Word: The Gift of the Sabbath

Hebrews 4:9 says: There is left behind a keeping of the Sabbath by the people of God. (JHT) The Sabbath is about the sacredness of time. It was not until the 1880's that time began to be kept the way we know it today. There was no such thing as being 20 minutes late. People got up and went to work when the sun came up and when it went down, they came home and went to sleep. Time was much simpler then. However, when the introduction of the railroad, schedules were made and time was kept very precisely. Time became uniform from the east coast to the west coast. Time became very organized and structured.

As society advanced, we had regular mail service. A letter would be mailed to you, and you would respond. The entire process might take ten days. Then, overnight mail developed. Now, a person could overnight something to you and you would respond back the next day. The total time was three days. Then, faxes developed. Someone could fax you something and you were expected to fax an answer back the same day. Finally, E-Mail was created. Someone sends you an E-Mail and they expect an almost immediate response. Time has become a struggle to perform instantly. How often do you hear, "I just don't have the time for that." In the midst of the craziness, God has given us a Sabbath of time to retreat and be refreshed in Him. The Sabbath is, in the words of Abraham Heschel: "The Sabbath day is for being with ourselves, a day of armistice in the economic struggle with our fellow man and the forces of nature."

If someone gives you a gift card to your favorite restaurant. You may go and relax and enjoy the meal. The gift card will pay for your enjoyment. In the same way, God has given you the gift of the Sabbath. You can use the gift card, or you can pay the bill yourself. You can likewise accept the gift of the Sabbath, or you can reject it. The choice is yours. Time can be sacred or it can be profane. God has set one day in seven to be sacred. Will you accept His gift?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Daily Word: Real Faith

The Book of Romiyim (i.e. "Romans" in English) in chapter 4 verse 3 says: "For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.'" (The Scriptures) The bold portion is from the Hebrew Scriptures (what is sometimes called by Gentiles the "Old Testament"). What did Abraham believe? He believed that God was going to make his seed like the multitude of stars. There would be so many that it would be impossible to count them. Notice that Abraham did not become righteous because he believed the right things about God. He became righteous because he believed that what God said was true.

Think about evangelistic outreaches today. What do they focus on? They focus on getting people to believe the right things about God. They emphasize correct thinking rather than correct acting. Think about Abraham; he left his family and the comfort of his security to follow his God. There was action combined with intellectual affirmation of the truth. What we will really believe will be revealed by what we do. Abraham's faith had legs with it. By this I mean that he walked the talk. Too many today just talk the talk, and blame their failures on the flesh. If you are going to have real faith, you need to eliminate the excuses and confront the real issue. (Hint: a mirror will help you)

Today, if you want to be righteous before God, you need to believe and act on what God says. No excuses should be tolerated. If you are trying to evangelize others, change the emphasis from correct believing to correct acting. When you do, you are walking the Hebraic path of faith.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Daily Word: Don't Edit

Deuteronomy 4:1-2,5-6 says: "Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'" (NKJV) Notice the underlined sections. They provide very important teaching.

First, we are to listen to God's statutes and judgments. The Hebrew word for listen is shama and it means not just to hear, but to have the hearing impact your actions. Listening is not just mental to the Hebrew, it includes transformation as a result of the hearing. Second, hearing and obeying leads to life. The reverse would be true by implication. To refuse to listen Hebraically is to invite death and destruction. Third, don't add to God's instructions and do not take anything away from them. I fear for Christian denominations that have taken away the Sabbath, the festivals, and Biblical celebrations and replaced them with the pagan holidays of Christmas and Easter and changed the day of worship to Sun-day. The warning is not to put words in God's mouth, nor take any out. Our duty is to hear and obey, and not edit. Finally, our obedience is our wisdom. It stands to reason that if we obey what God tells us to do, then we will be wise. God knows all that can be known. His advice is perfect. We would do well not to substitute ours for His.

Today, ask yourself how you line up with this teaching. Are there areas of your life that you have decided that you know best? If so, that way leads to death. Obedience is always the best path to follow. If you do, you will be wise.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Daily Word: Remembering the Right Memories

Psalm 77:11 says: I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. (NKJV) The Hebrew word for remember is zakar and it means to mark or mention. Our memory of events can influence how we handle the present. The marking or mentioning can be demoralizing and defeating when the emphasis is on the negative events in our lives. This includes not giving someone the benefit of the doubt because of a memory you have about a past experience with that person. Do you see how what you remember can impact your present? Further, you can understand how a memory can influence your future. A negative memory about a person or place could help determine your future dealings with others. We need to make sure that we do not allow negative thoughts about past events control us. Today is a new day and the past does not control it.

Today's verse is about remembering the works of the Lord. The Hebraic approach to the present is to focus on the past. It is like rowing a boat. When you row a boat, you look where you have been as you move forward to new waters. Hebraically, you do the same thing. You remember the faithfulness of God to the Israelites, to your family, or to yourself as you face the encounters of life. Your focus is on the positive attributes of God's character and not the failures of men (including yourself). We read passages of Scripture and sometimes forget that they are real stories. Think you are having a bad day? Have you been tossed into a fiery furnace or thrown to the lions? Has anyone beat you with a whip and left you in a dungeon? Anyone thrown rocks at you yet? As we remember God's faithfulness with real people, we can take comfort in that the God of yesterday is also the God of today.

Today, remember the past times of faithfulness of God. Write them on a card and carry them with you. During the day, pause and read them over. As you do this exercise, you will find that your memory of a faithful God is improving. Now, go ahead and row, the water is not that rough.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Daily Word: Being Deceived About the Sabbath

I thought it might be of some benefit to post a brief article that was posted on Dr. Skip Moen's blog at As many of you know, I consider him a mentor and a great scholar. The article came about when I discovered a mistranslation in Hebrews 4:9. I hope you will read and consider the article and its implications. This article is also posted at

Being Deceived About the Sabbath

In 2001, Dr. John MacArthur Jr., the pastor of Grace Community Church , was asked are the Sabbath laws binding on Christians today. He responded as follows: “We believe the Old Testament regulations governing Sabbath observances are ceremonial, not moral, aspects of the law. As such, they are no longer in force, but have passed away along with the sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood, and all other aspects of Moses' law that prefigured Christ.” According to a 2008 edition of Pulpit Magazine, Dr. MacArthur reasoned in part that the New Testament never commands Christians to observe the Sabbath. This appears to be the standard evangelical answer concerning Sabbath observance by “New Testament” believers. This article advocates the position that a non-biased translation of Hebrews 4:9 commands Sabbath observance for the people of God.

The following are four different translations for Hebrews 4:9:
1. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (KJV)
2. So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God…. (AMP)
3. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God…. (ESV)
4. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (NASB)

The 17TH Century English nonconformist theologian Matthew Poole provided a typical protestant interpretation of the verses above: "Here the Spirit concludes from his former proofs, that there is a more excellent rest revealed to faith in the gospel, which is remaining, future, and to come, and will surely and most certainly do so; though it be behind, yet it will be enjoyed. A sabbatism, which is a state and season of a most glorious rest, (see Heb 4:10), shall be enjoyed by sincere believers, the true Israel of God, of whom he is the Proprietor, and who are for their eternal state so excellently holy, and of so Divine a nature, that he is not ashamed to be called their God." (Emphasis supplied)

There has been an effort to remove the present duty of Sabbath observance for a futuristic “Sabbath” celebration. I submit that the translators are misleading the readers. This is another example of the purposeful attempt to disconnect followers of Yeshua with his Hebraic roots. An examination of the Greek text supports this view. The Greek word for “remains” is the verb apoleipo and it indicates that the sabbatismos is "left behind.” It still remains. Apoleipo is in the present tense indicative mood. The present indicative asserts a statement of fact which is occurring while the speaker is making the statement. Conservative scholarship dates the book of Hebrews from the mid to late 60’s. The writer is expressing a statement of fact about keeping the Sabbath approximately thirty years after the resurrection of Yeshua. This is not about the future; it is about now. It is unfortunate that even Dr. Zodhiates falls victim to replacement theology in his lengthy discussion of sabbatismos. He explains in part: “Therefore, the intimation is that the Sabbath was instituted as a symbol of that eternal rest at the completion of God's work.” He clearly is referencing a future rest. A lot of linguistic gymnastics has to occur to move this statement in Hebrews into an event in the future. The Greek word for "rest" is sabbatism├│s and it means to keep the Sabbath. The use of the word "rest" was added by replacement theologians in an effort to change the commandment to keep the Sabbath into a futuristic event.

The correct translation should be:
"There is left behind a keeping of the Sabbath by God's people."

The Sabbath is the sign of God’s people being separated to Him. It is written in Exodus 31:13, 16: "Say to the people of Israel , 'You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. (RSV) An accurate translation of Hebrews 4:9 reveals the failure of the modern church to obey God's command to keep the Sabbath. It is not a futuristic fulfillment; it is a command. We should now concentrate on what it means to keep the Sabbath as God’s people in the 21st Century. If we are the people of God, we should keep the Sabbath.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Daily Word: Women of Strength Part 2

We conclude our look at Proverbs by reviewing verse 30: Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (RSV) The JPS Study Bible comments: "Fear of the Lord: This is the culminating virtue of the woman of strength, just as it is wisdom's starting point and high point." The key to the woman of strength, as well as the man following God, is wisdom. We need wisdom to deal with the difficulties of life. Wisdom helps us to say the right thing at the right time. Wisdom can make us a success in business and in relationships. The opposite is also true; the lack of wisdom can make us a failure in business and in relationships.

How do we get wisdom? James 1:5 says: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. (RSV) The Barnes NT Commentary explains: "Probably this refers particularly to the kind of wisdom which they would need in their trials, to enable them to bear them in a proper manner; for there is nothing in which Christians more feel the need of heavenly wisdom than in regard to the manner in which they should bear trials, and what they should do in the perplexities, and disappointments, and bereavements that come upon them: but the language employed is so general, that what is here said may be applied to the need of wisdom in all respects. Let him ask of God: That is, for the specific wisdom which he needs; the very wisdom which is necessary for him in the particular case. It is proper to bear the very case before God; to make mention of the specific want; to ask of God to guide us in the very matter where we feel so much embarrassment. It is one of the privileges of Christians...." Notice that you have the right to ask and expect to receive wisdom from God.

Today, if you need wisdom, ask God. Study His word and meditate on His scriptures. As you do, you will develop wisdom. It is not an overnight process and it is not like getting a shot in the arm. God has given you a mind and the ability to understand. Ask God for His help and then you do your part. Seek wisdom.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Daily Word: Women of Strength

We will conclude our study of the Book of Proverbs by looking at a few verses from 10-31: The woman of strength. The JPS Study Bible comments: "So far, the book of Proverbs has been devoted to inculcating the ideal of a wise man. It now concludes with a poem describing a wise woman, praising her energy, her economic talents, and her personal virtues. This is not one specific woman but an ideal, a paragon of female virtues." The description applied to this woman may conflict with your pre-conceived beliefs concerning the role of women in the ancient world. This woman has opportunities in business and seems independent in her interactions with those outside her family. Generally, verses 10-31 are spoken by the husband over his wife on Shabbat evening. I know I do, every Friday evening during our home Shabbat services.

Verse 10 says: What a rare find is a capable wife! Her worth is far beyond that of rubies. (JPS) The JPS Study Bible again comments: What a rare find, lit. "who can find..." This is an exclamation of value, not of rarity. The phrase "capable wife," is commonly translated, "woman of valor," or "woman of strength." I prefer the later translation. This type of strength is not just a military type strength, but also in the areas of social influence, in wealth, and in personal ethics and morals.

Today, speak these words of life over the women in your life: "You are a rare and beautiful find. You are strength in the midst of adversity. You have a wealth not measured by coin. You are smart and intellectual and I value your opinions. I rejoice that you are part of my life." Do this for thirty days and watch the power of words.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Daily Word: Give Them a Drink?

Today's Daily Word is going to most likely confront your Christian training. My purpose is to focus on what the word says, not we want or think it says. The passage is from Proverbs 31:1-9. It contains advice from Lemuel's Mother. Lemuel is the king of Massa which is a North Arabian nation. It is considered advice from a wise Mother. Verses 3-4 say: Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; (NKJV) Verses 6-7 advise us: Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more. (NKJV) The word of God clearly instructs us that while kings should not allow their minds and bodies to be given to wine and women, it was acceptable to give some alcohol to the hapless and embittered. How does that square with what you have been taught?

The JPS Study Bible comments: "In the first part, vv. 3-7, Lemuel's mother first admonishes her son to avoid dissipating his strength on wine and women, for wine may make him forget his duties to the poor and women waste his strength. Rather, one should give strong drink or wine to the poor, to let them drown their troubles in alcohol." These verses trouble me, but they are part of the inspired Scriptures. Therefore, we should address them. Do they call for us to make a weekly trip to the liqueur store to stock up so we can find unhappy people and give them a drink? No, I don't think so. However, I think the real message is found in the king's desire to soothe the pain of those hurting. He is instructed not to ignore them. Today, we can minister the healing balm of Jesus Christ. It will provide real healing and comfort and not leave the person with a hangover. The point is to help others that are hurting.

Today, do not ignore those that are in pain. If you find someone hurting, give them compassion and mercy. Be involved in the lives of others as God opens a door into their lives.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Daily Word: Bring Peace

Proverbs 30:32-33 teaches us: If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. For as the churning of milk produces butter, And wringing the nose produces blood, So the forcing of wrath produces strife. (NKJV) The JPS Study Bible comments: "If you are arrogant or scheming, at least keep your mouth shut. Just as squeezing or churning milk or a nose produces butter or blood, so does squeezing someone's patience produce conflict." There are simple and important lessons taught in these two verses. First, if you are tempted to plan a scheme, keep your mouth quiet. Also, if you are tempted to be prideful, keep your mouth quiet. Second, if you know someone is having a bad day, don't add pressure to their patience. Find a way to bring peace and healing to the one struggling. Don't look for a way to antagonize them; look for a way to bring shalom, i.e. nothing broken nothing missing.

Sometimes, this can be very difficult. Have you ever known someone that likes to stir up trouble? They live their lives going from one conflict to another. They must have some type of drama in their lives or they are not happy. People that live like this attempt to drag you down into the mire of their lives. We need to remember this verse and not force wrath upon them, but instead, to help them to discover the peace of God that is available to all. We need to be teachers of the word. This goes far beyond just telling them to keep their mouths quiet. It involves living a peaceful life before them so they can see what God has done for you. We teach by living the truth.

Today, if you find someone in difficulty, bring peace to them. Bring the truth of God's word into their lives. Start with action and end in speech. When you do, you will be allowing them to read your Bible.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Daily Word: Our Daily Bread

Proverbs 30:8 says: Keep lies and false words far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but provide me with my daily bread.... (JPS) The JPS Study Bible comments: "Agur (the writer of this Proverbs 30) asks, first, to be kept from lies and, second, to be given possessions in moderation. Excess wealth may make one overconfident, and poverty too can corrupt." Have you ever known someone who lied continually? I have and I can tell you that I don't want them around either. People can so twist the truth for their own good, that it makes it hard to be around them. Agur must have learned this hard truth from experience.

Notwithstanding the promises of television evangelists, it can be better to be neither rich nor poor. Agur asks only for his daily bread. That sounds familiar, doesn't it? The Lord's Prayer contains the same request: "Give us this day our daily bread." Jesus appears to agree with Agur. Something can happen to someone with money issues. If the issue is a lack, I have seen people do things that they would not ordinarily do because they need money. On the other hand, I have seen people with an excess of money become arrogant and prideful. Truly, a love of money is a root of many sins. Agur's request for moderation will keep him from falling into a ditch on either side of the road, i.e. too much money or too little money. We would do well to remember this proverb.

Today, consider your approach toward money. Do you really want just your daily bread, or do you want more? If you want more, is it because that you want to have enough money so you can buy your daily bread tomorrow if God doesn't provide it. The real issue is trust not money. Don't rationalize the truth, instead embrace it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Daily Words: The Reality of Words

Proverbs 30:5-6 says: Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar. (NKJV) To the Hebrew, words were tangibles. They were not just a thought or concept. They had a very real benefit to them now, in this world, not just in the sweet bye and bye. If we could grasp this concept, we could alter our present to bring it in line with the words of God. We should never allow what we can see or feel determine the truth of God's word. The verse tells us that God's word is a shield, therefore it is a real shield. It is not a "hope so" shield; it is a full body shield that will protect us from all ungodly attacks.

Verse 6 tells us not to add to His words. This is extremely important because much of what the modern church teaches is an "add on." While it would be wrong to tell someone that they can do what the Bible forbids, it would be equally wrong to tell someone that they cannot do something that the Bible does not prohibit. The church has added to God's word by creating Sunday worship, the holidays of Christmas and Easter, and neglecting the Biblical feasts and holidays. The real issue is who or what are you going to follow? If you are going to follow Yeshua, i.e. Jesus, then you should follow Him. If you are going to follow a denomination, then examine what that group practices. I have had people tell me that their church connects to the Hebraic roots. I ask a few questions and it becomes very clear that it does not. Again, who are you following? Are you following someone or some group that has added to God's word? If so, read the last part of verse 6 again: "Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar." Ouch!

Today, ask yourself do you add to God's word? Then, ask yourself do you subtract from God's word? Then, ask yourself who or what are you really following? This inquiry is serious and worthy of your attention.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Daily Word: Bringing Justice

Proverbs 29:24 says: The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing. (RSV) The JPS translates the verse as follows: He who shares with a thief is his own enemy; He hears the imprecation and does not tell. The JPS Study Bible notes explains the verse: "Upon the discovery of a crime, a proclamation was issued requiring everyone who knew about it to come forward and testify. The proclamation was accompanied by an imprecation, a conditional curse that would fall on whoever had information and failed to come forward." Today, we have to offer money and have a confidential promise to obtain information on crimes. However, in Bible days, you had an obligation to come forward for the cause of justice.

How many times do we turn our eyes away from those in need? There is such a tendency to assume that someone else will take care of the problem. However, that is not the Biblical approach. We need to be proactive and choose to seek justice for those who cannot obtain it for themselves. We need to develop a true community approach to our faith. We all rise or fall together. That is the Hebraic way; that is the Bible way.

Today, ask yourself, "How do I help bring justice to those who need help?" This will probably require a paradigm shift. The shift is toward community involvement. If you know that someone has been harmed through a criminal act, then come forward with what you know. Don't be concerned about the consequences. God would not have instructed us in the word to behave in such a manner if it was not in the best interest of the community (Note: I did not say individual). Community is more important than the individual in Hebraic thought. It is just the opposite to the Greek thinker who values individual rights above all. Which are you?