INAYP 59-Understanding the Bible (Is the Church Suffering from Biblical Illiteracy?)

What is the bible? Some would contend the bible to be the “unadulterated Word of God.” Others would similarly contend that the bible is NOT the word of God per se, but rather it contains the Word of God. Others would say that it is an instruction manual for mankind, containing instructions on how mankind is suppose to live in the sight of both God and one’s neighbor. Or how about this: the bible is a “love letter” from God to man that reveals God’s love for mankind through the work of Jesus Christ. Some would conservatively say that the bible is a compilation of thoughts, some good and some bad, and that it is a piece of work that is useful in dealing with the various and many issues facing mankind throughout the ages. Still others will contend that the bible is a book of fables and wise sayings geared to appeal to the vanities and insecurities of the human race.

Tanakh

Regardless how one sees the bible, the Bible holds a prominent place in the lives of millions of people in the world. Of those millions, countless hundreds of thousands revere the bible as more than just a book of wise sayings with questionable historical documentation. These individuals see the bible as some form of medium that connects them to the Creator.

In this episode of a multi-episode series on Understanding the Bible, I explore the problems that are inherent to reading, studying and understanding the bible. Furthermore, I explore the remedies associated with these inherent problems. This is not for the spiritually faint of hearts deary—for I am going to challenge the status quo that is traditional and fundamental Christianity and even the Hebraic and Messianic communities as it relates to the viability of the Bible in the 21st century as well as how we view and approach the reading and study of the bible as so-called believers in Jesus Christ.

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INAYP 58–Overcoming Satan the Devil

This message is a portion of a recorded community webinar that I do at the beginning of the Sabbath each week. The title of the message is “Overcoming Satan, the Devil”. The text is taken from Genesis 1-3, Matthew 7:21, 26 and James 1:13-22. In this message I encourage Christians to not be hearers of the word only and deceive themselves, but doers also, by committing to heart and mind, the words of Yahovah and Yahoshua and to practice what it commands us to do.

Serpent and apple

Remember that sin is disobedience to Yahovah’s command (1 John 3:4)

  1. We overcome Satan by staying focused on doing the will of Yahovah, like Yahoshua did, and maintain an accurate knowledge and memory of His commands, so we can accurately repeat and apply His commands when we are tempted by Satan, as Yahoshua did.
  2. In the first two temptations, Yahoshua rebuked Satan by quoting Yahovah’s words of instruction, “It is written……” However, in the third temptation, Yahoshua rebuked Satan by quoting Yahovah’s command and exercising his authority over Satan.
  3. Each of us is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is fully grown, gives birth to death (James 1:14-15)

torah scroll

On the sixth day when Adam was created, he was given authority over the earth and was commanded to subdue it and rule over it (Gen 1:26-28). His desire for the forbidden fruit led to his transgression of God’s law and earning the penalty of the second death for his sin. By his disobedience, he transferred his God given dominion and ownership of the earth into the hands of Satan, who now holds that dominion over the children of disobedience, until the day when Yahoshua will legally strip it from him. As a result, the apostle Paul refers to Satan as the god of this age when he said, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

The sin of disobeying God’s command, which Adam and Eve committed in the Garden of Eden, earned them the wrath of Yahovah against them.  Yes, Eve was deceived and ended believing the serpent’s lie. The serpent knew what Yahovah had commanded Adam about eating from the trees (Gen 2:16-17). Eve fumbled on her answer to the serpent’s temptation and exposed her weakness as, lack of knowledge to the serpent. As a result, the serpent was able to drag her through unchartered waters during their conversation, while Adam stood idly by watching the whole process of his wife, Eve being deceived by the serpent.

The second Adam, Yahoshua never challenged Satan’s jurisdiction or authority, when Satan tempted him, he simply refused Satan’s offer by quoting the words that come from the mouth of Yahovah, then he commanded Satan to go away. Yahoshua knew that his purpose for being here at his first visit was to follow Yahovah’s plan to redeem the earth and creation. At his second coming, he will administer the binding and banishment of Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15).

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Preparing for Passover–Mentally, Physically and Spiritually

aviv barley

 Preparing for Passover Mentally, Physically and Spiritually

Preparation is a key factor in getting the fullest possible spiritual, cognitive and physical benefit from the Feasts. Failure to adequately prepare in every aspect of our being could lead to a less-than optimal experience. That old adage: you only get what you put into a thing certainly applies to the Feasts. You only get what you put into the Feasts and that includes preparation–preparation in advance of the actual Feast day and celebration.
It’s like the parable and analogy of sowing seeds and reaping a harvest. The more we sow into our preparation of and then participation in the Feasts–be it hosting a gathering such as a Passover Seder or attending a gathering such as a service–the more we stand to reap a great spiritual harvest. That great harvest will not only be realized and enjoyed by us as individuals, but also those with whom we share the Feasts; these too will be blessed abundantly. The harvest? Spiritual growth and physical blessings.
Preparations for the Feasts don’t have to be all that elaborate. Simply reading relevant portions of Scripture that pertain to the Feasts is a good start. One thing I’ve learned is that if you’ve read the same passages several times in the past, a new reading may reveal nuggets and spiritual riches that eluded you in past readings of that same passage of Scripture. As we grow from participating in the Feasts year after year, the Ruach Kodesh will provide new insight and revelation–but only when we are ready to receive the new stuff.
Allow me to expound upon the areas that I believe are important in preparing ourselves for the Feasts–especially the Spring Feasts of Yehovah or Passover. I’ve broken these areas into 3-main elements: the mental or cognitive; the physical; and the spiritual.
Matzah

passover lamb

Many with righteous zeal will say–the Feasts of Yehovah must become a part of every true believer’ s life. I say no, but stand on a firm conviction that the Feasts of Yehovah must become the true believer’ s life. Only then will compromise be a non-existent option. Only then will we be truly prepared for Passover.

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INAYP 57–HIlary Thomas on The Hebraic Roots of the Christian Faith

Interview with Hilary–introduction
  • I am happy, excited and thrilled to introduce to you my lovely wife of 30-years; my life partner and love of my life–Hilary Thomas

Agent pic

  • Allow me to give you a brief snap-shot of the life of this amazing woman of Yehovah
  • Mother to our 3 wonderful children (all adults now and all  doing quite well as they are going about working their own careers), Realtor, powerful and dynamic orator, Bible teacher, soon to be author and powerful witness of Yeshua Messiah
  • Coming from a Conservative Christian and Charismatic background, Hilary came into the Hebraic Roots of the Faith with unique gifts which she has and continues to use in a powerful way
  • Hilary contends that believers must absolutely have the full package: obedience to Torah, a deep rich relationship with the Father and must operate each day in the power and might of Ruach HaKodesh
  • Hilary is a mighty prayer warrior who is not afraid to gear up and go into spiritual warfare when there is a need
  • Founder and CEO of Qumran Family Foundation, a non-profit organization with an expressed goal of helping “Emancipated Foster-Care Youths” in our society who have come out of the foster and local systems get a fair shot in life through an intense life and career training program

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INAYP56–Rejection of the Law–The Fatal Error of Christianity

Traditional Christianity has over the course of some two millennia spoken out against Christians having anything to do with the Law. The Law, often referred to as the Law of Moses, the Torah and the commandments, has for all intents and purposes become an anathema in the minds and hearts of most Christians today. The basis for this negative mindset towards God’s Law seems to be centered around denominational Christianity’s understanding of many of the teachings of the Apostle Paul pertaining to this subject. Yet millions of Christians, while abhorring any concept of obedience and observance of the Law, reject the teaching of one whose title the Church has claimed as her own, specifically on this subject. How can the Master–Jesus Christ–teach one thing and then years later one of His hand-picked apostles teach a contrary doctrine? Something smells awfully rotten here doesn’t it? Could it be that the vast majority of Christians are sadly mistaken about their rejection of the Law? What if I were to show you Prima fascia that traditional Christianity’s perspective on this subject is entirely wrong and even grossly non-nonsensical, would you be inclined to re-examine any anti-law biases you may currently have? Let’s discuss this critical issue of the Christian Faith with open honesty and truth. This is It’s Not As You Perceive, Episode 56–Rejection of the Law, The Fatal Error of Christianity.

Arguments against Christians following/obeying/observing the Law

  1. Christians must obey the law of the land first according to Rom. 13:1-7
  2. The Law was given solely to the nation of Israel (http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-law.html)
  3. The Laws of God are instructive but not imperative or valid for today’s Christian to follow (https://www.gci.org/bible/torah/exodus2a)
  4. It’s impossible for men to keep the Law because of man’s innate depravity and innate sinful nature (https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Matt/Christians-Must-Obey-Gods-Law)
  5. The Law was nailed to the cross of Jesus and thus we are not compelled to keep the Law (Col. 2:14)
The Law--Does it apply to Christians?

The Law–Does it apply to Christians?

Why those arguments against the Law are invalid

  1. According to Maimonides and other rabbinic scholars, there are 613 commandments/laws
  2. There are some 2.4 million secular laws worldwide
  3. An actual read through of the Law will reveal that any argument against Christians keeping the Law is ludicrous at best. Here are examples
    1. Acknowledge that God exists; that we should fear Him; that we should obey and love Him; and not worship any other God(s); to sanctify His name (Yehovah)
    2. To love fellow believers and not sanction the wrongdoings of fellow believers
    3. Not to oppress those among us who are weak
    4. Not to intentionally and opening embarrass another
    5. Not to gossip
    6. Not to seek revenge
    7. Not to hold and bear grudges
    8. Not to seek after idolatrous religions; not worship  idols; not to make unto ourselves idols
    9. Not to blaspheme God
    10. Not to perform as a medium or magician/seer; avoid astrology; not engage in witchcraft; not consult medium; not engage the dead
    11. Not sacrificing our children to satan
    12. Avoid being superstitious
    13. Not to have sex with any woman who is not your wife
    14. Not to have sex with your mother, your step mother, your siblings, your step-siblings, your siblings, your daughter, your grandchildren, your aunt/uncle
    15. Not to marry a woman and her children
    16. Not to engage in bestiality
    17. Not to engage in homosexuality
    18. Not take (steal) and hold things that do not belong to you
    19. Not to lie in court or commit perjury
    20. Give to charity
    21. Be honest in one’s business dealings
    22. Don’t engage in kidnapping
    23. Don’t change the boundaries of your land in order to steal land from your neighbors
    24. Don’t rob anyone
    25. Pay your bills
    26. Not engage in activities to take another’s possessions
    27. If you see someone drop something or you find a lost object, return it to the rightful owner
    28. Don’t commit murder
    29. Don’t care not neglect the safety of your guests in your home or on your property
    30. Don’t cause a blind person to trip and fall
    31. Don’t overcharge for an article you put on sale nor grossly under pay for an article
    32. Don’t insult people
    33. Don’t disrespect your parents; don’t assault your parents
    34. Don’t be a rebellious child

What did Jesus say regarding the Law

17 ¶ “Do not think that I came to abolish the aLaw or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.  18 “For truly I say to you, auntil heaven and earth pass away, not 1the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.  19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches 1others, shall be called least ain the kingdom of heaven; but whoever 2keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

  20 “For I say to you, that unless your a righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:17-20 NAS)
 
  • Abolish–kataluo–dissolve or disunite
  • fulfill–pleroo–According to the Louw-Nida Lexicon, pleroo means to give the true or complete meaning to something; to give the true meaning to, to provide the real significance of
  • accomplished–ginomai–according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, ginomai means to come to pass, happen, or events
    • what events; what must come to pass? Matt 24:35–Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (KJV); Luk 16:17–And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail (KJV)
  • the warning–those who break the law and teach others to do so shall be called least in the Kingdom
  • Our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, otherwise we will not enter the Kingdom
    • righteousness refers to attributes of God and the behavior that God requires of us (Friberg Lexicon); integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting
    • imputed righteousness? obedience and compliance? both? 

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