The Big Story
The big news story last week that caught my attention and gave me cause to pause and reflect had to do with a terrorist attack by radical Islamics on the offices of the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. This incident occurred Wednesday the 7th, about 11:30 A.M. Paris time. According to the latest information on this incident as reported by CNN.com, a number of terrorists suspects forced their way into a building that happened to be just 2 doors down from the Charlie Hebdo offices. The suspects demanded to know from the occupants of that building where they would find the Charlie Hebdo office. Upon receiving the correct building location, the suspects headed for the correct building, murdering a security officer in the process. Upon reaching the correct building that housed the Charlie Hebdo offices, the suspects accosted one of the newspaper’s cartoonists who had at that moment been heading out of the building. The suspects forced the cartoonist to lead them to the newspaper’s office. Upon reaching the office hallway, they forced the cartoonist to use her security code to allow them access to the office spaces. The group barged into what was described as a staff lunchtime editorial meeting. The suspects separated the men from the women and called out the names of the newspaper employees they intended to murder.
A physician treating some of the wounded survivors of the attack learned and revealed the details of the executions. The suspects claimed to that they were avenging the Prophet Mohammed and shouted “Allhu akbar” (meaning Allah is great). A handful of newspaper employees managed to escape to the building’s rooftop and record video as the suspects departed the offices and fired upon responding police. The suspects escaped.
One of the most disturbing parts of this story was the videoed execution of a Parisian police officer whom the group encountered as they fled the scene in a car along a Parisian boulevard. In all, it is believed that 12 people died in this attack. That evening, countless Parisians took to the streets of Paris in a show of solidarity in defiance of the attacks and to honor the victims. Later that same evening, an 18-year old male, believed to have been one of the attackers, turned himself in to authorities. In the interim, heavily armed police searched France for what they believed to be the two remaining suspects—two brothers, apparently known terrorists to French and international intelligence agencies. I will not honor these individuals by mentioning their names on this program. Besides, they haven’t been proved guilty of these attacks, and given the state of the world today as it relates to truths put out by any government, we can’t be at all sure that these individuals were indeed the true attackers.
Thursday morning in France was met with the execution of a French female police officer by individuals whom witnesses contend were wearing the same attire the suspects wore in the previous day’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices. In another part of France, witnesses contend that the two wanted suspects stole food and gas from a gas station. This of course prompted what was described as a “massive manhunt” in the area of that gas station. That afternoon, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls raised the terror alert level in that region where the manhunt was underway to the highest level.
Friday morning, French special forces surrounded a building believed to be housing the two outstanding suspects. The authorities had received word (allegedly from the two wanted brothers) that they wanted to die as martyrs. As this situation played out, schools in the area were placed in a lock-down state while shoppers, shop owners and residents were told to stay put where they were. Forces stormed the building and killed both suspects with no apparent harm to the assaulting officers.
Back in Paris that same Friday afternoon, the suspect believed responsible for murdering the female police the previous day, entered a kosher store and took hostages. An assault by security forces resulted in the hostage taker and four hostages being killed. Fifteen hostages survived the assault. That hostage taker apparently had an accomplice who is believed to have escaped when the hostages in mass fled from the store.
Once again, the western world has experienced terror. This attack obviously disturbed me when I heard about it from the Alex Jones show Wednesday afternoon. I wondered to myself what was actually going on with this particular incident: was this the work of radical Islamic terrorists or some other nefarious situation contrived and controlled by a western government or some other global entity. I’m not sure. The news reported rather confidently that this was a radical Islamic attack on a satirical newspaper that printed rather offensive stories and cartoons about Islam, especially radical Islam. It certainly appears to be that way. But looking at this from a spiritual perspective, especially from the perspective of a truth seeking believer in Jesus (aka Yeshua) Messiah, I sense that there is definitely something bigger at play here. Of course the default is satan being the puppet-master and certainly this is a likely probability. But why? Why is this happening? Is there a solution? Is there something that could have been done to prevent this attack? The obvious answer to this would be to eliminate free-speech and free-expression throughout the world and to succumb to Sharia law. But is this really the answer? In other words, if the world were to cow tow to radical Islam, would such attacks cease? Absolutely not. We see attacks on peaceful and compliant Islamic groups all the time. Evil has no favorites. I came across a story this past week of the execution of one of the most prolific Islamic State executioners to date. Apparently this fellow upset someone within the Islamic State and that cost him his life.
I sense that this latest attack will not be the last. If anything, future attacks by terrorists will only ramp up in intensity and numbers. And yes, there is a way to stop these and future attacks. The world at large, however, would not be interested in entertaining the concept nor implementing the solution. But before I speak to the solution, let me discuss the cause from a biblical perspective.
To begin with, we must establish whether or not we believe every word that is contained within our Bible. This must not be the tacit cognitive understanding that Christianity has conditioned us with; that our bible is a mystical, magical and conceptual book that provides the born again believer in Christ with comforting and idealistic words of advice by which he or she can choose to live by or not. Churchianity teaches there is freedom in Christ, thus the would-be believer in Jesus Christ is not held to anything contained within the pages of the bible apart from an open acknowledgment that Jesus Christ is Lord and king and that He died for the sins of the world. What is that passage that evangelical Christianity clings to over anything else: Christ and Him crucified? Thus, everything of any concern that is contained in the Holy Writ was literally nailed to the cross with our Savior.
My purpose here is not to persuade you to believe that Christians are held to every applicable standard contained in the bible, or what has become the cuss word in churchianity, held to the Law of Moses! Indeed, if you hold to this Greek inspired, western worldview of Christianity (that by the way is being challenged by ever growing numbers of believers) you may want to save some time and move on to another website that caters to your “taste.” I mean, isn’t that what Christianity has become: a suggestive lifestyle that seems to fit quite nicely into our personal life; sort of a nice addition to everyday western living? Hasn’t Christianity lost the flavor that the Master once foretold would be the norm for those who would seek to follow Him, that being a believer and following after Him would require personal sacrifice; that following Him was a journey through a narrow gate and down along a rough and narrow path? I recall my former boss who by the way, was a staunch evangelical Christian believer who sought to bring to her chosen interdenominational church a sense of affluence or class. She and her husband made substantial income and they were quite cognizant of the apparent poverty that defined much of the congregation they attended. So they routinely financed a number of events in the Church that included couples weekends in a posh hotel. After each event, my boss would describe the event to me and based upon how the congregation reacted to the event would determine what she got out of her efforts. I remember distinctly one of those couples weekends where she described that some of the couples were less than appreciative of her efforts and that upset her. She was looking for acknowledgment of her efforts and fine gesture. She didn’t receive it and she became somewhat jaded over doing anything more for the congregation. Well, that attitude lasted but a short time and before too long, she was planning similar events in the hopes of gaining some accolades from the impoverished congregation.
Certainly, Christianity for her was a “hobby” like attachment to her life. She remained a bitter, angry, vindictive, hard and unpleasant believer (for the sake of argument I choose to refer to her as a believer) up to the time she retired. I understand that she continues to function in her church as she did when I was working for her. I did, by the way, have a number of conversations with her regarding a believer’s responsibility to observe the Sabbath and Feast Days and the avoidance of pagan holidays. Of course she rejected my stance passionately, standing on at least two of the mainstays of evangelical Christendom—there is freedom in Christ and the Law was nailed to the cross of Jesus. Needless to say, those conversations went no where beyond her (remember that she was my boss) insistence that I behave according to my Christian profession—as far as she was concerned, I was not behaving accordingly.
Nevertheless, I realize there are many who will read or hear this content and not be on the same spiritual page, so to speak. But if we are to walk together, it is important that we agree (to a great extent) that (1) the Bible is viable and relevant today; (2) the Bible contains the thoughts and to a great extent the Words of our Creator and His Son; and (3) we are responsible for obeying the commands of the Father. Failure to agree on these three points may cause us to disagree and you may dismiss what I have to say in this episode. But if by chance you don’t agree on one or more of these points, then that’s okay. We are all on a journey and we are not all going to be on the same spiritual page if you will. What I promise is that my focus for the remainder of this posting is based upon what is contained in the Bible as it relates to why terror exists and what can be done to stop it (at least for the most part).
The Likely Cause
One of the most likely reasons we have terror in our midsts is due to the west’s refusal to obey the commandments of the Father. The world is naturally contrary to the ways of the Creator. Thus, it would not make too much sense that the world at large would follow the commandments of the Most High. However, the world is filled with billions (last count about 2.5 billion) of self-professing Christians. These folks—us if you will—have been given the Scriptures and the knowledge of who God is and who our Redeemer is. Yet the body has failed to do what she was commanded to do and that is to be servants of the Most High. As servants of the Most High, we are not our own for we have been “bought with a price” and ought not to be “servants of men” (1 Cor. 6: 20; 7:23). Every new, assumed born again believer in Christ is taught this simple truth. But for whatever reason, Christians as a whole reject obeying the commandments of the Father. In many cases, this rejection is filled with highly-charged emotions. The Church has taught that to obey the commandments is to reject the work of the Savior and rebuff the grace of God. But nowhere in the Holy Writ did the Savior nor his chosen apostles (although some would argue against this) teach that we are to disobey God’s Laws. This thinking; this doctrine; this teaching is contrary to the understanding that God doesn’t change (Mal. 3:6). So somewhere in the course of the redemption story, Christianity contends that God changed His mind on the issue of His children obeying Him. Somewhere, it became common teaching and doctrine to reject any and everything associated with Judaism and to a great extent the Law was thrown in that mix. This rejection of everything perceived to be Jewish took off during the rule of Emperor Constantine, but I won’t belabor that point in this post.
But we being grafted in to the tree that was Israel (read the entire 11th chapter of Romans), are held to the same standards as Israel was and continues to be. The only difference being that we are servants of the Master, Jesus the Messiah. Our obedience then to the Law is specific to the living out, spiritually, of the commandments of the Father and adhering to the way of life that He has prescribed for man; not simply blind obedience to a set of 613-commandments (as the Jewish rabbis count). Jesus Messiah showed us how to live according to the Law (aka as Torah) and in doing so, he commanded us to obey His commandments. He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He gave two general commandments: love the Father and love one another. Christianity acknowledges this, even the Jehovah’s Witnesses agree. However, what does love of the Father and love for man look like? My definition of love of the Father and for my neighbor will likely be different than yours. And would it not stand to reason that the Father’s concept of man’s love for Him and man’s love for one another is different than man’s definition? Indeed it is. And the Father spells out how we are to love Him and love one another in His Torah. I know that doesn’t jive with how most Christians see the Law of God today and that’s okay. Hopefully you will leave this posting and meditate on His Word and pray for the truth to be shown to you in a powerful and real way.
Millions are leaving Christian churches today in droves. One of the primary reasons for this exodus (reference the Barna Group’s work on the subject) is that they are not being challenged by their Faith. The Church is failing to spell out for them what it is that they must do to live victorious, powerful and successful lives in Messiah. Thus they are becoming disenchanted and have lost the zeal they once had when they first came to Jesus. Could it be that Christianity as it exists today is only a hollow, rotted out shell of what it originally was intended to be? Could it be that Christianity today has failed to do what her Chief Cornerstone and Foundation commanded and that is to love Him by keeping His commandments?
Certainly, failing to do what the Father and the Son has commanded us to do must have certain associated consequences. Granted, the hijacked doctrine of grace has proved to be one of the greatest spiritual anesthesias of any faith. The doctrine of grace assumes that we are not responsible, whatsoever, for obedience to the Laws and ways of God. Reasons provided: that the Master kept Torah perfectly, therefore we are not required to do so, nor should we ever think to or desire to keep the Torah. Doing so, according to the perverted doctrine of grace, nullifies the work of the Master in our lives because we delude ourselves into thinking that our salvation is gained through works. Faith is all that is required. Indeed, Faith in the work of Messiah, repentance from sin and following Messiah are the prerequisites for salvation. Where the doctrine of grace leaves off, however, is the simple fact that following Jesus (aka Yeshua) Messiah necessitates obedience to Him and conforming to the lifestyle that He has commanded us to live. And what does that lifestyle look like? It’s all contained in the Word of God, specifically Torah. Thus, living as a Believer in Jesus Messiah is not simply a cognitive exercise of acknowledging that Jesus is our redeemer. James, the brother of our Lord and Savior said it best:
“But someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works (modern day grace supported Churchianity), and I will show you my faith by my works.’ You believe that God is one (speaking to the Jews and referencing Deuteronomy 6: 4, 5, aka the Shema), you do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless…You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone” (James 2:18-24-NAS).
One can see quite clearly the reason why Calvin did not want the book of James in the canon. Thus, all of protestant Christianity has to this day followed in a unified mindset—that being a rejection of the Laws and ways of the Father. Instead, the insistence is upon the doctrine of “sola gratia.”
Simply because Calvin vehemently advocated for the doctrine of “sola gratia” doesn’t mean that it is biblical. Yet believers will follow any wind and doctrine that supports a dismissal of any personal responsibility to do and live how the Father has commanded us. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman assembly: the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.1 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:7-8 KJV)
Therefore, there must be inherent consequences for the nations who know better but choose to do otherwise. As distasteful and seemingly disrespectful as this may sound, this and virtually every other terror attack on the west is a result of the nations’ refusal to obey the Laws of the Almighty and turn their hearts and souls to Him. Yehovah said to us in His Word:
14 ¶ ‘But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, 15 if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, 16 I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, (Lev 26:14-16 NAS).
Granted, the Father here was addressing the children of Israel. But if we accept Paul’s illustration of the true believer’s identity in Messiah as being graffed in to the family that is Israel—that we are in a manner of speaking, spiritual Israelites, no less and no better than the original nation of Israel (reference Romans 11), expecting all of the blessings that were to be enjoyed and inherited by Israel, then how presumptive of the modern day Christian to think that he/she gets a free pass in to heaven without any responsibility towards loving the Master by keeping His commandments and His commandments are the same commandments given by the Father to the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai.
Then there is this passage:
6 “Do you thus repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you. 7 “Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you. 8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel. 9 “For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. 10 “He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. 11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. 12 “The LORD alone guided him, And there was no foreign god with him. 13 “He made him ride on the high places of the earth, And he ate the produce of the field; And He made him suck honey from the rock, And coil from the flinty rock, 14 Curds of cows, and milk of the flock, With fat of lambs, And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats, With the finest of the wheat– And of the blood of grapes you drank wine. 15 “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked– You are grown fat, thick, and sleek– Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation. 16 “They made Him jealous with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17 “They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread. 18 “You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 “And the LORD saw this, and spurned them Because of the provocation of His sons and daughters. 20 “Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, Sons in whom is no faithfulness. 21 ‘They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation, 22 For a fire is kindled in My anger, And burns to the lowest part of Sheol, And consumes the earth with its yield, And sets on fire the foundations of the mountains. 23 ‘I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them. 24 ‘They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague And bitter destruction; And the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, With the venom of crawling things of the dust. 25 ‘Outside the sword shall bereave, And inside terror– Both young man and virgin, The nursling with the man of gray hair. (Deu 32:6-25 NAS)
Those who in the past have brought similar messages that such events are the result of the Christian nations not being obedient to the ways of the Almighty have been called heretics and a whole host of other unsavory names. I used to think the same thing until I came to understand the relevance of the Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith. If we continue along in our walk as professing Christians with no true understanding of what it means to be a true disciple of the Master, then we are destined to commit the same life-mistakes over and over again and then reap the consequences. The politicians of the world have sought to fix the terror problem. Having failed miserably, the military has tried to wipe out the terrorists, but then the terrorists come back stronger and more resolute than ever to create terror, destruction and death throughout the world. Thus, there seems to be no solution to the problem. But there is a solution, if we only choose to listen and obey.
Certainly, any well meaning, objective believer would give some credence to the “cause and effect” of such terrorist attacks on the west. I vaguely recall in the aftermath of the 911 alleged terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers that Conservative Christian Minister Jerry Falwell, appearing on the 700 Club, hosted by Pat Robertson, attributed the attacks on the proliferation of homosexuality, abortion and liberal civil rights activists in this country. Falwell told Robertson, “ America had been wonderfully protected these 225-years. And since 1812 this is the first time that we’ve been attacked on our soil and by far the worst results. Throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools…the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40-million little innocent babies, we make God mad. The pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, people for the American way—all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.’” Certainly, Falwell was vehemently condemned for those seemingly incendiary statements—from the farthest left straight through the farthest right on the political spectrum. At that time I was not yet in the Hebrew Roots Faith but was attending (I believe it was during that time) Rick Warren’s conservative mega-church here in Southern California, Saddleback Church. I recall that publicly, the prevailing spirit in the conservative and charismatic churches was that Falwell had crossed the line. However, many church leaders actually thought that he was on to something. I sort of felt that Falwell was correct, but I remained silent on the issue, not fully invested in the reason he gave for the attack, but more focused on the evil that I saw to be Islam. I think that was the prevailing thought throughout much of conservative Christendom, that Islam (especially radical-Islam) was evil and only an evil religion could carry out such a heinous thing on an innocent people. In other words, I cared more about the effect than the cause.
Today, I believe that Falwell in great part was correct. However, I think Falwell had only scratched the surface of a much bigger issue. The bigger issue being that the west, supposedly overflowing with Christians, had for all intents and purposes rejected the ways of God for a liberal, westernized ideal of the Christian Faith that does not at all match the True Faith once delivered to the first century saints by the Master (Jude 1:4 & 5). And yes, as we’ve read in portions of the original covenant (i.e., the Old Testament), the Father utilized evil, pagan nations to punish and correct Israel when they steered off that narrow path that He had given them to follow. What makes us here in the west believe that we are immune to similar correction and punishment? I submit to you that a great deal of this has to do with the anti-Jewish stance that has defined much of western and to some extent eastern Christianity for so many centuries. Rejection of anything Hebrew or Jewish by Christians, initiated by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century C.E., has all but steered the attentions of millions of self-professing Christians throughout the centuries away from the True Faith once delivered, over to a counterfeit faith delivered to us by the Universal Church (Roman Catholicism). I would refer you to my discussion on this in “It’s Not As You Perceive—Episode 53—Hanukkah’s Greatest Hidden Secrets, Part 2,” where I go in to detail about the anti-Jewish/Hebrew roots of modern-day Christianity (http://itsnotasyouperceive.com/episode-53-hanukkahs-greatest-hidden-secrets-part-2/).
If Christianity is able to get over her biases against Judaism and anything having to do with the Hebrew Roots of the Christian Faith, she will quickly come to the conclusion that she has followed in the same footsteps as ancient Israel. Rejection of the Creator’s way of life which also translates into a breaking of the covenant between the Father and His chosen ones, will always result in dire consequences. I believe what we saw in Paris last week is an example of such consequences.
But the Father is a caring and loving God who wishes to bless his children. Deuteronomy 28 delineates for the true believer and follower, the blessings to be had for obedience. Moses told the people:
Deuteronomy 28:1 ¶ “Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the LORD your God. 3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be ain the 1country. 4 “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock. 5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. (Deu 28:1-6 NAS)
My question to you is, how could any well meaning, true believer reject this? Certainly, western Christianity has done her adherents no favors by perpetuating a doctrine that the Law was nailed to the cross along with Jesus. Nowhere is this ever mentioned in the Holy Writ. What was nailed to the cross was the penalty of sin which is death. A simple exegetical examination of what “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” would reveal that those ordinances against us was not the Law but as the New American Standard Bible (one of the top-rated, accurate translations of the Bible on the market today) translates the passage—”…canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us…had been taken out of the way” (Colossians 2:14). Thus Christianity has led her adherents astray with false instruction and those who would perpetrate such a fraud will have to answer to their spiritual crimes. Besides, what benefit has Christianity provided us today? Apart from a nice little side distraction in the form of a social club, Christianity has all but led most of her people through the wide gate and down the broad road towards destruction. Today, we’re reaping the fruits of Christianity’s labors. It’s not working is it?
What will work? Obviously, God’s way seems to be the only true solution to the problems facing our world today, including the problems associated with terrorism. Moses went on to say that:
7 ¶ “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way and shall flee before you seven ways. 8 “The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 9 “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you will keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in His ways. 10 “So all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of you. 11 “And the LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12 “The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 “And the LORD shall make you the head and not the tail, and you only shall be above, and you shall not be underneath, if you will listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. (Deu 28:7-14 NAS)
The solution to the problem of terrorism in our world is for the true believers to repent, turn to Yehovah our God and obey Him. From there, we are to live lives worthy of our calling and status as Children of the Most High. It will be that as a result of Christians prospering in all areas of their lives that many outside of the Faith will desire to have what the prospering Christians have and they will turn to God. As verse seven of the 28th chapter says, the enemies that rise up against us will be smitten before out faces for they will come out against us one way but flee before us seven different ways. Doesn’t it make perfect sense to try life Yehovah’s way as opposed to a Christian denomination’s way? My call to action for you as I close this post is that you give serious consideration to living God’s way and reject denominational Christianity’s life instructions. It’s greater than a fair bet that turning to God is the only true solution to the problems plaguing our world, including terrorism.
May you be most blessed, fellow believers in Yeshua Messiah.