INAYP-49-Truth and Christianity

What is Truth? What did Jesus mean when He told the Samaritan woman at the well the following: CJB  John 4:23 But the time is coming- indeed, it’s here now- when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him.
 (Joh 4:23 CJB) The King James Version reads as follows: KJV  John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
 (Joh 4:23 KJV)
225 ἀλήθεια aletheia {al-ay’-thi-a}
Meaning:  1) objectively 1a) what is true in any matter under consideration 1a1) truly, in truth, according to truth 1a2) of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly 1b) what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth 1b1) in the greatest latitude 1b2) the true notions of God which are open to human reason without his supernatural intervention 1c) the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians 2) subjectively 2a) truth as a personal excellence 2a1) that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit
The context of this passage is that famous interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in Sychar of Samaria. The only place this story is recorded in the Bible is in the Gospel of John. Michael Rood in his Chronological Gospels -The Life and Seventy Week Ministry of Messiah–comments that the Samaritans were gentiles who were placed in the region by Assyrian Emperor Shalmanezer. These people were planted there to replace the Israelites who had previously been dispersed to the 4-winds of the earth. A plague of lions in the land suggested to the emperor that these people may not be in sync with the “god” of that land and thus he brought in “government sponsored” priests who taught the people what Rood describes as “a politically correct version of Torah,” which documented as its 10th commandment, “Thou shalt worship on Mount Gerizim.” It should be mentioned that the priests the emperor imported were not of the Leviticial priesthood, thus they were not authorized by the Almighty to dispense Torah teaching. (This was recorded in II Kings 17:24-31.) Thus the Samaritan people were for all intents and purposes perpetrating a fraud–living lies–in the land of promise and to boot, they were being fed a religion of lies. The Hebrew population realized this and austricized the Samaritans, labelling them often as dogs, not just because they were brought in to the land to replace fellow Hebrews, but also because these people were practicing a false brand of the Hebrew Faith.
samaritan woman at the well
As the story goes, the Samaritan woman, through here exchange with Jesus, recognized that the Master was someone very special–she referred to Him as a prophet. She sought to take advantage of this opportunity by asking Jesus one of the Samaritan’s most challenging questions as it related to where they were to worship the Father–was it indeed on Mount Moreh-Yah or was it as the Samaritan Torah taught–on Mount Gerizim? It is to this critical question that Yeshua responded with the quote found in John 4: 23–“that they that worship [the Father] must worship Him in spirit and in “aletheia”–truth.
The concept of truth was the central theme in our fellowshipping with fellow believers this past weekend. We visited friends that we met in Rochester, N.Y. earlier this year.
We discussed quite extensively how lies have infiltrated Christianity and everday life and blinded the people of God to the truth, not only on matters pertaining to our Faith, but even as it pertains to how we perceive the world around us.
  1. 911 and the twin towers
  2. The Oklahoma City bombing
  3. Sandy Hook
  4. The Trinity
  5. The significance of Torah to the true Believer of Messiah
It’s not until we understand the truth in all its forms and applications that we can truly worship the Father. If we worship the Father based upon a system of lies and half-truths, then one must ask, are we truly worshipping the Father.
There is a popular belief among most Christians that it really doesn’t matter if we aren’t accurate or faithful in our worship and practice of the Faith, because God knows our heart. I was shown a film clip of Kirk Cameron, popular child actor of the 80’s who has adopted Christianity as his primary life’s work nowadays. Cameron, in this film clip, went to great lengths to discredit truth-seekers who held to the knowledge and understanding that Christmas is indeed a pagan holiday and should not be celebrated by believers as the birth of our Messiah. Cameron’s stance was that of (and I’m paraphrasing), “so what if Christmas is a pagan holiday? Christianity has taken the holiday and sanctified it by applying the focus of Christ to that day. Come on, don’t let those wet towels dampen your love of Christmas. Everyone loves Christmas. Come on, just celebrate the day and get over yourselves.” Cameron goes on to stress that it’s the intent behind Christmas today that must be understood. It’s a heart thing. God knows our heart and we need to get over feeling guilty of celebrating Christmas because of the knowledge of its pagan origin.
First off, indeed the Father does know and understand our hearts and He has revealed that the heart of man is desperately evil:
 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (Mat 15:19 KJV)
 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer 17:9 KJV)
Indeed, there is no doubt that millions of self-professing Christians sincerely believe they are worshipping the Father truthfully and correctly. But commonsense must rule the day: you’re either living your spirit life correctly or incorrectly; you’re either right or wrong…when it comes to the Faith once delivered to the first century saints (and I’m NOT applying Christianity to this equation), the Master said that we MUST worship the Father in spirit and truth. There is to be no goofy attempt at living our life and worshipping God as we feel is best or that fits our comfort zones or our likings or how someone else dictates we should go about it. These believers (mostly traditional-orthodox Christians) who go about their lives in error, as did the Samaritans, are sincere in their efforts, but they are also sincerely wrong and sincerely mistaken about many things as it relates to their worship of the Father and their walk with the Master. Regardless, we are held accountable for understanding and living our Faith accurately which means, in accordance to the word of the Lord. Obedience must be the primary driving force behind our profession, properly joined to an unshakeable faith. And please don’t pull the “we have freedom in Christ” card that so many millions of Christians like to rest their collective spiritual hats upon (KJV  Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Gal 5:1 KJV)). That whole churchianity interpretation of “freedom in Christ” has become an abominable misinterpretation. Context, context, context! Scriptural soundbites will be the death (literally) of so many self-professing Christians. The context of this passage speaks to being in bondage, under the yoke of religion–within the context of those Judaizers who had come in to the Galatian assembly and attempted to foist upon the Galatian believers Judaism. One should read the entire passage here. Paul speaks passionately to the issue that was plaguing many of Paul’s followers and that had to do with the Orthodox Jewish believers in Messiah who were forcing Jewish Law and practices (not the Torah but Talmud) upon the new gentile converts to the Faith. Paul was addressing primarily the issue of adherence to Judaism first over faith in Jesus which seemed to fall second in importance. Many incorrectly ascertain that Paul was denouncing the Torah, but in reality Paul was denouncing Judaism and the insistance by the Jewish sect of the Faith that all converts must strictly adhere to Judaism first and foremost. Paul was informing all who would read or hear his message that anyone who would take up the mantle of the true Faith once delivered would not be subject to religion any longer. They were free from the burden of religion. We find very clear clues throughout the New Testament or renewed covenant that Judaism was a tremendous burden that was placed upon the people by the sages (primarily the Pharisees and the Sadducees) and the tenets of that religion were for all intents and purposes impossible to keep. The intent of the laws that would surround the Torah was to prevent the Jew from ever violating Torah. The intent, though seemingly well intended on the part of the sages, was actually a violation of the very Law that Judaism was designed to protect. Throughout Torah Yehovah clearly stated that His people were are not to  add or subtract anything from that which He had given to the nation in terms of His laws, commandments and ordinances. Thus Judaism, for all intents and purposes was a lie as was the religion being followed by the Samaritans. Lies upon more lies.
The same goes with us today. Christianity is a religion, weakly built upon the True Faith once delivered to the first century saints. History clearly shows that men took the pure Faith and added to it that which would make it into a religion. Religion serves to control men. And that is what the early “church fathers” constructed for themselves in the name of God–a religion that they claim is true and the key to eternal life. Add to that the world and its governments and everyday life and the less-informed of us is in a world of hurt. Sadly, the less-informed of us numbers in the majority. That majority insists that none of this is important because the Christian has given over their life to Jesus Christ and has therefore been gifted eternal life and eternal life is guaranteed regardless what happens from the time of praying the sinners’ prayer to the pre-tribulation rapture. And why do the vast majority of 2-billion self-professing Christians believe all that I just mentioned? Because someone in authority told them it was so and because of their limited and myopic understanding of John 3:16.
So truth as it stands in the Greek term aletheia stands in opposition to anything that is ficticious or false. Sadly, I’ve come to the shocking conclusion that much of everything that we as believers in Jesus Christ deal with on a daily basis, be it in everyday life or in the realm of Christianity, is built upon lies. The god of this world maintains a tremendous foothold on the whole of the world’s population (3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Co 4:3-4 KJV)) However, there are a few, a very precious few in the world, who have been permitted to see and perceive what the world truly is while the rest of mankind goes along with narry a care or inkling that there’s a problem. I’m reminded of that very popular movie trilogy from the early 2000’s called “The Matrix” in which a small band of intrepid warriors became knowledgeable of the fact that the world around them was controlled by machines and that humans only existed to serve the machines. In order to get people to serve them, the machines provided humans with a faux world facade that appeared to the average Joe living their lives in the world as fine and dandy. The only way to defeat and expose the evil of that system was to convince one individual who went by the name of Neo, that he was the long prophecied Messiah, and it was Neo who would ultimately defeat the machines and lead the world back to truth and life. Of course the machines fought tenaciously against that band of rebels and their leader Neo, but it was destined for the truth to get out one way or the other. It’s like a concrete city: there can be concrete buildings and cities all around with no plant life anywhere in sight. But sooner or later, if proper care is not taken, sprigs of grass with find a crack somewhere in that concrete world and bear itself. Life and truth can not be contained forever.
What then do we do with the information that we gain from the revelations that the Holy Spirit has placed within us? Many of us will have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Many of us will do nothing with it because we fear being rediculed and rejected by the establishment–be it secular society or the church. But I fear that we will be judged accordingly if we simply collect the information that is provided to us by the Father and simply hide it under a bussel. No sir, no ma’am, we’ve been called out from the masses to expose the falsehoods and lies of the enemy. How we each accomplish that is really between us individually and the Father. His Holy Spirit will not only help us bypass the fear ( 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2Ti 1:7 KJV)), but also provide us with instruction and direction on how we are to accomplish His will for our lives and to further His purpose and plan for man on the earth.
You want to know how deep the rabbit-hole goes (so to speak), then seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, obey God’s Word, and open your heart and mind to receive His Truth. You will be blown away at the level of lies that has infused every level of the world’s life and existence. Furthermore, keep coming back to this website as we will ensure that you receive the truth that will help you in your walk with the Savior. Be most blessed fellow Saints.

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It’s Not As You Perceive, Episode 48–Halloween, Christianity and the Bible

In the West, this coming Friday–October 31st–will be Halloween. It is a time deemed primarily for children, although many adults take great pleasure in celebrating that night as well. As the day wanes and night settles in, millions of children will emerge from their homes, dressed as some of their favorite characters, going from house to house seeking after candies and other desirable treats. Parents and adults alike take great pleasure in the tradition by dressing up their homes in ghoulish and macabre themes, creating scary pranks and participating in festive social gatherings. The central themes of Halloween are death and the occult. Halloween’s origins can not fully be explained, but history strongly links the night to an ancient pagan-class of the Celtic peoples known as the Druids, common to Gaul, Ireland and Britain, as far back as the 3rd century B.C.E. A high holy day of the Druids as well as an agricultural-fall festival for many of the
All Souls Day
Gaelic peoples was Samhein [pronounced SAH-WIN]. Samhein was jammed packed with occultic and pagan traditions and beliefs. These occultic and pagan elements gripped the Gaelic peoples in fear and entrapped them in a demonic-religion. Yet seeing a great opportunity for increasing the number of adherents to the Romish Church of the 6th century, the papacy devised yet another plan to marry Christianity to a prominent pagan people and their religion. The Church triumphant compromised huge portions of the truth that was delivered to the first century saints by forcibly developing and standing up pious festivals that seemed to honor the triune Godhead and the ever growing body of dead saints, while appeasing those on the Church rolls who still held allegiance to some of their pagan ways of life. This pagan segment of the Universal Church were permitted to retain many, if not most, of their pagan traditions and practices, just as long as these traditions and practices were done to honor the Church’s dead saints. Thus, over the centuries, like Christmas and Easter, many of the central themes and traditions of the pagan–in this case the Druids and Samhein–were favorably accepted by the papacy and the Church body and became ceremoniously part of the Church’s holy days
All Saints Day
of All Souls Day and All Saints Day, ultimately being nicely wrapped in to All Hallows Eve or Halloween. Despite the Reformation of the 16th century C.E., the protestant Church could not fully shake off these pagan-based Church festivals which we’ve received today as beautifully packaged and seemingly harmless, fun, family-centered and even holy holidays. Sadly, the vast majority of Christian adherents in the world are either ignorant of the pagan-origins of popular holidays such as Halloween; they don’t care either way; or they believe that Christians should embrace such holidays as wonderful opportunities to enhance their Christian lives. Indeed, the lie has been spun by the enemy and millions have fallen in to the trap as it relates to the observance and celebration of Halloween. But how must truth seeking believers in Messiah fall out on the issue of Halloween?
 In this episode of It’s Not As You Perceive, I examine Halloween in light of what we know of its origin and history as well as I seek to answer this question by examining portions of the Scripture. Come. Let’s reason together on the topic of Halloween. This is It’s Not As You Perceive–Episode 48–Halloween, Christianity and the Bible.
What is Halloween

Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwn, -ˈn, ˌhɑːl-/; a contraction of “All Hallows‘ Evening“),[6] also known as Allhalloween,[7] All Hallows’ Eve,[8] or All Saints’ Eve,[9] is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast ofAll Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Allhallowtide,[10] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints(hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.[11] Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.”[12]

According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals,[13][14] with possible paganroots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain.[8][15][16]

Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in Celtic Christianity.[35][36] Indeed, Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that “the sacred and the religious are a fundamental context for understanding Halloween in Northern Ireland, but there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”.[37] Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain“, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”.[35]
Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year.[41][42] … it was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) could more easily come into our world and were particularly active.[43][44] At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter.
  • Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left for the Aos Sí.[47][48][49][50] The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes.[51] Places were set at the dinner table or by the fire to welcome them.[52] The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night or day of the year seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures throughout the world.[53]
  •  Special bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, and were also used for divination.[40][41]
How did Halloween Become a Bedfellow to Christianity?
“My Catholic Faith” by Louis LaRavoire Morrow (My Mission House, 1963)
  • The pagan festival of the dead continued to be observed until the 6th c. when it was integrated slowly into Christian practice
  • Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) advised the Archbishop of Canterbury to retain the Druid sacrifices and celebrate them in honor of Christian saints
  • The Holy Roman Church introduced “All Saints’ Day” on May 13, 609 AD to commemorate all those saints and martyrs who had no special day of recognition. Then in the 8th c. the day was moved from May 13th to November 1st to counteract the pagan celebrations held on that same day.
    • “All Saints’ Day” falls on November 1st for the Roman Catholic Church and on this day “the Church honors the Angels and Saints in heaven”
      • commemoration of the Saints in heaven who have not been officially canonized by the Church and who are not commemorated during the year
    • Then in the 9th c. the Roman Church  began holding a Eucharist of reconciliation for those dead who had not been named among the saints
  • “All Souls’ Day” falls on November 2nd for the Roman Catholic Church and it is a day that “commemorates all the souls in purgatory”
    • masses and prayers are offered that the “souls in purgatory may be released
      • 10th c. “All Soul’s Day” was added to the Roman Catholic calendar for November 2nd (annually) for the souls still suffering in purgatory.
      • Thus, all souls day was celebrated by the visiting of cemeteries and setting out “soul cakes” (currant buns), wine, tobacco and gifts for the dead became a popular practice.
      • People would go from house to house begging for these soul cakes. The recipients would offer up prayers for the souls of the contributors’ dead relatives which became known as “souling”
    • All Souls’ Day was not included in the church calendar during the protestant reformation (although it was restored to the calendar in 1928)
    • All Souls’ Day is a day of prayer for the dead, particularly but not exclusively one’s relatives. In Western Christianity the annual celebration is now held on 2 November and is associated with All Saints’ Day (1 November) and its vigil, Hallowe’en (31 October).[2] In the liturgical books of the western Catholic Church (the Latin Church) it is called The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, and is celebrated annually on 2 November, even if this date falls on a Sunday.[3] In Anglicanism it is called Commemoration of All Faithful Departed and is an optional celebration.[4] In the Eastern Orthodox Church and the associated Eastern Catholic Churches, it is celebrated several times during the year and is not associated with the month of November. Beliefs and practices associated with All Souls’ Day vary widely among Christian churches and denominations.

      At the Reformation the celebration of All Souls’ Day was fused with All Saints’ Day in the Church of England, though it was renewed individually in certain churches in connection with the Catholic Revival of the 19th century. The observance was restored with the publication of the 1980 Alternative Service Book, and it features in Common Worship as a Lesser Festival called “Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day)”.

      Among continental Protestants its tradition has been more tenaciously maintained. Even Luther’s influence was not sufficient to abolish its celebration in Saxony during his lifetime; and, though its ecclesiastical sanction soon lapsed even in the Lutheran Church, its memory survives strongly in popular custom. In the Methodist Churchsaints refer to all Christians and therefore, on All Saint’s Day, the Church Universal, as well as the deceased members of a local congregation are honoured and remembered.
  • October 31st is called “All Hallowed Eve” or “holy evening”
  • Druids developed and held to the concept of disembodied souls that roamed the earth having not gained entrance into heaven
  • Once again we see the glaring compromise of the Romish Church: the union of the Christian with the heathen festivals as the Church conquered its pagan rivals
    • “The inflexible Protestantism of the primitive missionaries…exchanged for the supple policy, the easy tolerance, the comprehensive charity of shred ecclesiastics, who clearly perceived that if Christianity [Catholicism] was to conquer the world it could do so only by relaxing the too rigid principles of its Founder, by widening a little the narrow gate which leads to salvation” (Sir James George Frazer–“The Golden Bough”)
  • Halloween or All Hallowed Even” was rejected by the English Puritans in America as a Catholic and pagan holiday. For 200-years the holiday never took hold in America; at least not until the Irish potato famine of the 1840s when 1000s of Irish immigrants migrated to America, bringing this pagan custom with them
    • Halloween has become a night of fun and festivities, different from it being a night of fearing wandering demons in its earlier make-up
    • Focus is on children
  • Celebration finds its significance in modern society as:
  1. Wicca and Satanist High Sabbath–it is described as their holiest day of the year and in many realms a serious celebration takes place on that day/night. Halloween represents or marks the end and beginning their occult year; the beginning of death and destruction typically associated with winter; the underworld unleashes its spirits and thus they are free to roam the earth; it is a time to call upon spirits. The Wiccans and Satanists find solid links with Samhein as they believe that the “veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest and communications with the spirit realm is much easier. Modern Wiccans have been known to assemble in circles and dance nude, calling upon spirits to visit their gathering. Satanists take it to another level. Satanists have been known to sacrifice small animals and large animals and even people in the name of Satan and all that is unholy
  2. Concentration on Darkness
  3. Focus on death
  4. Commercial and Festive Appeal–multi-billion dollar holiday industry
  5. Dabble in the Spirit Realm
  6. Demonic Influence
  7. Idolatry is Occultism
  8. Trick or treating is the modern equivalent of the ancient custom of people visiting their neighborhood homes on Halloween night to represent the dead in search of food. Those who give out the treat are as those in times past who attempted to appease Hecate and other nighttime demonic powers. Hecate was a goddess of the underworld
  9. the wearing of costumes, especially those of devils and other occult characters symbolize evil spirits seeking after mischief in the night as well as attempts at scaring away evil spirits in the night
  10. The creation of Jack-O-Lanterns with burning candles hearken back to a time when these objections/creations were carved and placed in front of and around homes in Gaelic territories for purposes of frightening away evil spirits
Views by Certain Christian Leaders and the Prevailing Christian Attitude Regarding Halloween
  • What does Scripture Say Regarding Observances Such as Halloween and What His Chosen Must Do?
  • Halloween is an occult holiday and in some realms even a holy day. Thus everything that is wicked, especially evil spiritual entities and concepts, are in essence objects of worship:
    • 14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; 16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. (Exo 34:14-17; cf. 20: 3, 5)
      • Yehovah prepares the Children of Promise for eventual conquest and habitation of the land. He warns them to become ensnared in any alliances or covenants with the peoples in these conquered lands; destroy their alters and idols; do not inquire as to their religion/gods; and do not erect any graven images of other elohims for Yehovah is a jealous God
      • Yehovah demands our strict attention as He is a jealous God who will recompense judgment upon those who cheat on Him with other religions and gods (Deu. 4: 24)
    •  15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.1 20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day. (Deu 4:15-20 KJV)
      • what about our personal Horebs?
      • have you seen the trappings of the holiday?
      • Yehovah has brought us out of Egypt (Babylon) and taken us through the crucible of life’s wilderness for one purpose and that is to be a unique peoples, wholly acceptable to Him and to be a light to the world; kings and priests; different from the rest of the world’s nations
    •  19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.  20 As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. (Deu 8:19-20 KJV)
      • There are consequences when we dabble in such practices and traditions as Halloween
    • Deu 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
      • It is therefore Yehovah and Yehovah alone we must worship
    • 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,  8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  (Mat 15:7-9 KJV)
      • When church leaders like Alan Ruydnick and Mary Fairchild teach that Halloween must be incorporated into a Believer’s life and evangelistic outreach efforts, they are making themselves the very focus of Yeshua’s discussion here
    •  23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Joh 4:23-24 KJV)
  • A central theme of Halloween is death and Yehovah strictly forbid us to not place any concentrated focus or give credence to the dead:
    • I haven’t eaten any of this food when mourning, I haven’t put any of it aside when unclean, nor have I given any of it for the dead. I have listened to what ADONAI my God has said, and I have done everything you ordered me to do. (Deu 26:14 CJB)
      • Our Father is only interested in life and the propagation and salvation of life whenever possible
    •  5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? (Psa 6:5 KJV)
    •  10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecc 9:10 KJV)
  • Another central theme of Halloween is witches and again, Yehovah has condemn witches to die–case closed
    • Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exo 22:18 KJV)
    • Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
  • Yehovah was clear that we are not to adopt any pagan practices
    •  9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. (Deu 18:9 KJV)
      • Some traditions and practices seem harmless and in many cases fun (Halloween), beautiful (Christmas) and majestic (Easter). Yet these all have pagan origin and regardless how innocent and how much the Church has over the years attempted to cover up the truth behind these holidays and traditions and paint over top of them a portrait of Christianity, those of us who know better but choose to participate are playing a fool’s game.
  • Halloween has been called a good, clean, wholesome, family centered holiday. Millions of Churches participate or give credence to the day, encouraging their members to celebrate this evil night. But Yehovah has warned us:
    • 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!1 (Isa 5:20 KJV)
  • Halloween is a time of darkness and fear. However, we serve a God of light
    •  5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1Jo 1:5-7 KJV)

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It’s Not As You Perceive 45-Jesus’ Earthly Family

Now the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) was drawing near. Yeshua’s brothers said to him, “Depart from here and go into Yehudaea that your other disciples also may see the works that you do. For there is no man that does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known openly. If you are really going to do this declare yourself to the world,” (For neither did His brothers believe in Him.)
Eisenman Book

How often have we been taught or have heard teachings or messages from Yehovah’s anointed (or for that matter non-anointed) teachers stipulating that Yeshua’s family did not believe Him to be the Messiah-especially Yeshua’s brothers. Time and time again, this passage, along with Mark 3:21 (And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”), are used to put forth a doctrine or belief system that contends Yeshua’s earthly family had serious reservations and doubts as to Yeshua’s Messiah-ship. But what if I were to tell you and show you that this doctrine and belief system is likely a great hoax, a tremendous falsehood, and possibly even a tool used by the enemy to put forth misleading information about Yeshua’s earthly support system? Would you have a change of heart on this issue? Or would tradition prevail over reason and true rational scholarship? You be the judge. But for what its worth, for this moment, consider what I have to tell you absent any denominationalism or traditions. Just maybe you will see Yeshua from an entirely different perspective and praise Yehovah for His amazing grace and truth.

This is a combined episode of Torah Living and It’s Not as you Perceive Tabor Bookand a special Feast of Tabernacle discussion–Yeshua’s/Jesus’ Earthly Family Dismissed.

I am writing and recording this episode while vacationing and celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles in beautiful Aruba. While enjoying these Fall Feasts of the Lord (Yehovah), I came upon event 125 of Michael Rood’s Chronological Gospels which corresponded to the 11th Day of the 7th Month, 4027 from creation or Wednesday, October 1, 27 CE. The event is titled “Yeshua’s (Jesus’) family leaves for the Feast of Tabernacles, found in John 7. I hadn’t read this particular passage in quite some time, but upon reading it this time, I was struck by verses 4 and 5 which read: “For there is no man that does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known openly. If you are really going to do this, declare yourself to the world. (For neither did His brothers believe in Him.)

Now for years I’d heard that this particular passage documented, sadly speaking that is, that Yeshua’s family saw Him as an impostor or at the very least a “nut-case.” I recall that Mark 3:21 was often added to this equation, which reads: “And when His family heard it, they went out to seize Him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of His mind.'” I must admit, any casual reading of this passage would certainly suggest that Yeshua’s family had some serious issues with Him and His ministry. I fell into this mindset lock-stock-and-barrel and said to myself, what else could these passages mean if not that Yeshua’s family had issues with Him and they did not support His ministry? Furthermore, I’d never heard definitively that Yeshua even had any siblings. All I’d known for decades was that Yeshua had a mother by the name of Mary who conceived Him miraculously without the union of a male seed to her ovum or egg; that the conception was through the agency of the Holy Spirit/Ruach Kodesh. Additionally there was Joseph, who had been betrothed to Mary at the time of Mary’s miraculous conception. Yet Joseph was led by an angel to stay with Mary in spite of what would appear to anyone else on the planet as Mary having messed around and gotten herself pregnant  with another man’s baby outside of marriage. Beyond this couple and subsequently Yeshua, there was no one else in that immediate family, despite siblings being recorded in the Gospel record of Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3. Yet this reality, this fact, to my knowledge, has rarely been taught or expounded upon.

It wasn’t until I happened upon Robert Eisenman’s book, “James the Brother of Jesus” and James Tabor’s book, “The Jesus Dynasty” that this whole idea of Yeshua being without earthly family to emotionally and physically support Him was challenged. I learned, shockingly so, that indeed, Yeshua had both male and female siblings who supported Him in His ministry. In fact, James the Less or James son of Alphaeus (as recorded in some Gospel accounts), is today believed to be Yeshua’s brother whom Yeshua gave charge over the ministry after Yeshua’s resurrection. Not only that, Yeshua called James and another brother (granted these were half-brothers) Jude (or Judas–not Judas Iscariot) to be two of His inner circle of 12-disciples who would later go on to be Apostles and who would pen epistles under their respective names–reference 13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. (Luk 6:13-16 KJV)  Don’t get thrown off regarding James being the son of Alphaeus–I’ll speak to “the son of Alphaeus” in just a bit. In addition, Yeshua seems to have had a sister by the name of Salome (reference Mark 15:40).

Upon coming across this information from two obvious non-believers in Messiah, I was floored. Not just floored, I was angry. I was angry that Churchianity seemed to go out of its way to teach that Yeshua/Jesus either had no siblings or the siblings He had did not think much of Him; that they doubted His Messiah-ship and even thought Him to be insane; this false doctrine and tradition is still today being taught in the Christian Church? Why? I have a good answer to that. But before I expound on the why, let me first say that I respect both Eisenman and Tabor. They are outstanding scholars in their own right. However, I must say that I do not accept the vast majority of the material that they’ve written in their respective books, specifically their negative commentaries on the miraculous conception and their seeming denials of Yeshua’s sonship to Yehovah/God. These gentlemen come from a pure scholarly perspective and they do not hold to any belief that Yeshua is The Messiah, the son of Yehovah. In fact, Tabor insinuates that Mary was impregnated by a Roman soldier (I believe that’s whom he asserts is Yeshua’s father) and he gives absolutely no credibility to Yehovah’s Ruach in the conception story. But I’m okay with that. Neither Eisenman nor Tabor pull any punches and they are both transparent in their assertions. So you know what you’re getting when you read their content. That being said, however, doesn’t mean that some of their content isn’t spot on in terms of truth. If one is to then take what these gentlemen put out in their books and contrast their content with the content of our Bibles, one will come to truth one way or another–assuming we bring no denominational or manmade traditional thinking influences to the discussion. So enough about Eisenman and Tabor for now.

So back to the why. Why has Churchianity gone to such great lengths to obscure the individuals in Yeshua’s earthly family? There are some very good reasons why and it all comes down to the mindset and perspectives of the early church fathers. The truth about Yeshua’s family was apparently well known for at least the first 3-centuries of the Church. By the 4th century a significant shift occurred in understanding of the Faith by Christian scholars and adherents. A few relevant events occurred during this period: (1) the Catholic Church by this time completely disavowed anything having to do with Judaism; (2) asceticism (that is viewing the carnal or material world as something to be shunned for that of the spiritual) began to take hold in various sectors of the Church; and (3) the doctrine of the immaculate conception and perpetual virginity of Mary took center-stage in the Faith, explaining away any chance that Yeshua had siblings and elevating Mary to a divine status in the Faith. Most would argue that this 3rd point is only relevant to the Catholic religion. But when one starts to peel away the layers of the onion which translates into the layers upon layers of lies that have been perpetrated upon the Body over the centuries, one can see very clearly that Catholicism’s influences remain in place even today in protestantism. I mean: the very fact that most Believers have no idea that Yeshua had siblings (again, half-siblings) should be indicative of this fact. Furthermore, the fact that most Believers have no inkling that the Apostles James and Jude were Yeshua’s brothers and held key roles in the first century Church and Jerusalem Council as referenced in Acts 15, is inexcusable when the information is readily out there for all to grab on to. Why does this matter? Well, maybe to most of us knowing the true disposition of Yeshua’s family towards Him and His ministry is not important or relevant to our faith and walk with Messiah. Indeed, our focus must be on our relationship with Messiah. I absolutely adhere and believe that with my whole heart. But, when we settle for the fodder that is taught to us by our church leaders without ever having the inclination to know or seek out the truth for ourselves, we are all then destined to or prone to accept whatever is put before us as long as it has some hint of ecclesiastical authority, so to speak. For me, knowing that Yeshua didn’t just rise from the dead, hang out with His disciples for 40-days, give a farewell speech on the Mount of Olives and then ascend to heaven to be with His Father without any organization to the Faith He Himself delivered to His chosen 11-disciples, tells me that this thing is serious enough and organized enough and it was not left to happenstance or some nebulous set of circumstances that we attribute to the work of the Ruach Kodesh. Indeed, the Ruach was key to the establishment of the true Faith once delivered. But there were plans within plans set in place by the Father before the foundation of time. Understanding just a small portion of this plan makes for me a much richer experience and closer walk with Messiah. Knowing the truth of the matter, so to speak, and not being blinded or fooled by the lies of the enemy is vital to every Believer. Understanding the truth of the whole matter of our Faith-especially matters related to our spiritual heritage-will be vital to our overcoming the tribulous (my word) times ahead.

So what about the issue of James being named as the son of Alphaeus? Well, certain scholars contend (and I happen to believe much of what they’ve uncovered in their research) that Joseph-the step-father to Yeshua and husband to Yeshua’s mother-likely died early on in Yeshua’s life. Assuming this was the case, Hebrew-Levirate Law provided for Mary/Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, to marry the eldest, unmarried brother of Joseph, have children by him, and thus carry on the lineage of Joseph. We know from various passages of the Gospels that Yeshua’s earthly parents were obedient to Torah and thus it would not be a stretch that if Joseph had passed away early on and during Miriam’s childbearing years Mary would have married one of Joseph’s brothers. The name Cleophas (also rendered Clopas in certain other translations) comes up in John 19:25 as being the husband of one of the women at the foot of the cross that held our Beloved Savior. The passage reads: These things therefore the soldiers did. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. (Joh 19:25 ASV) The key areas of this verse I’d like to point your attention towards is “..standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” A casual reading of this verse would lead us to believe that there were 3-woman at the cross–(1) Mary, Yeshua’s mother; (2) Mary the wife of Clopas, the sister of, assuming it to be, Mary, Yeshua’s mother; and (3) Mary Magdalene. Thus we’d be led to believe there were 3-Marys at the foot of the cross. Question: what are the chances that there would be siblings in a Jewish home in the first century bearing the same name of Mary? Not likely. Could there be something in the structure or wording of this verse or, for that matter, could there have been some giggery pokery done in the translation? As uncomfortable as these suggestions might be, we must be seekers of truth first and not cemented to what is always staring us in the face. Bear in mind, there were agendas afoot in the centuries leading up to the final development and compilation of the canon or the books that would make up our Bible. We know from ancient copies of the Book of Matthew for instance, originally written in Hebrew, that some passages we read in our modern translations do not necessarily match certain ancient manuscripts of the same passages in questions. Thus, one must conclude that when reading and or studying scripture we should be cognizant of the translation and wary of parenthetical inserts to many biblical passages such as the passage cited in the introduction of this episode. Now before some of you get your self-righteous, “the Bible is the infallible Word of God”, panties in a bunch, I’m not saying we should throw out bibles into the trash heap. All I’m saying is that we must consider the Truth as related to how we got our bibles, especially in relation to the various religious agendas that existed in the early days of the creation of the Canon or books that make up our bibles. There are hundreds and even thousands of discrepancies that exist between extant (existing manuscripts), some of those differences are due to translational challenges while others include actual inserts and deletions of content. Thus the prudent student will always employ sound exegetical practices (including contextual application of each passage being studied) when studying the Bible along with a perpetual seeking of the Spirit to lead him or her to all truth.

But back to the issue of the 3 Marys. Let’s go over to a companion verse recording this event at the foot of the cross, found in Mark 15:40. This verse reads as follows: And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Mar 15:40 ASV) . Ah, we seem to have a conflict here: instead of 3-Marys at the foot of the cross as recorded in John’s account, Mark’s account records the presence of just 2-Marys–(1) Mary Magdalene and (2) Mary the mother of Jame the less, Joses and Salome (likely Yeshua’s sister). Does this disagreement between the two verses mean there is a discrepancy in the gospel records related to the true identities of the Mary’s at the foot of the cross? No, not necessarily. It goes back to how the translators of both books and the way the verses record or state the information. Mark’s account seems quite basic: Mary of Magdalene and Mary, whom we’ve concluded to be the mother of Yeshua as well as the mother of James, Joses and Salome. John’s account uses a lot of commas and “ands” to report the Marys. But if we were to read closely, we could very easily scale away an extra Mary if we keep in mind that translators were not interested in putting forth any information that would show that Yeshua had a supportive family, or for that matter, a flesh and blood family apart from Mary and Joseph. So in order to make things work in accordance to their way of thinking, unsavory or simply unknowing and misinformed translators could have very easily inserted in John’s account “…and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas…” Notice that “and his mother’s sister” was not clearly delineated, thus leading the casual reader to conclude that we’re talking about Mary, the mother of Yeshua. But then again, what are the chances that 2 Marys existed in one family as sisters? It just doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t meet the criteria of what we know to be common Jewish family practices. But then when we go back over to Mark’s account, Mary the mother of Yeshua is not even tied to Yeshua as His mother, but only mentioned as being the mother of James, Joses and Salome. Could this be another attempt to hide the fact that Mary, the mother of Yeshua, had other children besides Yeshua? Or maybe translators were once again confused by the writings of Mark and thus they defaulted to translating these things according to their own limited understanding of the situation at hand and basic Jewish culture and practices of the first century. But then, if we step back and look at things within the framework of the Hebrew roots of our Faith, we can fairly presume, that the Mary of Mark’s account, who was the mother of James, Joses and Salome, was indeed Yeshua’s mother. Then if we keep in mind that Joseph is nowhere mentioned in the Gospel account beyond the early childhood years of Yeshua and the immediate family’s return to Judea from Egypt after the death of Herod, we must concede to the likelihood that Mary, the mother of Yeshua, remarried and bore children by her new husband. Beyond the couple’s return to Judea after the death of Herod the biblical record is silent about Joseph. Even when the family goes up to Jerusalem for a feast as recorded in Luke 2, Joseph is not specifically mentioned, although I’m not so dogmatic in thinking that Joseph had passed away that early in Yeshua’s earthly life. But suffice to say, it is clear that Joseph leaves the scene at some point early in Yeshua’s life–either via premature death (most likely) or divorce (unlikely, knowing the caliber of man Joseph seems to have been according to the Holy writ).

Assuming Joseph died early on in Yeshua’s and Mary’s life, we know that in Jewish culture of that day, that it was not a desirable thing for a woman, especially still in her childbearing years, to remain unmarried, especially when Levirate Laws permitted or encouraged marriage to the deceased husband’s oldest living unmarried brother to carry on the lineage of the deceased brother. This then would presume that Joseph failed to father a child through Mary, the mother of Yeshua. Thus, could this Clopas or Cleophas as cited in the Mark and Johannine passages above, be one of Joseph’s brothers and thus the new husband to Mary, the mother of Yeshua? Furthermore, certain websites tie the name Alphaeus with Cleophas or Clopas, indicating that both names are of Aramaic origin and according to, the letters “phas” that end the word Cleophas could be the same as the “phaeus” part of the name Alphaeus. Both endings sound phonetically alike., a moderate anti-orthodox-traditional-christian website, interestingly states, “Mary remarried and bore James the younger of 3-biological sons, to Alphaeus/Cleophas, who had sired 2-sons to a previous marriage and they were Simeon and Jude, the 2-stepbrothers of Jesus, we must now ask the question, did Joseph, Mary’s first husband and father to young Joseph the 2nd son of Mary of whom we know so little die, or was he still alive at the time of the death of Jesus, Mary’s first born son?” The author of this article paints a very interesting scenario, but then, he/she also states that the woman who was caught in the act of adultery by the mob and rescued by Yeshua from certain death at the hands of said mob, was Mary, the mother of Yeshua. I imagine that you’d agree with me that this scenario was indeed a stretch and even bordering on heretical. But then, even the most heretical of the lot can have something good to add to any biblical discussion. In this case, the author of this article gives us good material in which to draw some conclusion as to the likely make-up of Yeshua’s earthly family and the successors to the True Faith once delivered to the first century saints by Yeshua Hamaschiach/Jesus Christ.

One thing before I close this discussion. I want to comment on the parenthetical statement found in verse 5 of John 7 which reads: “(For neither did His brothers believe in Him).” From this discussion, I believe I made a sufficient case in favor of Yeshua’s family’s support of not only Him as a person and His Messiah-ship, but also His ministry. That being the case, this parenthetical statement makes no sense. In fact, this parenthetical statement seems to contradict all that I’ve presented above and support a fractured family structure to our blessed Savior. We know without much debate that James and Jude were brothers of Yeshua and were 2 of His inner circle of 12. Furthermore, we know that Mary and likely Yeshua’s sister, Salome, was at the foot of the cross during the Master’s crucifixion. Lastly, the record shows that one of the primary things that Yeshua instructed  Mary of Magdalene to do as recorded in the Book of John: 17 “Stop holding onto me,” Yeshua said to her, “because I haven’t yet gone back to the Father. But go to my brothers, and tell them that I am going back to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

18 Miryam of Magdala went to the talmidim with the news that she had seen the Lord and that he had told her this. (Joh 20:17-18 CJB)

Now many will contend that the “…but go to my brothers…” is speaking about Yeshua’s disciples. This could be true. But knowing what we’ve just established about Yeshua’s siblings and family support of His ministry would rather suggest that Yeshua was telling Mary to go and inform His actual brothers, James and Jude, of His resurrection.

Oh, and regarding the Mark passage that seemingly records an incident whereby Yeshua’s family members attempt to seize Him from the midst of a group of followers citing that Yeshua was out if His mind? What if I were to tell you that Mark’s rendering of Yeshua being out of His mind is interpreted improperly by us in the west. Furthermore, taking this particular verse at face value without benefit of looking at the verse via the full context of the entire recorded passage would naturally lead one to a misunderstanding of that verse. As the context reveals, Yeshua had become so immersed in teaching the ever growing crowds that flocked to hear Him, He had actually begun to neglect His own well being, even to the point of not eating. Members of His family come on scene and become concerned about His well being and attempt to render care to the Master. This event actually had nothing to do with Yeshua’s family members seeing Him as a kook. Again, poor Biblical exegesis and subsequent teachings, doctrines and traditions have led many well meaning believers down a wrong path, away from Truth. This doesn’t only apply to modern teachers, but also to the myriad of scholars, translators and church fathers who have taken liberties with the Bible record. Today, we have unparalleled access to knowledge. There is no excuse for men to remain in bondage to false teachings. Yet many will, for whatever reason stick to what they’ve been taught in their Sunday houses of worship and never take the opportunity to dive deep and learn the truth for themselves, absent of denominationalism and tradition. Many hold to a mind set of “all I need is Jesus and Him crucified”, thus openly admitting that they are too lazy to learn for themselves the vast riches contained in the Word of God.

I contend that it is those of us who are constantly seeking Truth and who apply those truths to our lives and our walk with Messiah who shall triumph in the end and enter the Kingdom of God. When Yeshua taught, He taught in parables. Yeshua interpreted those parables only to those who sought after His direct interpretation. All the others-the vast majority-simply left without ever fully understanding what the Master meant by His parables. Others hung out, hoping to receive a meal, never caring about the spiritual food that Yeshua was providing. Where do we as individual Believers fall out in this equation?

Bottom line Saints: I’m not trying to perpetrate some new doctrine or teaching on the family of Jesus the Christ. My intentions here were to put forth to you information that I’ve come across and hope that you take that information and do your own studies on this issue. The bigger point here is to expose some of the lies and falsehoods that have been foisted upon Christianity for the last 2,000-years. I believe there has been a well-crafted agenda to hide from us the real Yeshua and put in His place a paganizedfictionized, watered-down version of the true Messiah. If we are not willing to face truth and kick to the curb lies, then our faith is for naught.

I hope and pray that this message has been an eye-opener for you as it was for me when I first came across this information some 3-years ago. I must say that I love having the opportunity to come before you with such important content that I trust will be a blessing to you and enhance your walk with Yeshua Messiah. Until next time, may you be most blessed fellow Saints in training. Shalom.

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It’s Not As You Perceive 44–John the Baptist, Christianity and Sex

My daily travels through the Torah was interrupted last week when Michael Rood’s Chronological Gospels, event 100, correlated with September 14, 2014. As has become my practice, I temporarily stopped my Torah studies to examine this passage which is found in Matt. 14:3-12 and Mk. 6:17-29. The title of this passage reads: “Yochanan’s execution is detailed-Yochanan’s disciples apprise Yeshua of his death.” The story of John the Immerser’s/Yochanan’s execution is pretty straightforward. But what I gained from the background story contained in these two passages seemed pretty pertinent to what I’ve learned is happening in the Christian Faith of late. It’s high time we discuss a crucial issue that has the potential to affect most if not all of us in one way or another.
Herodias & John Immerser's Head
Most of us know the story. John the Immerser/Yochanan was arrested by Herod Antipas–King of Judah. Actually, the Herodians were not Jews at all. They were of Idumaean, Greco-Arab lineage. Antipas’ grandfather, Antipater, came on the scene in 63 BC by abetting Roman General Pompey in his siege of Jerusalem/Yerusalayim. For his loyalty, Rome appointed Antipater as the first Roman procurator in Palestine and the ultimate arbiter of political events in the region (Eisenman-James the Brother of Jesus). Roman general Mark Anthony abetted Antipater’s son, Herod the Great as he has become known by us Bible students, in obtaining the Jewish Crown. In order to maintain absolute power over Judea, Herod the Great dissolved the Maccabean family through genocide/ethnic cleansing. Those Maccabeans he didn’t murder, he married. However, he ultimately murdered the wives as well, including Mariamme, who was the last remaining Maccabean princess, according to Eisenman, in 29 BCE. Apart from obtaining the Jewish Crown, Herod also controlled the High Priesthood, including their garments and the men who would serve in that capacity. Eisenman places Yochanan’s death at the direction of Antipas in 35-36 CE, choosing to accept Josephus’ rendering than that of the Gospel writers, Matthew and Mark. Based upon Rood’s Chronological Gospels estimations, John’s/Yochanan’s execution occurred sometime around September 18, 27 CE.
The Gospel writers Matthew and Mark record that John/Yochanan was arrested by Antipas because he, Yochanan, proclaimed that Antipas was in violation of Torah, in that Antipas had hooked up with one of his brother’s wives, Herodias. John/Yochanan stayed locked away in prison for several weeks until Herodias’ daughter, named as Salome by Josephus, entertained Antipas at Antipas’ birthday celebration. Obviously Antipas was taken by Salome’s likely provocative performance. So taken was Antipas that he offered Salome half the worth of his kingdom. Salome consulted her mother Herodias. Herodias was no doubt a scorned woman, having been chided by John/Yochanan over the improper affair she was having with Antipas. Such scorn led Herodias to suggest Salome demand the head of John/Yochanan on a platter. The Gospel record suggests that this demand on the part of Salome was not well received by Antipas who knew John/Yochanan to be a holy man and Antipas also feared John’s/Yochanan’s rather large following would revolt against Antipas’ throne. But Antipas elected to throw caution to the wind–certainly lust played a huge role in his decision to go with Salome’s demand–and he ordered John/Yochanan beheaded and his head delivered to Herodias and Salome on a platter.
Sexual misconduct, as in the days of Jesus/Yeshua and the Apostles, remains a serious problem in not only our society, but also within many of our assemblies and congregations. Sadly, most self-professing believers know that fornication/adultery violate Torah or in the very least it is spoken against by Jesus/Yeshua and His Apostles; yet sexual misconduct remains a mainstay in many congregations and assemblies throughout our nation. For whatever reason, even believers are hard pressed to resist the call of the flesh and reject Torah or at very least, their Bibles’ teachings on this issue. Why? Certainly, the issue is out there and it is not a secret. Yet most Pastors and Teachers of the Word of God are reluctant, and in many cases, outright scared to speak out against sexual immorality. I recall being part of a handful of Christian congregations throughout my youth and into my young adult and middle adult years, and hearing and knowing about questionable relationships that were transpiring between certain men and women in the congregation. Not only did I know about it, it was known by others in the congregation. I’m talking about homosexuality, premarital sex, adultery. If not overt indiscretions, there were divorces and remarriages transpiring on a routine basis it would seem and not a word–to my knowledge–was ever spoken out by the church leadership against such activity. Why? I guess it goes without saying that when church leaders step on the toes of their members–especially when addressing sensitive subjects such as adultery and fornication–they stand the chance of running those members away and with those departing members goes their offerings and tithes and whatever else they brought to the church table.
But do we who know better, especially those of us who have been placed in positions of authority, have the right to turn a blind eye to something so problematic and appalling to God/Yehovah as adultery and fornication, and allow that behavior to continue in the midst of the assembly? If left unattended, these things have the tendency of blowing up and creating greater problems for the overall assembly at some point down the spiritual road so to speak. Furthermore, the Bible’s stance on the issue of adultery and fornication can not be ignored and one must ask the question: what responsibility do we who know better and who have been placed in leadership positions in the body have when such activity rears its ugly head? We can not NOT say something. We must do our part to dissuade such behavior and offer the proper solution which is repentance, seeking forgiveness from Father, and living Torah obediently. Certainly, there may be situations where the leadership must take a stand and insist that the offending parties depart from the assembly. Regardless, we can not stand  innocently by the wayside and not sound that moral alarm (as was done by John/Yochanan), that left unchecked, such behavior will lead to certain destruction–of those involved and potentially the assembly as a whole.
God/Yehovah has established certain rules that we are to live by. Regardless where you stand on the issue of obeying Torah, no one should ever have any uncertainty within themselves over the issue of fornication and adultery. Adultery and fornication and any other sexual misconduct is absolutely not permissible outside of traditional marriage. And if you are an orthodox Christian, I must confess, that I am a Torah observing believer in Messiah. I believe those of us who claim Jesus/Yeshua as Messiah and Lord, are compelled to obey His commandments–love God and love neighbor–and Jesus’/Yeshua’s commandments are contained in Torah–that is, Torah details how we are to love God and love neighbor. Without a clear understanding of what it means to love God and neighbor, we will have 30,000 different ways to accomplish these two central commandments. Love of God and of neighbor is clearly evident in God’s/Yehovah’s laws regarding proper/improper sexual behavior–love of God because sexual misconduct is abhorrent to God/Yehovah, while sexual misconduct violates the integrity of those involved in the act and the families affected by the indiscretion.
Let’s examine what Torah has to say about this issue; and then what the Gospels and the Epistles have to say.
  • Lev. 18:6-18–Yehovah provides a comprehensive ruling on proper and improper sexual behavior in these passages.
    • Yehovah’s view of family-centered sexual misconduct was such that He assigned the death penalty to any who would violate these specific commandments
      • Lev. 20:11-17
    • Naturally speaking, most civilized nations (or what we in the west would consider civilized) have a very negative view of inter-family sexual misconduct, even though they may not be versed in Torah. Therefore, it would seem over zealous to state the obvious, but Yehovah knew that mankind is desperately wicked in all his ways and it was necessary to spell things out.
    • vs. 6–no one is to engage in a sexual relationship with a close relative
    • vs. 7–no parent is to engage in a sexual relationship with their child or children (cf. Lev. 20:11)
    • vs. 8–no child is to have a sexual relationship with his step-mother–(cf. Dt. 23:1; 27:20; Lev. 20:11–again, the offenders are to be put to death; 1 Cor. 5:1–Paul scolds the Corinthian assembly for allowing such an offense to continue in their midst–a man was known to have been having a sexual relationship with his father’s stepmother)
    • vs. 9–incest is strictly forbidden among the siblings (cf. Dt. 27:22; Ezek. 22:11; Lev 20:17–incest is deemed a shameful act, the penalty being cut-off from the nation publicly–the male will bear the consequences of this act)
    • vs. 10–no man is to engage in a sexual relationship with their grandchildren–indeed, the man will face full responsibility for this act
    • vs. 11–no one is to engage in a sexual relationship with their step-siblings because they are considered one’s sibling and the same rule applies as in vs. 9
    • vs. 12-14–no one is to engage in a sexual relationship with their aunt or uncle
    • vs. 15–no man is to engage in a sexual relationship with their daughter-in-law (cf. Exo. 22:11-Yehovah considers it to be a lewd act)
    • vs. 16–no man is to engage in a sexual relationship with their sister-in-law (cf. Matt. 14:4–this is the crux of our story resulting in the death of Yochanan at the direction of Herod Antipas in 28 CE)
    • vs. 17-no man is to engage in a sexual relationship with the children of the woman you are having the affair with
    • vs. 18–no man is to engage in a sexual relationship with a woman for purposes of establishing a rivalry between the woman he takes and her sister
    • 20:10-“‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, that is, with the wife of a fellow countryman, both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. (Lev 20:10 CJB) Deu 22:22 “If a man is found sleeping with a woman who has a husband, both of them must die the man who went to bed with the woman and the woman too. In this way you will expel such wickedness from Isra’el. 
  • Obviously, such terrible sexual misconduct is generally seen as abominable within the Christian community. However, sexual misconduct overall remains a big problem in the Christian faith. The divorce rate among self-professing Christians holds steady at about 50%. Wait a minute, is not the divorce rate in America about 50%? What does that say then about Christians? Don’t Christians realize that God/Yehovah hates divorce: ADONAI is witness between you and the wife of your youth that you have broken faith with her, though she is your companion, your wife by covenant. And hasn’t he made [them] one [flesh] in order to have spiritual blood-relatives? For what the one [flesh] seeks is a seed from God. Therefore, take heed to your spirit, and don’t break faith with the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce,” says ADONAI the God of Isra’el, “and him who covers his clothing with violence,” says ADONAI-Tzva’ot. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and don’t break faith. (Mal 2:14-16 CJB) Certainly, sexual improprieties such as the ones listed above in Leviticus 18 and 20 lend greatly to the divorce epidemic in our society and likely within the Christian Faith. Certainly, God/Yehovah views sexual activity outside of marriage seriously enough to warrant the death of the involved parties. In lesser degrees, it becomes the only acceptable offense to justify divorce: But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and that anyone who marries a divorcee commits adultery. (Mat 5:32 CJB) Now what I say to you is that whoever divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery!” (Mat 19:9 CJB)

  • Recent research reveals that Christians are having premarital sex as much or even more than non-Christians. This study showed that 76% of evangelicals believe that sex outside of marriage goes against the teachings of their Bible. Yet, 80% of these same evangelicals say they have or had sex outside of marriage.. Furthermore, 80% of self-professing Christians in the age range of 18-29 say they have or had sex before marriage; 64% had or are having it within the last year (i.e., 2011), and 42% are in a current sexual relationship outside of marriage. Only 20% say they have never had sex outside of marriage. Still more: non-evangelicals such as the Baptists show that 53% of them in the age range of 18-29 indicated in this study that they were currently in a sexual relationship outside of marriage with only 12% claiming they had never had sex outside of marriage. I don’t know about you, but these statistics are alarming and is indicative of a bigger problem within traditional and orthodox churchianity. Clearly the Church triumphant is not doing a good job in keeping her members on the straight and narrow, nor does it appear that the members’ relationship with the Almighty is as solid and true as most of these transgressing individuals would think it to be. I’m not casting judgment here. I’m simply saying that sex outside of marriage is sinful and is not tolerated by the Father. Any and all Christians should know this and by professing Jesus/Yeshua as their Lord and Savior, their loyalty should be to Messiah and not the flesh.

  • The Jerusalem Council knew the importance of sexual purity among its growing assemblies and instructed that: Instead, we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood. (Act 15:20 CJB)

  • We should bear in mind that healthy families are central to the true Faith. When adultery and fornication creep in to the mix, the fabric of our faith–which to a goodly part is the family unit–unravels and the assembly becomes disarrayed. 

  • Sexual immorality is a huge problem and it is quite prevalent in both society and as we’ve just seen, within the Christian Faith. Indeed, sexual attraction, unless controlled and spiritually dealt with, can lead to improper sexual activity, impurity and indecency (Gal.5:19). Many of us are not equipped to deal with such temptations and situations and it doesn’t take much for that line to be crossed over into the actual act. As believers in Messiah, we are called to an even higher standard than simply avoiding the act: “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mat 5:27-28 CJB) As a male believer, I’ve come to terms with myself as it relates to this whole issue of sexual misconduct. I realize that there is always a war going on in my mind and with my eyes, ears, and emotions. I know myself. I’ve come to a point in my walk with Messiah that I am honest and upfront with myself in relation to my weaknesses and shortcomings. I know where I’m weak and I know where I’m strong. I don’t have problems with sexual misconduct, but I realize that I can’t allow myself to be in a position where such a thing could possibly happen. When I’m at work (my staff is roughly 65% women), I make sure that my contact with them is professional and transparent and I limit my direct contact with them to only necessary work-related issues. Every member of my staff knows how important my Faith is to me and I believe they respect that. In fact, I openly and clearly wear my tzit-tzits each day as not only a reminder to me of my relationship with Torah and my Creator, but also as a sign to the world that I am tied to my Faith and not to the world. Additionally, it is clear that I am happily married, I wear my wedding band without fail, and I constantly stay in contact with Hilary throughout the day-via phone calls or text messages. Thus I make it extremely difficult for me to end up in an adultery/fornication situation. Furthermore, the whole concept of living Torah and being true to the commandments of Messiah who elevated Torah to a heart and spirit level, I make sure that my mind, eyes and ears are filled only with proper things. I limit what goes into my mind, eyes and ears as best I can. If I am watching a show where questionable content is viewable or even suggested, I make sure I shut that stuff down immediately. I avoid going to movies where there is filth being portrayed on the screen. I listen to clean music–mostly classical. I read only books of substance and decent content. I’m not a paragon of purity by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just cognizant of what it takes for me to live Torah each and every day and stay on the straight and narrow with the help of the Holy Spirit/Ruach Kodesh and the example of Jesus Christ/Yeshua HaMaschiach.

  • As sold-out, true Believers in Messiah, we must take a stand as did John the Immerser/Yochanan, and not engage in activity and behavior that could lead to violations of Torah, but maintain proper righteous-Godly behavior. Many of us know of situations going on around us that are contrary to what our Bibles teach about proper sexual relationships. Yet many of us go so far as to support such improprieties–shacking up; 2nd, 3rd, 4th marriages, promiscuity, lewd social activities, and the like. We must stand firm in our convictions and not in any way support such anti-Biblical/Torah behavior. It’s not to say that we must “out” people in our lives who are engaging in improper sexual relationships–that would only serve to bring attention to ourselves that would not glorify our Father which is in heaven. Instead, we must live perfect lives. We must always show forth Messiah in our walk and talk and behave in such a way that is worthy of our calling to be future priests and kings. I recall a situation at work a few years ago where one of my employees (2-times divorced) entered in to a fertility program with a fellow she’d met some months earlier. She ultimately became pregnant with twins. My boss threw a baby shower for her and I attended that shower. Now I knew that my employee was living wrong and that her attempts at getting pregnant by a man that was not her husband was a tremendous moral violation. By my attending that shower, I knew that I was showing the world that I supported my employee’s behavior and chosen way of life. That was for me a learning experience that I promised myself and the Lord that I would not repeat. 

  • We must always be on guard–not only for ourselves in avoiding sexual misconduct/improprieties, but also on guard as it relates to how we respond to the world’s sexual misconduct. We have unique opportunities to teach the world how the Father requires us to live. My call to action for you today is that you go back over the scriptural passages that I’ve provided in this episode (found in the show notes for your reference). Gain an clear understanding of what God’s/Yehovah’s expectations are of us as it relates to sex, and obey/comply with those expectations. Furthermore, I would ask you to make a firm commitment to live a holy life and that means taking a complete assessment of your life and throwing out those things that are stumbling blocks to your proper walk with Messiah. If you’re in an improper sexual relationship–cut it off immediately. Seek the Father’s forgiveness and repent and turn to Torah that you may live according to the way that He has required us to live. If you are unable to correct your situation on your own, seek a greater unction of His Holy Spirit/Ruach Kodesh in order to give you the power and authority to overcome the evil one. Engage in daily study of the Torah/God’s Word. Eliminate those things in your life that distract you from your calling–questionable television shows and movies, racy music, negative and lewd friends and associates and the like. Make up in your mind whom you will serve–your flesh or the Almighty. 

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INAYP 43-The Rapture–The Christian versus Servant Perception–Part 2 in a Series

When it comes to end times studies and discussions, most Christians presume without question that the Book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John to inform them of the times ahead. An examination of Revelation 1:1 revealed that the letter or book of Revelation was actually written to the servants of Jesus Christ. We did a modest examination of what it Biblically means to be a servant and asked some very pertinent questions; most important question asked was, are today’s so-called Christians one and the same the servants that John was addressing in his letter. All indications from our examination were that there are some glaring differences between the definition of a servant in the Bible and what defines a Christian in the 21st century. Tonight we dig a little deeper into the subject of servitude and what it means to be a servant of Jesus Christ and then compare and contrast the two terms for a definitive determination of what a Christian should be as it relates to being a servant of the Most High. This is It’s Not As You Perceive–Episode 43–The Rapture–The Christian versus Servant Perception–Part 2 in a Series.
  • Servants possess a specific mind and attitude to serve (required)

Gen. 18:3-5 (Abraham entertains the angels prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

1 Sam. 17:32; 25:41 (David pledges to Saul to fight Goliath)

1 Kin. 12:7

1 Chr. 17:25

Neh. 2:5

Joh. 12:26  26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (Joh 12:26 KJV)

Phi. 2:7  7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phi 2:7-11 KJV)

2 Tim. 2:24- 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2Ti 2:24-26 KJV)-

  • Servants constantly seek their masters’ approval, grace and mercy (required)

Gen. 18:3; 19:19

     2 Sam. 7:29; 14:22
     1 Kin. 8:30
     2 Kin. 5:18
     1 Chr. 21:8
     2 Chr. 6:19, 21, 42
     Neh. 1:6
     Psm. 27:9; 31:16; 119:135, 140
     Mal. 1:6–6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour?      and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Mal 1:6 KJV)
     Mat. 10:24– 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. (Mat 10:24-25 KJV)
  • Servants are given tasks according to the trust in them that builds over time by their masters (required)
     Gen. 24:2
     Zec. 3:8
     Mat. 24:45; 25:21– 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give themm meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. (Mat 24:45-47 KJV)
  • Servants are obedient (required)
     Gen. 24:9, 10
     1 Sam 3:9, 10
     1 Kin. 2:38; 1 Kin. 11:38; 14:8; 18:36, 43; 20:9
     2 Kin. 18:12
     Psm. 119:17; 119:124–Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. (Psa 119:17 KJV)
     Mal. 4:4
     Mat. 24:45
     Luk 12:43; 14:22, 23– 42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luk 12:42-48 KJV)
     Rev 14:12–12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev 14:12 KJV)

  • Servants are proud to affiliate themselves (especially in name) with their master (required)

Gen. 24:34-34 And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. (Gen 24:34 KJV)-

Psm. 116:16–16 O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. (Psa 116:16 KJV)

  • Servants earn a special place in their master’s heart (earned)

Gen. 26:24– 24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. 
1 Kin. 3:6– 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 
Psm. 105:42– 42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
Isa. 48:20
Mat. 18:27

Act 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. 
Jas 2:23– 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
  • Servants are poor in spirit and seeks the master’s forgiveness, direction, mercy and knows from where he/she comes (required)

Gen. 32:10; 33:14: 43:28
Exo. 4:10
1 Sam. 27:5
2 Sam. 19:20; 24:10
1 Kin. 3:7-14– 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 

Psm. 119:176
Dan. 9:17–face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. 
Mat. 18:26– 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

Mar. 9:35; 10:44

Joh. 13:16; 15:20– 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

  • Servants are typically chosen to assume key roles in the master’s mansion based upon the trust that is earned by the candidate servant (earned)

Gen. 44:10, 17;
Num. 12:7, 8
Ruth 2:5
Isa. 49:5, 6–5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. 6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. 
Isa. 53:11-12 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Mat. 25:23– 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Mat 25:23 KJV)

  • Servants fear their master and avoid causing their masters upset  (required)

Gen. 44:18–18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. (Gen 44:18 KJV)
Psm. 19:13–13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psa 19:13-20:1 KJV)

  • Servants are bound to the same laws and practices as his/her master (inputted)

Exo. 12:44-49–44 But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. 45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. 46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. (Exo 12:44-49 KJV)
Lev. 25:6– 6 And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, (Lev 25:6 KJV)

  • Servants are purchased–specially chosen by their master (inputted)

Exo. 21:2;
Lev. 25:50, 53
Isa. 41:9; 44:21– 9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isa 41:9-13 KJV)  21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (Isa 44:21-22 KJV)

23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. (1Co 7:23-24 KJV)
  • Masters reveal secrets and truths to their faithful servants unbeknownst to others who are not that master’s servants (earned)

Deu. 3:24–24 O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? (Deu 3:24 KJV)
2 Sam. 7:27–Servants27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. (2Sa 7:27 KJV) of


Deu. 15:16, 17–16 And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; 17 Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. (Deu 15:16-17 KJV)
Exo. 21:6–6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. (Exo 21:6 KJV)

  • Good servants earn their master’s trust in all kinds of matters (earned)

Mat. 12:18; 25:21, 23– 18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. (Mat 12:18 KJV) 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Mat 25:21 KJV)

  • Servants of Yehovah have supernatural abilities or supernatural signs happen around them (earned and inputted)
1 Sam. 17:34, 36– 34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
2 Kin. 6:1515 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

 18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 
  • Servants often intercede on behalf of others (required)

1 Kin. 8:52
Neh. 1:7, 11–7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. 8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: 9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. 10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. 11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. 

  • A servants worships his master (earned)

Psm. 86:2, 4; 109:28– 2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

 3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. 4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (Psa 86:2-4 KJV)28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice. 
  • Servants seek to immitate their master (required)

Mat. 10:25– 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Joh. 12:26– 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. 

  • True servants are loyal to their master (required)

Mat. 24:45-47; 25:21, 23– 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 
Joh. 12:26– 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. 
1 Cor. 7:21

  • The great apostles considered themselves loyal servants of the Lord (earned/required)

Rom. 1:1; 16:1, 27
Col. 4:12
Jas. 1:1
2 Pet. 1:1
Jud. 1:1
Rev. 1:1

Prevailing Perceptions of a Christian
  • Saved by grace and therefore there is nothing to do but await for Jesus’ return
  • Once saved–always saved
  • God/Jesus knows my heart
  • The law was nailed to the cross and thus I have freedom in Christ
  • I only have to love God and my neighbor
  • According to a 2013 Barna Group Study, Christians (specifically born again and evangelicals) define themselves as:
    • having made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their lives
    • they’ve confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior and will go to heaven
    • they have a personal responsibility to share their lives with non-believers or non-christians
    • believing that satan exists–that’s nice. I also believe in angels and talking donkeys
    • believing that eternal salvation is achieved only through grace, not work
    • believing that Jesus lived a sinless life–why then shouldn’t we strive to live sinless lives? Did not Jesus suggest to the inquiring rich man that adhering to the ways of the Father brings us to perfection or a life devoid of sin?  16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Mat 19:16-22 KJV) 13 Thou shalt be perfect (i.e., blameless) with the LORD thy God. (Deu 18:13 KJV) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless). (Gen 17:1 KJV)
    • believing that the Bible is accurate in all that it teachesbelieving that God is the omniscient and omnipotent perfect being who created all that exists in the universe
  • When did being a servant change to being a christian–from being a very active and engaged person tied to their Master through actions to being a disengaged individual who choses to engage in a cognitive exercise of trusting?
  • Jude provides a clue– Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jud 1:1-4 KJV)
  • Christianity has become a grace-dependent religion that is relying upon inputted righteousness and the promise of eternal life. No such promise was ever made. Most of our translations of John 3:16 implies a insurance policy of eternal life to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. But many translations don’t make such a leap or assurance. Instead, there is through Jesus’ redemptive work, the opportunity and chance that men through a trusting and believing relationship with God, might have eternal life. See Young’s Literal Translation--YLT  John 3:16 for God did so love the world, that His Son — the only begotten — He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during. (Joh 3:16 YLT)
  • The concept of servant as used in Revelation 1:1 is different than any conception of “Christianity” in the Bible. There is no match based upon today’s perceptions of Christianity. There can be no match. No one can honestly say that the Book of Revelation was written to Western Christians of the 21st centuries simply because Christians and servants are two entirely different types of people. For one to realize the truth of the end times then, he or she must first become a servant of Jesus Christ. Certainly there is a cognitive element of believing that Jesus died for our sins and that god created the heavens and the earth. But there is also other factors involved in being servants and many of these factors were discussed above
  • There is a grass-roots movement taking place outside the parameters of traditional Christianity that is drawing select individuals in to its fold. This grass-roots movement is devoid of man made traditions and denominational influences and assertiveness. This grass-roots movement contends for the true faith once delivered to the Saints. Concepts and perceptions of what defines a true believer are not dictated by a denomination’s leaders and teachers and preachers: but defined by the Word of God. This movement will always be dwarfed in number and size by traditional Christianity because Christianity has created for itself a system like Judaism of Jesus’ day, that seems to have entrapped and bound its members in religion. Religion is, contrary to conventional wisdom, NOT what pleases the Father. Why did Jesus rail against the Jewish establishment? He railed against the Jewish establishment because Judaism utterly failed to follow His Father’s directions to the people. Judaism taught a way of life that was fashioned by the desires and imaginations of men. Christianity is no different my friends. Vast concepts that are labeled as Christian beliefs and doctrines are nothing more than man made beliefs and doctrines such as:
    • belief that believers in Jesus Christ are destined for heaven. Nowhere in the Bible is this taught
    • that Jesus Christ died on Good Friday and rose a day and a half later on Sunday morning
    • that Jesus was born on December the 25th, the birthday of a pagan Babylonian god
    • that Jesus was crucified on Easter, a pagan goddess celebratory holiday
    • that Jesus nailed the Law of God to the cross–a grossly misinterpretation of one of Paul’s writings
  • What will you do with this information? Many of you will write me and this content off as heretical and you will do so in the name of your denomination. Some of you will tacitly agree with some of the content or all of the content, but will not take any action to correct your perceptions of the Faith out of fear, uncertainty, or just laziness. Then there are the precious few of you who might just think there is something to this content and it is you who will take the bull by the horns and do your own research as if you were a Berean, and search out the truths for yourselves from the pages of your Bible. These individuals are crossing over from traditional Christianity to the Hebraic Roots of the Faith and realizing a change to their spiritual lives that will forever change their perceptions of religion and what it means to be a Christian
  • We invite you to take that plunge. Please contact us for information and resources if you are interested in going deeper and further in your walk with Christ than you’ve ever imagined. 
  • Otherwise, we will continue on with our study of the Rapture and the end times next week in Part 3 of the Series–Reading, Hearing and Keeping the Truth

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