Who Are the Sons of God?–Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Part 3–It’s Not As You Perceive, Episode 75

Who Are the Sons of God?

Part 3 of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God

If you’ve not already done so, before you listen to this episode, please listen to “The Gospel of the Kingdom, Part 1. and Part 2 so you can get caught up and get a better grasp of the material being covered today.

The apostle Paul admonished us in Ephesians 6:13-18, saying:

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

So in this series on The Gospel of the Kingdom of God, we are putting on the whole armor of God.

Today, in Part 3, we will answer the question: “Who are the Sons of God?”

Who Are the Sons of God?

Who Are the Sons of God?

The material in this section is will run longer than the previous sections.  Therefore I will complete it in about two or more sessions so that it will not be too much information to digest in one sitting.

On planet earth, There are 3 groups of people: 1) the Children of God who are sealed unto redemption; 2) the marked people of God who will be sealed later and 3) the children of Satan (the devil).

The children of God are His elect. These are the disciples and friends of Yahoshua (Jn 15:14). Some followed and obeyed him in person when he was on earth and the others have been following him by faith from the time he returned to heaven and will continue until he returns to earth. They obey his commandments (John 15:10). His commandments are the same as his Father’s commandments: Love God and Love your neighbor; these are the two commandments on which the Ten commandments hang. Yahoshua regards these people as his friends. He said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (Joh 15:14 KJV)   All of Yahoshua’s disciples from the time of his ministry, all the way to the time of his second coming, are given to him by his Father, Yahovah.

The elect is sealed unto redemption.  They have submitted their lives to the authority of Yahovah, they abide in Yahoshua according to John 15:5-8; and they believe the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  Yahoshua has baptized them with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in Romans 8:13-14, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

Also, 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Rom 8:28-30 KJV) However, 30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption”. (Eph 4:30 KJV)  Peter encourages us to grow in the fruit of the spirit, 10 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (2Pe 1:10 KJV). In Yahoshua’s prayer for his disciples before he left, he

prayed for his disciples: “9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (Joh 17:9 KJV)

The marked people of God are not yet sealed, and may or may not be currently submitted to the authority of God at this time; but they are marked to be sealed at a later date; because Yahovah knows them that are His. (2 Timothy 2:19) 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.(Matt 22:14)

The Children of Satan are the unrighteous people who have not submitted to the authority of God and they do not believe the gospel of the kingdom of God. In John 8:44-47 Yahoshua said the Pharisee leaders of the Sanhedrin:  44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (Joh 8:44-47 KJV)

These children of Satan are Not marked to be sealed unto redemption.  John 3:19 tells us, “19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (Joh 3:19 KJV)

Yahoshua, the final judge of the world, made the legal declaration: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel”. (Mar 1:15 KJV) John the Immerser, also counseled us to repent and believe the gospel of the kingdom of God. John 3:18 tells us that anyone who does not believe the gospel of the kingdom of God does not have everlasting life and is condemned already. Also,  36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (Joh 3:36 KJV)

In Matthew 22:2-14, Yahoshua used a parable to teach about the Kingdom of God. This is the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. He said,  2 “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:2-14 KJV)

God’s Elect

God’s Elect are God’s chosen nation. These are the people that He foreknew, and predestined to be the Sons of God.  8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.  9 “For Yahovah’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. (Deu 32:8-9 NAS)

3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1Jo 5:3-4 KJV)

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

They will be a holy nation and a royal priesthood unto God when Yahoshua returns to set up the Kingdom of God on earth and rule over the earth. This holy nation is Spiritual Israel. They were chosen by Yahovah from the beginning of the world to be the servants of God. They were sealed from the beginning of the world (age) to be joint heirs with Yahoshua and serve Yahoshua in the coming Kingdom of God on the earth.  2 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deu 14:2 NAS)

The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:29, “And if you belong to Christ, then you are the spiritual seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise.”  The heirs and joint heirs are the elect. They are spiritual Israel because they are the spiritual children f Abraham.  The Father foreknew them and predestined them to be heirs and joint heirs; He knows them by name. The members of this group came from both the physical Israelites and physical Gentiles who love, follow and believe in Yahoshua, the Son of God and believe the Gospel of the Kingdom of God message that Yahoshua preached.

The prophet Jeremiah was sent with a comforting message to Israel in Jeremiah 31:31,33 so they would know Yahovah had not forgotten them:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, (Jer 31:31 NAS)

33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jer 31:33 NAS)

Revelation 7:4-8 tells us, “4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.   5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.  8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. (Rev 7:4-8 KJV)

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (Rev 7:2-3 KJV)

He came to his own (the house of Judah) and they rejected and killed him because they hated him. He tells us that they will hate us too because they hated him; and the disciple is not greater than his master; whatever they did to him, they will do to his disciples.  When the Father who is King deemed them not worthy, He turned his attention to the gentiles.

At the wedding banquet, when all the guests were seated, the King saw that one of the guests was not dressed in wedding garment.  In the parable of the Wedding Banquet, Yahoshua said many are called but few are chosen.

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The Gospel of the Kingdom of God-Part 2–What is the Kingdom of God? It’s Not As You Perceive-Episode 74

What is the Kingdom of God?

Part 2 in a Multi-Episode Series on the Gospel of the Kingdom of God

Note Dear Friend: If you’ve not already done so, before you listen to this episode, please listen to “The Gospel of the Kingdom, Part 1.” 

  • Mark 1:15–“…repent and believe the gospel”–mandatory legal disclosure by Yeshua Messiah
  • The judgment of God will condemn those who do not obey His counsel
  • Yeshua made the legal declaration to all living things according to the righteousness and justice of Yahovah’s law.
  • He gave full legal disclosure to make sure that everyone has heard and is fully aware of what is soon to occur–Yeshua did the work that Yahovah sent Him to do!
  • In all He did, Yeshua represented the Kingdom of Yahovah who is our God by manifesting the gracious character of His loving, merciful, just and righteous Father!
  • Matthew 24:14–“This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness  (a testimony) unto all nations and then shall the end come.”

  • Yeshua is the judge–there will be no valid excuses!
  • Christianity has been preaching a message about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus which is the Gospel about Jesus instead of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that Yeshua preached
  • The Christian Gospel is a watered down version of the true Gospel of the Kingdom message
  • HIS DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION ARE CRUCIAL, BUT IT’S NOT THE ONLY MESSAGE–THERE IS MORE!!!!!……HIS MESSAGE INVITES AND EMPOWERS US TO BECOME THE SONS OF YAHOVAH!
  • We have been cleansed for a purpose and that purpose is contained in the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!

the kingdom of god--lion and lamb

  • How do we fit into God’s plan…what does He want us to do?
  • There’s bigger hope!!!
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom is the message that speaks to the reign of Yahovah over the whole earth manifested through the rulership of Yeshua Messiah the righteous King
  • The Kingdom of God coming to earth tells us that: (1) King: the owner of the kingdom is Yahovah; (2) Body of laws: as King of the Universe, our God has a body of laws; (3) Territory: His appointed King, Yeshua, serves under the authority of His Father Yahovah, and He will govern the whole earth with the laws of the kingdom; (4) Subjects: those who are submitted to the authority of the king
  • Under the New Covenant we have only one rule: and the New Covenant makes us all His children–spiritual Israel
  • “The ax is laid at the root of the tree” (Luke 3:9)

  • Yeshua re-established the New Covenant in His blood!
  • Matthew 24–“…watch the fig tree….summer is near!” The time is closing for the gentiles–the harvest is near
  • If you’re not spiritual Israel, you’re not part of the Kingdom! Spiritual Israel is gentiles and Jews: they’re all one!!!!
  • Yeshua baptizes us with the Holy Spirit–necessary to being born again
  • Soon and very soon, the reign of Yahovah God is coming to replace the rule of man
  • Yahovah gave all power and authority to Yeshua
  • Currently the world’s population is under the government of the kingdom of darkness which is ruled by satan…but the coming Kingdom of God will replace satan’s kingdom!
  • Pray “…thy Kingdom come…they will be done…one earth as it is in heaven.”
  • Ephesians 6:11,12–“…put on the whole armor of God…we wrestle not against flesh and blood…but the rulers of the darkness of this world…against spiritual wickedness in high places”

  • The kingdom of darkness keeps us blind!

Global elite one world government

  • There are seducing spirits that cause us to war against one another…thus we operate blindly in the world, taking our eyes off Yeshua and causing us to miss the true message of the Kingdom of God
  • Deuteronomy 30:19,20–“Choose life!…..”
  • There will be no changes for the good until Yeshua returns and sets up His kingdom
  • Satan’s agenda is to implement a one-world-government to de-populate the earth through the global elite–Yahovah’s agenda is to be fruitful and multiple and to populate the earth
  • Without the blood of Yeshua, we could not be His subjects
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom tells the rest of the story
  • We choose to submit to His authority–when we choose to obey the commandments of Yahovah, we choose to submit to His authority

the law of god

  • Sins must first be forgiven in order to get into the Kingdom
  • John 6:53-56: ” Except you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink His blood…they will have eternal life…”

  • We are in training for the kingdom
  • We walk in obedience: Deut. 30:19,20; Matt.28:19,20; Mark 16:15-18
  • The elect will be sent into all the world to teach Father’s laws
  • Yeshua will institute the laws of Yahovah in all the earth–Torah Law will be the rule of law in the world
  • Micah 4:1-4–“…let us go up to the mountain of the Lord…”

  • Isa. 2:2-4–“…for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem…”

  • Yeshua will head a One World Government

Thank you for joining us. Come back for part 3.

Stay blessed

Faithfully, Hilary Thomas

 

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The Gospel of the Kingdom, Part 1–It’s Not As You Perceive-73

Part 1 in a Multi-Episode Series on the

Gospel of the Kingdom of God

It’s Not As You Perceive–73

 

What is the true meaning of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Yeshua taught?

What is the true meaning of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Yeshua taught?

Many believers are not sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God because they do not understand the difference between: “The Gospel about Jesus” and “the Gospel of the Kingdom of God,” that Yahoshua preached.

Matthew records Yahoshua’s commission to us in Mat 28:18-19, saying: “All power and authority has been given to me in heaven and in earth. Go! Teach all nations to carry out all the things that I have commanded you, forever.”

Again, in Matt. 24:14, Yahoshua said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Then we read the same commission again from Yahoshua to us in Mark 16:15-16: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

In Luke 24:47 we read Yahoshua’s final command to his disciples just before he ascended to heaven. He told them, repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

While the death, burial and resurrection of Yahoshua is an important gospel, for the world, it is not the gospel that Yahoshua preached. However, it was important to start the gospel message by preaching about Yahoshua because he was the highlight of the current events; and it was well known that he had resurrected from the dead, a miracle that had everyone thinking! They also knew him well, and all the good he had done: a righteous man who did many miracles before their eyes through the power of God! Being aware of his life among them and being aware and the current events, which were fresh in their minds, made the topic of salvation in his name, the logical place to start the gospel message.

Before he was crucified, his followers and well wishers hoped he was the long awaited Messiah; but when he was crucified their hopes were dashed. Now that he was resurrected from the grave, and hundreds of people saw him with their own eyes, it was easy to preach the rest of the story of why he came and how he fulfilled the messianic prophecies.

As a result, Peter and the other disciples stood up on Shavuot (Day of Pentecost) and delivered the message that Yahoshua is Messiah and their only hope of salvation is to repent and be baptized in the name of Yahoshua for the remission of their sins and after which they will receive the baptism of the Holy spirit, like they have just received. Now that the people believed the truth about the Son of God, Yahoshua, that he is Messiah, they later learned that his rejection, suffering and crucifixion was ordained by God for the sins of the world.

But before they could preach the meat of the word, the disciples had to preach the death, burial and resurrection message to lay the foundation for the gospel of the kingdom of God, establishing that Yahoshua is the Messiah, Yahovah’s appointed King over Israel.

So do we have two gospels?

The answer is NO! Yahoshua preached one gospel and it is the gospel that the apostles preached in obedience to his commission.

Some Christian pastors who acknowledge that they are not preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, have concluded that there are two gospels: the gospel of grace; and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Christian rationale is that the Jews were given the law, so they are under the law and must obey the law. But Christians are not under the law, they are under grace because Jesus nailed the law to the cross and the law is done away with. But, what they are preaching is not the gospel of grace. It is the gospel about Jesus: his death, burial and resurrection.

Yahoshua taught the gospel of the Kingdom of God starting with Genesis, and going through the Prophets and the Psalms, showing that the scriptures all spoke of him, and pointed to his coming and the work he would do. Remember, the New Testament was not written at the time of Yahoshua, and the apostles ministries so their sermons came from the Old Testament.

Therefore, if we want to get a good understanding of the gospel that Yahoshua preached, we must return to the Torah, the Psalms and the Prophets to see the text they used as references for their sermons and teachings, in order to put it all in context. This is the only way we will be able to fully understand the Hebrew mindset behind the language of the gospel of the Kingdom that we read in the New Testament.

“What does Paul really believe?”

Paul was a disciple of Rabbi Gamelial. Paul was astute in the Scriptures and he was an expert of the Torah. Therefore, it would be easier for Paul to quickly grasp Yahoshua’s teachings, compared the twelve disciples because of Paul’s advanced knowledge of the Torah, Prophets, the Psalms. I can just imagine how Paul was in awe when his eyes were opened to the truth that Yahoshua is the Messiah. How small, Saul must have felt, to know that he persecuted Yahoshua in ignorance. It is no wonder he changed his name from Saul to Paul, meaning small. But filled with the same zeal he had when he persecuted the followers of Yahoshua, Paul went forth to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God, expounding on the grace of God found in the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Legal Process

That is why in Luke 3:8-9, Yochanan as he baptized people in the Jordan River, rebuked the Pharisees saying, 8 “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

We see in Luke 7:30, that the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him (John). This is because the mindset of being a Pharisee blinded Paul to the fact that Yahoshua was Messiah. The Sanhedrin had an expectation that they would have the power to select who would be the messiah; and that they would brief him on the diligence of their activities while they waited for his arrival.

As a result, they generated volumes of data to present to the Messiah to bring him up to date on the laws they had created and enacted in his absence, so they would have either a smooth transition of leadership, or his blessings to approve their actions. But Yahovah had a different plan for how His appointed King, the Messiah, would take his position on King David’s throne, over the Kingdom of God.

Consequently, the legal process of the law had to be carried out with precision, dotting every “i”, and crossing every “t” because, Yahoshua’s ministry marked the legal process of the inauguration of the appointed King of the Kingdom of God as Messiah over the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, Yahoshua served official legal notice to the kingdom of darkness that its destruction was near. He also served official legal notice to the inhabitants of the Kingdom of darkness that they stand to be destroyed with that kingdom of darkness unless they elected to choose life according to Yahovah’s counsel.

In Deut 30:19-20, 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That  thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Because the crucifixion of Yahoshua was a legal process for the redemption of mankind from the kingdom of darkness, every segment of the redemption law had to be carried out meticulously, in order to remove the curse of sin, the death penalty of sin, and full redemption from the Kingdom of Darkness. That is why, Yahoshua proclaimed in Mark 1:15: “The time has come! The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Gospel!

Return for Part 2

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Common Misconceptions of Pentecost–Part 1–The Lost Art of Discipleship–It’s Not As You Perceive-72


This past weekend, my family and I were blessed to have celebrated and observed the often erroneously thought of and referenced Day of Pentecost. Most Christians, be they Catholic or Protestants, or for that matter, Jew, have no idea what Pentecost is truly about. Most of the world went on about its business June 12th, having no idea that Pentecost actually came and went this week.

Oh, I remember growing up in the Baptist Church of my youth reading and hearing sermons about the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter two. And also coming from a more charismatic Baptist background, the story marked an important period of time in the church’s history as it told of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the founding fathers of the Church. Beyond that–beyond the topic of the Holy Spirit being poured out on man and the resulting speaking in tongues (which we of course, in hindsight, entirely misunderstood) by the 12-disciples of Jesus Christ–the “Acts Chapter Two” story had no significance whatsoever. And we are learning today that most of the world has either ignored, forgotten, or possesses absolutely no knowledge of this critical day. Yes, I said critical day, and I’ll expound on this in just a few.

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

The truth of the matter is that Pentecost–and for that matter, the six other special, holy days of the Creator–has tremendous significance to every single human being that has and will ever live on this planet. But I am under no illusions that my statement here will be given much credibility or attention by the Christian, Catholic and even Jewish communities of the world. The mindset and perceptions of the entire world today are that Pentecost and the other Feasts of the Creator are Jewish holidays that do no apply to anyone other than Jews and the Jews in turn have relegated this and many of the other feasts to insignificant religious holidays that even today are seldom if ever given any attention by the Jews of the world. And the sad part of this matter is that Christian and Jew alike will someday have to give an account as to why they’ve blown off these specially commanded holy days of the Father. But my castigation of Christians and Jews regarding their failure to observe or celebrate Pentecost is not the point of this article nor podcast posting.

A true student of the Bible who is filled with the Holy Spirit and who is not distracted by denominational influences, should, in their respective journeys through the Scriptures, see that Pentecost and the other holy days of the Father have and still remain vitally relevant to every true believer. You see, the religions and their respective Christian denominations of this world have determined for themselves and their adherents what is important and what is irrelevant; what is orthodox and what is heretical; what is true and what is false. And nothing better describes Christians and Jews better than the applied analogy of sheep blindly following the leader down a path of disobedience, ignorance, destruction and even death.

Try this on for size: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I have not forgotten your decrees.” (Psalm 119:176, QBE)

And this: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned each of us to his own way and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6, QBE)

Or this: “My people have become lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray; they have turned back from on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill and have forgotten their own resting place.” (Jeremiah 50:6, QBE)

And why are we referred to as lost, scattered and disobedient sheep? Is it because we are being led by evil and inept shepherds (or leaders)? In many cases yes. But there are bigger issues at play here than just having bad church leaders. To begin with, the Christian religious system is set up to control and to church its adherents. The system is not at all designed to foster independent thinking; independent accountability; independent Bible study; independent living the way our Savior and our Master taught us about. Furthermore, the Christian religious system has failed to realize or understand and then execute its given purpose and mission in the earth and that is to make disciples for the Master and in effect, connect the inhabitants of this world to the renewed covenant formulated and put forth by our Creator.

Master instructed us: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19, 20; ESV)

I just referenced the English Standard Version of the Bible. However, the King James Version fails to instruct us to make disciples for the Master. Instead, it instructs us to “teach” and baptize the nations. The crucial missing element when one references just the KJV is the true meaning of the Greek term “matheteuo.” Given that most of us have no interest in study of the Bible, we lack the essential tools and skills to dissect verses and passages so that we are able to receive true understanding. The term “matheteuo,” unbeknownst to most, in English actually means “to be a disciple” or “to make a disciple.” (Reference Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) Unfortunately Churchianity has taken this passage to mean that it is supposed to “church” the world, or in politically  corrected parlance, “teach” the world. But one can clearly see that this is not what the Master instructed us to do–He instructed us to “disciple the nations.” Unfortunately, again, the Body’s biblical illiteracy prevents it from grasping what it means to disciple the nations. As a result, the Church dictates to us what it means to teach or disciple the nations: that is, to “church the nations.” And what does it mean to “church the nations?” It really means to indoctrinate the nations–to teach the nations to adhere to the tenets of whatever denomination is doing the teaching at the time. The teachings and instructions given to us by the Father and His Son–as recorded and contained in the Bible–have very little if anything to do with Christianity’s understanding, teachings and practices of the Great Commission. Instead, it’s about how to make you into a good or acceptable Baptist or whatever denomination doing the so-called teaching at the time.

But discipleship is not the practice of churching the nations of this world. Far from it. The true definition as understood by our Master is given in verse 20 of that same chapter–discipling means to “teach the nations to observe all the things that He, the Master, has taught us.”

John records the following: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him…If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:21-26; ESV)

Discipling then is really not attending church, getting one’s name on the church roll, hearing a sermon and giving an offering. Discipling in its truest sense–or shall I say, in the Master’s sense–is to follow the Master by adopting a lifestyle that tightly fits that of the Master when He walked this earth. It’s about stripping away the former life that we once held as members of the human race. It’s about learning what the Master came to teach us about the Creator’s intentions and requirements for all of mankind. It’s about seeing all that the Master did while He was here working on this earth. It’s about being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit that will help us adapt to the new life that we’ve chosen to take on. Ultimately, it is then about living that unique, amazing, unshakable life that is pleasing, holy and acceptable to the Father; that shows our love for both Master and Father; and then returning the favor and repeating this process with others–that is, disciple others.

Until churchianity is able to grasp this simple but crucial truth, Christianity is doomed to eventual failure and destruction–as  we see actually happening today. Christianity is profusely bleeding adherents. People are leaving the Christian Faith in record numbers and there’s very little that can or likely will be done about it. Why are people leaving? They are leaving because of the hollowness of Christianity. Christianity has based its workings on a false premise: to “church its adherents.” (See The Barna Group for the study on people leaving the Christian Church)

When Master came to us, He did not come with the stated intentions of establishing 30,000-plus Christian Denominations as we see today throughout the world. Is it no wonder why Christianity is quickly becoming irrelevant in the world today?

The true message of the Master is to do what He taught and showed us to do, and then to turn around and do the same for others and to be obedient to the Words and instructions of His Father who sent Him.

Now part of that obedience that I’m writing and speaking about has to do with the keeping or observing or celebrating of Pentecost and the other mandated Feasts of the Creator. These Feasts–these holy days–are called in the Hebrew, “moedim”: appointed times and meetings that Father in His infinite wisdom, set into existence and play before the foundation of the earth was laid. Unfortunately, churchianity has failed to recognize this crucial element of the true Faith once delivered.

Consider Genesis 1:14 where it reads: “”And God said: “Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to separate the day from the night; and they were for signs, and for seasons and for days and for years…”

The KJV uses the term “seasons,” which when read by the average western reader, denotes spring, summer, fall and winter. So of course, the casual reader of Scripture will simply read right past this passage giving it little credence or significance. Thus, a plain read of this passage clearly suggests that the Creator simply hung lights in the firmament (i.e., the sun and the moon) for purposes of facilitating the day and night and for the fours seasons of this world. Consequently, it becomes virtually impossible to change that ingrained mindset. But again, Biblical illiteracy would stand as the essential cause for Christianity as a whole not understanding the true meaning of this and other similar passages. The Church and its leaders are so bought into not understanding God’s Word for fear of not maintaining control over people’s lives, that they are willing to sell their souls to the devil and take with them millions of souls.

The Hebrew term “moedim” means in English: appointed place, time and meeting. Thus, when we apply contextual criticism to the study of God’s Word, we will find that the English term “season” and the Hebrew term “moedim” refer to the Father’s feasts–His festivals–His holy days. Bear in mind, however, the time frame in which this was all set up by the Father: at the creation of the earth and before the creation of Israel or even the Jewish nation. So it would then stand to reason that Father in His infinite wisdom intended these so-called seasons–these moedim–for all of mankind to observe and keep.

I will get more into this whole thing about “moedim” and “seasons” in the next part of this multi-episode series entitled “Common Misconceptions of Pentecost.”

Faithfully Submitted

Rod Thomas

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The bible and the Presidential Election Season

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good

The Bible and the Presidential Election Season

Many conservative thinkers in our society honestly believe that simply handing a bible to people, in this case handing a bible to politicians, will profoundly change their behavior and outlook on life. Maybe you feel the same way. But what if your perceptions about this important subject is not at all true? How would you handle that revelation? Let’s discuss.

Bible Reader

I recently came upon a study or a poll conducted by the Barna Group—a fundamental Christian think-tank of sorts—who seized upon the current political season to learn what Christian Americans think about the ongoing political climate in this country. I have to say at the outset of this thoughts and reflections that I was not in the least surprised at the findings of this poll and study. But what surprised me was the true issue behind the study and poll—and that true issue I will reflect upon at the end of this discussion.

To begin with, the results of this poll was published by the Barna Group 03/30/2016. Interestingly, the Barna Group appeared to have worked collaboratively with the “American Bible Society” to bring about this study that you can find at https://barna.org.

The American Bible Society is a charitable organization who’s focus is “to make the Bible available and alive to people in the most difficult circumstances.” (http://www.americanbible.org/about)

According to this joint survey, 51% of Americans (and I have to believe that we’re talking specifically about Christian Americans)—that 51% of Americans have this crazy idea that “politics would be more civil if politicians engaged in regular bible reading.” 51% believe that if our politicians would simply devote themselves in regular bible reading, then this general election season would be oh so civil. Really? What Kool-Aide are these respondents drinking I wonder? The reason I ask this question with obvious cynicism is that most Americans—for that matter, most Christians—fail to read their bibles with any frequency in the first place.

Bernie Sanders-Presidential Candidate 2016

Bernie Sanders-Presidential Candidate 2016

According to an articles posted on Christianity Today’s website (http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2012/september/new-research-less-than-20-of-churchgoers-read-bible-daily.html), dated 09/2012, less than 20% of churchgoers read the bible daily. That should come as no surprise to most of us in Hebrew Roots. The Bible holds the keys to all truth. Yet most self-professing Christians prove by their actions (or maybe better stated, by their inactions) that they do not believe this for they seek the truth from their church leaders as opposed to their bibles. Of course, church leaders are happy to render this service. Think about it: if you can find the answers to life—the answers to your Faith’s most important and challenging questions simply by diving deeply into the pages of your bible, why would you need your church leaders? So, in order to secure their positions and their paychecks, church leaders are more than happy to “church” their members.

This Christianity Today poll went on to reveal that only about 19% of churchgoers actually read their bibles on a daily basis. This number was followed by 25% of churchgoers indicating that they crack their bibles open just a few times a week, followed by 14% of churchgoers who claim they read their bible maybe once a week. Oh, then we have the once-a-month-bible readers who come in at 22%.

Donald Trump-Presidential Candidate 2016

Donald Trump-Presidential Candidate 2016

The Barna Group published another study they conducted related to Christian Americans and their bibles and the findings are none-the-less troubling. The findings of this study were published 04/08/2014 on the Barna website (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/664-the-state-of-the-bible-6-trends-for-2014#.V0-7rvkrJhE). It appears from this study, most Americans have positive views about the Bible in general. However, skepticism toward the Bible appears to be increasing—that is, people who are doubtful of the Bible’s relevance and doubt the Bible’s veracity, appear to be on the rise. With that skepticism, more and more American Christians find it impossible fit bible reading, much less bible study, into their already crowded and hectic lives. So you’re either too busy to pick up your bible or you’re not sure if the Bible is simply a book of myths and fairy tales. Indeed, a problem with no clear solution.

Furthermore, this study found that more and more people look to the Bible for comfort and answers to their problems. This would appear to most to be a very optimistic finding. But I submit to you, I find this indicative of a problem. This finding suggests to me that people choose to go to the bible for answers and comfort, but most likely never even consider going to the Bible for instruction in righteousness; for reproof; for correction; for equipping. (2 Timothy 3:15,16) How well do I know this to be true. I recall a few years ago, I participated in a Christian prayer and bible study at my job—at its height, we numbered about 6 of us in an office of about 45. And the one thing that was consistently discussed in our weekly gatherings was how this or that individual was blessed by a passage from the Bible while this or that individual was comforted in the midst of a trial by another passage. I honestly can not recall there ever being a statement or testimony from anyone in the group (and that included me as I had been shut down by my boss when I mentioned that we should be observing the Feast of Sukkot one session—so I basically just shut my mouth) regarding revelation of something or somethings that they should be obeying or observing as revealed from the pages of their bible. The undeniable spirit in this group as it related to the Bible was that it was a source of comfort and sometimes direction when times get rough in a believer’s life. Certainly faith in God and the relevance of the Bible was evident among the members of our group. But there was not even an ounce of commitment towards obedience to Yahovah’s Word. And I would guess this same sentiment exists in most Christian groups throughout the world today. Christians simply do not see the Bible as the instruction manual whereby it instructs us on how to live—how to flourish—how to have a a true relationship with the Most High. The comfort should come from knowing that you have a most unique relationship with the Creator of the Universe and because of that, you are obedient to His commands and His way of life. Comfort comes from knowing that you’ve overcome the world through your obedience and through the sacrifice of Yeshua Messiah and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was never intended to be a touchy-feel-good instrument. But Churchianity has sold every self-professing Christian a bill of goods that shouts from the rafters of every church—Grace is all you need. That you don’t need no stink’n Law—in fact, you better not even think about keeping the Law, for if you do, you will have fallen from grace. So help you God. But that’s just me.

Hilary Clinton-Presidential Candidate 2016

Hillary Clinton-Presidential Candidate 2016

So then, would it make any difference in the civility of the political landscape if our politicians read their bibles? I truly doubt it. There must first come a change from within. Our politicians would actually have to turn to Yahovah and become a disciple of Yeshua Messiah first and foremost. Secondly, they would have to be baptized and receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Thirdly, they would have to be obedient to Yahovah’s Word—His precious Torah. These politicians would have to give over their political ambitions to Father and follow Yeshua. I believe they would actually have to leave politics. Yes, I honestly believe that. For politics is so corrupt and politicians are forced to serve the god of this world and we all know who that is. If a politician elects to become a true disciple of Messiah, they would be forced to serve two Masters and we know what the Master says about serving two masters: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one and despise the other…”and He goes on to mention money or in the KJV, mammon. (Matthew 6:24, ESV) So no, I do not see how anyone can become a true Disciple of the Master and be a politician for the stated reasons.

The Barna study went on to report that 53% of Christian Americans sampled feel that politicians would be more efficient if they were to simply read their bibles on a regular basis. Again, those sampled obviously don’t get it. One can not simply pick up a bible and become a better politician or a better this or a better that. The bible is not some elixir that magically makes people better at what they do and makes people more civil by simply reading its contents. What these two findings tell me is that those sampled have absolutely no understanding of the true Faith once delivered, nor do they understand what the Bible is nor do they understand the purpose of the Bible.

This Barna study addressed several other areas of the bible’s wishful influence on American life and politics, but the last thing on this study I want to reflect upon is the findings that 46% of those American Christians sampled wished the Bible had greater influence on American society in general. No, I have to say that I find this point of the study to be absolutely foolish. Again, those sampled just don’t get it. Placing a bible in every American’s hand would conceivably be a wonderful thing. But the Bible in and of itself is not going to change the spirit and fabric of our society. Only Yahovah can change our society for the better. It’s an absolute fool’s way of thinking that the Bible is the one thing that will change lives. The Bible folks is Father’s rule book. It only applies to those who belong to Him. If you don’t belong to Him, then the Bible is absolutely useless. Look how many bibles exists in our world today. Remember years ago when it was reported that the Bible was the so-called “best selling book in the world and in history.” With so much world presence and popularity, and assuming the Bible when put in the hands of people it changes society and people and lives, why then is the world in the state that it’s in. Wait, don’t try to think—I can’t help but answer! The world is in the state it’s in because the world outright rejects the Creator of the Universe and His way of life. Plain and simple. And putting a bible in the hands of an unrepentant and disinterested soul in whatever society they hail from will have absolutely no affect upon that person nor upon the society from which that person resides.

One of my biggest gripes related to this whole issue of believers living righteous, holy lives that consists in great part, of meaningful and responsive bible study (i.e., not general casual bible reading that has little to no value apart from making one feel good about themselves or the situation they’re in) has to do with the plague of bible illiteracy. I’ve made mention on this program last year in a multi-episodic series that our Faith, and Christianity as a whole, is suffering from bible illiteracy. What is bible illiteracy? It simply means that most folks in our community and in Christianity have never given themselves over to any meaningful bible study and thus they tend to be extremely lacking in terms of their knowledge and understanding of the Bible. In many areas, the Bible has become mixed in with popular western culture and sayings and perspectives that many believe to be one in the same. So we find our brothers and sisters in the Faith (and for that matter, our wayward cousins in churchianity) spouting off things that they believe to be from the pages of their bibles, but turns out that the stuff that they’re spouting is actually popular western gibberish. The sad consequences of this plague—bible illiteracy that is—is that many in our fold are ignorant of what the Bible says and stands for and more important, ignorant of what they are responsible for doing as a true believer—as a true disciple of Yeshua Messiah.

Why does this plague exist—this plight of bible illiteracy? It exists because we for the most part do not read our bibles as pointed out in an article written by Albert Mohler entitled “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem.” According to researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli, “Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” Oh really?! I would probably take umbrage with the statement that Americans revere the Bible. You see, if one reveres something—I’m talking, truly reveres something, they will take care of it and place that object—that thing—that belief—that faith—that ideal in a prominent place in their lives and not allow that thing to lose its place of prominence in their lives. I’m not saying that there won’t be scattered periods of abandonment or disuse of that revered thing as life happens and things will fall into disrepair from time-to-time. Bible reading and bible study is certainly one of those things. However, those true disciples of Yeshua Messiah who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, will constantly hunger and thirst after righteousness and they can not be kept from the Word of the Almighty. We are drawn to it and we are constantly thinking about it. It’s not natural for the true disciple of Messiah to simply abandon regular bible study because there’s no time in the day. We have become hardwired to yearn after the Word. If by chance one simply can’t find the time in their days to study the Word, then maybe that person needs to reevaluate their relationship with the Most High.

Mohler goes on to report that fewer than “half of all adults can name the four gospels. That many Christians cannot identify more than 2 or 3 of the disciples of the Master; or for that matter 60% can’t name even 5 of the 10-Commandments.” Mohler goes on to comment of this startling crime: “No wonder people break the 10-Commandments all the time. They don’t know what they are…” Well Mr. Mohler, I don’t necessarily agree with you on that contention. Knowing the 10-commandments is in no way a guarantee that one will obey the 10-commandments. You see, it requires a change of heart and mind and allegiance in order for one not to break the Father’s commandments. Let’s face it, most secular westerners know that it is wrong to steal, kill, commit adultery or fornication; that the Sabbath day is Yahovah’s special day (yes, I said it, the Sabbath day); that it is important to honor one’s parents; to not bear falsely against another; to not have other gods before the one true God. It’s not rocket science. We’ve been taught these principles from our youth—our childhoods. So I don’t buy that most westerners don’t know these things. On the contrary, most westerners simply choose not to be obedient to the 10-commandments, or for that matter, obedient to any of Father’s commandments that are contained in the Bible.

So I’m a firm believer that it’s not just the lack of Bible exposure and inclusion in one’s life that is a big problem; it’s also the absence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in peoples’ lives that is necessary for people to want to study and learn and obey the contents of the Bible. So giving a bible to a politician and thinking that he or she will suddenly straighten up and behave in a godly manner is utter naivete. And I would submit, as I reflect upon the bigger picture here: the respondents in Barna’s study in my humble opinion are really transferring the true but hidden problem onto others. What I mean by that is that those who were polled who relayed that they felt politicians would be better people if they simply read their bible, these individuals are showing forth their lack of consistent bible study and understanding in their own lives; for if they were knowledgeable and spiritually equipped in Father’s Word, they would know that simply handing a Bible to someone will not in and of itself change an individual. The only thing—the only Person if you will—that will change a politician or anyone for that matter, is our Master and His Holy Spirit dwelling within that individual. The true purpose and relevance of the Bible then becomes evident: it is our instruction manual for life; useful once we’ve spiritually signed that contract to live Yahovah’s way and Yahovah’s way only. The Bible is useless unless we’ve abandoned our way of life for His. Then and only then, does the Bible aid in changing how we behave. A natural side condition of being a true disciple of Yeshua is that we thirst and hunger after the things of Yahovah and have a sincere desire to live in accordance to His Torah and the teachings of our Master. So I believe that the Barna study is interesting and pertinent, but I believe more that Barna’s findings are completely misunderstood by their analysts and researchers. I believe that we must take these findings and place them in their proper perspective so that we may be of the most value to Master in the times ahead.

What this Barna study has shown us Saints is that we have our work cut out for us. The world has for some time now received the soft sell related to the Faith once delivered. Wicked men centuries ago infiltrated various assemblies throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East in the last quarter of the 1st century and throughout the 2nd and 3rd centuries of the common era and through their twisted peddling of the teachings of Paul completely transformed the true Faith into Catholicism which then split at the Protestant Reformation into Catholicism and Protestantism. Both religions are barely shells of their nascent first-century origin. Both have instead of adopting the teachings of Yahovah and His Son, have instead adopted the traditions and doctrines of men. These have sent the world down a path towards certain doom and destruction. It then becomes our job to set the record straight. The default button has been hit and we are instructed to return to the true Faith once delivered to the First Century Saints by Yahoshua Messiah. From there, we are commissioned to take the teachings of Yeshua Messiah to the world and make disciples for Him and teach them to live Torah, Yeshua-style. Handing out bibles is not the answer friends. Such an act only pushes believers to assume a form of self-righteousness that is not of Yahovah. Father never ordained us to go out into the world and put bibles in peoples’ hands. A nice sentiment, but not the commandment and will of the Father nor the direction of our Master. We’ve been instructed to make disciples for and to obey Messiah and retain and show forth His testimony in our lives.

I am excited about the opportunities that this study has presented us. Let us not squander this opportunity to do the right thing and fulfill our destinies as disciples of Yahoshua HaMaschiach and take His message to the world.

Faithfully Submitted, Rod Thomas.

Be Most Blessed Fellow Saints in Training!

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