Jewish faith or Christian Grace

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One interesting fact many don’t think about often is the Jewishness of Jesus/ Yeshua. He was a Jew from the tribe of Judah. He spoke words from a Jewish book called the Tanakh, Christians call it the Old Testament. He kept the feast days and the Sabbath. Of course, he did get on the Pharisees about the Sabbath because they made it legalistic with all their added rules. Have you ever worked a job and it was going smoothly and then corporate America stepped in and decided to add rules? I have. Let me give you an example of what the Pharisees did.

Once while working in a well-known restaurant, corporate decided that every server needed to carry a large wine bottle to their table and give a wine taster and intro to increase sales. If a server was seen greeting a new table without the house wine in their hand pouring samples, they were written up or fired. So if you can imagine walking out to a table and delivering an item of food and then you see a new party seated, but you cannot even say hello until you walk up to the bar area and grab one of the wine bottles. You get there and begin to make your wine speech when they inform you they are recovering alcoholics or Southern Baptist…not only, do they not drink, but now they’re upset with you. While wasting time walking to the bar area for wine, another table now has empty tea glasses. The Pharisees and Sadducees added many rules. So many in fact that Jesus said, “They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden” Matthew 23:4.

So at some point you decided to become a Christian or a Catholic. More than likely not because it is the God of the Jews but because you were raised in the faith. However, it is the God of the Jews!

How long will you go limping with two different opinions? IF THE GOD OF THE JEWS IS GOD, follow Him! But if Baal is god, then follow him! [I Kings 18:21]

Why are Christians trying to convert Jews to a religion that is theirs to begin with? Their people wrote the book.

The Jews never try and proselytize or turn other people into Jews. They will explain to you that nowhere in the Old Testament are they told from God to convert others into a Jew. Christians on the other hand believe that they are to GO into all the world and preach the gospel. Yes, even to the ones who wrote it…

GO therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe ALL that I COMMANDED YOU;  Matthew 28:19-20

The Jews keep the Old Testament laws today minus the sacrificial offerings. Many Christians feel they got that part wrong. However, the Old Testament WARNS them not to listen to Christians or others who try and convince them of another religion. Let me show you…

Deuteronomy says:

Should even your brother the son of your mother, your son, your daughter, or your beloved wife, or your dearest friend, try to seduce you secretly, trying to convince you to go and worship the gods of others, that your ancestors did not know, gods of the nations around you, whether near or far, from one end of the earth to the other;

DO NOT LIKE THIS PERSON, and do not listen to him, do not have mercy upon him to save him, do not give him the benefit of the doubt, and do not cover up for him.

You must utterly KILL HIM, your hand should be the first to kill him, and the hand of all the nation should follow you. You must pelt him with stones until he dies, because he tried to push you away from Hashem your G-d, Who took you out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.

And all of Israel will hear and fear, and they will not continue to do this terrible thing amongst you. 6:11.

So to the Jews, Christians are some of the worst people in the world. They will explain to you that Hitler tried to kill only their bodies. Physical death is temporary, but there is an afterlife and they will stand up when the resurrection of all the dead takes place. They want to be counted and they take their TORAH (Old Testament) very serious and they KNOW it and STUDY it. Jesus was the Torah made flesh.

Now that we have looked at their views in detail, it should make sense to us to why they want Christians and others to leave them alone. I would vow to say that they are living some of the most sanctified lives in this day and hour. I believe many of their eyes are being opened to Jesus/ Yeshua. I also believe that many Christians eyes are being opened to their Torah! Yes, I know that it is not by works lest any man should boast, but their faith is amazing. Let’s go deeper. Let’s look at the verse we use to continue to proselyte …

Go therefore and make DISCIPLES of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;  Matthew 28:19-20a  NASB

Now let’s look at what it means when interpreted in the Hebrew…According to Skip Moen, a Greek/ Hebrew scholar from Oxford,

The Hebrew verb halak, means “to walk, to go in a certain direction.” “This Hebrew idea is an idiom used to describe a way of life, a way that is in conformity with God’s directions.  While the Greek idea suggests a path that leads to God, the Hebrew idea suggests following a path that God has already given.  In other words, “to walk in God’s way” is to live according to the covenant – the Torah.

Now let’s translate.  “[You] having been caused to live according to God’s way, therefore . . .”  This is a far cry from the usual evangelism translation.  What this suggests is that THOSE WHO ARE WALKING IN GOD’S WAY MAKE DISCIPLES.  Those who are not walking in God’s way do not make disciples.  They might make recruits or even converts, but since they don’t walk in God’s way, they cannot make disciples.  Furthermore, we learn that we are not the ones who were responsible for making ourselves walk in God’s way.  Someone or something else caused us to walk in God’s way.  It’s fairly easy to see how that happened.  In the previous verse, Yeshua says, “All authority has been given to Me.”  He is the one who has caused us to walk in God’s way.  We cannot do it on our own.  His action in the past, an action completed in the death and resurrection, has had its effect on us.  We have been brought near.  We have been given the new heart that we need in order to follow in God’s way.  That’s why we make disciples”. Skip Moen…

On that note, perhaps we need to learn more about our Jewish faith and our Jewish brothers and sisters. A disciple is one who looks, sounds and acts just like his teacher. Perhaps we could make more disciples if we walked the walk and not just talked the talk. I think the answer is a resounding YES!

 

 

Narcissism and Selfies

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One of the latest crazes is taking photos of oneself and uploading them on social media. It’s called “Selfies”. Being obsessed with ones looks and outward appearance has become a major thing in todays world where everybody can pull up anybody via the internet. I want to talk about things that seem to have an outward appearance but are spiritually dead. Jude talked about men who were blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—TWICE DEAD…

1 Samuel 4 tells us that when the ark of the LORD’s covenant came into the camp of the Philistines, all Israel raised such a GREAT SHOUT that the ground shook before the Philistines, but it was an empty shout, void of power.

Have you ever been in a church service or meeting where the music was loud and the people were shouting, but the spirit seemed absent? The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us!

BUT THE PHILISTINES DEFEATED ISRAEL and Eli’s sons were slain along with 30 thousand footmen… Israel had The Ark, but The Ark was silent that day. The blessed Holy Manifestation of God was inside that golden box but NO AMOUNT OF SHOUTING could cause it to stir.  We know The Holy Spirit was still inside it because when the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to the house of Dagon their god, they arose early the next morning and Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD” 1 Samuel 5:2.  Yes, He was and is alive and well.

Eli, the high priest, had a daughter-n-law who was in labor when she heard the Ark had been captured by the enemy and that her husband had died. She gave birth to a son and “She named the child Ichabod, saying, “THE GLORY HAS DEPARTED FROM ISRAEL;” because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 1 Samuel 4:21.

The people God had put in charge of his house and His most Holy things had made it about them. They had become Narcissist. His church today can look and sound identical. We can make a loud noise but remain mostly weak and unable to fight. I have a friend who said, “Bonnie you can’t fill a football stadium with a message about picking up a cross and dying on it. Sadly this is true but the glorious spirit of The Lord God Elohim will cause people to come out in droves and huddle around fishing boats and hill sides if it’s the real thing.

Eli, the high priest died at the learning that the ark of the covenant of The Lord has been stolen by the enemy.  His sons, who had been wicked and committed many sins, even adultery right there in the tabernacle of the Lord, now laid dead as well. The sons of Eli had lived like the devil while wearing the holy priestly robes. They had fulfilled every pleasure of their flesh with sex, food and money. They grabbed the Ark and just expected God to show up. They were counting on GRACE, grace they didn’t deserve. The Ark of the Covenant was taken with the children of Israel into battle. The Ark was where the Holy power of God lived. He now lives in born again believers, but He can be grieved and HE CAN DEPART. You can take a selfie and look good on the outside but be dead on the inside.

Let’s ponder a few verses and notice the definitions below.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 says, “Quench not the spirit”

  1. Quench= extinguish (a fire).
  2. Grieve= cause great hurt

“Yet they rebelled and GRIEVED his Holy Spirit. So he turned and BECAME THEIR ENEMY and he himself fought against them. Isaiah 63:10.

“How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE? Hebrews 10:29.

I AM telling you we as a body have INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE TODAY!

I was thinking about a song I used to sing in my youth, it went like this. “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, I can feel his mighty power and his grace. As the song rang in my spirit I remembered a time when the spirit seemed to be stronger in the assembly.  Is it just me or is the bride sleepy? There were 5 foolish virgins and 5 wise and all 10 had something in common, they all fell asleep waiting.

The maiden in the book of Songs of Solomon doesn’t fall asleep, no she does the opposite.

“ALL NIGHT LONG on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him BUT DID NOT FIND HIM. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I WILL SEARCH for the one my heart loves. Song of Solomon 3:1-3.

Are you searching for Him or just going through a routine of making a loud noise? There is a flower genus called Narcissus. These flowers have a distinguishing characteristic, they have in the center of the plant a corona or also known as a CROWN. It arises at the throat of the bloom and looks like a TRUMPET.

We can blow a lot of hot air like a trumpet and brag on The Holy Spirit and still grieve Him. We can shout and make a great roar, a shout so loud the earth shakes, but if it doesn’t shake us out of our drowsiness we will end up just like Eli and his sons, “dead”. Narcissist make things all about them… WE MUST DECREASE, HE MUST INCREASE “It’s All About him”!

Sweet Perfume!

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“And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, A WOMAN IN THE CITY, which was A SINNER, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an ALABASTER box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him WEEPING, and began to WASH HIS FEET WITH TEARS, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and KISSED his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 7:36-38.

This woman was a sinful woman. The text rightly shows she was and many scholars claim she was a prostitute. Not only that but in the middle of her affection it says in the book of Mark that many people who were present “REBUKED HER SHARPLY”.  Have you ever been rebuked sharply by people who were ESTEEMED MORE THAN YOU? These men in the room were the elite of the elite.

What’s amazing to me is that she is in the presence of a Pharisee, a great spiritual leader of that time. She was not invited to the home of this man, she just heard Jesus was there AND YET, she boldly enters the room and falls to her knees. It would have been one thing if she just would have went over and washed his feet. Yes, it would have been one thing if she would have walked over to the basin and poured out some water and took a towel and began to clean the dirt. But she didn’t do that. THIS WOMAN CAUSED A SCENE!  Her tears washed his feet and then she dried them with her hair. Can you see her weeping? Can you hear her cries for forgiveness as she rubs her hair over his feet, tears streaming down her face? Can you remember that moment when you had to get to an altar and you didn’t care who was in the room?

She poured out a bottle of savings that’s was worth a year’s wages.

Her critics exclaimed, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?

Do you think it was only her they criticized? Of course not any time you do a work for Yeshua/ Jesus, there will be nay-sayers. The host says to himself,THIS MAN, IF HE WERE A true PROPHET, would have known who and what MANNER OF WOMAN this is that touches him: FOR SHE IS A SINNER. Luke 7:39.

The GREATEST PROPHET that ever lived was sitting at this Pharisee’s table having dinner but he couldn’t see. Oh he could see what manner of a woman she was. She was a prostitute no doubt; but he couldn’t see her heart.

Jesus said, “Her sins, WHICH ARE MANY, are forgiven; for she LOVED MUCH: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.

Forget the critics in the room!

THE PEOPLE IN THE ROOM HAD THEIR EYES ON A WOMAN WHOM THEY DEEMED “A SINNER” AND THE WOMAN IN THE ROOM HAD HER EYES ON A KING! Who or what are your eyes on?

What do you HOPE for?

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I am keeping it real! Many of you know I have been hospitalized several times to get rounds of steroids in order to function. The weakness in my legs and the chronic pain at times has been unbearable. Occasionally it gets down right depressing. When I get the steroid i.v’s energy begins to kick in and I have a few weeks to enjoy smiles, dinners, company and events with family. As time dwindles by the energy becomes depleted again. The muscle spasms and burning neurological pain becomes incredibly challenging. Often during my suffering God will send people across my path who are far worse off than me and still I hear faith in their voices.

I want to talk to you today about HOPE. Hope is something we all need in some area or another. Faith is the substance of things HOPED FOR! I hope for health, what do you hope for?

David said, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 43:5.

I want to expand on God and HIS CLOCK today. We cry and we pray and we ask and we expect and sometimes we give up HOPE. Sometimes we give up HOPE so badly that we try and do things in our own strength. We try to take out a loan to cover the other loan. We try and go to another doctor and get different results. We attempt to make him or her notice us because we want a spouse, we need a help mate! We strain to get the door to open in our career by pushing on it in front of our boss. We try and fix it ourselves and usually end up with a mess.

I want to talk to you about a man named Abram and a woman named Sarai.

When Abram was 75 years old God told him to leave his home-land and go live in tents.  LET’S LOOK AT WHAT GOD TOLD HIM AT AGE 75,

“I will make you into A GREAT NATION, and I will bless you; I WILL MAKE YOUR NAME GREAT, and you will be a blessing…

ABRAM:       Time goes by and not much changes for Abram and his wife. His wife is barren and it’s been one years since the prophecy came to him. However, he still has HOPE. Then three years go by and Abram thinks back to when he heard the voice of Elohim. “Why hasn’t anything happened? Was it because he lied to the rulers and said his wife was his sister. It wasn’t a complete lie. Perhaps God had changed His mind?”

Soon five years have went by and it was almost a faint dream and yet he could still hear, “I will make you into a great nation!” How? He had no child. Then year 6 and year 7… His wife is getting older and at times he continues to question the voice he heard. He ponders the time and place and the words, “I will make YOUR NAME GREAT”. Did he conjure it up in his feeble mind out of want? Out of a need to prove to his family he left back in the land of Ur that God had really spoken to him.

SARAI:    The calendar keeps turning and now 10 years have passed. At first she believed. At first she was giddy! The few people she has shared her husband’s vision with and the astounding words the Lord has promised them, seem to all laugh, mock, and ridicule now. Some call her husband a false prophet. She dreads meeting the other mothers and grandmothers at the local well. They all talk about their children, many carry their newborns in their arms, a constant reminder of her empty womb!

It was a curse to be barren, she knew this. Everyone knew this, for God himself spoke it in Deuteronomy 7:14, “You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be NO MALE OR FEMALE BARREN among you or among your cattle…He promises again in Exodus 23: 26 “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days”. The people say truly if Sarai was blessed Abram would have a son.

So all the ruckus gets to be too much for his wife and she comes up with her own plan. She tries to fix it herself. She tries to FIGURE OUT GOD!

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. Genesis 16:1-4

TEN YEARS, TICK-TOCK. Abram is 85 now and he has a son by Hagar and names him Ishmael. Ishmael means, “GOD WILL HEAR”.  Yes, God will but the question I ask myself and my readers is will we hear Him and WAIT FOR HIS TIME TABLE?

When God is ready something ASTOUNDING always happens!

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty ; walk before me faithfully and BE BLAMELESS. Genesis 17:1

24 YEARS LATER AND ABRAHAM HAS NO SEED. I repeat, it has been 24 years since Abram heard God at 75 years of age. ..Abraham knows God’s voice and he falls before him. God has told him two things, WALK BEFORE ME FAITHFULLY AND BE BLAMELESS…let’s look at the next verses!  “THEN I will make my covenant between me and you and WILL GREATLY INCREASE your numbers.”

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram ; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you…GENESIS 17:1-4

God says some more things, HOWEVER, I want you to listen to Abram’s response…Abraham fell face down; HE LAUGHED and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” WE LAUGH AND WE FEAR AND WE GIVE UP, BUT YAHWEH HAD NOT FORGOTTEN WHAT HE SAID 24 YEARS AGO AND HE DID KEEP HIS WORD! It’s all His TIMING!

Hope in Hebrew means to TRUST.

Have you given up HOPE? DON’T! 24 years is nothing to Elohim who is obviously not on our time table! I have a friend who has the words “Hope” on the wall behind her television. I used to look at those words and find comfort. Why? Because even in my pain I still have trust in a God who heals.

Paul said, … we also glory in our tribulations; knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint . . .  Romans 5:3-5

So in the mean time I HOPE for health, and I Trust in HIM. And Hope does not DISAPPOINT! What do you hope for?

Death Gate

This blog is two-fold. First, we are going to a town called Nain. In the Hebrew Nain means beautiful, lovely, like soft green pastures. Sounds like a place everyone would want to live, doesn’t it? The scene we begin our story with is anything but lovely.

“Soon afterward, Jesus/ Yeshua went to a town CALLED NAIN, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, A DEAD PERSON was being carried out” Luke 7:11.

The town gate is quite the place in biblical times. We first hear about the town gate in Genesis when the angels arrive in Sodom and plan on spending the night. It is also the place where Boaz made his declaration to marry Ruth the Moabite. It was the government center. And it also was where enemies would try and take control, if they gained access to the gate they could conquer the whole city. Our bodies have a gate as well and in the spirit it’s almost the same concept; if the enemy gains access to your entry way, he can take your whole spirit man with him…Then we become dead.

Nain was a town busy with action the day Jesus/ Yeshua arrived.  A dead person was coming out of the gate and not just any dead person, the Bible says it was—“the only son of his mother, and she was a widow”. “And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, HIS HEART WENT OUT TO HER and he said, “DON’T CRY.” Luke 7:12-13.

Then He came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And He said, “Young man, I tell you, get up!” Luke 7:14. To every dead believer today He is saying, GET UP! GET UP!

This is a story I would like for you to think about in terms of spiritual gates and death. We have eye gates and ear gates. The bible speaks often about what we allow to come in our gates. Remember Eve, she seen that the fruit was pleasing to the eye.

Luke 11:34- The lamp of the body is the eye . Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light . But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness”

My husband and I were watching an old television show the other night called, “Full House”. As we were watching the family show I noticed something,  All the leading women such as Lori Loughlin, Candice Cameron and others were wearing shirts buttoned completely up to the neck line, not a hint of neck was shown and certainly not cleavage! It was 1987.

Out of curiosity I googled family shows being aired right now on CBS and a show called “Friends with Better Lives” popped up. I watched about 3 minutes of the opening which had a 14 and older age warning. In the first minutes I heard a woman at a bridal shop waiting for her girl friend to come out in her gown tell her other female friend that she had a bride boner. As the bride to be comes out in a wedding dress her friend informs her that she has her third date with a hot guy and is going to get “bench pressed” that evening. In which the next scene shows her in bed with a man whose chest is exposed, the man is smiling and she is making a face as to say she is not satisfied. The next clip she reveals to her friends how it was the worst sex of her life. Of course it was! God never intended for women to sleep with men on the third date, nor the 4th, nor the 5th… He created something beautiful and we have made it about the lust of our flesh.  Here is another scene from the show that I took directly from TV Watch Dog.

  • Bobby discusses with Will how he can make it up to his wife for forgetting their anniversary, and Will suggests a surprise party, where Andi, not realizing they’re not alone in the darkened room, begins to “pleasure” Bobby.

Bobby turns off the light to surprise Andi. We hear Andi unzip his pants in the dark.

Andi: “Don’t get the lights, it’s sexier this way, trust me.”

The lights go on. Andi is kneeling in front of her husband, implying that she was about to perform oral sex.

Andi: “How long were you going to let me go on for?”

Bobby: “You know me. A minute.”

The other Family show aired during prime time on CBS is called “Two Broke Girls”. You may have remembered the previews for this show during the super bowl last year. It showed the girls sliding down stripper poles to pay the rent. Out of curiosity I decided to watch the first minutes of the show. It also has a 14 year age warning and for good reason, within the first few minutes one girl with way too much cleavage says she slept with Mickey Mouse, then laughs and says well he had suspenders and 4 fingers! Then the other girl in conversation says she feels her privacy has been invaded in which her roommate replies, “You shave your junk with the door open”.  Now I will stop there because some of you are probably already offended, unfortunately our youth aren’t, they are past being shocked. Do 14 year olds even need to hear this trash, let alone watch the violence being aired? No, but desensitization has taken over our spiritual gates!

I have a serious question: Is being entertained worth our salvation? Now, you may be thinking what can we do as Christ followers? You may be saying, well Bonnie I don’t watch shows like that! Yes, true, but you unknowingly support them… and if you support CBS in other areas you might want to rethink that… Educate yourself. In the first few minutes I was told who sponsored that episode. For instance 2 broke girls was sponsored by Mercedes, among others. Allow me to educate you on some name brands like Axe cologne, Best Buy electronics, and other sponsors of these types of shows. Matter a fact, TV Watch Dog takes most the work out of it for you. They list all the products that supported the show.

    • Pizza Hut
    • AT&T
    • Fage
    • Burlington Coat Factory
    • Toyota
    • TJ Maxx
    • V8
    • KFC
    • Vaseline
    • Shop Rite
    • Verizon
    • Macys
    • Cars.com
    • McDonalds
    • State Farm
    • Film: “The Other Woman

Now comes the hard part, are you willing to give up McDonalds and support the local burger joint? Pizza Hut for mom and pops place? Macy’s? TJ Maxx? I bet if your congregation put a call into a few of these corporate offices they might rethink what they support.

You can rate these shows by taking a simple questioner. Friends with Better lives received a 7.0 rating. I spent a day rating these shows and announcing my disgust at the trash. Did it help? I don’t know, but I do know that money talks. Once you find the sponsors for these shows you can report to them that you no longer will be buying their products. You get enough churches enlightening people and enough VOICES sounding and you soon find that we do have more power than we realize.

Which takes me to the 2nd part of this blog…The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows turned back on the day of battle; they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. Psalm 78:9-10. YOU CAN BE A CHRISTIAN ARMED WITH SWORD AND EVERY SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE BUT IF YOU ARE TURNING YOUR BACK IN BATTLE, YOU ARE DOING WHAT EPHRAIM DID.

I beg you to think about your eye gate and your ear gate. Become aware of the people you support. The clothes you buy, the food you eat and the sponsors.

2 Cor 6:14- NKJV

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

Prosperity Round About

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I APPOINTED YOU AS A PROPHET TO THE NATIONS.” Jeremiah 1:5.

Jeremiah knew THE SERIOUSNESS of a prophet’s life. He cried out that he was but a child and that he could not speak. Many times when you read the Bible it will begin with, “The burden of the Lord given to the prophet”. Jeremiah wrote a whole book called Lamentations, which means, weeping, wailing, sobbing and crying. The message he was created to bring forth to the people cost him everything. 

Jeremiah had to stand before kings and priest and utter what the Lord God Elohim told him to speak. This left him at times in chains, dungeons, cisterns and prison. He cried Woe is me and complained to the Lord that he was mocked daily by the people. He was warned by God not to marry or have children due to the destruction coming upon the land. What a truly obedient and often lonely man he was.

I want to begin this teaching in the book of Jeremiah chapter 19.

Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, WHERE THE LORD HAD SENT HIM TO PROPHESY, and HE STOOD IN THE COURT of the LORD’S HOUSE and said to all the people: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns ALL THE EVIL THAT I HAVE PRONOUNCED AGAINST IT, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words.” Jeremiah 19:15.

Jeremiah didn’t wait for a church to send him an invitation to speak. He didn’t contact pastors or fellow Evangelical speakers to see if they might have an opening for him on Sunday morning or a week they could give him for HIS SERIOUS revival message… he went where he was told to go and he spoke what he was told to speak, no matter what the consequences were. He didn’t speak of ALL THE GOOD God was going to do among them, but the evil. Now I hope you are still with me because the next passage is what I really want to elaborate on and that is a man named Pashhur. We will begin with chapter 20, verse 1 and 2.

 

When THE PRIEST Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet BEATEN and PUT IN THE STOCKS at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple.

PASHHUR in the Hebrew means, “PROSPERITY ROUND ABOUT”. Pashhur was not only a priest but a prophet as we will later read.

The feel good message of prosperity hates the truth and it hates those who speak the truth. It also at times refers to the truth as bondage or negativity.  It’s a generation bent on grace and more grace. It’s a congregation that loves to quote, “the wealth of the wicked is being stored up for the righteous!” “We are the head and not the tail” and on and on the positive words flow without regard to who they were directed at or how they went with the whole passage of scripture. I call it the cut and paste ministry, cut out what you want.

Let’s venture back to a time when we didn’t show up at a building on Sunday morning shouting in all our glory…A time when how you approached the Lord could mean life or death.

“The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron WHO DIED when they approached the Lord. The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come WHENEVER HE CHOOSES into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, OR ELSE HE WILL DIE. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover. Leviticus 16:2-…

Yes, thank God the veil was ripped into and that we have a High Priest now forever in Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah! However, this does not mean we can just enter the most Holy of holies without care or concern. I’ll get back to this in a second but first let’s deal with Pashur.

We have this man Pashher, who is a priest and also CHIEF GOVENOR in the HOUSE OF YAHWEH…. He has just beaten the prophet and put him in chains.

 Does the prophet cower or shrink back from his assignment? Does he smooth his words and sand the sharp edges down so that he doesn’t get beaten worse?

“The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “THE LORD’S NAME FOR YOU IS NOT PASHHUR, BUT TERROR ON EVERY SIDE. For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword.  I will deliver ALL THE WEALTH of this city into the hands of their enemies— AND YOU, PASHHUR, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. THERE YOU WILL DIE AND BE BURIED, YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO WHOM YOU HAVE PROPHESIED LIES”. Jeremiah 20:3-

Jeremiah warned the people that they had not kept the Lord commandments and that they had fell into grave sin. The Lord was sending Nebuchadnezzar to destroy them and carry them off to a foreign land, but the people were still honoring God with their lips. They were still hearing PEACE AND PROSPERITY ROUND ABOUT FROM the false priest and prophets like Pashhur.  

God had something to say and I believe it’s the same message today, He said in Jeremiah 23:16, 17, 18, 20-24, “This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes.

They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those WHO DESPISE ME,‘ THE LORD SAYS : YOU WILL HAVE PEACE.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’  But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word?  Who has listened and heard his word?                     

  Did you notice the people were even unaware that they despised the Lord? They still thought they were in good graces due to the smooth words spoken to them.

He went on and said, “ In days to come you will understand it clearly. I DID NOT SEND these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But IF THEY HAD STOOD IN MY COUNCIL, they would have proclaimed MY WORDS to MY PEOPLE and would have TURNED THEM FROM THEIR EVIL WAYS and from their EVIL DEEDS. “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. 

If you are still with me the whole chapter is worth reading. Do you believe God is saying this to HIS PRIEST and PROPHETS today? I do. I think if we stood in His council we would hear His heart. I also believe he is raising up men and women to go speak to these Chief priest and prophets today. They may not invite you to speak at their churches but God may have you go and give them a message. God said in chapter 23 that he would poison their water and make their food bitter. Hello! We are there with the food and water already in America! If there was one message I could give it would be get rid of the idols in your life. We Americans are pros at making and having idols and idols are not just possessions but at times people and even people in ministry.

Now back to entering the Holy Of Holies… One day a year, the high priest could enter the most Holy place and it was on that day that he took off his beautiful adorned priestly robes and his gold headdress and but on linen garments. He put on humble clothes. He became meek that day and even fearful of a Holy God who was shielded from sinful man by a veil.

John 4:24 tells us that “God is a Spirit; and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

“And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:21-22)

Our heart condition matters more than our worship. Prosperity round about sounds good but it can never compare to HIS presence and you being pleasing in His sight.

 

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Cedar Tree or Thistle?

This blog is about a man named Amaziah. He had all the traits to become a great cedar tree, but instead became a thistle… Have you ever met a man or woman who had a lot of GOOD qualities and was pretty sure of themselves, DRIVEN EVEN and yet they didn’t know when to stop. A PERSON WHO OVER STEPS THEIR POWER? A usurper of authority…A person who gets caught up in themselves so much they forget that God brought them to the place and title they hold.

 Amaziah’s name means, “The strength of the Lord”. Amaziah was the son of Joash king of Judah. He began to reign when he was 25 years old and The Bible says, “HE DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD” 2 Kings 14:3. I have come to realize, we can do what’s right in the sight of the Lord and still get some things REALLY WRONG! When you read about this same king in the book of Chronicles it says this,

 Amaziah did that which was RIGHT in the sight of the LORD, BUT NOT WITH A PERFECT HEART”…

So this King configures and strategically plots a huge battle that happens during his reign and it changes him…

He was successful! This mighty King Amaziah STRUCK DOWN 10 THOUSAND. Do you remember what they used to chant to King Saul that ruffled his feathers? They said Saul has slain his thousands but David his 10 thousands…King Amaziah had slain his 10,000. … “He struck down ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and took Sela by storm… “ 2nd Kings 14:7.  

 Let’s get inside his brain for a minute and look at his strategy and his keen planning.

 “Then Amaziah assembled the men of Judah and SET THEM by fathers’ houses under COMMANDERS OF THOUSANDS AND OF HUNDREDS for all Judah and Benjamin. He mustered those twenty years old and upward, and found that they were 300,000 CHOICE MEN, FIT FOR WAR, able to handle spear and shield. HE HIRED also 100,000 mighty men of valor from Israel for 100 TALENTS OF SILVER” 2ND Chronicles 25:5-7.

Have you ever prepared for something huge in your life? You have everything in place, the date is set and then God says no?” You go through school to be an attorney and you map out your college degree, you have been wanting to do Law work since you were young and now God says, “I want you to go into Social work” …What do you do when you want to build your church and God says go out and do street ministry. You want a new light and sound system for the music team but God says go under the bridges, walk the hospital floors where the sick lay dying and turn this building over to somebody else…Amaiziah has a strategic plan in place. He thinks he knows just how it’s going to go. He has his men lined up, trained for battle and to top it off he has paid for and bought MIGHTY men of Valor… and then a prophet shows up and says WOE, STOP!

 “He says, “O king, DO NOT LET THE ARMY OF ISRAEL GO WITH YOU, FOR THE LORD IS NOT WITH ISRAEL…, with all these Ephraimites”.

So the prophet says, “But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy. For God has power to help or to cast down.” 2nd Chronicles 25:8… What a powerful verse. God has power to help or cast down.  But something is weighing on Amaziah’s mind and more so than the utterance of him falling before his enemies. So Amaziah looks at the prophet and says, “BUT WHAT SHALL WE DO ABOUT THE HUNDRED TALENTS THAT I HAVE GIVEN TO THE ARMY OF Israel?”  

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY…investments…time…talents…sweat….

The man of God answered, “THE LORD IS ABLE TO GIVE YOU MUCH MORE THAN THIS!”  So Amaziah releases the 100,000 and he strikes down the 10,000 Edomites as we read earlier…

 YES, he obeys…

 PARTIALLY!!!

2 Chronicles 25:14, “now it came to pass after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that HE BROUGHT the gods of the children of Seir, AND SET THEM UP TO BE HIS GODS, AND BOWED DOWN HIMSELF BEFORE THEM and burned incense…

 Again God speaks, “Wherefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaiziah , and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, “Why have thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand??????

BOY, OH BOY, HOW DUMB CAN THIS KING GET?

Did you notice he was smart at conquering the 10,000 Sons of Seir (Esau’s descendants), but stupid enough to worship their gods who couldn’t even save them? How many times have we done the same type of sin? Relying on other people to meet our needs instead of THE GREAT I AM?  Taking their gods and compromising our character for wealth, esteem, or honor that we may be able to get out of them in business, investments or who’s who at work or play…

So this King gets something called POWER and wealth. He already has the title as King of Judah… Now that he has conquered Edom his PRIDE begins to SWELL.

Yep, he gets too big for his britches. He thinks he can go mess with a cedar when he is but a thistle. His words get cocky and his attitude gets him into trouble…He sends a messenger to the king of Israel and says hey let’s look each other in the face…(let’s make WAR)

King Jehoash sent this message, read it slowly,

“The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon saying, give thy daughter (Israel) to my son (Judah) to wife and there passed a wild beast that was in Lebanon and trod down the thistle. Thou hast indeed smitten Edom AND THINE HEART HATH LIFTED THEE UP glory in this and tarry at home; WHY SHOULD YOU MEDDLE TO YOUR HURT, that thou should fall, even thou and Judah with thee?”

Amaiziah wouldn’t listen.  So the King of Israel looked him in the face and then he broke down his military walls, took all the vessels of gold and silver and all the treasures of the king’s houses and returned to Samaria…

The puffed up Amaizah got caught up in himself… meddling in things that did not pertain to him.  There is something about this blog you may not have noticed. This man started out trying to obey God and it is even written he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. In fact, God sent a prophet a time or two and had him give up 100,000 men he had paid for and he OBEYED. Have you ever had to pay for a car you didn’t own anymore…Have you ever had to walk away from a business or home you worked your whole life for? Paying for something you don’t get to keep is hard to release. If God told you to give up something and you are holding on to it due to money or titles release it now!

Amaizah obeyed until the kingdoms of this world and the lust of the eyes and the pride of his accomplishments took over his heart…Then he became puffed up and FULL of himself…Many think we are living in the last days. James has a warning…

“Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have HEAPED TREASURES TOGETHER FOR THE LAST DAYS” James 5:1-3.

What are you holding on to? REMEMBER, THE WISE PROPHET SAID, “THE LORD IS ABLE TO GIVE YOU MORE THAN THIS~!”  May you have many spiritual blessings, health and peace of mind…the joy of the Lord is our strength!