Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Three Principles

I promised I would be writing another post regarding the three principles that I gleaned from the book I am currently reading about health according to the Scriptures. Here is the promised post.

In Genesis 7, the Bible first makes the distinction between "clean" and "unclean" animals. To prepare for the great flood, YHWH told Noah, "Take with you seven kind of every clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate." (vs 2)

The flesh of clean animals such as beef and fish that have scales and fins, is ideal for the health of humans - just as we would expect from the hand of a loving Creator. For one thing, meats contain proteins, iron, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. For another, clean animal flesh contains 3-omega fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for life, and offer strong protection from vascular diseases. The design of these animals' digestive tracts is important also. For example, a cow's stomach contains four rumination pouches in which various kinds of bacteria compete for nutrients, crowding out viruses and parasites. They also destroy many toxins before they reach the flesh of the cow.

Principle 1 - Eat only substances that YHWH created for food!
Principle 2- As much as possible, eat foods as they were created - before they are
changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
Principle 3- Avoid food addictions! Don't let any food or drink become your god!

Principle #1
YHWH has specifically commanded that His people not eat certain things, such as the blood of an animal or the fat of an animal. After the flood, YHWH told Noah that the blood of even "clean" animals was forbidden. "You must not eat meat that has its life blood still in it (Gen 9:4; Lev 3:17; 7:26-27; 19:26; Deut 12:16-24; 1 Sam 14:32-34). Why did YHWH forbid eating blood? Scientists have long known that blood carries infections and toxins that circulate in an animals body. If people eat the animal blood, they are needlessly exposed to these infections and toxins. When YHWH commanded His people to abstain from blood, it was not just an arbitrary law; in effect YHWH was sparing His people from the plagues and lowered life expectantcy that came from eating contaminated blood.

"Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats." Lev 7:23
From medical research we now understand that fat is a tissue in which the body stores energy. Unfortunately, animal fat is also a storage place for toxins and parasites. These toxins are found in the fat of all the animals that we eat. Not all fats are bad. Isaiah 25:6 says, "In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things". The best translation for the word "fat" here is liquid oils, including olive oil. In the Bible, olive oil and olive trees are important and a symbol of blessing (Deut 7:13; Judges 9:8-13).

Principle #2
Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."

In our consumptive and pleasure seeking culture, we often concoct additives, chemicals and processed foods that take us away from our Creator's excellent design for nutrition. Take the example of how we have tampered with one of our most basic foods - bread! Deut 32:12-14 lists various substances YHWH has given His people for food. One of thse items is "kidneys of wheat" (KJV), which are really the germ layers in a kernel of grain, shaped like a kidney. This germ layer is so rich with nutrients that, like many rich substances, it spoils quickly in ordinary circumstances. The baking industry has removed more than 20 vitamins and minerals from wheat in its attempt to increase the storage life of bread and prevent spoilage. The operation was a success, but it wasn't healthy. Because the germ layer in the wheat grain has been removed, bacteria and molds that would spoil the bread can't live on it - and neither can we!

Principle #3
The third principle is derived from the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before me". (Ex 20:3)

YHWH has given us good food to eat. Anything good, however, can be made bad by misuse or by allowing it to consume our attention - a place YHWH reserves for Himself. We can overdo and become addicted to foods YHWH gave for our use. In Deut 32:13-14, YHWH discusses several foods that He has provided for us. Then in verse 15 He charges, "Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the G-d who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior". "Jeshurun" means "the upright one", and refers to YHWH's people. YHWH's own people had forsaken Him, substituting for Him and overabundance of food that made them sluggish from gluttony. They were "hooked on food". Both acute and chronic conditions can result from any kind of overconsumption. The primary message of both the Old Testament and the New Testaments is salvation; and salvation comes through the blood sacrifice of the Messiah, not through eating habits.

Nevertheless, a large portion of Scripture focuses on these commandments, ordinances and statutes that show us how to live on this carefully designed earth. Many of these passages pertain to subjects such as economics, law, government, interpersonal relationships, nutrition and health. The sacrifice of Yeshua for our sins does not cancel the wisdom in these other teachings.

In closing, I would like to share just a bit about the damaging health effects of eating unclean meats. Yeshua, as one who was "born under the law" (Gal 4:4) did not eat pork! One time he used pigs as a dumping ground for demons, evicting the demons and destroying the swine! (Matt 8:28-32) One reason for YHWH's rule of forbidding pork is that the digestive system of the pig is completely different from that of a cow. Pigs are gluttonous, never knowing when to stop eating. Their stomach acids become diluted because of the volume of food, allowing all kinds of vermin to pass through this protective barrier. Parasites, bacteria, viruses and toxins can pass into the pig's flesh because of overeating. These toxins and infectious agents can be passed on to humans when they eat the pigs flesh.

Were there any benefits to avoiding pork? In the "Biblical Archeological Review", Jan Cahill examined the toilets of a Jewish household in Jerusalem, finding no parasites or infectious agents, but only pollen from the many fruits, vegetables and herbs they had eaten. A similar study about Egyptians revealed eggs from Schistosoma, Trichinella, wire worm and tapeworms, all found in pork. All of these organisms cause significant chronic diseases.

Because the Isrealites lived near the Mediterranean and around other bodies of water, YHWH instructed them regarding many forms of sea life.

"These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you. You shall regard them as detestable; you shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses. Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is detestable to you" (Lev 11:9-12).

It has long been recognized that the meat of shellfish - shrimp, crabs, lobsters, etc - is especially dangerous. Many illnesses, including instant paralysis, devastate some people every day as a result of eating shellfish. Shellfish can be placed in a body of water that is contaminated with Cholera bacteria, and they will purify the water! Shrimp, crabs, oysters, scallops and mussels are particularly efficient at this. They filter large volumes of water every day!. Sewage laden with chemicals, toxins and harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses become concentrated in those shellfish.

I could go on and on about the disgusting facts about pork and shellfish and even about some of the other "unclean" meats such as horse and rabbit (which are popular foods in some countries). The bottom line to me is that regardless of whether or not I know the reason why YHWH declared certain meats "clean" and "unclean", my responsibility is obedience. YHWH has set up these commands for our protection and for the health of our generation and that of future generations. I will be the first to tell you that I LOVED shellfish! And I did like bacon to! However, if I can't give up something that I "love" because my Creator told me, then I have an addiction. I should not love any food more than my Messiah! I will continue to read this book and I highly recommend it to anyone if you can still get your hands on a copy, but if not, then pick up the most important book.. The Bible! It will clearly tell you what you can and cannot eat. And like I said in a previous post, it will even give you clean hygenic guidelines that it we followed, I believe we would see a decrease in some of these diseases that we fight every day. YHWH wanted to protect His people from disease and plagues, but it is our ignorance and our lack of obedience that have brought so many of these things upon us! This study has taken my to me knees and reminded me that as a follower of the Messiah.. I need to to align ALL of my life (diet included) with His Word.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Best Health Book Ever

"All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3:16-17 (ESV)

The more I have read the Scriptures, the more I have realized that the Bible is my personal road map to so many things. I knew I could read the Bible to obtain encouragement, guidance on handling a situation, or to further my spiritual growth. What I had failed to realize is that the Bible also gives me instruction on hygiene and even what to eat! I have always been fascinated with health since I was a little girl and I read tons of health books. But in all those years of reading and researching health, I never thought about picking up my Bible - the greatest source of wisdom in all areas! Over these past few months as I have been pouring over the Scriptures, I have come to realize that YHWH gave us specific guidelines as to what we can and cannot eat as His people. Although He doesn't have to have a reason for what He does, I can assure you that there are very good health reasons why you should not consume the foods that YHWH declared unclean.

"If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your YHWH and do what it is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you." Exodus 15:26 (KJV)

The laws YHWH gave His people were both a method YHWH used to teach His people obedience and a way to spare them from many easily preventable illnesses and problems.

The hospitals in Vienna, Austria, had a problem. New mothers were dying at a rate of one in six! At the time - in the mid 1800's - physicians who had just examined the recent dead were entering the wards and examining the expectant mothers without washing their hands. This tragedy could have been avoided if the physicians of the day had known and followed the principle YHWH had laid down thousands of years earlier, as recorded in Numbers 19:11, "Whoever touches the dead body of anyone will be unclean for seven days." YHWH offered no explanation of this law. Had the physicians in Vienna simply obeyed it, however, hundreds of lives could have been spared.

"My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." Hos 4:6

YHWH outlines very clean laws concerning what is healthy and not healthy to eat. I want to share some of them with you in the next post. My eyes have been so opened in the past few weeks about all of this and I was so eager to share it! I encourage you to look at these Biblical laws for the purpose of glorifying YHWH through acknowledging His desire and design for our health. YHWH's laws work. The laws of science are consistent with the laws of Scripture. They are irrefutable. There are wise and unwise choices in the area of health just as there are in other areas of our lives.

I am reading a wonderful book called, "What the Bible says about Healthy Living". Much of my information in this post and the next one is obtained from this book. I have been told its no longer in print, but I am not sure. I have had this book for years (was originally my moms) and I have read it when I was younger, but this time around I am amazed at how much I am learning since being more into the Word of God prior to reading this book. There are three principles outlined in this book and I will share those with you as well as the "clean" and "unclean" meats in the next post. And I will also share with you the Creator of the universe and of each of us, knew what He was he doing when He made commands regarding food.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thirty Years

So today I turned the big 3-0! I can't believe I have entered my 30's. I am so blessed to have an amazing husband who has stood by me so lovingly and faithfully for almost nine years. I have two amazing sons whom I love with all my heart. I am blessed with with most loving Abba I could ever ask for as well. YHWH has been so good to me and I am so very grateful. He has seen me through the valleys and the mountain tops. I have praised Him in ALL circumstances and I will seek to continue to walk in His ways.

This past year has brought about so much growth that I can't even begin to explain it all! I will not ever "arrive", but thankfully I am nowhere near where I use to be. I am a new creation! Old things have passed away!

This birthday has been the best I think so far! I have so many wonderful sister of YHWH that I have met on facebook who have been true friends and have encouraged me in my walk with the Lord these past few months. I have never felt more loved, more closer to my Heavenly Father and more blessed than I do today!

YHWH, I thank you for the work you have done in my life. I continue to be your open vessel. May I truly be the hands and feet of your Son. May I be a light in this dark world. May I be different.. may I stand out for You!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Turning the Other Cheek

So, we read the Bible right? We desire to honor Yahweh in all we do, right? We know that the Messiah lives in us and we are to be His hands and feet on earth, right? This popular line is everywhere "WWJD" - what would Jesus do? Well, I prefer to think of it as this, "WDJD" - What DID Jesus (Y'shua) do? Well for goodness sakes my dear friends take out your Bibles and read them!

"You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have you cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." Matt 5:38-41 (ESV)

"You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy, But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you....for if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?" Matt 5:43-45, 46-47 (ESV)

"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you, falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matt 5:11-12 (ESV)

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them." Rom 12:14 (ESV)

"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. To the contrary; if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Rom 12:17-21 (ESV)

This is what our Messiah did! This is what He clearly told us to do! Why do we not do this? Because it is hard, because it goes against the flesh, human nature. But I tell you, I have become a changed person in these past few months. I have such a desire and hunger to follow my Messiah that I want these verses to become a reality in my life. Sure I have heard them before and sure I have told others they should do this good stuff, but I was guilty of saying but not doing. I was guilty of being a hearer of the Word and not a Doer! Father forgive me!

In these past few months I have had many a situation occur in which I was mistreated, talked poorly about and falsely accused. Instead of turning the other cheek, I reacted! I made sure I said my two cents and let those people know how they hurt me. While I felt good momentarily better for defending myself and making sure they heard me "say my peace", later on I knew this was NOT would Jesus would have done. I knew better in my heart. Eventually I realized that I needed to pray for these people. After all, that's what my Messiah said to do. So I began my prayer for them half choking bitterly on my words, "Dear Lord, be with _____ , Amen." I barely could say their names and certainly didn't want to pray for too much good to happen to them cause they had wronged me! They didn't deserve to have things go well. Then my Messiah gently whispered in my ear, "I said to BLESS them! Not just "pray" for them, you need to pray blessings over them". What? Are you kidding me? Please you have to be joking with me? You can't expect me to pray for them to be blessed, can you? I knew the answer, it was a firm and resounding, YES! I took a deep breath and began to pray.. oh how I fought my flesh.. but finally I uttered words that changed my life, "My dear heavenly Father, Bless ____, their finances, their family, their marriage, bless their life! Amen." WOW!!!! I couldn't believe I uttered those words! One of the most freeing moments in my life! To love the unlovable, to pray and bless those who had hurt me! I stand here amazed to say that Yahweh was NOT finished with me yet. Sure I had prayed for them, sure I had now blessed them but now He was ready for me to give them my cloak also, to go that second mile. In the still of the night He spoke very clearly what I must do -- what gift I must give them. Give them a gift? Yes, and I didn't resist this time. I was to show them my Messiah, I was to be authentic, I was to practice what I had preached! I obeyed Him with a cheerful attitude. The feelings are indescribable! I am free! Thank you Yahweh for doing a work in me that only YOU could do! I am forever changed and forever grateful!

I am a work in progress I can assure you. I did not share this in any way to boast about me, but rather to boast about my Messiah and how free He can make you when you follow His ways!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Notes from my Transparenting Class - 1/5

My husband and I are attending a six week class called "Transparenting" and I thought I would share some of my notes with you if I have any that I feel are beneficial.

The first class posed this question, "What is your child's greatest spiritual threat?" He then proceeded to mention all the common things that parents think is their child's greatest spiritual threat. One was media. While media is awful and a recent survey claims that in 2008 - 70% of the TV programs had sexual content on them, this is not the greatest threat. There were other answers like Satan, friends and public educations. And while all of these might be contributors, he does not believe they pose the greatest threat. The greatest spiritual threat to your children is YOU! On the flip side, you are also your child's greatest spiritual asset!

Deuteronomy 32:46-47a says, "Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, and that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life..." (ESV)

Following Yeshua needs to be your life! You are the foundational teachers of your children's spirituality. Church staff is ONLY supplemental! And remember you can't teach a truth that you aren't living! Be careful NOT to compare your devotion to another's spiritually -- compare it to the Bible!

The goal is not external behavior but the heart! And remember, your convictions are more caught than taught!

Modesty For the Christian Woman

"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of ELOHIYM be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

"And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:4-5 (ESV)

The more I study the Scriptures the more the Holy Spirit has impressed things on me in conviction and also impressed on me to share them with others. Only the Holy Spirit can convict a person on something and I am not writing this to be the Holy Spirit in your life at all. I am just writing what He has placed on my heart.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Modesty as this, "a reserve or propriety in speech, dress or behavior. As you can see modesty is not just about what you wear, but its about what you are. Modesty is the voluntary personal responsibility to behave and dress in such a manner as to not purposely draw attention to oneself, to not think proudly of oneself and its decision to protect from purposeful or "unintended" enticement in inappropriate ways and places. This is crucial for the a follower of the Messiah; first and foremost because we're representatives of Yeshua and secondly, if we are married, we're a reflection of our husband.

It is critical to pay attention to the message and the signal our clothing is sending and to make sure, very sure, that the message is in line with the Scriptures.

Modesty is an attitude of humility that seeks to please YHWH rather than man or self. It is characterized by restraint and self-control, and dignity in dress, speech and actions. Modesty is a product of pure thinking and is not determined by what you wear only. Although it is not true that modesty equals clothing, it is true that what we wear and how we wear it can be modest or immodest.

YHWH didn't give us a list of dress rules, He gave us principles from His word. Following a list is far easier than the difficult process of learning to apply principles. It is often a lazy substitute for the careful study and application of YHWH's Word. We should strive to be like the Bereans who were commended for their excited diligence in searching scripture to verify the truth that they were being shown.

Someone once said, "Preach the gospel everywhere you go, when necessary, use words." The picture we paint with our appearance is worth at least a thousand words!

I write this post because this is something that YHWH has been working on in my life. My mother always had strict modesty rules, but I rebelled from the rules when I left home. Now that I am a grown woman and am in the Word more often, I really am convicted about how my dress has been a bad testimony for YHWH to others around me. I believe we must dress as He would want us to and also in submission to our own husbands. For example, I know many friends who wear skirts and dresses only and while this is certainly fine, my husband prefers me to wear a mix of skirts and pants. I honor my husband by wearing a variety, but I honor YHWH by choosing modest pants and modest skirts and shirts.

Just some food for thought! Blessings!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

House "Church"

For many years I have always silently questioned the idea of a "church" - as in the building. So many "churches" seem to have such politics associated with them. On top of that, I have seen more "churches" hurt people than I care to remember. It has always been a source of question for me as to why we modern day Believers do not follow the New Testament pattern of Believers meeting in each others homes each week. First thing is first, we ARE the church. The church is not a building, it is a body of Believers that is represented all over the world.

So I began to study the New Testament (NT). What did a NT "church" look like? Well it seems like is was a group of Believers who met in homes and the gathering was centered around the Lord's supper (Acts 2:42, 20:7, 1 Cor 11:18-20, 11:33), which was more like a full fellowship meal. In the center of this feast there was to be one cup and one loaf (1 Cor 10:16-17), both symbolizing and creating unity. The mood of the meal was to be joyful, because of focus of the Lord's supper is the excitement of His second coming. It is the rehearsal dinner for the future wedding banquet of the Lamb. (Rev 19:6-9)

The meetings seems to be interactive and spontaneous, per 1 Cor 14, rather than performances by professionals. Every one of the brothers is to be free to contribute to the meetings. Open participation is to be the norm, not the exception. The over arching directive for anything said in the meeting is that is must edify the church, the Believers (1 Cor 14:26).

A NT "church" was more of a family than a business. Meeting in homes helps foster community, accountability and intimacy among the members of the body. Further, "churches" are to be family friendly and so the children should not be segregated but rather integrated.

Generous giving to support the missionaries and those in need. Without the overhead of such expenses as the construction and upkeep of a sanctuary for each congregation, more money is free to be directed where it is needed most. The NT "church" seems to be diverse, spontaneous, largely lay-led, simple, easy to reproduce, intimate, personal and inexpensive. Instead of one person doing alot, its alot of people doing a little. "Church" today seems to be institutional versus the NT "church" which was relational.

There are many oppositions to a house church. Some people claim that its too risky for dis-order. The Bible gives very clear instruction on how to conduct a house meeting and if followed it brings great order. Better to have life with the risk of a little disorder, than to have perfect order with no life! Some people will say that the worship is not as good at a home church as in a regular church building. To them I would say, worship is not about us its about Him and worship is not the music, but our life. Worship is what you do all week long! Then there are those who welcome the house church idea, but for the wrong reasons. They have been hurt by those in the "church" and hold such bitterness and hatred towards them. These people do need healing, but that will not be found in a house church. They need to seek out help and guidance in overcoming those feelings and being able to mature in Christ. Then becoming involved with a house church would be very beneficial to them. Anyone who starts a house church for those very same reasons, is in serious danger.

Believers meet in homes weekly for about three hundred years after the Messiah's death and resurrection. Only then did we change the NT way of remembering the Lord together each week. My husband and I feel called right now to being a home church. We have no idea who will come, if anyone will come but we are convinced that if it's His will then it will come to pass. God will bring the right people across our paths. He knows who they are. I am excited to see what the Lord will do! If you are local and are interested in participating in this house church, please contact me. We would love to have you join us! For those of you (probably almost all my readers and friends) who attend a church building, please do think that I am condemning you or judging you in any way. We are all members of one body and no one is better than anyone else. There have been wonderful things accomplished through some church buildings and I have been drawn into His presence with some wonderful "worship" music at many of these places. These buildings are ministries, I just dont believe they replace the NT way of meeting in homes weekly to fellowship together and foster intimacy and growth in the Lord.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog. It really means alot to me. Being at home all day I often wonder how can the Lord use me? Besides the obvious that I am raising my children for the Lord and being a helpmeet to me husband. I feel that the Lord has opened up this opportunity for me to blog to be able to share with others outside my home. I am blessed to be able to do this and I am honored. I will continue to post as the Lord lays things on my heart. May you and I continue to seek our Heavenly Father in all that we do!

My Struggle For Balance

All my life I have struggled to find balance. As a teenager I either practically ate nothing in order to lose weight, or I gave up in despair and ate whatever I wanted to. As a housewife I find myself in a constant struggle for balance as well. Im either religiously making charts and lists or I am sitting on the couch staring at the tornado mess and only thinking about what I might make for dinner (never actually making it). I am such an all or nothing person -- not good! However, I am really trying to change that! If I can just maintain a balance in housework, cooking, schooling, studying and eating I would be doing really well.

So a few weeks ago I began one of my obsessive trails and started studying and studying and studying and studying the Jewish people, their history, their practices, their laws, their beliefs and just everything about them. I always knew I was adopted into the family of YHWH (God) but I just had never really learned anything about my adoptive family. Well that was about to drastically change! I was blessed to meet some well educated and authentic people who shared more info with me and I was also blessed with some websites and of course studying the Scriptures and seeking what YHWH was saying to me. I learned SO much! The renewed love I had for Israel and the Jewish people was amazing. Their feasts (the Biblical ones) were rich with history and symbolisims that honored the Messiah. Their idea of the Sabbath really pulled me in as they were so reverent and made an entire day out of it -- unlike us (Gentiles) who go to church for two hours on a Sunday and then walk out the doors and go back to life as usual. I was really prompted to make more of an effort to celebrate the Biblical feasts this year (and Lord willing we will) and to celebrate Shabbat (Sabbath) in a new way and really set apart a DAY for YHWH, not a few hours. However, as with anything there needs to be balance and I could quickly find myself sinking into that all or nothing, unbalanced feeling. I realized very quickly that there were man mad laws that only promoted legalism and then there were God's laws, that when followed actually bring about freedom. I still have so much to study and to pray over. I ask YHWH to lead me every day. I started learning the names for God in Hebrew, which one of them is YHWH and also the name for Jesus, which is Yeshua. Just being able to say His literally Hebrew name in my prayers made my time with Him seem even more precious and more special. The more I studied the Jewish people (which were the first Christians in the New Testament), the more I began to realize that we as Believers are the church. The "church" is not a building! (more on that subject with the next post)

My walk with YHWH has grown only deeper in these past few weeks. I have been able to sort out man made laws vs. God laws. I know many Christians believe that the Messiah brought us a law free gospel and I think that is a grave error to make. While I believe that salvation is through faith alone and by grace -- that does not mean that we live whatever life we want to as followers of the Messiah. We are told that we shall know them (followers of the Messiah) by their fruit! And for those who believe that the Messiah came to do away with the law of the OT -- I would differ. I believe that He fulfilled the law and honestly made an even stricter law in the New Testament. Over and over again the Messiah quoted an OT law and re-defined it making it even more strict. (Matt 5:17-48; 6:1-4, 16-18; 7:12) The Bible says that unless our righteousness exceeds the Pharisees (Matt 5:20a).. I believe this is referring to the fact that the Pharisees followed all the outward letters of the law, but had all sorts of evil internal things like hate, lust, jealousy. We cannot just obey the outward commands, but the re-defined NT inward commands.

I have sadly seen so many "Christians" look so beautiful on the outside, but then be stinking and rotting on the inside. They go to "church" on Sunday, wear skirts only, listen to only hymns, dont go to movie theaters, dont go to stores on Sunday.. etc. While they do all these things and they appear wonderful, they are full of hate, envy, bitterness, gossip and malice inside. I do not think this pleases our Messiah. The life the Messiah has called us to lead is not an easy one. He said in Matt 7:13-14, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

So for now I am feeling like balance is coming back into my life. I continue to heed Timothy's admonition in 1 Timothy 6:13-14, "I charge you therefore in the presence of God, who gives life to all good things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I close with these Scriptures....

2 Timothy 3:12-14, "Indeed, all those desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, know from whom you have learned it." (ESV)

2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness. that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (ESV)

2 Timothy 4:1-5, "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." (ESV)