Category Archives: theology

Hanukkah The Feast of Dedication [by Batya Ruth Wootten]

Hanukkah
The Feast of Dedication
by Batya Ruth Wootten

Shalom
The following article was previously published in a House of David Herald Newsletter. Batya enlarges on the subject in her feast book, Israel’s Feast and their Fullness – Expanded Edition. In it, she points out that the Hasmoneans forced conversions and began a Dynasty that took leadership from King David’s House – so they were opposed by some from his line (See Maccabees). The Hasmoneans also mandated its celebration, which is unscriptural (Deu 4:2). This may be why Messiah Yeshua was watching the celebration off to the side, while walking (treading? Strong’s # G 4043) in Solomon’s Portico (John 10:23). He was from King David’s house and would have been aware of the error of usurping the calling that was upon the House of David.

Zechariah apparently recognized a separation between Judah and the House of David. Speaking of Israel’s endtime return to the land, he said, “The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah” (Zec 12-7).

Hanukkah began as a late Tabernacles celebration, but later became a symbol of Jewish perseverance (see the Apocrypha, 2 Maccabees 10:6-9).

Hanukkah History

Menorah Nine BranchIn 168 B.C., on the 25th day of Kislev, which falls during November/December, the army of the Greek-Syrian King, Antiochus Epiphanes, desecrated the Temple of the God of Israel. He also ordered the sacrifice of a pig on the Temple altar, had pagan idols brought into the Sanctuary, and forbade all worship of the God of Israel – as well as following the Law of the God of Israel. Those who chose to obey the Holy One rather than man, were seen as violators – the decreed punishment being execution.
Under the leadership of Judah the Maccabee, who was also known as the “Hammer,” a faithful remnant resisted the Syrians. They called on YHVH Tsavaot, the God of the Armies of Israel, and asked Him to aid them in their battle. Although they were greatly outnumbered, the Maccabees managed to regain control of Jerusalem in 165 B.C.

According to tradition, the Almighty then caused a one day supply of Menorah oil found in the Temple to last for eight days, while fresh oil was being consecrated – thus giving light in the Temple. (Note: There is no historical record of this miracle in the early accounts of Hanukkah and it is contested by many.) The Maccabees then cleansed the Temple, and on the 25th day of Kislev, exactly three years after the Syrians had profaned the Sanctuary, a new altar was dedicated.

It is said that in commemoration of this victory over evil, and because they had been unable to celebrate Sukkot/Tabernacles at its proper time, for eight days the Jewish people celebrated – giving glory to their God for delivering them from their enemies.

Hanukkah means “Dedication” and is thus thought to be a “Sukkot” type celebration that ultimately took on a life of its own.

In the Apocrypha, in I Maccabbees 2-4, we read of these zealous Israelites who refused to bow down to false gods. To honor the event in our day, worship services in synagogues around the world include the prophetic passage from Zechariah: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts” (Zec 4:6). For eight consecutive days Jewish people light candles on a nine branched Hanukkah Candelabrum (as opposed to a seven branched Menorah like the one that was in the Temple). Just before sunset, families gather to light the first candle during this “Festival of Lights.” Children are given gifts of gelt (money) and chocolate, and a dreidel game is played using a special spinning top and beans. Hanukkah songs are sung and the story of redemption is retold.

The center, or otherwise prominent candle of the Hanukkia Lamp is traditionally called the shammas or servant. Each night, it is used to light the other candle(s). On the first night, it is used to light one candle (starting on the right), on the second night two; adding one candle each night until, on the last night, all eight are lit by the shammas, which is lit every night. Nine-branched Hanukkah lamps were created for this occasion because the rabbis felt Jews should not reproduce anything that was in the Temple. These should be called Hanukkia lamps, to distinguish them from the Spirit-inspired seven-branched Menorah that was in the Tabernacle and Temple.

Long ago, the Maccabees won a great military victory for our Jewish people. They won because they were faithful to the Almighty alone. Due to their faith-filled actions (coupled with YHVH’s grace), the Temple was rededicated and freedom to worship the God of Israel was restored. In and through them, the God of Israel once again confirmed His desire to preserve His people.
In this story we see a picture of deliverance for those who follow “good shepherds” – leaders like the Maccabees. The focus of the celebration is on faithfulness, on being dedicated to righteousness. We are to be faithful and righteous even as is our God. But how should the non-Jewish Believer in Messiah relate to this Holiday? Are they to simply to follow the traditions of our Jewish brothers, or is there something more for us to see here?
In John 10:22-24, we read, “At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.”

Some feel these verses prove that Yeshua celebrated Hanukkah. Others feel they portray Him as being off in the distance, looking on, from Solomon’s portico. Regardless, we know He was there, and that, at that time, some from Judah asked Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.

In response, Yeshua affirmed His oneness with YHVH, and He made it clear that He was leading His people. He said, “You do not believe….because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” We read that, when He said this, “the Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.” They told Him they did this, “Because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (John 10:24-32). This is the second time they sought to stone Yeshua. The first time was during a Feast of Tabernacles when they were lighting the great menorahs and He cried out, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

When questioned about His Messiahship during Hanukkah, why did Yeshua answer by affirming His Oneness with YHVH, and by talking about His sheep hearing His voice, and about them being protected by the Father?
Because the people were putting great emphasis on physical deliverance from their oppressors. Even Judas Iscariot wanted a Messiah who would crush the Roman oppressors like the Maccabees did with the Syrians. But Messiah Yeshua wanted something greater and more lasting for His followers…

Cleansed Temples and Pure Lights

Messiah Yeshua wants people who do not love their lives even unto death. He seeks those who will focus on cleansing a different temple, one that is being built up by His Holy Spirit. As his people, we are to be temples of the Living God, and we are to allow His Ruach HaKodesh, His Holy Spirit, to cleanse our hearts. In that way, Yeshua’s light will shine forth from our inner man. Messiah Yeshua will pour in the oil (which symbolizes the Holy Spirit) and we will become living examples to all the world of His protection and provision (2 Cor 6:16; 7:1; Heb 9:14; 1 John 1:9; Mat 5:14; John 8:12).
Messiah Yeshua is the “Servant” named “Israel” who was sent to “raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel.” Yeshua is especially “a light to the Goyim (Gentile Nations),” to those who were once destined to become a melo hagoyim, or “fulness of the Gentiles.” He is the Shepherd God of formerly scattered Ephraim Israel, those of the supposedly “Lost Tribes” (Isa 49:6; Gen 48:19).

YHVH said He Himself would search for His lost sheep. He also said. “And I will set over them one Shepherd, My Servant…He will feed them Himself and be their Shepherd… will be their God and My Servant David will be Prince among them…. They will live securely, and no one will make them afraid…. Then they will know that I, YHVH their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people….For, I will take…Ephraim and Judah and their companions…and make them one stick in My hand…and they will be one nation in the Land…” (Isa 8:14; Eze 34:11,23-30; 37:15-28; Amos 9:9).
Those who follow the Good Shepherd do not need to fear oppressors. They simply need to trust in Him and be filled with His light (Isa 2:5; 1 Pet 2:9,10; Hos 1:2-11; 2:23; Luke 1:33).

At this Hanukkah season, let us celebrate by rededicating ourselves to our God, to the Holy One of Israel.

Let us ask the Father to empower us to: Better hear the voice of our Shepherd – Help build up His Holy Temple in the Spirit – Be willing to be cleansed when the Ruach shines His light on our sin – Be more dedicated to the restoration of His Kingdom to the whole house of Israel.

So gather family and friends, light the menorah, and meditate on verses of Scripture that have to do with light, such as:
Night one: John 1:1-12; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36.
Night two: Psa 4:6; 27:1; 56:3; 89:15; 119:105,130.
Night three: Isa2:5;10:17;Mat5:14-16.
Night four:Luke11:30-37;Acts26:18;2Cor4:4-6.
Nightfive:Phil2:14-16;Isa42:16.
Night six: Eph 5:8-15; Pro 6:23.
Night seven: 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9-10; 1 John 1:5-9.
Night eight: John 3:19-21; 1 John 2:9-11.

Father, we ask You to cleanse us and to help us to walk in a way that causes our internal light to shine before men, so that they too might find hope and safety in You.

During this season of lights, help us to lift up the One Who is both the Light and Shepherd God of Israel. For “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of YHVH has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).

Batya Ruth Wootten
For the Patrol
batya@mim.net

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There is Another….

There is Another . . . .
by Rick Erb
Shalom

Decades ago, in Episode VI of the Star Wars series (Return of the Jedi), we sat incredulous, as Yoda gasped out with his final dying breath: “There is another · · · · Skywalker.” With the verbalization of that singular bit of information, which had been true all along, Luke was jolted into the realization that he was not the only remaining member of his family, as he had previously assumed.

The Spirit of Almighty G-d does not gasp, but sometimes He does whisper. He whispers, but not all are willing to hear. For years now, He has been whispering to people around the world, in growing numbers, about their hidden ancestry and their previously unrealized connection with Israel.

These are, for the most part, people who are not known to have any Jewish ancestry, and who come from what would be considered by most to be a Christian background. Many are at a complete loss to explain to their friends and family members why they are suddenly observing Sabbath on the seventh day, changing the foods they eat, observing Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, and the other Biblical holidays, and why they have a longing to learn Hebrew and move to Israel.

These people have also experienced outright rejection in one form or another. The rejection has in many instances come from friends and family members who are not willing to leave behind their Christian traditions. However, the rejection has also come from a number of people who describe themselves as Messianic Jews. Some of these Messianic Jews have even suggested (wrongly) that these people are nothing more than insecure “wannabees” who are simply confused Christians having an identity crisis. Again, some people do not listen when G-d whispers.

The historical record is not always clear, but on this point there is not much room for discussion: The twelve tribes of Israel were long ago divided into two separate nations, they warred against one another, and those two separate nations were never reunited. Oh, sure, there were some individuals from the North who crossed over to the South, and maybe even some from the South who went North. But those undocumented aliens became part of the nation to which they moved, and that did not in any fashion constitute a reunification of the two nations.

One of those nations, the one to the north, was conquered, its citizens were driven out of their land, and its descendants were swallowed up by the surrounding pagan nations, where those former Hebrews were outwardly transformed into gentiles. This nation is referred to in the Bible as either “Israel” or “Ephraim.” Their fate has long been the stuff of rumor, myth, mist and legend. The other nation, the one to the south, separately described in the Bible as “the Jews” or “Judah,” ultimately lost its homeland, but never its identity. One noted and highly respected author has described what happened in this way:

Long ago the Father divided Israel into two houses: Ephraim (Israel) and Judah. As His two witnesses they were sent in two different directions to serve two different purposes, to establish His two immutable truths of Law and Grace. And now, in this last day, YHVH would have the two Israels (and their companions) come together, that they might fulfill His Divine purpose and begin to confirm His truth in the earth.

Israel. Her story is a simple one:
Two Houses
Two Directions
Two Different Purposes
Now it is Time to Put Them Back Together Again. (See Note 1)

That seems simple enough. In fact, it should be that simple, but back when Judah and Ephraim separated from one another, they were not on friendly terms; in fact, they were bitter enemies. The family started formally feuding after Solomon died, they divided into two clans, and some of the descendants still don’t seem to realize that the feud is over-or at least it’s supposed to be over. Though a number of Jews are eagerly awaiting the reappearance of Ephraim, and have increasingly come to grips with the notion that Ephraim seems to have been largely hidden among the Christians, many within the Messianic Jewish movement still haven’t acknowledged the possibility that there are Israelites other than themselves who profess faith in Yeshua as Messiah.

Perhaps all of us in this movement would do well to meditate on this promise of a change in the heart, mind and Spirit: “Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, And those who harass Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, And Judah will not harass Ephraim.” (Isaiah 11:13, NASB). This promise is fulfilled as part of the events of the Messianic Age. If we are living in the days leading up to that promised time, then shouldn’t we be expecting to see the events which are described?

When the nation of Israel was first divided, shortly after Solomon died, the division came from G-d (1 Kings 12:24; 14:7&8, 2 Chronicles 11:4). If the fact that Israel was divided into two houses is troubling, then the matter should be taken in prayer before the G-d of Israel; it was His handiwork which resulted in the existence of two houses, and it was He who coined that phrase. Even the prophet Isaiah spoke plainly of two houses, and he was quoting G-d when he did so. “He (YHVH) shall be a sanctuary, but also a striking stone and a stumbling rock for the two houses of Israel; a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:14 Stone Edition). The “Two House” teaching originated with the Holy One of Israel, and it was He who made separate promises to each of the two houses.

He also imposed separate punishments or curses on each of the two houses (Ezekiel ch. 4). The punishment imposed upon Ephraim included no longer being a people for a period of time. Some believe that the duration of the punishment announced in Ezekiel 4:5 is multiplied by seven, as a result of the application of Leviticus chapter 26. Under that line of reasoning, Ephraim’s punishment would be 2,730 years in duration. (See Note 2) If that term of punishment began in 734 BCE, when the House of Israel became a vassal of Assyria, then the period of punishment ended in 1996. If that term of punishment began in 722 BCE, when Ephraim was no longer a people, then the period of punishment ended in 2008. It was during the span of those twelve years when the Messianic Israel (otherwise known as the “Ephraimite”) movement seems to have begun in earnest, so there is compelling evidence to indicate that this is a valid understanding.

Before Ephraim was dispersed among the nations, there were a few times when the kings of the two houses attempted to join together, and it did not go at all well. Jehoshaphat formed an alliance with Ahab, and he was rebuked for it (2 Chronicles 18:1-19:2). Jehoshaphat also joined with Ahaziah, and G-d destroyed their joint venture (2 Chronicles 20:35-37). Ahaziah (a different one, a king of Judah) attempted an alliance with Jehoram, and they were both killed, just as G-d had warned (2 Chronicles 22:5-8). Not only were the two houses not allowed to join together by way of alliance, they were also not allowed to be joined together by way of conquest over one another (2 Chronicles 28:5-11). Israel was divided into two houses, and it was G-d’s will for things to stay that way until the time of the end.

After G-d had His fill of Israel’s disobedience, the Northern Kingdom was completely deconstructed, and its people were scattered among the nations. Moses foresaw all of this long before it happened. He told our ancestors before they ever entered the land that their descendants would become disobedient, and that they would be scattered among the nations, to the very ends of the Earth. He also stated plainly that their descendants would one day be awakened to their identity, that they would draw near to G-d’s instructions, and that they would then be restored to their rightful place as part of Israel. He spoke this prophecy to all 12 tribes (Deuteronomy 30:1-5), not just to the small remnant from the Southern Kingdom which remained after Ephraim was gone. After the curse was finally imposed upon the Northern Kingdom, it was not long before those people-as a people-were erased from the pages of history.

Out of all the people who once comprised Israel, only Judah remained (2 Kings 17:18). The prophet Hosea tells us the story about how G-d would be dealing with Ephraim. He stated plainly that He was going to scatter Ephraim among the nations, that he would have no mercy on Ephraim, and that Ephraim would no longer be a people. However, G-d also promised, through Hosea, that after the curse of that dispersion was lifted, G-d would once again have mercy, and that Ephraim would be awakened as a people, and be regathered and restored along with the rest of Israel.

Isaiah prophesied: “now within another 65 years Ephraim will be shattered, so that it is no longer a people” (Isaiah 7:8, NASB). He did not prophesy that all of the Northern descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would suddenly merge with those in the South, and be simultaneously renamed as “Jews.” In fact, Jews apparently weren’t even called Jews until after Ephraim was well on its way into oblivion. The first reference in the Bible to “Jews” (depending on the translation) appears in 2 Kings 16:6, and the two nations were not in the process of reunifying. It is clear in the Hebrew that “Jews” and “Judah” are essentially synonymous terms, sharing the same root, and differentiated by only one letter. Ephraim then went on to vanish, just as Isaiah prophesied, and the Jews (the Southern Kingdom) gradually became synonymous (in the mind of humanity) with “Israel,” because, as we know, people tend to define things on the basis of what can be seen, rather than on the basis of what G-d has declared.

For thousands of years that paradigm worked because the descendants of Ephraim disintegrated and were hidden among the gentiles; they were no longer a people, and they no longer realized they were descendants of Ephraim, much less that they were descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Let’s not forget this truth: Being a descendant of the House of Ephraim also means being a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But because the identity had been completely lost, it no longer mattered that there were literal physical descendants of the patriarchs other than the Jews. Ephraim had been placed in suspended animation, as it were, and would not re-emerge on the scene of world affairs until the time of the restoration of all things, just as the Hebrew prophets had foretold.

The paradigm that “Jews” is synonymous with “Israel” also worked pretty well during the time of Yeshua, and when Sha’ul (Paul) wrote about the gentiles being grafted into Israel. The reality is that some (many, if not most) of those “gentiles” likely were descended from Ephraim, but because the individualized cognizance of that identity was erased by G-d until the time of the restoration of all things, it was little more than a trifling theoretical notion; Ephraim had been completely disintegrated by G-d, and no longer existed as an identifiable people. Although, Yeshua’s brother, Ya’akov (James), was very specific in his epistle. He declared that he was writing to “the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad.” (James 1:1, NASB). In his epistle, Ya’akov does not even use the word “Jew” anywhere in his letter, even though he himself was a Jew. Yet he is clear that he is writing to twelve tribes. Those twelve tribes collectively comprised the whole House of Israel, even though most of Israel had lost its identity and been dispersed abroad long before he wrote.

We seem to have entered that period of human history in which the fulfillment of all prophecy may very well occur. Part of that which has been prophesied includes the awakening of Ephraim as he yearns and returns to Torah, and the regathering and restoration of Ephraim begins as a visible, physical, literal, identifiable group of people who will be joined with the Jews, and together with the Jews, we will take on the forces of darkness. The prophetic writings are replete with references to two separate but unified-in-purpose groups of Israelites.

The Jews are part of that equation-a valued and integral part, as they have carried the nation’s “banner” at great expense as the only identifiable portion of Israel over the millennia-but they cannot be two completely separate groups and at the same time be collectively referred to in the singular as “the Jews.” There is still a difference between a Jew and an Ephraimite. Only now, praise G-d, we are no longer at war with one another. Instead, our purpose is unified and mutually beneficial. We are now in a symbiotic relationship, and we are well on the way to once again being made into one unified people in the hand of Messiah. Together, we will make up the Whole House of Israel at the appointed time.

G-d revealed to our ancestors, before they entered the land of Israel, that their descendants would not live according to the instructions which had been delivered to Israel, and that they would be removed from the land. He went on to promise that He would not forget the covenant He had made with the Patriarchs. He further promised that He Himself would remember the covenant for us, even though we ourselves had no memory of it. He said: “But despite all this, while they will be in the land of their enemies, I will not have been revolted by them, nor will I have rejected them to obliterate them, to annul My covenant with them-for I am Hashem, their God. I will remember for them the covenant of the ancients, those whom I have taken out of the land of Egypt before the eyes of the nations, to be God unto them-I am Hashem.” (Leviticus 26:44&45 Stone Edition). Some have argued that self-described Ephraimites have no way of “proving” or “knowing” that they are descendants of Israel. While that might seem to be true in the natural sense of things, the fact of the matter is that the Holy One of Israel has remembered that fact for us, and He has revealed it to us on an individual basis (Hos 5:3).

A significant number of folks in the Messianic Jewish movement have for decades been vilifying and encouraging intolerance toward those who identify with Ephraim. These tormentors would do well to recognize that you need us and we need you. The family feud is over, and we all need to get with the Father’s program. You do not get to be both the bow and the arrow (Zechariah 9:13). You are the bow, and we are the arrow. You are useless without us, and we are useless without you. You do not get to be both sticks (Ezekiel 37:16). You are one of the sticks in His hand, and we are the other. The L-rd G-d Almighty has told us in advance that He will whistle for us, Ephraim, and gather us back in at the appointed time (Zechariah 10:7-9). We are getting ready for that definitive promise of G-d, but many of you stand against it. He has also stated that at the appointed time, He is going to roar for us (Ephraim) to awaken (Hosea 11:10-11); many of us have done so while He is still whispering, and we have already come trembling.

Very likely, He will not be whispering much longer. He has told us in advance that He will roar for Ephraim at some point. When that happens, there will likely no longer be any question in your minds about the rebirth of Ephraim. We are preparing for action; but many of our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters are still trying to feud with us on the basis of traditional manmade religious boundaries, rather than honestly dealing with the plain text of the Bible. Hostility is inconsistent with the Father’s program, and we need to unite, get with His program and start bearing good fruit together. Such fruit will be evidenced by love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, humility . . . and unity (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:1-3). Such positive attributes have been sadly and completely lacking in many of our Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters (see note 3). But as we see in the story of the Prodigal son, it is fitting to celebrate and be glad.

“There is another · · · ·”; there most certainly is, and we are him. We are that people of whom the prophets spoke so very long ago. Are you ready to join with us or not? Are you ready to start evidencing the fruit of the Spirit or not? Are you ready to start framing your theology and your identity on the basis of what the Bible actually says or not? The G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has whispered to us; we have believed Him and we have responded. Once again, some people do not listen when G-d whispers. Are you planning to wait until He roars?

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Some thoughts on Haiti.

I know that the “popular thing” to do right now is rush down to Haiti and help out. YES, as Christians we should. BUT. what then?
The headlines on MSN.com say that the U.S. is taking the lead in the effort to “aid” this country. BUT, what then?

“I am weary with repenting”, saith The Lord [ Jeremiah 15:6 ]

TRUE healing for Haiti can ONLY come from YAHWEH, whom they have rejected. For over 200 years ago, Voodoo and witchcraft became a main source of power for Haiti, and the current leader has declared it a “religion” acceptable for Haiti. When ANY “king” seeks power from any source but YAHWEH, then scripture is clear of the outcome. People who can’t see God The Father in this, had better WAKE UP. HOW LONG, O LORD, will you put up with a rebel who runs to and fro?

Look Up, you who call yourself Christian, but are not! Your redeemer draws closer. And His Judgement as well!!
The U.S. has a leader who says we are not a nation of Christians. The SAD fact is, he is close to being right. For many have forgone the truth, and run after the things of the world. Calling themself Christian, yet denying the very power there of.
YES, run to Haiti and help those in need. BUT, run with God The Father, as the Healer and Truth. Yes give them food and water, clothing and shelter. BUT, give them The Bread of Life along with The Waters, that they may never hunger or thirst again. Bind up the wound of those who are hurt, BUT release The Healing power of God on the sick. Give them THE TRUTH!! Less we too fall into the snares of the enemy.

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A Man After God’s Own Heart !

A Man After God’s Own Heart!!

 [Sermon Notes from 10-24-09]

There have been many different views of the saying that David was a man “after God’s own heart”. Most teach that it was about the “heart of Worship”, which is derived from the fact of David’s worship, musically of YHWH. Some conclude it to be from the time spent in the hillside as a shepherd. What ever you believe from these two may be the truth, BUT, I want to share with you another look at “David, A man after God’s own heart”.

 

Turn in your Bibles to 1Samuel 24.

Here we find David on the run from King Saul, for as we know from previous scripture, that King Saul had a “spirit” enter him, a “spirit of jealousy” or a “spirit of fear”, driven by “jealousy”. David had become famous in the sight of the people of Israel, because of his defeat of Goliath and the Philistines. Saul felt jealous, as David became more popular than he. Later, Saul sought to kill David. This is where we are with this story here in Chapter 24.

Here we find King Saul had went into a cave to rest himself. Little did he know that David and his men were in this same cave. David’s men began to tell him that God had delivered his enemy, Saul, into his hands. They edged David on to get justice by killing King Saul [ver 3&4] Then David arose and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe.

NOW, listen to verse 5; “And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt”.

David’s heart, [ his spirit man, conscience] began to trouble him for what he had done. David told his men that he should NOT do this thing to “my master”, The LORD’S anointed. David’s spirit would not let him kill his enemy.

Beloved, THIS is where David showed that he truly was a man “after God’s own heart”.

In Matthew 5, we find Yahushua, Christ Jesus, giving His famous sermon on the “BE Attitudes”.

 Here Jesus taught us to be “poor in spirit”, that is to say “humble”. David became humble when given the opportunity to kill Saul.

Jesus taught us that if we mourn, we shall be comforted. David’s heart was grieved because of what he had done and was considering doing to King Saul. David found comfort and strength, by not doing what he had all right to do.

Jesus taught us to “hunger and thirst after righteousness” [ Justice] David, in the flesh, had the right to go after and kill his enemy, BUT, the Heart of God is to love your enemy. That is TRUE righteousness.

Jesus taught us to be “merciful”, and in doing so, we would get mercy back. What you sow, is what you reap. If you sow hatred, you get hatred. If you sow love, you get love. David had the chance to sow something, death to an enemy or life to his own soul, by sowing mercy.

Jesus taught us to have a “pure heart”. Boy, that is a hard one, especially when someone is “out to get you”. David’s heart of vengeance was turned into the ” pure heart” of God, by showing love to an enemy, and forsaking the old thoughts of destruction for revenge and gaining the Heart of God, which is Love.

Jesus taught us to be “peacemakers, and they shall be called children of God”. David, knowing that though he had been chosen to be the future king of Israel, recognized that Saul was still The LORD’S anointed one. David became a peacemaker, by walking away from the chance to kill Saul. In doing so, David actually was fulfilling his destiny to be a “child of God” and into his “inheritance” as promised by God.

Jesus taught us that those who are persecuted and reviled by man, for HIS name sake, will be blessed. David certainly had been reviled and persecuted by King Saul, BUT, David knew “who he was and Whose he was”.  Upon discovering the truth of what had happened to him, King Saul recognized that David would become a great king over Israel.

Beloved, we are called to be “the Salt and Light of the earth” [Matt5 :13] If we are who we are called to be, Children of God, then we should strive to become known as a “man after God’s own heart”.

How many times in our own life do we feel that we have been done wrong?

How many times do we feel like “getting Justice”.

A friend of mine once said that, “many people want the God of Justice for someone else, BUT want the God of Mercy for ourselves”.

God’s heart is for us to pray for mercy for our enemy. Then we shall obtain the mercy we want. Then God’s Justice is fulfilled.

When someone has done you wrong, don’t “kill them” by lowering yourself to their standards by gossip, etc. Ask for mercy for them. Father, Forgive Them!!

Can we become like David? Can we get a pure heart? Can we give mercy? Can we become “poor in spirit” which is humble ourself?

When we start doing these things, THEN, maybe we can become known as a “man after God’s own heart”!!!!!!! 

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I am angry!! Halloween on the Sabbath! Christians “trunk or treat”

I think I understand how Yahushua, Christ Jesus, felt upon entering the temple and seeing all the “moneychangers” who were profaning the House of  The Lord.

There has been a “righteous anger” growing in my spirit man over the last few days, as I am hearing more and more so called “Christian churches” having “trunk or treat events or “fall festivals” on October 31. There is something WRONG with this picture, and I, for one am tired of so called “Born Again” people trying to rectify and make excuses for celebrating this PAGAN holiday.

 We have posted several good teachings on our sites and let people know of the truth of this abominable doings. How long will you think YHWH will put up with your contemptible acts?

First, NO TRUE “Born Again” child of YHWH should even WANT  to participate in anything that honors this satanic holiday.

Secondly, and this is the one that gets me personally, is the fact that they are doing it on the very day that YHWH “sanctified ” and “blessed” and for most of the Biblical history of mankind, been considered the Sabbath, as set by YHWH in Genesis 2:2&3.

Jeremiah 15:6, YHWH says, ” I am weary with repenting”!!

If  HE grew weary with the chosen children of Israel for all of their rebelling, what more will HE have to say to those who claim to be “grafted in”??

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Six ways the Holy Spirit communicates with us. By Charles C. Carrin

Six Ways The Holy Spirit Will Communicate With You

 

One of the tragic loses in modern Christianity is the near-elimination of the Holy Spirit from the life and activity of many believers. Religion that is learned and formalized can function without the Holy Spirit; true spirituality cannot. A prominent church leader once said of his denomination that “If the Holy Spirit were to disappear from the Church 90% of its work would go on as if nothing happened.” In many cases that is so. The loss is enormous. While your church or denomination may not be like that there are still no known Christians today experiencing the Holy Spirit in the same capacity as did first century believers. Nor are we getting the same results. Modern Christianity exerts a fading influence in Western culture.

In John 16:13, Jesus promised, “When the Spirit of truth has come He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you.” And again, in John 15:26 He said, “When the Helper comes whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” The word Jesus used for “Helper” has a rich and wonderful meaning in its Greek equivalent, parakletos, and was used in the ancient Olympic Games to identify those who accompanied a marathon runner by shouting encouragement to him. This example of the Holy Spirit and the Christian with the marathon-runner to his paraklete is an excellent illustration. Para = “alongside of;” kaleo = “to call.” Here are six scriptural ways the Holy Spirit wants to accompany our race and shout encouragement:

1. THE HOLY SPIRIT BEARS WITNESS DIRECTLY TO OUR SPIRIT AND LEADS US INTERNALLY: Romans 8:16. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” 1 John 5:6-8. “And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”

2. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL LEAD US EXTERNALLY: Acts 16:6-7. “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia but the Spirit did not permit them.” Genesis 24:27: “As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” I Samuel 10:6. “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” Galatians 5:16-19. “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

3. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SPEAK TO US IN WORDS AND SENTENCES: Acts 8:27-29. “And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go near and overtake this chariot.’” Acts 10:19-21. “While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.’”

4. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SPEAK TO US PROPHETICALLY THROUGH OTHERS: Acts 11:27-28. “And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.” Acts 6:8-11. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.” Acts 21:9-11. “Now Philip had four virgin daughters who prophesied. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit,’So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”

5. THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES SPECIFIC REVELATION KNOWLEDGE: Ephesians 3:1-6. “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles — if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets …” I Corinthians 12:8. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit.” I Corinthians 2:9-10. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

6. THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS THROUGH THE WRITTEN WORD OF SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 1:19-2:1. “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” II Peter 1:20,21: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

THE VITAL QUESTION IS THIS:

Please hear this carefully: It is absolutely impossible for any of us–now–later–ever–to fully explore the Being and ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is God. He cannot be restricted to the interpretation of our denominational boxes. All of us are learners on earth and will still be that 100,000,000 light-years into eternity. The Holy Spirit is illimitable, inexhaustible, inexplicable, unreachable, unfathomable, impenetrable, inconceivable–and much, much more. Our attitude before the Holy Spirit must remain one of unrelenting reverence, complete awe, and utter submission. When we have accepted this fact, submitted to this truth, and established this quality of relationship with Him, we will experience more quickly and deeply His influence in our lives.

On the Day of Ascension, Jesus told the disciples at the Mount of Olives, “John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now … You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5,6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. That wonderful event occurred on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the blessing. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost experienced the same empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Of the two billion Christians worldwide, some 500,000,000 now accept the validity of the Spirit’s Baptism. In 1977, I received the Baptism through the laying-on-of-hands by a born-again, Spirit-filled prisoner in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Without question, that was the most phenomenal, earth-shaking day of my life. Would I go back to my previous life and ministry? Never!

The Apostle Paul, who received the Spirit’s imparting through the laying-on-of-hands by Ananias, later wrote an 84 verse treatise on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12,13,14. His explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject. More importantly, It is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine Authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority.

The Apostle begins his dissertation with the plea: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.” 12:1. Interestingly, this appeal that we “not be ignorant” appears seven times in the New Testament; once by Peter, six times by Paul. Each time, the request reveals an especially deep concern of the writer. Its appearance here should command the attention of every conscientious believer. The Apostle then proceeds carefully to detail the operation of nine grace-works of the Spirit. These are the direct result of the Spirit’s baptism. Having defended the need and purpose of the gifts, Paul then concludes his discourse with the stirring rebuke, “But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” 14:38. In other words, he says, “After this careful explanation of spiritual gifts, if anyone refuses to learn, I have nothing more to say to him. Let him remain illiterate!” Paul seemingly anticipated that some believers would reject his teaching on miraculous works of the Spirit and added this harsh warning: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” I Corinthians 14:37.

What are the “commandments” of which he speaks? The answer: The Apostolic teachings on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12 and 14 speak with God’s authority as much as any other of Paul’s writings. We are no more at liberty to reject these Biblically mandated instructions than any other commandment of the Lord.

Until recent years, there was probably no other subject about which the Church was more ignorant than that of spiritual gifts. Instead of heeding Paul’s instruction, the Church engaged in open warfare against them. This was done in full view of Paul’s exhortation that we:

1. “Earnestly desire spiritual gifts.” I Corinthians 12:31.

2. “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” 14:1.

3. “Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” 14:12.

These admonitions do not indicate the reluctance that typifies the modern church’s attitude against spiritual gifts. There was no such lukewarmness on the part of Paul or the Corinthians. Identically, believers today are encouraged to exercise the gifts for the benefit of everyone: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills … But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” I Corinthians 12:1;4-11;38.

The argument immediately arises, “These gifts passed away.” Paul did not believe that. Nor should you. The New Testament does not teach it. In the introduction of his Corinthian letters (29 chapters and longest of all New Testament writings) Paul exhorted believers to ” … Come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 1:7.

In that brief statement, Paul equated the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length as the Church’s waiting for Jesus’ return. Examine it for yourself. This is precisely what the Apostle said. There is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of spiritual gifts and Jesus’ offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But, someone asks, why do I need the baptism in the Spirit and the imparting of spiritual gifts? Here are a few of the many reasons:

 

Are you experiencing the Holy Spirit’s communication in all these ways? No matter where we are in our present walk with God, the Holy Spirit offers us far more than we are accepting. if our relationship with the Holy Spirit is not being enlarged and if we are able to remain comfortable with our limited contact with Him, then we have not fully encountered Him–either in Scripture or in Person. It is impossible for us as limited, human beings to be brought into contact with the infinite Holy Spirit and find that we already have a full, comprehensive, satisfactory, understanding of Him and His work. Any church or pastor who makes such a claim is already in profound error and spiritual ignorance. Those who claim that all their questions about the Holy Spirit were answered years ago and they have no need of further enlargement, are merely revealing the emptiness of their religious wells–plus the deception of their pride. Eternity itself will not provide us with sufficient time to master the incomprehensible work of the Holy Spirit. 1. Jesus said you needed it.

2. Without it, you are an incomplete disciple.

3. Good as you presently are, you will be better with it.

4. You need to be moved out of “soulish” effort into spiritual effort.

5. The baptism in the Spirit releases power in your life which can be had no other way.

6. Once you, your family, friends, recover from the shocking, personal change the baptism brings to your life, everyone will recognize you are a better person.

7. The Bible teaches it. Early Christians depended on it. History confirms it.

The Holy Spirits impartation of spiritual gifts into your life opens you to His other manifestations. You need every method of His leading–including the six named above. Stop your arguments and receive them!

Charles C Carrin

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Are we “born sinners”?

I just want to post that question for you all to ponder on. I pray that you will seek the Word and The Holy Spirit before just jumping in with what some denomination might say or some commentary.
Let’s hear from you all!!
Are we “born sinners”?

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