Posted in Torah

Learning from the Mo’edim – Yom Kippur 2015

This post builds on the basic assumptions listed in Learning from the Mo’edim

Yom Kippur 2014

Last year on Yom Kippur, I went for fasting from food and water. The best I could understand was this is was a big day, and that the goal was to be humbled and atoned for. I was confused a to which day it was going to be, and if I recall right the jewish calendar had some connection to the sighted moon.

It was miserable. I have done a lot of fasting at times, but it is always hard for me the first day or so. I usually have to work my way into them. A recent fast I did on water was 3 weeks. But I have tricks and ways to get my body ready. For jsut 1 day, I dont have much ability to do it well.

I really dont recall a lot more than “Boy I hope net year I understand what is going on better”. Honestly all I got left with was basically a bit of a mess. Because there is no temple, there is no priesthood, and not external things that help inform me in this, it honestly seemed like quite a disappointment. Im felt a bit ripped off and just stumbling around in the dark with nothing more than my immediate experience.

Ive learned from experience that it is ok to stumble around, it is ok to not understand or get it, and it is ok to ask YHVH for understanding and help. I had a period of time (years) where I really didnt enjoy the weekly Sabbath. I had to tell God that in fact, I somewhat hated it, I was bored, and couldnt wait for it to be over. I knew I was missing something critical, and asked Yahweh for help. And it sure did!

Yom Kippur 2015

This year it is quite different, and my faithful Elohim (I could almost cry writing that) is helping me for sure. While nothing is earth shaking, it is so helpful. Here are some things that are worth noting that made this Yom Kippur interesting.

Yom Teruah 2015 had a big part to play in this.

This year, for us, Yom Kippur ends and the weekly Sabbath begins.

The day before, we made a concerted effort to prepare. We took seriously this was a sabbath sabbaton. Not sure if Im spelling it right. But this is a Sabbath and NO WORK should be done. We do that anyhow, but somehow there seemed to be an emphasis on avoiding even common things like making lunch etc… so my wife made things for the kids in advance. I dont have a problem making food on weekly Sabbath, as long as it isnt to mush effort, or is fun, or special. But this one seemed different.

Im not fasting water. Im not sure I buy that anyhow. I have been somewhat minimal with it, but I dont want to hate this day. Im not yet able to engage the day while going without food and water. Im not trying to get away with anything, or just not have a hard time. It jsut took all the interest and connection to lay around exhausted an dmiserable.

I am going without food from sunset to sunset. It isnt too bad. I did take a nap, and I am hungry (it is about 230 pm). Ive done enough fasting that I am not in panic. I have a lot of compassion for people who have a hard time fasting. I get it. Im terrible at it. But I keep trying.

Im not checking my phone, and Im trying to avoid internet. Im watching Torah teaching as Im writing this, but I don’t want to get lost in looking at the web.

I think the most interesting thing, and hardest to explain, is a paradigm shift.

Yom Kippur is always couched in a day of somber, dry, sad, harsh context. I have always seemed to interpret it that way. Maybe I’ve been wrong, but it just seems like this is a big, bad, hard day. And the High Priest goes in, freaking out that he might die. God is so big, bad and heavy (which is kind of true) and everyone is lucky if we get out ok this year. It is like super tense, and high stakes.

Yesterday it occurred to me how badly YHVH wants to make atonement for me. That the whole point of the day isn’t to rub my nose in my failure.  Don’t get me wrong, I need to be confronted. I easily set things aside, minimize things. And they are SIN. Im missing the mark. Im int he WRONG.

But the point really is, that in spite of all this, the whole idea of this holiday is that I WILL BE ATONED FOR IN YHVH’s EYES! Not only is my God so highly motivated to help me stand before, and with God in right standing, God is going to provide a way for me to have it. That fact alone changes the whole concept. In fact, it confuses me as to why there is fasting! This should be a party. I hope ti understand it better next time.

But this means that the results of atonement are the goal. The atonement itself is a means to an end. The goal of this day is not the even that happens on it, but the results of it. When Israel gathered before the tabernacle or the Temple, and the High Priest went through these processes, the result was they wer restored to right standing before Yahweh. All the sin, defilement, anything wrong or off was set right. At that very moment, nothing was standing between them and their mighty one.

This is a big deal to me. Im aware of a lot of failure. The last several weeks Im being confronted with things that just are not acceptable going forward. I need God’s help to see it. But I need God’s help even more so to engage God, and receive forgiveness and atonement.  And I don’t have to beg. I don’t have to panic. All I have to do is obey, show up, and receive. And this is an act of faith. It isnt the legalistic working of the ritual itself, it is the fact that I believe what God says will happen. This ritual is accepted and transformed into righteousness for me because God said so!

I wish I could explain it better. I dont understand if I just added what is basically an almost Gothic context for this day. Maybe I made it up. I ran with my own self hatred, and used it (yet again) as a way to use Gods “name” to be negative. It isnt like I deserve the fruit of my sin. But I colored in this day based on my own brokenness. But what I feel like Yahweh is showing me is that Yom Kippur is like a pivot point. It turns the things around itself, and we go into the next holidays, as well as the next year, in a different state. I can walk out of today connected.

Fasting

Another thought about the fasting is tied to the wanderings in the desert. It appears that God actually made the people hungry and thirsty. This wasn’t coincidental. YHVH lead them so far out int he wilderness, with such a large group of people and animals that it was basically impossible to sustain them. It required a miracle.

But I believe that God made them hungry on purpose to teach them. It wasnt to punish them. He was trying to explain something very directly. And they missed it. They were mad at Moses. They asked Moses what HE was going to do to find them meat.

Same with the water. They were thirsty, and being thirsty is no joke. Hungry is hard, thirsty is impossible. Within 3 days you are basically done for. God led them out there, and made them experience thirst with no obvious means of fixing the problem. They demanded water, from MOSES.

In both cases, the slave mindset had trained them to look to a master, not God, for a solution. I believe God was testing them, an showing them their dependence. But I believe this was specifically because God wanted to MEET THEIR NEED. Yahweh wanted them to both experience the reality, and connect with YHWH about it.

Yah had a plan, but the people couldn’t find a way to believe Yah was able or even cared. Yahw as trying to demonstrate they didnt just live by bread, but b everything that comes from Yah.

I think in voluntary fasting, we get ourselves pulled right back to this experience. Of course we can just go make some food, and for most of us immediately drink clean water. But the idea of putting myself back into distress, reminds me and forces me to turn towards Yah. And that counts for the sin problem too. It is death. Hunger and thirst is eventualy death. Im NEED Yah to provide me with the solutions, and they can only come from Yah while I am wandering around in a desert. And this world is becoming more and more like a barren desert to me.


Im am unashamedly a “Messianic”. I believe Yeshua is the Messiah of YHVH. When Yeshua was here the first time, salvation was worked for me. I receive it be engaging it by faith, and od will justify me at the end of the Age. I both engage Yom Kippur (so far) as the setting for the work of Yeshua. Yeshua has made the ability for me to be forgiven.  And thankfully, it was done before there was no more Temple!

But the scripture tells us this observance of Yom Kippur is forever, to all generations. So I need to practice this forever, but I also need to then engage it  within the context of how Yeshua has begun to fulfill this, and how Yeshua will complete it. How badly I needed it, How capable Yeshua was to provide it, and how much YHVH desires me to atone for me and bring me to YHVH.

I know some people say Yeshua fulfilled the Spring Feasts, but not the Fall feasts. I can see that. So there is more to learn and experience. Perhaps this hasnt been totally done yet, but it certainly has been provided for by Yeshua. Hopefully Ill learn more nextyear.

 

 

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Posted in Torah

Learning from the Mo’edim – Yom Teruah 2015

This post builds on the basic assumptions listed in Learning from the Mo’edim

Yom Teruah

Thsi year, we worked hard to understand when Yom Teruah was, and how to respond. This involved some real neat experiences that are new for us.

First off, the sighting of the moon in Israel was spotty. The worst dust storms in history, as well as very tight physical factors made it some hard work. We knew close to when it would be, but we waited until we heard word of it (I follow the reports from Nehemia Gordon and similar groups of faithful people going for it). I planned on Tuesday the 15th to be the day. As we are 9 hours later than Israel, we got confirmation before the sun set on our day.

My kids and I had realized several months previous that PVC pipe makes fun trumpets. So we gathered them up a few weeks ahead and planned on using them on the top of a hill in out local area at sunset.

A friend who had just moved back to So Cal gave me a shofar just a week before Yom Teruah! I was so excited. I practiced blowing it, and can make more than a few squeaks and got ready.

There was a lot of buzz about the Blood Moons, and how they will fall on the holidays. However, that is on the jewish calendar, which is predetermined, built on a man made system while Israel was in Bablyon, and followed because of tradition.  We were 2 days later.

There was a lot of hype about the Shmita year being this year. However, I cannot find any reliable source that can prove we even know what year it is! Let alone the Shmita, or the Jubilee. The jewish calendar believes that the 7th month is also a New Year (honestly it all seems crazy to me), and that the Shmita year begins in the 7th month on Yom Kippur. I dont believe that so far as I can learn from study.

So the Day of Trumpets came, we went up to a hill top, and blew our trumpets and shouted.

But we had a lot of activity going on in September, and had to change things as soon as we figured out when the first day started. My lovely wife had plans, and she even changed them. When I say plans, I mean lifetime friends who happened to be in town. From Germany. And she had plans to have one on one time with her. No kids, lifelong closest friend who we never get to see, and spending time without the kids going to the Getty center museum. It honestly doesn’t get better than this for my wife. She found out that this was going to be a Sabbath, starting at sundown. She made a point to get home before sunset. This was an example of a serious sacrifice, and something that really blessed me.

What I Learned this Year

It is a critical component of this holiday that we dont actually know the day. We have to put things aside, in the end of summer. We are waiting to understand what our life is going to be like, based on the whatever Yahweh decides. We are dependent on God to dictate out schedule.

The jewish traditions are seemingly more and more foolish to me. The more I try to learn, the more I find myself not just not connecting, but opposed to it. The layers of confusion, human posturing, and keeping up traditions of men are just not able to be extricated from the truth.

This day is the signal, or the announcement that we are headed into the profound time of the fall feasts.

It is supposed to be fun, exciting, and engaged.

It is related to the trumpets sounding at the time of Mt Sinai. Trumpets announce, warn, proclaim etc… there is connections to other uses of trumpets int he scriptures, and I think it really is meant to remind us of previous things.

Posted in Torah

Learning from the Mo’edim

Each time around on any of the holidays I learn new things. As a family, we ask for understanding, and we go through them and incorporate what we have learned so far, and anything we are learning currently.

This is a weird challenge, and actually (for me) a difficult one. It would be so much easier if I had a big body of knowledge, and live among people who had been doing this for generations! But that also has a serious trap…

The process Ive been through follows a classic pattern I’m hearing from loads of people. At some point in my christian culture, I began to experience an interest in the Hebrew context for almost everything christianity has built itself on. As I began to investigate this the natural place to look was judaism. My previous experience had resulted in extricating myself from “institutional christianity”, for many years before this interest in the “hebraic roots”. I had experienced the constant process of divesting myself of traditions, and separating these from the scriptures. At times this is scary, as many of the positive feedback mechanisms that I used to feel ok had to be removed. But after a long time (much longer than anyone hopes or believes) you get used to uncovering these things, and letting them go.

Once I started learning more, I looked to what I thought was the culture that must have answers, namely judaism. This turned into easily as big of a quagmire as christianity. What I found out is the majority of the things being presented to me were as far removed from the scriptures as the previous traps I had been in! In fact, in some ways I felt it was worse.

So obviously christianity has no grid for the biblical holidays. But the more you learn about judaism, you realize that there is so much “noise in the system” that you cannot easily rely on their practices to help inform you about keeping the commandments of scripture. You really are simply on your own. You read the scriptures, you listen to others and their take, and you begin to learn as you go.

So for me, this is what I have learned in a general sense:

  1. No one actually “keeps” the appointed times. Many reasons, but not the least:
    1. There is no temple
    2. There is no high priest, and no functioning priesthood.
    3. We dont know what year it actually is
    4. Most of the common jewish practice follows a man made calendar, which sometimes fits, and sometimes does not with things scripture says. There are several other practical methods of understanding what day it even is in the calendar.
  2. By keeping the holidays, we are really talking about rehearsing and memorializing them.
  3. In a christian context, keeping the commandments of the Torah is not the earning of righteousness resulting in justification and salvation at the end of the age.

So with that in mind, Im going to try and record things Ive learned and journal them as the holidays come and go.

Here is our context:

  1. The 7th day of every week is a Sabbath. This is Saturday in modern western culture. It is YHVH’s Sabbath, so we align ourselves with this day, not decide which day works for us.
  2. The calendar is determined based on the sighting of the New Moon in Israel. This means when 2 or more people, with their naked eye, sight the return of the moon in Israel, that is the start of a month. You dont need a telescope, or a math chart of planets or sophisticated specialists. Anyone interested can know where they are at in the calendar with relative ease.
  3. The first month of the Year is in the Spring, when the New Moon is sighted after the Barley harvest is “Aviv”, or mature enough to harvest. If the barley is not ready, there is a 13th month.
  4. During the feast of Unleavened Bread, the day after the weekly Sabbath that occurs within the feast is the start of the “counting of the Omer” and begins counting the days for Shavuot.
  5. Yom Teruah is the first day of the 7th month, and when the New Moon is sighted in Israel, begins the Fall Feasts.

This has gotten fairly simple, but has taken almost 3 times going around the mountain to learn it. It requires patience to figure out our calendar, and when we have Sabbaths that are outside the weekly ones. We are forced to wait, and then things aside with only a few weeks notice. We arent very organized, but it does put some struggles in our modern, western mindset.

Posted in Torah, Uncategorized

What is False?

I really don’t want to get so far out into something wrong or evil or false and become so fascinated with it. However, this is something where Torah really cleared up both a passage in scripture where Yeshua says something, as well as my own personal experience. I believe this lends itself to something very important, and that is vital for living from the truth as the end of the age barrels in upon us, our children, and our grandchildren.

I also believe this will allow us to delight int he truth far more! Being able to disregard the gobs of information being dispensed by individuals without being concerned about missing something is a significant problem. There is so much going on, especially this moment (Aug 2015) where people are claiming things, it is almost impossible to strain out what might be important, let alone true.

Is it True or False?

For my purpose here, True and False need to be defined.

Classically, these would be operational definitions I’m familiar with, and many people I know would say something similar.

True: Something God is saying and/or doing. My reference here isn’t whether something is “factually” true, but whether it is something to be paid attention to or not.  For example:

  • Ecstatic/prophetic gifts being exercised where someone is claiming to be operating in the Spirit of Yah. “Words of Knowledge”, or foretelling events, or praying for healing, or demonstrating other things.
  • Interpretations of Scripture, along with directives on how to apply it.
  • Dreams and Visions being shared

False: Anything NOT originating from YHVH. Some folks would call this something from our own “fleshly” desires, or even from demonic/evil supernatural sources.

The problem turns out that this question isn’t actually good enough to help us know what to listen to, or what to do. It isn’t simply whether something is true or false with these definitions. Trying to discern whether something is true or false (God or not) isn’t the standard in scripture. And that really shocked, and helped me a lot.


Lets work backwards . . .

Most people who come into the christian religion go through a process of in-“doctrination” (this process is normally called “discipleship”, but it is largely geared toward internalizing christian doctrine into someone) . In certain circles of this culture, there is elements dedicated to “spiritual gifts”, which can be very helpful navigating the myriad things that happen outside of the abilities of humanity.

disclaimer – Im am both very comfortable with, and a proponent of the work of YHVH’s own Spirit. I believe the Spirit of Yah is not only the PROMISE of the re-Newed Covenant,  but the power that directed Yeshua, raised Him from the dead. The Spirit of Yah is to be received by us, and because the Spirit of Yah is not human (or “natural”), many things the Spirit of Yah does will be un-intuitive or beyond natural (i.e. super-natural).  I’m ok with that.

Part of this process of navigating “spiritual things” is trying to understand if it is “God or not”. The basic idea here is that supernatural interactions in our finite, human experience were common to Yeshua, and the disciples in the 1st century. And I think scripture makes that abundantly clear. Yeshua says this, the emissaries of Yehusa experienced it, and even people not noted specifically as “APOSTLES” (BIG A, Big Boys) did. If you do not know this, or believe it, read it for yourself.

And some of these supernatural things were evil. There are a few stories from Moses and Aaron through to Paul where someone working from a spirit other than Yah was doing or saying something which had peoples attention.

But it turns out that this concept of “God or not” isn’t actually the problem. Obviously, if it ISN’T the working of Yah, we don’t want to do anything about it (except for maybe to push it away, i.e. cast it out, or even silence it).


But what if it is the power of Yah working, but STILL not something to be received? Is that even possible?


Starting from the End

In the end of the christian bible, we have the WORD of Yah (I believe the Memra) interacting in a human form with a human man. There are things being said that are direct, literal corrections to groups of people (letters to the 7 congregations), and disclosing things to come that have not yet happened. In closing of this interaction, there is a couple of interesting statements:

[Rev 22:6, 14-15 NIV] 6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

There are several pieces throughout this whole prophecy that say similar things from beginning to end. The first concept is that the prophets being talked about int he first section are easily understood in context to be true prophets of God. However interestingly it isnt stating that 100% exclusively.

The second part I reference is important as well. It sets a distinction between people who are able to enter into the Kingdom of Yah vs. people who cannot. This is important, and throughout this whole book there is a difference between people who are on each side.

A hard saying of Yeshua

So Yeshua says several things in and around this concept.

[Mar 16:15-18 NKJV] 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

This is a classic verse, and fundamental to christian doctrine. It is normally associated with the Great Commission, a bedrock tenet. The idea here is the supernatural events described, which do not in any way seem to be a comprehensive list but examples, will help support and demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom of Yah being here now for those who have “eyes to see and ears to hear” (the very phrase is actually used in the Revelation portion at the end of the christian bible).

Earlier in his ministry, Yeshua gives this insight

Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

This on is really rough. The prior reference says supernatural things like speaking by the Spirit of Yah, casting evil, demonic spirits out of people, surviving deadly things are much more accompany the proclamation of the Kingdom of Yah. But this reference says that many (MANY!) people will experience these things, and because of that assume they will be among the ones who can enter into the Kingdom at the end of the Age (the same people who have “washed their robes”.  However, to their total suprise, they are rejected at the gate of the city, and sent out to take their place among those who PRACTICE evil.

At this point, my mind reels and thinks HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? The ones who do the will of YHVH the Father enter the Kingdom, the ones who don’t are not just sent away, but they are defined by implication as those who DON’T do the will of YHVH. 

At another point Yeshua even explains

[Luk 11:17-20 NIV] 17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

WHAT THE HECK????? So driving out demons is exclusively a “finger of God” thing. Sure you could argue that some demonic being could displace another demonic being on order to deceive people. I could also imagine that the demonic world is full of evil,  and demons hate each other and fight one another etc…

But Yeshua claims something different in Matthew 7. He says the distinction is PRACTICING LAWLESSNESS.

Law and Lawlessness

This is where things get seemingly weirder. Before I go further, lets make a quick operational definition here….

Law is a weird word in the christian scriptures. We western moderns think of law as laws like in a legal sense. But the use of the word law, especially in the “New” testament, is very often a reference to the Torah, the list of directives and requirements for membership and identification as YHVH’s chosen people.

To be law-less, means to be without Torah. Literally, against, or without it.

Nomia is the Greek word translated Law normally, and anomia is the word lawless (against law). Nomia is used in the Septuagint (Greek “Old Testament”) as reference to Torah, or commands of Yah. Not jsut things Yah said, but the literal directives such as the “10 commandments”. efinitive, blunt statements like “DO” and “DON’T”.

This isn’t some crazy made up idea. While in some cases of Pauls writings, the English word “law” is used for several different things, not just the Torah, it is clearly used in scripture as the body of commands of God throughout the “New Testament” that was the only existing body of Gods words at the time of Yeshua and the 1st century ambassadors.

Let this sink in a bit, and then we will move back even further to what untangled everything for me.


The Original Guideline

To recap so far:

  • The Goal of a follower of Yah is to be obedient to the things which are True.
  • Jesus lets us know that things will occur when fulfilling the directives to share the Kingdom of God here and now, meta-physical or super-natural things (beyond the human physical or natural abilities of humans) can occur. These things attend tot he proclamation of the Kingdom, and help to confirm ans demonstrate the Kingdom of God (not humans) is at hand.
  • At the end of the age, God will separate people. Some will be allowed in to the Kingdom of God forever, and some will not. The difference is that those who are allowed in have “washed their robes”, i.e. been made clean. Those who are sent outside are those who have made a practice of unacceptable activity (evil/illegal)
  • Some people will believe all the way to the end that they are going to be allowed into the Kingdom, and find out only at the end they will not. Their assumption is based on the fact that they have been experiencing all the supernatural things while they have acted in proclamation of the Kingdom message.  And Jesus explains to them they are as lawless as the people who practice the illegal things who are forbidden to enter.
  • The operational definition of lawless is tied to the obedience to the commands of God, which at the time they were explained by Jesus (the same person who judges at the end) represent the WHOLE BODY of information Yahweh commanded and describes to the people who claim to be Yahweh’s.

This is distressing enough, and has lots of implications. I cannot get to them all in this article, but it brings me back to my original problem.


 

How do you understand when something being shared or experienced, or someone, is worth listening to?

It turns out that the principles established early on in scripture are not just a an answer, but a warning. And it ties into the words towards the end of the scriptures from Yeshua not just agree but uses the same criteria as a warning and an eventual operational definition for who even gets in to the Kingdom. I think the following begins to explain the how is it possible and what do I do problems. Before I try to break it down, let me share WHY this is so impacting to me.


Several years ago, I ended up “planting a church”. At the very early origins of it, both myself and another man were primarily initiating it, and within several months, many more people got involved. This guy had become both a dear friend, and we had spent quite a lot of time together for a bit more than a year. Out families were interconnected.

We had many interesting experiences, and this guy was very demonstrative about several revelatory things. At one point, he even prayed for a woman who had breast cancer, and she was by all accounts healed. Regularly we experienced information that was seemingly miraculous and unable to be known by any of us.

It would be a long, long story, but in essence, this man turned out to be INCREDIBLY defiling. His behavior became more and more suspect, and eventually was caught in severe immorality. Upon that bit of information, it was as if the curtains were opened, and many women came forward with similar stories. It actually gets even worse, but suffice to say it was one of those serious, soap opera stories that turn everyone’s stomach when they hear about it. And it kept getting worse. This wasnt someone with an addiction having a struggle, this was a predator, even using supernatural revelation to manipulate women for sexual favors, and extracting money and assets from people. The community had not realized that everything revolved around this guy. Without us knowing it, he really did become and idol.

One of the biggest questions became what stuff was real, and what stuff was not? It really began to be was ANYTHING real? How could anything real (or “true” in this case) could ever come out of something so clearly polluted? Was this all evil? Demonic? Was it a real gift, and simply misused?

Over the years as I began healing and recovering, I had yet to understand how to make any sense of this. I also began to realize that this had implication as I learned more about eschatology. What we experienced was no doubt similar to what is termed anti-Christ. The last we heard this guy started this all over again in another city,  with much the same behaviors. He had began even dragging a cross all around the downtown area. He has never approached any of us involved in the original community to demonstrate repentance.

Even Liars can walk around carrying crosses
Even Liars can walk around carrying crosses

Moses instructs the Israelites about something  that should direct them in these very situations. This is being spoken from God directly to the people through Moses

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (English 12:32-13-4)

Everything I command you that you shall be careful to do it. You shall neither add to it, nor subtract from it.

If there will arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you happens, [and he] says, “Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us worship them,” you shall not heed the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of a dream; for the Lord, your God, is testing you, to know whether you really love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.

You shall follow the Lord, your God, fear Him, keep His commandments, heed His voice, worship Him, and cleave to Him.

While it seems pretty obvious, lets break this down

  1. God is explaining that you should NEVER change what God commands. Don’t add to it, don’t remove anything. Gods commands are contained in Gods WORDS, which are collectively called TORAH. So you NEVER CHANGE TORAH.
  2. God then talks about people who experience and/or produce supernatural situations that are real. In other parts of scripture God makes it clear that someone who says something and it doesn’t happen is already not experiencing something God originated. This is addressing when the events actually happen.
  3. God then explains that when something is true (in the sense that the sign or wonder or foretelling is real) and happens, it is God at work.
  4. If the person who is involved in this supernatural event then begins to encourage or facilitate worshiping anything or anyone else, the event itself is true, but the person themselves is FALSE.
  5. That means this is a TEST…. FROM GOD.
  6. The term for going after other gods and worshiping them is far more subtle and simple than it seems. This isnt traditionally thought of as just bowing down in front of a statue. Inf act, one of the keys is understanding point 1. Any disobedience to God is essentially worshiping something else. Altering any of Gods directives is disobedience. Dis obedience is idolatry. It is following after yourself.
  7. The test is whether you really Love God.

So the issue isn’t whether the sign and wonder or information of event is from God or not.  That isnt actually the problem. For years in my mind this was the main problem, but it turns out this was never the problem. The problem is do I LOVE GOD?

This passage defines Loving God by inference: To obey God, not change what God commands, to worship God only. It is continuing on from where I was, and not going turning direction. Anyone who has walked with Yah knows this experience.

The test is not if a miracle occurs. They SHOULD OCCUR. Debates about whether this or that is for today are fairly senseless. When they do occur, it is a great thing to rejoice and be encouraged. However the real test is whether the person involved is advocating ANYTHING which would redirect someone away from God, and just as important, change anything about obedience to Gods commands or the commands themselves.

I would even go so far as to say (at this point in my current understanding which is always growing and developing) that there isn’t qualification here, and it is specifically about obedience. And it is obedience to the directives already issued. Those must stand by themselves, and nothing is to be added or removed or changed.