by their fruits you will know them.“
In the spiritual war against the powers of darkness
it is the Messianic
Believers who are now the point of the spear, and Satan would begin his
attack on them from all sides. The
standard satanic tactic is divide and conquer. First the rabbis became jealous of the Apostles success in
winning converts, and they began to curse the Messianic Believers.
And the Romans would use them as a scape-goat, blaming them for
all the ills of their corrupt society.
Next Satan had to get the Believers arguing amongst themselves.
The New Covenant Gospel was not easily freed of Jewish law, and
that was the wedge issue used to raise great controversies. To resolve the issues of contention the First Jerusalem Council
was called to debate which law the Christian Believers followed: Just
the Torah as given to Moses, or the complete Talmud, and if so how much
of it really applied to them (Act.ch.15). This council set some policy but did not end all the
controversies, and there was a continued debate amongst the Believers as
the faith spread from Jerusalem. Today,
almost two thousand years later, some are still debating these same
Because of problems with the Romans, and friction with the
traditional rabbis of the synagogues, the first Christians were small
congregations that gathered in large homes for weekly or special
meetings. They operated
with strict adherence to YAHWEH’S
Law and to the Gospels. They
were not interested in special buildings for worship (Act.7:48 ),
believing that the body was the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.3:9,16;
6:19-20). They knew it was the people who brought the Spirit to the
weekly meeting (Mat.18:20), and they did not have to go to a special
building or sanctuary to reinforce it.
The important lesson is, that the New Covenant must be
lived in order to be effective. The
Gospel cannot be proved by traditions, creeds and theological arguments
- it is a code of how to live life, and the lessons begin at home.
The gathering together of the like-minded church community was
neither “religious” or agenda-driven, as so many of today’s
“scheduled services” are. It
was important for the faithful to gather in the presence of the Holy
Spirit, to share a Sacred meal, to pray and to sing together. At the meetings, demons were expelled, confessions were made,
and forgiveness was given. Leadership
was organized, the latest news was shared, goods were distributed to
those in need, and most importantly the Name “which is above all
names” was exalted and glorified.
The more popular names they were called were the simple Hebrew
words for: “the Brethren, the Disciples, the Apostles, the Believers
or the Saved.” The Romans
called them the “Nazarenes.” They were called “the New Covenant Congregation” by some who
coined the name from a reference made by the Apostle John in 7:37, who
took it from Jeremiah 31:31. In
the west they were first called Christians by Greek outsiders
(Act.11:26), the only time an insider uses it is in 1Peter 4:16.
In the New Covenant assembly all Believers are equal, there are
no hierarchies - they are all priests in training. The Apostle Peter relayed the personal attitude of pure
Christianity when he said, “I myself also am a man” (Act.10:26).
Some would have been more respected as elders, because of the
wisdom they gathered in their years. But every Believer is considered an equal priest in the Kingdom
(1Pet.2:9-10), and should not judge one another. There were different levels in the church according to personal
talents and experience, but this was not a hierarchy.
Yahshua stated the value of women and was their great liberator
from the terrible position they held in some repressive pagan cultures,
and in Jewish rabbinic tradition. New
scholarship emerging from the Dead Sea Scrolls shows women of the
Greco-Roman world playing more of a prominent governing role in both
synagogues and churches. More then today’s man world would like to admit, early
Christianity was a great step for women’s rights. Free women took on professional jobs, became teachers,
artisans, shared the family property and even had priestly roles in the
these revolutionary concepts did not last too long into the second
The male is the head of the family and he will be called to give
account for his household. If
a woman is without a husband then she is the head of her own household,
and she will have to give account for it. Head of the house does not mean lord and master, our
with all HIS magnificent power is
not a dictator - HE cares and HE
listens! The men in HIS
church should live by HIS example
- listen to your women! The
story of the wise woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 is still the guide to live
by. Life is a partnership,
the good times and the bad are shared together, with the purpose of
helping each other journey the righteous path through this evil life.
That is the glue that binds family, friends and community.
Some practices of the early church were: Sabbath keeping,
observing the Holy Convocations listed in Leviticus ch.23, following the
Ten Commandments and the Laws of Diet and Health (Col.2:16).
studied the Messianic writings and were “generally pacifists” -
zealous only for the Gospel.
Being “generally a pacifist” means one does not exhibit
aggression. The Heavenly
lessons in this “Age of Grace” are simple: quarrel with no one, seek
vengeance against no one, and hate no one. Every being in YAHWEH’S
“self-governing” universe is “generally a pacifist,” but YAHWEH
also gave every being in HIS
“self-governing” universe the power of self defense. The power of self-defense is the key in the balance-of-power
against evil, but that can be a subject for another book.
The Hebrew Bible teaches if a man does not “defend” himself
or his home, he is not a man. Most
preachers today ignore Yahshuas’ advise recorded in Luke 22:36-38, “But
now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack;
and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
Yahshua taught one should be slow to anger, and should not judge
your fellow man too quickly. But
sometimes, when turning the other cheek is not practical idea, He
advised them to arm themselves - for defense, not for doctrinal
enforcement, not for aggression, and never-ever for revenge.
Ambassadors of the Kingdom is
what the true Believers are considered to be (2Cor.5:20). The prime directive of Ambassadorship: Love your
and love your neighbor. And, “. . . forgive them for they know not what they do . . .,“ is
the motto (Luk.23:34).
To be an Ambassador of the Kingdom means you are a Friend of the
Kingdom, not a servant to it. The
Believers are considered Friends because of the Divine Knowledge
The Believers know Satan is the target of this spiritual war not
our neighbor (Eph.6:12). Satan
is the god of this world and the Believers in our CREATOR
are “living in their native lands - but as aliens.”
The Believers are “in this world, but not of this world.” The Believers are citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom of
YAHWEH (Phi.3:20), fellow citizens with the Old Testament Saints (Eph.2:19) -
under the authority of the Messiah. They follow local customs in clothing, food, and other aspects of
life - but as citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom, they are only passing
their days on Earth.
Knowin’ is the easy part! This is not a church of potted plants.
The citizens are Ambassadors of the Kingdom and represent their
Government. This is not a
passive role. It is a
pro-active role. They live
by example and share the spiritual truths that they have learned, using
clear and simple language - not political style double-talk (Mat.5:37).
They are “present in the flesh” - but do not live
“according to the flesh.” They
obey the appointed laws - but go beyond that and follow the Heavenly
Laws in their own lives. They
are treated with outrageous disrespect - but behave respectfully and
bless those in return. They
are dishonored and their names blackened - but they gain glory through
dishonor and their names are cleared in the Heavenly Book of Life.
Hospitality was an important
function for the faithful dating back to the time of Genesis, because it
is an outward expression of “a love for others.” In the New Testament, it was almost a requirement.
is believed that once in a while they would entertain angels unaware, as
Abraham did (Heb.13:2; Gen.18:1-8).
Daily life was, and still is, often tedious and monotonous. The arrival of a guest was a good time to relax, talk, catch up
on the news, and be merry with a feast. Visiting strangers are absolutely safe.
The faithful receive protection from our CREATOR,
therefore protection is passed along to a stranger who would be under
the protection of the family (Gen.19:8). While visiting, they would share their water, food and a place to
sleep (Isa.58:7). The
virtue of ancient hospitality is described in Judges 19:11-28. The visitor (Hebrew or not) would - of course - show gratitude by
behaving righteously and follow the Golden Rule.
This same virtue was carried over into the New Testament
(Rom.12:13; Gal.6:10; 1Pet.4:9). Do
not forget, we should feed our enemies (Pro.25:21; Rom.12:20). The parable of the “Persistent Friend” teaches that even if a
friend shows up late at night and there is no food in the house, the
host should go out and find some, because YAHWEH’S
Kingdom is open 24 hours a day for our needs (Luk.11:5-10). The parable of the Good Samaritan shows that we have a
responsibility to our fellow man, whether a Believer or not
(Luk.10:30-37). No one
could be recognized as a leader in the church unless he was hospitable
(1Tim.3:1-2; Tit.1:8). Traveling
preachers would be given hospitality for several days and then they
would move on (Mat.10:11; Act.9:43, 16:15; Rom.16:2).
Hospitality begins with water, when given by the host it shows
that the guest is worthy of a peaceful reception (Jno.4:9). Sharing a meal was an important aspect of friendship, (see the
Sacred meal in the Holy
Day Observance page).
To share a meal or table fellowship with someone was to be at peace with him or
reconciliation (Gen.26:28-30), thus any business needing to be spoken
about was handled before the meal - because the meal seals the bargain.
Not sharing water, a meal, or hospitality with someone amounted
to a sign of rejection (Mat.10:14).
them first learn--to show piety at home."
- 1 Timothy 5:4
was very important and it was the center of life. Your heritage is passed on through the home.
Your worldly inheritance comes from the home. And, your spiritual Covenant with our
is all developed through home Worship. Our CREATOR longs for the
day when HIS church is a blessing,
rather then constantly searching for a blessing, and blessing our CREATOR
begins at home (Gen.14:19-20; Act.20:35;
goes to our CREATOR.
John 10:25, 14:12-15)
A family begins by virtue of the Sacred Marriage Rite, where a
married man and woman are considered one kin. The family grows into a household and it operates as a
patriarchal setting, meaning the head of the house, usually the father,
with the mother next in line, would have authority and be responsibility
over all who lived in the house, including dependent children, married
children and their family, grandparents or great grandparents. The lady of the house was usually the manager of the household,
and many times helped her husband in business and managed her own
property (Act.16:14). Everyone’s
opinion is heard and their ideas respected, but like the captain of a
ship, only one person has the final say and is responsible for all.
Your children are not only heirs to your possessions, they
are heirs to your values and character. Schooling was done at the
synagogue, but the parents through home life and in home Worship taught
morality and spirituality. Righteous character development and
correction would be done at home, nobody would expect or depend on an
outside teacher to do this for them - it was a family function.
The children were expected to learn from their parents on how to live as
a proper member of the community.
The head of the family, was the provider, the teacher and acted
as the priest within the household. The teaching of history, religious beliefs, laws, and customs,
were passed on from the parents to the children in a family setting, and
reinforced by the rites celebrated within the house, which often
centered around the Sacred family meal. Teaching is performed by two methods: Through direct instruction,
reinforced by a combination of rewards and punishments for acceptable
and unacceptable behavior. The
second method is living by example, which is the most important method.
- and everyone will thank you.
Today, values, virtues, or personal honor, are terms that have
lost much of their objective meaning. In times past, the preferred word was virtue, which included such
things as obedience, self-reliance, charity, discipline, cleanliness, a
sense of order, and respectability. Respectability was a function of good character, to strive to
improve oneself of being morally upstanding, sober, honest, clean,
industrious, and punctual. The
character of a gentleman or a lady depended not upon fashion or manners
- but upon moral worth; not on personal possessions - but on personal
The historical lessons are clear: External discipline, in the
form of government or religious control increases, as individual
internal discipline breaks down. That is why the Biblical lessons
learned through the home and family are so very important to the liberty
and freedom of personal and community life.
There is a time and place for “formal” ceremony and Worship
during the high Holy Days, but home Worship was less rigid, more
down-to-earth and from-the-heart. The Biblical Holy Days where
designed by our CREATOR to be home Worship affairs with family and
friends. During the time of the Apostles, on a Holy Day you would pay your
formal respects at the Jerusalem Temple. Afterwards, because of friction
with the ruling establishment, the faithful would go home, prepare a
Sacred meal and continue the Holy Day observance with Table Fellowship.
They were not interested in special buildings for worship (Act.7:48 ),
believing that the body was the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.3:9,16;
6:19-20). They knew it was the people who brought the Spirit to the weekly
meeting (Mat.18:20), and they did not have to go to a special building or
sanctuary to reinforce it.
When Yahshua sent “the Seventy” He instructed them to use the
greeting “Shalom,” which means peace - be with you or to
this house (Luk.10:5; Jno.20:21). It was also the word the Roman soldiers mocked Him with when they
put on His “crown of thorns” (Mar.15:18). “Rejoice” or “Greetings” was also used (Mat.28:9).
In times of persecution they would secretly signal each other by
scratching in the dirt two intersecting arcs making the shape of a fish.
Many friends of longer acquaintances met each other with a kiss
or a hug of love (Rom.16:16; 1Cor.16:20; 1The.5:26; 1Pet.5:14 ). This is not the hug and run ‘em down, next chance you get, kind
of affection. This is called a Holy Kiss. It is a kiss of love, and it means your heart is clean with that
person (which means you have not gossiped . . ., or maligned . . ., them
in anyway). It is done
Italian/French style, lay one or two hands on the shoulders then pulling
together to kiss first on the right cheek, then the left - second kiss
They might have waved their hand and/or nodded their heads at one
another, but they did not bow to each other because it comes very close
to a worship stance. The Jews copied bowing to their high priests from the pagans,
this practice is not in the Old or New Testament. For example, when the Roman soldier bowed to the Apostle
Peter (Act.10:26), Peter replied, “stand up I myself am only a man.”
The Believers, men and women, are now equal under the spirit
of the law, and in a way, are their own priests (no one is more holy or
more revered than another). They
will stand equal and alone before the judgment seat and give account of
their works. This is the same reason why you do not call any person
father. Yahshua very
clearly stated, call no one “father” except your real father and the
FATHER in Heaven (Mat.23:9); nor
is anyone called reverend or holy, because these habits come from the
pagan world where men seek to put themselves between you and your CREATOR.
BEWARE and BE AWARE: We should be very cautious not to
give to man (or woman, or angel or otherwise) what rightly belongs only to YAHWEH
people write me and ask if I am against organized religion. Scriptures say
believers should get together, and that can be anything from helping at an
old age home to the soup kitchen; to anywhere from a home to large
building. It is not my
opinion that matters, Yahshua critiqued the messianic churches in
Revelation ch.2-3. That critique is still valid today, and it is up to the
individual to find their 'Philadelphia' church - if they can.)
Believers are encouraged to meet with one another (Heb.10:24-27).
When the Believers are assembled, they might open the meeting
with a simple prayer blessing our CREATOR
first: “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who
has sanctified us by thy commandments and commanded us to be a light
unto the nations, and has given us Yahshua, the light of the world.”
Another example of an opening blessing is in Ephesians 1:3.
And they might close the meeting with the popular blessing of
care and protection recorded in Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless
you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious
to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you
Yahshuas’ Name, Amen.”
Church Organization begins
with a group of lay people with like mind, the first official appointed
was the church elder (Act.14:23; 1Pet.5:1-2; Tit.1:5-9). The Greek translation is called
Presbyter. It has a double meaning as “older or mature man” and
“church official.” Larger
churches might have a board of elders. They are something like the church’s board of directors, making
the major decisions.
The next church officials were the bishops. Which means superintendent, overseer, or one who watches over (to
protect). They were the general managers in charge of the day to day
A deacon of the church is another word for servant. Deacons generally have done the practical service of the church,
under the leadership of the bishops (Phi.1:1).
Evangelists are traveling teachers who announce the Gospel - the
good news of the Kingdom of GOD. Traveling church members would be given hospitality at the home
of a local Believer for several days and then they would move on. They were not to go begging from house to house, and if friendly
hospitality was doubtful then they would take extra food for the journey
(Mat.10:11; Act.9:43, 16:15; Rom.16:2).
When Yahshua was on the road He was a man with a mission and had
little patience with small talk. When
traveling in ancient times, salutations on a journey took an inordinate
amount of time. Chit-chat on the road was couched as polite greetings, but in
reality it was more a polite form of interrogation. When friendly questions were asked such as: “Where are you
going? Where are you from? What is your name? What is your business?
many children do you have?” And
so on, it was considered impolite not to offer answers. Yahshua was a strong Believer in minding your own business, and
He instructed His Disciples to “. . . greet no one along the road”
(Luk.10:4). He was equally
scathing about the time religious leaders wasted in this polite form of
interrogation (Luk.11:43, 20:46).
Ephesians 4:11 lays out the order of staff members for larger
churches, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets,
some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” Some call them the five fingers of the right hand of Yahshua,
which always blend together to give a perfectly balanced message. A perfectly balanced message is the key, no finger would
change the hand, and the knowledge of the hand is the knowledge of the
There was no strict hierarchy, positions can be interchangeable,
according to the size of the church or the personal talents of the
individual. In smaller
congregations one or two people would carry out all the duties. In larger churches, a council of twelve members with an inner
circle of three, would be formed.
The Book of Acts 6:1-7, records an important lesson of role
reversal in the early church, where prominent preachers and teachers
were assigned to a food distribution program for widows. In the Hellenist’s world, real men don’t do kitchen work.
Such tasks would usually be assigned to a male servant or to a
woman - not leading men. This
was a dramatic example, where in the eyes of the Hellenist society of
the time, distinguished men doing servants’ or women’s work would be
considered very demeaning.
“The Work” is the
fulfilling of the Great Commission (Mat.28:19-20). It must always be remembered: “The work” of the church was to
proclaim “the Gospel” (the good news of the coming Kingdom), and
teach understanding using the Hebrew Scriptures along with the writings
of the New Covenant Apostles. The
Apostle Paul coined the term as he frequently called preaching the
Gospel “the work” (Act.13:2; Rom.14:20; Phi.2:30).
Our CREATOR’S knowledge
brings a person peace, and quiet confidence concerning the future.
Our CREATOR is not the
author of confusion, and the Scripture tells us how to answer in Matthew
spiritual lessons are “taught in the light” (Jno.18:20), always
presented in a sound peaceful manner, and the words are always
Yahshua did not take an opinion poll and then tell the people
what was popular. He taught
the dynamic ways of His FATHER’S Kingdom - like it or not! In
Revelation ch.2-3, Yahshua had a final word for seven model churches,
and seven times He patiently asked us to listen.
These messages were intended for all the churches throughout the
ages, not just the Christians in these original areas. They are a series of remarkable prophecies, by which the future
of the church was foretold in outline form, of their hopes and dreams,
their frustrations and problems. An
interesting note here is, today, the Church of England will every week
read the New Testament from beginning to end over the course of a year,
but they never read the passages regarding the messages to the seven
Spiritualism today is turning religion into a consumer-oriented
competition - take a poll and give ‘em want they want. Some worship in a tent, some in a cathedral, and others worship
at home. Some like their
spiritual worship fast and furious, some like it slow and easy. Some like it warm and fuzzy, some like it extra sappy.
Some like it “Dragnet” style, like the TV show, they want the
facts - just the facts. Some
seekers are bored with the traditional sit down service and want to have
an emotional or physical encounter with GOD
that they can feel and participate in. And some others like it lightly seasoned with all of the above.
Today surveys list close to 30,000 different sects of
Christianity, it is not my place to judge, but technically speaking, if
you are practicing the Messianic/Christian New Covenant faith, the
“Fundamentals of the Faith” are timeless. Scripture admonishes the faithful not to believe every spirit,
but test the teachers (1Jno.4:1-3).
Man has to put himself above
to change HIS Law, a very tenuous
position to be in on Judgment Day. YAHWEH through Moses warned
the people, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor
take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God
which I command you,” Deuteronomy 4:2.
YAHWEH, through Paul in the New
Testament, pronounced a nasty curse on any man or angel that would dare
preach any other gospel (Gal.1:8-9). Other warnings are in Deuteronomy 12:32; Mark 7:6-13.
The Bible ends with one last warning in Revelation 22:18-19, “For
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:
If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are
written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the
book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of
Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this
The Believers are warned to avoid . . ., and to turn away from .
. ., and receive them not . . ., those who would teach contrary to the
Gospels (Rom.16:17; 1Tim.3:5; 2Jno.1:7-11).
Warriors of Virtue, or Champions of Lost Causes, terrorists or
annoyances, the faithful have always been persecuted for following, and
then teaching the wisdom of our CREATOR. Remember the first prophecy given to humanity carries with it a
warning of big time enmity between the powers of Light and
darkness, HE was not kidding
to tyrants is obedience to GOD”
The faith was forged in the fires of false accusation, torture
and death, and in some places it is no different today. They persecuted the Shemites . . ..
They persecuted the ancient Israelites . . .. They persecuted Moses . . ..
They persecuted the Prophets . . .. They persecuted the Jews: in ancient times, in medieval times, in
modern times, and they will again sometime in the future . . .
persecuted the first Christians . . .. They persecuted the Christians of the second and third
centuries . . .. They
persecuted the Christian Sabbath keepers . . .. They persecuted the Bible translators . . ..
And today, more Christians have been persecuted in this century
then in all the previous centuries combined, so states the updated
chronicle The New Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs.
And, sometime in the future, a great persecution of the
Christians begins again (Rev.6:9-11).
With all this talk today of Jewish Holocaust museums, I cannot
help but wonder: Where is the Christian Martyrs Museum? I urge everyone to read John Foxe’s book because after
Christian persecution, always comes Jewish persecution.
To be cursed by Satan means to be truly blessed. Satan does not care what flavor of Believer you are, to be a
Believer in our CREATOR is enough
to put you on his hit list. It
is his greatest joy to watch the churches kill each other over theology,
and he loves collecting the spirits of the torturers who believe
themselves to be working on behalf of GOD. The irony is, to kill a Believer only makes ‘em stronger.
Yahshua warned His followers: “Remember the word that I said
to you, A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me,
they will also persecute you . . .” John 15:20.
During persecution, the first Christians would secretly scratch in the
dirt with their foot two arcs in the shape of a fish to identify a
fellow Believer. When the
signal is acknowledged, it is quickly erased. The standard method of underground resistance groups was the
organizational concept of “leaderless resistance,” or phantom cells,
which means its adherents organize themselves in tiny cells with no
central spokesperson or leader.
An interesting modern example came to light when the soviet- bloc
broke up after communism. There
in the very-very rural area along the Hungarian-Ukrainian border were
thousands of sincere and devout Sabbath keeping Christians or Messianic
type congregations who have been keeping their habits for hundreds of
years. These groups were
illegal under communism, so they continued in their beliefs in an
underground fashion. They
had the same ideology, but not a common leader. Their doctrinal understanding varied a little but the majority
kept the Sabbath and the other commandments. They held to the dietary laws of Leviticus ch.11.
Some kept all the Holy Days and some kept only Passover.
They worked together in small cells of three, five, up to ten
families, with one appointed as liaison to another group, so if a member
was caught the whole organization would not be compromised. They met secretly in different homes each Sabbath and Holy Day.
They took great care not to have a members list, attendance
figures or anything showing they were a church. This type of resistance movement is exceedingly difficult to
detect or infiltrate, and has been used often in humanities history to
drive the storm-troopers of the police-state crazy.
- *THE FIRST RULE of leaderless resistance can be taken from
Hitler: “What can be communicated verbally should never be put in
writing [or into any computer].”
- *THE SECOND RULE comes from the
caution, and careful consideration of risk, are what makes a good
intelligence operative.” A polite warning given to all clandestine service operatives.
of the doctrine
of laying on of
of the dead,
and of eternal
And this we will
do if God permits."
churches will make this a complicated issue of requirements, but the
short answer is “faith.” Specifically, faith in the righteousness
of our CREATOR. After
one hears of our CREATOR’S
spiritual concepts, and studies the eyewitness accounts of the Apostles
and the Prophets, then one has some intellectual facts to rest their
faith on. One has to believe, or have faith, that the spiritual
promise given in the most beloved verse of the New Testament,
John 3:16, will be the spiritual promise kept in the end.
Salvation is “by grace . . ., through faith . . ., and not
by works . . .” Ephesians 2:8-9. Faith is illustrated in Hebrews ch.11; verse 1 defines it in the
practical way, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen.” And grace, leads to obedience (Rom.ch.6).
When the commitment is made, then a new life of growth in the
knowledge and grace of Yahshua and the Heavenly powers begins. As knowledge and grace grows, then one can join in “the work”
of helping spread the “Good News.” There is no way someone can get into Heaven by goods works alone,
faith comes first. When one
understands and believes, then good works will naturally follow.
Here is another passage often overlooked by today’s church
leaders. The book of Acts
records some people trying to buy their way into the church, but they
were refused (Act.8:19-20). Remember,
faith is not for sale! Bribery
REMEMBER: There is no reason to pay any money thinking it will
guarantee you a place in Heaven. No one can decree that another person becomes a Christian. Christianity is a matter of the heart - and
knows our hearts.
WARNING: Before becoming a member in any group, religious or
otherwise, you gotta ask the tough questions: Do I have to get up at
sunrise and do calisthenics? What
is your policy on whistle-blowers?
very important in the New Covenant ministry and it is too bad that
today’s church policy is basically set by the Apostle Paul’s stern
rebuke to a few contentious, Hellenist women in the Greek city of
“For a man or woman, the first step to wisdom is silence - the
second is listening!” In a meeting of like-minded Believers, if you do not have
something worthwhile to say then one is quiet, listens and learns.
Contentious people - women or men - who really do not know what
they are talking about, should disengage their vocal subroutines and
learn, or in other words keep their mouths shut.
The Bibles New Testament - as well as the Hebrew Testament - have
much to say regarding strong women of faith working on YAHWEH’S
behalf. Yahshua even
shocked His Disciples with His revolutionary concepts that women were
equal to men in the sight of our CREATOR,
and could equally receive forgiveness and grace in the future Kingdom.
He also taught that they have the same responsibility to learn,
and grow in grace and knowledge, as men do.
Just as with Moses, women were very important to Yahshua and His
ministry, most of it is recorded - with their names - by Luke the only
gentile Apostle. He was a
friend and traveling companion to Paul. They worked together on the Book of Acts, and he was in
contact with Paul during his last years in prison (Col.4:14; 2Tim.4:11).
First and foremost, there would not even be a New Covenant
ministry if it had not been for a young Jewish girl named Miriam, known
as Mary in the west. She
was the first human being to know of the soon coming Messiah, and the
announcement is one of the most favored verses in the Gospels
It wasn’t easy being the mother of the Messiah, and she was a
faithful servant of YAHWEH
throughout it all. First
she knew she would face shame and humiliation as she married already
pregnant. Behind the scenes
there were some raised eyebrows and finger-pointing gossip, which
followed the whole family throughout their lives. Raising a child prodigy was tough, and she did not always
understand everything her Son spoke of. And the most horrifying of all, she had to see her Son die at an
Yahshua was respectful to His mother and honored her to the end. Yahshua was respectful to all women and early on a woman helped
support His ministry. He
faced the wrath of the rabbis when He healed a woman on the Sabbath, and
showed His regard for her by calling her the “daughter of Abraham.”
Using this very controversial term meant He was raising her from
a mere woman to a status equal with men who were called the sons of
Abraham (Luk.13:10-16). Women
as well as men were free to be among the Messiah’s personal followers,
and He offered full discipleship to them (Luk.8:1-3).
These were not feminist theologians like today who want to remake GOD into their womanly image.
These were faithful women who were amazed at His example of true
male conduct. Yahshua was a
teacher who took them seriously and listened to their questions and
arguments. He never nagged
them, falsely flattered, or coaxed them, and when necessary He gently
rebuked them without querulousness. He never segregated them, He encouraged them to sit with the men
and listen to the Kingdom discussions (Luk.10:38-42).
Women were the first at the birth, death, and resurrection of the
Messiah. It is ironic that
in a culture where a woman could not be a legal witness, they were good
enough to be witnesses for the Kingdom as they were the first to see the
Circumcision of male members is still
standard operating procedure (pardon the pun). Circumcision has very
ancient roots performed by cultures such as the Egyptians, the Aztecs, and
native tribes in Africa, Australia and America. It is usually
performed in an initiation ceremony called “rite of passage” into
This Rite of the Jerusalem Church begins with Abraham “the father
of circumcision” (Gen.17:9-11; Lev.12:2; Rom.4:9-13). It is
continued because the Covenant relationship established by YAHWEH with
Abraham continues. It is performed to fulfill the requirement for
the shedding of blood to seal the spiritual Covenant with our CREATOR.
For a newborn it is performed on the eighth day after birth. And on
that day a male infant also receives his name.
It is an interesting coincidence YAHWEH commanded the circumcision
to be performed on the eighth day after birth because of concern for the
baby’s health, not just symbolism. Modern science tells us that
the blood clotting elements’ Vitamin K and prothrombin are at their
highest levels in the newborn, reducing the chance of infection when the
cut is preformed on that day.
Yahshua was circumcised on the eighth day, as a sign that the
Abrahamic Covenant continues through Him. But in the New Covenant
“Age of Grace,” YAHWEH was interested in something much greater then a
ritual cutting of flesh, more importantly HE wanted all Believers to have
a circumcised heart (Act.15:10). “Therefore circumcise the
foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer,” (Deu.10:16).
And the same lessons continued in the New Covenant assembly (Gal.3:26;
Lastly, and most importantly, through
a circumcised heart, the Convert puts on a new life, or is born again into
new life (Jno.3:1-7; 2Cor.5:17). Just for the record, dying as an un
circumcised male does not mean one is dammed to hell. It is only one
of the Believers Covenant Rites, and there are many, such as Baptism or
the Passover Rite of Bread and Wine.
Tithing is an old English word
meaning tenth, and it is the Scriptural practice of giving a tenth of
one’s increase to YAHWEH. Tithing and special offerings were commanded in the Old Testament
and were confirmed in the New Covenant by Yahshua (Mat.23:23;
Heb.7:4-14). A freewill
special offering is different from tithes and is given as the Believer
Tithing since the time of Abraham was considered an expression of
worship. The longest
chapter of the Bible, Numbers ch.7, is nearly two thousand words long,
and is all about giving. Tithing
in the time of Moses became a definite legal requirement as it was used
to support the first Tabernacle, the Levitical priesthood, and later the
Temple. Failure to tithe is
regarded by YAHWEH as robbery
In the New Covenant, Yahshua is High Priest according to the
Order of Melchizedek, and it supercedes the Levitical system. Faithful Abraham tithed to the Melchizedek
Order and so do the
New Covenant faithful (Heb.6:20, ch.7; Gen.14:18-20).
How can they go, if they are not sent? To fulfill the Great Commission, Paul taught that “the work”
of preaching the Gospel was to be supported by those who had the Gospel
preached to them (1Cor.9:14; Gal.6:6).
In our market driven culture, religion has become a consumer
product. People tend to
develop a fee-for-service mentality and they want to be served by the
church - sadly this is not the Heavenly attitude our CREATOR
has in mind. YAHWEH
owns everything! HE
is the greatest giver in the universe, and we all have a personal
obligation to give something back. HE wants to teach caring
and generosity to all HIS creation (Ps.112:5). Tithing
teaches giving. You don’t
grudgingly scrape off the bottom of the barrel to give something, one
gives the best 10% - right off the top. Whoever sows generously will also reap generously, “for
GOD loves a cheerful giver” (2Cor.9:6-7).
BEWARE: Many religious institutions can take advantage of
tithing and force you to give more then you can afford. The Bible clearly states,
“Every man shall give as he is
able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given
BEWARE: The Bible warns of false prophets who appear meek
and righteous (Mat.7:14). Support
the truth! Make sure you give to an organization that furthers
the word of GOD, or you are
betraying the Great Commission. (If
you are not a member of any religious group then you can send a donation
to organizations that distribute free Bibles, such as the Gideons
International. There is no
better way to further GOD’S word
then giving away free Bibles.)
The Mystical Rites of our CREATOR
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Communications - HomeWorship101.com
Last modified: February 21, 2009