Topical Fruits

Oh, there are so many topics that I have covered up to this point. Some in conjunction with others, some standing alone. Most of the topics I’ve covered have been recorded to help keep me understanding the big picture of what our daily walk with Adonai above should be like, in accordance to His Word, the set-apart (Holy) Scriptures. As I have been progressively learning and growing in my faith-walk, I have picked up, and put down, many teachings and theologies from famous, and not so famous, pastors, preachers, teachers, and theologians. Over the many recent months, I have shed off many doctrines and creeds that I once accepted at face value, and have instead come to embrace the simple and pure truths of Scripture in their original context and meanings. Essentially, trying to not follow the crowds who had long ago embraced man’s ways and doctrines…the very ones that Yeshua, Himself, had rebuked! (Mark 7:6-8 And He (Yeshua) answering, said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it has been written, ‘This people respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men. Forsaking the command of Elohim, you hold fast the traditions of men.”

Yeshua Jesus also had words for the many who doubted or didn’t accept the clear truths they had heard and seen from Him themselves. In Matthew 11, Yeshua laments the state of many people and cities that both He, and John, had preached the good news to, and who had refused to turn away from their self-driven, wayward lives. He spoke the truth, and yet they rejected His Words because what He said didn’t fit into their perception of how Messiah should be. They wanted an immediate warrior to destroy the enemies of Israel, but instead they saw Yeshua as nothing more than a weak lamb. They wanted a King above all kings, and yet they saw Him a simple meek servant. Those who Messiah condemned lost out because they thought they knew better, that they were more learned. In reality, they were trapped within their own ideologies and doctrines because they clung tightly to the teachings of men instead of the Words of God. Likewise, we’ve been programmed to accept the teachings of the Christian churches as correct because…well, that’s just the way it always has been! But, what if you are following teachings that, say, took a wrong turn long ago? Well, then you could end up very lost…and nowhere near your initial goals to follow Adonai above. There will always be a learning curve when you first begin any journey, but if the instructions we start out with are flawed or difficult to understand, we could end up going the wrong direction without even knowing it. Many roadmaps (theologies) that have been presented to westernized society over the centuries had actually come from preconceived ideologies and thoughts of men who had specific agendas and biases. So, while the path I began on long ago might appear to be somewhat more of aimless wanderings (from a birds-eye view), there has always been one fixed constant that kept me moving (somewhat) in the right direction; the desire to know Adonai Elohim, the God of the Bible.

I have tried to keep the core of most of my writings and podcasts encompassed and adherent to the Scriptures alone, since they are the very source for all studying and reading the Words of Elohim, given to us through His Ruach (Spirit), conveyed through the voices and hands of men who were divinely appointed to be His messengers to the world! The Bible is the very source for all our lives, interpreted by the Holy Spirit to our heart and soul and mind. We are instructed to read and meditate on the Words of God daily (Jos 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”). These Words are the light we need to navigate through the complexities and difficulties that we will have in this life (Ps 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”). They are also the Words given as instruction (Torah) on how to worship and praise Abba Father above! They teach us how we are to live daily in an acceptable and set-apart manner before, not only Yahweh, but also the peoples of this world (Rom 12:1 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.”) There is nothing outside of the Scriptures that should have more sway and affect on a believer of the God of Israel. 

There are a vast array of organizations (churches and ministries) that claim to be representatives of Yeshua Jesus who teach their followers a variety of ways to worship the God of the Bible and have a living relationship with His Son. But, are they all correct? Do they all adhere to the commands of Elohim? Do they truly point people to God through Yeshua Jesus? Well, you have read and heard many of my rants where I have come across harsh concerning the many men and religious groups who, over the centuries, have usurped and even thwarted the Bible as being the only complete source for knowing and serving Hashem (the Name above all names). I have gone on tirades against the many who have purposefully diminished the Words of God as absolute truth. I have wrestled with the countless doctrines and creeds of men that have attempted to put YHWH in a box and define Him specifically in one fashion or another. Most modern westernized churches, through the various bias translations of Scripture, have tried to redefine the complete source of our salvation. Essentially, they have created for themselves a new religion based on skewed ideologies and doctrines of men. As we are to emulate Yeshua Messiah, we need to follow Him completely; to follow His teachings, which expounded on His Scriptures, the Tanakh, (or what is referred to as the Old Testament.) What many seem to miss is that we are to interpret the New Testament writings through the lens of the Old Testament, instead of trying to interpret the Old Testament through the lens of the new writings; as most of Christendom has been doing for centuries. I say all this not to be contentious or think that I am right and that so many are wrong, but to simply point out these very things to show that the road most of us have travelled along up to this point has had its origins based on defective maps created by men. Essentially, people created a reinterpretation of the original map for us to follow based on their personal bias and agendas, instead of staying with the original map planned out by God Himself. But, thanks be to God that there are many U-turns and redirects that will blessedly show up; but only when we take time to actually look at His original map! 

There is a reason that history is so important to study. It has been said that if we don’t learn from history, then we are doomed to repeat it. We can clearly see that this is true just by taking time to actually research church history; how we got from ‘there’ to ‘here’. It is one thing to study the Words contained within the covers of the Holy Bible, it is another to understand the original context of what is being said by who and why. Asking the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ of the text, in relationship to all other context, puts a very unique and very different perspective compared to what we’ve been led and taught to believe. (Most of which has been based on the teachings of post-apostolic early church forefathers). I have spoken about the historical “changes” implemented by a certain 4th century pagan Roman emperor and the later church “leaders” before, so I won’t go into too much detail, other than to say that deep alterations to the first century follower’s practices and adherences were extremely dramatic, and those changes literally created a “new religion” by the end 325AD. So, please, do your own research to see!

We gentiles are a people much like the Israelites in the Tanakh who were continually driven to do their own thing, despite what Elohim’s Word instructed us to do. In essence, humanity has mastered the skill of creating our own ways to worship by redefining who God is, by reinterpreting the texts to fit our ideologies, by giving fancy names and doctrines to our various groups, and by cancelling out the teachings of Scripture that don’t fit our personal views…all so we can sound prominent, righteous, and stoic because of our interpretations of His Word. We love to elevate teachers and leaders onto pedestals who will promote our created traditions. And we know best how to market our religion through music and books and media so as to draw in the masses with the latest ways of how they should all think and feel towards our Elohim. I guess I can be so bold as to say that the current stream of “christianity” that much of the world sees today is really nothing more than a professional program…filled with idolatry, materialism, and even apostasy, sprinkled with some happy love verses out of context, that is far removed from the original commands of how we are to truly worship and follow our Elohim. 

Much of this has stemmed from man injecting subtle hints and personal bias into the translations of the Bible. This, we know for fact, has happened and yet the people just ignored and accepted it. These misinterpretations have greatly affected how we read and understand His Word. Let’s look at one (minor?) fairly obvious alteration to the New Testament; the book of James. The title should actually be Jacob, or the Jewish name Ya’aqob! (The original Greek name “Iakōbos” means Jacob) So…what was the point of changing the author’s name into a drastically different name? I mean, there are other “Jacobs” in the Bible, so why rename this particular guy? The current accepted name “James” first appeared in the 14th century when John Wycliffe translated the Latin name Iacomus as James in the first English translation of the Bible. All the future translations just stuck with the incorrect name! This great error was reinforced after King James sponsored an “new” English translation, which was originally called the Authorized Version in 1611 (and didn’t actually get called the King James Bible until 1797). Again…why? Why the alterations to the original texts? I’ll tell you one reason: they wanted to do away with the Jewishness of the Bible! There was enough hatred toward Israel by the English that making Scriptures read and sound more “westernized” would draw in more believers. (Also meaning more revenue for the church coffers!) This history is fully documented…they never tried to “hide” this fact.

As more older and complete copies of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts have been discovered, they (the translators) will compare them with current transcripts and might adjust the text accordingly. But in most cases, the discoveries do not change verbiage enough to affect or alter the theology or history. Yet, that didn’t stop many of the translators over the centuries to take liberties when translating into modern languages (and is also dependent on if they were using a previous translations like the latin vulgate, or if they were translating from the original languages). Some groups or individuals, when translating into English (and various other languages), may also have had a particular worldview, and the Bible’s writings might conflict with that view, so small adjustments to the text would be made to alter the original meaning. Sadly, this is often the case with many of the loosely paraphrased editions of Scripture…meaning that they will rewrite some verses enough to lead the reader to interpret the text a particular way. We can easily see that simply by comparing many the “versions” of Scripture all at once. Thankfully, there is software now days available that has the technology to look at a variety of Bible translations all at once so as to compare them with each other. And, honestly, I highly suggest that ALL of your studies be done in this fashion! Clinging to one translation alone, (either because that is what you were raised on or perhaps you believe it is that only “authorized” text (though, I’m not sure who authorized it, since only Adonai Elohim can do that)) is akin to putting your entire understanding of God into the hands of one opinion. Some people might find that a particular translation is too complicated to read, so they’ll find a simpler version, which can often result in a twisted misunderstanding of the original context and really miss out on what Elohim intended for us to know. 

The same approach to the study of Scripture (looking at a variety of translations) can also apply to which pastors, preachers, and teachers you are in lockstep with. Placing all your hopes and learning on one person or ministry is dangerous, and will often lead to the idol worship of man (not to mention also having a very narrow, or even possibly false, teaching that is not Biblical and will lead you down the wrong paths.) Knowing the complete truth of Scripture will lead us, by the Ruach HaKodesh, to the truth of Messiah Yeshua…which is our only salvation! Yet we can see most problems arise when we have too many worldviews being injected into the Words of God just to fit personal narratives. We are to listen only to the Words of Elohim, not the world. Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” But many in the “church” today are driven to be conformed to the ways of this world, to fit in, to be like those around them. They think that if they act like the world around them, accept the world’s way of thinking, water-down the Holy Words of God for the people, that they will be accepted and then can enjoy the fruits of both worlds. They take their “maps” that are altered just to get others onboard. Before you know it, the original map from Yahweh doesn’t look at all like the one people today are using to direct their lives. People want to have their own selected leaders over them, ones who pander or cater to their wants and desires, not the strictness they perceive that comes from Elohim above. 

In 1 Samuel chapter 8, the people were growing restless with Yahweh, and since their leader, Samuel, was getting old and his two kids were not quite up to the task of carrying their father’s torch (since they also didn’t walk properly in the Way), the people themselves had their own agenda and plan, much like most do today. Starting in verse 4 it reads: Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Behold, you have grown old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us—like all the nations.” (In other words, they wanted to be like those other people all around them, the very ones whom God said “do not be like them!”) But the matter was displeasing in Samuel’s eyes when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to Adonai. Then Adonai said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, rather they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds that they have done since the day I brought them out of Egypt to this day—forsaking Me and worshiping other gods—so they are doing to you also.” Adonai follows with a warning of what will happen if the people get what they want…in this case; a king…and He also knows that they will whine about that later as well! It’s important to remember that what we think we want or need will not be in our best interest! When we try to put our definition of wants and needs above God’s definition of what we need…we will often be filled with regret when He gives us over to the desires of our hearts! (Romans 1:24).

We are not robots; brainless programs that follow blindly to the commands given us. Our Elohim wants us to be free to worship Him in spirit and truth, from our hearts, and to wholly desire to know and love Him! Yet, He knows us (Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”), wants what is best for us (Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”), and gives us the instructions we need to bring us through this journey (Psalm 119:1-2 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the Torah (instructions) of Adonai. Blessed are those who keep His testimonies and seek Him with all their heart.) His Word is the light we need in this dark world. His Word is the map that brings us into fellowship with Him. The Creator of the universe came down to us when we were lost and gave us the Way…through Messiah Yeshua! His Words are for all who seek to stand before Him in glory and live eternally in the Light of salvation! We are to follow Him through Yeshua, not follow man. We are to study His Torah and follow His Torah, and know His Torah (instructions). Yeshua followed the Torah and instructed us in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” And what is His commandments? The entire Torah. The law was not nailed to the cross. The punishment for breaking the law was! 

Let us walk in the footsteps of our Rabbi and our Messiah/Savior Yeshua…to use His map, not the ones created by man, but His alone for our whole journey with Him to eternity. 


Instructions To Live By

…that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Yeshua Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10

Oh, just how much the name of Yeshua/Jesus drives people crazy! And, unless his name is being used in a blaspheme way, people don’t want to hear it! If you spew an expletive out using the name of Jesus Christ, it is perfectly fine and accepted. Yet, if you speak the name of Yeshua Jesus to someone by explaining who he is as the Messiah and what he taught, you will be met with eye-rolling, head-turning, hand-to-the-face opposition! But, just what can be said (specially in the last several years) about all the public displays of demonic symbology and evil characterizations? If someone dances as a devil and parades demonic characters for either movies or videos in the entertainment industry, that is just having some fun and it is ok’d by the masses. Even derogatory connotations about God, Jesus, and the Scriptures have become a frivolous matter within gatherings and media circles to the level that people just brush it off as insignificant. “It’s just harmless fun,” they say, “it’s not hurting anyone!” Or they exclaim that those opposed to such antics are being “too religious” or “legalistic.” And yet, are we who believe just being too zealous being offended by all this? Are we even offended at all?

Quite honestly, our western civilization, (including the current “church”), has gone beyond the point of committing spiritual suicide, and is very much easing itself comfortably into complete apostasy. It is obvious to see that the people who are promoting these crass and evil depictions as nothing but mere “harmless” fun, are, in fact, also without an ounce of guilt over the aftermath. They simply pass on the responsibility of restricting or limiting the visuals to the parents and adults. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it! But we also know for a fact that most parents and adults don’t restrict or limit what is being watched or listened to by children. After all, harmless fun, like celebrating halloween or enjoying scary movies, has been around for countless decades, and by now “most” folks should be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, right? Well, if we were to truly take the blinders off and looked around at our society’s current state, it would be quite clear that this complacency and acceptance of evil has had a much deeper negative impact on the morality of people throughout the last few generations…so much more that what people might realize! 

Most of the immoral attitudes and events that are happening in western society today would absolutely shock and disturb people from even less than a century ago. If you were to go back even further in time, you would find that most people stood firm as staunch opponents to the very demonic displays we are currently accepting today. To see how far our moral compass has gone astray, and, just how much our hearts have deteriorated and hardened, one only has to understand the apologue describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if you put a frog suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out. But, if the frog is put in tepid water and the water is then slowly brought to a boil, the frog will not perceive the danger and it will be cooked to death. Graphic, I understand, but quite necessary to understand why we, as a society, have strayed so far from where the God of the Bible wants us to be. We have over time, like the frog, gradually accepted the small increases in immorality by decreasing ourselves from following the very Words that God has given to us for our instruction (Torah) to live by: the Holy Bible.

First of all, I know that not every human who has ever walked this planet has believed in, or followed, Yahweh Adonai…the God of the Bible. Nor do I think that everyone will ever fully accept and follow Yahweh. Though we all are descendants from Noah and his family after the flood, since they were the only humans to survive, not all have walked the same path in life. Most strayed from Elohim’s instructions to follow after their own heart, their own desires, and their own ideologies. So there are many that do not, nor will ever be, God-fearing men and women. But, to the many who do claim themselves to be “followers” of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob within the pages of Scriptures, it is clear that most still do their “own thing” in life. Sure, they may claim themselves to be Christian or Jewish or believers in God and the Bible, but do they truly follow completely as God has instructed? In my previous podcast and writing, I walked through the definition and concept of being a disciple…a follower of Yeshua Jesus and a faithful adherent to Yahweh God of the Bible and His Torah. But as I opened in this writing, there seems to be an even more rampant acceptance of many pagan and evil cultural holidays, feasts, and activities…even within the very walls of most “churches” today!

Even with all the understanding and knowledge of what the Bible says and instructs to those who would claim themselves to be believers of God, we can sadly see that those instructions (Torah) are not only being minimized in their veracity, but even ignored or dismissed all together as not necessary anymore. Modern “churches” have not only watered down the authority of the complete Scriptures, but have gone so far as cut major portions out as unimportant or archaic or insignificant since we, as a society, have deemed ourselves “evolved” and that those Biblical rules are no longer applicable for the people of today to follow. A vast majority of folks, including attendees of the various churches, have come to the conclusion that they know what is best for themselves. After all, the times and culture from Biblical days have changed drastically and therefore do not address the current issues we face today. It doesn’t take a highly educated person to grasp that lifestyles and laws from the ancient middle east don’t quite fit neatly into the lifestyles and laws that we have now in our westernized 21st century!

But…did God’s laws (or Torah) change? Because that would mean that God changed. Does God change? Well, the Bible is quite clear that God “is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” so that would be conflicting. I had found a great explanation regarding the laws of the Old Testament and whether or not they remain applicable today. If a police officer showed you grace by not writing you a ticket for speeding, does that mean that the traffic laws are now abolished? Are you now free to speed? No! How ridiculous! The officer’s grace should bring you to willingly obey the traffic laws! His leniency was not a termination of the traffic laws, but rather a mercy to encourage and guide you to obedience. Can you guess what this analogy parallels? If you said Yeshua Jesus and His pleas for us to keep the Torah, or the Commandments of God, then you win! So, then, why does the churches today forgo accepting and teaching the Torah? Because they’ve deemed them archaic and state that Yeshua Jesus did away with them. Again…giving grace didn’t make the laws change or go away. Yeshua said He came to fulfill the laws (show us how to keep them properly as intended by Yahweh God). Matthew 5:17-19 says “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them (meaning to do them). For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” And Matthew 19:17 says “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” You see, Yeshua was talking about the Torah, the Old Testament laws, because that was the only Bible they read and followed!

So, since there is such a perceived drastic difference from the world of Jesus’ day to our world today, the modern denominations have taken it upon themselves to adjust and reform the Bible to fit their ideologies and teachings so as to guide the people they serve. Since cultural norms have shifted and have become more accepting and tolerant of people that choose not to follow the commands of God, the implication is that it really doesn’t matter what the Bible may say about certain lifestyle choices. If you “feel” that a certain way of life is good for you, but the Bible conflicts with it, “don’t worry,” they say, “because God loves everyone unconditionally, so it’s ok to be who God made you to be,” after all! They push a narrative that God accepts everyone, no matter what a person may say or do (or so says the pulpits of most churches today.) But, is that really what God says? If anyone actually took time away from the schools, away from the influencers, away from the pulpit-masters, away from the commentaries, away from the opinions, away from their upbringing, and away from the creeds and confessions, to actually read for themselves the very Words within the pages of Scripture, I truly believe that there would be an uprising against the very walls of modern church entities. Because what is being sold as “church” today is in complete contrast to what the Holy Bible of God’s Words say. 

Jesus didn’t come to change the rules. He didn’t come to negate the Laws. He didn’t come to start a new religion. He didn’t come to make new rules for living. Everything that Yeshua said and did was to show us all, the Jewish and Gentile believers, how to conform and live the Torah. All his teachings, including the Sermon on the Mount, expounded on the Torah laws, yet was dismissive to the distorted man-made laws that the religious leaders of the day had blended with the Torah. This blending of “new” was much like man did at First Council of Nicaea around 325AD. Yet, people forget that all of the Apostles and disciples of Yeshua still attended the synagogue on the Sabbath (the 7th day, Saturday). They still adhered to all of the feasts and food laws. They taught all of the new converts to emulate and follow Yeshua Jesus, who followed the Torah laws. This was all the norm even after Yeshua rose to heaven. Well, until man injected his own ideology into the process and decided to make adjustments and modifications to the commands of God. Do you see how the heat was slowly increased to the water? The first century followers, Jews and Gentiles, walked according to the Jewish Messiah who followed the Jewish laws (Torah) to worship and follow God’s decrees and laws given to Moses at Sinai. Nothing changed. Until around the 4th century when man decided to add his views and ideologies. And this very slow boil has been increasing ever since! 

But, I have harped enough on that. It’s quite simple…it really is! Adonai Elohim is a God of all or nothing. I covered this in my last podcast and writing. All I can stress at this point is that we are commanded to “come out from among them”. This might seem drastic. This might seem fanatical. This may be deemed quite extreme to many around, but I can assure you that if you truly want to be considered a true follower of Yeshua Jesus, you need to seriously consider what He taught. And to understand what He taught, you need to see where He got his source material from…the Torah! Now before you go screaming “culture” and the like, yes, there are certainly laws that are not applicable to all people or that are deemed “done away with.” Foremost is that we do not have the Temple to sacrifice and worship at anymore. The sacrificial process was a command of God that was completed because of Yeshua’s great sacrifice for us. No, we probably don’t exchange donkeys and camels for a wife these days either (though in some cultures…!) Some laws are applicable now days to the heart, such as circumcision or sacrifice. But if you look online at the approximate 613 laws from the Torah, you will find that most are certainly still applicable and can easily be followed, even in today’s cultural times! And having a proper and strict reverence to following the decrees of God would certainly alter the progression of our immoral culture!

We are a society that is sliding fast into the abyss. Hell is real folks! And, yet, people have accepted the boiling water so much that they don’t want to get out anymore. Many now embrace the immorality and impending doom because they are blinded by the delusion of “peace, safety, comfort, love, protection” that they think this world offers. You cannot call Jesus your Lord and Savior and still run your own life your way! Messiah said “Follow Me”. He didn’t say that He would tag along in your world on your journey. But He did say that you were to tag along with Him solely on His journey! On my last writing and podcast I opened with this line: “If we invite someone in, they are in our world. If someone invites us in, we are in their world.” We don’t invite Jesus into our world, because our world is of this world and He told us explicitly that “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” Paul (Saul) wrote that we are “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) We are “not to love the world, or the things of this world.” (1John 2:15-17) 

Yeshua Jesus said of His followers in John 17:14-19 “I have given them Your word and the world has hated them; for they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, so that they too may be sanctified by the truth.” Yes, we are here in this world for a time and season, but we are not to be like this world…in any way! God’s Word is the complete Torah. Not just select verses or fitting ideologies. We are to be disciples, followers of Yeshua, who followed the complete Word of God. If your life isn’t reflecting that, then it’s time to reevaluate. If your “church” is not reflecting that, then it’s time to find one that does. No place of worship and teaching is perfect, but we certainly do not want to allow or accept too many compromises to go unchallenged or corrected, because in time, the water gets to a boiling point where death is imminent. And that death has eternal consequences!


To Contend

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 3-4

Change. That one thing that is constant. Look around and you see change in everything under the sun. Even now, nature turns it gaze from growth and green to death and cold. The time for change can be good, as in the trees and grass slumbering for a time before a rebirth comes at spring time. Change also has its follies and failures. Taking truths and changing them has consequences. From the magnificent changes such as seasons and times to minuscule changes that can mean either little or a lot, change must be always be attended too. 

There is a problem of great proportions in the world today. It is one that sweeps across invisible lines, affecting young and old, rich and poor, male and female. It permeates society and, yet, is perhaps one of the most over used, misunderstood, and often flippant expressions said by people today. That is the word Blessed!

I cannot express how sick I am of hearing people constantly using that word, thinking that anytime they get or have something they “want”, they are blessed. Or they’re so blessed because they have family or friends in their lives. No matter the declaration of why they are saying that they are “blessed”, it is used beyond excess. In other words, it really annoys me! 

But why? Why would people saying they are “blessed” be such an annoyance? To start with, most people don’t have a clue as to what the word even means. When you look up the definition, there are several adjective uses for it. And since the foundational beginnings of the word relate to sacred or religious meaning, the word nowadays is demoted to a platitude expression. I guess I could go on the record as saying that it’s use today borders on sacrilege. This is a change unacceptable! Unfortunately the so-called “church” of today, specially in America, has run the sacrilege flag up the proverbial pole to declare that God does nothing else other than bless. 

In Biblical perspective, since the first appearance of the word in Genesis 1:28, where God blessed Adam and Eve, the word has been solely pinned to a level of religious honor from either God to man, man to God, or man to man. But unfortunately, due to time changes, it has devolved into something that the vast majority of people today use it as a catch-all phrase that something good has happened to them. This once beautiful word has subsequently become something for self-serving, “look-at-me” people to spout off with. 

The word bless shows up in the Bible 133 times. Blessed is used 311 times. There are 81 uses of the world blessing, and an additional 27 times that blessing has an “s” on the end. 15 times the adjective blesses is used and blessedness makes a pair of appearances. In most cases, the words are invoking a request to consecrate, to make holy…passing on divine favor. So, to use the word in a callous, worldly way really strips the specialness of the gesture. 

Essentially, the true meaning of blessed has become secularized to the point that people don’t even have a clue what it truly means in a Godly context. In fact, the whole exercise of being holy, set apart…consecrated…has become muddied and diluted so much that the world sees true Christianity as nothing less than an archaic religion, devoid of truth and reality. And the saddest part of all is that the church has let it all happen by blending and melding with the world themselves!

These are the type of changes that have caused damage. When truths are distorted and not corrected, then those truths tend to be relabeled. They are deemed outdated. Relics. Ancient. Irrelevant. All words that many ascribe to Biblical Christianity now days. They now use terms like fairytales. Fiction. Myths. Fables. These are the current views that many have regarding the Bible. And again, this is often the view of those who claim themselves inside the church body. 

Most of this has evolved through changes in truth. Over time, the distortions have become accepted and the truth has faded into memory. Even though the absolute words are clearly together, unison in thought, written down for all to see, people have slowly, and diabolically redefined the Bible and its truth, piece by piece, concept by concept, until most believe the new view as right. And, again, this includes those who claim themselves a Christian church.

Jude had a bit of change in his epistle. He started out writing to discuss common salvation that was amongst the brethren, but was compelled by the Holy Spirit to address a more pressing matter. It seems that even back then, they were facing issues of people changing truth already! So Jude starts off by telling the folks to “contend for the faith” that was once for all delivered to the saints. The word contend is such a powerful word. It speaks of struggling against, or wrestling for something specific. As an example, since my memory isn’t the greatest, I have to contend with my memory in order to remember Scripture verses. In other words, this is an action that takes effort and time and strength to accomplish. Jude wants his readers to contend with their faith. Why?

Because in verse 4 he points out that certain people are infiltrating the church body and spewing lies and deceptions. They were teachers who twist truth, changing the Gospel, and leading weak believers astray. They perverted the truth! And sadly, this is still going on today! When you look at the vast majority of “churches” today, they all show signs and symptoms that they have changed the meaning of God’s own Words! They’ve replaced truth to become more “seeker-friendly” and essentially do what the people, the worldly people, want. And, we know from Scripture that people don’t want to follow God and His decrees!

Jesus said that if we abide in His word, we are truly His disciples and we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free! Obviously, there are many who have created their own truths by redefining or rewriting the reality of God and His Word to fit their narrative. They think that they can mold God into their narrative by altering or deleting the Scriptures. But the reality is that God doesn’t change. His word abides forever! You can say what you will about the Bible, but that will NOT alter His will and ways! 

The world thinks that it has out-smarted God by quenching His truth. Yes, many have been deceived by the devil’s works, but we don’t have to be in that count. The folks blinded by the world don’t see their way as folly. In Proverbs chapter 9 we read about the woman Folly and how she easily sways people who are “simple”, who don’t want to know and seek the truth.

The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
And to him who lacks sense she says,
“Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Her followers are told exactly where they end up. Hell.

This doesn’t just apply to unbelievers alone, but also to many belonging to today’s apostate church. And this is really an act of God. God did say in Romans chapter 1 that He would give them over to the lusts in their bodies, letting them continue to “live their best life now!” You see, the cleansing that is going on is actually a separating of wheat and chaff. We know that there will be many who will fall away. But their falling may not be into a realm of atheism or agnosticism, but simply belonging to a self-titled “church” that doesn’t teach the truth of God. It could be that church that espouses nothing but feel-good teachings, just like New Age shamans and pagans. The places that say “if it makes you happy, it must be good”! The groups that push out the negative of Scripture and only focuses on peace, joy, love. 

But we know from the complete Word of God that “the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.” And as the world continues to redefine what is and isn’t truth based on their standards, they will turn an accusatory eye upon believers who still hold fast to the faith that they were taught from the Bible. The time for persecution continues to grow. And God is going to allow this to happen in the Church. 1 Peter chapter 4 says “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

But before that 17th verse I just mentioned, Peter says of this coming suffering “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”

With the downfall of true Biblical teachings, with the decline in faithfulness to God’s Word, and the willing acceptance of lies from the devil himself, we need, more than any other time in history, to stand fast, hold firm, contend, and be vigilant in our faith. We need to truly know what we believe and why. We need to put on the full armor of God to stand against the enemy of God. Knowing the truth, and knowing that the truth will set us free, is so key right now! 

We have been set free, no longer captives to the sin that plagues this world. Jesus gave us that freedom by His work on the cross and his overcoming the grave! His resurrection to the right hand of God the Father is our hope and strength for us to press on to the goal that is set before us! He gave us this gift of salvation, not to squander by conforming to the patterns of this fallen world, but to encourage us to contend to the very end!

I close with Peter’s great exhortation to the saints: 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Clear instructions. May we  stand firm, contending for the faith in our day to day battles! 


Ichabod: Where did the Glory go?

The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.    -C. S. Lewis

conceptual sign post with, danger slippery slope

As many permit themselves comfort from the woes of this world, there exists a jagged edge that they drift dangerously close to, careless to the reality of the fall that awaits them.  As gloomy as this sounds, I must persist in casting some reality toward you in the hopes of jarring your slumber!

In ancient biblical times, wars existed between the factions of believers in God and believers of everything else. Though the spiritual realm has its casualties, there was also an effect to the physical as well.  Death tolls in these wars, per the accounts of history and Bible, were in the 10’s of thousands! The followers of God, the Israelites, had won a fair share of battles, but also suffered great defeats as well.  In most cases, the stories relayed the importance of God and his following his commandments.

In one particular situation, Israel was facing one of their great foes, the Philistines. In 1 Samuel chapter 4, the Israelites had taken a beating and decided to bring up the Ark of the Covenant to the battle front. This represented God’s presence more than anything.  The wild cheers of elation rallied the troops and even the Philistines feared God showing up.  But…to no avail.  Israel got their butt kicked and the enemy ran off with the Ark.

The high priest and judge of Israel, Eli, lost two of his sons in the battle. That information, along with the Ark being taken, literally killed the poor guy.  His daughter-in-law was so despondent about the losses that she gave birth and died.  The midwife names the boy Ichabod, meaning ‘the glory of the Lord has departed’.  Great start to life! (Sarcasm intended!)

It seems historically that when a people decide on their own volition of self first, it isn’t too long afterward that their demise hits. The United States of America was essentially founded on a basis of the Bible as the core moral and spiritual compass. The founding fathers forged our first governing documents on the whole of scripture, keeping that, with God, all things are possible. But, as with any great nation, corruption seeps in…slowly, assuredly, and with a purpose of demise. Even the learned institutions, such as Harvard and Yale, started out as seminary schools teaching the Bible! Yet, now, you would be fortunate to find scripture anywhere within the walls of the university. We are on the safest road to hell!

So, how did this happen?  How did we get to this drowning point? The primary place to point out the failing is our own ‘churches’.  Now, I am not going to get all denominational or call out particular names.  That is not the intent of this.  But, I will shake a fist to any and all who claim Christianity as their faith, yet deny the Bible as the word of God.  Without the Bible, we do not have the compass of direction. Without the Bible, we do not have instructions. Without the Bible, we do not have a reference point to keep ourselves on the correct path!

All that said, when we cast aside His Words to us, we begin to wander aimlessly.  We become “I Chabod”….without the Glory. When we are travelling and feel uncertain about our direction, we consult a map. Now days, we are constantly looking to our smart phones for information and direction. Well, the Bible is our map. The Bible is our smart phone that has all the answers we need.  And without it…well, we rely on our own understanding. Our own views. Our own mess!

The father of lies, the great deceiver, has crept into the fabric of God-fearing churches and cast doubts, dissensions, and destruction from within.  And since pushing aside the Bible as the beacon of truth, these churches have turned into social clubs and feel-good parties…with no truth being taught! Whitewashed Tombs! Pretty on the outside, empty and dead on the inside!

Mark 7:9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”

The churches today (not all) have essentially rejected the Bible as the Word and have, instead, decided that soft, gentle talks regarding social issues are more important than knowing God and His Word!  And with the disregard of God’s Word as authoritative and commanding, man has put himself in God’s place and now determines what is and what isn’t sin! What was once revered as Gospel has since become edited so as not to offend anyone! Sins are acceptable and they just avoid talking about His Words and commands!

The Glory has departed! And with His departing, so has His hand which has held back the enemies of God’s people!


One of the greatest preachers of all time, Jonathan Edwards, in 1741 preached a sermon that shook the very core of believers and unbelievers alike. That sermon, titled “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” was filled with fire and brimstone that convicted people to remedy, or assure, that their relationship with God was of utmost importance!  We have fallen so far from that reverence, passion, and belief in the God of the Bible, creator of all things, through his Son, by which we have forgiveness and restored fellowship.

There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.  – Edwards

So, I ask: Why?  Why has the Word of God been rejected by the very people who claim to believe in God? Why have we allowed His Glory to depart from us? Are we so delusional as to think that God would never cast anyone into hell? Because, if we are sitting at such a comfort level, in disbelief of God’s wrath, as to think that…I really suggest you reconsider what His Words really do say!  There is no free rides to Heaven! The Bible is very clear on that! His own people, the Israelites, were destroyed in a battle because of their own complacency and denial of His Supremacy!  YOU are no different. The church is no different.

God has never promised to save us from Hell, except for those contained in Christ through the covenant of Grace.  – Edwards

The churches have rejected God’s Word.  The Glory has departed.  Man stands alone on a wayward path leading toward destruction of soul:  hell.

I guess I challenge anyone to look at their ‘churches’ and ask the question:  Do they fully accept God’s words as complete revelation from God, or are they picking and choosing what they want to keep and what they don’t?  It literally is an “all or nothing” situation.  You either believe in the Bible or you don’t. And, as Edwards based his sermon from in scripture, ‘their foot shall slip in due time’ (Deut 32:35), there isn’t a middle ground with God.  You (and the church) are either hot or cold. Lukewarm is the path that leads to destruction.






Looks like we got us a convoy…


Hello (insert name here)!

I want to first thank you for our time together this morning!  It was absolutely wonderful of you to take the lead in our convoy of commuters, all heading to our places of employment.  You really held a steady and sure pace!

I remember back in the day, driving in military convoys throughout the world! The commander’s words to “keep convoy integrity” tight. The constant checking in the rearview mirrors to assure that the person behind me was still in sight and close by.  The speeds were always relegated to the last vehicle’s pace, so as to leave no one behind! Ah, yes…a tight-knit unit we were!

The only slight drawback to our convoy, though, is that WE ARE NOT A CONVOY! We are traffic on a freeway! We are pressing toward a goal, solo, without worry about the fellow behind us!

I want to take a quick minute to just say that I completely support our traffic laws and do take into consideration that 70 means 70.  Believe me, I know that many take 70 as a ‘suggestion’.  And, on occasion, I have taken liberty to adjust my driving speeds a wee-bit faster than the posted signs.  But, that is not to say that 80 is acceptable.  And, neither is 60!

With all that said, my dear slow pace-car driver…I would like to offer you a suggestion;  GET OFF OF THE ROADS!


The string of cars that were bottlenecked behind you were not there to support your make-up applying, breakfast eating, cell phone texting, drive-at-your-leisure morning!  They were there because you are traveling well under the posted speed limits, in the ‘passing lane’, with no one in front of you for well over a mile!

Road rage is all the rage these days!  The unfortunate result from that rage is sometimes horrific violence.  People have such selfish attitudes whilst driving that it can easily enrage others, simply because they have their own selfish attitudes.  Once someone has entered into their vehicle, that metal wrapped around them becomes a cocoon of sorts.  The world outside is of little relevance and that it’s all about “me” and whatever “I” want.

So, let’s have little or no regard for anyone else around!  Who cares if your actions upset the balance of traffic! The balance of humanity!


So, feel free to pat yourself on the back, worry not about anyone else out there, because it’s all about you!  Your freeway.  Your hallway.  You’re the king/queen/prince/princess!  Just do as  you please!  Lead that convoy of unsuspecting travelers at your pace!  We’ll wait!  Stand in the middle of aisle while you’re playing on your phone!  We’ll wait!

I mean, time is not important…it’s not like we are living in the last days, or anything like that!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV)

Godlessness in the Last Days

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

So, carry on!

See ya on the roads tomorrow!








Don’t Believe Anything You Read…


I have never claimed to be a grammatical writer, nor an original thinker. In fact, some of my writings have been graded by elementary students using crayons. That’s ok. I really can live with that….somewhat!

I confess that my early years in school, (and some later years), were often filled with wandering thoughts and fidgeting hands, as opposed to an attentive mind and a notebook filled with knowledge being passed on to me by the teachers.  My lack of writing skill is not due to the failure of the teaching staff, but to my own faults.  However, that may all be changing soon. In fact, it already has begun in New York!

According to an article I read by Lucas Mikelionis, published on the website HeatStreet, it is reported that “New York education officials are planning to scrap a literacy test for people trying to become teachers, claiming too many non-white individuals fail it and therefore weaken diversity within the profession.”

So, instantly I put on my Common Sense goggles and could CLEARLY see the errors about to happen! Common Sense Goggles

Let me put it this way…how do the words ‘train wreck’ fit into that impeding scenario? How about the great line from the movie “Forrest Gump”?  “Stupid is as stupid does“!  I could go on and on, but, that won’t be necessary because even the most basic of human understanding can see that the dumbing down of America is still moving in the direction of destruction of intellect!

People! Seriously! Do you really want someone teaching your children things that they themselves don’t know? Are the educational programs going to be led by people who can’t pass the required aptitude tests?  Are we going to be reliant on Google or Siri for all our knowledge?  I hope and pray not!

This stupidity has been going on longer than just this situation. Did you know that universities such as Yale, Harvard, and Princeton were once schools whose primary purpose was to teach theology and biblical studies?  People, then, understood that solid biblical teaching and advanced education created citizens with strong morals and inventive thinking!  But, sadly, over time, the demise of these once great institutions came when right thinking became challenged by wrong thinking. The importance of good morals was cast aside in favor of self and acceptance of anything.

Absolutes were destroyed during these transitions and, even though evidence to the contrary was presented over and over…people cast a blind eye and embraced the cultural changes of “Anythingism”.  (My word for everything is good and nothing is bad)

To the point:  Because of the curse of Anythingism, even the acceptance of the undereducated teaching our future leaders will further the dumbing down effect. To have someone telling our children and grandchildren that they don’t have to gather knowledge to succeed is a poison creeping through the veins of family, business, growth, and most importantly…good morals!

The degradation of society continues because people like the education leaders in New York are willing to compromise knowledge in order to appease people who feel that they should teach, even though they don’t know how to read or write.

Weak minds will only produce weak minds.