So true in life and in application of our Heavenly Father. I think is being rebuked by Father/God today is lost on the church. Our Heavenly Father can and does rebuke us. How do I know? “For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12. The thing is like an earthly father, our Heavenly Father disciplines us. If He is not correcting us, He Doesn’t love us. Correction is NOT just speech. Sometimes it’s a smack on the behind. In this age many have lost the fear, respect, reverence of a creator who spoke the world into existence. (Thats power we don’t have a capability to grasp) this loss of fear leads to complacency in our faith. Father/God knows this and applies correction when we drift. Why? Because He loves us. Shalom and God Bless.
We are to live daily as if everybody we come in contact with is Messiah/Christ. Who we work for, who we buy or sell to, who we help, but also we need to remind ourselves in the very same chapter it says “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” Matthew 25:45. When we ignore His prompts through His Spirit to render aide or help someone. We essentially ignore Him. Also angels in the Bible look like ordinary people so we might never know when we are being tested to see what our behavior is. If we ignore enough we can be in trouble. Right after Yeshua/Jesus talked of ignoring those in need guess what came next? “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”” Matthew 25:46 we must be careful and repent or blind eye syndrome. (Read Luke 10:25-37) let us daily walk as if everything we do is For Him. Shalom and God Bless.
Right now the “work” around here is slowing down, but things for me are (it seems) always at a boil. I’m not going to be doing many posts until I can sort out this massive walking on hot coals Fire of a Job style chapter of my life.
Over the ten or so years of faith I can list everything that has come at me. That would take months. Through the last trial before this time I found myself questioning my faith, wondering if that voice I’ve been following was actually His or of it was something else.
I had just got things settled in my life when this next part happened. I just barley was rooted and BGI (Biblically Grafted In) took off because I got grounded. Things were still a spiritual battle, but I was at least writing to all of you and myself. Felt like I was even helping some answering their questions as biblically as possible. People started to come to my posts on here and on Instagram and in my blog and I was (even though battling inside myself) able to still contribute to the global community who reads my writings for Him.
Then this page in my life cropped up as a blessing. However because of either a curse, or my inability to maintain a managed life what was a blessing became spoiled fruit.
I deal with Anxiety/Depression/and PTSD because of 21 years in a security career where in 16 years I saw the worst things one can see. But all my life i have had to fight for every next day literally. I’ve always been in spiritual warfare before Yeshua/Jesus and even since His call to me. My mind is not always working for me. Most times it works against me. As a person who has done deliverance ministry (until I saw what I did there and stopped closing that ministry) seeing people delivered from demons, I’ve often wondered why have I still not been freed from my torment. So I continue to fight for every next day. Fight through the lies and torment this medical diagnosis/messenger from the enemy hands out. I’ve worked so hard to keep going and not give up.
The last two epic tests have been the most difficult for me to endure.
I’m not going to get into details with folks I don’t know In Real Life. But I’ve invested, followed, believed, only to be handed devastation each time makes me question, this knowing still small voice that lead me to give my life as to become a Christian, become ordained, do deliverance ministry, and follow Torah….. am I following Him, if I am why do I get beat down and destroyed every time I do?
I’m NOT that big a threat to the enemy. I’m weak, defective, and so on. No the enemy is not more powerful than the Father and His Son. I’m also an extremely logic evidence minded person. He/Father allows these tests and pains.
Here is where I’ll leave off in this update.
This last test I’m in the middle of is like being in the wilderness tormented by the enemy. I’m no Abraham, I’m not even a disciple. I’m not a Job or Jeremiah, I’m no longer strong. Myself Has been emptied to where I don’t worry or even care about what comes next. But here is my declaration I made yesterday.
EVEN THOUGH…. I’m battling in spiritual warfare every day for my own self… this latest test has been the thing that has angered me to fight, seek out unclean spirits and pray and see people delivered.
I want to torment the other team who has been tormenting me since my faith has began.
I no have nothing left of my own. I have no place of my own, money of my own, and no longer care about worldly things and experiences.
Until the last breath leaves my body I care ONLY to declare full on war… WAR on those unclean spirits tormenting people upon the earth. Not by my power or authority do I set out to battle for others. Not by my strength will I seek out and torment those evil spirits. No not by my own anything. I’m nobody…. But by the One who Chose me will I fight. In His name not mine. In His spirit not mine. With His word not mine.
I no longer care what happens to me in this life. I’m setting out with spiritual weapons and setting out to fight for others even if my miracle or deliverance never comes.
So to the other side, the destructive unclean spiritual team here is what I say this day…..
YOU MADE ME THIS WAY.
you couldn’t just let a deliverance minister go quietly off the battlefield. Where once I was afraid of you I now only seek to destroy you. You want to fight. You want war. Guess what so do I, but I’m not relying on my own anything anymore. I’m just the tool of the Creator of all there is and His Son. I’ll fight for others while struggling to fight for myself. We are now at war and HE GOES BEFORE ME…..
I hate spiritual bullies.
So even though I’m weak I’ll use His strength.
I closed my ministry when I saw the evil face to face. I didn’t want friends and family hurt if something messed with them because of my fighting against evil. I had fear over protecting those who loved me if something took it out on them. I have no relationship and will never again. I will remain single and take my anger out on the unclean spirits and evil which plagues man.
I’ve been fighting for my every day for so long and let fear keep me from my ministry. Well by myself with no team I’m coming to stand against those principalities and spirits who seek to destroy man.
I no longer care what happens to me, I also have no relationship or things to try to protect from the unclean side. I’m a soldier who is returning to the battlefield. I will seek out those plagued by evil spirits and work to set the captives free. It’s about helping others. Until my last breath im at war with the unclean spirits who plauge mankind. Though im just a man I’ll fight. Though im plagued myself I will deliver others. Though im tormented I’ll set free the captives. Though im weak and tired im relying on Him to guide my every move. Though I have nothing I know He will keep providing. Though I beg for rest I’ll never again stop spiritual warfare. July 14 the 5th of Av….. ends my relaxing and starts me pursuing the other side to give them unrest.
Perhaps after setting others free I will be able to earn my own rest. Shalom and God Bless.
Modern Christianity will often use Jeremiah Chapter 31 to say that “Christians don’t have to Keep The Law/Instructions/Torah”. They use the words of this prophet to “opt out” of having to do what the Father says to do. Choosing to embrace sin, rather than to “renew your minds” as Paul says to do.
(For those who want to accuse me now of picking on Modern Christianity) I write not with anger nor malice. I write historically mentioning the beliefs modern religion has and shares freely. I’m not making anything up. Not saying something NOW, that I did not state with frequency as a Christian of this modern era. I’ve proudly say THEN “the law was fulfilled, so we don’t have to keep it”, and NOW “Jesus says I did not come to abolish the Law, says over and over to Keep His Commandments, the words He says are not His but His Fathers, He teaches only what His Father taught Him, and wait for it… those who love Him will do what He says… in other words the Law/Instructions/Torah is for anybody Grafted In (Romans 11) and the Blood Born First. Also not done away with”. So I learned the truth by what’s written in Gods Word, not what men tell me to think OF Gods Word.
So I’m not here to make fun of, pick on, or taunt anybody. I’m here to speak the Biblical Truth. Like it or not. Ok, with that said… let’s open this up. I plan to take this prophecy line by line. Explain what Modern Religion says, and also show a few passages along the way, pointing out why it doesn’t match what’s being taught today. The Bible always is the authority. Not men over the Bible.
““Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—” Jeremiah 31:31
Right away we need to ask “who was the NEW COVENANT being made with”? Or, by Jeremiah’s prophesy… who will it be made with?
The House of Israel, and the House of Judah. Wait… hold on, why didn’t Jeremiah add in the House of Christianity? If you think Jeremiah made a mistake, THINK AGAIN!!!
Christianity was not supposed to become “something different” than the Faith in the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. We need to figure out to WHOM the covenant…. wait let’s be thorough… the COVENANTS prior to the “New Covenant” were made. I said Covenants because there are not just two, like many claim. It’s not just “The Moses Covenant” and the “Jesus Covenant” like many seem to claim. There were a few to list. Let’s do some biblical history to answer both these lines of questions.
Covenants were by name of people.
Most claim there are only two covenants. The “Old Testament” and the “New Testament”. However this is a non studied attitude the Holy Bible that it doesn’t exactly convey. It sort of does, but people fail to grasp Covenants. We need to understand that Father/God chose a group of people for Himself. To be His peculiar or special treasured people. If we turn in our bibles we will see this group of people was not… NOT called “Christians”, and nor was He making a Covenant with them. Who was the covenant for originally?
““For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 7:6
Looks like it could be anybody, but if you apply context (go to the prior chapter 6) you will see whom He is choosing.
““Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
We can clearly see that Israel is Fathers/Gods CHOSEN PEOPLE!
We get back to our passage which lists two houses. We have one covered, but how did the second one come into being?
Israel was comprised of twelve tribes. However there was a political split over choosing a king. So we need to understand this split.
In 1 Kings 12 and 2 Chronicles 10 we have the story of how Israel became two separate “houses” or “nations”. Basically I’ll give you a short answer. The “context” is in the verse prior to 1 Kings 12…
“Then Solomon rested with his fathers, and was buried in the City of David his father. And Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.” I Kings 11:43
King David had a son Solomon who was King (perhaps you heard of him, he built the temple) and died. He placed as king his son named Rehoboam. That’s all well and good, however there was a revolt.
“So it happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard it (he was still in Egypt, for he had fled from the presence of King Solomon and had been dwelling in Egypt ), that they sent and called him. Then Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”” I Kings 12:2-4
So basically this mess is the result over Jeroboam and Israel comming to Rehoboam and pledged allegiance if… IF Rehoboam would make their living less hard and stressful. Can you guess what happened?
He consulted with the wise elders who basically said “do this and all will be well” (paraphrasing) and instead of listening to the wise elders…
“But he rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.” I Kings 12:8
Rehoboam instead takes the counsel of the younger, power hungry, tyrannical people he knew.
“Then the king answered the people roughly, and rejected the advice which the elders had given him; and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!”” I Kings 12:13-14
And you thought the Trump vs Biden thing was a big deal!!!
Anyway, the result was a split in Israel.
“Now it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel. There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah with the tribe of Benjamin, one hundred and eighty thousand chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, that he might restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.” I Kings 12:20-21
Israel (ten of the original twelve tribes) choose Jeroboam as their King. Also Rehoboam leaves Israel and establishes Judah with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and is their King. This split caused many battles between the two nations. Which are the same house technically.
Understanding this political split is key to understanding covenants. Why? Let’s revisit our verse above.
““Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—” Jeremiah 31:31
The prophet Jeremiah tells of a time when Father/God will make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah. Not Gentiles, not other Nations, not Christians. Israel and Judah. That’s who the covenant is for. Those who are blood born (direct descendants) and those who are Grafted Into Israel by Father/God. Let’s ask Paul for some help with this…
“And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.” Romans 11:17-18
We Gentiles (those pagan people, those outside of Israel) have been grafted into Israel by Father/God, because Israel/Judah became as disobedient as we walked out prior to discovering Messiah.
“For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.” Romans 11:30-32
So now because Israel/Judah and we Gentiles before being Grafted Into Israel were all disobedient, we each (group of people Blood Born and Grafted In) have been given the same opportunity to gain entry into the Kingdom of God. What great news. Before those disobedient deserved the Lake of Fire upon death. Now we have an opportunity. Amazing!!!
Alright. That’s the history lesson there. Back to our verse. We can see Israel and Judah were handed the New Covenant.
““Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—” Jeremiah 31:31
We know Gentiles are Grafted Into Israel. The house of Judah (Judaism, Jews) walk out their line. Gentiles were not grafted into Christianity, but were instead Grafted Into Israel. So, this is easy to grasp. There is no third house called Christian. You’re either Israel or Judah. No third house. That third replacement house is simply not biblical. But this is good news as we see the Blood Born and Grafted In have been HANDED A NEW COVENANT. This means this covenant applies to Judah and Israel. Together. The funny thing is like Jacob and Esau fighting as brothers Jews and Christians strive also like brothers. Like the parable of the one who leaves home and the brother who stayed faithful and the prodigal message with the brothers bickering we too see our behavior match. Two houses of Father/God. Those who are Judah and those who are Blood Born and Grafted in Israel. This is who the New Covenant was made with. No house of Gentiles or no house Christianity (as a religion) we are either Judah or Israel. I should say, if your a Christian, like it or not you’re standing on Israel ground. Standing inside the gate, arguing you’re not from the nation. Standing on the commandments denying them, yet keeping most of them unknowingly already. You are my brother, my sister, the same as the Jewish (house of Judah). Like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, Judah complains at us former Gentiles who have been Grafted Into Israel. Since the days of old Israel and Judah seem to clash for no reason. This will continue to until Messiah/Christ returns. Israel and Judah that’s who the New Covenant is for. Just to be clear… as scripture says!
One we learn that Israel and Judah are those with the New Covenant we can now see what Jeremiah the Prophet can tell us about it.
“not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.” Jeremiah 31:32
We see that a “New Covenant” was again needed. Remember there were several not just two. Adam, Abraham, Noah, and Moses all had covenants made with them as His people. That’s just three four right there. We know when the people left Egypt this was the Mosaic Covenant. We know Father/God says through the Prophet Jeremiah this new covenant was needed as the people BROKE the preceding one. They violated the Moses Covenant. This placed them deserving the Lake of Fire upon death. Father needed to once again make a new covenant. Let’s keep reading.
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31:33
It’s interesting what history teaches us. Both Israel and Judah go into captivity. Judah returned and built a second temple. Israel went into captivity and was assimilated into the nations. From this we see in our verse ISRAEL will have the LAW/INSTRUCTIONS/TORAH placed on their minds and hearts. Not Judah, why? Judah has the Torah/Instruction. Who doesn’t? Christianity rejects it. However those Christians who come to the Torah, those Christians who even though they reject Torah/Commandments/Law actually walk them out. Israel, is living lawless as she adapted and adopted the customs of the nations she was placed into at time of captivity. Israel needs the Law. Judah already has it.
Let’s keep reading to grasp more. This is where it gets really really interesting.
“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”” Jeremiah 31:34
We don’t see Christian Pastors preaching that they should not longer teach (when they read “no more shall man teach his neighbor) that’s just silly. But they teach this….. the New Covenant voided the Old One. By this they mean the Law is Abolished. Jesus says “I DID NOT COME TO ABOLISH THE LAW OR PROPHETS”. (See Matthew 5) He also says “Until heaven and earth disappear no part of the Law is void”. Again (See Matthew 5) we see that this would be just as silly. The problem here is we forget the verse prior which says “I WILL PUT MY LAW IN THEIR MINDS AND ON THEIR HEARTS”.
Since Father/God said He would write the Law on the minds and hearts of Israel, it makes no (and I mean NO) logical sense to think this meant the Law/Torah/Commands could possibly be abolished. Permit me to unpack.
If He did away with the Instruction/Torah we need to grasp what the Torah is. It’s not just where He says do this or abstain from that. Those are commands. But it’s Genesis to Deuteronomy. It’s everything in the first five books of the Christian Bibles. It’s Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and sure even Moses and Aaron. But it’s everything in the first five books. If that’s abhorrent to you, outdated, and irrelevant to you. You don’t have to believe in creation, can’t use the Law to gain tithes, don’t have to stop lying, cheating, stealing, can covet your neighbors everything, don’t have to keep Sabbath and by all means murder as many people as you feel like while cheating on your spouse, worshipping as many other Gods as you want. WAIT TIME OUT!!!!
Is your argument the Torah/Instructions of God are abolished? Seriously… is that your argument you believe? If this is so, you are walking in Satanic Doctrine. You belong to the Synagogue/Church of Satan. How do I know?
For starters let’s see the “Satanic Bible” (it’s not a real bible, more like a compilation of beliefs) of the Church of Satan. Hear me out.
1. “Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!”. (Nine Tennents of Satan, taken from the satanic Bible)
8. “Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!”. (Nine Tennents of Satan, taken from the satanic Bible)
“Satanism encourages its followers to indulge in their natural desires. Only by so doing can you be a completely satisfied person with no frustrations which can be harmful to yourself and others around you. Therefore, the most simplified description of the Satanic belief is: INDULGENCE INSTEAD OF ABSTINENCE”! (Excerpt from Satanic Bible)
Ok, why am I mentioning Indulgence instead of Abstinence? Why am I showing that Satan represents sin? Simple. What is the definition of sin? It’s in the New Covenant (New Testament). Let’s see that.
“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.” 1 John 3:4
Satan clearly advocated for Indulgence instead of Abstinence. From what does one abstain? Sin!!
So if a Message of Gods Law/Instructions/Commands/Torah is a burden or no longer of value or is void, is loved by the modern church today who is teaching it? God and Christ? Certainly NOT!! Satan is. Why? Because the Bible tells us what the Father and Son actually say….
““If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” John 14:15-17
“For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.” John 6:38
“Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.” John 14:23-24
““Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” Matthew 5:17-20
Jesus says He did not come to abolish the Law or Prophets, says He came to do His Fathers Will, says that His words or commands are His Fathers not His, says several times to Keep His Commandments. Wait… that’s sounds familiar. Perhaps He echos His Father.
“Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 12:28
We need to ask ourselves, do we Follow Messiah/Christ or are we embracing Satans Doctrines? If the Father and Son say the same thing, is not the commands, law, covenant applicable to us today? Or can we reject it for indulgence of sin?
We can see that The New Covenant was handed to Judah (Blood Born and Converted), yet also we can see that the New Covenant was handed to Israel (Blood Born and Grafted In), we can see clearly that the Grafting happened because the people broke the covenant prior to the New One. We can see Yeshua/Jesus teaches the Old One and in the New One elevates the Old One, increasing its strength not… NOT making it void. We can see these things clearly, or we are walking blindly.
The new covenant replaces the old covenant, however by Jesus teaching the old it proves it still applies. Unless you think Satan is right. Unless you think heaven and earth has passed away. Not one part of the Law has been void according to JESUS Christ. Your teacher.
Friends, in the end we can clearly see through scripture His Instruction/Law/Torah was in the Old Covenant and is in the New Covenant. Still applies. If we cannot see this, we are blinded by indulgence of sin which is the doctrine of the devil as proven above.
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4
In the end we all have to make a choice what or whom we believe. If you walk in indulgence to sin you’re walking in the devil. Sin is the transgression of the Law/Instructions/Commands/Torah of Father God. His Son came to show us how to walk this Instruction out and strengthen it. He placed it in our hearts and minds so that we might actually follow it. He never voided it out, but upheld it asking us to do the very same. To believe anything else is to deny our Bible and John 1 says the Bible made flesh is Christ.
With this all said the New Covenant strengthens the Old. Supports the Old and is not, NOT a doing away with the Old, but as Paul says and establishment of it.
I hope this helps to clarify the New Covenant application biblically.
Shalom and God Bless.
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Recently I was asked if I could help explain from a biblical perspective the concept/theology of predestination. How I thought this either applies or doesn’t to Torah observance. I’m going to be real honest here… this is a topic that is argued and debated over fairly regularly. Which I tend to stay out of. It’s also, for me more of philosophy than anything else. It requires us to speculate to some degree, and there is scripture which could support pro and con to predestination. I am not a philosopher… But, I thought it would make a good topic so, let’s take on the Predestination vs Free Will discussion.
One of the first main points here I wish to make is Father/God is Sovereign. This means He is King, Lord over all, and He is in charge. Man is not the same as Him. Also when I say Him I am relating all of Him as one. The Father, Son, Spirit, and yes even the Word. I get this from John One….
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
The “Word” Bible, was with God and was God. Spoken first, written second. We know that the “word becomes flesh” and later in the chapter is identified as Yeshua/Jesus. Thus God is Christ, is the Bible. In Genesis One we see the “spirit” there and in Acts we see the Spirit is given to us. So yeah, the Spirit is also part of that oneness.
Now if we focus on the Bible for a moment we know the Word is the authority over man. Not man over the Word. So if we connect all the Bible together, we get a clear picture that He Is fully Sovereign. We can also know from Job One that even Satan falls under Gods Sovereignty. I’m setting all this up for a reason here. Bear with me. Father/God is so sovereign that He created everything, and rules over it all.
Now I think that since we established that we must ask, what does scripture say about pre-destination?
“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” Ephesians 1:4-5
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” II Timothy 1:8-9
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,” Ephesians 1:11
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,” Galatians 1:15-16
“Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;” Acts 2:23
Alright, by now I think you can see that there is definitely scripture supporting Father/God knowing and also selecting people. There were many many more verses I could have used here. For the sake of time I chose quickly, eight to represent Yes…. there is predestination talk in our bibles. I would be in error if I tried to say there wasn’t. This gets us into an issue. Predestination vs Free Will…
The issue of predestination presupposes that Father/God who is fully sovereign (like a King) has also established everything for us and we are merely acting out His will. (like a boy playing with toy cars, or like a girl playing with her dolls). The cars and dolls CANNOT act on their own free will. They must perform as their sovereign (the boy or girl) wills them to. They are, after all inanimate objects with no free will. Or no will at all, as they are merely toys. But this helps to explain what I mean here.
The Massive problem we must face is that if predestination is fully true, then you and I are not free to make choices. Every choice was already laid out by God and every action was already prescribed by God. This means we are like Characters in a book, with no free will to make choices. Let me break this analogy down.
The Author, creates everything in the book to sustain the characters, then creates the characters and places them in an environment. Front there, the author establishes every thought, word, deed, feeling, and all else (for the characters ) to create a story. This is all done by the author. At no time do the characters merely do anything of their own free will. Why? Because they are predestined to live only in that story and do what the author says for them to do.
Some say this is exactly the relationship from God to Man. The problem is this whole free will thing, and also the issue of it no longer being love (to follow and worship God) but a simple requirement to do so, because it’s already destined to us. In other words, our “destiny” is set in stone. When we are good, it’s because God set that. When we are evil, it’s because God set that. No matter if we want to be good when He sets us up to be bad, we simply cannot do so. This would mean that, when we want to be good and cannot, it’s because God set it up that way.
There is a problem with this line of thinking that we need to actually digest for a second. How could God “get mad” at us for breaking His ways… (because if predestination is true, He made us break His Will) and punish us for it? This would mean God was not loving, but someone like a narcissist. If God worked this way, He couldn’t really blame us, as after all He prescribed our bad actions. It would be His fault, not ours. This is how the owner of an aggressive dog is responsible for the dog if it bites someone. The dog (like man) under the control of its master becomes the responsibility of the master. It’s technically not responsible for itself. Let me say it another way, if you have a child and set the child up to fail at a task… purposely to be able to tell and punish the child, does that make you a good parent? No, certainly not. It makes you an evil one. So this begs the question… how do we rationalize predestination WITH (not against) Free Will?
Before I can start to answer this, we need to unpack some very important verses. Please bear with me a moment.
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” Genesis 2:15-17
If EVERYTHING is predetermined that man will do, why did God give any instruction to Adam? There is no reason to give any instruction, because man cannot act on his own accord. (Remember the cars and dolls) There is already the outcome established by the creator. The problem here is Father/God gives Adam Instructions. Does this call into question Gods Sovereignty as some suggest? NO!!! Certainly Not!!!
Because His Sovereignty does not change when we are good, or break His Commands. He is still our King. Let me explain this.
A King is sovereign over His Lands. Over His peoples He rules. However the people can defy their King. They also can worship their King and Obey their King. He makes Laws and Decrees that His subjects are to follow. If they do not then they face the penalty for their transgressions. They have free will, yet are under the Kings rule and subject to His Laws and Decrees. Thus, predestination AND free will are co workers in human life.
Did God really set up Adam and Eve to fail so He could punish them? for me the answer is a clear NO. He gave them Instructions. Told them not to eat of certain fruit and explained what would happen if they chose to break that Instruction. If this was all predetermined, God would NOT have to give them any direction at all. It would again be like the characters in the book, or the toy cars, or the dolls. Let’s continue…
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” Genesis 2:16-17
“You may eat of all the trees but these two” tells us He gave Adam and Eve the ability to make a choice to Obey Him or Disobey Him. This is “Free Will”. Father/God set a choice before them and explained “you will die” assigning death will result in making the choice for disobedience. Adam and Eve knew the issue of choice, heard the warning on the outcome yet… still chose wrong. So if God predetermined them to be wrong, made it so Adam and Eve couldn’t make a right choice… that wouldn’t be an act of love. Man would also not have been handed choice. We would just be like the characters in a book. “Written that way”.
We know Eve makes the first “bad choice” then so does Adam. From this we learn death results. We must all die, and our flesh is against God. The thing is, Adam and Eve had free choice. They chose wrong. But this is just the start….
We know in Chapter Three God punishes the two. So either He caused them to be evil, voiding choice. Just to punish them for fun. Or He gave them choice, when they violated that… He carried through the punishment. Making Father/God “JUST”. Which they were warned to choose wisely. The thing is we know they were warned and had free choice. However there is one more thing I wish to point out here.
We see in Job the day came when the “heavenly court” went in before God. We know Satan was also required to go. We pick it up as God and the devil are having a chat about Job being obedient.
“Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person. ” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.” Job 1:8-12
Satan basically argues that Job only is Obedient to God because He is doing everything for Job. In other words, “because you do everything for Job, Job is Obedient”. Basically accusing God of not letting man make free will choices. God twice over allows the devil to beat down Job. Establishing Job’s Obedience was not based in predestination, but free choice. Job was not ordered to be obedient and endure. Job also had free will to choose to walk away from his faith, or persevere through the pains of his trials. We know God rewards Job at the end of the Book for all He endured.
“Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations.” Job 42:12-16
Job gets restored. Why was he rewarded for only doing what was already predetermined? That makes no logical sense. Job however gets rewarded because of His Obedience which is a clear and visible choice. Free Will and NOT predetermined control.
I wish to provide two more examples here.
“So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”” Genesis 4:6-7
Let’s say that predestination is in full effect here, why would God even need to discuss with Cain anything? There is no need to, like the toy cars and dolls. A child doesn’t have to explain anything to the toys. Just manipulate them. If there was no free will, God would not need to waste His time telling His Creation anything. After all it’s already set in stone right? This is exactly the problem.
The last example I want to use here is this…
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:5-8
Alright, lastly in our lineup I want to explain this clearly. When God saw the wickedness of man upon the earth it distresses Him. Why? If everything is predetermined it’s Gods Will they became that way. After all He caused this Himself. That’s the thing, He created everything and people. But He gave people free will, as demonstrated above and also here. God would NOT be able to be sorry, distressed, hurt, or angry by man’s actions if they were like the characters in the book, or like the toy cars or the dolls. It again would be His fault this bad thing happened. Nobody would be to blame. However since man has free will to make choices of Obedience and disobedience to God, Father/God could rightly have these emotions and man was equally free to reject Him. Which would actually cause Him pain, because man was to blame and not God.
Wait…. “Michael, I meant predestination toward Salvation”… you might be inclined to argue this point also. Alright my friend let’s apply it into that direction as well.
IF, and I really mean IF God predetermined all who are saved and all who are not, before all was created, this hands us other issues to deal with.
The first is that He only chose a certain number, called them based on His choice. This means that man doesn’t have any choice to go to the Kingdom of God or the Lake of Fire. This means salvation is forced upon those who desire to hate God. God is no longer just.
How do we know we have the choice to choose salvation or reject it?
In Deuteronomy we read a chapter on Blessings for Obedience and Curses for Disobedience to God. Why warn us and them to be obedient if it’s not our choice to do so? Again a logic hang up.
““Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28
We are told if we choose obedience to God we are blessed and the opposite if we violate by disobedience. In fact we are warned about punishment called curse. Again if God is moving you around and making your choices for you, He already has assigned your salvation or damnation based on His choice. Meaning He already assigned it to you, even if you lived by His commandments all you life, unless He changes His mind you’re still damned. That is unless free will is involved. Once free Will is involved if you REPENT guess what?
If you repent and stop your sins Father/God returns to us. How do we know?
““The LORD has been very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.” ’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the LORD.” Zechariah 1:2-4
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts 3:19
Instead we see the Father and Son repeatedly asking, for people to repent and keep His Commandments. Why would God or Christ have to demand, ask, beg, and cry out for us to walk in His Ways? If everything was already set, He wouldn’t be asking us anything.
“Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 12:28
““If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.” John 14:15-16
If it’s all predetermined and already set in stone who is saved and who is not, keeping the commandments isn’t needed. Doing good isn’t a requirement. Certainly Yeshua/Jesus would not have to ask His Father Anything… they are one (John 1), and no advocate would be needed. Why? Salvation is already assigned. Doesn’t matter what you do.
“Alright alright alright already. Michael…. how do you rectify the verses supporting predestination with all the verses saying free will”?
“But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” John 3:12
““My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
Ok, perhaps our physical worldly thinking cannot quite wrap our minds around what I’m going to say next. At some point faith has to kick in and we stop trying to prove or disprove and simply have faith or drop faith. Look, let me clarify something before I explain what I believe about Predestination and Free Will.
If we look at scripture we can see it’s not God or Christ… it’s Both. It’s not Grace or Law…. it’s Both. It’s not Predestination or Free Will… it’s also BOTH!!! I firmly believe that it’s both, because of scripture and the amount of it. There seems to be support for both. Not just a verse here or there, but multiple verses pointing out predestination yet also pointing out free will. Perhaps the problem isn’t the Bible saying two things one or the other. Perhaps it’s on us to interpret correctly.
We can see that there is this word predetermined used a fair amount. However we can easily tell we have free will. The major issue here is we are approaching this subject like so many others. We are trying to understand spiritual things in physical ways. It’s like using orange juice on your cereal instead of milk, or smelling the color blue”. It just doesn’t add up. So how do we rationalize from a biblical perspective?
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:3-4
First, if God just moves people about and controls them like a child with the toy and doll or the author of a book… why would God have to “desire” all be saved. They would just be all saved. Second, who does He desire is saved? All humans. Everybody!!!
This is echoed in the following verses…
“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “ and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:23
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9
Again, He would NOT have to desire all to be saved. He would just save them. Man however has free will to choose to Obey or Disobey God.
On the predestined front however there is also, equally those who are predestined and predetermined. So there is both.
We know there are SOME people who are pre chosen. Some verses are the following:
Matthew 22:14, John 6:37, 44, 65, 8:47, 10:26-29, Romans 8:29-30, 9:6-23, 11:5-10, 1 Corinthians 1:26-30, Ephesians 1:4-5, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, and James 2:5.
So there are Some who are predestined. Others who are not. We know that this is NOT a one and done like some think it is. If it were, we would not see supporting scripture to both. Let’s take for instance the 144,000. Clearly they have been set aside and have the in. Does that mean only 144,000 will be saved? NO!!! We also have been set aside, those who walk in the Law and have faith in Messiah, does that mean only those will be saved? NO!!!
Some are predestined others are not. Those who are not come to salvation via the Messiah/Christ. Yet others from the past who ONLY HAD THE LAW, they too by their observance of it and dedication to it have that in. Those who are blood born have an in. Those who are grafted into Israel (like us) have that in. Those who believe in Messiah/Christ have that in. Etc.
I would maintain that just because you’re not in a “elected” group doesn’t mean you can not or will not be saved. It means you’re not elect or predestined, but you still have a way before you. For me, I see this not as a Predestined vs Free Will debate. But I see it as two options set up, by our Creator. Some are “Predestined” while others are not. Those who are not “like us” have to make that choice. It’s our “free will” to choose Him or reject Him. There appears to be two groups of people in that. Just like there are Blood Born and Grafted In for Biblical Israel. The reality we need to remember is that scripture never lies.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17
So if this is the case (and it is) we need to remember that, scripture telling us “Free Will” is real, and scripture telling us “SOME are Predestined”, must tell us that both are true…. each in their own way. If scripture says it… it’s the truth or the whole bible is a lie.
In conclusion, I would add that the narrative is NOT all are predestined. Some clearly are by scripture. Those who are, are the blood born, the 144,000, those chosen by Him before birth etc. The rest however are left to make the choice. The Free Will choice to Follow Him through His Son, His Law, and such. Some have to choose to Follow and be Obedient to the Most High. Some are fulfilling their destiny. Regardless of which group you fall under we need to grasp Father/God is…. IS SOVEREIGN, and is KING over all. He created everything and you must choose to be obedient to the King or reject the King at your own peril.
One thing by this study is clear to me, some are predestined for different reasons and purposes. Those who are not must make the choose for or against Him. Those either predestined or choose Him get His Kingdom, those who are Not predestined and reject Him and live sinfully wicked lives perish in the Lake of Fire. Regardless of predestination or choice, stop bickering and fighting over who’s right. After all you’re in, not being destroyed like a log on the flame within the Lake of Fire.
I hope this helps explain how it’s not one or the other for all people. But it’s really a combination of both. Some “special groups” are Predestined yet others have to exercise their Free Will….
When I first came into the faith from the world I learned “Church is on Sunday” is the norm. So I just went with it. It’s NOT like I was an avid Holy Bible reader anyway. I was (at the time) just a worldly guy who wanted to stay out of hell (later learned that hell isn’t a biblical concept. The Lake of Fire Is) and really wanted to be a good person (just as long as I would NOT have to change) while following Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. So I became a “Newborn Christian” after saying the prayer to “Invite Jesus into my heart” and was somehow instantly transformed into this new creation. Then was baptized and became born again. I feel that (Though some of this I later found out doesn’t exactly match with what the Bible Says, yet some does) this journey into Biblical Faith has been very challenging as you learn, unlearn, and relearn almost all the time. When you put things up against the Holy Bible, you quickly see a lot is religious traditions more than Biblical Principles. This can be hard to process, accept, and correct. But……….
Hang on a second, I want to stop right here and explain why some might find this post and me offensive. My goal is NOT to bash the church, church fathers, or Christianity. Far from it, but I need to say this. I was offended at some of what (well most of what) I’m about to get into here on this post. I love history, and have a deep passion for Biblical History. This means I study church and bible history to see where we all got our start. This will be painful. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings. My goal is to help correct the wrong direction the body has walked by speaking from the Bible, not about what I think of the Bible. So let’s see if we can see what’s really going on. How did we get from Sabbath to Sunday? Who changed those days? Is that change actually biblical? What did the disciples and Yeshua/Jesus ACTUALLY DO AND TEACH? Who’s authority did these changes become authorized by?
So, there I was having become a “Christian” of modern days. I enjoyed the snacks, drinks, free handouts, the rock band playing the latest Christian Music, the fact I could buy teachings and merchandise from the church, and I really loved the community feeling. Yeah, I dove head long into religion. It was fun, like being with friends. However, something was missing that I didn’t know about (back then) and all my faith would soon change.
After being “Newborn” for a moment I felt compelled to “speak for Yeshua/Jesus”, by a dream I had one morning. I thought that meant being a pastor and I decided to do just that. The thing is, I enjoyed learning and studying. “Protect the church” became my direction. Should have been “Protect the Faith”, or even “Protect the Word”? But I had little to go on. So I took all the classes I could on the religious ways of doing “church”. I invested heavily in religion. My goal was (and is) to follow Messiah/Christ as best I could (can) and try to become a modern day disciple. Before you ask, I am still aiming at that, don’t feel I’ll get there… it’s my aim. I learned the ways of doctrine and theology. It sounded good, I trusted the religious men who taught me, the scholars works I read, and I asked questions. However, I was still missing something.
There I was, a newly Ordained Non-Denominational Minister. I was so happy. I had the black suit, the collar, the ordination paperwork by man, and every possible book of rights, prayers, sayings, all the paperwork to perform every possible service, the incense, censor, the rosary, prayer beads, crucifix, crosses, jewelry of crosses and bible verses, a brand new Bible, a drive and motivation and…… you get the idea right?
I listened daily to everything I could about church history and Jesus, and as many old school and modern teachings I could get my hands or eyes on. Then it happened, without warning…
An atheist pointed out how Christians do NOT follow the Holy Bible. I took a week to try and refute his version of Christianity. I mean, surely “the church fathers” had not deviated from the Word of God. Surely the “church” I’ve come to know must have it right. Surely the model of church we have inherited must be accurate. I mean we are called to defend the “church”, so all these pastors and preachers can’t have this wrong. There must be a logical and satisfactory definition of why we observe the holidays we do, and why we changed from Sabbath to Sunday. God had to have ordained it. His son had to teach it, and the disciples had to carry it out. This atheist couldn’t be correct….. right?
Then… sadly after relying on the “church fathers made those changes because of Messiah’s/Christ’s death and Resurrection” training having provided that answer I was… not satisfied. I needed to know the truth. I’m a logic common sense driven kinda guy. Today, I don’t believe the atheist shook my faith. I believe what I learned next, from the Word of God, and also from “Church” doctrine shook my faith. See, the reality is we have placed our faith in men, religious leaders… not the actual written Word of God. Friend, buckle up it’s going to get bumpy.
The first thing we really need to do is see, how the Sabbath got its start.
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3
Who made every thing? God. Who made people? God. Who set apart the seventh day? God. Who declared that day HOLY? God. So, just to be clear God created everything and rested on the seventh day, declared that day HOLY, right? If you believe your Holy Bibles and Him. Yes!!!
Can you show me in the “Creation Account” scripture that says He set apart Sunday and declared that day also Holy? Please show me He did that, not that it could be inferred. But that God declared Sunday Holy also, from Creation? THERE IS NO SUCH VERSE IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE HOLY BIBLE!!!!!! But my friend, THERE IS NO SUCH VERSE IN THE SECOND HALF EITHER!!!!!
Ok, since we just established this Biblical Fact, we need to now see when the mention of the use of the word “Sabbath” is used after the Creation Account.
“Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’ ” Exodus 16:23
So the people rested on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:30
So in Exodus 16 we read clearly that the Seventh Day of the week is a Sabbath. It’s a day of rest each week, linked to the giving of manna, so they could be fed while Israel was walking through the Exodus from captivity and bondage in Egypt. Thats now directly linked to the Creation Account. This is a great way to summarize who, and how the Sabbath began in a short order.
However, when did it become a Law/Custom?
In Exodus 20 the Prophet Moshe/Moses received the “Law” (Instructions of Father/God, called the Torah) and is handed Ten Commandments. Guess what one of them is, go on guess…
““Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8
That’s right, to “Remember to Keep the Sabbath and Keep it Holy”. So let’s recap, God made everything, made people, set the Seventh Day apart, declared it Holy, and now reminds people to Keep the Sabbath… I really need some scripture that says all this about Sunday. Something more than just a hypothesis or tradition. I need to see where it says, Keep my Sunday or First day of the week Holy. I need to see it written clearly, not just guessed at, believed, or offered by religious leadership. Go ahead and I’ll wait for you to look it up.
NO!!! No scripture authorizing the change can be found!!!! You can only infer it from what our scholars say? Wait, you want me to keep Sunday, because some religious men were changing what was said in scripture and demanded or asked they believe something different than the Word of God? But if I’m a Christian who believes in Christ, shouldn’t I also do as He did? After all those little bracelets with the phrase WWJD are soo popular.
Guys, this is where I started having a problem with my faith back then. How could I, a Christian Reverend be preaching a day, doing so on a day, that I cannot find God or Christ actually commanding me to observe. I was, at this point entering into a heartbreaking study, that I never wanted to be in. Could the “church fathers” have got something wrong? Could pastors and priests who love others, fallen into the trap of being led astray. Then teaching that straying to others, all the while believing they were teaching rightly? I was investigating the crime of our time now, and as someone who loves to investigate I was going to solve this. One way or another. Perhaps I was wondering if my faith was real, or if I had been played by a cunning foe. But, I wanted to learn the truth.
Right now I had to establish what Yeshua/Jesus actually did and taught. I mean if I am a “New Testament” person I should desire to follow His example. So I looked.
See I was familiar of where I (as a pastor) believed Jesus “did away with the Sabbath”. Let’s see how I would have argued (and did) back then for Him voiding the Sabbath. Then shut that down with proper text and context.
I used to believe (wrongly and I’ll prove that) and teach this false doctrine.
““Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Matthew 5:17
I would then cite the following text,
“For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”” Matthew 12:8
I would craft my argument to say that Jesus “fulfilled” (would never say abolished or did away) the Law. This meant because of His Sacrifice for our sins, He completed the requirements of the Law so that I no longer have to keep it. I would then add “He is Lord Over the Sabbath” following up with He did away with having to keep the Sabbath and all the ceremonial Observances we once were required to do. That is until the Work of the Cross. Now I would also pull in scripture that defines the Law as a shadow of things to come, tie that in with where it appears like Paul is saying the Law is done away with and conclude it all with a statement like, “now we are simply forgiven, after all JESUS knows my heart”.
The reality is that fills pews. But it’s not exactly biblical. This is where the rubber meets the road. For a logical minded person like myself, if I really believe what I just gave you (and I really did) I would have to see if what I believed was found in the Bible. After all JESUS is the Word Made Flesh… right? So deny the Word, we deny Christ… and deny Christ we deny God…. right?
So what did Jesus actually do? WDJAD? Why is the above belief proven wrong by the Holy Bible? Let’s look….
“When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.” Luke 4:16
The Jews had this thing where traveling Rabbi’s could speak. Jesus was that Rabbi. We know this, because of what… scripture.
“Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”” John 1:49
Yeshua/Jesus a Rabbi/Teacher went into the Synagogues during Sabbath and read the Hebrew/Jewish reading (Torah portion part, or Haftarah Part) for the day. As seen over and over and over. Just like the Jewish also do till this very day. On Sabbath, a gathering to hear the Word. That’s what He did. So if He did away with the Law, He Himself failed at doing away with it, because He Himself kept it. Yeshua/Jesus kept the Sabbath as is the Jewish custom. What about the disciples? I’m sure they realized JESUS was making a mistake keeping that old law right?
No, NO, NO!!! They followed Yeshua/Jesus example. How do we know? Scripture again.
“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.” Acts 3:1
“Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,” Acts 17:2
Clearly neither Yeshua/Jesus and His Disciples realized that His death and Resurrection was about to change how we worship. Perhaps Yeshua/Jesus didn’t know everything. Wait…. scripture says this about that…
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:18
Apparently Yeshua/Jesus is the Word/Bible made flesh and was with God and is God. So, this is a problem for those arguing that Yeshua/Jesus couldn’t have known. The fact is He taught about all kinds of issues including His death, resurrection, and ascension. About end times, about all kinds of things in the future. But He forgot to teach the churches change from Sabbath to Sunday? This is illogical. He taught all about the Sabbath. Let’s see what He rejected in the “Lord of the Sabbath” discussion for context.
“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” Matthew 12:1-2
For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”” Matthew 12:8
The proper context we can CLEARLY see using proper discernment is not adhering to the Jewish religious traditions that violated Gods Instructions. The disciples are accused of breaking Sabbath. We see this echoed almost every time they were near the Pharisees and not adhering to proper Rabbinic Traditions. These which clashed with the Word of God. Let’s see some text to support this.
“Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “ All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” Mark 7:1-9
Keeping “religious traditions” became more important than following Fathers Instructions/Gods Law. Rabbi Yeshua corrected the religious about their failings.
So if Yeshua/Jesus and His Disciples were KEEPING the Sabbath, God didn’t make a change, Jesus didn’t make a change, nor did the disciples. They too kept the Sabbath, and neither the Father or Son predicted said changes, we need to ask ourselves…
IF THE CHANGE FROM SABBATH TO SUNDAY IS NOT FOUND IN MY BIBLE, WHY DO WE OBSERVE SUNDAY?
It would appear that we are observing something outside of our bibles. From here on out, you might get offended at how direct I’m going to be. My intention is to show biblical truths, not make you happy about your sins. So let’s get into the harder part.
We can glean that early on MOST of the people following Jesus were Jewish. Then Gentiles started to come into this faith. They believed in the Law and also The Messiah/Christ. We know this because in Acts we see this clearly played out in the above scripture, look up Sabbath and see how many times it was observed or commanded. We can see the disciples were clearly living it out. Keeping Sabbath!!!
Seeing that the disciples were Keeping the Sabbath, we need to ask ourselves. Who made this change and when? We know that Catholicism tells us that their religion is in the founding of the Christian Church. So let’s look and see what if anything can be cleaned from their doctrines and traditions.
So if we look at this image of their beliefs we can clearly see a change from Sabbath to Sunday was made. This change can be found more clearly in several places listed in their text which can be found at “vatican.va/third commandment”.
2171 God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant.95 The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel.
2172 God’s action is the model for human action. If God “rested and was refreshed” on the seventh day, man too ought to “rest” and should let others, especially the poor, “be refreshed.”96 The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.97
2173 The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day.98 He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.”99 With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing.100 The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God.101 “The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”102
This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.103
They opt by making a change (or upholding one) that was done by now changing from Sabbath to Sunday, and they call this (Sunday) the Lords Day.
The reasoning given is as follows;
2174 Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.”104 Because it is the “first day,” the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the “eighth day” following the sabbath,105 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday: We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.106
They say that because Christ rose from the dead, this instituted a change from Sabbath to Sunday. Wait… hold up….
Firstly, did you see Catholics (and by extension the rest of Christianity gathers ON THE DAY OF THE SUN!!! This may sound like a non event to you, but the Biblical reality is that would be something Father/God would have an issue with. We need to look this up, and ask does He speak AGAINST this Day of the Sun thing?
If we go to something like Wikipedia (third party source) we see under “Sunday” this…
In Roman culture, Sunday was the day of the Sun god. In paganism, the Sun was a source of life, giving warmth and illumination to mankind. It was the center of a popular cult among Romans, who would stand at dawn to catch the first rays of sunshine as they prayed
Perhaps to you something directly connected to Roman and Paganism and foreign god worship sounds ok. However Father/God disagrees. We need some scripture here. We have some supporting my claim, let’s see this…
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 14:2
We can see Father/God set apart Nation Israel (whom we are Grafted Into.. See Romans 11) which is said in scripture. Also we see Nation Israel warned about following customs of nations around them. Let’s see that…
““When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.” Deuteronomy 18:9-14
We can clearly see we must not do as other nations do. But what about worshipping Father/God like they worship their gods?
““When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:29-32
We are NOT to worship Father/God like those others worship their gods. This is basic Christianity and also a foundation in Judaism. Yet we have a transition taking place somewhere around the third to fifth century where “church leaders” opted to change from Sabbath to Sunday, what looks like on their own, having no command by the Father or Son or Disciples to do that very change. We have some other scripture to look at….
“I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4
“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed. For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into lake of fire, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment. And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood. Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people.” 2 Peter 2:1-6
I would suggest that ANY changes to Christianity should be found written directly in the Holy Bible. Not have to be implied or inferred. Those changes SHOULD NOT clash with what’s written in Gods Word!! If something clashes, it should be rejected. We see this “New Teaching” that “Sunday replaces the Jewish Sabbath” is not biblical founded, but based on or inferred from texts. Just because you use a verse doesn’t mean it’s biblical. The sad part is man (The Church) rejects Fathers/Gods Instructions, yet embrace the commands of religious men, embracing changes The Father and Son never made. Changes the disciples never carried out. Where have we read this today?
“Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?” Matthew 15:3
Only you can decide for yourself if God and Christ was serious, if the Bible is truth, and if you live for Him or traditions which clash with the Holy Word Of God.
Messiah/Christ and the disciples never change or mention a change not once ever!!! Instead we have a moment where religious men divide from Judaism to Christianity. They go on to expressly separate two days with more “church doctrines and traditions”, let’s keep reading in the Catholic Catechism from Vatican.VA/Third Commandment
2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107
Notice it’s religious men who replaced the Sabbath of God with a Sabbath of man…. the Sabbath of God to a day of assembly of pagan gods? If you are ok with this, you are actually walking against the Holy Bible and trusting men not God, Christ, or the Holy Bible…. Can you afford to base your eternal life upon men, or do you live biblically basing it on the Written Word Of God?
We see that they have also stated Messiah/Christ had created a second Passover. The problem is His Father, nor He taught this. Roman Catholicism however did. The other Christian “Churches” also took their lead from the Catholics in most of their beliefs.
I have established the how and why this change was made, even by who. I have established Father/God warns against following other nations. I’ve established that He also stands against having us worship Him like the other nations worship their gods. I’ve even shown Sunday Worship has pagan origins. I’ve even shown men made these changes not Him.
It’s time to ask, since what I am doing in “church” is NOT in my Bible and set up by men deviating me from the actual Word of God….
You must ask, am I ok following additions to scripture instead of scripture?
““And now, Israel, listen carefully to these decrees and regulations that I am about to teach you. Obey them so that you may live, so you may enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you.” Deuteronomy 4:1-2
Could it be a sin to follow traditions which clash with the Holy Word of God (the Holy Bible)?
“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.” 1 John 3:4
Could breaking these Gods Instructions mean you’re not “in Him”?
“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:3-6
At the end of the day, only you can decide to Follow Christ or just know of Him. One brings salvation, the other destruction. The time is NOW TO REPENT!!!! Repent of religion and Follow Messiah Christ. I cannot make the choice for you. If your religion isn’t following the Bible, is making changes to the Word of God, and is claiming something not found in the Holy Bible to be true, you… like me have been fooled. Pastors must repent of their anti biblical teachings, (as I have) and do by these writings. Leaders have lead the flock into the wilderness and slowly, without discipleship, the wolves are devouring those who once had faith.
When we get to judgement day, after resurrection, and we stand before Christ will He admit us into the Kingdom or tell us this…
““Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” Matthew 7:21-23
I have nothing to gain by this writing. I’m not asking you for anything. Instead I’m trying to encourage you in The Faith, not religions. Just in case you were wondering, the religious practices that clash with the Holy Bible, I repented of and suggest you do as well, (repent means to stop) however Paul says it’s to “renew your mind”.
Lastly, the “church” of our time is following men and traditions we cannot find located in the Bible. In scripture there is no command to keep sunday written. However there is the command to Keep Sabbath which the “Church” seems to ignore. Is it not time to return to biblical living, and repent of our sins? Who do you follow, men or Messiah?
The reality is, I’m actually asking you to follow Christ/Messiah, (through the Bible) not men… not even me… Go home and study to be approved….
I think that in a society where it’s easy to get into he said/she said arguments about what people think and feel is true, that when it comes to the Holy Bible and what we are saying of it… needs to be based in facts not feelings or opinions. So for me the “Conversion of Saul of Tarsus” to “Paul the Apostle” is one that I thought I knew, but seems now… really didn’t. Here is what I “thought I knew”….
I was taught to teach that “there was a man named Saul of Tarsus who was a Pharisee and went about persecuting the christian religion. That one day JESUS met him on the road to Damascus and converted him to Paul the Apostle. That Jesus changed his name right then and there,that before the conversion Saul was a devout religious Jew, and after the conversion he had the new religion of Christianity”…. wait, that’s all correct, isn’t it?
Today I want to take you on a Paul journey. We will look at his life, who he was, and why the conversion story is real, but also parts of that story don’t match what the Holy Bible says.
I’m going to take this as we are in a court of law, and submit my evidence. Explain what the evidence is saying, then let you decide. I’m not trying to change your mind here, merely point out what we’ve been taught, doesn’t match what’s already been written in the Holy Book of our Faith. Let’s get into it.
Paul was born Saul… we know this because the text of the Bible tells us this. We know that around 5 A.D. Saul of Tarsus was born in Tarsus, of the province of Cilicia within the Roman Empire. This means that after Messiah/Christ had lived and faced the cross. Every wonder when reading the Bible what that meant? Well, we’re going to break into that wondering with some truth.
Let’s turn to Acts 22 and see about Saul of Tarsus early years.
““I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.” Acts 22:3
We see Paul testifying about who he is, to the authorities. He states “I was born a Jew”. This is right away powerful. For those who doubt Saul of Tarsus was a Jew, he says that he was. Not only that… but studied under Gamliel. This means that Saul was no ordinary Jew. He was studied, who was Gamliel? Yeah, we need to give you something about him too.
Gamaliel the Elder, or Rabbān Gamlīyʾēl haZāqēn in Hebrew or in Greek Gamaliēl ho Presbýteros, or even Rabban Gamaliel I was a powerful man. He was the leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early First Century A.D.. He was also the son of Simeon ben Hillel, and grandson of the great teacher Hillel the Elder. So, Gameliel was a prominent and powerful Rabbi/Teacher in his day. It would be like going to study under a king or president. Only the best of the best would be picked by this man to have study under him. They would have to be well versed in the Torah and certainly would have to be able to grasp complex teachings of the Torah. This would be like a master class, not a basic study. Nevertheless we see Saul of Tarsus attending the study under Gamliel.
Saul was on the fast track to being a “made man” in “The Faith” so to speak. By the way “The Faith” isn’t a religion, it’s the Faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. According to those walking out the New Testament. During and after the New Testament this “Faith” would come to include the Fathers Son also.
So we have Saul of Tarsus born a Jew and well versed in the Torah. So much so he studied under Gamaliel. I feel like many forget this fact immediately upon Sauls Conversion. We also can see Saul was zealous for the Torah and for Father/God.
However we need to understand something else, Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee. Let’s see that.
“circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Philippians 3:5-6
We can clearly see Saul of Tarsus declaring himself as being a Pharisee. What exactly does “Pharisee” mean? This means that those walking this out were strictly bound to the Torah. They walked the Law out in the most strictest sense, leaving no room for outside influences over what the Torah actually says. They were the strictest branch of said faith. However, besides being a “Hebrew of Hebrews” Saul of Tarsus had another identity he had inquired also. We need to look at this too.
Remember, originally Saul said Born in Tarsus, in the province of Cilicia? This was located within the Roman Empire. So not only was Saul Hebrew, but he was also Greek. We need to explore this as well.
“And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?”” Acts 22:25
Saul was also a Roman Citizen. This is also a big deal, as a Roman Citizen he would have access to scholarly studies. Being a Roman Citizen had privilege and status. Being a Pharisee also came with that scholarship, privilege and status. Saul of Tarsus had both. This is greatly important to the study of Saul.
Also he was a true Israelite. He stated he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Having this lineage also was important to his story.
Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, thus an Israelite. He was a Pharisee, a Jew, a Roman Citizen and had all the statuses and entitlements that all would have for each classification. What we need to do now, is examine the issue of Sauls conversion. We need to take this slow as possible, to prove that what we have been told doesn’t match the words actually Written in our Bibles. Before we start there, let’s see one last point.
If we look to Acts, Chapter 9 we find said conversion. Remember we are told that Jesus changed Sauls name to Paul after the conversion. Or that God changed his name. We need to see if this is true.
As we start this out, I want to be clear here… I’m going to show you what the Holy Bible says. So this way, I’m not just some guy talking and offering nothing to back up what I’m saying. I’m showing you the evidence, not making stuff up. I’m not asking you to believe me, instead asking you to study the Word of God.
Let’s start our study of Sauls Conversion.
“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”” Acts 9:3-4
We can see that Yeshua/Jesus calls Saul…. “Saul” not Paul. So I want to establish that. I strongly suggest reading the whole passage. I will only pick the verses I need to put of that passage, so I’m suggesting reading for yourself also. Saul is called Saul by Yeshua/Jesus. No name change yet. Also as of this moment Saul is still a Hebrew, Israelite, Jew, Pharisee, and Roman Citizen.
Now in the next few verses (if you’re reading along with me) that Yeshua/Jesus and Saul of Tarsus discuss Saul persecuting those who follow Yeshua/Jesus, thus persecuting Messiah/Christ Himself. When asked “what do you want me to do”…. Saul is told. Saul (still as Saul) goes and does what Messiah/Christ says. The thing is, after the Conversion Moment, Saul is Still Saul. Not yet been given the Name Paul. (Or had he been)…. more to come on this in a bit.
“Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.” Acts 9:8
Saul, after his conversion is actually still Saul of Tarsus. Yeshua/Jesus didn’t rename him. There was no “you’ve been converted to Paul” moment at all handed to us. This is now post conversion and Saul (not Paul) gets up and heads to the next town as told to.
Perhaps at the next town over, those followers give Saul a new name. Or perhaps Yeshua/Jesus makes another visit and does that. Let’s see how this unfolds.
“And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.” Acts 9:17-18
So we have “brother Saul” no mention of Paul yet. Perhaps post baptism we will see this happen. The rest of Chapter Nine refers to him always as Saul. Chapter Ten… Saul. Chapter Eleven… Saul. Chapter Twelve… yes you guessed it, still Saul. It would seem that Saul didn’t get his name changed by Yeshua/Jesus after all. This presents us the issue of accepting the line from the church that “Jesus changed Saul to Paul”. We have to accept that this (according to scripture) didn’t happen as we are told to believe.
I would like to continue with Sauls name for a minute longer if you will permit me to explain.
“who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.” Acts 13:7
We see in verse seven he is still called Saul. But then in verse thirteen he is now called Paul.
“Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.” Acts 13:13
Wait, did we miss God or Christ making that change? The answer will surprise you. No!!!
“Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him” Acts 13:9
Saul who is also called Paul. In verse nine we have it made known that Saul is also called Paul. This man, and many others like him had two names. But why?
Being Hebrew in a Roman occupied territory meant you had a Hebrew name (one that the Jews knew you by) and also a Greek name (one that the Romans knew you by) and Saul/Paul would use the name of himself the people he was speaking to would understand. It was really this simple. What I do not see from scripture is Yeshua (His Hebrew name) /Jesus (His English Name) changing Sauls name to Paul. Nor do I see Father/God change his name either. Sure He did this with people like Abraham and Sarah, however not Saul to Paul. The reasoning was actually a language one. Nothing more or less.
We know that Paul and Saul are English names. However did you know Saul in Hebrew was actually “Shaul” or “Sha’ul“ or an equivalent of that. Not Saul. So I think by now you can see how the two name thing works. But, lets see Paul in Greek… Paulus is Paul in Greek. I hope this explains this in a way that we can all see that the truth is key in what we believe. Also how Paul got this name over his given of Saul. I hope this helps you grasp the issue of His name Biblically.
Alright, the next thing I desire to investigate for our study is we can clearly see “Sauls Conversion” took place. The question is, did Paul trade Pharasitic Judaism for the religion of Christianity? What was this conversion about? What really changed for Saul? Let’s see if we can find out.
“As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” Acts 8:3
We see that Saul persecuted “the church”. We know that Saul was zealous for the Law/Torah of Father/God. So much so, that he persecuted the followed of Rabbi Yeshua/Teacher Jesus.
“I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.” Acts 22:4-5
Why did Saul reject this Rabbi Yeshua/Teacher Jesus? The reality is lots of reasons. First during this time the Jewish/Hebrew people were under Roman Rule. Disturbances against Rome by the Hebrews could bring roman soldiers to make it harder for the Jews and worse… kill the Hebrew Jewish people. Keeping political and religious peace was key for all people to thrive. But for Roman people an imperative. The people often outnumbered Roman Occupying forces. So Rome saw non citizens a threat. They must be kept under control or risk a mass revolt. Paul took odds with Yeshua/Jesus because…. of a few things.
One of the main issues was that Pharisees saw only the sins of the people. Yeshua/Jesus was in the company of sinners a lot. This was a huge problem for the Pharisees. In a world filled with religious uncleanness, Rabbi Yeshua/Teacher Jesus was not keeping Rabbinic traditions. He was not staying away from those “unclean” sinners. Instead He was going to them and often preaching/teaching and delivering those people. All the while speaking against the religiously devout and the rich. Speaking against those who “knew” they were good with God, or so they thought. This was only the first issue.
This Jewish/Hebrew Rabbi Yeshua was saying He was the Son of God, and also forgiving sins. No man can forgive sins. So this was another huge issue. He was calling out the sins (1 John 3:4) of the religious leaders who preached the Law/Torah, but failed to actually live it out. He also was condemning the religious who were not walking selflessly, but instead did everything to get praise and feel holy. Not to mention this Rabbi Yeshua/Teacher Jesus was drawing very large crowds. The religious feared this biblical preacher would topple their religious traditions and cause people to abstain from mans ways and following the written word. We know this by what Yeshua/Jesus said to them.
“Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?” Matthew 15:1-3
The thing is today’s modern church still is doing the very same tradition over scripture practices the Pharisees and Teachers of Religious Law got yelled at by Messiah/Christ. We have followed Roman Men and failed to follow Gods Word as written.
Michael, what does this have to do with Paul’s Conversion? A lot actually. We’ve been lead to believe that A Jewish Pharisee/Roman Citizen suddenly was converted from Judaism to Christianity. That he stopped being a Pharisitic Jew and just walked out Christianity as it is today. The massively huge problem is… that’s not REALLY true. Not really.
I think for this we’ve established Shaul/Saul as a Hebrew, yet also Roman Citizen who was a dual citizen. We also established he says he is both. He testified in the court about his keeping the Law and having Faith in Messiah/Christ. Paul defends both His Jewishness and also His Roman Citizenship. Let’s again see that.
“For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:3-11
Paul is NOT sounding like a Christian, but more like a Messianic Jew. One who keep the Law and has Faith in Messiah/Christ. However, sure this can be speculation until we see what Paul Observed as custom and tradition. Did he go to church on Sunday or Keep the Sabbath? Did he do Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, or did He observe Passover/Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Tabernacles? What did Paul actually observe?
First let’s see if Paul says that Grace nullifies the Law…
“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31
We can see that Grace does NOT void the Law. according to Paul. However many would accuse Paul of saying this now, but at other parts denying the law. Those do not understand Paul. For those people Peter says he is too hard to understand.
“and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” II Peter 3:15-16
So if Peter is saying this of Paul then, imagine what can be said of us now in 2021. In our modern sin loving generation. Yeah, we have just one side of Paul’s letters to guess at. Not the whole story.
With this said, what was Paul defending against when giving the Speech in Acts? How about the same thing he is still being defended for today….
“For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law.” Acts 24:5-6
Paul was accused of defaming the temple and breaking the Law/Torah. Wait…. like how the church today says Paul says no more Law? Yes, that’s exactly it.
“while he answered for himself, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”” Acts 25:8
Paul stands up for his carrying out the Law even. So if Paul was preaching against the Law as many believe… he would be breaking the law. It’s this simple. Which he states he never does. So, if all scripture is fit for doctrine it must be the truth. So Paul must be blameless for not broken the Law. Yep, that’s logical. Common sense even.
Let’s see if he kept the Sabbath and Festivals?
“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,” Acts 17:1-2
Paul’s custom was to go into synagogue on the Sabbath Day. Just like the custom of the Jewish/Hebrew people today. He did go to reason but in the scriptures. Also to prove Rabbi Yeshua/Teacher Jesus was the Messiah/Christ. But still, he went there as a Jew doing Jewish things as was the custom.
“But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.” Acts 13:14
That’s just two passages for going to synagogue on Shabbat Day. But wait, there are zero verses for attending holidays like we have today. Zero!!!
However, we have Paul and others attending synagogue of the Sabbath Day. Also have them going to the observances of the Law. Let’s take a couple of those too. Just a couple as there are a bunch.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1
“When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.” Acts 18:20-21
Yes, Paul and the disciples Kept the Leviticus 23 festivals, never once keeping the pagan holidays we observe. Wait let me also share one more…
Paul fulfills the Nazarene Vow according to the Law/Torah for four men.
“And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come.” Acts 21:20-22
Paul stands accused of teaching Jews who are mixed in with Gentiles to forsake the Torah/Law. So Paul is told about four men taking this vow and it’s suggested to Paul to show He keeps the Law… to fulfill those vows.
If the Law was abolished why did Paul participate in something of no use to prove he kept the Law that was made void. That would be just plain stupid. We don’t practice satanism to prove we are not satanists do we? No!!! Ridiculous.
Paul was asked to fulfill those vows of the four men, to prove that HE KEPT THE LAW!!!
By attending Synagogue on the Sabbath Day Paul proved he didn’t convert from Pharasaic Judaism to Christianity. By keeping Leviticus 23 festivals Paul proved he didn’t convert from Pharasaic Judaism to Christianity. By fulfilling vows found in Torah Paul proved he didn’t convert from Pharasaic Judaism to Christianity.
It’s my understanding that Paul converted to Messianic Judaism if anything. Paul was a traditional Jewish man who kept and taught Torah, but believed in Rabbi Yeshua/Teacher Jesus, and knew He was the long awaited Messiah/Christ the Jewish people had been waiting for. We know Paul declares he is following “The Way” and is said to be a “Nazarite”. This gets us deeper into Paul.
“For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” Acts 24:5
“Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: “Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself, because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city. Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation, in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a mob nor with tumult. They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me. Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council, unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’ ”” Acts 24:10-21
Paul kept the and observed Torah/Law/Instructions and also followed the Prophets. Yet with these things he also maintained his faith in Rabbi Yeshua/Teacher Jesus as the Messiah/Christ. He is one of the first messianic Jews. Or, one of the first Nazarite Jews. Those Nazarite Jews still exist today even. In this time the Messianic Jews are more prominent than the Nazarite Jews. But they are indeed very similar. Equally as similar to the Gentiles who shared this faith. The first century christians. Who were called Nazarites, or claimed “The Way”. Though by the third to fourth centuries the “Church” changed its beliefs, substantially departing from the Word of God (as written) and chose to follow traditions of the religious leaders instead. This is evident by the instituting of a change from Sabbath to Sunday, Holy Days to holidays of pagan and secular origins. With denouncing the Law/Torah/Instructions as being not valid, placing congregants in danger of falling into sin, because of preaching the Law and Sin is no more since the work of the cross.
Changes that are not found in the Word of God, never taught or warned about by Messiah/Christ, never believed or followed or taught by the disciples. Not one time mentioned ever by the Father or His Son. We do however have a strong warning by Messiah/Christ about religious traditions replacing the actual Word of God. Man’s traditions by religious leaders replacing the Torah/Law/Instruction.
“Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “ All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God ), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”” Mark 7:5-13
We have had generations of deviation, which cause us to simply walk blindly into these wicked ways. Just like in times past of the Bible. Let’s see one such place.
“And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘ If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’” Nehemiah 1:5-9
We see when we repent and return as a people, He returns to us. Will collect is from where we are scattered among the nations, and yes give us blessings. So, for us to say that Paul converted religions is the same as saying Jesus did away with Gods Law, or that Paul did away with Gods Law, when presented with scripture and biblical evidence… it just doesn’t add up. We can see that Paul remained a Jew, believing in the Law, going to Synagogue on the Sabbath Day, attending the Holy Days, while keeping the Commandments/Law and preaching them. So what exactly was Paul converted to? If not a new religion… by means of Him observing all the “new changes, voided Law, and Holidays” yet still keeping everything actually found in the Bible? Do I ask my pastor, or myself… or the Word of God?
The Holy Bible is the Authority over us. Not us over the Bible.
““I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.” Acts 22:3-5
Paul was so “on fire” for the Father and His Law/Torah that he persecuted the followers of Rabbi Yeshua/Christ Jesus believing they were leading people astray from the Word of God as written, and the real biblical faith.
““Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’” Acts 22:6-8
Then he breaks down Messiah/Christ choosing him and now… he stands before men defending Christ. Paul was converted to following Messiah/Christ, not persecuting His people. Paul remained Lawful (kept the commandments) and also kept the faith in Messiah Christ. It’s this type of reason he is called a “Saint” according to some translations. We know in the end those who Keep the Law and the Faith in Christ will have some mentions in the book of Revelation, and things to expect. Let’s look.
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
So if we look at Paul, we can see this man actually did that. Kept the Law and the Faith. Paul was a complex man. Could be labeled a Messianic Jew, Nazarite Jew, Member of The Way, Torah Observant Follower of Messiah/Christ, or simply a Whole Bible Believer. Paul born Shaul (Saul) was a Jewish man, yet also was a Roman Citizen. Was a Pharisee, yet also an Apostle to the Gentiles. Preached Torah and Christ. Loved the Father and His Law, yet also the freedom in His Son. Wherever Paul went he drew crowds, haters and opposition. But along the way Paul never let that water down his zeal and dedication. Regardless wether preaching in the streets, In synagogues or in gentile gatherings “churches” Paul never denounced the Law or Christ. Instead this man, who gets taken out of context so frequently preached both to such a degree that some found him hard to understand. Though a six month study on Paul, the things I’ve mentioned today only scratch the surface. I’m honored to have come to know this man, his zeal and drive for the Law and For Messiah. To end, I will challenge all those who believe Paul preached a voided Law to read just one simple verse once more…..
“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31
To establish doesn’t mean to make it void. Instead establish means…
To take it and make it binding.
If we read Paul out of context, we dishonor Paul. If we read Christ out of context then we deny Him. If Paul preached the Law was made void, when Messiah/Christ said…He didn’t abolish it, then we misunderstand Paul. Scripture cannot contradict itself, Paul cannot contradict Christ, and we shouldn’t contradict the Word of God.
I’ll leave you with the Words of Our Savior and a passage never preached in churches as a whole.
““Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20
With this in mind do you believe Yeshua/Jesus or.. what men are telling you? Jesus and Paul or your Pastor? Who are you following? I choose Our Savior, His Father, and the Holy Bible, though His Spirit.
But if you say, your pastor… that’s fine just as long as he doesn’t clash with the Bible or Christ.
So I will say “thank you” to Paul for having explained that what we say of him is just as corrupt as what we say of a Christ. Neither Paul nor Christ did away with the Law. No, as Paul says “we establish it”.
Eventually this topic will find every Christian, Messianic, and Torah Observant person. You will have to try and answer this topic as best you can, but we need to ask. When trying to answer this, should we do so by how we feel, or by the Bible?
If your feelings rule you, then I suppose what the Bible says would not be valuable to you. But if you’re like me, (and I believe you are) then let’s see what the Bible can offer us to help us out.
CONFESSION. I’m going to be painfully honest here, when I was a new Christian I studied this topic, why? Because I was of the world for over 30 years. To me, in those days, there was nothing wrong with self pleasure. Then, when studying this topic, I did so to prove it was ok. Sure I was able to do that, I felt good knowing it wasn’t a sin. But, I wasn’t seeing it biblically. Just religiously. It wasn’t until I came to Torah that I saw the Holy Bible addressing this topic, and the reality of the “is masterbation a sin” question. Perhaps you now, like I was… will not be happy by this study. However we need to understand this topic because of the oversexed drive in society. With this, let’s start our study.
We need to define what, masterbation actually is. It’s the act of taking your private part used for sexual intimacy, then by yourself producing the orgasmic moment that is supposed to happen during a sexual encounter with one’s spouse. hmmm. That’s the best cleanest way I can describe what it is. Ok, I just had to say this right off. Essentially, to masterbate is to take the action of sex, but do so with no spouse.
We know that this action is technically an action of “sex”, or “sexual arousal”, and that this self pleasure is something that many find pleasurable. But is it a problem biblically?
Where is the first mention of sex in the Bible?
In Genesis 2 we read how Adam was created by Father/God. But we see, Father saw Adam needed a “helper” and we then see that “marriage” or the description of it mentioned. Let’s see that.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
Marriage is now established as a thing. This is a huge point that needs to be made when looking into self pleasure. Sex has a purpose, we need to see what that purpose is by seeing who had it. Let’s look…
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.”” Genesis 4:1
“Adam had sex, (knew) HIS WIFE EVE!!!
Notice it doesn’t say anywhere prior that he walked around self pleasuring. The first action of recorded sex is between husband and wife. Why was sex given to us by Father?
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.”” Genesis 4:1
Simple, to consummate the marriage and bring fourth children. Adam and Eve and the rest of humanity was handed the capability to bring fourth a human life. Until this moment ONLY Father/God could do that. Sex was never supposed to be a solo activity of pleasure. It was supposed to be a sign of a covenant between a man and his wife (marriage), the way to seal the two flesh becoming one flesh. This was the start to the family. Why, simple sex brings fourth a child. Basic anatomy that’s no longer taught today perhaps.
Ok, so sex is supposed to be between a Husband and Wife. It’s a sign of their covenant, and means to bring fourth a child, this is the biblical purpose for sex. Now that we have that established, we need to ask ourselves….. what, if anything…. would be the opposite of that model?
Fortunately there is a title to a certain sin subject that needs our attention. Sexual Immorality!!!
Immorality means anything not moral. Moral means walking rightly, or in our case Biblically or aligned with the Father. We can infer that something against God is a sin by this…
“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.” 1 John 3:4
So if we understand this is sin, that sexual immorality must be anything outside of the scope of sex between a Husband and Wife, we can then see the layout of sex practices in the Torah/Law/Instructions to determine what one can and cannot do sexually. There are all sorts of “forbidden sexual practices” listed in the Torah. Where the Father says NO to practices that violate the concept of Biblical Marriage. I’m not going to break them down here, but I will say that once we grasp this fact we can understand the basics of proper usage of sex, and sexual immorality to help us continue in this study.
“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
We can find in Leviticus 18 and 20 a list of prohibitions of sexual activity. Some of these sexual sins listed in both chapters are having sex with, or doing the act of…
A close relative, father, mother, fathers wives, sister, half sister, daughter, granddaughter, step sister, fathers sister, mother’s sister, your uncles wife, daughter in law, brothers wife, mother and daughter, wife’s sister, during wife’s mensuration, neighbors wife, homosexuality, beastiality.
We can also see by scripture that this was for Israel and also for the foreigners within Israel. Let’s see that…
“You must obey all my decrees and regulations. You must not commit any of these detestable sins. This applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.” Leviticus 18:26
Now I want to be clear hear, let’s see where sexual immorality is used as “people who will not inherit the Kingdom of God”. This is not my rules or thoughts, but the Fathers in His Word.
“Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.”Revelation 22:15
“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”Galatians 5:19-21
Did you notice “Outside the City”(meaning Gods Kingdom), and “will not inherit the Kingdom of God”, are used to explain these sins? Did you notice sexual immorality was on that list? Any sexual contact outside a husband and wife married is Sexual Immorality.
Now that we have established this, we can ask, is masterbation just a simple pleasure? The answer is a resounding NO. The issue is it is taking a act of sex, then making it profane by being outside of marriage to the opposite sex spouse you’re married to. Why? Besides sex being a sign of a covenant between a man and his wife, the obvious other answer is sex is also to bring children into the world. A man and another man cannot do this. A woman and another woman cannot do this. Nor can a man and an animal, nor a woman and an animal. You need a contribution from both man and woman to make this miracle of birth happen. (Or by sperm injected into a woman in a clinic) but physically two flesh of the same cannot without intervention bring a child into the world. It’s not natural or good according to Father/God.
Masterbation thus takes the “seed” and basically voids that “seed” of the chance to bring about a life. This now brings us to the argument about a man named “Onan” who spilled his seed. This is one that people use to argue for masterbation. The argument is that Onan spilling his seed was NOT the problem, but it was that he refused to carry out the familial responsibilities of that day. Yes, they are right but only half way. Again go re read everything up to now. Lets see the text.
“But Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own heir. So whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he spilled the semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child who would belong to his brother. But the Lord considered it evil for Onan to deny a child to his dead brother. So the Lord took Onan’s life, too.” Genesis 38:9-10
So yes, there is the issue of familial responsibility. But again, the issue is anything outside a married man and woman having sex is classified as Sexual Immorality. The context for the verses about Onan is the fact that Onan and Tamar were married, sure this is true. But, the offspring would not be Onans, but would belong to his dead brother Er according to the times and ways of that day. So how does this violate the issues I’ve put fourth? The answer can only be found in the purpose of that which I’ve set fourth.
Sex is between a MARRIED man and woman for the purpose of sealing that marriage, also for bringing children into the world. Onan was married to Tamar, but he did not plant the seed which voided a child from possibly being born. Also, let’s add the whole part about a covenant sign. The issue of “pulling out” takes that covenant agreement and downplays the important role of Gods design. Man and woman marry, consummate the marriage, bring fourth a child. This action of having pleasure, yet voiding the outcome of that pleasure has handed us things like abortion. People desiring sex with no commitment to marry or bring fourth a child has handed us far worse than that as well.
To say that Onans death just resulted because of failed familial responsibility, is to not grasp the Biblical Model Father has set up for us to follow entirely. I’m not saying this to be mean. With sexual immorality being defined as a sin, and with being warned against it.
“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,” 1 Corinthians 6:18-19
We need to ask, is “getting a very short pleasure worth risking salvation or entrance into the Kingdom Of God”? If you’re ready for the Lake of Fire and want to be destroyed and not gain entry into the Kingdom. Then I guess masterbation might be worth it. But, if you want eternal life then masterbation isn’t worth the risk. After all the Sexual Immoral will not inherit the Kingdom of God. According to the verses above.
You might be tempted to say “Michael, Jesus died for me”. Yes, but He didn’t die for you to remain in your sins. Sin is a choice, you can chose to keep sinning, or to walk out what His death and resurrection did for you. It depends how much you love Him. I know this is true because of the following…
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1-2
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13
We are called to tame and train our flesh. Not give into our flesh. We can see that our flesh loves sex outside of the biblical model. It produces fornication, adultery, etc.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:19-23
However SELF CONTROL is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. If self control was employed over masterbation then you wouldn’t feel the need to be controlled by your flesh. Giving into masterbation is giving into the flesh and denying the Holy Spirit. Works of the Flesh are against God.
We can clearly see that masterbation is the act of sex with no spouse. This is wrong. It’s also seeking to have pleasure without the blessing of the action (bringing a child into the world) and yet also a violation of a Husband and Wife Covenant (Marriage). Often Masterbation, brings with it pictures and videos of other men and women to lust after. If married, it breaks the covenant. If single it can stand in the way of a covenant. This leads to pornography, which leads to more and more depravity and soon a tiny sin becomes a dominating sin and after that… the lake of fire will consume you if… repentance doesn’t happen. Also sexual immorality takes Gods ways and perverts them to a point where depravity becomes the norm. This can lead to adultery, abortion, and many other non biblical practices in order to allow the flesh to control you. We, again are called to control our flesh, not let carnal desires to dominate our souls.
Ok, in closing. I’m not here to judge anybody, just pointing out what I believe based on the years of study.
Lastly, many claim the Bible doesn’t talk about masterbation. Let’s get clear here. The word “masterbation” was not in use during the first century. However the term sexual immorality…. wait, the Greek calls is “porneia” in the New Testament. That word means… “the illicit use of sexual intercourse”. So the issue becomes, does a lack of word usage in modern English from the first century time make masterbation ok to perform? I would argue it does not. Sexual immorality on the whole can be put up next to the Torah/Law to see what exclusions were handed to Israel, when and why. From here we can logically deduce that masterbation is to be avoided. After all it is likely you (reader) are a Grafted In former Gentile like myself. Meaning that in the New Testament at the Jerusalem Council when the elders met to discuss Gentiles converting to the faith… idolatry and sexual immorality were on that list. Let’s see that.
“But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.”” Acts 21:25
Why abstain from sexual immorality? Because it kills the covenant of marriage, perverts the purposes of sex, and makes the mind depraved.
Lastly, and argument from silence is never a good argument. The Bible doesn’t say “don’t do drugs”, or “beating your husband or wife is bad”, or even “murdering someone with a hatchet” is wrong. However the Holy Bible totally lays the premise that theses things are sins. Just because the wording is not specifically used, doesn’t mean the title under which they fall isn’t.
Lastly I’ve hear it said this way about sex of any kind.
Sex is like a log on fire. In a fireplace it warms the house. Put that same log burning on the bed and it will burn down the house.
In 2019 after loosing everything I ever cared about, my career, and three members of my family in around a five year period. I found myself broken and simply at a loss for anything. I had found myself washed out of my twenty one year career, placed on disability, been diagnosed with Anxiety/Depression/and PTSD. Then they shut off the disability and everything I had built up for myself with my $20 something dollar an hour work went away.
Once the cancellation notices started arriving, (because everything was on auto pay) I knew something was wrong and attempted to fix it. However in my many moves I lost two pieces of identity to prove I was a citizen. Funny, I tried to get them back then but couldn’t. So, I kept trying to fix one thing and six more would pop up. I soon found I was over my head, so I reached out for help.
I thought that me having always been a good tax paying person, of good reputation, doing things the right way, working as a campus public safety officer/first responder that someone would surely help me. After all I served communities and I’ve never committed a crime, kept developing my faith, never wronged anybody, always treated people better than they treated me, and tried to always do the right thing.
Sadly I was wrong. I also forgot the part about “if they hate you, remember they hated me first” says Yeshua/Jesus.
Since I need to have some things constant to maintain focus, direction, and mood, with everything now going away I found myself overloaded with too much data to process. I couldn’t fix the destruction of my empire (so to speak). Everything was being removed from me and I was a minute to homelessness. The funny thing was nobody would hire me because I didn’t have enough documentation. Then I found myself eating a single meal every four days, bought with quarters I saved up from childhood. Three months or so into that and finally it was eviction time. Perhaps also eviction from my old life, or distractions keeping me from this level of depth from our Father. Not sure.
I kept praying until I stopped. I believed that I was about to end my faith. I believed that my life was also now in question as well. I had seen everything removed from me and struggled with the enemies line “if God loves you He wouldn’t let you experience this.”…
The worst happened when the relationship I was in fell apart and she went her own way, choosing another man which would lead to that man killing her with his car. See the thing is, as that relationship (which never got out of courtship) was winding down, and everything else was going on, I simply came to the end of myself. I finally shut down, spiritually, physically, and even emotionally. I was drained.
See, as a campus public safety officer I had been the kind of guy who went into the worlds chaos as a first responder, and solved others issues. As a Non-Denomination Minister who once ran a small house church ministry, who helped people with spiritual and pastoral needs, I was suddenly the one in need. This was extremely difficult for me, I was the helper who now needed help.
What do you do when too much information causes you to shut down, when the sinking ship cannot be repaired. Or when a doctor who realizes you cannot pay for help chooses to dare you to end it all? I was really at the end of everything. Not strong any more, not able to solve problems any more, not brave any more, not optimistic any more. I was, finding the very end of me.
I had nothing left and by this time having gone through a major health scare in 2014-2015 which used all my energy to fight through that, now I was loosing what made me…. me.
I wish I could say I handled my Job style trial as good as he did. I didn’t. I was now angry at God. See even though I had Torah and been well versed and had learned a lot. I hadn’t learned Job yet. It was still in process. I’m going to say that this was probably the hardest season in my life. From 2014-2019 I literally was tried by fire of the hottest degree. I believed I was about to give up on Him. I was struggling to just see the next day.
Literally I had, and continue to have to fight for each day. Put the work into maintaining the path in front of me day but day. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to see the future again.
Then, after asking Father one last prayer before going into being homeless I asked, “God… I guess there is no reason to expect you to help here. For I feel like I’m your enemy and you’re crushing me. But if I’ve ever found favor my Lord, please don’t put me out into the streets. I would surly cease to be”.
Before I was even finished I heard somehow inside me “call your aunt”. My aunt who I had only seen three times in 30 years, the woman who took my mother (of blessed memory) in and did hospice for her on her last days, who lived a state away.
So I after hearing Him ask “do you trust me… then call you aunt” did that and she immediately came up with the help of her ex husband three days later. They moved me with the minimalist of things. The rest I had to walk away from, letting go of all my belongings and even my storage unit. Everything was gone.
So in 2019 I arrived back at my hometown from childhood. A broken sort of prodigal son style, Jobin walk trial story. At this point I was wiped out. Now living with my worldly aunt, in her place as a guest. No income, no reputation, and no way to pretend all was well. While here I got all my documentation back, but not the drivers license yet, which I had to let lapse to eat up there in the other state. But I’ve got most back, the sad thing is this place is far from everything and with no transportation no work can be had. I believe I was given this time to slow down and rebuild inside of me. To strengthen my faith, and to help to strengthen some of you with my writings (which are His not mine) and help those where I can, while resetting me as a person.
So I started to walk daily and pray as I walked to Father. Even though I was angry with Him. See I bet He was angry with me. Then the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abenego hit me. “Our God can save us, but even if He doesn’t” also hit me. Even if God doesn’t spare me the trials and pain, no matter what comes “I still love the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob… and His Son”!!
See I was sustained, painfully and in brokenness I was sustained. When I was eating food one meal every four days for three months, I was not hungry. I always had a roof over my head. I tried to walk away, but somehow I was maintaining and building my faith. It’s through trial you’re tested, but grown. “Count it all Joy” comes to mind here. Though I was certainly not happy about it. I understand the premise now.
However with no chance to get a job, with too much time on my hands I was feeling…. lost. In fact I was feeling like I was just taking up space and had no purpose. So I prayed for some kind of purpose. I knew I couldn’t do much, but needed to do something. Guess what, yep Father provided.
I was now mowing lawns, my aunts and her sons property up the road. Then also helping the neighbor up the road. But the same voice inside (His Voice) once again impressed upon me to create “Messianic Michael” on Instagram. This would later get the name change to “Biblically Grafted In”. this is where my story takes a turn.
So I started on Instagram and was next lead to start a blog called “fromtraditionstotorah.wordpress.com”. “From Traditions to Torah”, would also get a partial name change to “Biblically Grafted In”, the name changing happened after reading Romans 11 again. I began posting on Instagram and the Blog then Twitter and finally Facebook because the first two I felt lead to, the second and third friends asked me to try it. Right now I’m not on Twitter, but my blog updates to that account. But I maintain the three others. Ok, let’s unravel this now.
At the time where I was destroyed and purposeless, I was lead to post for the Father and His Son. So every morning I would wake and be lead by the Holy Spirit or the Holy Bible to write. I like writing so I just saw this as a way to “speak” into the wilderness. Since going through all that I did, I must confess that I’m not much for social interactions. I worked hard to social distance before the virus was a thing. For two years I’ve stayed around the area of the house. I get to things only on foot and try to not leave walking distances of the house. Typically I only see family members. This has helped me to just relax. To give time for my mind and heart to heal from what feels like the longest battle in my life. See now it’s hard to be face to face with new people. Not because of the virus, but because of the Anxiety and so on. I tend to push people away in a self defense mode that never is a conscious thought. So I have to fight my mind daily for interactions with others, though many never see that fight and assume I’m like they are. Normal. Simple things for me can overwhealm me for no reason, yet others can be easy. While most people just do them never thinking about them at all.
Then Father introduced Himself as not a far off distant God, but a Father. Like a legit adopted Father. To replace my earthly one who before running away, proved he wanted nothing to do with me. This changed how I address Him. His Son called Him Father, taught others to call Him Father. So Father it now became. I was adopted no longer abandoned.
I quickly noticed my writings are really outside of me. I mean they sound better than I could think and write. Perhaps He is using me as His tool like I desire. These writings are really from Him through me. They speak to me as much as to all of you. I’m a simple man, not eloquent or scholarly. These posts of mine are really beyond my level at times. When I read some of them it’s hard to accept that I typed them out.
It was about this time that I started noticing a change in me, I was slowly more able to do a bit more each day. This lead to new things and experiences. Then out of nowhere I started getting questions to answer, by people online. So I would answer the questions like my posts. Each time doing a study again, even if I did it yesterday for someone else. This lead to practicing preaching to the wild animals and flowing streams and rivers. This lead to developing me more and more each day, and also growing more as a person in faith. Wisdom and Discernment seemed to be filling places where I once had questions. Soon, people were telling me how much my posts were helping them and BGI (Biblically Grafted In) started to grow into a thing. All the while slowly renewing my mind and soul.
I felt like as long as I had nature, His Word, and my writing all would be well. So I focused with everything inside of me on that, working for Him for these two years. Forgetting myself and trying to process all that I had been through in this time of a Jobin Trial. Trying to bring y’all the best biblical content I possibly could do. Hoping to help just one person, but seemed to be helping more folks than I ever could think possible.
Along the way I noticed that I was making online friends. People I’ve talked with in email, direct message, and video. People that I would call friends. Along the way I also had been asked to see if I would like to court three ladies (spaced out over two years and one at a time obviously) in Torah Culture. To which since in 2018 the last time I tried to do that ended how it did, my response was a hard NO!!! After all, with how my mind works, all the years of waiting for “the one” to no avail, and the pain of trying to find and accept love by people… I had built up walls to make sure I’d never feel the pain of love again. All my life people have always told me I had no value. My earthly Father, Peers in school, coworkers, and society at large. Even a doctor who was supposed to help, only told me I was not worth helping. All my four or five attempts to find love failed, then the last one ended with the courtship being broken off and her choosing sin and wicked ways, which costed her… her time on earth at the hands of her “new guy”, I was done with trying to seek love from people. I had along through all of this, lost how to even see myself at all. Where others see a man of faith, I saw someone abandoned, forgotten, and rejected. I saw Paul’s “nothing good lives in me” statement. So I focused on Him, only Him and helping all of you. Somewhere along this time I’ve come to receive love and know I have more value in me that I ever knew I had. I came to realize I have still more work to do in walking this out. But I’m getting there. So can all of you, if you forget who you are.
People say it’s being humble, for me it’s really hard to receive blessings from father, or complements, or writings telling me how people are inspired by my faith, or someone telling me they are seeing me as someone to be like, or would want to spend any time with. For me it’s hard to comment on others walls, or just chat about things.
For me, it’s easier when people ask questions. This gets me to where things change at such an impossible level.
One day, I received a direct message from a woman asking questions about this biblical faith. I naturally answered. This kept going on for a few months with basic faith questions, which turned to more personal questions. Which I naturally answered. See this was comfortable as this woman was originally in a different country. So I felt I could be open and discuss my life never having to see this online person. So as the deep questions about the Bible, but also life, and everything else and nothing at all… grew, we decided to have video chats. This was originally seen to me as Helping out a sister who was trying to grow in faith. At that point that’s all I could see. It was also comfortable talking about things because I knew I would never have to worry about meeting someone from the online life. Social, in real life, for me is work.
Months passed and our talks went from an hour or two, to four, six, and sometimes eight hours. Sometimes several times a day. I started noticing feelings that was not possible because of my walls and mind…. for her. This couldn’t be happening as…. everything I’ve told you stands in the way of this. As I built up walls and defenses to protect against this. So I began to ask Father “if she isn’t in Your Desire for me to have on my walk, please remove her away. If she is in your will, for me to have on my walk, make it in a way that I’ll grasp, give her the patience to not be chased off by my defenses and help her to reach me through those walls inside of me”.
Then she came to this country. Back to her other home state. Wait, what!!!!
This then lead to a period of time of building into a online and video deep, open, and powerful friendship. Which would later result in her sending me an email asking me if there was any possibility at being more than friends. She would express her feelings for me and what I meant to her, which was extremely hard to hear. Love feelings, for me after 49 years of abandoned and tossed aside is pain. So allowing myself to let another human into that space inside of me is…. almost impossible.
I declined, this was too much to even take in. So we continued as friends. Now at two years later to my surprise Father decided that our building needed a new direction. He saw both of us had time to grow, now on His time, He felt we could really begin. Perhaps this would be my toughest steps ever.
Letting someone into my world is by far for me, hard to do. So I asked for some signs to prove this was not just another lesson. Which before the day was out, each time she would fulfill those signs I requested. I kept asking for Father to help her as much as me to be able to connect if it was His Will, or separate us of it wasn’t. The connection only grew deeper and deeper until Love could not longer be denied. The 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. She will tell you she “knew” before I did, but I knew and had to work hard to receive it. How does one receive something, that every time he does… it crumbles and tears the desire for it further away. How does one receive something from another that others have shown Isn’t for him? So I had to work to accept that she was… really there. That I could allow her in. Letting someone in shouldn’t really be that hard, but life and experiences programmed me to reject it.
Things all of the world takes for granted, I now had to work to receive. This is difficult. Also writing this is extremely hard as my family, the world, and my career suggest feeling things is a weakness. I don’t like to appear broken or weak. So yeah, I’m challenging everything today. Perhaps I’m still somehow secretly brave.
These talks kept growing and finally it was time to meet in person. Time to take the large step of stepping out of a screen and into real life. After a delay of about a week, this woman who I believe was sent to me by Father, crossed the country to meet this man she had been working to get to know. She would go to him without much planning time, and then would stay longer than she planned for, to give him time to take each step. One at a time. In his own time. By the way, patience is her strong suit not her weakness, though she would say otherwise. Thanks to Fathers Hand she is the most patient person I know.
On the day of becoming IRL (In Real Life) no longer virtual there was at least a comfort and peace that I couldn’t explain. Every day since being IRL the connection has only grown deeper and richer. The building into friendship, lead into building into relationship and is now building into the rest of how these stories should go. The end result of courting Isnt to see if you can rule someone out. It’s to see if you can take every step leading to a shared life. So apparently we are still building and will never stop building. But we are now standing at a place where there is only one step to take naturally and biblically. I know this will come to pass, sooner than later.
So this Biblically Grafted In social media thing is so dear to me, because while helping all of you, I’ve been repaired. Being repaired. Also because of doing this “ministry” or “work” Father…… through this online writing thing has chosen to pick someone who is…. way beyond what I could have ever expected. Or, more than I feel I deserve. No, she isn’t perfect and neither am I. However to me she is second only to Our Father and His Son, Spirit, and Word.
I today writing this, desire with all my soul to thank Father for what appears to be the double portion experience that is unfolding before my eyes, promised in Job. I truly have no words properly in my vocabulary to express my Love and Appreciation for Father and His ways. For His choice of whom to cross my path with. For how He is growing both of us into what…. this story is supposed to look like. For helping both of us, get to where we are with ourselves and each other.
How has Biblically Grafted In changed my life?
In my worst days it gave me hope
In the hardest times it helped me to overcome
When I was purposeless it gave me purpose
When I helped all of you, it was helping me too
When I was weak through Father and His usage of BGI I became strong
When I was silent, I was able to speak to all of you
And when my heart was the hardest it’s ever been, through BGI…… Father brought to this isolated and intentionally distant from the world man…. Love.
Through the eyes of another, through the words of another, and through this woman I am in love with… I’ve been able to be thawed out.
I would like to thank all of you my readers for when I felt like giving up, you kept me going with all your words on your walls, giving me the inspiration to continue posting. Pushing me one step at a time to this new journey I’m about to undertake.
I’ll never give up BGI or these writings. Something good can come through Instagram, Facebook, and Blogs.
Don’t let anybody tell you to silence your voice. Keep speaking until you no longer can, then go out into the street.
Remain faithful to Him. Put Him first, ask for His Will to always be done for you. Submit to Him fully. Then, just be honest and let everything else unfold how it will.
So this is some of my story. I hope that today if you feel like it’s hard to keep going… somehow my words can help give you hope.
Never give up, out, or in.
Shalom and God Bless
~Michael. Founder of “Biblically Grafted In “.
The online presence that has blessed me, and sustained me during the hardest times of my life.