Olive Tree Image

Olive Tree Image
Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction,
upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

1 Corinthians 10:11 (NASB95)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Once saved always saved?

Q.  I believe that salvation is a free gift, but I don't believe in once-saved-always-saved or eternal security, the idea that one cannot lose his salvation.  What are your thoughts on this?

  A.   Eternal Life is a Free Gift..  As far as once save always saved.  I don't teach this, however my thoughts about it are that if a person falls away, then it is that they never were "chosen" by Yeshua (Jesus).. John 15:16, 19..  When people "come to belief" by feelings based on bad teaching, they remain in sin because they are ignorant of what sin is.  Look at 1 John 3:4-5,9and Rom. 6:1-6.  I see that if someone remains "practicing" sin they have not been born again.  Belief without Obedience is not True Belief.  John 3:36.  Remember that sin is transgression of the law (Torah) 1 John 3:4..   With that being said, even true believers that are not "practicing sin", will still fall into sin sometimes due to ignorance or weakness.  This is where HIS Blood comes in to cover us.  With this HE doesn't give us Salvation and then pull it back every time we fall.  Not one person is able to keep the whole Law (Torah) for Salvation, it is only through Yeshua's Righteousness and HIM being the Perfect, Unblemished Lamb, that we obtain Salvation..  It has Nothing to do with our works.  It is by Faith alone.  The difference is, are we rebellious or willing to obey..  A Heart that is Rebelious or a Heart that is Willing to Obey.  Obedience or Dis-Obedience...  Maranatha,  John

THE Tree and IT's Fruit....

Q.  My best friend is a Christian and when I shared with her that we are grafted into our Messiah, we walk as He walked and talk as He talked. Her come back was, that you can graft two different trees together and the tree will bear one fruit and the graft another fruit.

What are your thoughts about this?

A.  Our individuality remains when we are grafted in, however our Identity is within HIM.  He made us and chose us to be grafted into HIS TREE.  The fruit that we each bear is good, not because of our own goodness, but because the Tree we are grafted into supports us and gives us life through Him and His Righteousness.  Without being grafted into Him, we would not be able to produce good fruit, because we would be dead in our sins and eternally separated from HIM.   The Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem will bear 12 different fruits each year.  It has two sides, one on each side of The River of The Water of Life.  ONE TREE with many Branches bearing different Fruit.  Rev. 22:2  Think of the different fruits of the Spirit.  One Holy Spirit, many gifts or fruits.  Each gift or fruit is different, but it comes from YHWH.  They are all a portion of HIS Attributes gifted to us from The Holy Spirit... Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:4-7.   Imagine an Olive Tree (Israel), with many different Branches (Jew & Gentile Believers in Yeshua), bearing different Fruit (our works/deeds/gifts) because the Root (Yeshua) gives us HIS Life Blood which Supports us and Keeps us alive and eternally connected to HIM.  Rom. 11.  Our fruit is because of HIM, we are nothing without HIM...  Maranatha,  John

Saturday, May 9, 2015

What is the Work and Labor which we are to rest from?

Q.  I am new to Torah study and I am convinced that we should keep the 7th Day Sabbath, but my question is what is the "work" or "labor" that we are supposed to rest from and is it alright to drive on Sabbath since that would create a fire in the engine?

A.   If you look into the Hebrew word for "Work" it is "Melachah" and it means your work that you do for a living, that which you make money doing, your creative work.  In Scripture it will sometimes say "Abodah Melachah" which is often translated "servile work".  This is what we are to Rest from.  As far as not driving on  Sabbath because it would kindle a fire in the engine.  Keep in mind what I just said and also look at the one time the Torah says to not kindle a fire on Sabbath in Exodus 35:3.  Notice the context first.  This is when they are gathering all of the contributions of all the materials needed to build the Tabernacle and for the building of it.   Notice that it says "You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.  Remember their dwellings where tents in the wilderness.  This is talking about a work fire.  This is the reason the man was gathering wood on the Sabbath in Numbers 15:32.  If you are "kindling a fire" by driving to work in your car on the Sabbath then I would agree, but if you are driving to Bible Study or Synagogue on the Sabbath, then there is not a problem.  Traveling on Sabbath is ok unless it is for your work or job in which you get paid for.  Not traveling on Sabbath is an additional teaching of rabbinic judaism that says you can't travel certain distances on Sabbath.  The Bible never says such.  Remember that in Leviticus 23 the Sabbath is a "Holy Convocation", which is a "set-apart rehearsal" to the LORD.  If only one person shows up or no people show up for rehearsal, there is no rehearsal.  Today, where we live (outside of Jerusalem),  If you don't drive on the Sabbath, you are then not able to fulfill the command in Leviticus 23:3.  Yes, the perfect situation would be to live close enough to walk to Study or Synagogue, but where we are today, this is not the case for most.  Remember it says "not to kindle a fire in your dwelling".  Again, this only has to do with a work fire.  If a cold snap hit and your family was freezing, would it be wrong to collect wood to build a fire to warm your family or even to make some soup for the benefit of their well-being?  Of course not.  Torah allows Life to be more important than the "letter of the Law".  This is the same as helping the neighbor with the ox in the ditch.  It is never wrong or a sin to do good on the Sabbath.  If a command in the Bible seems to negate another command, then we have a conflict and that is chaos.  Our GOD is not a GOD of Chaos, but of Order.   I hope that this helps.  Maranatha, John

Matthew 10:35 Question.

Q.  Matthew 10:35-36, Yeshua (Jesus) says the He came to set man against his family.  Why would He do this?

A. Here is what I see.  Matt. 10:35-39, (as all Scripture should), needs to be taken in context with what is said previous to it in verses 32 through 34.  He is talking about confessing Him or denying Him.  Look at what happens to a Jew from a religious family who becomes a believer in Yeshua as the promised Messiah.  His or her family becomes an enemy to them.  There are some families that will even have a mock funeral for that son or daughter, because to them, their child is dead.  In verses 37 through 39, it gives us what this son or daughter will have to do.  They will have to deny their family for the sake of their love for Yeshua.  They have to take up their "stake" to follow Him.  Verse 39 fits with the funeral scenario.  If they deny Him to save their life within their family, the son or daughter is not worthy of Him.  They have to be willing to "lose" their life within their family, to gain eternal life in Him.  This scenario could be a wife or husband, a son or daughter, a daughter-in-law or son-in-law, or even friends and "church family"...  We, as followers of Yeshua are sometimes rejected by unbelieving family members.  I know all to well about this...   The Word divides.  It is a two-edged sword and it divides the body, the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12.  Look at John 12:25-26; Luke 9:24-26; Mark 8:35-38; Matthew 16:24-26; Luke 12:8-9.   So, the question shouldn't be "why would He do that?", but "why would they do that?".  Why would a family deny the life of their beloved child because this child believes that the Messiah has already come and this Messiah is Yeshua ?   Unbelief and a stubborn, cold, uncircumcised Heart will cause hatred to the Truth and to those who bring the Truth....

I hope this helps... Maranatha, John

Prophet or Profit ?

Laying awake one night, the recent talk of the 2014-2015 Tetrad blood red moons came to mind.  This has gotten a lot of press in the last year or two as a last day sign of the end of days ..  As I thought about this, I was reminded how I got caught up in it and the possibility of what it points to.  I bought the books, watched the Youtube videos and even discussed it with excitement at our Bible study fellowship.  Reflecting on this, the word "Prophet" came to mind, but as I contemplated this thought I realized that it was spelled "Profit".  Sometimes lessons or correction can be had with one word.  I get excited about the Return of our Redeemer, and I guess that my desire for Him to return, might have blinded me a bit. I believe that what I was supposed to learn from all of this is that in the End of Days our Heavenly Father is going to cause/ allow things to fall upon the inhabitants of the Earth which have Never happened before.  It will be something brand new which has never occurred in Earth's history.  It will be similar to what happened to Korah and all of those who stood against Moses and Aaron in the Wilderness. (Numbers16:30).  It will happen suddenly with NO time for any so called prophet to make profit from selling books, speaking engagements, videos, etc...  I see that a "litmus test" which we should perfom with things like this is to ask ourselves; "is this teacher, pastor, writer, etc., a prophet or are they making profit".  A simple lesson from one word..  If someone is making money with the Bible, red flags should immediately go up.   Lesson learned..  Thank you Father for correcting me.  I hope that everyone who reads this will do the same..  Maranatha,  John

Friday, November 21, 2014

Scripture Hide-n-Seek....

"In the beginning the names of the sons of Israel, He called out into the wilderness and spoke His words to them.  Yeshua (Yah is Salvation), the son of life, who judges, governs, punishes, and vindicates His people for His name is EL, the son of grace (favor)."

Within the pages of our Bibles are "hidden" words and meanings which are below the surface of the English translation.  If we look deeper into the original Hebrew, we find meanings of names which can give us a picture of HIS Plan from beginning to end.  The "verse" given above is a combination of the Hebrew names of the first 8 books of the Bible.

Genesis = B'resheet = In the Beginning.
Exodus = Sh'mot = Names.
Leviticus = Vayikra = He Called.
Numbers = B'midbar = In the Desert or In the Wilderness.
Deuteronomy = D'varim = Words.
Joshua = Yehoshua/ Yeshua = Yah is Salvation.
Judges = Shaphat = To judge, govern, vindicate, and punish.
Samuel = Shemuel = His name is EL or GOD.  Samuel is the Son of Hannah which would be "ben chana" meaning "son of Grace or Favor"....



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hebrews 4 & Our Rest

Q. Does Hebrews 4 tell us that now we are not required to observe the Sabbath of the Bible because Jesus is our Rest?

A. First let's consider these four questions...

Does a Good Father give His son Instruction ? Prov. 1:8; 4:1; Eph. 6:4; Deut. 21:18.

Should a Good Son obey His Father? Prov. 4:1; Ps 32:8; Ps 25:8.

Did Yeshua (Jesus) obey / or Do the will of His Father? John 8:28-29; 5:19; 4:34.

Are we to walk as Yeshua did? 1 John 2:6; Col 2:6

I believe that we should rest (Greek=anapauo) in Yeshua (Jesus) because ONLY He is our security of Salvation and Eternal Life, whereby we can rest from our trials and hardships in Life and live the rest of our Earthly life without worry of our final destiny. However the context of Heb. 4 is about the 7th day Sabbath. Verse 9 in Greek uses the word "sabbatismos" and is equivalent to the Hebrew word "Shabbat" from where we get the word “Sabbath”. The only place in the Bible where Yeshua (Jesus) tells us to rest in Him is Matthew 11:28 and the word "rest" used there is "anapauo" (meaning refresh, or cease from labor) and if we compare this to all of the times "rest" is used in Heb. 4, except v.9, you will see that "Katapausis" and "Katapauo" is used and are synonymous with "anapauo" in Matt. 11:28. The context of v. 9 is in regards to the 7th day Sabbath and if you read v. 8 as it was intended to be read, as a question (KJV), with the understanding that Joshua and Jesus in Hebrew are the same name, then we have to ask ourselves "did Jesus or Joshua ever speak of another day?" They didn't. Jesus, when dealing with the Jews concerning Sabbath had plenty of opportunity to teach of a new day or a changing of the day or the negating of the day, but He didn't. He was contending with the Jews about "their man made traditions" which made void the commandments of God. This is clear in Matthew 15. It is interesting to me that people quote Paul's writings not realizing that he was a Jew and a Pharisee and never one time in His writings did he ever teach against anything of the Jews, except their traditions that contradicted the Torah. Acts 18:18; 22:3; 23:6; 26:5; 2 Cor. 11:22; Phil. 3:5; Rom. 11:1.

The book of Hebrews was written to the Jews or Hebrews who believed in Yeshua and were getting "beat up" so to speak by the unbelieving Jews, which still happens today. Just to be clear. I do not try to keep the 7th day Sabbath "set-apart" for Salvation's sake, I do it out of Love for my Heavenly Father and if we don't do it out of Love, then it becomes legalistic and that is the error of some even today. It is this same reason that I don't murder and cheat on my wife. I also believe that we need to be careful not to fall into following the example of disobedience mentioned in Heb. 3:19; 4:11; by not entering into His Sabbatismos rest, not His Anapauo rest. Peter makes a great point that people like to quote.. 2 Peter 3:16, however if we read v. 17 also, we get a deeper meaning of what he is really trying to say. The untaught and unprincipled man cannot understand Paul's writings because the teaching and principles spoken of are from the Hebrew / Jewish school of thought and a Western, Greek, Marcionic mind-set will never be able grasp it. Please consider 1 John 2:3-6; 3:4; and Matthew 7:21-23 (if your Bible uses the word "iniquity", please look up the Greek to get the true understanding.)

The New Covenant (B'rit Chadashah) is what was originally given to us through Moses, but now written on our Hearts. This covenant is the same Torah (Law), however now it is better, because God has made it “do able” because He has given us the Eyes, Ears and Heart to do so when He had not previously. Deut. 29:4 This Covenant is “cut” (karath=made or make. Deut. 29:1) at Mt. Nebo in Moab and can be found in Deut. 29 – 30 and was ratified or put in force by the Blood of Yeshua, whereas the covenant at Horeb was ratified by the blood of an animal. Ex 24:8; Matt 26:28; Heb 9:20; 10:29; 12:24; 13:20. It is not what was written that changed, but where it was/is written and how it was ratified. Also, if we study the word “new”, Chadash (H 2319 derived from H 2318) we find that it can mean renew, repair, or make anew. Just like the “New” Moon ( H 2320) every month is the same, original Moon, however it is made anew or refreshed. Another point that we really need to consider is that the New Covenant is not in full force yet. Notice the wording carefully in Jer. 31:31-34 & Heb 8:8-13. Especially verse 11, not all people on Earth know Him yet, that will happen during the Messiah's reign as King during the Millennium. Notice verse 13. “obsolete” is G3822 “palaioo” and means to make old, become old, to be worn out, to declare a thing to be old and so about to be abrogated. About to be abrogated, not already abrogated, about to be. The word “ready” is G1451 “eggus”and means to be near, ready, soon to come pass. In other words it is old and will soon come to pass and will become so in the Messianic Kingdom. Also, notice who this New Covenant is made with in verse 8. The Goy (Gentiles) become grafted into Israel when they accept Yeshua. Rom 11:17-24. Again, the “New” is Torah written on our Hearts for all to know Him and how it is ratified. The “old” written on stone is growing old and ready to disappear. “Kainos palaioo protos palaioo gerasko eggus aphanismos”. Heb 8:13. We Live in the New Covenant when we are re-born because He puts it into our Heart to follow His Instructions by His Spirit, instead of it written on stone and paper. Stone and Paper is what is old and ready to disappear.

Sabbatismos (G4520) is used only once in the Bible because this is the only verse (Heb. 4:9) talking about there remaining “a keeping of Sabbath” which is the meaning of the word and it is notable that this word is derived from the word “Sabbaton” (G4521) which always refers to the 7th day Shabbat (H7676). The two verses in Hebrews 4 that witness to the context being about the 7th Day is v. 4 and v 10. This couldn't be any clearer. In v 4, Paul quotes Joshua 22:4, but the question remains, did he speak of another day? No he didn't. God gave the people “rest” through Joshua, but not a Sabbath rest, it is the word “nuwach” which is synonymous to the Greek word for rest, “anapauo”. Rest from war and their enemies, rest from wondering around lost in the desert. Joshua 11:23; 23:1. Joshua giving them “rest” has to do with the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh wanting to stay in the land this side of the Jordan, however they made a deal with Moses that they would go with their brothers across the Jordan to help them obtain the land and after they possess the land and obtain rest, then the Reubenites, Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh would be able to go back across the Jordan to possess the land promised to them and rest. Joshua 1:14-15; 18:7; Deut. 3:8-17. Joshua didn't give anyone rest (nuwach), YHWH did. Joshua 21:44; 23:1. They are now able to “nuwach” because they now possess the land promised to them. In Joshua's farewell address to Israel before his death, he says in Joshua 23:6, “Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left”, and in Joshua 24:25-26, He (Joshua) makes a pledge or covenant with them concerning their agreement in not turning away from YHVH to serve other gods. He then writes it in the book of the Torah which Moses wrote after “renewing” the Horeb covenant at Moab. Deut. 29&30; 31:24. So, with this, we should be able to understand the question and answer stated in Hebrews 4:8-11; “For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day? There remains therefore a keeping of the Sabbath to the people of God.” Another point that is worth making at this time is that since Yeshua is GOD and was involved in the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, then He was the one who “rested” on the very first 7th day after His work of Creation . He was also the God who made the covenants and gave The Torah. (Colossians 1:15-17). We should then, enter into His rest “Sabbath” (“as God did from His). It is a witness of our belief in His Creatorship. Heb. 4:10-11.

Look at Acts 21:20; 15:20; 18:18, Paul keeps Torah 30 years after Yeshua's ascension back to Heaven and he never teaches against it even though he has plenty of opportunity. Instead he states in Acts 24:14 that he is“believing everything that is in accordance with the Torah and that is written in the Prophets”.. In Galatians 3:10-13, Paul is showing us that Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. What is the curse of the Law? It is Death to those that don't abide! What will happen to the Lawless, those that live without the Torah? What is sin? Who is the man of sin and what does he teach? The Scripture is clear. 1 John 3:4, 2:3-6; Matt. 7:21-23; 13:41; 23:28; 24:12; Rom. 6:19-23; 2 Thess. 2:3-8; Dan 7:25; Heb. 10:26. In Greek there is only one word used for anything concerning a law or decree, it is “nomos” and it is not a true representation of what the word “Torah” means. Therefore the word “Law” derived from “nomos” gives an improper meaning for the word Torah. Torah simply means “instruction” and is derived from the root word "yarah" which means "to hit the mark or target" and sin is the word “chet”, meaning “to miss the mark”. Ex. 24:12. The Torah is God's instruction in how to live in Righteousness, not to be Righteous because of "our" works or deeds. We have to shift our thinking from “Law” to “Instruction”. Laws are burdensome, however Instruction isn't. Legalism or "works of the law" is one of the problems that both Yeshua and Paul were up against, along with man's stone cold, unbelieving heart, and this is why the New Covenant is better, because no longer was it up to man to circumcise his own heart, God does it for him... Deut. 29:10(Ger/alien/Gentile), 14-15; 30:6, 11-14; Jer. 31:31; 32:40; Eze. 11:19-20, 36:24-27; Heb. 10:16; 2 Cor. 3:3; Rom. 7:14. The letter of the “Law” is of the flesh and brings death, this is the Covenant given to Moses at Horeb that man could not abide in, but the “Brit Chadasha” or New Covenant is of the Spirit and gives us Life. It is Better because it is up to YHWH (THE LORD) to write it upon our Heart by His Spirit. The same Torah, different place of writing it. The problem has never been Torah, it has always been man's unbelief. Romans 7:12, 16; 1Tim 1:8; Neh 9:13-17; Psalms 19:7-11; 119:160; Prov 29:18; Isa 51:7.

Look at Galatians 3:15-17 and note “when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it” and “What I am saying is this: the Law does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.” The New Covenant made at Moab, was not ratified with the blood of an animal, like the covenant at Horeb, it was ratified with the Blood of Yeshua. And Paul is clear that once it is ratified you don't set it aside or negate it, or add conditions to it, and it doesn't nullify the Covenant previous to it. Our Father has never broken any of the covenants, man did, (Jer. 31:32) and the New and Better Way is the Torah written within us and on the heart (“leb”= mind, will, understanding, knowledge, thinking, memory, inclination, desire) and Yeshua's blood given once and for all, for all Sins. Contrast this with the High Priest entering yearly with the blood of animals that can never take away sin. Heb. 10. To those who confess His Sonship and claim His blood in their place, then the sins of that person are Passed Over and Eternal Life is the Free Gift given by His unmerited favor, also known as Grace. Rom. 3:25; 10:9-10. We have to try and understand that our Father chose Israel, and was betrothed to them and became a husband to them. The Torah was/is a marriage contract, that they broke, but even though they committed adultery, He Loves them/us and gave a “new” contract written on their/our hearts. Isaiah 54:5; Jer. 31:32; Deut. 29-30; Hosea 2:16,19,20. Notice the word “know” and “knowledge” in Hosea 2:20; 4:6; Jer. 31:34. It is the words “yada`” and “da`ath” (da`ath H 1847 is derived from yada` H3045) and is the same word used in Gen. 4:1,17,25; 38:26; Judges 11:39; 1 Kings 1:4 (relations, knew, know, cohabit) and is always used in the context of intimacy. So in Hosea 4:6 we should see that His people are destroyed for lack of the Yada` or lack of the intimate knowledge of Him, which is gained by Torah, or His personal instructions for His betrothed to be able to Yada/Know` Him. 1 John 2:13; 5:3.

If we are going to understand what is happening in the 1st century setting, we have to understand the mindset of the believing Jews of that time. They thought that they were to go and make Jews of those born outside the land. A Gentile (Goy or Ger) is anyone not born in the land of Israel or no Jewish blood in their Genealogy. This is one of the problems dealt with by Yeshua and Paul (Matthew 15:6, Acts 15; Galatians 2:3). The other thing that has to be realized is that the Jew, then and even today, say that the Oral Law or Tradition, supersedes the written Torah of Moses and actually the written and the oral are one in the same in authority. The written Torah is God's instructions and the Oral is the rabbinical “halacha” or how to walk in it and the problem is when the tradition or oral rabbinical halacha is more important or supersedes the Torah. Matt. 15:3, 6; Mark 7:5,9,13. This is what is going on; the struggle of following the Torah given by Moses from our Heavenly Father or the torah given by man according to their tradition. This is one of the things that Yeshua is addressing in Matthew 5:17, He came to “fulfill” which is the Greek “Pleroo” which means to rightly interpret; teach correctly; carry out; bring to realization. Yeshua is the one we should mimic in “halacha” or how to walk in the Torah, because this is one of the reasons that He came. 1 John 2:6; John 13:15; 15:10; 1 Peter 2:21. So in Galatians 2&3 “the works of the law”, also known as "legalism" is the rabbinical traditions or oral Torah and the Jews believing that they achieved salvation by the works (rabbinical halacha) of the Torah. The New Covenant is not what was written, it is where it is written. What was/is written on our Hearts and within us when we are born from above, is His Torah, by His Spirit. Our Father's Instructions written on our Hearts so we will walk in it. How then is Torah a burden to us? It is only a burden because of a cold heart of stone that is after the way of Cain. Jude 11, 1 John 3:12; 5:3. We should do it out of Love for our Father, not for salvation, but because of Salvation...

There are 2 different schools of thought. Most Christians are in a Western, Greek, Marcionic, anti-nomian, replacement theological school of thought and the other (which I follow) is from the Eastern / Hebrew, Messianic, pro-nomian school of thought. I challenge you to step out of the replacement theology box and study the Scriptures from a Messianic Hebrew school of thought. I believe that those who teach against the Torah or aspects of it will be left behind when Yeshua comes to get His bride. Matt. 7:21-23; Matt. 25:11-12. There is a lot more that could be said concerning all of this, however, I believe that enough has been given to allow anyone that really wants to know, the ability to see and understand.

I want to leave on this note and suggestion, that all who read this study follow the example of the Bereans given in Acts 17:11. By “examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so”.

Maranatha, John