02. Proper Conduct

Below you will find the letters that I have received from people who have interest in the subject of the practice called tithing. The letters are inserted as I receive them. I will post letters of those who oppose my beliefs, as long as they are civil and proper, and of course when I receive any of that type of letter. Thanks for writing one and all.

 

Hi,
I went to your site and read some of your articles on tithing (or non tithing I should say.) I was starting to think I was alone in the world when it came to this issue. I have done a lot of studying and praying on this issue and I don’t believe in tithing either. I have a web page that I just put up. I was wondering if you would look it over and maybe put a link to it on your page. I’m trying to get some traffic to it. Thanks a lot!   Shannon

 


 

Thank you for your stand on tithing. Your articles were among many that I read, including one book, “The Lie of the Tithe”. It is good to read through as many articles as possible because even though the main ideas are repeated, everyone has some different special insights that really hit home. The following is (in part) how I finally came to understand why tithing cannot be right.
 
First, I became disabled some 10 years ago after having worked many years. While nearly all of my large family claims to be Redeemed, not one of them offered me a dime, or food or anything. My supposed best friend never offered any help either–but then she is not Redeemed. She would say she would pray for me–James 2:15-19KJV. How did they think I was going to eat and live without an income? In fact, some of them criticized my inexpensive Christmas gifts to them! I was forced into government housing and food stamps for me and my daughter. While they all lived well (some even lavishly) and tithed, I was left to fend for myself. This taught me that many people who claim to know Christ, don’t– (Matt.7:21; Matt. 25:32-46). It also taught me that He didn’t need their help to keep me going–PRAISE THE LORD!!! (And believe it or not, I did tithe during this time–I thought things might get worse if I didn’t.)  As a result of some sisters buying expensive gifts for their picks and cheaper gifts, if any, for the others, I came to realize that the holiday is all about money and favoritism and everything hurtful. Surely Christ is not in that–which led me to study—and I learned that Christmas is a pagan holiday, as well as Easter, et al. It was hard, but I did learn a lot.
 
It wasn’t until more recently that I learned just how much tithing was wrong. We (I’m married now) took a boy into our home for almost a year, who belongs to a friend who’s husband was not providing for the family (5 children in all–they lost two homes and she and two of the children ended up with her married brother, and the other two children went with a sister, and a friend). I personally talked to our (Indep. Baptist) pastor about us accepting any help anyone wanted to give. I mean they have bridal and baby showers at the church, they take up collections for the pastor, assist pastor and youth pastor and their wives when it is their birthdays. They sent the assist pastor and wife to Israel costing about $5,000. They take up money and items to make baskets for the missionaries….. We were not looking for a million dollars. We actually had the nerve to think that they would want the opportunity to give glory to God by helping us out (regular attending members who tithed regularly) so that we could help out a sister in Christ. Boy were we chagrined! The pastor announced on a Wed. night that we were taking a child into our home (etc.) and that if anyone wanted to help, to let us know. We never received even a word of encouragement much less anything tangible. Every week we brought that child to church, along with ours, and not one person ever said or did anything–including the pastor who could have done something if he really wanted to. (I think we were on the weekly prayer list.) So, consequently, we stopped paying our tithe! At first I thought it was wrong (after all the years of brainwashing). Finally I sent the money to my daughter who needed it for college–remembering how much in need I was and knowing I am an infidel if I don’t help my own family (I Tim. 5:8). Now, we are diligently trying to pay off some bills.
 
Which brings me to the last reason why we have seen the light on tithing. We have suffered financially through no fault of our own. When we married, his ex wife suddenly wanted to get custody of the child she abandoned, when she abandoned the marriage several years prior. We were forced to obtain attorneys because she was lying, trying to get us in trouble–it’s a long story, but suffice it to say she is literally psycho–extremely evil troublemaker. So even though we had to borrow money to pay the three attorneys, we continued to tithe. Consequently, here it is years later, and after a couple of other misfortunes (that most people eventually run into–not to mention that I am disabled) we are still paying on those debts. Debts that would definitely have been wiped out by now if we had not tithed. The Bible also speaks against being in debt. So we have learned that tithing does not fix financial problems, it only makes them worse, and the is debt even drawn out longer and more costly (interest) than it ever had to be. We made conscious decisions to live in a modest home with modest vehicles (now only one) so that we would have more money to give people (after we paid our tithes–still thinking that tithing was right). We like helping others, but I suppose that God wants us to be out of debt before helping others as much as we would like to. Our cups are NOT running over like they all promised (–we never gave to Benny Hinn or any of those charlatans on TV.) All we can do now is ask God to forgive us and to restore that which the locusts have eaten (if that isn’t too much out of context!) Joel 2:25.
 
We are in a period of transition, I guess you could say. We don’t appreciate being lied to and really don’t appreciate the fact that most churches including ours do not help their own members in need–those in more need than we ever were (except maybe a few picks). Therefore, we are not sure where we should attend–there are no TRUE New Testament Churches in our area. Truly we live in an age of apostasy! Sometimes I think we should just “put in our time” on Sunday morn. (where we are members) and be polite, but know that they are all phonies and don’t mix with them and just come on home to a nice meal! At least they have the right music and use the KJV.
 
So, in conclusion, while I would NEVER say (or think) that we have not been blessed by God–because we surely have been blessed, I can say that for an average family, tithing can put a strain on your finances that God never intended, which in turn can put a strain on the marriage–that God never intended. Matthew 19:6 “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” that includes the pastor/church who wants to extract tithes to your family’s hurt. The religious community condemns the lottery because rent, etc. is not paid for spending it on the lottery. What is the difference in families spending money on the lottery to the family’s hurt and paying tithes to the family’s hurt??? One promises you the chance of millions, the other promises your cup will run over. You know, we serve a common sense God. It is only COMMON SENSE to only give what you can–how is it that otherwise intelligent thinking people can be fooled?!? I guess it is the same way Christians are being fooled into New Age/Holistic/Alternative medicine and diets. We had to separate from a small church that was into reflexology, Health-food diets, not getting their children vaccinated, etc. That sent me into an in-depth year study on New Age Healthcare where I learned that my disability may have come about through the use of herbs/vitamins/minerals, etc. If you are not aware of this evil, please let me know and I can send you some websites to look at. Every Christian should BEWARE of New Age Healthcare!!!
Thanks again for your stand on tithing.  Name withheld by request

 


 

Dear Brother Delusion Resistance, Amen!! – I can’t get into my church history right now but I have been into the tithing thing, set free, then back into it, and out for good! The law was delivered through Moses – But grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ!  Dennis 7/11/01

 


 

Thank you for your study on tithing. I have never been a part of a church that didn’t teach the 10% rule, except when I was young. But I have always known it was legalistic, but very unpopular to speak about my thoughts, almost like sacrilegious. So I don’t hardly ever mention it. I am not rebellious about it. I truly believe that …”give unto God what belongs to God,” means everything, not just Spirit, but everything. I am not accountable to give Him my 10% but everything. and in this I fail. But I am not under law here either. I just hope one day to live my life fully and completely in the service of the Lord, not 10% on Sunday. And God has been taking good care of me, like the widows oil story in 2nd Kings. But I do believe that people who tithe in faith are being blessed by God, just as those who would not eat the meat that had been sacrificed to idols. I don’t understand why such great men and woman of God subscribe to this belief, and so strongly. anyway, thank you, many people do need to be set free from this teaching.         Maggie

 

 

Page Updated on
05 June, 2011
03 Sivan, 5771

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Answers Provided 5-23-2011

Click here to access Russell E. Kelly’s Articles

1. According to Genesis 14:11-16 were the spoils of war Abram received holy tithes from God’s holy land? Would they have been “holy” tithes in the Law?

Answer: Of course not. There was no holy land yet. They do not fit the description of “holy” tithes under the Law and could not have been used to support the Levites and priests as Levitical tithes.

2. According to Genesis 14:18-20 and Hebrews 7:4 does the Bible say that Abram freely gave tithes of spoils of war to the priest-king Melchizedek?

Answer: No. Genesis 14:21 suggests that he was obeying the Arab law of the land which required tithes from spoils of war be given to the local king-priests.

3. According to Numbers 31:21-30 what percentage did the statute of the Law for Israel later require as a tithe from spoils of war?

Answer: One tenth of one per cent (.1%) (One half of one five hundredth): this was only one tenth of what Abram paid to Melchizedek.

4. Why did Abraham tithe 10% of spoils when the Law later required far less? What controlled his actions?

Answer: The Bible does not say “why”. Recorded tradition found in archaeology suggests it was the required law of the land throughout his world.

5. From Genesis 14:20-21 could there be another law or Arab tradition involved? Yes, No, Perhaps. Do some deep research on this.

Answer: This is repetition of previous questions. Research many commentaries for a surprise answer.

6. Would Abraham’s tithe have been accepted as a holy tithe to enter the Temple

Answer: Only that which could be purified after passing through fire. And then it could only be used for temple maintenance. Compare First Samuel 30:20-35.

7. How often did Abraham tithe?

Answer: The Bible does not record any other instance. Therefore, we really do not know.

8. Is Abraham an example of tithing personal property and tithing regularly?

Answer: Not at all. If we followed his example, we would only tithes from spoils of war and only once.

9. Is Abraham’s example of giving 90% to the king of Sodom an example for Christians to follow?

Answer: Not at all. Yet tithe-preaches do not discuss this.

10. From Genesis 20 and 21 is it possible that Abraham also paid tithes to the Philistine priest-king Abimelech whom he served?

Answer: It is possible if it was required by their law. He obeyed the law of the land.

11. Referring to Genesis 28:20-22 would Jacob’s tithe from Haran have been accepted as a holy tithe to enter theTemplesystem?

Answer: It does not fit the description of a holy tithe to be used for normal sustenance of Levites and priests.

12. Referring to Genesis 28:20-22 should we follow Jacob’s example and only tithe after God has met our conditions?

Answer: No. Yet this is not discussed by tithe-teachers.

13. According to Genesis 28:20 was Jacob’s tithe a freewill “vow” or a commandment of God?

Answer: A freewill vow. And there is no record that he kept the vow.

14. Is Jacob an example of tithing for Christians to follow?

Answer: Not at all.

15. How common was money, gold, silver, precious stones and shekels in Genesis?

Answer: The word “money” occurs 32 times in Genesis. Check an exhaustive concordance.

16. According to Genesis 13:2 and 20:16 did Abraham have a lot of money?

Answer: Yes. It was already an important part of that economy.

17. Was money essential for routine worship in the sanctuary?

Answer: Very much. Do your own research on the words “money” and “shekel.”

18. Is it honest to teach that tithes were only food because money was not common?

Answer: No. It is dishonest and comes with dishonest ulterior motives to change God’s Word.

19. According to Exodus 19:5-6 was tithing part of God’s “original plan” before the incident of the golden calf?

Answer: No. Tithing is not mentioned in Exodus. While Aaron’s house was intended to be resident priests, every Hebrew from every tribe was to be his/her own priest before God. Levitical priests were not mentioned.

20. According to Leviticus 25:3-7 no food tithe could be taken every seventh year. Why is this ignored by churches today?

Answer: Churches would have no grounds for collecting tithes every seventh year.

21. According to Leviticus 25:12-13 no food tithe could be taken every fiftieth year. Why is this ignored by churches today?

Answer: If one followed all of the OT tithing law, tithes could not be requested every 7thand 50thyears.

22. According to Leviticus 27:30, 32 (and 14 other texts), tithes were only food from the land of Israel and herds inside God’s holy land of Israel which God had miraculously increased. Where in the Bible –over 1400 years from Leviticus to Luke — are tithes defined as income or money?

Answer: Nowhere. God’s definition of a holy tithe never changed.

23. According to Leviticus 27:30, 32 the tithe was the tenth of the total crop and the tenth animal. Since the word “tithe” means “tenth” when did it change to become the “first” in the Bible?

Answer: Nowhere. This is man’s change of God’s Word.

24. According to Leviticus 27:34 the first tithe was not the “best.” Where in the Bible does the first whole tithe become the “best”?

Answer: Nowhere. Tithe-teachers dishonestly change God’s Word and ask for the first tenth of one’s paycheck.

25. According to Leviticus 27:34 tithing was part of the Law given only to national Israel as a unique covenant. When were the Gentiles, (pagans) or Church commanded to tithe in the Bible?

Answer: Nowhere. None qualified as tithe-payers. They were not Hebrews and they did not grow food inside God’s holy land.

26. Since only farmers and herdsmen living inside Israel produced tithes, where is the principle that says everybody was required to begin their level of giving at 10%?

Answer: Nowhere. It is a tradition of man.

27. Where does the Bible say that non-food income was tithed and that carpenters (Jesus), fishermen (Peter), tentmakers (Paul) and tradesmen tithed?

Answer: Nowhere. It is a tradition of man.

28. Did God command the pagans to tithe?

Answer. Absolutely not.

29. WouldIsraelhave accepted tithes from the pagans or pagan lands?

Answer: No. And that should also be true today since God never changed the definition of holy tithes.

30. Although Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” this was not given as a reason to collect tithes from pagans and from lands outside of Israel. Why is that true?

Answer: Holy tithes were limited to food from God’s holy land of Israel.

31. Why don’t Christians observe all of the other things called “holy” and “most holy” in Leviticus?

Answer: They say that these do not apply to the Church today because they were fulfilled or ended at Calvary.

32. Where in the Bible is the exact wording of the ordinance or statute of tithing?

Answer: Numbers 18.

33. What is the difference between tithes and first-fruits? Compare Lev 27:30-35; Num 18:13-18, 20-24; Deut 26:1-4; Neh 10:35-37; Prov 3:9.

Answer: Tithes were tenth-fruits from God’s holy land which were brought to the Levitical cities where they were needed for food per Neh 10:37b. Firstfruits were very small token offerings which were brought to the Temple and eaten by the priests on duty. See Deu 26:1-4 and Neh 10:35-37a.

34. Where are tithes equated with first-fruits in the Bible?

Answer: Nowhere. This is a tradition of man designed to scare believers into giving their first to God whether or not they had met their family essentials per First Timothy 5:8.

35. Weren’t first-fruits very small token offerings from the first of the harvest?

Answer: Yes, as previously discussed.

36. OT Levites who received the first whole tithe were merely servants to the priests and later political workers. How is this principle applied in churches today?

Answer: It is totally ignored.

37. OT Levites gave the best tenth of their tithe to the priests –only one per cent of the total. How is this principle observed today? See Num 18:25-28.

Answer: It is totally ignored.

38. OT priests and Levites who received the tithes were not allowed to own or inherit property. Why isn’t this principle observed today (Num18:20, 23)?

Answer: Modern tithe-teachers ignore every single OT principle concerned with tithing. They only apply their own re-definition.

39. The OT tithe was never used for mission work to evangelize the pagans. What biblical principle authorizes it for missions today?

Answer: None. This is a tradition of man.

40. According to Deuteronomy 12 and 14:23-26 a festival tithe was to be eaten in the streets. Why is this tithe principle ignored by churches today?

Answer: Their idea of tithing is not biblical.

41. According to Deuteronomy14:26 some festival tithes could be turned into alcoholic strong drinks. Why is this principle ignored by churches today?

Answer: It does not fit into their change of God’s Word to suit their own needs.

42. According to Deuteronomy 26:12-13 every third year a tithe was kept in the homes for the poor. Why is this principle ignored by churches today?

Answer: Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs.

43. According to Deuteronomy 26:12-13 the Levites were included among the poor, strangers, fatherless and widows. Does this mean that the Levites and priests were to be counted among the poor?

Answer: Yes. It is highly likely that God expected the Levites to give away much of what they received to the poor at all times.

44. Where does the Bible say that the poor were required to tithe?

Answer: Nowhere, unless they were landowners or herdsmen living inside Israel.

45. Many OT Levites who received the first whole tithe were political servants of the king (1 Chronicles 23 to 26). Why is that principle ignored today?

Answer: Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs.

46. In the OT the first and best tithe went to the king. Why is that principle ignored today (1 Sam 8:14-17)?

Answer: We are not under a theocracy. Under Roman rule the first tithe went to Rome and often even the second tithe of fruits.

47. Where did the Levites and priests live most of the time? See Joshua 20-21, Numbers 35 and First Chronicles 6.

Answer: Far away from Jerusalemin their Levitical cities. At first there were 48. Judah had 13 originally but may have expanded them later.

48. How often did the Levites and priests serve in the Temple See 1 Chron 28:13, 21; 2 Chron8:14; 23:8; 31:2, 15-19 35: 4, 5, 10; Neh11:30: 12:24; Luke 1:5-9.

Answer: At a minimum of once every 24 weeks in a rotation (cycle). They spent the other 23 week either raising tithed animals or learning trades necessary for temple maintenance.

49. ***Since 98% of the Levites and priests were not working in the temple most of the time, why would God tell the people in Malachi 3:10 to bring all of the tithe to the Temple when 98% of it was needed for food elsewhere?

Answer: He did not. The “you” of Malachi 3:10 only makes sense if it only refers to the priests. The typical interpretation of Malachi 3:10 contrasts with Nehemiah 10:37b and common sense.

50. What covenant was the curse of tithing part of? See Neh 10:29; Deu 28:12, 21-22; Gal 3:10-13.

Answer: Only the Old Covenant. God is today dealing with His Church in terms of the New Covenant (Heb 8:8-13).

51. According to Nehemiah 13:5-10 who was guilty of stealing the Levites’ portion of the tithe?

Answer: The priests.

52. ***According to Nehemiah 10:37b where were the people commanded to take the tithes? Why? Why is this text ignored today?

Answer: (1) To the Levitical cities. (2) That is where 98% of those who needed it for food lived most of the time. (3) Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs.

53. According to Nehemiah 10:38 where were the priests located when they received the tithes? Why is this text ignored today?

Answer: In the Levitical cities. Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs.

54. According to Malachi 1:6-14 who was guilty of stealing vows of tithes?

Answer: The priests from 1:6.

55. Who was cursed in Malachi 1:14?

Answer: The priests. They were not commanded to tithe, but they were expected to give generous vow offerings from the tenth of the tithe which they received from the Levites. Num 18:21-28.

56. Who was cursed 3 times in Malachi 2:2?

Answer: The priests.

57. Who is questioning God in Malachi 2:17?

Answer: The priests from 2:13-17.

58. To whom is God replying in Malachi 3:1-5?

Answer: The priests from 2:1-10, 13-17.

59. Are the priests also “sons of Jacob” in Malachi 3:6-7?

Answer: Of course. They text does not have to refer to all sons of Jacob.

60. Cannot Malachi 3:8 be referring to the priests stealing a third time?

Answer: It makes sense that God has not changed from cursing the priests.

61. “Curse” refers to the priests four times in1:14 and 2:2. Is it possible that God is still cursing the priests in 3:9 instead of suddenly having pity on them?

Answer: Common sense says yes. God has not suddenly changed to feeling sorrow for priests. The “you” of 1:6 and 2:1 has never changed away from the priests.

62. Does the pronoun “you” refer to the priests from Malachi 1:6 to 3:5?

Answer: If it has not clearly changed, then it must.

63. Is there concrete evidence that God has changed his address from the priests to the people in Malachi 3:6-7?

Answer: Not in the context.

64. Has God changed from cursing the priests to having pity on them in Malachi 3:8-10?

Answer: This would be illogical.

65. Since “you” has thus far referred to the priests and since Nehemiah 10:37 proves that the people brought their tithes to the Levitical cities, then is it reasonable to conclude that “you” in Malachi 3:10 also refers to the priests of Nehemiah 10:38?

Answer: Yes.

66. Again according to Nehemiah 10:37 where was most of the tithe needed and stored?

Answer: In the Levitical cities.

67. According to Nehemiah 13:5-10 how large was the storeroom in the Temple

Answer: If it was made from combining two rooms, the largest would be about 10 ft by 20 ft. Compare 1 Kings 6:6 for room size.

68. Could the Temple have physically held all of the tithe of the nation in Solomon’s time or Nehemiah’s time?

Answer: Absolutely not.

69. Is it possible that the Temple “storehouse” idea has been misunderstood?

Answer: Yes. Levites and priests living far away from the Temple would have to travel long distances for food. And the early church had no legal buildings for almost 300 years after Calvary.

70. In Second Chronicles 31:15-19, why did King Hezekiah choose to relocate the tithes from rotting heaps in the streets of Jerusalem to the Levitical cities?

Answer: After consulting with Levites and priests, they realized that it was the logical thing to do. The temple storerooms only supplied food for the Levites and priests who ministered in the temple on weekly rotations.

71. The “outlaw” early church met in secret in catacombs and graveyards for over 200 years after Calvary. They had no building to call “storehouses.” Why does the modern church use the term “storehouse tithing”?

Answer: It is dishonest and wants ignorant believers to think that they must bring the first ten per cent of their paycheck to the church.

72. The OT Temple has been replaced, not by a building (1 Cor3:16;6:19), but the body of individual believers. Why does the modern church ignore this and teach that tithes should be brought to the church building as a replacement of the Temple

Answer: Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs.

73. Matthew 5:19-48 refers to all 600+ commandments of the Law. Why is 5:17-18 used only to argue that tithing is still valid? The text is self-destructive for that argument.

Answer: Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs. The text must be interpreted to teach that we are either under all of the law or none of it.

74. Did Jesus (a carpenter), Peter (a fisherman) and Paul (a tentmaker) qualify as tithe-payers under the Law?

Answer: No. They were neither landowners nor herdsmen inside Israel. That which the produced was from their own increase and not from God’s miracle.

75. How do you explain Matthew 5:19 “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”?

Answer: It means that you cannot keep tithing while discarding most of the law. A consistent principle of interpretation is needed.

76. Does not Matthew 5:19 obligate one to keep all 600+ commandments of the Law?

Answer: In its context, yes.

77. According to Matthew 12:1-2 Jesus and his disciples gleaned food on the Sabbath Day. Were they accused of not tithing? Why?

Answer: No. Because by allowing them to glean, the law recognized them as poor. It also proves that the poor were not expected to tithe from gleanings.

78. According to Mark 12:42-44 a widow gave at the Temple. Was she tithing or giving a freewill offering?

Answer: She was giving a freewill offering of money. Money was never a tithed item.

79. Since Paul’s tents came from pagan lands, did his income from selling tents qualify as tithe-able income under the Law?

Answer: Absolutely not.

80. According to Matthew 23:2 who were the recognized interpreters of the Law?

Answer: The scribes and Pharisees.

81. According to Matthew 23:2-3 why did Jesus tell his Jewish disciples to obey the scribes and Pharisees?

Answer: They were the current recognized authorities who sat in Moses seat to interpret the law.

82. According to Matthew 23:3-4 did the addition of herbs and spices change the tithing law into a burden?

Answer: Yes. Counting small seeds would be a great burden.

83. Did the Law command tithes from garden spices and herbs?

Answer: The tithing law did not include those items.

84. Why did Jesus tell His Jewish disciples to tithe garden spices and herbs?

Answer: They were partially responsible for allowing the scribes and Pharisees to sit in Moses seat.

85. In Matthew 8:4 why did Jesus command the Jews he healed to show themselves to the priests?

Answer: The Law was still in full effect before Calvary.

86. Why did Jesus NOT command the Gentiles he healed to show themselves to the priests?

Answer: They were not under the Law.

87. Did Jesus tell his Gentile disciples to tithe to the Temple system?

Answer: No. It would not have been allowed. It was illegal.

88. To whom does the word “you” refer in Matthew 23:23?

Answer: The scribes and Pharisees.

89. What three words in Matthew23:23 describe its context?

Answer: “of the law”

90. Is Matthew23:23 an Old Covenant command or a New Covenant command?

Answer: Old Covenant before Calvary.

91. Why did Jesus tell the rich young ruler and Zaccheus to give their money to the poor instead of the Temple as tithes?

Answer: Their wealth must not have been in land and animals inside Israel. Jesus was not breaking the law which required tithing.

92. Do pastors today allow visiting evangelists to tell their congregation to “sell all that you have and give it to the poor”?

Answer: Of course not. They do not tell their congregations to do this either. Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs.

93. Why do not pastors today command their church members to tithe garden spices as Jesus commanded in Matthew 23:23?

Answer: Again, it does not fit into their own change of God’s Word to suit their own needs. They have no consistent hermeneutic.

94. According to Luke 22:20 when did the Old Covenant end and the New Covenant begin?

Answer: The Old Covenant ended and the New Covenant began when Jesus shed His blood at Calvary.

95. According to Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35 did God command the disciples to share communally or did they make a freewill choice?

Answer: There is no record that Cod commanded this. It is very possible that it was done in anticipation of Christ’s imminent return.

96. According to Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35 were the disciples tithing to church leaders or sharing everything equally?

Answer: This is not an example of tithing. It is an example of sacrificial freewill giving at the extreme. It should not be preached as an example of tithing because everybody shared equally.

97. According to Acts 2:46 did the early church withdraw itself from worship in the Temple

Answer: Not at all. Evidence is that they continued supporting the Temple. If they had stopped financially supporting theTemple, they would not have been allowed to use it.

98. According to Acts 15:10 did Peter argue against putting the yoke of the law on Gentile Christians?

Answer: Most definitely.

99. According to Acts 15:19-20 did James agree with Peter?

Answer: Most definitely. Yet most pastors today place their churches under the law of tithing while rejecting most of the law as irrelevant.

100. According to Acts 20:29-35 was Paul self supporting most of the time?

Answer: Yes. He even boasted about it.

101. According to Acts 20:35 did Paul expect church elders to follow his example?

Answer: Yes, but it was not a command.

102. According to Acts 20:35 whom did Jesus tell to work and give to the weak?

Answer: Church elders. This has been reversed by the modern church.

103. According to Acts 21:20 were the Christian Jews in Jerusalem still “zealous of the law”?

Answer: Yes, and this was 30 years after Calvary. The compromise of Acts 15 split the church and still required Jewish Christians to obey all of the Old Covenant Law.

104. According to Acts 21:20 is it logical to conclude that the Christian Jews in Jerusalem were still paying tithes to the Temple system?

Answer: Yes, otherwise they would not be “zealous of the law.” The Law required payment of tithes to the Levites and priests and not to gospel workers.

105. According to 1 Corinthians 9:7-14 did the vocations of soldier, herdsman, farmer, mill-grinder, temple worker and gospel worker each operate under different principles of support?

Answer: Yes. Each had its own principle.

106. Comparing 1 Cor 9:13 with Numbers 18 and Leviticus, were temple workers supported from tithes, offerings, vows, freewill gifts, portions of sacrifices and many other sources?

Answer: Yes. Far more than tithing. Levites only received the tithe while priests had many sources of income other than a tenth of the tithe.

107. Comparing 1 Cor 9:13 with Numbers 18 and Leviticus, was tithing the only “thing of the temple”?

Answer: Of course not, but this fact is ignored.

108. Referring to 1 Cor 9:14 does even so (“in the same way”) command gospel workers to be supported by every means of support used for temple workers?

Answer: Of course not. The argument used by tithe-teachers is self-defeating. It proves too much.

109. Referring to 1 Cor 9:14 does “even so” command gospel workers to be supported by ‘gospel principles’ of grace and faith “in the same manner” as the previous six vocations had been supports by their own principles?

Answer: Yes. The principle refers to all vocations mentioned in verses 7 to 14.

110. Referring to 1 Cor 9:14 is it dishonest to teach that 9:13 only referred to tithing? Does not the text teach too much and destroy the tithing argument?

Answer: It is very dishonest. Paul knew that holy tithes were only for Levites and priests and could not come from Gentiles lands. Again, the text is self-defeating for tithe-teachers. It proves too much.

111. According to 1 Cor 9:12, 15-19 did Paul accept tithes as a salary?

Answer: Absolutely not. He usually did not even accept freewill offerings. As a highly educated rabbi, Paul had been taught that teaching God’s Word for pay was not the manner of rabbis.

112. Comparing 1 Cor 9:14 with 9:12, 15-19 if Jesus commanded tithing to support gospel workers, was not Paul disobeying that command?

Answer: Yes, but this fact is ignored by tithe-teachers.

113. According to 2 Cor 3:10, how much glory does the OT have in comparison to the New Covenant?

Answer: Zero glory.

114. Where is tithing repeated to the Church in New Covenant terms of grace and faith?

Answer: Nowhere. And neither are gospel workers required to forfeit land inheritance rights and obey any of the tithing statute of Numbers 18.

115. According to 1 Peter 2:9-10 has the OT priesthood been replaced by church leaders or by every believer?

Answer: By every believer. And this should have enormous implications against New Covenant tithing.

116. Referring to 1 Peter 2:9-10, how does the “priesthood of believers” affect tithing?

Answer: Believers do not tithe to themselves, plus Old Covenant priests were never commanded to tithe.

117. Were non-Levite OT prophets supported by tithes?

Answer: Absolutely not. They were either self-supported or received freewill offerings.

118. Were OT and NT Jewish synagogue rabbis supported by tithes?

Answer: No. Never. And this should be important. The synagogue system using rabbis did not replace tithing to the Temple.

119. Are NT pastors and elders supported similar to OT priests or prophets and rabbis?

Answer: The comparison is better to OT prophets and rabbis.

120. Is First Timothy 5:1-20 a discussion of discipline or pastoral salary?

Answer: Discipline.

121. According to First Timothy 5:8 are family essential needs more important than church support?

Answer: Definitely.

122. How can First Timothy 5:8 be true if the first 10% of income must be given to the church?

Answer: Both cannot be true for the Church.

123. Does “double honor” in First Timothy 5:17 refer to “double caution in discipline” or “double salary”?

Answer: The context is discipline.

124. According to First Timothy 6:6-11 should gospel workers expect to be better off financially than most?

Answer: No.

125. According to Hebrews 7:5, did the Law give the priests authority to receive tithes?

Answer: Yes.

126a. Were the OT priests also kings?

Answer: Not the HOLY Hebrew priests defined by the Law.

126b. What does Hebrews 7:8 refer to?

Answer: The priests who were still literally receiving tithes before A.D.70.

127. According to Hebrews 7:11 and Psalm 110:4 was the Messiah to be a priest-king?

Answer: Yes.

128. According to Hebrews 7:11-12 did the prophecy that the Messiah would be a priest-king necessitate a change in the law?

Answer: Yes.

129. According to Hebrews, chapters 5 to 7, was OT Melchizedek qualified to be a priest under the Law?

Answer: No.

130. According to Hebrews 7:13-17 was Jesus qualified to be a priest under the Law?

Answer: No.

131. According to Hebrews 7:18 how was the Law which also commanded tithing in 7:5 “changed” in 7:12?

Answer: It was disannulled, or abolished. It ended. It was not carried over into the New Covenant.

132. According to Hebrews 7:12, 18, why was the Law which also commanded tithing to support the Levitical priesthood “annulled” or “set aside”?

Answer: It was weak and not profitable. It had been replaced with better New Covenant principles of sacrificial giving.

133. According to Hebrews 7:16-28 was the king-priesthood of Messiah to be based on eternal moral principles?

Answer: Yes and those include sacrificial freewill giving which are written in the heart and conscience.

134. Tithing existed in most nations long before Abraham’s time and those nations also practiced idolatry, child sacrifices and temple prostitution. Does the fact that tithing existed before the Law make it an eternal moral principle?

Answer: No. The HOLY tithe was only given later by special revelation to Old Covenant Israel.

135. According to the entire book of Leviticus, how can tithing be retained asa “holy” principle and almost everything else called “holy” and “most holy” in Leviticus be discarded?

Answer: By using poor principles of interpretation.

136. According to Hebrews 8:6-13 Christ’s “more excellent ministry” replaced the Old Covenant on stones and paper with the New Covenant in the heart. Does a new-creation Christian know in the heart that he/she must give a ten per cent tithe to support the church?

Answer: No.

137. According to Second Corinthians 8 and 9, does a new-creation Christian know instinctively to give: freely, sacrificially, generously, joyfully, not of commandment, regularly and motivated love for God and love for lost souls?

Answer: Yes. It is part of the new creation with the indwelling Holy Spirit.

138. According to Second Corinthians 8:12-15, what is the “equality” principle of giving?

Answer: Many give much more than 10% while some cannot give that much. Yet both give sacrificially.The giving equals out.

139. According to Second Corinthians 3:10-18 which principle of giving has the blessing of the Holy Spirit?

Answer: Post Calvary New Covenant Holy Spirit blessed giving (and every other doctrine).

140. Should most affluent Christians lower their standard of living in order to give more to promote the gospel?

Answer: Yes.

What One Man Discovered When Challenged to Study!

By David Ben Yakov
 
© 1989/2010 David Ben Yakov / Delusion Resistance
 
 

The following text is going to be a study on the subject of Tithing. I will enter this study with some bias, because of my convictions. This study is to further the truth and to help this soul in the quest of Holiness. I pray that through this study, I will be able to learn and apply the results to anyone else who might be troubled in their heart concerning this subject. I will use only scripture in this text so that God will be glorified and not man.

In this day when pastors are being revealed on every side about their dishonesty, the Old Testament commandment about tithes is in question. Is it valid today or just an Old Testament commandment?

When we look at anything in this world, and we want to partake in that thing, we must look into it’s origins. We must do so also with the subjects in the Bible. We look at the things of the world to ponder if the Lord will be Glorified in our doing those things. We look at the subjects in the Bible to see the intent and blessings that the Lord had, or should I say has, by our obedience in those things. Thus we must do the same thing with the subject of tithing. We see the word “Tithe” in the Bible and that word is taken from the Hebrew word “Ma-asar” which literally means one tenth. This was a temple contribution that was given to the storehouse of God to be used by the priests.

All indications are that the animal tithes were used as sacrifices. One might wonder if tithing was a common practice before the law of Moses was given. There are indications that there was a ten percent tax that was similar to a tithe in ancient cultures. These taxes existed in the fourteenth century BC in Assyria and the sixth century BC in Babylon. Both of these taxes (tithes) were used for the upkeep of the temple court and were referred to as a “sacred tax”.

 

TITHING PRIOR TO THE MOSAIC LAW

 

Since tithing is a part of the law, one wonders if any of the Bible characters before the law are mentioned as having tithed. While I am not a Bible scholar, I am able to study God’s word and here are the results.

Two people are mentioned in the Bible as pre-law tithers. These men were Abraham and Jacob. In Genesis 14 we see that Abraham had just defeated the kings who had attacked Sodom and Gomorrah and taken Abraham’s nephew Lot captive. Abraham went to battle to save his nephew and was successful. The King of Salem (later called Jerusalem) brought bread and wine to Abraham after the battle and proclaimed a blessing over Abraham. This king was named Melchizedek and he was the priest of God Most High. Abraham was so happy that God had kept him in a time of trouble, that he decided to give a tenth of all the spoils to Melchezidek. 

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:17-20

Since the King of Salem was a priest to God, then giving the tenth to him was the same as giving it to God. We must remember that Abraham came from the area of Asia that would later become Babylon and it was possible that the practice of tithing ( the sacred tax) was common at his time. John Seldon ( a noted Christian author) points out that the gifts that Abraham gave to Melchezidek were tithes only on the spoils of war, as noted by the historian Josephus in 10:2 of his History of the Jews. The Bible says nothing about Abraham’s tithe being mandatory. Abraham had received a blessing and wanted to be a blessing in return

We now come to Genesis 28, and we find here that Jacob is promising God that He would pay a tithe (tenth) of all that God would give him. 

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” Genesis 28:20-22

The question that comes to mind is, who did Jacob pay his tithes to? He probably paid them to his father Isaac. The priesthood (although there was no Levitical priesthood yet) at that time was passed down through the family, thus Isaac received it.

 

TITHING UNDER THE MOSAIC LAW

 

The next area in the Bible where tithes are mentioned is in Leviticus 27:30-32. In these scriptures, God is saying that one tenth of the land, either seed or fruit, belongs to Him. He goes as far as to say that it is holy to the Lord. God said that if a man wanted to keep the food, he would have to substitute the monetary value of the food plus add 20 percent.

” `A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire tithe of the herd and flock–every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod–will be holy to the LORD. He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’ “ Leviticus 27:30-33

This seems to suggest that God wanted the tithe to remain of an agricultural basis. That is why he made made redeeming a man’s tithe such a costly thing. The Levites couldn’t eat gold and silver now could they.

The question comes to mind, why did God command that the people of God were to tithe. One wonders, why such strict commandment? The answer is quite simple. In Numbers 18, we see that the tithes that were offered up from the children of Israel, were to be given to the Levites as an inheritance from God. 

 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and bear the responsibility for offenses against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites.  Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: `They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’ ” Numbers 18:23-24

If one remembers back when the land was divided up among the tribes, Levi didn’t get an inheritance. They had no land to farm and no animals to eat. These people would starve if it were not for the food that God offered them from the children of Israel. The interesting thing is that once the Levites had the heave offering, they had to offer a tenth of their gift to the Lord. The whole affair would seem to keep everyone humble.

We now go into the book of Deuteronomy and we see something interesting. In chapter 26, we see that God had specific uses for the tithes of Israel. 

When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Deuteronomy 26:12

He said that it was acceptable to give the tithes to the Levites (whom it was intended for) and also feed the fatherless and widow. We go to Deuteronomy 14 and here we see that everything belongs to God and He had His way of dividing the tithes for their best use. 

Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 14:22-29

When we read this passage we must remember that the Jewish religious calendar was made up of seven year periods. God states in this passage that if the event arose that the tither was too far from the place that the Lord had for the tithe to be brought (referring to Jerusalem) then the tither was to take the tithe and convert it into money. He was to use it in any way that he chose, but was commanded to remember the Levite. On the third (and sixth) year of the seven year cycle, the tither was to store his tithes at the city gate to share it with the Levite, fatherless, stranger and widow of his/her city. There was no tithe on the seventh year.

There is no doubt in my mind, that there was a very fine line that separated a tithe from the offering. Firstly, they were both commandments. They both were comprised of giving of the prized possessions of farmers in ancient Israel. As a matter of fact, the only difference that I can see, is that the offering was to be given as an atonement for offenses toward God whereas, the tithe was a commandment as an offering to help the Priests and Levites. Therefore, if a person in the church is not a farmer and offers his skill to further the church, is that not a tithe? I think it is.

We mentioned earlier that the tithe was not only for the Levite, but also for the fatherless and widow. We now come to the time when the prophet Amos was on the scene. It seemed that the opulent people were oppressing the poor of that time. That was not their only offense though. They were tithing to the false gods of their neighbors while they were afflicting the poor.

We will now look at some Old Testament scriptures which will show that the tithe seemed to accompany religious and social reform. In II Chronicles, chapter 31 we see that King Hezekiah went to great lengths to reinstate the tithe in his reform of Israel. 

The king contributed from his own possessions for the morning and evening burnt offerings and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moons and appointed feasts as written in the Law of the LORD. He ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 31:3-4

We see in verse four that the king demanded that the people of Israel contribute support to the priests and Levites so that they might devote themselves to the Lord. This commandment was the tithe. We see reform again in the book of Nehemiah, chapter 13 verses 4-13. 

I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. Nehemiah 13:10-11

We see that the Levites had been neglected during the time that Nehemiah was absent. The neglect had been so bad that the Levites had to go back to farming (which they did in Babylon in exile) just to survive. Verse eleven seems to suggest that Nehemiah acted stern with Judah to the point where all of Judah brought tithes to the Levites. Nehemiah appointed Levites to distribute the tithes to all of the Levites and all was well again.

There were promises and curses for Old Testament tithers and non tithers. Such can be seen in the book of Malachi. 

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, `How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse–the whole nation of you–because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 3:8-12

The scripture in Malachi has been used for many years by ministers and pastors to cause their parishioners to tithe. Those in the pews are coerced into believing that every little problem in their lives are the result of a curse pronounced upon them by God Himself because they are not faithful givers. Those in the pulpit then tell the parishioners that if they will tithe faithfully, their lives will be blessed and that their problems will be greatly lessened or will disappear completely. They do this by suggesting that they are extensions of the priests and Levites mentioned in the Old Covenant. It’s too bad that they haven’t read or are  deliberately ignoring the words of the Apostle John:

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:5-6

 

TITHING AND THE JEWISH RABBINIC PERIOD

 

This study would not be complete without the study of the words that were uttered by the leaders who lived in the Rabbinic period. This period was roughly from 400 BC to 500 AD. This was the time of the oral law, a time that great men attempted to explain the law and enforce the law. It is interesting to note that all of the Rabbis saw no conflict between the written law (that law that was given to Moses) and the oral law.

These Rabbis saw the tithe (Ma-asar) as a heave offering (Trumah) for the priests and Levites. They saw this as an act of righteousness on behalf of the giver. An act of righteousness was call Halacha. Another way to express Halacha is “good works”. The Rabbis divided the giving of the Trumah into three separate classes. The generous man was to give one thirtieth, the common man one fiftieth and the miserly were to give one sixtieth. When the Rabbis talked about the miserly they said, “but if a person has a bad eye, then let him give only one sixtieth”. This can be compared to Matthew 6:22-24. 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:19-23

In Matthew, Jesus talks about the bad eye and equates it with serving mammon also. When one looks at the Mishna 1:1, we see that the Rabbis demand that the tithe was to be of common vegetable matter and not wild stock. This would keep it so that the tither would give from his increase and not gleanings of a wild field. The paying of tithes by the way of money was not an accepted practice until near the end of the 2nd century AD.

It was around 100 AD that the Israelites started paying tithes not only to the priests and Levites, but also to the synagogues. This was done to support the scholars and Rabbis that were in Gods’ service. The oral law also stated that tithes were only to be paid in the land of Israel. John Seldon, in his book titled “History of The Tithe” emphatically points out “Tithes did not apply outside Eretz (the land of) Israel but was observed in Egypt, Moab, Syria, Babylon, Ammon and all of Trans-Jordan, because that was the promised land”.

After the temple was destroyed the tithe was used more and more in place of the sacrifice to support Rabbis, scholars and the poor. In the seventeenth century AD, the Jewish author Joel Serks wrote about the tithe; “Tithing ones earnings is a voluntary custom and is not obligatory under Mosaic or Rabbinical law”. In the Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 12; pg 152, we read about the tithe; “The whole of the tithe should be given to the poor and none of it is to be used for any other religious purpose”. As we can see, the tithe, from the time that it was instituted, was meant as a means to support the poor and needy. After the temple was destroyed and the Jews were dispersed, the law of tithing ceased. Finally, in the words of Rabbi Maimonides (Ram Bam) we read; “At this day, by their law, they pay none. Those who live in the land of Israel, for want of their priesthood and temple, and those who live dispersed in other countries, and here in all agree”.

 
TITHING AND THE EARLY CHURCH

 

Now that we have seen that tithing was an institution that was given to the Old Testament saints, let’s look and see if it is applicable to the New Testament believer. Tithing was never adopted by the early church and was never intended as a funding of an ecclesiastical organization. In the Gospels the subject of tithing is mentioned strictly in a Jewish format but after Pentecost the subject of tithing is never mentioned in the context of the early Church.

First of all, let us look at our Lord and Savior, Jesus, and see if there are any examples of his tithing. The answer is that there are no examples of His tithing. Many Christians would probably use the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, so therefore He would be exempt. That sounds like a convincing argument, but how come Jesus kept every other law, but not that one. Could it be that He knew that it was not important or is it just possible that the writers of the Gospels forgot to include His tithing. Jesus was quite emphatic about the Pharisees and their tithing. He saw them putting in large amounts of money and then announcing their great deed to everyone within an earshot. He declared that the old widow of Luke 21:3-4 had put in more in her poverty, then the Pharisees in their wealth. She was giving to the temple treasury and not tithing and even if she were tithing, she technically still lived in Old Testament times as Jesus had not laid down his life yet.

Jesus is quoted as saying that we should render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s, and unto God those things that are of God. Now it stands to reason that since God is spirit, we should render to Him things of the spirit. Tithing was a form of worship in the Old Testament and our spiritual service should be our worship in this covenant. One should consider that Jesus came to fulfill the law (which He said and did), so if He came as our sacrifice and offering, which are both part of the law, then He must have atoned for our tithing obligation too. One must take into account that any person in the four gospels that was mentioned before the crucifixion of Jesus, was still under the law (as was Jesus) because the New Covenant is procured in His blood. Things are very different after His death.

When we enter the Acts of the Apostles and the many Epistles, we see Christianity in it’s true form. The New Covenant says in Revelation 1:6, that Jesus has made us Kings and Priests to God the Father. The Law said that the Priests were to receive the tithe. Why are the priests of today told by their brothers that they must pay the tithe?

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:5-6

In the book of Acts, we are shown how the New Covenant believer is supposed to act, where giving is concerned. In the second chapter of Acts, we see an interesting scripture when we look at the 44th and 45th verses. It reads beautifully:

” Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need”. Acts 2:44-45

This suggests that the early church had a heart for giving. They did not need to have a food closet or church organization to pass out the goods, because it was in everyone’s heart to give as they saw the need. In verse 42 of that same chapter we see that the believers had “fellowship” with one another. The word fellowship is the Greek word “Koinonia” which here means benefaction or contribution. So when the believers met together, they benefited and contributed to those who needed it.

We can then go to Acts, where we read about other charitable acts. The scripture goes as follows. 

“Nor was there anyone among them that lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the Apostles feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need”. Acts 4:34-35

Again we see charity in the heart of the first century believer. These people didn’t need to be persuaded because they were the example of charity.

Later on in the first century we can still see the loving kindness in the church as exemplified in these two scriptures. The two scriptures to look at are; Romans 15: 

For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. Romans 15:26-27

And 1 Corinthians 16:

Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 1 Corinthians 16:1-3

We see here that times were tough for the church in Jerusalem. Persecution and hunger were the theme of the day and the church in that city needed help or else they would perish. In the chapter in Romans, we read; “It pleased those in Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints, who are in Jerusalem”. We see in the I Corinthians scripture that Paul had to ask in a more firm way. Paul says that he had to order them to put money in the plate on the first day of the week. This would be for the saints in Jerusalem. We recognize that these were one time requests and not tithe commandments. We are beginning to see a pattern here, and that being that we are not commanded to give but when we become greedy, God will command us to give. This thought comes to mind; a parent knows that his son is now eighteen years old and should know the in’s and out’s of life, but the parent is always close by to correct his child, should that child go astray.

We have seen that while God does not command a tithe in the New Testament, He does require us to help the needy and wanting in His fold. This has been disregarded in many of the modern churches. I for one have approached pastors in the past, and informed them of people who were out in the street, only to be told that God was trying to deal with these people and that the ordeal would bring these people to a point where God could use them. I have found that in most cases that action usually causes the people in need to leave the church and live in doubt that the people of God really care for anyone but themselves. And I have also seen that this pious attitude also has a trickle-down effect to the parishioners, who use the false sense of caring to keep their pockets padded in a comfortable manner. I pity these pastors souls at the judgment. How much better would it be to bring these people in and feed their souls and spirits.

 

THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS AND THE TITHE

 

One might wonder what the early Church Fathers had to say on the subject of giving. Did they mention tithing or not? Justin Martyr, considered a genius of his time was born around 110 AD in Samaria. He is reported to have been martyred in the year 165. Martyr was a leader in what is referred to as the sub-apostolic age. Listen to what he says about a typical Sunday back in his time. 

“And on the day called Sunday, people who live in the city or in the country are gathered together in one place and the memoirs of the apostles are read as long as time permits. Then when the reading ceases, the president (Nassim) verbally instructs or exhorts the people to imitate these good things. Then we all rise together and pray prayers. And as we have said, when the prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president offers prayers of thanksgiving to the best of his ability and the people say amen. And there is a distribution to each and a participation of that of which thanks has been given. And to those who are absent, a portion is sent by the deacon and they that are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit. And what is collected is deposited with the president who succors the orphans and widows and those who through sickness or any other cause are in want, and those who are in bonds, and the strangers sojourning with us” This can be found in “Ante Niocene Fathers” Vol. 1.

The next entry in this text is taken from the “Constitution of The Holy Apostles” written in the second half of the third century, and can be found in “Ante Niocene Fathers”; Volume 7, page 435. “But if you say that those who give alms are such as these, and if we do not receive from them, which shall we administer to the widows and from whence shall the poor among the people be maintained. But if a gift to be wanting, inform the brethren and make a collection from them and thence minister to the orphans and widows in righteousness”.

On page 471 of the same volume, we further read: 

“All the first fruits of the winepress, the threshing floor, the oxen and the sheep shalt thou give to the priests. That thy storehouse and garners and the products of thy land might be blessed and that thou mayest be strengthened with corn and wine and oil and the herds of thy cattle and the flocks of thy sheep may be increased. Thou shalt give a tenth of thy increase to the orphan and to the widow and to the poor and to the stranger. All of the first fruits of thy hot bread, barrels of wine, oil or honey or nuts or grapes or the first fruits of other things shalt thou give to the priests. But those of silver, of garments and of all sorts of possessions to the orphans and to the widows”.

When we look at Romans 12:13; 15:27 and I Corinthians 16:1-2, we see the practice of Koinonia. The word literally denotes a close bond and it expresses a two sided relationship with an emphasis either on the giving or on the receiving. It means a participation or impartation. Our relationship with God is not just vertical but horizontal also. Isn’t it interesting that the intersecting lines of this perfect relationship form a cross! True Koinonia is expressed in freely offered sacrifice.

Last but certainly not least, we have the man called Tertulian. This man was born in 145 AD. He was born again in 185 and became a great elder in 190. He became Bishop of Carthage around the year 200 and died around AD 240, but not before earning the title “Founder of Latin Christianity”. Let’s see what Tertulian had to say about giving: 

” The tried men of our elders preside over us, obtaining their honor not by purchase but by established character. There is no buying or selling of any sort in the things of God, and although we have our treasure chest it is not made up of purchase money as of a religion that has its price. On the monthly day {Sunday} if he likes, each puts in a small donation, but only if it be his pleasure and only if he is able for there is no compulsion, all is voluntary. These gifts are as it were pieties deposit fund, for they are not taken thence and spent on feasts, drinking bouts or eating houses, but to support and bury poor people and to supply the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents and to old people confined to the house. Such too that have suffered shipwreck and if there happen to be any in the mines or banished to the islands or shut up in prisons. For nothing but their fidelity to the cause of Gods’ church they became the nurslings of their confession. But it is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that leads many to put a brand upon us `see, they say, how they love one another'”. Ante Niocene Fathers; Vol.3 pg.46.

The testimony of the Jews in the Last century BC and the first century AD, as well as Paul and the early church in the land of Israel and the writings of the Ante Niocene Fathers all witness to the voluntary nature of giving, not as a responsibility but as an action of righteousness. The true believer recognized something that superseded the concept of what we consider in our minds as law. Holy giving made the church grow rapidly.

 

THE MIDDLE AGES/THE RETURN OF THE LAW

In the latter half of the third century we see that the ecclesiastical church is coming into full bloom and with that flower comes the idea that the church should use the tithe law in its affairs. We will see that it was not yet a commandment in the church but the stage was set for its appearance. There was a saint that lived during that time. His name was Thasseus Cyprean. Cyprean was born around 200 AD . He became a Christian about the year 246 and excelled to the office named Bishop of Carthage in the year 248. He is reported to have died in 258. He wrote several works but the one that we will use is titled “The 65th Epistle of Cyprean” The following is taken from “Ante Niocene Fathers” Vol.5 pg 367.

” How much rather ought those not to be bound by worldly anxieties and involvement, who being busy with divine and spiritual things, are not able to withdraw from the church and have leisure for worldly and secular doings. The form of which ordination and engagement the Levites formally observed under the law, so that when the eleven tribes divided the land and shared the possessions, the Levitical tribe which was left free for the temple, the altar and divine ministries, received nothing from that portion of the division. But while others cultivated the soil, that portion (the Levites) only cultivated the favor for God and received the tithe from the eleven tribes, and their food and maintenance, the fruits that grew, which was by divine authority and arrangement so that they that waited in divine services, might in no respect be called away nor be compelled to consider or transact secular business, which plan and rule is now maintained in respect to the clergy. That they that are promoted by clerical ordination in the Church of the Lord may be called off in no respect from the divine administration or be tied down by worldly anxieties and matters. But in the honor of the brethren who contribute, receiving as it were tenths of the fruits that they may not withdraw from the altars and sacrifices, but may serve day and night in heavenly and spiritual things”. We can plainly see by the script above that tithing was a contribution that was received by those that served the Lord and his people. We can also see that a ecclesiastical order was developing that would later lead to the Catholic Church.

In the book “Ancient Facts and Fictions Concerning Churches and Tithes”, written by the Earl of Selbourne (Randall Palmer) and published in 1892, we see some very interesting facts about tithing. On pages 23 and 24 we read;

 “Not tithes in particular, but all church property of every kind, was from early times and down to the fourteenth century described as the patrimony (inherited estate) of the poor. The poor were always, and always must be in a special degree, objects of Christian ministry. To them the Gospel was preached. The relief of the temporal as well as the spiritual wants of the destitute and the sick, old aged and afflicted of strangers and foreigners, of prisoners and captives was also from the beginning part of the office and the work of the church. 

Of tithes, there is no mention in the western church until the beginning of the fifth century. None indeed in this particular connection until later”.

The first Christian decree making the tithe into a law came in the year 786 in England. The nineteenth century writer named Henry Hallum in his book titled “View of The State of Europe in The Middle Ages”, published in 1854; declares the following. He says; 

“The slow and gradual manner in which Parochial churches became independent appears to be in itself a sufficient answer to those who describe a great antiquity to the universal payment of tithes. There are however, more direct proofs that this species of ecclesiastical properties were acquired not only with decrees but with considerable opposition.

We find the payment of the tithes first enjoined by the canon of a provincial council in France near the end of the sixth century. From the ninth to the twelfth and even later it is continually enforced with similar authority. Father Paul remarks that most sermons preached about the eighth century inculcate {repeatedly teach with force} this as a duty and even seem to place the summit of Christian perfection in its performance. This reluctant submission of the people of a general and permanent tribute is perfectly consistent with the eagerness displayed by them in accumulating voluntary donations upon the church.

Charlemagne was the first who gave that confirmation of a civil statute to these ecclesiastical injunctions. No one, at least has, so far as I know, adduced any earlier law for the payment of the tithes, then one of his {Charlemagne’s’} capitularies. This capitulary is known as the `Baloozee Capitularia’ and it dates from 789 A.D.”.

A capitulary is a statement of Law. Charlemagne, who went by two other names; Caralous Magnus or Charles the Great. He was the King of the Franks from 768-814. He was crowned King of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III whom he was fiercely loyal to. Charlemagne’s’ capitulary regulated the tithe and divided it into three parts;

  • 1. The Bishop and his clergy,

  • 2. The poor,

  • 3. support for the fabric of the church..

  • The “Encyclopedia Brittanica” 11th edition; printer in 1911 says of tithes in this era; “Thus they became transferable to laymen and sellable like ordinary property in spite of the injunctions of the Third Laterine Council”.

    Henry Hallum says in his book, on page 264; “Payments of tithes became payable out of sources of income that were not originally tithable. Not just crops and field items but every form of income imaginable and every kind of labor”.

    Pope Boniface VIII, who was pope from 1294 to 1303 put out his infamous “Unum Sanctum Bull” (a decree) in November of 1302. On that date Boniface made papal claim to world supremacy when he said “If the King resists the pope, he resists God Himself”. This applied to the tithe also. Thomas Aquinas (a co-author of the Bull) went even further to say that; “We declare, define and affirm that every man must obey the pope or forfeit his salvation”. In other words, he was saying that if a man didn’t pay his tithe (among other things) then he wasn’t a good Christian and God would remember that on judgment day. It is funny that in the 20th century the same thing is said about tithes. A synod held in Rome declared that this Bull gave a correct expression of the view of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Apart from tithing, the pope had a great deal of financial resources at his disposal. These included bribery and the sale of indulgences. The philosophy of the indulgence was criminal in itself. According to this thought, Christ and His saints performed more good works then were needed and these surplus deeds of goodness were at the disposal of the church and could be sold to the poor. Thus one could buy their relative out of purgatory or even supposedly acquire your own salvation through them. Other resources at the popes’ disposal were:

  • 1. Anatates: First Fruits: The first year wages in office which was taken from Bishops and Abbots.

  • 2. Reservations: Money paid by richest people in order to succeed to higher office.

  • 3. Expectancies: Nominations sold by the pope to those who expected to succeed to pope.

  • 4. Commendations: Provisional appointments on promise to pay an annual tax.

  • 5. Jus Spoleorum: The ownership of all property by the pope.

  • 6. Tithing: Of church property for urgent matters.

  • Things even got so bad that individual priests exacted the tithe from the income of peasants. They demanded additional payment for things such as Marriage ceremonies, baptism and confession. Finally and in conclusion of this section, “The Council of Trent” which convened from 1545 to 1563, enjoined the due payment of tithes but went one step farther by excommunicating those who withheld the tithe.

     

    THE REFORMATION

     

    When Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the door of the church it was a paper on reform. He never intended to start a whole new religion but to reform the old one. The whole idea of reform was based on the misuse of money by the ecclesiastical church. Most of the doctrine of the new church was just modified doctrine from the old church and this was especially true with the tithe. In most cases, the tithes given to the new church were used for the clergy and to build beautiful gigantic buildings, much to the neglect of the poor.

     

    THE CONTEMPORARY CHURCH

     

    I would like to look at some more subjects concerning the tithe of the modern day church. The average Christian, when asked why they tithe, will say that God tells us to. I have yet to find where God says that in the New Covenant. I have been approached by many a Christian about the subject and the answer is the same. I will always ask where they find it in the Bible and the answer is always, “in the Old Testament”. Older and wiser Christians, when asked about that subject, will say that the Lord told them to tithe. I don’t doubt that the Lord does have people tithe, but I would say, that is their conviction, and not a law that they feel they have to follow, or else evil will result.

    One can only feel sorry for the Christian who tithes out of obligation to the Law of Moses. These people miss the true meaning of Messiah’s death. He clearly said that He came to fulfill the law. If He fulfilled the Law, then He fulfilled the whole Law. If you were to tell these same people to keep a Kosher diet or to sacrifice animals for their sins, they would label you as a heretic and tell the whole neighborhood to avoid you, yet they have to tithe every Sunday. The Apostle Paul said it so nicely 

    “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:2

    Because there are many well meaning Christians that would try to persuade all Christians (even those who are not convicted to) to tithe, using the Law as an example, we shall see what the New Testament says about the law. The Apostle Paul said plainly, concerning the death of Jesus: 

    “Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”. 

    We can see here that the Law was nailed to the cross with Jesus who was the fulfillment of the Law.

    Paul tells us furthermore in Romans: 

    “But now we have been delivered from the Law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter”. Romans 7:6

    And again in Romans we are told: 

    For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes”. Romans 10:4

    And in Galatians we read:

    “But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law”. Galatians 5:18

    So we see that the law is not pressing us if we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us.

    One might ask how the Holy Spirit can work through us. This is answered in the following verses. In Galatians we read; 

    “for the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Galatians 5:14

    We see this proved again in Romans where we read; 

    “love does not harm a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law”. Romans 13:10

    I hope that the reader can see that the law is not fulfilled in tithing or other things; but in love.

    Finally, we see that since God has written His laws on our hearts, we should be moved to give when we see a need. The Apostle Paul says in II Corinthians; 

    “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:7. 

    That says it all.

     

    THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS

     

    There is one more subject that I would like to add to this study. This is my own philosophy but I feel that it is honored by God. I feel that the time and work that is donated by a person, to a church could be considered a tithe, or in contemporary terms, a gift. This would hold especially true if one would give of his or her time contributing of the trade or skill that the Lord enabled them to do. Since there are very few people that work on or own farms, the food tithe is hard if not impossible to accomplish. Therefore, if a plumber takes the time to work on a brothers or sisters clogged toilet, or if he installs piping and fixtures at the church, he is tithing of the skills that the Lord gave him. In other terms, he is giving of his field of work much as the farmer gives of the field he tends. There are many in the church, that would argue that that is an offering and not a tithe. These people are again under the law. They have in essence, said that if you didn’t tithe, all of the work that you have done is null and not accepted by the Lord, no matter how pure that the intent of giving was. I know how this feels. It is a real slap in the face. What they are saying, can be seen in another light. Lets say for example, that a good Christian is on his way to church and sees a man starving on the side of the road. He takes the ten dollars that he was going to tithe and buys the man a good meal and gives him the change that is left over. Many a modern Christian would say that good deed was not recognized by God because the good man didn’t tithe before he presented that good offering to that man. Jesus said that “if you did it unto the least of these, you did it unto me”. Pleasing Jesus, is far more important then paying a obligatory sum to appease a law that is no longer in effect.

    Another item that is prevalent in the church, is the heresy that if a person is not moved to tithe, he is placed under some curse by God. Again, why would God curse someone for not obeying a law that was fulfilled by the atonement procured through the death of our sacrificed lamb. If they want to be legalistic then they might as well not even be believers in Jesus because they do not recognize that He came to fulfill the law. If He did not fulfill all of the laws, then He did not fulfill any of them. True Christians know, as did Isaiah in chapter 53, that He came to set us free. We must remember that the law was comprised of many parts but that it was all one law. When a person offended one of those laws, it was as if he broke the whole law. Thus when He set us free from the law, He set us free from the whole law, including tithing.

    You know, it never ceases to amaze me what can come out of the mouths of some Christians. Believe me, I’ve  been guilty of operating my mouth while my brain was in neutral, but what happened lately just floored me. Some pastors and others in authority will be so attached to the tithe that they will actually make the statement that if a person doesn’t tithe, then they doubt that a person is saved. How can someone argue against such blatant lack of knowledge? Well, we can see what the Apostle Paul had to say the prerequisites of being saved are:

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

    It’s a very dangerous thing to prescribe the fate of a soul. Nobody knows the heart of another and as far as I know, nobody on earth has had the privileged of peering into the Lamb’s Book of Life to see what names are there or not there. In like manner there are some who say that if a person isn’t water baptized then they cannot enter heaven. Things like this are often said in ignorance. But what about the thief on the cross to whom Jesus promised paradise the day that they both died? Again, Jesus knew the man’s heart and his sincerity and the man’s faith is what got him saved and into heaven. So that should eliminate any question about what God knows about each man’s heart.

    Yet another tithing myth that is so prevalent in this day and age is the prosperity reason for tithing. There is a lie going through the church that says that if you give to God, He will return what you gave and much more. While it is true that God does reward those who give to worthy causes, and do so with pure motives, it is not a reason to give selfishly. People that give through pure motives do so to please God and to further His kingdom, and they do so, knowing fully well that they might not receive their reward in this life. People that give out of selfish reasons have received their reward already. They have the praises of people and have pulled spiritual back muscles from patting themselves on the back. These people are the ones that usually abandon God when they do not receive their blessing. Let them abandon God because the Kingdom of God has no place for the likes of them.

     

    Summary

    So, what have I learned from this study. I have learned that I have been lied to for many years. Whether this was done intentionally, the Lord only knows. I have learned that tithing is an Old Covenant procedure for supporting the Priests and Levites. I have learned that it has been replaced by common sense giving as orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. I have learned that there are many scriptures to back up this point. Most of all, I have learned that I was right all the time and that my opinion, prior to this study was right and was given by the Holy Spirit of God.

    Now that last statement might sound like a prideful thing. Perish the thought. Knowing that I was right, and sticking to my guns made me feel wonderful. Knowing that I persevered through all of the taunting and threatened expulsions from churches for doing what was right is a big thing to me. It would have been easy to cave in and submit to unrighteousness. It would have been easy to be one of the crowd and to go with the flow, but I just couldn’t do that. I even had some pastors feed single women at the churches with the lie that I was a poor soul who needed guidance. They would come to me, partially with the allure of their beauty and single status and partially with the misguided premise that they could sway me to the churches way of thinking. I persevered though through the temptation and wiles of wickedness and came out all the stronger. I had to do what Jesus told me to do, and to have faith that what He was showing me was truth and righteousness.

     

    LESSONS PASSED ON

    In conclusion, I want to stress the fact that if God tells a person to support the local church then he better do so. I also want to stress that the conviction to support the church (if so convicted) comes from the Holy Spirit, not from the compulsion of man. If pressure is being applied by the pastor or other people in the church then it is not of the Lord. The man that is walking with God has the same hearing capability as do other believers and is able to hear the Lord when he is talking. If you hear about giving, and you feel good in your heart about it then by all means do it. If you feel troubled about it then abstain until you have talked it over with God. Remember that the Bible says that “God loves a cheerful giver”. If you are tithing under compulsion then it is as if you are not giving at all in God’s eyes. Remember too that if you give under compulsion, you will become bitter toward Pastors, churches and ultimately toward God, and neither you nor God want that to happen, right?

    I would also advise that a person examine a new church before supporting its efforts. Look to see if the pastor and the other leaders are spending wisely and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the leaders of a church are honest then they will be glad to display monthly financial reports and answer your questions. If the pastor avoids or tries to turn your questions around then be aware. If you are shown the financial report and things are not itemized to the last penny you should proceed with caution. Also, without a doubt, be careful of churches where financial reports have things like “various expenditures” or “miscellaneous” written on the report. Look at the pastor’s lifestyle; is he modest or extravagant? Does he mix with the laymen in the church or cling to the business men? Is he sacrificing like he is asking you to do?

    If these steps are followed then you might avoid disappointment and sorrow in the future. Remember, pastors and all church workers are men and women just like you. If they have the appearance of anything greater then they are not worth the bother; go where there are genuine people.

     

    ADDENDUM

    After reflecting for a great while about this subject, and it’s implications, I feel that I have to add another section. This new section will address something that has been on my heart for some time and should be spoken about. This subject has to do with tithing as a sole mean of support of a pastor and his family. I want to state in strongest terms that I am alluding to humble and contrite pastors who take little and live on little for subsistence. Also, I am not talking about pastors who have physical limitations or whose life might be endangered by physical work. And, aside from what I have written below, there are good and honest pastors who tend full time to their flock and their needs. I attend a church currently (in 2014) who has limitations yet cares for his flock, and he is an honorable and righteous man. Below I refer to those who do not tend to their flocks fully, yet expect a great influx of tithe money to have nice houses, big and expensive cars and other such things. If a pastor has a contrite and humble spirit they deserve to be taken care of and they are paid accordingly, both in monetary ways and in spiritual ways.

    A few years ago, when I was challenged to do this study something was said to me that always made me wonder. The woman who was chiding me about what she thought was my disobedience, said that one of the reasons that we are supposed to tithe was to support the pastor and his family. I wondered if people should actually be getting paid for serving the Lord, or should it be on a voluntary basis. Here is what I came up with.

    As I mentioned earlier in this text, whenever one wants to know about the Church and it’s correct function, one needs to look at the early Church and it’s ways. One might argue that financial and societal conditions were different during the first through third centuries, but we must not forget what the Bible says about God. Hebrews 13:8 declares “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever”. Look at the world today. Is it really different then the first days of the church. Christians are still regarded as an oddity and in some cultures are deemed insane. There is still war, famine, pestilence and hatred. We still have rich, poor and the unemployed. As a matter of fact, conditions are probably easier in this contemporary society (especially in America) because of the welfare institution and other programs designed to help the poor , and the laws that protect people and religion. In Roman days if you were poor you died hungry or sold yourself into slavery to keep alive. Seeing that economic conditions are better in the present we can assume that we’re financially well to do, even the poorest of us. As one anonymous person once said, “America is the home of the richest poor people in the world”.

    Why did I say all of that? I said that because I believe that (aside from some exceptions) pastors should earn their keep. One might say that a pastor spends his week counseling his flock and studying for his Sunday sermon. While this explanation might hold water for a pastor that is not led by the Holy Spirit, it does not hold water where the majority of the Spirit filled pastors are concerned. Lets face it, if God knows what he wants a pastor to say, and He wants to speak through that pastor, then there should be very little preparation time (except for prayer time) needed for studying. People don’t want word studies and history lessons, they want the truth, plain and simple, and they want it put in terms so that they can apply it to their daily lives.

    Now I mentioned above that there are some exceptions. For example, if a pastor has a very large church where the needs of the congregation are many and the church staff is small then a pastor should have time to study, pray and counsel. A pastor who chooses to work to support his family should choose a field of work that won’t take up great amounts of time. I’ve had experience myself with the Delusion Resistance Ministry where this is concerned. I’ve had to arrange my time to where the daytimes are for working and the nighttimes are used for working on the web site and other ministry matters. So, it can be done if the time is portioned out wisely.

    Several years ago I taught Sunday School classes. Not having kids of my own I often went into class wondering if I would be effective. I would study the “pre-packaged” lesson that I was to give and more often than not the kids would be bored during the lesson. I proclaim that the days that I was not prepared, but prayed for hours before the class were the best that I ever taught. God gave me innovative ways to teach and lessons that ministered to the kids. We had prayer times that were great and the children left feeling they had both learned something and gotten business done with God. God likes to work in fresh and new ways, not in redundant and ritualistic ways. Adults are the same way where learning is concerned. To put it in food terms, we want the freshly cooked steak dinner, not the precooked hamburger that’s been sitting under the heat lamps. A pastor that is alive in the Holy Spirit and in tune with what God wants to present can fulfill that order.

    Another reason why I feel that a pastor should hold a secular job is so that he can see what it is like to work in the real world. There are some pastors who do this and their lessons are outstanding. If a pastor could both see and live the pressures that drive his parishioners to do some of the things that they do, they would also have more of a compassion for the sinner, and probably would have more answers for those same parishioners. The working pastor could understand why some people are too tired to go to church on Sunday and not be critical of those people. After all, didn’t God the father do this very same thing. When He was ready to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah He didn’t just do the act. He sent His angels down to both warn Lot and to see first hand the evil that was in those places. Only after he saw that the condition was hopeless did He destroy that region. Again, lets look at the Lord Jesus. We have been taught (and rightly so) that Jesus came to Earth to die for us on the cross. Well, another reason why Jesus came was to live a human life. He had to experience just what He was saving us from. Only when He was tempted by every evil that we are tempted could He forgive us. What a concept, for perfection to live among imperfection in order to make us right with God.

    Another reason for a pastor to hold a secular job would be for him to interact with the lost. A part of every pastor’s commission is to bring the lost to salvation. What better way to do that, then to be among those that are lost. Another good point for this argument would be the amazingly tremendous plus this would be for public relations for God and His Church. Today most people who don’t attend church have a bad opinion of a pastor who just sits in an air-conditioned office making sustenance off of people who can barely make ends meet ( their personal view, not mine). A pastor holding a secular job would throw that notion right out the window.

    Finally, another good reason for a pastor to hold a secular job is that he could sustain himself and his family. Imagine the amount of finance that a fellowship could spend on real needs if they did not have to make a car payment, a house payment and make salary obligations for a pastor. Imagine how a church could use those finances in the community; for food closets, visitation ministries etc. The Lord never meant for the church to become a storehouse for money. He wants it to be a sieve. Jesus didn’t take the loaves and fishes and put them in storage. He blessed them and gave them to everyone.

    Finally, lets look at the first Christian preachers. Jesus, up until His ministry years was a carpenter. Since the Bible does not mention everything that our Lord did during his life one might venture to assume that he lifted the hammer and used a saw during that time also. Paul was a tent maker and probably did that to sustain himself while he preached at his many locations. Peter was a fisherman and suffice to say that he probably cast the net to sustain himself. They were well aware of the fact that the Bible says “if you don’t work, you don’t eat.” But let’s venture that the apostles didn’t work to sustain themselves. What did they do with their time? They led thousands to faith in The Lord Jesus and laid the foundation for what would become a long lasting faith and Church. Those are notable fetes, making them worthy of their keep.

    So, I end this study and thought with clear convictions. I have made peace with the whole tithing bit and have expressed some concerns that face the regular lay-person in the Church. I realize that I probably have not endeared myself to the Ecclesiastical members of the Church and that I have just plain gotten some people very angry. Well, that is between them and God. I realize that because of what is written here, I will not be welcome in many a church and probably be asked to leave after this document is discovered on the internet. Those are things that all men who have stood for their convictions have had to suffer. It is my hope and prayer that everyone who reads this letter will not take it as their conviction because of some fleshly selfishness. I put a lot of prayer and study behind this work and pray that the reader will do the same. God Bless you, the reader, as you pursue the truth.

    Dave Ben Yakov

    By David Ben Yakov

    © 2006 David Ben Yakov / Delusion Resistance

     

    Recent events have caused me to write this article. In these last days our enemy is using some pretty nasty tactics. His favorite thing is to cause a believer in Messiah to doubt and if he is really successful, that person who doubts will walk away from Yahweh. In grade school, in an attempt to get us to understand antonyms, our teachers would play a game with us. In that simple game the teacher would say a word and we would have to say the word that best represented the opposite meaning of the teacher’s word. I really don’t want to knock my teachers, but one thing they taught us with this game turns out to be wrong. In the game, one of the words that the teacher would say is “love.” The natural answer that most people would answer, as being an antonym for love would be “hate.” But if you think about it, at least where the human condition is concerned, the opposite of love is fear. Hate is a mere byproduct of fear, or of that which we do not understand.

    Who Is The Ultimate Fearful Being?

    To understand how this works, we can look at the ultimate fearful being that exists; namely, Satan. Did you ever ask yourself why he hates El Elyon so much and why he has a rabid hate for Christians and Jews? Fear is the bottom line of Satan’s hatred. He hates Yahweh because he fears what Yahweh has decreed concerning Satan’s destiny. Yahweh had passed judgment on Satan and that judgment is that Satan and his angels will burn forever in a lake of fire, which incidentally was created just for them. Because he is a prideful being, he could never humble himself enough to even begin to ask Yahweh for forgiveness. Because he has no hope of getting clemency from Yahweh, he fears his ultimate end and hates Yahweh.

    Satan hates Jewish people because we have always been a reminder of his judgment. Satan has always remembered the decree of Yahweh in the Garden of Eden, where Yahweh told him that a redeemer would be born to bring mankind back unto Yahweh and that this redeemer would crush his (Satan’s) head. So in an attempt to corrupt the human gene pool and prevent a Messiah, Satan’s minions took human wives unto themselves and bred the Nephilim who in turn bred with many other human women. This plan was foiled by Yahweh who caused all of the Nephilim to kill themselves by the sword. Mankind was corrupted so much so that Yahweh had to destroy the earth with a flood; but he saved one family to perpetuate the human race and the messianic line. The Nephilim came into being again after the flood, but not like they were before and were destroyed by the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Satan tried to destroy the Jewish people various times via Pharaoh, Haman, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Greeks and Romans etc. When a Messiah was finally born Satan had Herod try to exterminate every child in Bethlehem to stop the redemption. The Diaspora was used to destroy the Jews too, Satan hoping that assimilation would erase a Jewish bloodline and Jewish people. You see, Satan knows that Yeshua is going to come back to save the Jewish nation. All of the pogroms and purges were attempts to punish the Jewish people for being Yahweh’s people. Hitler’s “final solution” was another one of Satan’s attempts to end the Jewish people. All throughout history Satan has fired arrows at the Jewish people, and while some succumbed, most escaped to keep Yahweh’s seed alive. In future persecutions the same will be true.

    Christians have been another favorite target of Satan. Who else reminds him more of his failure and ultimate doom. From it’s inception, the Church of Messiah Yeshua (all true believers) has suffered from the slings and arrows of Satan’s anger, perpetuated by his fear. The church is a loudspeaker blaring in all of creation, blasting the message that Satan’s time is short. Want to talk about fear; imagine your future being the main piece of meat in a brimstone stew for all of eternity. So fear as we have seen, it a key ingredient of hatred.

    Two Plans Of Action:

    Anyone who’s had any sort of psychology class in school has heard of the flight or fight syndrome.

    The fight-or-flight response, also called the acute stress response, was first described by Walter Cannon in 1929. His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. This response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.

    I think that we’ve all experience both of these tendencies in our lifetimes. For me the most memorable flight experience was when I was a little boy and I saw that UFO and thought that the aliens were going to come and take me away. I huddled under the covers of my bed and managed to call on Jesus’ name and the paralyzing fear went away. The most memorable fight syndrome (the only one I care to talk about) happened one day while target practicing out in the country outside of Vacaville, California. I had been shooting into a levee  from an old railroad trestle when I started to hear what sounded like big bees buzzing by me. I turned around to see a couple of guys target practicing, but shoot along the levee. Hence, the bullets were whizzing right by me. All attempts to get their attention failed and so I got angry and decided to head down their way and fire a few rounds over their heads. I had them vastly outgunned and that gave me confidence. As I got closer I noticed another gentleman who had driven up. He had seen the whole thing go down and he ran the guys off. I was still mad and pursued them. The man (found out later he was a local farmer) ran up to me and told me to calm down. He told the two guys that they better get out of there because they were in trouble. I think the military rifle with the bayonet sticking out gave him this impression. Well, I assessed the situation and finally calmed down. So, there are two examples.

    We can see these things illustrated in Biblical text in many places. The most classic example of the flight syndrome was when God talked to Jonah and told him that he needed to go to Nineveh to preach to the city.

    Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. Jonah 1:1-3

    Wow, it must have been a daunting task, a dangerous thing to do if it caused a prophet to actually think that he could flee from the presence of Yahweh! A lot of commentators draw the conclusion, (based on the last chapter of the book) that Jonah didn’t want to preach to Nineveh because it was in Assyria and the Assyrians were a people who constantly warred with Israel. In other words, he hated the people of Nineveh. Well, all the more reason to flee, seeing that the Assyrians were a sworn enemy and a Jew entering the city and proclaiming judgment could easily get himself killed. So I believe his reason for fleeing the presence of Yahweh was out of fear for his life.

    I would have to say that the best fight response episode in the Bible happened in the Garden of Gethsemane while Yeshua was praying to El Elyon. Remember that Yeshua had a mission to accomplish during his first advent. That mission was to die as a sacrifice and put an end to the transgression and sin. The easy way out would have been to call heaven for help and start his kingly reign there and now. But if that would have happened then mankind would not have the gift of salvation and all would still be slaves to sin. Jesus did have the option as we see below: 

    Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Matthew 26:53-54

    The common Roman Legion of Yeshua’s day was anywhere from 4000 to 6000 men. So Yeshua had at his disposal upwards of 72,000 angels that he could have called on at that time. Now, let’s look at an event that happened a few hundred years before Yeshua walked the earth and see what just one angel can do:

    And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. 2 Chronicles 32:21

    So if one angel could totally destroy a whole army, from the highest officer down to the lowest fighting man, what are 72,000 capable of? I’ll leave that to your imagination.

    Yeshua was under a lot of stress as he prayed in the garden. Twice he prayed and asked Aveinu if there was another way out; but He knew what had to be done. His stress was so great that he actually sweat blood.

    A thorough search of the medical literature demonstrates that such a condition, while admittedly rare, does occur in humans. Commonly referred to as hematidrosis or hemohidrosis (Allen, 1967, pp. 745-747), this condition results in the excretion of blood or blood pigment in the sweat. Under conditions of great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can rupture (Lumpkin, 1978), thus mixing blood with perspiration. This condition has been reported in extreme instances of stress (see Sutton, 1956, pp. 1393-1394). During the waning years of the twentieth century, 76 cases of hematidrosis were studied and classified into categories according to causative factors: “Acute fear and intense mental contemplation were found to be the most frequent inciting causes” (Holoubek and Holoubek, 1996). While the extent of blood loss generally is minimal, hematidrosis also results in the skin becoming extremely tender and fragile (Barbet, 1953, pp. 74-75; Lumpkin, 1978), which would have made Christ’s pending physical insults even more painful [Apologetics Press; Did Jesus Sweat Blood? by Dave Miller, Ph.D. http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2223 ]

    So taking all of this into consideration, we have established that the fight syndrome was in effect here. Since he had a way out and didn’t choose to accept it, he pressed on to fight a battle that nobody on earth (other than he) has ever had to experience or ever will. So three cheers for Yeshua for fighting the good fight to bring salvation to us.

    So what does this all mean? What am I trying to allude to? Well, I just want to lay the foundation that it is natural for each of us to have one or both of these attributes when it comes to stress; depending on what stress we is being exerted upon us. However, when it comes to doing spiritual battle, the most ardent warrior will admit, if they are truthful, that the thought to bolt like a steed and flee from the attack has crossed their minds several times. It’s probably because most of this warfare is done in the unseen world and that is a thing that, although we’re indwelled with the Ruach Ha Kodesh and more familiar with the spiritual realm than secular people and most lukewarm Christians; it is still not something that we’re versed in very well.

    Let’s Wear The Kids Out:

    Now I’ve never been a parent, but I am an uncle and I have many, many friends who have children. I’ve seen how the little tykes can tire out the most energetic mother of father. One of the tactics that I’ve seen used by parents is to bring their kids to places like the mall, or to a park where they can play on all of the equipment and interact with other children. Usually after those times the child will fall asleep in the car or will want to take a nap when they get home. It is a tool that some parents use in order to get an hour or two of peace and quiet. It is a very effective tool.

    I think we all know someone who has done something like this to themselves too. You might know a person who for whatever reason works a lot of hours a week and on the weekend all they want to do is sit around the house. They are so worn out physically and/or mentally that they just don’t want to do anything. In modern society, we call it vegging. I did this for quite a few years when I was a young believer in Yeshua. I would work my forty hour weeks and then spend Monday nights at a Bible study, Wednesday nights at church, Thursday nights at a cell group, Friday nights at the single’s ministry, Saturday was a break day where I would do nothing and then Sunday would start the whole process over again with two church services a day and teaching a Sunday school class too boot. One day it all came crashing down around me. I was totally burned out and withdrew from everything. Part of the problem is that within the Body of Messiah, there are two types of people, the doer’s and the pewers. The doers are people who see needs, and that nobody is rushing to meet those needs, so they volunteer to fill in the vacuum. The pewers are those who really aren’t motivated to do anything but sit for the service or class and then they depart after the service or class is over. They really don’t volunteer for anything either out of lack of knowledge, fear, or just the knowledge that if they sit long enough, one of the doers will rise up and fill the void. Of course, this isn’t just a problem at churches, but just about anywhere where people congregate as a group; yes, even at work.

    Sure enough, this is one of the favorite tactics that the enemy uses against us in spiritual warfare. This is especially true with any field that deals directly with the express mission to battle the unseen entities head-on. For instance, when I focused more on the evolution side of the ministry, I was not bothered very much. Sure, I would get into discussions with people who would mock me and use condescending smiles and gestures; but as a whole, there was no direct demonic or angelic attack. But, when The Resistance started to focus more on UFO’s, extraterrestrials and the origins of such things, it was not very appreciated by the enemy and that is when the e-mail threats and the night visitations started. Thanks to Yeshua that we have His name and its authority to fight against these entities.

    I know that I touched on it lightly in a letter that I sent out recently, but I’d like to tell the whole story about what happened one Saturday night. I went to bed late that night and no sooner did I turn the light out and close my eyes then a fear came over me and very soon I found that I was unable to move; not even my lips and my ability to speak was totally gone. I knew what this was because it has happened several times before. My first instinct was to become fearful but then I remembered the other times, and how this sort of being feeds off of fear and resolved in my mind not to be scared. Instead I got mad. I said, “no dammit, I’m not going to fear, I’m going to fight.” So, with my mind being the only thing that still worked I prayed, “please Yeshua, give me the ability to speak so that I can fight this thing.” I kept praying that while I kept tying to talk. At first all I heard was breathing, but no sound and gradually I heard parts of words come out, followed by words, then sentences and I was rolling. I pleaded the blood of Yeshua over my life and claimed to be His and His alone. I told the entity or entities that it had no hold over me; I am a child of God, one of His sons and His will is the only thing that will reign in my life. I told it or them to be gone in Yeshua’s Holy Name and within a few minutes they were gone. I was amused that they even went out of their way to cause some sort of electronic beeping noises, almost like they were trying to convince me that there was some sort of craft above my apartment. They just don’t get it, I know where they come from, and it’s not from out there. Well, I laid there for a while and prayed in the Spirit and after a little while I fell asleep.

    Now a very interesting thing happened the next day. I went to church and I guess that I looked a little tired. I think it was my friend Curt at church who asked me if I was feeling okay. I told him that I had spent the night locked in spiritual warfare and told of some of the things that had happened. I go to a very spiritual warfare centered church so nobody looks at you funny when you say things like that. Anyway, from my left front I heard someone say to me, “you too?” It was my pastor, Tom and he repeated his question one more time. I then asked him what he meant. He told me that he had experienced an attack by what he termed “a trinity of demons” the previous night and that he had battled quite a while. And he looked at me square in the eyes and said that another fellow had the same thing happen the night before. So, three of us had the same experience. I knew then that it was all the more a real experience and had not been some sort of lucid dream. So, at the beginning of the service, the pastor asked anyone of they had experienced anything strange the night before and one lady said that Yahweh had woken her up and told her to pray for people who were in distress. He asked her what time this had happened and she told him that it was between two and three o’clock that morning. That was the exact time of all of our attacks. Thank Yahweh that he had that sister covering our flank while we were in battle.

    You see, Satan and his minions really hate it when a fellowship (two or more people) are being successful in fighting our adversary. Because he has used fear for millennia to frighten people away from doing Yahweh’s work, it is always the first thing that he will try against us. I guess that what he didn’t count on was that all three of us were going to fight instead of run and we prevailed; the icing on the cake being our sister at church who was faithful to wake up early that morning to pray for her brothers in battle. Yahweh is always faithful to not only provide the tools for battle, but He also gives us warriors to fight alongside us.

    The important thing to remember is that Yahweh sees the whole scope of what is happening to us all of the time. He’s known about each particular battle before it happens; knowing all things form before the world was formed. Anyone reading this text can rest assured that when you are going through any battle He is aware of it and has summoned help from all sides, angelic and Christian alike. So if the time comes that you are under attack, at least one Christian is being awakened (if during the night) or summoned to some quiet time to pray for you. This should also heighten one’s sense that those peculiar times when you feel the urge to pray it is a wise idea to heed the call. Someone is probably counting on you.

    As The Conspiracy Turns:

    I think that if I asked anyone that has investigated the UFO/paranormal field, if they have explored conspiracies, they would answer yes.  All of the phenomena associated with these things is of occult nature. Occult simply means, “hidden.” Those who practice the occult like to keep it hidden because they feel that their supposed mastery of hidden things makes them powerful. Power makes people feel special. If everyone knew the secrets of the occult then everyone would be powerful and human nature can’t stand everyone having all things shared equally. Christians who study like to keep occult things sort of hidden too because it does have an allure that one can get caught up in if they are not careful. It is so much prudent for any believer in Messiah, who chooses to study the occult in order to reveal its origins and fallacies, to be very grounded in their walk with Yeshua before they should even attempt to study these things. One should fast and pray and ask for clear confirmation from Yahweh before proceeding.

    Conspiracies always seem to have some elements of truth about them; but they’re also ever evolving. About a year ago someone started to write to me concerning certain conspiracies that they had stumbled upon while studying why certain things were happening to them. I became alarmed for several reasons. First, they were a brand new Christian, the proverbial seed that had been sown on the hard ground. They spurned attempts by me and others to get hooked into a good church and with people in their area whom another brother just happened to know. Having gone to a deliverance ministry just once they thought they knew all of the answers on how to fight the things that were harassing them. Basically, what they wanted was a quick fix for their problem. I can’t say that I blame them wanting a quick fix. They had been bothered by evil spirits for quite a long time and wanted relief.

    So when this person didn’t get a quick fix they started to explore other things. According to them, they were weary that Yahweh had not (in their estimation) answered their prayer. They admitted that the attacks on them had diminished quite a bit, but they had not ended. So in their renewed search for answers they came across sites that advocated that the government, either in conjunction with extraterrestrials, or on their own were harassing them. They even told me once that prayer would not help because it was the government that was doing all of the damage. Poor soul, giving more power to the government than Yahweh. All attempts to convey the truth went unanswered by them. According to them, they had the answers and they were the one that was going to fight this thing.

    Well, as they got more into the conspiracy theories a very large fear started to grow inside of them. They started to demand that I investigate reports that they had read about the US government building concentration camps for Christians and how we would be shipped to these camps in rail cars that have shackles in them. Recently, in a letter that they wrote to me they blasted me because I didn’t follow their road of study. Like fearful people usually do, they turned my lack of concern in such things around, saying that I was too fearful to write about them. They expressed great concern for their children, whom they are sure will be taken from them and tortured and abused by the aggressors. I was accused of being uncaring because I am excited that Yeshua is coming back soon. It’s pretty sad when someone accuses another for watching for our Blessed Hope.

    So you see what Satan has done to this pour soul? He has kept up the harassment so that they would grow weary and doubt that Yahweh could help them. When he convinced them that this was the case, he made them believe that it was the Government, and not him that was giving them the problems. With lack of faith, they searched for other forms of help and fell into the conspiracy theorist camp, bringing themselves fear. Then he caused them to doubt the people who wanted to help them and finally, he caused them to cast away those same people, even going the point of accusing me for all sorts of things. They are a clear case of fear causing anger and hatred. I won’t mention their name in this document, but if you read this and feel the urge to pray for them, I know that Yeshua will honor that prayer.

    There will always be that one person who will write to me after reading an article like this one, and they will claim that the Bible doesn’t address our times because things were different back then. But, Yahweh knew that it would happen then and that it will happen now, and He has addressed it in His Holy Word.

    Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1 Timothy 1:4

    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

    What Has God Taught Us About Fear?

    Whenever fear attempts to overcome us we need to realize that we are not standing naked and alone. Yahweh knows what is going on and has prepared a solution for each and every trial. In every instance there are unseen hosts that are surrounding us, doing battle for us on Yahweh’s behalf:

    Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 2 Kings 6:14-18

    Yeshua explains to us the intricacies of how much Yahweh really cares for us; how he goes out of his way to provide for our every need. Thus we read:

    And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:22-32

    The word for “thought” in the passage above in the Greek is merimnao {mer-im-nah’-o} and it means, “to be anxious, to be troubled with cares.” In essence, Yeshua is telling us not to have anxiety about our needs, our safety and such, because He has it all taken care of.

    When it comes to all of the conspiracy theories and such that send such fear into people, the basic fear is over the lives and livelihood of ourselves or those that we love. Yeshua knew about this and illustrated how Yahweh wants us to think about such matters.

    And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:4-7

    It is interesting that the word for fear (and afraid) in the two scriptures in Luke is the Greek word phobeo {fob-eh’-o}. The word phobeo has two meanings and each is used in context:

    • 1) to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away)
      • a) to put to flight, to flee
      • b) to fear, be afraid
        • 1) to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm
          • a) of those startled by strange sights or occurrences
          • b) of those struck with amazement
    • 2) to fear, be afraid of one
    • 3) to fear (i.e. hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm)
    • 4) to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience

    So now that we have done the word study and can see things more clearly, we can render the last scripture to read:

    And I say unto you my friends, don’t be struck with fear or seized with alarm over them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall show reverence to: obey out of reverence, after which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, venerate Him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So put away your fear or anxiety that you have, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:4-7 (My paraphrase)

    We learn from the Apostle Paul the things we are to think about in order to keep a content and peaceful life. Let’s look at his teachings in Philippians:

    Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:4-13

    The Greek word for “careful” in the second sentence is again merimnao {mer-im-nah’-o} and it means, “to be anxious, to be troubled with cares.” So in essence, Paul is telling us that we shouldn’t have anxiety about anything. But, we are to (in thanksgiving) make our prayers and supplications known to Yahweh. Do you see something dreadful coming down the road at you? Just know that Yahweh sees it too and He knows what He is going to do about it. I think that instead of seeing something coming, and then dictating to Yahweh what we think He should do; we should acknowledge the event to Yahweh and pray that HIS will be done in the situation. Let go and Let Yahweh!!

    And instead of worrying about things, we should be thinking about all wonders that Yahweh has accomplished in the past. We should be thinking about His goodness and holiness and His awesome power. There was once a man who had a Christian tee shirt that conveyed a wonderful message. It was a very colorful shirt and the letters of the message were very large. There was however one defect to the shirt that only the man knew about. During the silk-screening of the shirt the ink of one of the letters had run ever so slightly. To most it made the artwork of the shirt even more intriguing, but to the man it was a defect and he detested it. Every time he wore the shirt people would think about Yeshua and some came to faith through the message. The man however was embarrassed by the defect and refused to wear the shirt. Later that year, one of the people who had seen the message on the shirt and had come to faith in Yeshua because of it approached the man. He asked him why he didn’t wear the shirt anymore. The man explained about the defect and how it embarrassed him to wear the shirt. The saved man replied to him that what really impressed him was that although he did see the defect, the fact that the man still wore the shirt that bore the message had really impressed him. He told the man that the defect was just a surface blemish, but the message went to his very soul and touched him.

    Yeshua used an analogy when he talked to the Pharisees one day. As usual, they were trying to trip Yeshua up by playing word games, but Yeshua was wise and saw through their escapade. His answer was thus:

    Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Matthew 23:24

    Things like conspiracy theories are like straining at gnats. I’m a fisherman and it is always the case that when I am out early in the morning or toward dusk, gnats will start to fly around my head. Numerous are the times that I’ve spent a great deal of effort to swat at the little annoyances but it never works. Even if you manage to catch one or two it seems like fifty replace them. In essence, it is impossible. And when I’m swatting at the gnats what do I ignore? I ignore trying to catch fish and I become unproductive, not accomplishing my purpose. I have noticed though that when I keep my focus on the fishing, the gnats, although still there, become somehow out of focus and I am able to do what I set out to do.

    So the message is this. Don’t sweat the little things and don’t judge by what you see on the surface. Yahweh can and will use everything for His glory; yes, even the concentration camps and shackled railroad cars if they exist and should He choose. We’re going to live forever and ever and Yahweh is on His Throne, and will remain there for eternity, no matter what Satan or his minions will do to us; if that be Yahweh’s will, then let it be so. With that in mind, let’s concentrate on the message of the shirt, and not the defect. Gnats have a very short life expectancy and when you compare the conspiracy theories that are coming against us, either in thought or in deed, they have a short life expectancy compared to our lives eternal.

    We used to sing a hymn at church back in the 1980’s and even today when I sing it I find comfort within my soul. The words of the hymn are thus:

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    With that in mind, look at the following scriptures, and know that as long as you keep your eyes on Yeshua, you’re in the winner’s camp!

    These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

    And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:14-19
    Put On The Garment of Praise:

    The Hebrew word for “praise” in the following scripture is t’hillah {teh-hil-law’} and it means adoration or thanksgiving. So what happens when a believer gives Yahweh praise during a time of trouble. Well first, it confirms a covenant with Yahweh, telling Him that you trust Him to take care of the situation. Second, it thanks Him in advance for the resolution of the dilemma. And just as important, it proclaims to the enemy two things. First it shouts to the enemy that you trust in Yahweh’s power to defeat him more than you trust the enemy to defeat you in the problem. Second, it pounds the gavel on Yahweh’s court bench yet one more time; proclaiming your innocence forever before Yahweh and Satan’s guilt forever before Yahweh. Now you know why the enemy would have you stay bogged down in a mire when you’re going through trials. So let’s defeat him by praising Yahweh in all things.

    To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3

    I’ll end this article with a little story and then a hymn. I am constantly encouraged by the walk our sister Glori has with Yeshua. One day we were on a ministry errand, driving in her van with several kids. Something had been heavy on her heart, I cannot remember what it was. All of a sudden Glori started to sing “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” and during and after that a great peace settled not only on her, but upon the whole van. That is how we are supposed to act my brothers and sisters. Be blessed in Yeshua our Messiah.

     

    His Eye Is On The Sparrow

    Words: Civilla D. Martin, 1905.

    Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
    When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    Refrain

    I sing because I’m happy,
    I sing because I’m free,
    For His eye is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me.

    “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
    And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
    Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    Refrain

    Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
    When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
    I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    Refrain

    By David Ben Yakov

    © 2009 David Ben Yakov / Delusion Resistance

     

    Every Monday and Thursday night Jim, Lourdes and I are on the Remnant Call room and we see a variety of different people coming into the room. If you ever want to see how much anger and hate there is in this world then visit our chat room and you will see. We often get people who hold to replacement theology who come into the room and bash us because we believe in a literal “Israel,” populated by actual descendants of Abraham. In their mind, the Church replaces Israel and Yahweh has forsaken the literal Israel because of their rebellion. Ignored are myriads of scriptures that refute their mistaken idea. I always like to pose this question to them. “If the Church replaces physical Israel, and Yeshua is coming back to redeem the Israel, then are you telling me that you aren’t redeemed?” That often causes them to leave. Also visiting our room are people who think that we need to forsake grace and live under the law. Of course, they begin by attacking the Epistles written by Paul as they foam at the mouth to debate any sane notion contrary to their ideas.

    Continuing on with the list, we occasionally get a witch or a Satanist visiting the room and just when you think things will get boring, we get a visitor who will pop in and say something of a pornographic nature. Of course we bounce all of the above, especially when they become abusive, which they almost always do. 

    The visitors that really bring a tear to my eyes are the good everyday Christians who have gotten so angry about politics, especially the recent election outcome here in the States. It would be an understatement to say that something evil happened on November 04, 2008. The following day there was some sort of sense of anxiety by almost everyone I came into contact with. This feeling wasn’t just felt in the Christians that I know, but also in the secular people who I deal with at work, at the store and other places. It was as if people sensed that we had moved from one age into another and they were uncertain of what this means for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Of course there were some liberals around who applauded the result of the election and they flaunted their win in front of their conservative associates for a short time, but even they seem to fall silent.

    I’ve listened to radio talk shows for many years; conservative ones I have to admit. During the Clinton years many of the callers to the conservative shows were liberals who called in to defend Clinton and this never abated for the full eight years of his term. But with the election of Obama this is not happening. Here in California one can still find a car or two with Clinton bumper stickers (our cars don’t rust out here). For most of last year the majority of cars I encountered out on the freeway had Obama bumper stickers on them. Now, very few of the cars sport those stickers. Could it be that many have realized that they were taken in and made a mistake? Are they ashamed of the choice that they made? We’ll probably never know the answer to those questions.

    I think that the condition of our nation today is a great indictment against the Church of Messiah Yeshua. If you’re wondering why I can say this then let me explain. Yeshua constantly told us that we should be on our guard. In Matthew, the 24th chapter he warns us:

    And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you Matthew 13:5 KJV

    Now we know that Yeshua was telling people to keep on their guard when it comes to false prophets and the like and that is an important thing to do. Of course the only way that we can know what is false is to spend time and good fellowship with the real article. That means that we are to keep in his Word all of the time. In the banking realm it is the practice of some institutions to cause their new employees to handle large amounts of paper currency. They are encouraged to handle as much as they can so that they can get a feel of the original article. When a teller knows what real money feels like they are more likely to discriminate between it and counterfeit money. In like manner, when we spend copious amounts of time with Yahweh and study His word frequently, aided by the Ruach Ha Kodesh, we know the real Yeshua and it is quite simple to spot anyone who makes false claims that they are Mashiach. It is pretty simple really.

    So why did I make such a big deal about being able to distinguish the real article from something false? I did this because this is part of the indictment against Christians. As I mentioned above, this whole New World Order thing hasn’t been sprung upon us unawares. It has been coming for a long time and Christians have just stuck their heads in the sand each and every time, ignoring the problems. They either hoped that the other guy would take up the fight against unrighteousness, or they just thought that the unwholesomeness was just a fad that would pass when people got tired of it. I have news for those people; sin never takes a holiday, and just as a loaf of bread becomes infested with leaven so does society with sin. People very rarely get sick of sin on their own, and when people are left to their own devices, sin will always conquer.

    In the early part of the 20th century there was something called the Scopes Monkey Trial. When the trial was over the Church had been victor but only for a little while. When a battle is over in warfare it is wise of the victor to sweep the field and look for enemy combatants who might have survived the battle. Failure to do so could leave enemy soldiers who will recover and come back to fight you all over again. Not only that, but they now know your battle tactics and they can report to their superiors and inform them of how you won. The next battle could result in a loss for the former victors because the enemy could rout them. Sure the Church won the Scopes Monkey Trial, but they failed to kill the enemy (evolution) and walked away as the enemy got up, dusted themselves over and prepared for the next battle. They just waited for the Church to become fat and complacent and forty years later they introduced a more reformed “evolution” that a corrupted society could embrace. Even then the Church did nothing. Nobody did much to fight this travesty and it was too late anyway because evolution was entrenched in almost every school curriculum and every science textbook. Then when the Church decided to fight it was too late because evolution had become the scientific religion that was taught in every classroom.

    The same things can be cited with a variety of societal ills including but not limited to, pornography, homosexuality, drug abuse, feminism, abortion and a myriad of other things. It has never ceased to amaze me how a football stadium can be filled every night for a week when a famous evangelist comes to town, but try to get the same people to march against unrighteousness in Washington DC or any state capitol and all of a sudden nobody is interested in attending. Now these may seem like harsh words, even condemning but they need to be said. The Church of Yeshua Ha Mashiach in America has been impotent for a long time when it comes to social issues and because of that fact the very things that we didn’t want to contend with are the things that have banded together and have turned against us in force.

    Churches are filled today with people who think that evolution might have been used by Yahweh to bring about the creation that we see today. They fully ignore scripture that teaches emphatically that this notion is from hell and disproves evolution vehemently within its pages. Churches are filled with people who think that homosexuality isn’t really a sin; that it is a sickness or even worse, that it is a life style; and who are we to speak against such things. Churches are filled with people who think that there could be intelligent life on other planets and some even think that the fallen angels who appear in the guise of “extraterrestrials” might even be friendly and beneficial to mankind.

    Yes people are mad today, and this is because they see an unsure future on the horizon. One friend said to me one day, “where are all the men in America anymore. How come we can’t find anyone who will stand against all of this New World Order stuff.” My response to this is, “were were all of the Christians who could have stood up and protested abortion. Don’t get me wrong; many have, but evidently not enough people have because the abomination still covers our land. Where were all of the Christians who could have fought against evolution before it got a foothold in our land. Where were all of the Christians who could have stood up and said, “no, we’re not going to allow homosexuals to force their lifestyle down our throats?” The list goes on and on and like I said there are many other things that we could list; things that we failed to cry out against.

    In many ways we are like Yerushalayim when Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon had the city surrounded almost six centuries before our Savior was born in Beit-Lechem. At first they heard that the enemy was coming, but they swore that Yahweh would come to their aid, although none of them knew him. Then they heard that the enemy was surrounding the city, but they trusted in the fortifications of their walls and still did nothing. It then came about that they saw that it was hopeless that they knew that their demise was at hand, and they still didn’t repent of their sins and humble themselves before Yahweh. In the end, of the hundreds of thousands of those of the Tribe of Judah, only 4,600 remained. A terrible price to pay for refusing to do the sensible thing.

    So now we here in the States are faced with an uncertain future. When the cancer was in a few small spots of the body we didn’t excise it, we just ignored it. Now the cancer is spread throughout the whole nation. And now people are mad at the cancer because it has infested the body; but it is not the cancer’s fault. The cancer was allowed to live and thrive and the choice to ignore the cancer will be our demise.

    We were warned by the cancer itself (Communism) that they wouldn’t conquer us from the outside, but would vanquish us from the inside and what did we do, we laughed at them and said never. We have seen the election of a president who had questionable origins and the media complex and even the Supreme Court ignored it. Over the years we have seen the gradual rise of a shadow government inside of our own government and it went ignored. We seen the hammer and sickle of groups like the ACLU and other subversive Communist types chipping away at our Constitution and everyone just pretended that it wasn’t happening. We’ve seen the attitude that conveys “It can’t happen here,” on the faces of people who knew in their hearts that it was happening here and now I proclaim, “IT HAS HAPPENED HERE.”

    WHAT WILL CHRISTIANS DO?

    Well, basically, me and a few others think that believers will splinter into three groups in these last days. The first group is the survivalist group. These brothers and sisters will take to the hills where they have stockpiled food and other supplies. They will escape and always be on the run and they will probably use force to preserve the peace and protection that they feel they have acquired.

    The second group are the fighters who have acquired weapons and they will fight the enemy, thinking that they will gain something by their resistance. I want to make it clear that I am not including the current day militias in this group. While there may be some people in the militias who fall into this category, I believe it will only be a small remnant of those groups who will be fighting with true righteous intent.

    The third group is the martyr group. These are the people who be led to the slaughter and will spill their blood for the Lamb. While they are alive they are living sacrifices for Yeshua, and when they are killed they will be martyrs for Yeshua.

    It may come as a surprise to anyone reading this that I cannot find any fault in any of these groups and I can’t with any conscience say that anyone who falls into any of these groups is not following the commandments of Yeshua. Now I realize that I have probably made quite a few enemies by saying that. After all, there can only be one correct approach, right? Well, not necessarily.

    The Fighters:

    Probably the biggest contention to what I have said will come from those who advocate peace and only peace. Well, there is no problem with living that sort of life, and we are to live at peace, but two scriptures come to mind which refute this:

    And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:35-36 KJV

    And:

    I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. Daniel 7:21 KJV

    And:

    And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. Revelation 13:7 KJV

    A word study of “war” in both the Aramaic text in Daniel and the Greek text in Revelation shows the meaning to be war and battle. The same study showed that the word for “sword” in the passage in Luke actually means a large knife or short sword. There is a tendency on the part of some to only “spiritualize” the words of scripture, and while we know that there is a spiritual meaning to every word of scripture, there is a literal meaning too. The word “sword” in the sense of these scriptures doesn’t denote the Bible, but in this context it means an actual sword.

    The question then arises if the “war” that is mentioned in Daniel and Revelation is a physical war or a spiritual war and to that I answer yes; it is both. The spiritual part of this equation is quite simple, since our battle is not against flesh and blood, as is elaborated in Ephesians, chapter six. But, how does one battle with a physical weapon and still remain righteous? The answer is simple, and that is if one wars in self defense.

    A great example of warring in self defense is found in the Nation of Israel. Any war or military action that Israel has committed itself to has been in self defense. Israel has never been the aggressor but has always responded to attacks upon its land. Any territory that Israel has acquired has been taken when rebuffing its enemies and those lands are theirs as promised by Yahweh to them and given to them after the Exodus and affirmed during the time of Melech David’s and Melech Shlomo (Solomon).

    The Survivalists:

    As for those who run to the hills and hide, there is really no problem, except perhaps for the fact that they will not be bringing the gospel to the masses. We have to think about one thing however. The ones who run and hide probably won’t be able to hide long, and they will be found either through the Intelligence efforts of the man of perdition, or through betrayal of nonbelievers who have also head to the hills. Remember what the scripture in Revelation said:

    And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them

    Well, if he is going to overcome the saints, then it means all of the saints. Since that is so, then those who have run to the hills will be found out sooner or later, and they will then fall into one of the two other groups; those who will fight in self defense, or those who will give up their lives in martyrdom.

    The Martyrs:

    Presenting these scenarios to brothers and sisters brings a variety of different responses from them. Surprisingly, the population is split into thirds on this issue. The one thing that I noticed is that the “fighters” and the “survivalists” both tend to label the martyrs as people who refused to prepare for the bad times and in some instances they label the martyrs as wusses; people who are cowards and would rather roll over and die rather than fight.

    I can’t really fault people for feeling that way because it is the way that society has made us, especially here in the States. We’re supposed to fight until there is not breath inside of us. Many suppose that such an attitude is what has made and kept America free and strong for so long and that is true in a sense, but without the blessing of Yahweh even the best of efforts will fail and fail miserably.

    There are many in our land that are hearing from Yahweh. We are hearing that the things that are happening to our land now, and will happen in the months and years to come, area actually judgments that come from Yahweh. If this is the case, and all indications seem to point to this being quite accurate, then battling against the New World Order and all of its tentacles might result in our battling the very things that Yahweh is using to bring us to correction. We must all examine if our actions are blessing Yahweh’s plans, or if they are coming against Him. I don’t think that any of us want to working against Him. We have to wonder if our actions are acting out of faith, or if they’re acting out what our fleshly lives want to accomplish.

    Not all victories have been obtained through physical resistance, warfare and other natural means. We find that many of the wonderful victories come through the death of the righteous when they give up their bodies for a higher purpose:

    And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

    And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:32-40

    The scripture above is interesting because aside from showing the benefits of living a life of faith, it also seems to show us the three types of Believers that will exist in the last days. First it talks about the ones who would fight for the cause. It adds to that mix the prophets, both of which by faith subdued kingdoms. Then it talks about the Believers who were martyrs, who “obtained a better resurrection,” because of their willingness to give their bodies in martyrdom. Then the scripture talks about those who wandered in the wilderness and in caves.

    One thing that we have to realize about the divisions mentioned in that scripture are that some of the people mentioned in the scriptures fell into two or more categories. David lived in caves as he hid from Saul’s wrath, yet he rose up to become a valiant warrior and finally Melech of Israel. The prophets had the unction to walk before kings and proclaim Yahweh’s will, yet most of them suffered the fate of a martyr. So it is quite possible, and we think probable that a person can be in any one of the three subsets and it does not eliminate them from winning the prize at the end of this life.

    When we read the book of Revelation, aside from saying that the man of perdition goes to war against the saints, there is really no other scripture to reference that Believers in Yeshua should go into physical battle against the forces of evil. As a matter of fact, we read that the saints that are in heaven fall more under the martyr camp then they do the other camps:

    And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Revelation 6:9-11

    And we read later on in Chapter 12 the fulfillment of what was said in chapter six:

    And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:7-12

    So we have pretty well determined that there will be three camps of Believers in Yeshua during the time of Great Tribulation; those who flee, those who fight and those who go into martyrdom. We’ve also seen that historically, there have been people who have belonged to two or more groups during their lifetimes. There is really no wrong group, but the people who die by martyrdom obtain a “better resurrection.” What that means we really don’t know, but if it involves being around the throne of Yahweh for eternity then sign me up!

    WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO BE ASKING OURSELVES

    When we’re talking about these things it is really important to ask ourselves a vital question. That question is, “what kingdom am I walking in?” We know that when we become Born Again in Yeshua’s Ruach we become new creatures. We also know that when we become those new creatures we have changed our allegiance, or at least we should know that.

    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…..That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:3,6 KJV

    Another proof is that if we truly are in Messiah’s Kingdom we will be given tasks that promote His Kingdom:

    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20

    I wonder how many people who will read this article in the days and years to come will really know what the change of kingdoms really means. Last year I wrote an article about being circumspect; being self examining every day. We need to ask Yahweh before we do just about anything, if that thing brings glory to ourselves or this world, or if it brings glory to Him. We’re supposed to forsake this world and its ways. That doesn’t mean that we retreat from society and become hermits, but it means that we just don’t practice what the world practices.

    Quite a few years ago I used to be a compulsive buyer of all of the things that I wanted. I made an above average wage and the surplus of money gave me the idea that I could have anything that I wanted whenever I wanted it. I was a young believer in Yeshua at the time. After six or seven years of this sort of behavior I was injured in an industrial accident and the result of that was that I had to change professions. The insurance company didn’t want to pay for college so I had to go to tech school. My new profession paid only half of what I was making previously, so I had to cut back. This was all a good thing. So, when I would shop I was forced to ask myself, “is this something that I want or something that I really need.” This is the same way we should treat the things of this world, asking ourselves, “is this something that I want, or is this something that the Kingdom of Yahweh needs.”

    Who Will You Serve This Day?

    And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

    The eroding of this worldly kingdom has been on course ever since the fall of mankind. When sin came into the world (creation) it brought with it entropy and with that everything winds down to destruction. For many years those of us who live in the States have had a certain amount of pride about where we live and the providence of Yahweh which allowed this nation to become great. To be an American was up until a certain time a blessing that was held with jealous zealousness that seemed to be almost genetic in the nature that it was passed down from one generation to the next.

    Over the years this too was eroded away to the point of where now people would like to be called world citizens rather than citizens of the States. As a young man I had always found it offensive when people here in the States would label themselves not as Americans, but they would add their ancestral land so that it preceded their American moniker. Italians called themselves “Italian Americans,” the Irish called themselves “Irish Americans,” my Negro friends called themselves “African Americans.” I always wondered if people wanted to come under the American banner of freedom and liberty, they why would they want to identify with the places that they came from.

    When I was younger I thought it necessary to research my ancestral roots. I did this mainly because I was the only one interested and I thought that someone should step up to the plate and get all of this information for the family. One of the things that I discovered is that one of my German ancestors was of nobility. Their last name was von Lang which literally means, “of Lang,” which is a fancy way of saying that all the progeny of the original Lang who received the noble title would be considered as belonging to this family and since the lower nobility fell under the authority of high persons it meant that this family was sworn to the Kaiser of Germany, whom ever that would be at the time.

    Well, when they immigrated to America and went through all of the procedures of becoming  Americans, they were forced to leave the “von” off of their name because when they became an American they had to swear allegiance to the United States, and not the Kaiser of Germany. They were leaving one kingdom and becoming a part of another kingdom. People in the first emigrations to America, say from the 1840’s to the 1960’s swore allegiance to the United States and they meant it totally and fully and they lived that allegiance resolutely.

    On the flip side of the coin groups of emigrants started to enter the United States from the 1960’s to our present day and many of them fail to realize what allegiance is. Here in California we are quite a melting pot of immigrants, many coming from all over Asia as well as the former Soviet Bloc and Central and South America. I’ve had opportunity to work with many such persons and one of the things that I have noticed is that the majority of them, when referring to where they came from, still refer to those lands as “their country;” not as their former country, or where they came from, but “their country.” Granted, I think that the majority of these people do this out of ignorance. Take for instance an Armenian woman who I worked with. She would refer to Armenia and refer to it as “her country.” One day this sort of got the best of me and I asked her, “I am wondering, are you planning on becoming a citizen of the United States?” She answered that that was the intent of her and her family. I then told her, “well if that is the case, then this is your country.” She realized what she had been saying and she corrected herself and never used her former phrase again.

    The immigrants that came in the earlier waves of immigration came to America and they desired to assimilate into American society. They saw the better quality of life and liberty than their old nations offered and they wanted to shed their old ways and take on the new ways. Their offspring shed the language and many of the ways of the old country and pursued lives as fully fledged Americans. This is not so much the case with the immigrants for the past fifty years. Most of them would like to maintain the cultural laws and customs of their native lands while still calling themselves Americans. This is a dichotomy because if one comes to American only to be a foreigner in the States but to obtain all of the benefits and liberties that are to be had here then eventually America will lose any unity that we had and it will turn into a fractured society with many different cultures. We see this today and it is ever increasing till sometime soon America will not be recognized as it once was. My dad used to tell me that the America that he grew up in was not the America that he was presently living in, and I used to balk at that. But as I grow older I am starting to see the same thing; freedoms eroding, values and priorities changing and many other things that make it hardly recognizable from when I was a child. We voted a Marxist into the Presidential office for goodness sake!

    Now, how does this compare to the two main kingdoms; the world and the Kingdom of Yahweh? There are so many comparisons that it is sort of freaky, but something that you would expect seeing that there is nothing new under the sun. In past times, let’s say before our current so called “age of enlightenment” there were not as many trappings that could take the eyes of people away from Yeshua and His Kingdom. There were no fancy phrases or slogans force fed over the television and radio, and aside from a few classic secular books, most of the people read their Bibles or secular books of a more wholesome flavor. Religions were based in separate and distinct parts of the world and in the case of Europe and the America’s, most people called themselves Christians and as far as many were concerned, there were no other belief systems. When people came to Yeshua, they came for the express desire to become Children of Yahweh and to live in His Kingdom. There weren’t any titles like Black believers or white believers or Hispanic believers (insert all others here). No, to our ancestors there were either sinners or saved. True, there was a big divide between Protestant or Roman Catholic, but the members of both of these groups still separated people into sinners or saved, even if the two participants in the division considered the other as sinner and themselves as saved.

    If you recall in the pages above I said that it always bothered me that people in recent years put their ancestral ethnicity before the word “American” in their title. This happens today in the church, especially where American Christians are concerned. For almost two thousand years the typical believer in Yeshua marched to the cadence of God, Family and Country. For some reason people in our current era have that all confused. In today’s mantra (I use that word for a reason) there is confusion about whether God or Country should come first. It seems that decision is based on the current condition at the time. If all is going well it seems that people allow God to be in first place. They’re comfortable with affording Him that place in their hearts. At that time His Kingdom is where they dwell and all is perfect with the world. But, when things start to get heated in the political realm then Yahweh is forced to take second place, even though such things are strictly condemned in scripture.

    Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4 NKJV

    Those are pretty strong words. Don’t you think that if the Ruach Ha Kodesh was speaking with strong terms through Ya’akov (James) that perhaps He considers this a subject that is very close to His heart? And Ya’akov wasn’t unambiguously talking to people who dabbled in sexual immorality when he addresses his audience as Adulterers and adulteresses; no he was addressing anyone who wants to call themselves believers in Yeshua but yet they want to live in the world. There is really no difference in this than from people who emigrate from another nation, take up residency in a new nation yet still refer to themselves as people from their native country.

    What is Yahweh’s opinion on the flip side of this discussion? Well, he wants those who are born again into His Kingdom by His Ruach to live in that Kingdom.

    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

    Yeshua told to people during his Sermon on The Mount. He was telling people to not worry about what you need for life because if you are seeking Yahweh’s Kingdom, and His righteousness, then Yahweh will bless us and give us the things that we need. If we seek His Face then we can be assured that He will give us the things that we need, even if that thing is a righteous government.

    In 2 Chronicles Yahweh was talking to the Children of Israel and he was making promises, one which is:

    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

    Notice that Yahweh is talking to HIS PEOPLE, not the secular people, but people who are called by His Name! Notice that there is a progression in the scripture. First we have to humble ourselves. Yahweh resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, so we really cannot even start until we are humble. Proud people cannot pray effectively, so when we are humble we can then pray. Then we have to seek His face, or perhaps seek His Kingdom?  When we seek His Kingdom we naturally will turn from our wicked ways because we are also humble and a humble heart can’t help but realize that it is wicked and needs revival.

    Yeshua also talked about things that we need to avoid so that we will not become ensnared in the things that can cause us harm:

    And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62

    Put in simple terms, if you plow and you look back you will not be able to see what you are plowing. You will make uneven rows and you might even run yourself off of the field altogether. If you use the field in this allegory to mean the Kingdom of Yahweh then what Yeshua was saying is that you don’t need to be looking back at the worldly kingdom when you are plowing the field in the Kingdom of Yahweh because that is another place, another life that you have been removed from and brought into a much better world. Finally, the Apostle Paul tells us yet again that we are to forsake the ways of this world, not just because it is the thing to do, but because it is Yahweh’s own will for us to be this way:

    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

    And finally there is the scripture where Yeshua lays out the two kingdom scenario, and how a person cannot walk in two kingdoms, and why they can’t:

    No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

    Many will tell you that this scripture it talking about money because mammon is the demonic strongman over money and currency of all kinds. But the main thought is that we as believers in  Yeshua cannot serve two masters, and we cannot give allegiance to two kingdoms. If you find yourself in that place then let me tell you, the day of decision is now here.

    Do You Get Mad Because This World is Decaying??

    Many who practice the religions of the Far East believe in Karma and reincarnation. Simply put, Karma is the belief that through their actions, people can either move up or down on a ladder of spiritual evolution. They believe that reincarnation is the process by which every spirit lives successive lives where they get to come back again and again until they finally get it right and they reach enlightenment, or Nirvana.

    I work with quite a few people who hail from the Far East and who practice Hinduism or Buddhism. I’ve posed a question to them over the years about all their beliefs. I ask them if the world is a terrible place to live in. The honest people will admit that the world is a cesspool and that it isn’t the best place to live. Then I ask them why they would want to come back again and again to this cesspool to get it right, especially when the cesspool is set up to make you fail. They really cannot answer that question with any certainty.

    The thing that I try to get them to understand is that the world is a rotten place. The Bible says in many areas that this is true. We see this very thing borne out almost every day whether we see it on television or in the movies or in real life. So why would anyone want to lay claim to anything in this world that is perishing. Isn’t that sort of like buying and building on property somewhere in Nevada only to find out at the end that you built your home on ground zero of the nuclear testing range? All of this is going to pass away someday, so we shouldn’t get attached to this world or the things thereof.

    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:10-13 NKJV

    What Peter was trying to get his readers to realize is that this world and all of the things associated with it will burn up. Scientists are looking for the big bang and they won’t find it because it happens when the universe ends; Yahweh promises that.

    Let Us Finally Focus Our Eyes on The True Kingdom

    So with all of this in mind we should be striving to live in Yahweh’s Kingdom. We should not get mad or hostile because our form of government is changing and it looks like soon we believers in Yeshua will be the ones that are being hunted down. Sure, America is circling the great vortex in the bowl that will soon suck it down the drain, but what can worrying, fighting and dying for this once great nation really do? The answer is, absolutely nothing. We know that only things done for Yahweh are worthwhile:

    And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:17

    The time has come for us to fight for the Kingdom of Yahweh, and to fight with the gifts that the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) has endowed us with. Yahweh gave us His battle plan a long time ago, and we have missed it altogether:

    Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

    We have weapons that the leaders of this world covet and cannot have because they can only be had through righteousness and they cannot come to righteousness because they love evil. We have the following weapons:

    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:10-20 NKJV

    The same chapter of Ephesians explains where the warfare really exists. Those who want to take the battle to the physical realm will kill those who operate physically, that is to say the human agents in the battle. But just as every chess piece cannot move unless it is manipulated by the chess player, so too is the case with the human agents associated with the powers of darkness. We need to recognize the following:

    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NKJV

    The problem that we run into when one of the human agents is eliminated is that the entities in the spiritual realm just find another human agent to meet their needs. However, when we battle in the spiritual realm more is accomplished; sort of like knocking off a general who gives the orders so that no more orders can be sent.

    We also need to realize what the ultimate outcome is going to be for all of those involved in the war. The thing about those who fight for Yahweh’s Kingdom is that even if we lose our physical bodies in this war, we are still the winners because we will have glorified bodies for eternity, and those cannot be destroyed. We will live in wonderful bliss in Heaven with Yeshua and our Father. The other side will be resurrected too, but their fate is a large lake of fire within which they will be tormented for eternity.

    When we think about these things it becomes a bit easier for us to reconcile that giving our lives for Yeshua is really a blessing and an honor. When we are able to focus and to see where the battle really is, and who the battle is really against then it makes it easier to fight in the manner that Yahweh wants us to fight.

    It All Comes Down to “What Would Jesus Do?”

    Yeshua came to earth and one of the things that He came here to do was to teach us about righteousness and holiness. He told us to keep HIS Commandments, some of which are the following:

    Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 KJV

    So in essence, Yeshua wants us to go against our natural instincts when it comes to battling against the enemy. It’s a natural instinct to want to fight against our enemies, but Yahweh’s Word says:

    If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. Proverbs 25:21-22

    It is a natural instinct to want to get revenge when we feel that we have been wronged:

    Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21

    The title of this section is “What Would Jesus Do?” The scriptures in the New Covenant point us toward peace toward all people, and to allowing Yahweh to take care of us and all that happens to us. But what better role model do we have except our Yahweh Yeshua; as it is written:

    Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:1-8

    So if Yeshua laid down His life for us while we were still enemies, then we should consider it a blessing to lay down our lives for Him. When we’re alive we do this as living sacrifices and when He calls us, we do it for martyrdom.

    In Summary

    We explored a lot of things in this study as evidenced by its length. We’ve seen that there will be three groups of believers in the world during the Tribulation, and even before that. There will be the fighters, who will feel led to fight against the Kingdom of The Man of Perdition; but they will fight in self defense. We have seen that there will be survivalists who will head to the hills for the safety that the wilderness provides. There will however be no safety and they too will be killed. Then we saw that there will be martyrs who will die just for being believers in Yeshua.

    We have seen, as far as I can tell, that is wrong in Yahweh’s eyes. When it all comes down to the last minutes we will see that all people were killed by the Man of Perdition. We did see however that those who are martyred will obtain a “better resurrection.”

    We’ve seen that the battle really is a spiritual one and that to be fought effectively it needs to be fought in the spiritual realm with the spiritual weapons that Yahweh gave to us; and we discussed those weapons.

    We’ve know that we are believers in Yeshua, which means that we’re supposed to emulate him. We’re supposed to strive to be just like him; full of holiness and righteousness. That being the case, and by the personal conviction that Yahweh has given to my wife and myself, we opt for the last group so that we can obtain the “better resurrection.” For those of you who feel led to fight or to run to the hills then we pray for you and bless you in Yeshua’s Holy Name. We’ll all see each other again in Yahweh’s Kingdom. But until that time comes, let us press forward to bring many more souls into our Father’s Kingdom!!

    A DOZEN GOOD REASONS FOR
    BECOMING A  DISCIPLE.

     

     

    GOAL

    SCRIPTURE

    To find out what Yeshua is like in order to become more like Him.

    If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John 13:14-17

    To increase your knowledge of the credentials of the Scriptures and of Yeshua

    I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am [He]. John 13:18-19 (See also John 14:29)
    To learn the what and the how of becoming more loving. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34-35 (See also John 17:25-26
    To increase your understanding of our new status and destiny of Children of God. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. John 14:1-3
    To increase your understanding of who God is and what He is like Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:6-10
    To discover the ways and means of super-natural living so that in our daily lives we may ex-perience and express the pleasant difference that God makes. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

    To present oppor-tunities for answered prayer by making our requests known to God.

    And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]. John 14:13-14
    To develop an under-standing of the way in which God wants us to live, that we might obey Him and have more intimate fellowship with Him. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 14:15-21 see also 23-24
    To live spiritually fruitful lives. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman ….Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:1, 4-5
    To increase our joy. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. John 15:11
    To be prepared to recognize and deal with hindrances to our spiritual lives. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you….If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you…. But when the Comforter is come….he shall testify of me. And ye also shall bear witness…These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended (made to stumble). John 15:18 – 16:1
    To increase our peace. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

    By David Ben Yakov

    © 2006 David Ben Yakov / Delusion Resistance

     

    PURPOSE:

    At first, when you first saw the title, I’ll bet that you thought this was some sort of hardware page. If you’re a woman you probably mused, “well now, perhaps I can get my husband to fix that stuck or noisy door.” If you’re a man you might have thought that this article would have come carpentry tips or such. Sorry to disappoint you, but there are spiritual connotations to this article. Let us get started, shall we.

    WHAT ARE DOORS ANYWAY:

    The door is something that everyone reading this article is familiar with. It is a conveyance in every dwelling, from the lowliest hut to the most grand palace. They come in all shapes and sizes; from simply built wood structures to armor plated vault doors. They also require constant maintenance and monitoring.

    Doors are used for privacy. They are put at each bedroom and bathroom entrance as to allow people to bathe, or change garments or to be intimate with others without the prying eyes of others:

    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6

    Doors are used as demarcation points. When a stranger knocks on the door we examine who the visitor is, and if we don’t want to allow access to them, but still want to have them state their business then we stand in the doorway and talk:

    And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, Genesis 43:19

    Doors are used as protection from the elements. They keep the wind and rain out as well as keep dirt and other contaminants from entering our abode; while at the same time allowing us to enter and exit from those elements.

    A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; [with] lower, second, and third [stories] shalt thou make it. Genesis 6:16

    And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. Genesis 7:16

    Doors are used to keep an enemy outside, protecting us from harm:

    But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. Genesis 19:10

     

    THE HISTORY OF DOORS:

    To understand the history of doors I can think of no better place than to go to the world’s oldest book; The Bible. In it, doors are mentioned as early as Genesis chapter four and and the last mention is Revelation, chapter four.

    If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:7

    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

    It is interesting that both scriptures above are used when referring to those who were steeped in sin. Cain’s in that he was pouting that God had not accepted his sacrifice, and the Church of Laodicea where God is telling a sinning church that he wanted to commune with them if only they’d repent and obey.

    Doors are mentioned in Job, the oldest book of the Bible.

    Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, [and] went not out of the door? Job 31:34

    They had them in Egypt, as evidenced by the command by God for believers to put blood on the doorjamb so that the angel of death could not enter the door.

    And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip [it] in the blood that [is] in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that [is] in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.  Exodus 12:22

    The only place where doors are not mentioned is before the fall of Adam and Eve. There would have been no need for doors before that time as there was no sin; thus no need for protection from harm. Not only that, but the condition before the fall were so that protection from the elements was not necessary. But take into account that perhaps before the fall of our two progenitors, there probably wasn’t even a need for housing.

    So we can see that doors have been with us all throughout history and that they have been a necessity in every sense of the word. They protect us from the harm of others; from harm of the elements. They protect our belongings in our homes, offices and even our motor vehicles. In the form of gates they protect our cities and our properties. And, in our banks and other institutions, they protect our financial resources.

    UNLOCKED DOORS AND SECURITY ISSUES:

    Some of us are security conscious and we take great pains to see that we are protected. We lock our doors and perhaps even install a security system, but we let what should seem obvious slip past our attention. For some, it might be a window that was overlooked and not locked and for some the garage door might be left open; but now I’d like to relate to you an event that took someone by surprise and had both expense and health implications.

    Out west I worked with a friend whose name will remain anonymous, just in case his relatives read this document. He had in-laws who lived alongside the Russian River in California. He always referred to them as being sort of peculiar but he loved them anyway. He related to me the following story.

    His in-laws had a small pet, a dog or a cat and they installed a pet door in the kitchen door. This is a small door with hinges at the top that swings freely in each direction, allowing the pet to enter and exit. It’s more of a convenience device for the pet owner so that they don’t have to keep opening and closing the door to allow the pet access to the house.

    One night his father in-law woke up and decided to get something to eat or drink from the kitchen. As he approached the kitchen door he noticed that the kitchen light was off but there was noise coming from the kitchen. Thinking it might be his wife in there, he nonchalantly opened the door and turned on the light. Suddenly something small darted at him and bit him and then retreated to a far corner. He noticed two sets of eyes staring at him and realized that two raccoons had entered the house via the pet door, which had not been secured for the night.

    Well, with the knowledge that raccoons many times carry rabies he decided that the two bandits could not be allowed to get away. Not thinking clearly (as my friend said was always customary with this family) the man went to his closet and got his twelve gauge shotgun and went into the kitchen where he quickly dispatched the animals to raccoon heaven, or wherever animals go when they die; if they go anywhere. The weapon made a mess of the kitchen, not only with the animals remains being blown all over the room, but also the blasts had decimated the kitchen walls and cabinets from the concussion and the projectiles that emitted from the barrel.

    Lesson being here that had the door been secure, none of the events above would have ever happened. Carelessness on the part of the homeowners led to disaster, and had the animals had rabies (which they did not) it could have cost the man his life. In the same way, we believers in Yeshua have to make sure our doors (speaking of spiritual doors) are locked secure.

    OUR UNSEEN DOORS:

    You might be wondering what I mean when I say unseen doors. You might be thinking to your self that you’ve never seen an unseen door. But let’s look at a couple of things that might make you see what I mean.

    There are four ways that I equate to things in this life. Those things are electronic, mechanical, natural and spiritual; but not in that order of course. I just listed them that way because that is the way that I will approach the subjects. These are the four doors that we will look at.

    Electronic Hidden Doors:

    We’re all abuzz these days with electronics and computers. We’ve become so enhanced by these mediums that when the electricity goes out we fumble around like lost little sheep; wondering if we can cope without our television, lights or internet access. Actually, we’re technologically rich but common sense poor.

    In the computer realm there are people who are called system engineers and also those who are called programmers. These people design computer systems and write the software that makes our lives oh so comfortable and easy. These folks know that sometimes their creations will malfunction, either through a fault in their systems or software, or through operator error. For this reason, they create what they call “back doors.” These back doors are secret passwords or other means that allow them to enter a program or system at any time without any problem. These means are supposed to be for beneficial uses, but some folks, called hackers find these back doors and use them for maliciousness. So, keep this in mind as we move on.

    Mechanical Hidden Doors:

    There have been so many mechanical back doors through the ages that we will only focus on one type. I think that most of us are familiar with the secret passages in old houses, castles and palaces. We’ve seen them in the movies, mostly in horror flicks or stories about medieval intrigue. These passages, which are only known of by the owners of the buildings, are used to navigate in secret either between rooms or as escape routes. Any way you look at them, they are hidden doors.

    Natural Hidden Doors:

    When I talk about natural hidden doors, I refer to things in the natural world that aren’t built by human hands. God, in all His wisdom has created some very interesting and wonderful things. Some hidden doors that I can immediately think of are cave entrances. Some caves are under water and are only accessible by diving, or perhaps when the tide goes out far enough to expose them. Other caves are hidden by waterfalls and still others are hidden by something as simple as brush or trees growing in front of them.

    But the one hidden door that I would like to look at in nature is the one that is manufactured by the trap door spider. This ingenious little creature digs a burrow for itself and then manufactures a door that it makes out of items that are indigenous to it’s area. The door even has a hinge that the spider fashions to close behind it. It’s disguise is very convincing, so much so that it thrives on it’s unsuspecting victims. When a small insect gets close to the trap door, the spider springs out of the door, grabs the victim and bring it into his lair; the door snapping closed behind it.

    Spiritual Hidden Doors:

    Our lives are like houses. We open them to things that are both pleasant and unpleasant. When we were yet unsaved we let all sorts of things into our houses. We let in things like lust, greed, lying, covetness and all sorts of other things. Those things set up shop in our lives (our houses) and we lived with them and to some degree became fond roommates with them.

    But for those of us who are Born Again, there came a time when we asked the King of All Righteousness to come and abide in our hearts. When Yeshua (Jesus) entered our lives and hearts he evicted those residents and then He swept, dusted, mopped and scrubbed our lives. Our houses, which once were grimy, stained and tainted with all kinds of dirt, by His cleaning became as white as snow; clean and without spot.

    Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

    He then closed the doors that allowed the vile things to enter and gave us the keys to the locks on the doors. So why did He give us the keys? It’s pretty simple when you think of it. If He would have cleaned everything up and then locked the doors and kept the keys then we would be prisoners. People who are forced into subjection never love their captors but resent them and hate them. Giving us the keys puts us in a position of trust, which is something that a friend will do.

    But we have to admit that having those keys, even thought it proves His trust for us, will sometimes lead us to stumble. There are times when we’re sitting in our nice clean house and we hear what sounds like a friendly knock on the back door. We peek out the curtain, or perhaps peephole and see that it is sin crouching at the door. We speak to that sin and tell it to go away and most of the time we are able to resist the temptation to open the door. But, there are yet times when we hear the voice from the other side of the door, saying in a kind but overwhelming manner, “oh come on, let me in. We’ll have fun for a while, you’ll repent and I’ll leave back through this door.” So we open the door and entertain the all too familiar stranger. And sometimes that entertainment is fun or enjoyable to our flesh and we allow it to stay for an extended period of time. We then get convicted by our Lord and force the sin out the door.

    When the sin has finally gone we see the results. The floor seems dirty, the rug has a couple of, what look like stains and perhaps there is the appearance of soiled places on the walls. And even those things aren’t even there, the fact that we entertained the sin lets us see part of what the house once looked like. We don’t see the tidiness that was once there, although it still remains. We see our memories, our past and we cry out to have a clean house again. It’s then that our faithful friend, our Lord Yeshua comes and tells us that we’ve been seeing what amounts to a mirage. Sure, we entertained a stranger, but the house is still clean. It’s been cleaned so that it can never be dirty again.

    Gaps In the Doorjamb:

    I live in North Carolina and those of us who live here know that in the winter we’re quick to find out that there is no such thing as a completely sealed door. Sure, the door might be locked, but there is always some part of the seal that allows a chill to come through and into the house. If the heat was not on in the house then the cold would eventually conquer the house. So, although the cold tries to invade, heating stems that tide.

    I equate the above to the way that our enemies try to take advantage of some of our doors not being fully sealed. We’ve all done things or gotten ourselves involved in not so good practices in the past and sometimes they try to invade our lives by way of loose seals. Picture your front door, locked to the hilt, but envision a couple of fingers or perhaps a hand trying to reach through the gaps, trying to gain entry. It will never be able to gain entry, especially if the door remains locked, but it still tries.

    Now why do I write about such things? Well, I do believe that we’ve allowed things into our lives both before we were Christians and even after, which we’ve repented of that still try to attach a hold to us. We fight an enemy who knows our weaknesses and will always try to appeal to them, either through fear or temptation.

    Some might say that what I’ve said might denote perhaps a lack of faith or maybe a troubled walk with Jesus. I have to say though that after polling many Christians who I consider to be very strong in their faith, that these things are fairly common. Even the Apostle Paul, who had personal contact with Yeshua, wrote Romans, Chapter Seven, which all should read and understand.

    My Little Story:

    If you’ve read this on other parts of the website then please bear with me. When I was a very young person I opened a door that affected me for many years. And, this is a door where the enemy tries to get his fingers through the gaps, but has been unsuccessful.

    I always looked up to my dad. He was my hero all throughout my childhood and to some extent even till the day that he died. Sure he had his faults, like any dad has, but his good points far outweighed his bad ways.

    Dad was never the type who got involved in sports, although my mother tried to point him in that direction for my sake. He liked things that required thinking, such as investigative study through science and even into the esoteric. While the other fathers were taking their sons to Little League or Pop Warner Football, my dad was showing me mechanical things or showing me how to use a microscope or telescope. He was fascinated by model rocketry and always wanted to build radio controlled airplanes. We would constantly go into the mountains of New Jersey and New York to look for fossils, his goal to find a trilobite, which sad to say he never did find. So, my youth was unique and I feel, enriching.

    One of dad’s favorite subjects was science fiction. He was a Star Trek fanatic and I think that when he watched the program he dreamed of being on the Enterprise, exploring those strange new worlds, and going where no man had gone before. To him, watching that show was akin to a Christian’s reverence during a church service. So it would only seem to reason that he became interested in UFO’s. As a matter of fact, if my memory serves me correctly, the UFO interest came before the Star Trek one.

    Of course, like every young boy who respects his father, I wanted to become just like my dad. It seemed like every week dad would bring home two or three new UFO magazines and pour through them. He was not a church goer and was looking for truth, but little did he know that he was looking in the wrong direction, and pointing me the same way. Dad never denied me access to the books and magazines and when I was very young I would just look at the pictures, but as I matured I would read the articles too. What I read gave me a feeling of both fear and awe and I was hooked.

    Now from a young age I was told that if one wanted to look for trouble they didn’t have to look very hard because of all the things in life, trouble seems the easiest to find. Because of my dabbling in the UFO realm things started to manifest to me. I had opened the door wide for the forces that are really behind the UFO phenomena. So I shouldn’t be surprised when one night, while sleeping in my basement bedroom down at the Jersey Shore, I saw a UFO in the night sky. I awoke to a strange feeling that something was not quite right so I headed for the only window in the room. I observed a large globe object that I originally mistook for the moon. Then I saw another object farther to the south and determined from the craters and such that it was the moon. The first object sort of just hung in the sky like it was hovering over something. I went back to bed and pulled the covers over my head, thinking that the thin material would protect me from the alien abduction that would soon follow. I lay in my bed, paralyzed and although I tried so hard to scream for my dad, no words would come out of my mouth. I’m not sure, because of all the years that separate my life now from what it was then, but I don’t dismiss the idea that I prayed for God to help me. Pretty soon the night terror subsided and I heard the sound of two jet fighters flying very low and very fast in the direction of the object. I fell asleep but I made sure to tell my dad about the event. I would have dismissed it had it not been for a neighbor who talked to dad and said that he was actually buzzed by some objects as he drove to work early that morning. Wow, they were real, and so was my experience. This door was opened wide and beckoning me to enter and I heeded it’s call.

    Things really went on a downward spin because I went through that door. I stopped going to church. I saw it as a dead thing, much akin to a social club, which it probably was seeing that it was an Episcopal church which had not seen the light of the Holy Spirit for probably many years. The UFO’s had made themselves apparent to me as opposed to some man dressed in fancy garb who recited prewritten prayers and talked about God as though he really didn’t believe in Him either. I tried the Quiga Board thing and sure it moved to different letters, but it was gibberish and I half thought that someone else who was playing was moving the piece around. I now know differently, and I know that it was a door that I opened.

    You know, the only thing that I can compare my downward spin, and my walk through so many doors, is to compare it to an old television program called “Get Smart.” In the beginning of the program, the character was seen walking through what was a secret hallway. As he progressed a door would open and then shut behind him. Then another door would open and shut until he reached the deep dark recesses of the building. After I entered the UFO door it closed behind me and the next door opened up, which was the door of evolution. I took to evolution right away because I saw what I thought was evidence for the progression of life throughout billions of years of mutations. Fossils were something tangible that I could hold in my hand.

    Once I had walked through the door of evolution it closed behind me, denying me escape should I have desired to escape. Then a new door opened, the door of alcohol and drugs. I walked through that door because, although presented with so called evidence of evolution, there was still a void in my life that had to be fill. After all, I was denying the one true God and I had to ease my conscience. I decided to do that through a drug stupor.

    Then, in an attempt to allow some spirituality into my life I started reading books by Ruth Montgomery. She was a self proclaimed prophet who said that she got her messages from spiritual guides. These guides claimed that there was no hell and everyone was on a road to heaven. I liked that thought; no accountability. I could go out and live as I wished and would still see God. Yet another door breached in the wrong direction.

    So there I was, in the deep recesses of a building called sin, closed in and trapped by four of five very large and immovable doors that wouldn’t let me escape. I knew that my actions were wrong, but how would I escape? For years I had some very good friends who tried to tell me that there was another door that I could walk through. It was a beautiful door, gilded in gold and studded with precious jewels. It was a door that led to freedom and liberty; one that, once I had entered, I would never want to leave. But there was one catch to getting through that door. I had to become friends with the one who had the key to that door. I had to confess that my choices of doors prior to this one were always bad and that I had a knack for picking bad doors. I had to tell this doorkeeper that His door is what I wanted, and to ask Him to allow me entrance, and to believe that he was the only doorkeeper that could do that. So, I looked behind me and saw the doors that were rusted shut and full of corruption and I decided to ask the doorkeeper to be my savior and let me into His abode. And as with the other doors, once His door remained shut it didn’t open again. There was no exit sign on it, but who would want to exit anyway because behind His door was eternal beauty and everlasting majesty.

    But there have been times during this new adventure where the keepers of the old doors beckon me to partake in their corruption. They can project through the new door some of the memories of the old doors. There have been times for instance, where I experience the same pre-abduction fears that I did in that bedroom many years ago. They tried to project the dark terror and paralyzing fear, and it usually happened when I was moving even farther into the beautiful territory of my new Lord. But one day I noticed something. I noticed that when the projection were sent to me from the dark side, I only had to mention the name of Yeshua, and the dark forces could not stand when that name is announced.

    So Many Gap Violators:

    As I mentioned earlier in this document, when we are saved, Yeshua cleans house and gives us the keys to the doors or the house. Our responsibility is to be a good steward with the keys. While His Salvation of our lives is free, and grants us liberty, we still have charges to uphold. And as His Word so eloquently put it:

    …For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:48

    Since His gift to us of Salvation is so precious and so priceless the very least we can do is to obey what He tells us to do. All throughout the ages God has strived with mankind and His object lesson was Israel. The way that Israel tested God’s patience and the oppression they had suffered as a result of their pushing God to His envelope of forgiveness should teach us many things.

    Every time that Israel broke a commandment by committing idolatry, or mistreating the widow or orphan, or ignoring the Levites, there were consequences. They opened doors through which God allowed their enemies to infiltrate them and in the worse case scenarios, they were conquered and enslaved. The effects of sin do the same thing to Believers today.

    So, what are some of the things that I see people doing that open doors to the enemy. They are varied and many in number, and I will only touch on some of them. I pray that if I miss any that are pertinent to the reader, the Holy Spirit will reveal it to the reader in question.

    Horoscopes:

    You would not believe how many Christians open their daily paper and read the nonsense that is written in the daily horoscope. They see it as a harmless little amusement. I’ve been told, concerning their activities, “it’s harmless and they really don’t mean anything. I just do it for fun.” So why do you think that God told Israel not to mess with these things? He knows that it’s a back door that can lead to worse conditions. Astrology is an abomination to the Lord.

    There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 18:10-13

    And if you want to see the consequences:

    Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from [these things] that shall come upon thee. Isaiah 47:13

    If you’re a Christian and have not been active with horoscopes since your conversion, but are still being harrassed by demonic forces, perhaps you need to think back and see if you were involved before you got saved. You need to renounce that involvement and ask God to cover you in that area. Then you must fight the devil and he will flee from you. And if you are saved and still read horoscopes for amusement, think of what the word amusement means. To muse means to think or ponder something of importance or intrinsic value. Many times when the letter “a” is placed in front of a word it makes the word mean the opposite. For instance, the word atypical means something is not normally typical. So, the word amuse means to act without thinking. If you want amusement throw out the horoscopes and go to the carnival.

    Ouija Boards:

    When a person gets saved they usually avoid the Quiga Board. The Holy Spirit seems to have a built in defense warning mechanism in the Believer. But if you were involved with them, even in a novel fashion, you should renounce that activity. I’ve talked with more believers who, after they realized their past involvement with the Quiga, and have recanted that involvement have been delivered from demonic oppression.

    Other Heathen Occult Activities:

    Many who have been saved by Jesus were once involved in strange occult activities. They’re all listed in the scripture above. If you’re being harassed perhaps you might want to renounce that activity. Resisting the force that’s giving you angst will in time cause it to leave, but only through pleading the blood of Yeshua and persistent  resistance.

    Pornography:

    The debasement of the opposite sex through viewing images of their nakedness and perhaps their sexual acts is one of the most difficult back doors to close. I think what makes it so difficult is that we’re bombarded with it day in and day out. And the ladies have just as hard time overcoming it as the men do, if the truth be told. We see loosely clad people on the television, on billboards when we drive to work and some of our coworkers feel that they have to dress in near prostitute attire while at work. It’s akin to hiring an alcoholic to work in a whiskey factory. Where other doors are knocked on gently when the sin tries to coax itself in, the sin of pornography places a battering ram at the back door and tries to bust the door down.

    I’ve found it successful to try to go back as far as I can in my memory and see when the first viewing occurred. With me, it was when I was riding my bicycle home one day when I was around twelve years old. Some jerk, who I’m convinced was directed by the devil, left a bag of magazines and books right out in a parking lot. It had to be a plant. Anyway, I perused through the material, brought it home and read it like it was gospel. I didn’t know the Lord personally at the time and it the effect was like a garden watered with some super fertilizer. The sin blossomed in very fertile pubescent soil. It ruined me for many years.

    But the important thing was to recognize when the seed was planted; and to realize that I helped to water it. I mean, I could have trashed the stuff, but I didn’t. Then I recanted ever even picking up the material and also as a side note asked the Lord to save and forgive the man who left it sitting there, ready for some teenage kid to find and use. And ever since then, the battering ram isn’t at the back door anymore, but I do have to rebuke the small voice that still asks for entry.

    Drug Abuse:

    My work is in the pharmaceutical business. I am the first to admit that drugs are a necessary part of life. If used correctly, and as intended by your physician, then there are no problems with medications.

    A lot of drugs are mind altering. These are the drugs that relieve pain, or the ones that raise or lower moods or reactions. These drugs that are the most abused. I’m not proud of the fact that I’ve had personal experience with these things. Before I became a Christian I abuse marijuana and mood elevating drugs. So, because of this, I can personally testify about the back door that these drugs present.

    Simply, any time a person takes a mind altering drug without cause to do so, they open themselves to problems. If you don’t have control of your mind, and you willfully give up control, then something or someone is going to step in and take control. When I was at the height of my drug abuse era I was a difficult person to get along with. In effect, I was not me. Whatever resided within me or maybe around me was hateful, prideful and felt unconquerable. I’m always thankful to a man who we called Crazy George, who I feel God sent into my life to show me how rotten I really was. George was a Vietnam Veteran and he was a tough guy. One day I was really berating George and he looked at me and said, “what have I done to make you hate me?” At that moment I realized that I was a pitiful excuse for human existence and started my quest to know the truth. Not long after that, my cousin brought me some angel’s dust in the guise it was cocaine and after snorting it I looked in the mirror and saw myself as if I was dead. That’s when I drastically reduced the drug usage. Within a year from then I didn’t do drugs at all anymore, but only with the help of Yeshua.

    And now to answer the question you all have been wondering. No, I don’t have the slightest urge to abuse drugs anymore. This is one door that Yeshua shut and welded tight at that time. It’s actually been a good witnessing tool to those who knew me before because they can’t believe that I’m involved in pharmacy after my past, but it allows me to share Yeshua, much to their chargrin, but they are the ones who brought up the question, right?

    Unwholesome Music:

    I grew up in what some would call the Golden Age of Rock Music. It was back when the Rolling Stones were very popular along with the WHO and Pink Floyd. I really don’t want to pick entirely on Rock music, but it is the medium that had the most effect on me. Today I suppose that some would make the same equation with New Wave or perhaps RAP music. Simply put, if it doesn’t glory God, then it glorifies man.

    Now I’ve noticed something about me and Rock music. When I listen to it I tend to change in character. Let’s look at the Rolling Stones. When I was growing up, listening to them made a person cool. They were into drugs and so was I and I could really identify with them. They were me and I was them. They were rebellious and so was I. And it was rumored that they worshipped the Satan, and since I wasn’t a Believer in Messiah, I in effect worshipped Satan too, unbeknownst to me.

    So, earlier this year I was listening to Conservative Talk Radio, which is my favorite thing to listen to on the airwaves. There is a certain show host who likes to use Stones music when he segways in and out of commercial time. I noticed that when he would play the Stone’s songs I would get a cocky attitude. It was almost like I was a rebellious teenager again, looking for those who would try to make eye contact with me so that I could ask them if they had some sort of problem. Right about then I heard our Lord tell me two words, “OPEN DOOR.” and I picked up on it right away and turned off the radio. His message was so clear and to the point that it could not be ignored.

    Mammon:

    Mammon is the Biblical term for money or wealth. Many scholars believe that there is actually a demon called “Mammon,” who is responsible for causing people to get rich and then letting them stumble over their money and finally leads them into ruin when their money is no longer there. Some however continue to prosper with mammon right to the day they die.

    Back in the 1980’s we saw Mammon at work in the Body of Christ. This was the era when prosperity teaching was becoming popular. You know the sort of people; the ones who teach that if you give then God is obligated to return your giving ten fold. It was the era when we saw the downfall of such people as Jim and Tammy Baker, Jimmy Swaggart and others.

    Aside from these national Christian leaders, I’ve personally been around when local pastors (in California) have let mammon into the back door. Mammon usually knocks at the back door and announces that he can help to make money to support needy causes. The trouble usually starts when mammon is in high gear and the keeper of the door sees how easy mammon allows the pastor to make money for the cause. Then mammon convinces the person that they should take some money for all the hard work they’ve been doing for the cause. After a short while the money for the person becomes more important than the money for the cause and mammon has caused pilfering and embezzlement on the part of the person. Then, when the the control of mammon has come to its zenith in that person or persons it will usually cause a split in a church. The one with mammon will usually accuse those who leave the flock for righteous reasons of the same ills that they have or maybe worse. In our case, we were called people who judge and Pharisees.

    If the person who possess mammon, or should I say is possessed by mammon is found out, they leave the church in a shambled heap that has to be built back up again while the person with mammon usually goes to another location where they can start the whole process all over again. Mammon always seems to start with good intentions, but like the saying goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    In Closing:

    We’ve seen that there are a lot of things working against us. Satan has many ways that he tries to use to bring God’s people down. But with that in mind, let’s look at a few scriptures of encouragement.

    God is working on constantly, and we’ll not be finished till we go to be with Jesus:

    Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

    God won’t let you be tempted beyond what you can endure:

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    Obedience will counteract the attempts at entry into our lives:

    If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:7

    Know your adversary and know God’s battle plan. Wear your armor:

    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

    Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-18

    When we err and confess, He forgives our sins:

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    So I beg and implore you to ask the Lord to show you what doors might be opened in your life. I’ve by no means revealed all the doors that are possible and they’re probably number the same or more than all the people on the earth. But Yeshua is faithful and true to not only show us the doors, but also to help shut them tight. I pray that you all will be blessed with a much closer walk with our Lord until the day we’re all called home.

     

    By David Ben Yakov

    © 2008 David Ben Yakov / The Delusion Resistance

     

    It has become a tradition in our society to make what we call “resolutions” at the beginning of the new year. For some they might resolve to stop smoking, others might resolve to be nicer people and yet others might resolve to go to church more often. Yes, our society has conditioned us to turn New Year’s Day into a day when we will make promises that we either cannot or will not keep. The motives behind any resolution of this undertaking are many times noble, but when people make any resolution without the guidance of the Ruach Ha Kodesh they will fail. People often forget a very important part of the “Lord’s Prayer.” Yeshua told us that when we pray we should recognize that “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” While the tenant of a person’s New Year’s Resolution are noble and for the most part they are seeking a way to be a better person, any attempt to do so without the help from Yahweh is moot.

    But what does the word “circumspect” actually mean? Well, a visit to the Merriam Webster website yielded the following result:

    Main Entry:
    cir·cum·spect
    Pronunciation:
    \sər-kəm-,spekt\
    Function:
    adjective
    Etymology:
    Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French circonspect, from Latin circumspectus, from past participle of circumspicere to look around, be cautious, from circum- + specere to look
    Date:
    15th century
    : careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences

    It is important that we as believers in Yahweh Yeshua always examine our ways and our motives. This is especially true when it comes to the battleground that we have been commissioned to fight on. Those of us who have been given the mantle to fight against the deception of the UFO/extraterrestrial deception seem to come under attack from Satan and his minions in a more focused way than do other believers. I’m not saying this to make us sound like we’re more special or that our fight is better than the fight of others in the Kingdom of Yahweh. We do have to recognize that since the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon will play a big part in the end-time events. The enemy isn’t exactly happy that we are exposing his deception for what it is. Picture if you will someone knowing Hitler’s plans to invade Poland and France back in 1938. This person takes out an article in several major newspapers in Europe and published these plans for the whole world to see. Well, you can imagine the resources that the German SS would have mustered up to put an end to the people who published these plans. We have to thank Yahweh Yeshua many times each day for the protection that He provides for us against what must be a seething satanic horde.

    To look at this with a Biblical illustration we can open up the pages of scripture to II Kings, Chapter Six. The King of Assyria had been warring against the ten northern tribes that had united under the banner of Israel. This king would sit in counsel with his captains making plans for battle maneuvers and think that his plans were secret, secure in what he thought was the privacy of his chambers. What he didn’t count on was that Yahweh was telling these plans to Elisha who in turn would share them with the king of Israel. Every time the Assyrian king would wait in ambush for Israel’s king and his army his plans would be frustrated because Elisha the prophet would warn the king of Israel. At first the Assyrian king suspected spies in his midst, but after a while he was advised that Elisha the prophet was the tactician for Israel’s king. Assyria’s king was angry with Elisha and sent soldiers to surround the town where Elisha was, but Yahweh blinded the Assyrian soldiers. When they were blinded, Elisha led them into Samaria where the army of Israel was.

    I believe that the above situation is not only a historical account, but Yahweh included it the Bible to show us how we are protected by Him when we are fighting a spiritual battle. I believe that if Yahweh were to open our eyes so that we could see the spiritual realm all around us, we would many times see angels on horses with fiery chariots, and we would see them fighting in our behalf. So many times, when we are in the midst of spiritual warfare, we think that we are going it alone, or perhaps in the company of a few brothers or sisters; but there are many of the angelic hosts fighting alongside of us so that we will have the victory in both realms and so that Yahweh can receive glory in both realms. When we realize the scope of battle in which we are all a part of, we then can recognize why our brother Paul tells us to don the full armor of Yahweh.

    It is vital that we remain circumspect in all things. To be circumspect means to be self-examining, searching our lives, or motives and our desires to see if they line up with the will of Yahweh and the desires that he has in our lives. When we were in school we were told that almost everything can be worked out by looking at the following formula:

    • who
    • what
    • when
    • where
    • why
    • how

    When an idea comes to our heads we must immediately question who our actions will impact; what will be the whole impact of our action, when will the fruit of our action ripen, where will our action take us during the days, week, months and years to follow; why do we want to do this anyway; and, if we do take this action, how are we to accomplish it. I firmly believe that if everyone would use this method when undertaking any action (except for emergency or evasive action that require quick response) that the world would be a much better place, not perfect, but better.

    Every day, every person that is involved in a personal relationship with Yahweh should ask Yahweh some tough questions: “Am I doing anything that offends You?” and “Is there anything in my life You want me to change?” and “Are there things that I believe that just aren’t true?” and “Am I living in Your will, oh Adonai?” — followed by the heart-felt cry: “I want to be the person you want me to be, despite my weaknesses, my incredible ability to say YES to every temptation that comes my way — I want to change! I want to be like You! I want YOUR way, not my way, I want YOUR will, not my will, Your authority not my petty authority. Open my eyes, open my heart! Pour yourself into me, Yahweh, reveal Yourself to me, and Your way, help me understand Your Word, Your Law, Your Will! Baptize me in your Ruach Ha Kodesh, lead me Ruach Ha Kodesh, and open my eyes to error, the false doctrines built around Your Word. Lead me into ALL truth, even if I don’t like at all what You teach me!”

    The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

    Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:1-11 NKJV


    It is interesting that Peter used the illustration of the devil being like a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour. Lions tend to track their prey and the prey that they kill the most are the animals that are young, frail or those who are injured. Like the rest of creation, they seem to take the path of least resistance. It is easy to see why lions go after the young; they are not up to speed and although they have the instinct to run away, they just lack the size and skill that comes with age. In our Christian walk this is true too. It’s an established fact that if a new believer isn’t discipled in the ways of the faith they are much easier for the enemy to ensnare and drag away. The frail can be compared to those who have come to faith in Yeshua, but they have lacked the initiative to want to grow, for whatever reason. But the wounded we have to examine more closely. How can a believer in Yeshua become wounded. Someone who truly had Yeshua in his/her heart, although they might suffer at the hands of others who call themselves believers, will always bounce back; it’s just a matter of time. They might have a wound, but the wound is superficial, and given time and the salve of the Ruach Ha Kodesh, the wound heals and health is restored. More serious wounds come from a lack of circumspection, a lack of listening to the Ruach Ha Kodesh when He tells us that a wounding factor is close at hand.

    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

    A brief glace at the passage of scripture above shows the root cause of the wounds that make us easy prey for Satan. That cause is pride, and it is the foundation for just about every problem that we find ourselves in. All of the Ten Commandments deal with the root cause of pride. If people were humble in nature all of the newspapers would be reporting good deeds instead of robbery, mayhem, murder and war. The world however loves pride and they go out of their way to promote it and they’ve turned it into a religion and a multi trillion dollar a year industry. Why is this the case? Well, we have to remember that the world is in a fallen state, and those who refuse to serve Yeshua (even many Christians) refuse to serve Him because they lust after the flesh, or lust after the eyes, or enjoy the pride that goes along well in this world.

    Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

    We have to admit that this sort of thing happens because of the fallen state of mankind. It almost always starts with our own foolish pride. A lot of people would like to take the burden off of themselves and blame our enemy for the entire process, but the beginnings are in our own lives; in our own motives. It is probably a good thing to take this illustration back to the animal world, specifically how a lion finds its prey. As mentioned earlier, lions stalk their prey, but they find their prey much more easily when they can smell the wound of an animal. Yes, lions can smell blood and they use their sense of smell to find injured prey. Once located, the injured animal is stalked and the lion stealthfully sneaks up to its next meal. The victim doesn’t realize that it will soon be food for the crafty lion until it is too late for them.

    How does this apply to believers in Yeshua? Well, Satan (or his minions) are watching us all of the time. Through years of observance and practice they have become quite adept at how this whole thing plays out. They look for signs that their intended victim shows, whether it be lust or pride and then they capitalize on this fault. They might observe that a man or a woman glares at a person of the opposite sex when they pass by. They see the gleam in that person’s eye while they behold that person that they would like to have. His minions might observe that a person is slightly enamored with money, or power or any other thing that people lust after. They see the wound in that person. Later, they will present the object of desire to their victim. Sometimes they will give the person what they want and they will do it in such a way that this person thinks that what they have gotten is a gift from Yahweh. Slowly and methodically the enemy gives more and more, while the vision of the victim is drawn farther and farther away from Yahweh and/or His precepts. In many cases the victim goes for months or years thinking that they are not wounded, but in fact they are in the best of health. In effect, at this point the lion has pounced on his victim with his jaws tearing intently at the victims throat, his Christian witness pooling on the ground, his life waning with each heartbeat.

    Satan is quite the expert when it comes to pride, lust and rebellion. It was his pride and lust for power that cause him to rebel against Yahweh. Scriptures tells us how he thinks when it illustrates his infamous “five I Wills,” found in Isaiah 14:12-14

    How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart,

    • I will ascend into heaven,
    • I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
    • I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    • I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    • I will be like the most High.

    Having had such high aspirations, and having had the utter gall to make such proclamations in the sight of El Elyon, it is probably a small thing to Satan or his fallen angels and demons to mix in the affairs of rebellious and fallen mankind. Since he is the author of pride, lust and rebellion, I think it is safe to assume that it is an art for them to heap their own wickedness in copious amounts on anyone that they see as an easy mark. Compare it to giving a bottle of booze to an alcoholic or bringing a person with a gambling habit to a casino in Las Vegas.

    Those of us who walked in the Kingdom of Yahweh back in the 1980’s saw a lot of famous preachers fall. We all watched as Jim and Tammy Bakker pilfered millions out of their television viewers and subsequently fell because of their pride and lust. We watched as Jimmy Swaggart gave into his lust by having affairs. One by one many “supposed” great preachers in succession fell like a row of domino’s; their lust and pride exposed them and humbled them.

    I’ve had occasion to see this more times than I have cared to see it. My first time to see such a thing was in a church in Vacaville, California back in the 1980’s. It happened to a pastor with above average looks, who liked women, property and money. Satan stalked him, giving him all of those things and bringing him to ruin. To make matters worse, this man didn’t hear the other members of the herd when we tried to warn him. It wrecked his Christian witness, caused his children to stumble (his sin was repeated by them) and it ruined his family life. He left town wounded and moved to another city where he repeated this cycle all over again. Like ducks in a shooting gallery many men and women in Yahweh have fallen and it is almost always because they proclaim themselves to be exalted over others and they take credit for the works of Yahweh and place it upon themselves; oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    You see, the thing is that when Yahweh calls someone into spiritual warfare, and they accept the calling, they had better make sure that they are circumspect all of the time. People who aren’t circumspect ALWAYS forget to fully armor themselves, they can’t put on the armor of Yahweh and they can’t put on that armor because some pieces cannot be found. For instance, how can a person gird themselves with truth if they are living a lie? How can a person shod their feet with the gospel of peace if they are walking outside of Yahweh’s Commandments and furthermore, how can they show peace if their lives are a jumbled up mess of lies and deception and their souls are practically warring with the Ruach Ha Kodesh? How can they use the sword of the Spirit, the Word of Yahweh, if the sword is stuck in its scabbard due to perversion of that word by their actions? How can they protect themselves with the shield of faith if their pride or lust after the things of this world show that they don’t trust Yahweh for their provision? Going into spiritual warfare without a sword, a shield, shoes and a belt to keep the armor fast is sheer suicide.

    Over the past few years I have seen the spiritual pride and lust event raising its ugly head again. Because the Delusion Resistance is a spiritual warfare ministry it is natural for others with the same sort of calling to contact us, work with us and/or be affiliated with us. In 1999 I became acquainted with one fellow who moved to the desert southwest a couple years prior in order to start a ministry which revealed UFO’s and aliens for what they really are. As time rolled on though, this man became puffed up and it wasn’t long before he was doing things that were not really proper for a believer in Yeshua to be doing. They seemed like small things and they were pointed out to this man, but he blew the warnings off as trite and/or trivial. Had this man been circumspect and had he heeded the warnings of others then things would have improved. Instead, his ways started to take a downward spiral. First he started to explore his desire to become a photographer. That in itself is a noble profession, but his desire also included nude photography. Some Christian brothers and sisters expressed to this man that nude photography is not godly and they were not listened to. This man’s desire to photograph women nude was so strong that this man produced a paper where he distorted scripture to try to prove his point.

    At or around the same time this man decided to form his own church. The mission of his church was to start a new church that didn’t subscribe to the 501c3 tax exemption provided by the US Government. According to this man, any church that had such a tax exemption placed itself under the authority of the United States government and thus became a ward of the state. There is some evidence that this is true, and if this was the only reason for the new fellowship then that would have been okay. There were other things about the church that were bothersome. First, not only did this man believe that the 501c3 was a wicked device of the government, but he made the claim that ALL churches that subscribed to this tax exemption were evil and that the congregants were deceived. Thus, he was claiming that almost all people in almost every church in America weren’t true believers and that only those who were members of his church (and others like it) knew the truth. Most cults start out with this premise. This man further explained their missionary tactics. He said that members of their church would sometimes attend other churches so as to look for discontent parishioners in order to pull them out of their churches and into his. On another page of his website he explained that those who wanted to attend his fellowship had to request membership by sending a letter to his mail address. His reasoning for this was to keep interlopers from coming to his church. He said that he didn’t want people coming to his church to cause trouble or draw people out of his fellowship; which is exactly what he was going to other churches to do. After reading his mission statement and other alarming parts of the website, and seeing that the original church name was the “anti-church,” I was convinced that this was this man’s second attempt to justify his pride and lust by twisting scripture. A detailed examination of his “anti-church” was found on our website but Yahweh had us remove it because it was holding back His judgment on this individual. No doubt that the removal of this article will be claimed as a victory by this man, but it will ultimately be a victory for Yahweh because now HE can proceed with what he has to do without any hindrance.

    Before July of this year Yahweh Yeshua dictated to me a prophecy for this individual. The word from Yeshua basically told the man that he started out with good motives but that he drank from “strange water” even after being warned not to do this. Yeshua went on to say that this individual would be brought low and that his ministry would be taken from him. He said that the people that he had been associated with would remove their support and that Yeshua had removed His support too. Yeshua told this person that this person would read the word from Yeshua and that he would say that the word did not apply to him. Finally, Yeshua told the man that he could be restored if he humbled himself and repented of his deeds. When I was in Roswell I delivered this word to this person’s office (he had left town before I could give it to him) and came back to California the next day. I later heard that this person had read the word from Yeshua and the first thing he said was that the word was not for him. After a short while many of those who worked with this person walked away from him because they were fed up with his prideful ways and his continued practice of perverting scripture for his own prideful lusts. And to further prove his rebellious ways, he, at the time lived in sin with this woman, not married in the traditional sense of the term. After a lot of pressure from friends about how to do it the “right way,” they acquiesced and became married legally (both by Biblical terms and the laws of the land). He has had a lot of problems with what has been written in this article and has complained to many about its content but this man, who lacks contriteness and humbleness seems to only be able to respond to things when they are brought out into the light.

    For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. Luke 12:2-3

    Certainly, this man is not circumspect. Had he been circumspect he would have considered all of his ways, and the consequences of his actions. His lack of circumspection not only led to his friends to distance themselves from him, but it led to a personal rebuke from Yeshua Himself.

    Someone who learned about the lack of circumspection and the consequences of bad actions is named Jim Bakker. Jim Bakker, along with his wife, the late Tammy Bakker, formed a ministry back in the 1980’s, called The PTL Club. The letters PTL stood for “praise the Lord.” Anyone with any sort of discernment could see what the PTL Club was all about, but many people fell for this wonderful electronic media farce. After a few years this ministry came under the scrutiny of the Internal Revenue Service and it was found that the Bakkers had bilked millions of dollars from their followers and the Bakkers had violated many of the laws that govern Non-profit Organizations. Jim Bakker bore the brunt of the blame and he was sentenced to prison. While in stir, Bakker found Yeshua and was born again. After much reflection of his past life, Jim Bakker came to the following conclusion:

    “As I studied the Scripture, I began to see things in the Bible I had never seen before. One of the most obvious reasons was that I was now taking time to study, not simply picking up the Bible for a quick dose of inspiration. In the past I had naturally gravitated toward those passages in the Bible that supported what I wanted to say or do. I found it easy to skip certain verses, passages, and sometimes whole books, such as the book of Revelation. I had made up my mind now, however, that I would not skip over any part of the Scriptures. And I was going to ask God all the difficult questions I had skirted during my busy years. I had time — nothing but time — to listen and learn from the Lord.” “Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse,” Jim Bakker and Ken Abraham, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Page 20.

    Jim had finally learned that Yahweh puts that “still small voice” in our lives for a reason. He learned that he had to examine all of his ways to see if they were of his flesh, of the enemy, or if they are indeed from Yahweh. Jim however had to suffer a horrible price for his misdeeds. Aside from his time in prison, his marriage to Tammy dissolved and his name became a descriptor for every charlatan and misguided shepherd in the Church.

    Much Pride Equals Much Deception:

    The lack of self-examinations has led to some of the greatest deceptions within the Christian Church thus leading to divisions in the Church and/or the formation of cults which, “have a form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof.” It was a lack of circumspection that allowed Joseph Smith to form the Mormon Church. Some might argue that the deception came by way of a fallen angel named Moroni who gave Smith a great delusion, but the fallen angel was only appealing to the lust of the flesh and the pride of life the Smith was already entertaining.

    It was a lack of circumspection that led Charles “Taze” Russell to form the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Just like Jim Bakker had done, Russell picked the scriptures that he liked and used him for gain. The scriptures that he didn’t like he simply changed to suit his own purposes. Our friend in Roswell shares a lot of traits with Charles Russell. Russell strove for recognition and fame as does our Roswell friend. Russell tweaked scripture to serve his own needs as does or Roswell friend. Russell formed his own church because he thought all other churches were corrupt, as did our Roswell friend. Russell spurned correction as does our Roswell friend.

    Modern parallels to these deceptions can be found and there is a plethora of them. It is interesting to note that just about every time there is a movement of the Ruach Ha Kodesh, there is also a movement of the enemy that coincides alongside what Yahweh is doing. Many great revivals happened in the 19th century, around the time of the formation of both the Mormon Church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The modern cults sprang up mostly during the “Jesus People” movement. Organizations such as “The Way International,” “Children of God,” “The Peoples Temple (Jim Jones),” “Branch Davidians,” and others are all perversions that were born during the “Jesus Movement.”

    Perversion of the truth have always been around. Read just about any book in the Bible and you will see somewhere in that book where one of Yahweh’s truths was taken by people and/or Satan and his hordes, and that truth was exchanged for a lie. It always seemed that sin would launch in a person’s heart and an act was committed after which some sort of excuse was made for the sin. People took Yahweh’s Law and twisted it so that they might work around the law, use a loophole perhaps. But Yahweh was always quick to point out that there are no loopholes in His Law. A good example of this would be the exorbitant plans that Melech David went through so as to have Bathsheeva as a wife. David had relations with her one evening and she became pregnant. Knowing that he was guilty of adultery, he had Joab send Uriah the Hittite (Bathsheeva’s husband) to David so that he could have Uriah sleep with Bathsheeva, thus making everyone think that the child that she bore was Uriah’s and not his. Uriah never did go to his own house and he never did have relations with his wife so David had Joab put Uriah into battle on a front line where they expected to lose many soldiers. Uriah died in this battle whereupon David took Bathsheeva for his wife.

    But things did not end there. What David did set the stage for a lot of misery in his life and in the life of many in Israel. Nathan the prophet came to David and told him about a rich man who dealt treacherously with a poor man whereupon David became angered and pronounced a death sentence on the rich man. Nathan revealed that this was really an allegory relating to what David had done to Uriah and then Nathan told of judgments that would come upon David. Yahweh pardoned David’s sin, but did not stop the consequences of the sin. These things are related in later accounts of Absalom’s rebellion and all the blood that was later spilled in successive royal families in David’s line.

    One of the major themes of the Church fellowship that I attend is this, “don’t mess with God.” By this we are asserting that we as believers have to stop playing games with Yahweh. Somehow people have the idea that they can hoodwink Yahweh; like they can work the system, so to speak, and that they can find loopholes in Yahweh’s kingdom. Yahweh warns us however about the consequences of this charade:

    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:7-8

    Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article, Satan desires to sift Yahweh’s people like wheat. It is really sad that he has such an easy time of accomplishing what he has set himself out to do. The problem is that people just just don’t examine themselves anymore. Many believers tend to think that if they attend church every Sunday, prayer meetings during the week and a Bible study, they are filling the prescription for a godly life. Such an attitude is one filled with pride because that sort of person thinks, “I’m doing all I can to live a godly life.” Well, we can’t do anything to live a godly life and all of our righteousness is as filthy rags:

    But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6

    There are probably some who would argue with me about this. They will say that we are made clean by Yeshua’s blood, and they are right. But, we have to remember that in our own accord, we are unclean and it is the blood of Yeshua that makes us acceptable to Aveinu (our Father). Looking at such a fact makes us humble, and when we are humble we tend to be circumspect. When people think that they have achieved righteousness they tend to “fade away.” When people think that they have their “spiritual act” together they tend to let their guard down, they become complacent. Then, when their guard is down, Satan comes in and starts to devour them. In most cases, this sort of person becomes the very thing that they have hated, abhorred and even what they have themselves preached against. But where does one’s righteousness really come from? Yahweh tells us through Isaiah the prophet the following:

    No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.  Isaiah 54:17

    That’s right, any righteousness that we have comes from Yahweh Yeshua. When we get a bead on the true source of our righteousness, seeing that it comes from Yahweh and belongs to Yahweh, then we become humble and thankful. Picture it this way. We all remember that prissy little girl in the playground when we were kids. She thought that she was better than all of us and it was because her father was a city councilman or a policeman or a lawyer; insert any profession that fits the story. Of course she had a right to be proud and to esteem her father, nobody can deny that. But, when we came down to brass tacks and we really thought about it, she was just an obnoxious little brat and she was riding on the shirt tails of her father who really deserved the honor for who he was.

    When believers become prideful they will often do things to justify that pride. Many times they will turn to the Bible to justify their actions. Like our friend in the southwest, they will scour the scripture to look for passages in an attempt to quiet the voice of the Ruach Ha Kodesh who is gently tugging on the strings of their heart. Most of the time they will find two or three scriptures that they feel comforts their soul and then they will do word studies on those passages in order to cement their case in their own minds. Sometimes they will just skip the scripture twisting and will base their doctrine on what they have seen other people do. Most of the time they do this because they can’t find a scriptural basis for their actions and they tend to base their decision and actions on the success of others who have fallen into the trap. Think about the poor lemmings who all follow each other off of the cliff to plummet to the jagged rocks at the edge of the sea as this is the same mentality.

    I can’t think of a better example of this then to illustrate a movement that has become quite popular over the last twenty years of so. There are some who have forsaken meeting in a church setting and they meet in their homes. Now, don’t judge me too harshly. I am not talking about everyone who does this. There are instances where good fellowships cannot be found, or where a group of people had a bad experience in a church, or where people are forced into underground churches to ensure the safe practice of our faith. These are all valid concerns and I feel that Yahweh honors these people and their intentions. But over the years there has arisen a movement that doesn’t recognize the office of the pastor in a church. These people are of the opinion that when a church has a position of pastor, they have set up for themselves a king, or some other sort of potentate. This is a particularly sad state of affairs especially when we see that the office of “pastor” is one that ordained by Yahweh and by His Word:

    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:11-12

    In this particular instance we see that the Apostle Paul is telling the Ephesians of all of the offices that Yahweh has ordained for His Church. All of these offices are vital for the functioning of Yeshua’s Church and they are all interdependent on one another. It certainly is a shame when some parts think that they are more important than others. When our brother, the Apostle Paul was writing his first letter to the Church in Corinth he wrote about such things. Apparently, some in the fellowship in Corinth thought that they were more important than others in the church. There appears to have been two divisions judging by what he wrote; a racial division between Jew and Gentile, and a division between the offices in the church and the various gifts ascribed to each office.

    For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

    It is interesting to note that those who adhere to this new “pastorless church” say that there is an order of importance in cadence to the way that the offices are mentioned in Ephesians chapter four. They say that since “apostles and prophets” are mentioned first they have the most importance to Yahweh. This is certainly a fallacy that must be addressed. The greatest commandment is that we love Yahweh, and that we love our neighbors as ourselves. The great commission from Yeshua is that we are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Since this commandment comes from Yeshua Himself, we should consider it very important. Since that is the case, and if there were to be an order of importance to our list in Ephesians, then the office of evangelist must move to the top of the list. And if bringing people to faith in Yeshua is first on the list, then a pastor and teacher must come second on the list because once the sheep are brought into the fold they needed to be shepherded (pastor means shepherd) and they need to be taught about Yahweh and then need to be versed in what to do and not to do. To a person with humility, this is very easy to see. The list of offices in Ephesians wasn’t listed by order of importance, but they were most probably listed that way because Paul thought of them in that order.

    Paul was quite adamant about each part of the body being just as important as the other, so much so that he wrote the following:

    But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 1 Corinthians 12:18-25

    Paul says a lot in the scripture above, but two things are very important. First, no member can say to another member that they are less important and they cannot say that they are not needed. Each member of the body is important to the whole body. When one member suffers, the whole body suffers. Did you ever stub your toe on something during the night? When this happens, it affects your whole body and it can make life miserable depending on how hard you stubbed and what you crashed your toe into. The second thing that we must look at is what is said toward the end. Paul says that we must recognize each member as being necessary and equal so that we don’t create a schism in the body. Schism is just a fancy word that means “division.”

    Whenever a person or a group think that they have a special calling, and that their calling is “higher” or more special than the calling of those around them they are entering into a condition of spiritual pride. Many times people cause schisms because they fail to examine their action and the implications that come from their action. As we said at the beginning of this article, we should enter every venture asking Yahweh if what we are doing is really of Him. Is what I am about to do serving my flesh, or is it a move of the spirit. Am I asking this question because I really care or am I just going through the motions.

    There is a wonderful litmus system that Yeshua set up and it should be followed by anyone who wants to participate in ministry. Yeshua had to interrupt an altercation that was occurring between some of the disciples who were discussing which disciple would be the greatest in Yahweh’s kingdom. Yeshua responded by saying:

    And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. Luke 22:25-26

    In other words, anyone who would want to be greatest among you, let him be servant to the least. Yeshua said that it is the Gentiles, the heathen, the lost, the upstarts and malcontents that like to practice lordship over their brethren. Be he sternly tells us that “you shall not be so!”

    We live in a “have it now” society and it is hard to wait for answers or results because we have been conditioned to wait for a short time and if we don’t hear from Yahweh in what we feel to be an adequate time we take that to mean that his silence is an affirmation that what we have proposed is really his will. This attitude is backward and contrary not only in the natural world, but also in the Kingdom of Yahweh. No answer means that we are to be still and wait for his answer, no matter how long it takes. The Tenach is full of stories of people who made the wrong decisions because they didn’t listen long enough to hear Yahweh’s voice. Not only do we see the wrong choices that they made, but we see that the fruit that is born from impatience is often bitter for the soul. We also see in these stories that often the answer is in Yahweh’s Scripture and that if they, or anyone else, were to take the time and effort to honestly search His Word, they would find that His way isn’t exactly what we had in mind:

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

    This scripture in Isaiah should make us all feel very humble. The very premise of this word should cause the humble and contrite heart to examine all of its ways continually. I caution you, if you think that you understand Yahweh, especially if you think that you understand Him more than what you consider the average believer does, then you have crossed over into dangerous ground. You become a wounded animal that then roaring lion will stalk and he’ll seek to destroy you.

    I would also like to say something else that we should all watch out for. We should be very careful about what we read outside of scripture. Many read books that appear to be from reputable authors, but in effect they are written by those who have the spirit of error. A good example of this happened in 1986 and 1987. An author named Edgar Whisenant was unknown until his book “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Could Be In 1988” hit the shelves of the Christian bookstores. He based his assumptions on a collection of dates and calculations from Biblical and historical factors. His premise was that the rapture of the church would occur on Rosh Hashana in 1988. When his prediction failed, he bumped the date back a couple of days, suggesting that the rapture would happen at 10:55 AM on September 15th of that year; then when that time didn’t pan out he changed the date to October 3rd of that year. Eventually 300,000 copies of the book were mailed to ministers throughout the USA and 4.5 million copies were sold in bookstores and other places. The only rapture that occurred was the one that Whisenant felt as he took his royalty checks to the bank.

    So why do I bring this up? Well, in that 4.5 million people who bought Whisenant’s book there was a good number of those who felt that they were intelligent Bible believing Spirit Filled Christians. Some of those people bought the book and thought that Mr. Whisenant had some special revelation and they waited during Rosh Hashana for Yeshua to come and take His people away. Now Whisenant’s book was in blatant error and many people saw it for what it was. If his book could cause strong believers in Yeshua to come into error, then what about the books, documentaries, movies and other forms of media that might approach subjects in a more subtle manner. The people who listened to Whisenant and proclaimed his word came to disgrace, and while they might have preached a lie, it probably didn’t have the spiritual implications that other things might have. The error of things like the “no pastor church,” is dangerous because it can indoctrinate people in unscriptural and ungodly things. For instance, if we deny a shepherd over us in a earthly fellowship, might it become easier to deny the authority of our great shepherd, Yeshua? If we deny the authority and structure that has been instituted in scripture than can it become easy to deny the authority of the one who inspired the scripture? We should all read the story about Dathan and Korah and their rebellion toward Moses and ultimately toward Yahweh. When we read it, we realize that pride and rebellion go hand in hand. Neither pride or rebellion have any place in the Kingdom of El Elyon.

    Folks, I have to bring into focus something that we should all consider. Last year I went to a local Christian book seller and I was shocked to see all of the titles that lined the shelf. I found books that catered to cults and about half a million books that could be titled “self help” Christian books. I find it hard to swallow that good and well meaning believers frequent such stores and empty the shelves of all of their content. Most think that since the book is in a so called Christian bookstore, that the book is fit for reading. Well, just because a book is on the shelf of a Christian bookstore, it doesn’t mean that it is fit to read. If I was born in a bagel shop, would that make me a  bagel?? Personally, I believe that the only book with all of the answers is the Bible; anything else is the opinion of humans, or their interpretation of scripture. We all know that humans are quite faulty and that human commentaries can be faulty since they are written by faulty humans.

    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

    So, what I find hard to understand, is why people flock to Christian bookstores when we have the Bible to read from and we have the Ruach Ha Kodesh to interpret what we read in the Bible. The modern Bible is easy to read and anyone with a grade-school education can read it. There are concordances and a lot of online sources for researching the Bible. With all of these things at our beckoned called, why read the opinions of others? Well, I can think of only two reasons; laziness and self gratification. Most people are accustomed to having other people think for them and they willfully relinquish their wills to others who will think for them. This is a prime breeding ground for the forces of darkness who would love to have (and will someday soon have) a society where the elites will make every decision for the population. Don’t think it will happen, then read the newspapers because it is already in force to some degree. During Medieval times people lost their lives for the right to have a Bible in their possession, but in our current era people let the sacred script collect dust on their bookshelves; but they’ll flock to the bookstore to have others explain scripture to them. Again I stress, Yahweh’s Word is correct 100 percent of the time, and man’s wisdom always seems to lead to destruction. The other reason people buy books at the Christian bookstore is so that they can have their ears tickled. We go back to the “88 Reasons..” book that came out in the 1980’s; how people wanted the harpazo to happen so bad that they were willing to read rubbish that pinpointed an actual day of the harpazo, even though Yeshua stressed that “no man knows the day or hour.”

    With all things considered, it is far easier and far better that we be circumspect in all the things that we do. It is far better to be safe than sorry. Being in the ministry that we’re in and fighting the battle that we fight, it is imperative that we look before we leap and that we keep pride far from us so that we cannot lend ourselves to be prey for Satan and his minions who are looking for any opportunity to make us miserable and to ruin our walk with Yeshua. And we cannot end this article without proving through scripture what Yahweh is looking for:

    For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15

    One of the things that we find it easy to do is to criticize those who have fallen. We shake our heads at them and in our own way we condemn them. When you think about it, this is just another manifestation of pride. It is an act of our saying, “how could he/she do that. I could never do that.” Instead of being this way we should immediately start praying for the person who is in error. We should be praying for their repentance and their restoration. We should also analyze their actions and what led to their downfall so that we can guard against the same thing happening to us. My dad always used to say, “it is a wise man that learns from his mistakes, but it is a wiser man who learns from the mistakes of others.” When we look at this process we find out that it is called “being circumspect.” A circumspect heart when guided by the Ruach Ha Kodesh will keep us from a spirit of error and will aid us greatly in walking the walk that Yeshua calls us to walk with Him.

    Copyright 2008 David Ben Yakov (David Ruffino) The Delusion Resistance

    David Ben Yakov

    © 2004 David Ben Yakov / Delusion Resistance

     

    The Lord Jesus Christ has laid this message heavily on my heart. I don’t write this as a person who mistakenly thinks himself not a sinner, but as a fellow Christian who has allowed himself to sink into the muck and mire of this world and what it has to offer. So please, take into your mind and heart what I am about to say and know that it comes out of concern for my fellow believers and my love for Jesus, and what He has done for us.

    First, let us define what a Christian is. A person in not a Christian because they were born in a nation that professes Christianity. A person is not a Christian because they have Christian parents. A Christian is not a person who merely goes to church, although going to church is an important in the life of a Christian. No, a Christian is a person who at one point in their lives came to a point where they realized that they needed a Savior in their lives. That person realized that they were sinners, outcasts from the Glory of God, and they asked Jesus into their hearts and lives, in order to change them from worldly people to Sons and Daughters of Almighty God! These people realize that “Christian” is defined as “Christ-like,” with all of the demands and blessings of that position. That is the definition of a Christian. That is also a characterization that is missing from the Church in modern day America and other western countries.

    The Bible best describes what gets Christians into trouble when it says:

    For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2: 16-17

    When God created man with his five senses (yes, and only 5) he did so that man might behold the splendor of God and God’s creation. After the fall of man, our senses became corrupted along with their uses.

    When a man or woman humbles themselves and asks Jesus into their lives, a metamorphosis takes place. That person is changed to another person. In outward appearance the person is the same, but the inward person becomes a new creature. He gives us new minds and hearts, sort of a DNA exchange. That is why, for instance, a person is able to understand the Bible after conversion whereas it was not very clear before. Also, the converted person also acquires compassion and understanding of things that happen around him or her. If you are a Christian, you know what I am talking about.

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 2 Corinthians 5: 17-18

    As mentioned above, we have been given 5 senses by God. Those senses are: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Those 5 make up our sensory ability. Some try to attribute a sixth sense (clairvoyance) to human senses, but that is really demonic in nature and not a sense. The Bible, as mentioned above, says that three main things help us to fall into trouble. The lust of the flesh, which deals with hearing, smelling, tasting and touching is included there. The second, is sight, dealing with the eyes and the third is the pride of life; which is basically when a human stands and says, “look at what I have accomplished by myself,” not realizing we really accomplish everything good with the help of God. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself, what you would get done if God one day took the breath of life out of you? Every breath you take is a testament to the Glory and Mercy of God.

     

    The Lust of The Eyes

    Without a doubt, the eyes are the sense that we are most aware of. We use each of our senses all day long, but we are aware of our eyesight more than the other senses. For this reason, the world uses seduction of the eyes over all other senses. Since I am a man, I will be talking in this article from a man’s prospective because that is easier for me. Not a day goes by when we see a car that is better than ours and we would like one of those. We see the billboard with the sexy woman selling something that you don’t need sex to sell. We see the ladies wearing clothing that reveal more than should be revealed. We come home and turn on television to watch the news and see attractive models advertising everything from applesauce to yogurt. You pick up a magazine only to read that your computer is now outdated or that if you write to some millionaire he can help you to become rich like him. In the same way women are enticed by things that they see every day. There is always a nicer dress, a sportier car or a better looking man out there.

    Women too are held to a higher standard by society. Where a man can get away with a bit of a belly, that is discouraged in feminine circles. Men can get away with any hair style but women can’t. Lets face it, women judge women a lot harsher than men judge men, and the advertising and media industry capitalize on it to no end. It has a negative effect on the health of many women. Let’s face it, you don’t hear of many anorexic or bulimic men.

    Hollywood and the television industry are presenting lustful movies and television shows that are fighting for the moral values of Christians everywhere. You see, the worldly industries don’t need to tear down the secular society. The unbelievers are at the doors of hell already, doing and watching things that would make a sailor blush. But those of us who call ourselves righteous and set apart have to battle with these forces every day, and sadly I say that a lot of Christians fall by the sword (in a spiritual sense) because they weren’t wise enough to discern good from evil.

    Hollywood And The Film Industry:

    Every year it seems that the production of wholesome movies is decreasing. About the only movies that you can find that are void of violence are kids cartoon movies, but even they are filled with New Age philosophy and psychobabble. Do you want to know why the quality of movies has gone down? It is because good people support bad movies.

    Let me illustrate what I mean by what I have said above. The progression is a watering down of values, which I have personally seen in myself and other Christians. It started with movies way back in the 1940’s. Back then most people are reasonably moral and movies are restricted to some hugging and kissing. Audiences figure that everyone does that and no one really said anything negative about the movie. Then come the 1950’s where movies change very little. Some religious leaders are concerned that gang movies might lead to a rise in teenage gang membership. The movie industry ignores the warning and teen gang membership rises. Some movies of religious themes are even created to cause the Christian community to think that perhaps some movie makers are religious and have their best interest in mind. The 1960’s arrive and some movie makers start putting mild sexual content in the movies. Some outcry from religious groups about the content is heard but ignored. Some Christians start going to these movies anyway using the excuse that some sex is normal in everyone’s life; the water down effect continues. In the 1970’s movies become more violent with sex, rape and occult themes. Some Christians attend these movies, saying, “well, it is all around us anyway,” or, “it’s like life, it’s reality,” and the watering down is growing more. In the 80’s and 90’s the movies grow worse with a new addition, the New Age theme. Movies show frontal nudity and sometimes full nudity. The movies promote the disobedience of children toward parents, one parent families, divorce and homosexuality. Christians attend these events with a “that’s just the way it is” attitude. You know, it’s sort of like how a wild dog is caught and tamed. First, some meat is put at the perimeter of the camp. Then you keep putting it closer and closer until you can put a leash on the dog, then he is caught and is subservient to you. In the same way Christians are fed a little sin at a time until they are leashed with the bondage of sin.

    Another example can be seen in something that happened to a crew of construction workers of which I was a part, back in the 1980’s. We were laying a pipeline and there were two welders who were joining the pipes, on on each side. Both welders liked to drink vodka all day long. The problem is that they would drink it over ice. Now, you ask why is that a problem? Well, every time they would dip their cups into the ice of the water dispenser, they would dump some vodka into the water supply. It was not noticeable on Monday, but by Friday all of the men who drank from the water supply had a pretty good high. You see, over the period of a week, a little vodka here and a little vodka there added up causing quite a cocktail by the weeks end. In the same way a little sin here and a little sin there works itself into the human psyche. Even if the viewer is not directly participating in the sin, they are indirectly doing so. The Word Of God compares sin to leaven. Don’t forget what Galatians says about leaven:


    A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Galatians 5:9

    I can imagine that many Christians would say that it really didn’t matter if they saw these movies. They would muse that they weren’t supporting anything by viewing the celluloids. Wrong! You are supporting it in at least three ways:

    1. By viewing a film at the theater you are paying money that eventually gets back to the producers. What do they do with the money that they receive? They produce more movies that push the envelope even farther. They also contribute to a variety of causes that are anti-Christian, such as homosexual and New Age causes.

    2. The money goes to the actors, almost all who have anti-Christian philosophies and they donate to organizations with the same agenda.

    3. You become a statistic. All films receive ratings by how many people go to see them. By adding your number to the roster you promote the film, possibly causing others to see it.

    As mentioned above, many actors in Hollywood, Broadway and other areas hold an very anti-Christian perspective. People like Shirley McClain and Barbara Streisand promote a New Age – One World agenda, with McClain running around telling everyone that they can become their own god. People like Whoopie Goldberg and Alec Baldwin promote communistic anti-God values for all to hear. Baldwin went as far as suggesting that people stone Senator Henry Hyde and his family to death. He later retracted what he said, but what if a group of wacko’s decided to oblige Mr. Baldwin.

    Actors promote a liberal marriage lifestyle, often divorcing many times. Who knows what damage that Liz Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor caused by all of their divorces. There are people out there who look to celebrities like they are minor gods and emulate what they say and do. Other actors and actresses promote homosexual lifestyles. Take for instance the case of Ellen Degeneris. She and her female lover were all the rage in Hollywood. Some said they were so brave for coming out of the closet like they did. The point is, do you want your children to emulate the lifestyles of these people?

    Now take for instance the health risk for holding these people in such high esteem, especially for children. Children see movie stars and their lifestyle and they want to be just like them. When I was a young boy I wanted to be like John Wayne because he was so cool. The little girls in the neighborhood wanted to be like Marilyn Monroe or Natalie Wood, both whose lives came to a tragic end. And what about the little girls today who starve themselves to be in beauty pageants or for that try in Hollywood, only to suffer from anorexia or bulimia for the rest of their lives. Do you want your kids to emulate that lifestyle? Hollywood, and Broadway are a lifestyle that we should be pushing away from us, not adhering to.

    Television:

    Television has been trying to keep pace with the Hollywood establishment for many years. The only thing that has kept it on a slower pace is that children have more access to televisions than the theater. Television is split into three basic divisions: information, entertainment and sports. All three of these things are trying to tear you away from God.

    Information:

    It is no secret that the news media has been slanted toward the leftist anti-God campaign. Did you ever notice how abortionists are called “pro-choice,” while those opposing the murder of newborns are called “anti-abortion?” The liberal media does that to make those who love life look like villains while trying to bolster those whose support child murder. The true labels should be “pro-life” or “pro-murder.”

    If you don’t believe that the press is slanted toward an anti-God elite, just read the text below, then read the book of Revelation:

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.” He went on to explain: “It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto determination practiced in past centuries.”
    David Rockefeller speaking at the June 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then Governor Bill Clinton and Dan Quayle).

    Another form of information that can be found on television is the documentary. I am fond of the documentary, basically because I like to learn facts and am sort of a closet geologist and historian. In the past, these programs were a source of fact and learning. Now, they leave the viewer with more questions than answers. Dozens of documentaries have aired over the past twenty years concerning the subject of UFO’s. Some channels even have weekends where they have marathons of these shows. Other shows bombard us with the dinosaur question. The UFO shows try to indoctrinate us that there are beings on other planets, making man seem more like an animal than a special creation. This idea demeans God and tries to make him seem invalid. The dinosaur programs try to make us think that evolution is correct, which would invalidate the Bible, and ultimately God Himself.

    Entertainment:

    This category is split into three categories: Comedy, Drama and Adventure.

    Personally, I like comedy and I do watch it. I am very selective though at what I watch. I avoid shows that use foul language or might show nudity. I think that a lot of the situation comedies on television these days should be monitored for content. I think that the question should be asked with viewing anything, is, “would I feel comfortable if Jesus was at my house guest and was sitting next to me watching this?” You might remember that He is always there, whether you like it or not, or believe it or not. That should be the litmus test for everything we do.

    Sports:

    Gentlemen, I know the allure of sports. I am a Yankee fan and given the chance I would be at every game. If given the chance I would have a room dedicated to the Yankees and have every artifact that I could. But you know what? That would be stupid wouldn’t it. Well, that is how some of you sports fanatics look like to your friends and family. God gave you a family and friends and you just sit in front of that tube wasting your life away. When you die and hopefully get to heaven, God isn’t going to give a darn if you knew all the statistics for your team, or how many times that driver won the Indy-500. He doesn’t care how many times the Yankees won the World Series or how many home runs Mark McGuire had in 1999. He does care though that you don’t devote time to your wife and children. He does care that all the time you spent watching those games could have been donated to feeding the poor or helping widowed women. So, turn the game off, read your Bible, have Bible studies with your family and prepare yourselves for the times that are coming. Enough said.

     

    The Other Four Senses

     

    Hearing:

    If you don’t believe that hearing can lead a person down the road to hell then just read the book of Genesis. Eve listened to the serpent, believed what he said and acted on it. Adam listened to Eve and acted on what she said and the world had been a bad place ever since. Incidentally, the incident also illustrates the “Pride of Life” aspect mentioned at the beginning of this document. The prospect of being “like God” must have been a great influence on their decision to disobey.

    Likewise, in a modern day scenario, consider all of the people who died in Jonestown, down in Guiana because they listened to Jim Jones and his message of lies. Like all false prophets, he talked a lot of truth mixed with little lies. Once he gained the confidence of his flock he could lie more readily, even convincing his followers that they should drink poison for him.

    Satan and his minions know that if you are told a lie long enough you will believe it. You might hear it from friends at work who compel you to go out for a drink with them, using phrases like, “come on, one little drink won’t hurt you,” and such things. Then you might get comfortable doing such things. One drink turns into two drinks and soon you find that you are getting looped every day after work.

    The big problem today is that people can’t discern truth from lies. Christians have gone for so long without reading their Bibles and spending time in prayer that they are open to every little whim of the devil. For many years in this society we have let government and the media do out thinking for us. We just sit in front of the television or radio and let people we don’t even know tell us what we should think the truth is. The saying says, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” and that truth is quite evident. We have become so lazy that we don’t even want to think for ourselves.

    Touch:

    Touch is a very powerful sense. Touch tells us about our surrounds. You wake up in the morning and go out to get the paper. When your skin touches the outside air you can tell somewhat the conditions outside and can determine what the day will be like. You touch boiling water and you get burned. You touch your tongue to a metal pole in the dead of winter and you will stay there until some kind soul brings out warm water to get it off of there. Touch is a barometer of pain or pleasure.

    Because touch brings such pleasure it can be used by people and the minions of Satan to bring a Christian to their knees. Consider all of the televangelists back in the 1980’s and 90’s who came to ruin because they could not control their lust for the sensation of touch. The lust for the sensation of touch in many instances is triggered by other senses like sight and hearing, but sometimes outside things like the memory of what something or someone felt like can trigger the lust for the sensation of lust. It stands to reason that since other senses trigger most of the lust of touch those senses should be controlled. If television causes lust, don’t watch it. It it is the Internet, do go to those sites, and so on and so forth. If it is an addiction, get help from a trained Christian therapist.

    Smell:

    Smell is a very powerful sense that activates the lust of the flesh. If this were not so then perfume and cologne companies would not exist. They come out with scents with names like “sex appeal” and “passion” to name a couple. Some researchers have also found that males and females put out unnoticeable scents when they are sexually attracted to each other. So, what can a person do to avoid the lure of scents? Well, my Christian friend, don’t forget that God has written His laws on our hearts and we do know the difference between right and wrong. Exercise your knowledge.

    Taste:

    Taste is one of the worst of the senses for me because I like to eat. I give directions using restaurants as landmarks. Between smell and taste I would be destined for disaster were it not for Jesus and the self control he gives me. With a lot of people the sensation of taste leads to obesity, a very bad health hazard. Also with a lot of people, their many trips to the refrigerator are due to boredom and inactivity. One way that I have found to keep form eating so much is to keep my mind busy. Just think of all the prayer or Bible reading a person could get done if they just did those things when they got an urge to eat or over eat. Remember, gluttony is a sin too.

     

    The Pride of Life

     

    So what is the pride of life? Basically, it is what we in America refer to as “keep up with the Joneses” and it is also outdoing the Joneses. Keeping up with the Joneses is basically a contest. The Jones family on the block gets a new Cadillac, so you go out and by a new Cadillac. Outdoing the Joneses would be to outdo them by buying a Cadillac and a Mercedes at the same time. Then, the ultimate pride of life would be to say, “look at what we have done, and we did it all by ourselves,” which leaves God out of the equation. It is becoming the god of your own condition.

    This isn’t just a material problem, but can be a spiritual problem too. I have known many pastors who have taken over failing churches and have taken claim for it’s rebirth. It is a cyclical process that I have seen end in disaster many times. Pastor comes in and preaches good messages. Membership grows until the church can no longer contain the amount of people. Pastor initiates a building program for a new church building that will accommodate all the people. Pastor browbeats the congregation to give until the pressure explodes in the church. The church splits, losing a lot of members. Meanwhile the pastor has become so wound up in building the new church that he loses his anointing and falls hard into sin or degradation. In a lot of cases the pastor will leave for another congregation in another area, but he leaves behind a devastated flock. Then the cycle repeats itself again.

    Believe me, if you attend a church, a Bible Study, or any Christian event that thinks that they are favored by God over all the rest in town you should expect that church, study or event to fall, and fall hard. For as it is written:

    Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

     

    So What Should We All Be Doing?


    The prescription is really very easy. Don’t get yourself into compromising positions. Remember, that you alone cannot overcome the world. The only way to overcome the world is with Jesus, both in you and as your guide. Be smart and do the following:


    Abstain from all appearance of evil. I Thessalonians 5:22

     

    Now I know that the word abstain might be foreign to modern language, so here are some other words that are more modern and better understood:

    Avoid all the appearance of evil. Like avoiding someone you really don’t like being around, and we all have experience in that.

    Flee from all appearance of evil. This means that if you see it, you should go in an opposite direction quickly. To flee is to run quickly to get away from something or someone who has the potential to cause you pain or death.

    Retreat from all appearance of evil. This doesn’t mean to cowardly run away, but to back away with caution.

    Recoil from all appearance of evil. This is my favorite word. It means that the appearance of evil should make you jump back away from it. When a firearm recoils, it is physically pushed away from a forward force. If a person is walking with Jesus in a correct manner then they should be able to jump back and take notice of evil and find it reprehensible.

    Depart from all appearance of evil. To depart from something you had to be a part of it to begin with. The action of repentance is denoted here. It means to turn around and walk in the opposite direction.


    Now, as I mentioned in an earlier section; you should live each moment just like Jesus is with you doing those things also. So, would you bring Jesus to a questionable movie or watch questionable programs on television with him sitting next to you? Would you read the latest issues of Playboy or Playgirl if Jesus was with you? Would you look at pornography on the Internet if Jesus was in the room? Well, if you walk with Jesus and are a Christian I hope that your answer would have been “no” to those questions. We are to do everything as unto the Lord.

    There are so many good Christian things that replace worldly and lustful things. Turn off the television and read your Bible. If you are a Christian, you know that it is the Living Word of God, never getting old and it always refreshes the soul. Turn off the secular radio stations and listen to Christian ones. If you’re bored, then start praying. If you ask Jesus to help you pray you will have a continual download from the Lord about things to pray for.

    The kids don’t need to be in front of video games all day. They can watch Christian videos, read their Bibles, pray or any number of activities. Kids love to sing Christian songs because they can relate to a loving and caring God. Give your kids to Christ, and he will work with them and teach them love, obedience and understanding.

    If a Christian has Internet access then the possibilities are endless. There are Christian magazines, study guides, prayer centers and music sites available. Kids activities abound on the Internet, with many Christian sites having links for kids stuff. Between the Bible, prayer and the Internet, Christians have no excuse for being ignorant.

    And finally, you have to have a mind of your own. Don’t let worldly people sway the way you think about things. If friends try to persuade you to go to bars and such, think about all the things that happen in bars that are unholy. If someone says that you should see a movie or a particular thing on television, think about the life of the person who is advocating those activities. Remember, if a worldly person tells you that something is good, it might look good on the outside, but like the apple, it might have a big fat worm inside.

    Just think of what God has done for us. He didn’t leave us out in the cold. He gave us Christians the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and has written his laws on our hearts and minds. There’s no excuses on the day of judgment. In ending, I include below some promises that God gives to those who overcome this world:


    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. Revelation 2:11

    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Revelation 7:17

    And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 2: 26-29

    He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3: 5-6

    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:10-13

    To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3: 21-22

    By David Ben Yakov

    © 1991 David Ben Yakov / Delusion Resistance

     

    Have you ever approached a fellow Christian, perhaps to point out something in their life that seems to go against Biblical precepts; only to be told, “Aren’t you being a little judgmental brother?” Have you walked away feeling like maybe they were right and you feel rotten inside. Well, read this article and see what righteous judgment is. I hope this helps you in knowing the truth about Judging.


     

    It all started one day when I started to ask questions. The questions mainly centered around why the body of believers in the church I was attending were being told to adhere to rules that I found questionable. They were not questionable because of some sort of rebellion in my heart, but because the things that I was being taught went against what I had read in the Bible, and what the Holy Spirit had been telling me all of my years of being a Christian.

    I had been living with a couple that were (and as far as I know they still are) wonderful Christians. About a year before I had been involved in an industrial accident and was disabled. They were kind enough to let me live with them and their family until I could get back on my feet. One of the requirements for living there was to attend church, which I had been doing anyway and they were happy with me, and I with them. I didn’t agree with the all of the church’s doctrine, but was willing to overlook it. I knew then as I still know, that there’s no such thing as a perfect church.

    Many people know the same and they accept the good with the bad. Me; I’m a bit different in that I go with the good things and address and try to change the bad. I’ve always been this way, and frankly, it ticks people off. Many get ticked off because they are comfortable with the easy flow of things and turning their heads to sin; and others get mad because they are the ones who are teaching false doctrine, are profiting by it and don’t want things changed. There is a small group of indifferent people who believe with all their hearts that there is good in everything, and that if a pastor is teaching something wrong, he will be taught by God about the mistake and will turn around and repent. I don’t doubt that some in authority are sensitive to the Word of God and His Holy Spirit, but they are few and far between. The people that I lived with were of the third group. They honestly believed that the pastor was in full control and was obeying the instruction of God. In some ways he was, but in others he wasn’t. It was sort of weird because the people would always talk about the pastor as if he were some sort of Messiah. While in other churches, the talk outside would start out with, “Jesus said,” the people in this church would always start out conversations by saying, “pastor **** says.”

    When I first started attending this church; which was about a year before I moved in with my couple friends, I noticed that it had factions. There were some families that were well to do financially and they had positions on the church board. That to me was the first warning. The second was that most of the people in the church were related in one way or another. I was an outsider and was under suspicion for quite some time before I was accepted. The folks who didn’t have money or status, and who were not on the board resented those who were. They for the most part sat on the left side of the church while the ones with status or authority sat on the right side. There was a rumor mill (in disguise of a prayer chain) that was pretty vast and acted with precision and at great speed. Another thing I noticed is that most of the men in the church were into sports, including the pastors and a lot of times sports dominated the conversation both inside and outside the church.

    I can remembering wondering out loud to the Lord one day; “Lord, why do you always put me in churches like this?” Two things came to mind right away. The first thing was that He put me in places with spiritual conflict so that I could be a warrior and help Him to get things straight. The second thing that came to mind was that He put me in these situations to teach me patience how to cope with a Church that in the last days would be in rebellion toward God. Well, He got me to do both things in this situation. The church I attended prior to this one was riddled with abuses by the pastoral staff both in monetary terms and personal relationship terms. That church destroyed the faith of many people, but not mine. In fact, it made me trust in God more and in people less. Too many people put pastors on a pedestal and then get hurt when the pastor acts out of some human frailty. I was guilty of this, and would never let it happen again.

    So I started this new church with a clean slate. I had a meeting with the pastor and told him where I was coming from; about the former church, it’s pastoral staff and their abuses. He was sympathetic and listened intently. I really think that he genuinely cared for my concerns. One of my biggest concerns was for the way that a church handles it’s financial affairs. My prior church had bled it’s parishioners to death in ways that would make the Internal Revenue Service want to send its officers there for training purposes. I told the pastor that I was uncomfortable about the practice of tithing and thought it to be an Old Testament practice. I expressed that it has been replaced with, “cheerful giving,” as spoken about in the New Testament and as orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, who is in the believer’s heart. He was fully comfortable with what I was saying and assured me that I would be under no compulsion to give a tithe.

    It wasn’t long before I was launched into ministries around the church. I was skilled at plumbing and electrical work so I offered to do those things around the church and my offers were always accepted. I thought of it as my ministry to the body of Christ. Then I started to teach the 5th and 6th graders in Sunday School once a month. Things were going great but behind the scene the rumor mill and the aristocracy of the church were out to get me. I know that the last sentence makes me look like some sort of conspiracy theorist, but let me explain.

    The first incidence happened one day, after having a hard time of teaching a bunch or renegade “Christian” children I made a comment to one of the other teachers that one of the kids upset me so much that I thought about kicking him under the table to get his attention. A week later I was called into a meeting of teachers and scalded about kicking the kid. I asked where this rumor had come from and the woman whom I had made my expression to a week earlier raised her hand. I asked her why she had lied and why she hadn’t remembered that I said that I wanted to kick the boy, but I didn’t actually do it. She admitted that she was wrong, but I got no apology either from her or any of the board members. An admission without an apology is not an apology. About that same time people in the church started to walk up to me and question why I was a tightwad and didn’t tithe. One guy, who noticed that I wore a Harley Davidson biker wallet (the kind with the chain that attaches to the belt) accused me of being chained to the god of mammon because I didn’t tithe.

    Now, I could have overlooked those things and I even laughed at the mammon comment, but the fact was that the pastor had betrayed my confidence and told others what I had told him in private. This was not good and I knew that if the top is corrupt then the rest are corrupt also. The family I was living with were starting to take a second look at me. The wife was the church secretary and the husband was on the church board, so it didn’t totally surprise me that I would be seen with an air of suspicion. It was time for Christmas to roll on in and I was still teaching the kids in the class. It was really neat because they were participating and asking for prayer and stuff. God was moving in the class. The church was adorned with all sorts of pagan idols; wreaths, boughs of holly and a humongous Christmas tree. The tree was so large that it had to have close to a third of it cut off so that it could fit into the church. Bear in mind that the church ceiling reached to about 30 feet in height. I thought, “wow, this church must be doing well to afford a tree like that.” But at the same time it angered me because trees have nothing to do with the birth of The Savior, and are pagan in origin. I’d have to look at that tree sitting upon the altar of the church for at least three weeks and I would not be a happy camper with it there. But, I realized that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that pagan traditions have been around the Church for many years and will be hard to get rid of, so I shrugged it off.

    It was also at this time that that the kids in the my Sunday School class were really getting into learning about Jesus. They were asking for prayer every Sunday and they were sharing with each other their concerns for their families, relatives and other things like school and such. If you know fifth and sixth graders you know that they don’t generally do things like that. So, I knew that the Lord was using me to work good things in these youngsters. One day, I found something that I wanted to pass out to each kid and I wanted to make copies for them to take home and study. I approached the assistant pastor and asked him for paper for the Xerox machine so that I could make those copies. He looked at me with a very serious face and said that they didn’t have any paper. He said that they were a poor church and couldn’t afford paper. Now remember, I had just seen that tree upstairs, so when he told me about the church being poor, I sort of snickered and that offended him. He asked me what I found funny about what he said, and I pointed upstairs. I asked if the tree was donated, or if the church bought it. He told me that the church had purchased the tree. I snickered again (it’s an alternative to blowing my top) and said, “now you know why this is a poor church.” He got mad and walked away.

    As well as I can figure it, he went to the church office steaming, and let the steam out by telling the church secretary. Now remember, that I was living with the secretary’s family. I knew that things would be coming to a boil soon, so I went to my favorite spot out by the creek. It was something that I did every morning to enjoy the Lord and to ask Him for advice in what to do and also to praise Him. So, this particular morning He told me to just roll with the punches and to be a good Christian, but not to be a jellyfish either. So, the fateful day came for this couple to try to “straighten me out.” I’ll skip the details, but basically, they went into telling me that I was unfaithful to God because I didn’t tithe, (which I never told either of them / the pastor strikes again) and that I was all messed up. We went round after round about the tithing thing and they challenged me to do a Bible study about it, which I did, much to their disdain.  So, when they had pretty well finished and I got to speak. I told them of the things that I had mentioned above and they really didn’t have answers. Then I threw out the gauntlet. I asked about the Christmas tree at the church. I said, “was that tree donated, or did the church buy it?” The wife looked down at the floor and said that the church had purchased it. I told her that the church practiced bad stewardship of the funds that it was entrusted with. I tried to explain that having paper for the Xerox machine so that I could teach the kids about Jesus was much more important than adorning the church with a pagan symbol. I also felt compelled to bring up the poor in the community and how all the money spent for a pagan symbol could have been used for food and clothing for those less fortunate.

    Well, the word “pagan,” must have lit the fuse because I was then accused of being judgmental. The word Pharasee was thrown my way several times (directed at me) and I was called many other things. But the one thing that stuck in my mind was the word, ‘judgmental.” I began to wonder if I was being too critical of things and perhaps I went too far. So, like all other things, I went to the best authority, The Bible, to see what it had to say about judging and being judgmental.

    You see, at the time that all of this was going about, the church was adopting another worldly practice called “political correctness,” in where care had to be taken not to offend anyone, because if you did tell them any truth that they found offensive, they would leave the church; at least that is the theory. This meant less revenue for the church and such. It also meant that the church was at the beginning of what scholars now call the “Laodicean Age of The Church.” The Church becomes lukewarm and ineffective because it doesn’t want to tell the truth and offend those who have itching ears. I didn’t want to be like the world, so I wanted to see what the ultimate authority says about correctly judging things, events and people. So, below is the study.

    Root Words and Such:

    Because this paper is dedicated to examining the term “judging” in a Christian context, we will be looking at scriptures from the New Covenant. Another reason I use only the New Covenant is that I know what some Christians are like, and if I quote scripture from the Old Covenant I will get letters from some who are very narrow minded and can’t understand that, “the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” Yes, there are still some out there who can’t see that, and they all seem to write to me.

    It’s important to realize that the Greek and English languages, although sharing some similarities in sentence structure and other things, have big differences where word meanings are concerned. For instance, the English language has commonized the word “love,” to mean many different things. There’s the love of a wife; there’s sexual love, the love of a brother and the love of country. One word is used for several meanings. On the flip side of the coin, the Greeks had specific words for specific acts. The word “philios,” relates to brotherly love. That’s why Philadelphia is called “the City of Brotherly Love.” The Greek word for sexual love is “eros,” which is where we get the word “erotic” from. I think you get the point. The New Testament that we use today came to us originally in the Greek language. Because of the English tendency to use one word for many meanings it can confuse people who are reading the Bible, especially if a word is taken out of context, or if the original Greek has been translated using one of many similar words that can be used to translate it. The same is true with the Greek words for judgment or judging.

    With the recent influx of immigrants to the United States I’ve seen personally what can happen when words are not taken in their context. A few years ago I was working with an Armenian immigrant who was a very nice lady. To her credit, she had learned English at lightning speed, but she needed some finishing work, especially where slang is concerned. One day she had come to work and it was quite evident that she’d been out in the sun too long the day before because her skin was a lobster like color. At one point she was absorbed in her work and I had to get her attention, so I decided to tap her shoulder. She responded in the best way that she thought possible and said, “don’t touch me, I’m hot!” I laughed and she got sort of mad at me until I was able to explain to her what her sentence could mean. I told her that it could mean that she was aroused. Then I told her that it could mean that she thought she was so good looking (hot) or perhaps that she was mad and didn’t want me to come near her. Or, it could have meant that she had a fever and didn’t feel good. I went on and on until she understood that Americans will put a slang to almost any word that exists.

    Greek Words And Meanings:

    The words that are used for “judge” in the New Testament are as follows, with their most used meanings:

    • Krites: (Strongs 2923) pronounced “kree-tace,” which means the person of a judge. 17 references in the New Testament – Always means a judicial person.
    • Krino: (Strongs 2919) pronounced “kree-noh,” which means to distinguish, decide or punish.

             88 references mean to “judge,” as in punishing.

             7 references mean to “determine,” as in deciding.

             5 references mean to “condemn,” which is self explanatory.

             2 references mean to go to law.

             2 references mean “to call into question.”

             2 references mean to “esteem,” as in to distinguish.

             8 references are miscellaneous.

             114 total references in the New Testament.

    • Dikastes: (Strongs 1348) pronounced “dik-as-tace,” which means a “judger.” Much like a jury person, one who weighs the evidence. In Athens, the dikastes were the jury whereas the Krites was the presiding judge.

           3 references in the New Testament, all meaning as mentioned above.

    • Anakrino: (Strongs 350) pronounced “an-ak-ree-no,” shich means to scrutinize, investigate, interrogate, determine or discern.

            6 references mean to “examine.”

            6 references mean to “judge,” – by way of truthful examination.

            2 references mean to “ask questions.”

            1 reference means to “search.”

            1 reference means to “discern.”

            16 total references in the New Testament

    • Kriterion: (Strongs 2922) pronounced “kree-tay-ree-on,” means rule of judging or tribunal.

            1 reference meaning “judge.”

            1 reference meaning “judgment.”

            1 reference meaning “judgment seat.”

            3 references found in the New Testament

    • Diakrino: (Strongs 1252) pronounced “de-ak-ree-no,” which means to separate thoroughly, to withdraw from, oppose, discriminate or hesitate.

            5 references mean to “doubt.”

            3 references mean to “judge.”

            2 references mean to “discern.”

            2 references mean to “contend.”

            2 references mean to “waver.”

            5 references are “miscellaneous.”

            19 references total in the New Testament

     

    So now we know of the words are used in the New Covenant that translate as “judge” in English. The “Strongs” numbers that you see right after the words above refer to the Strongs Concordance of the words of the Bible. The numbers are reference numbers. Use them if you wish to do your own study. Don’t ever believe what you read unless it can be backed up by the Word of God, that is, The Bible.

    In Matthew we read the following verses about judging:

    Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Matthew 7: 1-5

    The Greek word used in the scripture above is Krino. The context in which it is used is to punish, or perhaps belittle or criticize. In other words, Jesus was telling us that we should not be so willing to tell others about their wrongdoings, especially when we have greater wrongdoings in our own lives. A mote was a splinter and a beam is a large board. You’ll notice that Jesus didn’t banish judging someone, he just said that if one is a sinner, and guilty of sin, then they should clean up their own house before they go to another’s house to tell them how to clean. And remember, that people who live in glass houses, should never throw stones.

    If a person judges another person, but is guilty of greater sin, then they are hypocrites. Jesus ran into a lot of that type of people during His short life here on earth, and they were the ones that He scolded the most. The following will show you what Jesus thinks of those who judge unrighteously:

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. [Ye] blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men’s] bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:23-28

    What Jesus describes are people who appear to be pious on the outside, but are really messed up on the inside. In the passage, we see again something that is equal to the passage in Chapter 7 that we read just above. The Pharisees were masters of the Law of Moses, but they did one thing that angered God, in that they added to the Law to such an extent that it made the God’s Law a great burden to the common Israelite. They codified every one of God’s commandments down to the littlest quotient. If you read the Gospels, you will see how they tried to trap Jesus in some of their codes, which they had written as law. When Jesus healed people on the Sabbath, they tried to charge Him for doing so, claiming that He was working on the Sabbath, which was forbidden. That was one of the ways that they tried to trap Him, but he put them to shame every time. But you remember the scripture in Matthew 7 where Jesus tells us not to remove the splinter from the brother’s eye when there was a beam in our own. The same applies with the gnat and the camel. The Pharisee’s were so busy trying to enforce the stupid little rules that they made up, that they were missing the one big mistakes that they were making in their own lives. They were judging in an unrighteous manner, and had perfected it into an art form.

    I think that we can all relate to what Jesus was saying. Most of us will remember having a friend who had parents who would preach about the evils of drinking to their kids, but would go out and party every weekend with other adults. Many of us grew up observing adults using the old, “do as I say, but not as I do,” line and it had effects on us. I know that when I saw an adult do that, I lost all respect for them. It is the same with people who appoint themselves to judge in an unrighteous manner. Believing anything else that they say is taken with an air of doubt and all credibility is lost. So when one judges, they must do so with a clean slate and it can’t be done with belittling or condemnation, like the Pharisee’s did.

    The next scripture we will examine is quite interesting, because shows that the word Krino isn’t necessarily a judgment of condemnation, but the judgment before condemnation:

    Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Luke 6:37

    In the verse above, the word for “judge, ” is again Krino, but it takes on a different meaning. Because of the way that the sentence is presented, Krino here can’t mean to punish, and the only other context that makes sense is the “bring into question,” context. The word for condemn in the Greek is not listed above, but it is, “katadikazo,” pronounced (kat-ad-ik-ad’-zo) and it literally means to “give judgment against,” or to “condemn.” A good example of the above would be calling into question someone’s salvation. Let’s say that some Christian guy does something stupid like shoplifts some food at a store. He gets caught and word gets around the church of what he did. The first question that would pop into many minds is, “gee, I wonder if the guy is really a Christian.” That would be Krino in this case. The judgment part might then come into play, where the person pondering this would say, “no, he can’t be a Christian if he shoplifted because Christians don’t do such things.” In one thought process, the guy has been judged and condemned.

    Krino can be used in another fashion, as is illustrated in the following verse. The context of the verse is that Jesus was rebuking the people for the way that they interpreted the Law of Moses. They knew the Law, but didn’t live by the spirit of the Law. They were mocking Him because of the way that He taught them at the Temple and in answer to them, Jesus said:

    Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24

    In this verse, the word Krino takes on the context of being able to distinguish something as it truly is. So, my paraphrase of the this particular scripture is, “distinguish not according to appearance, but distinguish with righteous judgment.”

    I can best describe this by telling you a story of an actual event. I had the privilege of knowing a brother named Robbie Logue. Robbie was an elderly gentleman whom at a very young age had a severe fever that damaged his brain. The result was that he had the mentality of a five year old child. Robbie was a delight to be around because there wasn’t any falseness about him and he was pure. Robbie was the uncle to our pastor’s wife and so he would attend our church every Sunday and on Wednesday nights too. Robbie was a Christian and there was no doubt about it. When we worshiped in church, he would sing the loudest he could and he meant it with all his heart. The problem that some people in the church had was that Robbie didn’t know the words to most of the songs and he would make sounds that sounded similar, but didn’t quite match what everyone else was singing. He’d come to church usually in a long sleeve pullover shirt, slacks and rainbow suspenders and that, along with his singing upset people. Now, as I mentioned above, there was no question that Robbie loved Jesus, but he got looks from people during worship and all through the service who thought that he was a bother. These people judged Robbie, not by the wonderful heart that he had, and the way that he loved Jesus, but they judged him by the way that he couldn’t sing and the way that he dressed; directly opposite of what Jesus said in John 7:24. Old Rob died in the mid 1990’s and went straight to be with Jesus, because he loved Jesus, and he loved everyone he met with an unconditional love.

    Since the context of the scripture in John says that we are to judge; and judge here means to distinguish, then it is okay to judge from time to time, as long as it is done correctly. A few days each month, when the lunar cycle is right, you can see both the moon and the sun in the sky. I can look at the brighter one and say, “that is the sun.” True too I can look at the dimmer one and say, “that is the moon.” In doing so, I’ve distinguished between the two and made correct judgments. This can be done with people too, because Jesus tells us to beware of false prophets and those who would do us harm. He said that we will know them by their fruits, meaning we will know them by the actions and also their accomplishments. I’m not wrong in saying that Adolph Hitler was an evil person, and that Billy Graham is a good person. God gave each Christian a brain, and a spirit of discernment with which to determine things. So, to judge the action of a Christian by the fruit he or she produces or the way it impacts lives is not going against scripture or Jesus’ words.

    Another use of the word Krino can be found in 1 Corinthians:

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

    By today’s standards, Paul was being a judgmental person should be reprimanded. But Paul was addressing an issue here where the Church in Corinth was allowing people who were sexually immoral to attend services and instead of those people coming to Christ, the immoral people were corrupting the church. The context for the word Krino in the first verse means; “to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions.” Paul didn’t want to be a magistrate over those outside the church because he knew that in the ultimate end, that is God’s job. He did say however that those inside the Church should judge (decide on then punish) those in the Church who were not living a sanctified lives and who were sexually immoral. The punishment was to expel those people from the Church. Paul was saying that they were to use the discernment that the Holy Spirit had given them to make decisions, or judge.

    Later on, in chapter six of the same letter, Paul again admonishes the Corinthians to judge, telling them that it is okay to judge. I feel that the Church of Corinth must have had a lot of people running around calling others judgmental and that Christians were afraid to act, not knowing what correct judgment is. Paul had to write the scripture below because those in the Church were taking others in the church to secular courts. It was an affront to God that His people couldn’t take care of their own affairs and trusted the things of the Kingdom to heathen judges.

    If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another–and this in front of unbelievers!  1 Corinthians 6:1-6

    Where Paul is talking about us judging the world and angels, he uses the word Krino again. He’s basically saying that we will distinguish between right and wrong where the world is concerned and that we will punish the angels; referring to the evil angels that rebelled with Satan. But Paul uses a different word when he asks if there’s anyone among the Corinthians who is able to judge disputes between believers. He uses the word Diakrino here, which means to discern or contend. In other words, he’s saying, “Isn’t there any of you who can discern between right and wrong were disputes are concerned. Isn’t there anyone can make a decision then contend that that decision is correct?”

    I had occasion to see something like mentioned above. During lunch at work I watch television and there are a lot of litigation programs on the air at that time. One show had two women who claimed to be Christians and they were suing each other. It was such shame to see to of our sisters acting like little bickering children before a secular judge. I actually felt embarrassed for God during this whole scene. Had they not mentioned Jesus in court, I would have been fine with the trial. But as the trial went on, one claimed to hear from God more than the other, and then they both started to debate who was serving what God. Man, it was a mess, and a blight on God’s Kingdom. I could only imagine how God was hurt by that scene. We need to stay out of secular courts with out contentions against each other.

    So What Have We Learned?

    We’ve learned that it is perfectly acceptable to discern between right and wrong, and then to approach the people who are committing wrong (according to scripture) in a spirit of love and understanding. We are to confront such things in a Biblical manner in order to bring peace to the Church. We’ve learned that there is a wrong type of judgment; one that is critical and overbearing and that sort of thing is frowned upon by Jesus Himself. We’ve learned that if a brother or sister spurns rebuke, they are to be put through a battery of chances to repent, and then cast away if need be to preserve the integrity of the Church. And finally and foremost, when you approach a believer in a Godly fashion, and that believer tells you that you are being judgmental, critical or even a Pharisee, you can look them in the eye and say that it is perfectly well in God’s eyes to confront impropriety in God’s ranks.

     

    David Ben Yakov