I was praying about what to write in this entry of Bai-Ya-Mim and Yahweh brought my cousin Larry to mind. He showed me how the story of Larry’s life has meaning for Yeshua’s Church and those who think that the great taking away (Harpazo) is so very near. Will we soon be snatched away in what some call the “Rapture,” or is there something that will keep that thing from happening anytime in the near future. I know that if Larry was here to consult about using his life for this lesson he would agree that it is a well needed lesson that the Church at large needs to learn. So Larry, now I will present your life in an encapsulated story and I’ll let Yahweh use your life as the illustration that everyone needs to hear.
As many of you know I grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey. East Rutherford was a small town with big town problems. Located only five miles due west of Manhattan Island, New York meant that the problems of the big city could not be avoided in our little town.
My dad was one of three brothers; the youngest in hierarchy which is a bad mark in an Italian American family and being born a little over a year after the Great Depression started didn’t help him either; but these things made him tough. The next in line was my uncle John; a wonderful and gregarious man whom I often looked up to. Although time has tamed him he once was a hellion that liked the best of everything; big cars, big houses and he could always be found in a bar buying drinks for several of his friends.
John married Lois in the early 1950’s and in 1957 Lois gave birth to my cousin Larry. As fate would have it, Larry would be their only child; Lois having lost her first baby in a miscarriage. We all lived very close like many Italian families do. My grandfather built a house on a little side street in East Rutherford and above a row of eight or nine garages he built two apartments; one for Uncle John and his family and one for my dad and his family. Lois was a strange bird, you couldn’t tell what her mood was. One day she would like you and the next day she would loathe you. She was probably bi-polar but little was known about those things back then; people like her we just labeled as being moody.
Larry and I were best friends as well as cousins. When his mom was in a good mood we were allowed to play together and other times she would yell at Larry for being in my company. One thing was for certain, Lois didn’t like my mother and although we could never figure out why that was, people just accepted it as one of her quirks and my mom learned to live with it.
Both John and my dad were plumbers and work was pretty plentiful back then so our families lived quite well. We didn’t lack for anything except for times when my dad was out of work, but looking back Yahweh always fed us and clothed us. If any of us was privileged more it was Larry. He had just about every toy he ever wanted and if he did do anything bad his mother would reprimand him; but his dad would countermand her correction and heap blessings on Larry. In a nutshell, Larry was spoiled.
In the late 1960’s my parents saw how the neighborhood was declining and my folks decided to buy a home in what people in New Jersey call, “down the shore.” They bought a nice home for less than twenty thousand dollars, brand spanking new and it was only about three miles from the seaside attractions. The name of the town was Toms River; and we loved it there. The air was clean; no more smelling the factories and refineries of North Jersey. The water was clean and pure and the climate was a little less intense in the winter than the winters in North Jersey.
The bad part about moving was that I was moving away from Larry. Sure, I had other friends, but Larry was like a brother, and I was leaving my brother behind. He did come to visit from time to time; sometimes staying for a couple of weeks during the summer, but it was not the same. As Larry grew he met more friends and started to hang around with people that liked to party. They would steal liquor from their parents or acquire it by other means and then they would find the home of someone whose parents were gone for the weekend or longer.
In the early seventies my parents started to have marital trouble and they finally divorced. Dad moved back up to North Jersey and mom, my sister and I stayed in Toms River. It was different not having dad around; I felt like a minority; one guy in a house with two females and the bathroom was pink in our little apartment; god I hate that color. After a year or two my mom met a gentlemen named Bill. He was a nice guy but was a little too much of an authoritarian for me and besides I didn’t want some other guy playing the father role for me; so after a lot of nagging it was agreed that I would go to live with my dad. This was great because I would be hanging round with Larry again.
It was good to be around my cousin again. I did notice however that he had changed a bit. He was becoming more defiant toward his mother and would even laugh at her when she would try to correct him. I knew that this was bad behavior, but Lois was a nutcase I surmised and Larry was just rebelling against a crazy woman. I would later realize that my assertion was wrong, very wrong. Larry’s dad bought a large motor-home and parked it on my grandfather’s property. It became the party place for everyone to get wasted in. We’d draw the curtains and nobody knew that we were in there; life was perfect, so to speak from a 1970’s teenager’s point of view.
Larry and I got to spend a year hanging out together and then the time came for dad and I to move to California. Dad’s oldest brother Warren lived there as well as his mom and dad plus dad heard that work was booming out west so in May of 1974 we packed up the car and started our drive. I didn’t hear much from Larry while in California for the first three or four years. He did come out one year with the intent of moving west with his parents, but his mom didn’t like California so they all moved back to New Jersey. In 1977 I graduated High School in Vacaville, California and took various jobs but there really wasn’t any work to start getting serious about. Landing a job working for some Texans who were working an electrical shutdown at a refinery helped me to make some money and when the job ended I took my dad’s advice and drove back to New Jersey in the summer of 1978 where I landed a job working for a small electrical contractor.
I got hooked up with Larry again, which was pretty easy seeing that I was staying with him and his parents. Larry had changed over those years. He had graduated from liquor to marijuana and some of the harder drugs; some quite dangerous, like angel’s dust and cocaine. It wasn’t long before I learned that Larry was dealing dope but it didn’t bother me; no, as a matter of fact I liked his side job because he’d always come home with free “samples” so I really never had to pay to get high. Larry and his mother barely talked because he saw her as the authoritarian, but he loved his dad who always threw money at him. Who could blame my uncle; this was his only child; his firstborn and only son. It’s too bad that Larry didn’t listen more to his mother; it could have kept him from a lot of grief.
Spring had arrived in 1979 and party season started again too. Larry had some people over one night when his folks were gone for the weekend and they had barely left when the kids came over and the mirrors came out on the table. Larry brought me into the kitchen where there were two lines of white power on a mirror. He told me that they were coke so I wasted no time snorting it up my nostrils. This was different though, it burned badly and then I started to feel bad. I sat in my uncle’s favorite leather recliner and we all settled in to watch Saturday Night Live on television. After a short while I realized that I had an incredible urge to urinate but I felt paralyzed. I could not talk nor could I move out of the chair to use the restroom. I remember praying that I wouldn’t urinate in uncle John’s chair. After a while I was able to get up and stumble into the bathroom where I completed my long overdue chore. I looked into the mirror and beheld myself, looking like I was dead; pale white with dark black rings around my eyes; I was mortified. I knew that I had to make a big life’s change.
It was around this time that we received a phone call early one morning. I answered the phone and it was the police in a town called Fairfield, New Jersey. They were calling to tell us that Larry was in jail; he had been arrested with a lot of “controlled substances” in his possession. I woke my uncle up and my aunt woke up too. John got on the phone and talked to the police and said that he’d be right there to bail Larry out. Lois became very angry. She yelled at John to leave Larry in jail, suggesting that it would teach him a lesson and get him straight. John didn’t listen though, so I went with him to Fairfield to get Larry out of jail.
It was also at this time that I was told by my uncle (a different uncle) that the narcotics squad was following me around. I was scared out of my wits and when I explained these things to Larry he just dismissed it. He found an apartment above a bar where we could move and we’d be away from the restraint of parental authority. We could party all the time he said. This bothered me; I had to get away. Fortunately my maternal grandmother lived the next block over and when I explained to her everything that was going on she agreed to let me live there. This angered Larry a lot; he felt betrayed. I was going to share the rent in this new apartment and my leaving put him in a bind. Larry’s dad picked up the slack and helped Larry with the rent that I would not be paying. Larry was pulled out of a mess again.
Meanwhile, my dad got wind of what had gone on and he sent me some money so that I could drive back to California but on one condition; that I bring my sister with me when I came there. That is another interesting story that I won’t elaborate on here. I was in California about two months and ran into this guy named Art who always told me about Yeshua throughout the years; how I could get my life straightened out and such. In July of 1979 I gave in and asked Yeshua into my life and repented of my sins.
About two years later Larry came west for a visit; driving his Chevy Blazer; the truck his dad brought for him. I can remember so vividly on day when we were driving to Fairfield, California to visit another cousin I told Larry about my new faith. Larry looked at me with what I can only describe as a demonic glare and swore “I will never ever do that. I don’t need Jesus.” This bothered me because I loved Larry like a brother and wanted him to have what I had with Yeshua. I prayed even right then that Yeshua would forgive Larry and would begin to show him just how much he needed Jesus.
Late that summer Larry went back to New Jersey and we lost touch for a few years. One year in the late eighties he did come back to visit but he was a mess. His dad sent him to California to get him away from the bad influences in New Jersey but that didn’t work. All Larry wanted to do was get high and although some of my relatives liked that too, Larry took it to excess and it caused him to come into disfavor with many in the family. My apartments wouldn’t allow visitors for more than two weeks so I had to ask Larry to leave after that time. He went to live with another relative and was asked to leave after he was caught teaching my other cousin’s children how to shoplift from the local mini-mart. So, Larry went back to New Jersey. There were rumors that he just continued to get into trouble and I heard that he even spent a couple of years in Rahway Prison. In the mid nineties I heard from my grandmother (maternal) who had run into Larry who was crying while sitting on the front step of some building. I never stopped praying for Larry, and that prayer payed off.
In 1999 my dad went into the hospital for what was supposed to be a successful surgery and after three months in intensive care Yeshua took him to Paradise. Dad’s desire was to be cremated so I made those arrangements. Dad had always said that he wanted to go one more time to a lake where he taught me how to fish; Lake Wawayanda in New Jersey. I felt led to bring his ashes there so that he could be in his favorite place. I had called Larry to let him know that dad had passed and Larry told me that I could stay with him while I was there. I was sort of apprehensive about this given Larry’s past, but my Uncle John had assured me that Larry was on the mend and that he had changed. Hmmm, I wondered how that happened.
When I got to New Jersey I just drove around the old haunts until Larry got home from work. Larry greeted me with a big hug. He had changed so much. You could see how the drug abuse and his lifestyle had aged him so much. He had scars on his face from what must have been knife fights; but he was overweight, which was good because it meant he was off of the drugs. Larry told me about his girlfriend named Marcia who was asleep in the other room. He said that she had Lupus and that she was having a flare-up during that time. She came out later and we talked. I found out that she was a born again Christian that was just coming back from a backslidden state; she was on the mend too. Later that week, when she and I were alone she told me how she had been witnessing to Larry about Yeshua and how he was responding favorably. He hadn’t made any decisions yet, but he was listening. When it came time for me to return to California I assured Larry that we would not fall out of touch again, and I told Marcia that I would be praying for her and thanked her for loving Larry and for letting Yeshua work through her.
Well to progress with this story in short order, let me say that the miraculous happened. I did keep in touch with Larry; calling him many times. Each time I would get Marcia on the phone to get a progress report, and sometimes she would call me to tell me of more wonderful things that were going on. One day we talked and she told me that Larry had started to pray with her every night. He was acknowledging prayer and that there was a God who answered prayer. A few months later Marcia told me that Larry was reading his Bible. Then, a couple of months later Marcia told me that Larry had asked Yeshua into his heart. In her excited words, “well guess what, you’re cousin is Born Again now.” We both cried on the phone. As the months went by Larry and I shared a lot. He would call me all the time to ask me questions about the Bible, about Jesus and a whole bunch of different things.
Two or three years had gone by and Larry called me one day. He was crying and I could tell that he was very sad. He called to tell me that Marcia had died. What he had kept secret all of those years was that Marcia really had AIDS. She had been raped by three men behind the fire station in East Rutherford back in the 80’s and the HIV quickly became AIDS. She had been embarrassed all of those years and didn’t want people to know about her shaming. We cried together that day on the phone.
Larry had nothing left in New Jersey so he decided to move down to Florida to be near his father. Uncle John bought him a mobile home in a nice park and Larry was settling into life outside of New Jersey; which isn’t easy, trust me. Larry was in bad health. It wasn’t just the years of drug abuse that racked his body; but working as a pipefitter wreaked havoc on his knees to where he had severe arthritis and was in pain most of the time. In New Jersey the doctors had placed him on Oxycodone and it relieved his pain. When he moved to Florida however the doctors were leery of having him on that drug and switched him to regular morphine which really didn’t work. This was around the time when Rush Limbaugh had been caught “doctor shopping” for narcotics and a lot of doctors were frightened about giving out powerful narcotics. Larry, still being in pain sought out another doctor who accused him of doctor shopping, and that doctor alerted other doctors about Larry; whose only guilt was wanting to be pain free. Larry suffered much under Florida doctors.
I called Larry in October of 2006. The Yankees were in the World Series playoffs and we talked about that for a little while. Larry told me that he was going to cook up some food, sit down with a couple of beers and watch the game. I got a call from my Uncle John the next day asking me when the last time I talked to Larry was. I told him that I talked to him the previous day. Uncle John started to cry and told me that he found Larry dead in his home the day before. I don’t see Larry as the sort of person who would take his own life. My speculation is that the years of drug abuse had taken their toll. My guess is that Larry took some of his morphine for the pain in his knees and with the two beers it was just too much for his fragile system to handle and his heart probably just stopped working.
Okay, so now you’re wondering why I told you the story above, right? Maybe you’re thinking that it was wonderful that Larry finally came to the truth, and that is so true. You’re probably thinking that it was terrible what he had to go through in order to come to the truth, and that is true also. The thing is that it is my unswerving belief that just as Scripture points out in so many places, we are predestined before the foundation of the forming of creation to becomes sons and daughters of Yahweh. With that in mind, people like Larry, and many of us for that matter need to be brought down to the lowest possible denominator before we finally realize that we do not have the answers, and that the only answer is a relationship with the Father, through Yeshua. We have to go through the sewer to realize that the sewer is not the place that we want to be and it is not the place that we are destined for.
Larry was given everything as a child; his mistakes were overlooked and his transgressions were never brought up. He was on a collision course with narcissism and a sociopathic personality, but Yahweh had other plans. Larry was treated like royalty by his dad and he became a spoiled brat as a child and as an adult, because he was never corrected about his actions, he became arrogant and self centered. The only person who saw it and could do something about it; his mother, was spurned by Larry and he ridiculed her and mocked her. Larry’s dad also spurned his wife, making himself look like the good guy and making her look like the cruel authoritarian. Even after his short span of years as a believer in Yeshua, Larry never came to terms with his mother and her love her for son. His end was glorious, but the majority of years of Larry’s life were tragic.
When we look at the Western Church we see the same sort of thing. Most of the people in Europe and the America’s who call themselves Born Again believers in Yeshua have had a relatively easy life. There really has been no persecution like we see in Asia or the Muslim world. We’ve had food, clothing and shelter for sure, but many if not most of us have had far above what our brothers and sisters in the rest of the world have. We’re constantly bombarded by radio, television, billboards and the internet; these things telling us that everything that we have is sub-par and that we really need what they are selling. We’ve been conditioned so much so by the wickedness of the world that we accept things that our grandparents would have found utterly atrocious and wicked.
Just tonight a friend and I were talking about such things. We were talking about about how believers have become so watered down that they accept things like Harry Potter into their homes and then just excuse it as being harmless. If I hear from one more supposed believer in Yeshua telling me how such things are just fantasy and not harmful I think I will lose my lunch right there and then. The Church has become so obsessed by “grace” that they seem to use it as a password to enter some sort of “immune” room where everything is permitted and all infractions are excused. Christians forget the words of Yeshua when he instructed people after healing them that they should “go and sin no more.”
This watering down of our faith has led to some bizarre and outlandish claims that should have alarm bells going off within the whole Christian community. Just a couple of years ago I read on the Drudge Report that there was a woman who wanted to learn pole dancing so that she could work as a dancer in strip clubs and witness to the women there. Then there was the woman who wanted to become a prostitute so that she could minister to the ladies of the night. Right here in Sacramento I heard of one woman who would steal from stores so that she could get arrested and be able to witness to the inmates at the jail. I guess she never heard of a “prison ministry.” One woman who went to my church was getting into tattoo’s and her excuse was that she wanted to witness to people with tattoos. When I asked her about a scripture that she had inked into her back she said that it helped her to witness. I asked her how many people she led to Messiah because of the tattoo and her reply was; “well, it sows a lot of seeds.” It was a cop out; the woman was a witch in our church and later left to attend to her black arts; not to mention that she became a lesbian. She didn’t let the seeds get planted into her own heart so how could she think that she could sew seeds into the ground of others.
The problem is that many people are dimming their lights so that they can “supposedly” witness to the lost. What they don’t realize is that we’re supposed to have those lights burning brightly, not put under a bushel. Dimming a light only allows more darkness, it never brings more light. This is what the Vatican has been doing for hundreds of years. They bring a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. That is why pilgrims get bloody knees walking on their knee into a church and so many other pagan symbols are interwoven into what is supposed to be a holy and sanctified group of Christians. The Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia is experiencing persecution from the Moslems; not because of the cause of Messiah, but because they are using the name of Allah to describe the God of Abraham, Yitzak and Yaacov. Frankly, it ticks me off too, seeing that Allah is a pagan moon god and has nothing to do with Yahweh, except to being a vastly inferior polar opposite.
Those of us who live where it gets cool or cold during the winter know what I am about to say is true. Because of the cold we tend to weatherproof our homes so that the cold air cannot get in. We do such a good job that the air becomes stale. We get lulled into a sense of nasal bliss ever so slowly that we can’t smell that perhaps the garbage is stinking up the house or the dishes in the sink need attention because they smell. If someone comes in from the clean fresh air they notice it immediately. This is the problem with the Body of Mashiach today; so wallowed in her own filth that she cannot even recognize the state that she is in.
Just this month the false shepherd Joel Olsteen did what most devout believers in Yeshua would call the final straw. Mr. Olsteen had as a guest to his church Oprah Winfrey, an avowed New Ager who on her own show has cast dispersion on Messianic doctrine and has categorically stated that “there are many ways to God.” Sorry, if you call Yeshua a liar then you are a bigger liar; Yeshua said the opposite; “He is the only way.” People like Olsteen, Bentley (don’t even get me started on this schmuck), and so many others, are so blatantly filled with the antiChrist spirit that anyone with just a fraction of an ounce of discernment can see them for who they are; yet the willfully ignorant flock to them like the Germans flocked to Hitler in the 1930’s. These men are messianic in nature; meaning that they have a messianic charisma, but their fruit gives them away to anyone who has prayed for wisdom.
Now, let me ask you a question. I’m assuming that many of you are moms or dads or that you are siblings of someone. Let’s suppose that your son, or your brother were to bring home some woman that he met in a bar the previous night. Let’s say that she has tattoos, piercings, that she has a mouth that would make a sailor blush and she’s dressed like a hooker. Now let’s say that your son or brother comes in with this creature and says that this is the woman that he has fallen in love and he’s going to marry. Would anyone who has the best interest for his son or brother not raise an objection? Wouldn’t you categorically state, “man, you have to be kidding, and if you’re not, we object and do not support this decision.” You couldn’t let them live in your home because that would be technically giving your approval to this most unholy union and you probably would tell your son to move out and only come back when he gets his head straight.
Transfer this story now to the son being Yeshua and the parent being Elohim. Imagine the look on the Father’s face if Yeshua tried to present the modern Church to Him. It just could not happen. Now I know that I’m going to tick some people off pretty soon with what I am about to say, but it needs to be said. If you’ve made it this far you’re to be commended. I can assure you that EVERYONE reading this has been flirting in some way with the world or you’re given over to the world. Like scripture says, “all have sinned.” I get to talk to a lot of believers on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis and I can attest that everyone is having problems somewhere in their walk of faith and that in most cases, the wounds are self inflicted. We’re told that Yeshua died for our sins, and we know that in our hearts to be true because Yahweh said it and Yeshua proved it. But what about the things that we’re enticed to do through worldly friends, radio or television or even movies that we see. How much leaven enters in each time. Leaven is a parasite, it infests things until its host is taken over and the host finally dies.
But what about the Church in other lands; like the Moslem World and in places worldwide where believers are persecuted. The Church in those lands is thriving, growing and pure. Remember the phrase, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop?” The people that are being persecuted do not have idle minds. They’re too busy praying for each other, holding clandestine Bible studies and Church groups and wondering if they will be alive ten minutes from now. Do you know that the Church in China has been praying for persecution to come to the Church in America? Do you know why? It is because they know that persecution brings about purity. It is the smelter’s fire that heats up the metal so that the dross can be removed; it is the metal-smith’s fire that makes the sword hard and it is the chastising that brings about holiness.
The Church in America and the Western World is like my cousin Larry was before he came to faith in Yeshua. We’ve been given everything that we need and even worse, everything that we want. Larry’s mother, although strange as she was, wanted to give Larry what he needed; his father gave him what he wanted. He spurned his mother because the attraction for more and more overtook him. His father told him that everything was acceptable and so do the false pastors and prophets of the church. Larry accepted the lie and so does the church and as the saying goes, “on the road to hell the devil will give you all green lights.” The prosperity gospel is one of those roads and there are plenty more. Who is programming your GPS?
Now here is what is going to make some you hate me; will make others write reviling letters to me and will make still others probably pray against me. How on earth could anyone think that the American or Western church be taken in a Pre-Trib rapture knowing that Yeshua’s bride looks like the woman that I mentioned above. Just like my cousin Larry had to go through twenty five years of hell before he was brought down to his lowest denominator, so too the church will have to be brought through a refiner’s fire. How dare we think that we, who have suffered nothing, are more worthy than the believers in China, Asia and Islamic nations. How dare we think that we are somehow more enlightened and more favored than our brothers and sisters in those places. No, it is not going to happen. The believers in the Americas and western nations will have to go through a purification, a cleansing so much so that we feel blessed just getting food and shelter for one day and that Yahweh has been gracious to let us live one more day.
Do you want to know something else? Everyone wonders where the signs and miracles are. Some point to the false preachers and prophets and say, “see, they perform signs and wonders.” Well, so did Jannes and Jambres in Pharaoh’s court and so will the AntiChrist. Gold dust, gold tooth fillings, diamonds and angels feathers are not signs and wonders from Yahweh. We’ve already got the promise; the Ruach Ha Kodesh, who gives us the Holy things that we need, when we need them. But you know what else? Reports of healings, people being raised from the dead and many other things are coming from the believers that are being persecuted, raped, killed and eradicated. Gee, what’s the difference? They have nothing but their trust in Yahweh and they don’t know if they’ll be alive tomorrow or if they’ll be with Yeshua two days from now. The things of Yahweh are given to the people of Yahweh who are obedient, contrite and humble; who have crushed spirits and their only possession is their faith in Yahweh.
My God, the arrogance of people who make a claim that a wanton whore of a church will be whisked away from such things has always ticked me off. So you might hate me now, you might not want to talk to me or you might call me a pagan or a man lacking faith because I’ve said these things; but I promise you one thing; you’ll have a chance to still feel the same after the man of perdition is revealed. Don’t get confused with wrath. It is certain that we’re not appointed to Yahweh’s wrath, but believers in Yeshua have received the wrath of the world and the god of this world for two thousand years and we will continue to receive that wrath until Yahweh intervenes, says that He’s going to send His wrath against mankind and as far as I can see in Scripture, that comes at the last Trumpet in Revelation. Yeshua promised to rescue us before His wrath, but not the wrath of others.
In the mean time, while you’re frothing at me here is something that we all need to do. Yeshua told us to evangelize the world and he told us to love one another. We need to be doing those things. Secondly, we need to seek righteousness and holiness; to seek Yahweh’s face in all matters and to repent of our sins and pray for renewal. Only when the people of Yahweh have been humbled and only when they are being obedient will they be clean enough to be presented to Aveinu (the Father) as the Bride Without Spot or Wrinkle. Okay, now let the stone throwing commence.