God Means What He Says

Part of what has been driving our content for a while, now, is the prayerful consideration of feedback and conversations that our letters have been producing. An obvious ideology that seems to be a part of modern Christianity is the belief that one can accept God’s grace and the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua as a substitute for one’s sins and then continue to live a sinful life. Since no one, not even “saved” people (God and His angels know who His people are — Matthew 13:24-30,36-43), seem to be able to keep God’s Law, it would seem that at least some portion of this ideology must be true, or we are all doomed to eternal death and torment.

However, this truth does not negate the other truths of God’s Word. For example, as we hope that we have illustrated, previously, God’s Law (which is summarized as love for God and love for others — Matthew 22:37-40) is still in full effect (e.g., Matthew 5:17-20). Yes, it does not save and only condemns (when we break it), because no one keeps it (Romans 3:20,23). However, that did not stop Yeshua from telling us to keep His Commandments (e.g., John 14:15,21) and to teach others to keep them (e.g., Matthew 5:19Matthew 28:19-20).

One of the things that Ani and I have noticed is that the times when evil seems to prevail in our lives correspond pretty much exactly to when we knowingly choose to disobey some part of God’s Word. That is, when we knowingly engage in selfish behaviors that are clearly against God’s Word. After that, some form of torment inevitably seems to follow, just as James 4:7 seems to allude to. (James 4:7 says to resist the devil — that is not to obey him but to obey God — and the devil will flee from you. However, if you walk away from the foundation of God’s Word and obey the devil, you give place to the devil in your life, and he will then destroy anything in your life that he can — e.g., 1 Peter 5:8 and John 10:10.)

Our current understanding is that God’s elect will accept and be saved by Yeshua. Our salvation is not a result of any activity that we have engaged in but is the result of the atoning sacrifice that Yeshua has made. All of the false religions (which include Christian cults likes of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islam, Mormons, etc.) fail the test of the spirits (e.g., 1 John 4:1-3). That is, they deny the real Yeshua and attempt to replace Him with one of their own creation, which is idolatry. However, believing in an idol will not save you. Only Yeshua can save you, and denying the Son of God also denies God the Father. (As a human father, if someone denies your son, will you receive the person who denied him?)

There is another form of idolatry that is much more insidious and much less obvious but probably just as spiritually deadly as walking on an “obviously” false path. When one decides to accept part of God’s Word yet, for whatever reason, decides to omit or change another part of God’s Word, what is he or she doing? Well, the Bible says that Yeshua is the Word of God (John 1:1-5,14). So, if we decide to accept one aspect of Yeshua and deny another aspect of Him, are we not doing the same as the likes of Islam, which acknowledges Yeshua but denies His deity — that is, making up our own Yeshua (one that pleases us)? That seems like idolatry to me.

When we call Yeshua our Lord, that means that He tells us what to do, where to go, how to behave, etc. He leads our life in the way that He wants it to go. If Yeshua is our Lord, He will mold and shape us. However, if obeying some part of His clearly articulated Word feels too difficult or uncomfortable or undesirable to do, a common “resolution” is to is to deny, omit or change that part of God’s Word (Proverbs 16:2), rather than to submit to and, thus, be changed by it. Unfortunately for those who would do so, changing God’s Word equates to trying to change God (since He is the Word — e.g., John 1:14), but God is unchanging (e.g., Hebrews 13:8 and Psalm 102:25-27). So, changing God’s Word really equates to making one’s self his or her own god — that is, the idolatry of Satan (Isaiah 14:13-14).

So, rather than trying to invent a new god or change the true God, why not just submit to God (Yeshua), and do what He says? It is all right there in His Word, and He means every word of it.


Four Carpenters

We came across some teachings by David Brennan that were quite intriguing and, if correct, would seem to make many pieces of the prophetic puzzle, laid out in God’s Word, fit together. For example, he asserts that the four horns described in Zechariah 1:18-21 are the so called Quartet of nations (which is really all of the nations on the earth save, arguably, for three).

Also, if his assertions are correct, then it is truly the actions of the nations in regards to dividing up the land of Israel that have led (and will continue to lead) to the various monumental natural and other disasters of our time. Unfortunately, Israel is not always innocent in these undertakings, since they also have no right to divide up God’s land (e.g., Joel 3:2). Israelis are to possess the land, not relinquish it (e.g., Genesis 17:8Leviticus 20:24Numbers 33:53Deuteronomy 1:8, etc.). Thus, their actions (of failing to trust God and choosing a peace offered by man over the true peace and protection of the God of Israel) may imply the impetus behind some of the coming horrors that Jerusalem is to face (e.g., Zechariah 14:2).

This understanding does seem to offer up a cause for most everything that takes place on the planet, since this, along with the understanding that individual sins lead to individual consequences (and, unfortunately, often include negative impacts upon others), illustrates that every form of disobedience to the Word of God has consequences. Thus, even this brings glory to God, as it shows yet another aspect of His wonderful creation and the order that He has built into it (which, unfortunately, some claim to be a form of disorder or randomness).


The Scriptures

Ani and I were gifted a version of this Bible translation a few Sabbaths ago, and, so far, we really appreciate various aspects of it:


The Current International Date Line

What does the date line have to do with Sabbath keeping Christians? For people living in countries west of Jerusalem, probably nothing. However, for people living in countries east of Jerusalem, it may imply that they are keeping the Shabbat on the “wrong” (i.e., man-made) day, ahead of Jerusalem, instead of on the seventh day as defined by God when He created the world.

For example, the article entitled, “The International Date Line,” by Roscoe Lamont (in PDF format) illustrates that Samoa kept two consecutive days as Monday, July 4, 1892 (i.e., did not advance the day to Tuesday, July 5, 1892 after the first Monday, July 4, 1892). Thus, after the second Monday, July 4, 1892, the day that would have been Saturday is now Sunday, and any Sabbath keepers in Samoa would have started the Sabbath ahead of Jerusalem when they had previously started it after Jerusalem. So, assuming that the previous system was “correct,” then a Shabbat keeper in Samoa should probably now keep the Shabbat from Saturday at dusk to Sunday at dusk.

This all begs the question, “Where is God’s date line?” Honestly, we are not certain. However, since Jerusalem is the city of God (e.g., Zechariah 14:8,16-17 and Isaiah 66:20), it would seem probable that it might run through or somewhere near to Jerusalem, in which case Jerusalem would be the first place on earth to start the new day (when the sun sets upon it)…

Christian Calls to Action

Here some petitions that will not take much time for you to “sign” but which could benefit the advance of God’s Kingdom:

Some Interesting Links (Primarily Videos)

  • 180 Movie (please forward this link to others)

 God bless, and Shabbat shalom,

Darwin and Ani