Initial Perceptions of the United States
Upon arriving back in the U.S., my first observation was that I was looking upon a country in the state of decay. Roads that were once well maintained were deeply cracked and filled with potholes. Even the interiors (including the bathrooms) of most of the establishments that we visited were poorly maintained. Also, the people (from the government employees at the airport to workers at just about ever establishment that we patronized) seemed to be lacking that American “spark” that once was so typical.
However, when interacting with people, we sensed a reason for hope. The hearts of many of the people who we interacted with did not seem so self-centered and self-focused as they may have previously been. Also, many people seem to be thankful for the blessings that they do have. (Whereas, before I left the U.S., about two years ago, it seemed commonplace to observe people complaining about the minuscule flaws in the abundance that they may have had.) Furthermore, when sharing the good news of Yeshua, most of the people who we talked with seemed to indicate that they already had a personal relationship with Lord Yeshua, sometimes enabling us to have deeper discussions about how to more completely walk in the ways of Yeshua and how to draw even closer to Him.
Also, even in America’s current condition, we have concluded that it is still probably the most blessed (by God) nation on the earth that either of us has seen (in terms of material goods and services). Thus, God must not have completely turned His back on America, yet. Indeed, Ani and I cannot help but suspect that God is actively engaged in the process of answering His people’s prayers of revival for the U.S.A.
We have heard songs proclaiming that Jesus is Lord in Burger King and Home Depot — places where the word “Christmas” (not to mention Jesus or Christ) was off limits before I left the country. Even on the trolley back from dropping off our rental car, I overheard a sister in Christ ministering to a homeless lad, openly and proudly proclaiming her love for Jesus, the Lord. New Christian bookstores have opened up, and people seem to have a renewed interest in Yehovah, the God of Israel, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Beyond that, unlike just about every other “western” country that we have read about or visited, there seem to be no burqa clad women nor pushy Muslim men to be seen in public. In New Zealand, for example, one would have to assume (from the sheer number and boldness of Muslims in public) that it is not far behind France or England in terms of being overrun by Islamic invaders. However, perhaps, like Israel, God is holding back the enemies of His people in America, at least for now.
My strong recommendation for each of you who love Yehovah Elohim is to continue to pray for God to bring complete revival to the United States of America and to work to support our brothers and sisters in Yeshua Ha’Mashiach who are battling against the forces of darkness that seek to overtake and overthrow America by expunging God from the land. Furthermore, seek a renewed relationship with Yeshua, including a renewed commitment to turn from your own evil ways and to walk ever more fully in God’s Way, which is love for God and for our fellow human beings.
Some Fundamental Problems with the Modern Church
During one of our Sabbath Day discussions, today, Ani and I attempted to articulate a few of the subtle yet major problems with the church (and, thus, church goers), today. One serious flaw is that many pastors seem to wrongly teach that God’s Law is a curse and has been done away with, which are each not true (Matthew 5:17-20).
The truth is that when one breaks God’s Law, he or she comes under the curse of the Law. That is true for God’s Law and for human law. However, that does not make God’s Law or human law something that is bad. Without human law (much of which is based upon God’s Law), society would descend into chaos. Similarly, without God’s Law, people’s selfishness could grow unabated.
However, God’s Law leads to life (e.g., Psalm 119:89-96,40-56, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 34:11-14). It shows us how to act in love towards one another and towards God, and it points the way to Yeshua (that is, our need for Him to make atonement for our many transgressions of God’s Law).
Another fundamental problem that we have noticed is that many Christians seem to elevate Paul and his teachings above Yeshua and His teachings. (That is nothing new, and Paul, himself, warned against doing so — e.g., 1 Corinthians 1:12-17.) Many do this in spite of the fact that Paul’s teachings are difficult to understand (2 Peter 3:15-18) and there are many other related teachings that are much more straightforward which easier to interpret properly.
The fact of the matter is, we, as Christians, are not supposed to be divided (e.g., John 17:11,20-23). We will have different understandings about many things, including parts of God’s Word. However, as long as we each acknowledge that Yeshua is our Lord and Master, including the fact that He is God and the only Way to God the Father, we are all part of one body, which is Yeshua (Galatians 3:28). Thus, the importance of the particular church that we go to in order to fellowship with other believers seems far less important than most believe, while keeping God’s Law (that is showing love for God and for others) is far more important that most seem to believe.
God’s Promise for Prosperity
This Shabbat morning, I decided to read Isaiah 58, again, as used to be my practice, every Sabbath morning. This time, when I read it, I felt the need to share it with you.
Isaiah 58 gives some clear promises from God about how to enable your light to break forth, your healing to come quickly, and your righteousness to go before you. It also tells how to obtain expedient replies to your calls to Yehovah. It describes how to conduct yourself so that Yehovah will guide you continually, strengthen you and satisfy you even in drought. It outlines how you can be like a well watered garden whose waters never fail and how to raise up a foundation for your future generations.
So, what does it say that you must do in order to have such a blessed life? Well, it is pretty simple. You should love the poor, the hungry, the downtrodden and the outcasts.
Right now, in America, there seem to be a lot of people in need of something. So, finding someone to help should be pretty easy to do. The question is, will you give up a bit of your own comfort in order to help to comfort someone else?
This is your chance to go and bring esteem to the name of our Lord and Savior. So, the next time that you come across someone who is hungry or thirsty, feed him or her. If you see someone in need of clothes, take him or her to the store and buy him or her some new clothes. Perhaps even bring some poor outcast to your house.
For some, these might seem like uncomfortable things to do. However, God clearly wants you to do them (e.g., Isaiah 58), and God does them (and more) for you.
Some Related Teachings
- Let’s Try It His Way (Don Poest) — seems good save for two obvious errors: (1) God’s Sabbath is the seventh day, not the first day, and (2) it seems unlikely that one can simultaneously be obedient to God’s Law (which is love for God and love for others) and in violation of Isaiah 58, since Isaiah 58 merely describes how to make God’s Law operant.
- God’s Chosen Fast Isaiah 58 — seems good save for one obvious error: God’s Sabbath is the seventh day, not the first day.
Some Interesting Videos
Have a great weekend.
God bless, and Shabbat shalom,
Darwin and Ani
P.S. We communicate against Islam, since it is clearly one of many satanic religions (possibly the religion of the beast — e.g., Revelation 20:4 and Revelation 6:9), but we are to love and share the good news with Muslims, who merely represent the enemies that we battle against but are not those enemies, themselves (e.g., Ephesians 6:12). Indeed, Muslims, themselves, are just victims of satan, and we should do what we can to save as many of them as we can.