Monday, May 7, 2007

There is power in the blood of the lamb

The Controversy of the Two Covenants

Y'shua = Aramaic of the Hebrew name Yahshua - Aramaic most likely used in the lifetime on earth during his ministry. The most ancient form of this name in Hebrew is probably Yahuah Shua which is meaning that he (Yahuah) is our Salvation.
Elohim = literally from ancient Hebrew, Mighty Ruling/Shepherding Spirits. Two at least being mentioned in Genesis discussing "Let US make man in OUR image." Religion translates this into the singular by tradition.
Yahuah = how I think is most likely ancient Hebrew pronounced the covenant name of "YHWH" often mistranslated into English as "LORD" The Hebrew word for lord is baal, though the word for Master (Adon) is often translated lord also.

One may say, "That old covenant stuff is done away with!" Then another comes along and argues. The bottom line is that hasatan (the adversary) has divided the people of Israel, and cleverly used our natural stubbornness, when we should have been united under one King, doing the work of the Kingdom in power on earth.

I have been a part of both sides, always as a person in Messiah, but being raised with the lies that denies all Scripture is profitable, as Paul stated, not just some of the Scriptures. I was taught that we could just ignore portions of the Scriptures because it was done away with and no longer useful to us. Anyone still believing and practicing that is being taken captive by hasatan - he's deceiving you like Eve, saying you may disobey and "you will surely not die." He's a liar! Stop listening to him for your own good. On the other hand, I was convicted years ago to begin practicing certain commandments most Christian brethren no longer believe to be important. The first two areas the Holy Spirit convicted my wife and I of were the Sabbaths/Feasts and the dietary commandments. We found as we studied Torah, that we already had been practicing the moral potions of the Law, and repenting when we failed, anyway. Later, I noticed that those two things, times and diet, were the first subjects the Word of Yahuah ("Jehovah", "Yahweh") dealt with Israel about also, after their coming out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. This then leads to our gathering around the mountain to hear and learn Torah, just like they had too.

Christians have missed this vital step in their spiritual development because they haven't understood how to learn from and walk by the type and shadow. Every person born again (of the Spirit) is thus spiritually brought out from Pharaoh and out of Egypt (this world). They then must follow through in obedience to immersion/baptism, as the Israelites had to cross through the Sea. Then as we enter the wilderness we are to begin learning more and more the first things about following the leading of the Holy Spirit, manifesting back then in a pillar of cloud by day and a fire by night, to show them where to go. Here is where religious Christianity misleads the sheep, something a true shepherd such as Moses, does not do. Most Christians are absorbed by a sectarian way and taught to trust in that way of man to lead them forward, rather than being taught to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit now abiding in them (if truly born of the Spirit), and his directions. HE will ALWAYS lead his people to begin learning his ways in the wilderness. Those ways kill the flesh (old man, generation without faith), so the new man in Messiah can rise up as the next generation and take the promised land victoriously. When a person comes across their Sea into the wilderness, and then allows the sectarian spirit to be their guide, rather than the Holy Spirit they first received when born from above and receiving of the Passover Lamb's blood and flesh, they end up camping out at the wrong places at the wrong time in the wilderness journey which = stunted or completely stopped spiritual growth.

Growing up as a pastor's son, and being in many churches to observe the sectarians ways and people following them, I speak from experience when I say that 95%+ percent of those truly born of the Spirit (which may only be at best 35% in an average evangelical congregation), allow the sectarian spirit and false prophets to lead them astray into deadness of faith, and end up going through a religious motion the rest of their lives. I've seen men 75 years old in the flesh who were "saved" when they were 15, and be no better off spiritually than a still born baby. Not only can one with spiritual eyes trained to discern look right into them and see they are dead, but the lack of real Kingdom fruit/growth/life on the tree is a sign anyone should be able to see. And by fruit, I don't mean religious zeal in evangelism to increase numbers of people in a religion.

If you are a Christian practicing in a sect/denomination and know you have been born of the Spirit, having a personal relationship with Y'shua the Messiah, you need to repent and start following the Holy Spirit in the wilderness and the Moses type shepherds, who lead you to the mountain to hear the Voice of Yahuah, rather than following fleshly religion of men that has a form of godliness but denies the POWER for true godliness. Don't be proud and hard-hearted. Receive of the grace of the Almighty to give you a chance to repent and stop being duped by hasatan. You are also causing a reproach in the earth, even as ancient Israel did and many in the first century churches such as the Corinthians, so that many do not come to the Savior and Master because of you. When unbelievers look at you and your life, do they see life and power in Messiah, or deadness of stuffy religion and hypocrisy?

Now to the other side, being also an error. As the Spirit led us into learning and practicing certain commandments for our wisdom and blessing, the spirit of religion (sectarian spirit) came along and tried to deceive us another way, and at times was successful. If the adversary could not get us to run and hide from the Law, he wanted us to get puffed up in our own righteousness and become condemning and critical of others, and make a religion out of keeping commandments outwardly. This is a very slick work and this false spirit is very clever. The carnal nature of flesh man already is prone to either run away from the Law, or hide behind it and blend in. Both ways are efforts to escape being "under the law," which means being found in sin and judged to be disciplined according to it. The religious spirit taps in to tempt the flesh one way or the other, reinforcing its carnal desire and either saying, "Yeah, that was all done away with anyway, just ignore that old stuff, bah." Or, "Yeah, those idiots that throw the laws out, what a bunch of lawless ones ready for condemnation. God will surely strike them down. You are righteous though. Look how wonderfully you walk in the Law." If we go by either of those temptations we will end up being in bondage all over again, though we were just set free, and we will surely die in the wilderness without experiencing the promised land.

As my wife and I have walked by the letter, and the Spirit graciously pointed out the ways we were being tempted by the religious spirit concerning the letter, since we didn't run from it which is the adversaries first temptation, we have learned much about the Kingdom and the plan of Yahuah for mankind. Our understanding of the "gospel of the Kingdom" has increased dramatically. Why? Experience. Academic study can never replace experience. Experience walking something out will always be worth far more than sitting around in rooms studying, but never putting what is studied (the Scriptures) into practice. James spoke of how foolish it is to hear the Word and not become a doer of the Word also. This is why I now refuse to get caught up in long debates/arguments with people who have an academic idea of the Scriptures in some point, but haven't walked it out IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT. They always think they are right and sure of their academic knowledge, but are coming from a weak perspective. If I find myself being dragged into such arguments anymore, I start disengaging from it asap.

This is what both sides end up misunderstanding about the covenants and the commandments. I'm just dealing with the two primary covenants, when really there were multiple covenants given in the "Old Testament" for different purposes and men and times. I'm dealing with the covenant for Israel given through Moses as mediator, and the covenant given for Israel through Yahshua the Messiah as mediator. Christians are in error for believing that coming and mediating a new covenant sealed in his own blood has something to do with keeping commandments, while others practicing the Torah more fully have often misunderstood that there is indeed a NEW covenant by different blood and that our practicing of commandments must be within that covenant, and not trying to go back to the old covenant sealed in animals blood with old Israel before they were cut off from the covenant. You cannot go back to the old covenant, because your forefathers were either divorced from it completely, having broken it completely (spiritual adultery - it was a marriage covenant), or your forefathers were always separated from it because they were never Israel. Either way, trying to live in the old covenant manner is foolishness, a misleading of the adversary. Trying to do away with the Law because of the new covenant is also a misleading of the adversary. One side is departing to the right, the other to the left. The correct Way is the narrow, hard-pressed way, but many have been falling into ditches on both sides. Let us ask together that our gracious Savior pick us up, clean us back off, and put us back in the middle of the road of the narrow Way.

Why the Old Covenant?

The reason for the old covenant with Israel being in the manner it was, and the difference of the new covenant, should be obvious if we've read the Scriptures through from beginning to end with the Holy Spirit as our Teacher. First, let us look at why that covenant was a covenant of a veil between Elohim and mankind, and of separation from Elohim. It was by the people's choice, which Elohim granted.

Exodus 20:19-22 MKJV And they said to Moses, You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die. (20) And Moses said to the people, Do not fear, for Elohim has come to test you, and so that His fear may be before your faces, so that you may not sin. (21) And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where Elohim was. (22) And Yahuah said to Moses, So you shall say to the sons of Israel, You have seen that I have talked with you from the heavens.

If you read closely through the Tanakh ("Old Testament) you will see that for the most part, the people of Israel were hard-hearted, stiff-necked, and proud people, who mostly on an individual basis refused a real and personal relationship with Elohim. Remember, Adam was created and walked with Elohim, but because of sin, was separated from that level of fellowship. However, Adam received grace after the fall to still commune with Elohim personally on some level, and even taught his sons how to worship and commune with Elohim, which Abel did correctly, as did Seth. Grace did not start with the new covenant, my Christian friends. Enoch is said to have communed so closely with Elohim that he was taken by Elohim, and no more on the earth. Was he taken back to that garden paradise sealed off from corrupt natural men? I don't know - it doesn't say where he was taken, but the point is, the grace was available even back then for men to commune with Elohim, if they desired such. What kept men from having a relationship with Elohim was not the lack of grace, but the lack of desire to do so. Read Romans 8:7 to see why men don't want Elohim, though they may be great participants in outward religion.

Notice the attitude coming through from carnal Israel toward Elohim in the passage quoted from Exodus. "But let not Elohim speak with us." Then they tell us something they already understood about the purpose of the Law in commandments, "lest we die." They were already rebelling against the covenant in the wilderness from their beginning. Read their saga for yourself. That whole generation save a few had to die in the wilderness for lack of faith in the Word of Yahuah, to hear and obey. Why? Ironically because they did not want to hear the Word so they could obey, "lest they die." The secret of what this means is taught by Y'shua the Messiah.

Matthew 16:24-25 MKJV Then Y'shua said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. (25) For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it.

The problem was that the hard-hearted Israelites did not understand this principle of Torah (Instructions - often translated Law). They wanted to save their own lives, so they asked not to have direct and personal communion with Elohim for themselves, but desired a king/judge/mediator be between them on earth, to commune for them, and then bring them the message. Fear of dying to their flesh is what kept them from entering into the full covenant of the Kingdom through the Way, Truth, and Life, so they were given over to the old covenant mediated by a man, who was imperfect himself, and could not himself give Israel life.

2 Corinthians 4:10-11 MKJV always bearing about the dying of the Master Y'shua in the body, so that the life of Y'shua also might be revealed in our body. (11) For we who live are always being delivered to death for Y'shua's sake, so that the life of Y'shua might also be revealed in our body.

They did not receive of this transformation at Sinai, indeed, by their own confession, they did not want it - rejected it - despised it - and ran away from it. Thus, they were given over to a tutor to discipline their flesh, as it is written, the letter kills. Christians, the letter is killing you whether your recognize its authority to do so in your flesh now or not. Torah practicing believers, the letter is killing your flesh, not giving you life in Messiah. Your life in Messiah is given as a free gift, and your righteousness made sure by his Blood. Your own righteousness in the flesh of trying to obey commandments is filthy rags before Elohim. Does the Law then have no purpose and is done away? NO! Are we then to practice the Law? YES!

Romans 3:31 MKJV Do we then make the Law void through faith? Let it not be! But we establish the Law.

Paul's writings are confused often time by both sides of the argument. Paul never taught in his letters that men in the new covenant should not practice the commandments of the Law. He preached against murder, adultery, idolatry, fornication, witchcraft, faithlessness, slander, strife, etc. All of these are from the Law. He taught the Law, just as Y'shua did, but Christians have misunderstood the message, as have many with good intentions trying to keep the commandments.

The true Law and true Spirit agree. They do not disagree. We did not go from the age of Law to the age of Spirit and Grace. The Law has always included grace as part of its foundation and outworking toward men. But, man cannot fulfill the Law in his life as Y'shua his example did, by means of the flesh only. Outwardly keeping commandments is not good enough. It may bless you some now if you practice certain principles (like giving and receiving, and reaping and sowing in the natural to get increase in the natural), but it cannot give you LIFE. Only the life-giver himself can give you everlasting life, and he requires you come into relationship with him and be born of his Spirit, before that even begins to be given to you.

John 3:3-5 MKJV Y'shua answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Elohim. (4) Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born? (5) Y'shua answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim.

Go ahead and try to enter the Kingdom through keeping the outward of the old covenant and see how far it gets you. Go ahead and try practicing outward Christian religion without actually experiencing the new life imparted directly by the Spirit of LIFE in the new covenant, and see how far that dead religiosity gets you. Neither way is correct, that the adversary is deceiving most men to depart, one way or the other. This alone is the only correct way, that we know will lead us perfectly into the Kingdom LIFE:

John 10:16-30 MKJV And I have other sheep who are not of this fold. I must also lead those, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. (17) Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I might take it again. (18) No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down from Myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it again. I have received this commandment from My Father. (19) Then a division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. (20) And many of them said, He has a demon and is insane. Why do you hear him? (21) Others said, These are not words of one who has been possessed by a demon. A demon is not able to open the eyes of blind ones. (22) And the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem, and it was winter. (23) And Y'shua walked in the temple in Solomon's Porch. (24) Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, How long do you make us doubt? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly. (25) Y'shua answered them, I told you and you did not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. (26) But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, (27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (28) And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. (29) My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. (30) I and the Father are one!

The Jews that were persecuting Y'shua had a really big problem. They THOUGHT they were already in proper covenant with Elohim and THOUGHT that they knew the Scriptures correctly and the teachings of Moses, and that Y'shua was going against such. They THOUGHT wrong. What does Torah teach about?

John 5:39-40 MKJV You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me, (40) and you will not come to Me that you might have life.

What Scriptures do you think Y'shua taught from? What Scriptures do you think his disciples and the apostles of the lamb taught from? What Scriptures was Paul speaking of? The "New Testament" writings were not written yet and in the "Scriptures." How did they go preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and the new covenant in Y'shua's blood, with the Tanakh Scriptures? Well, obviously the whole Tanakh speaks of these things, and carnal minded people of religion just can't see and understand. They searched the Scriptures over and over searching for life, but when the LIFE was offered to them, they rejected it. Just like their forefathers who didn't want to have anything directly to do with the Word of Yahuah speaking at Mount Sinai. What is the result? They are condemned. The letter of the Law condemns such people, because they seek their own righteousness in their flesh via a covenant of Elohim being veiled, by their own stubborn request, and refuse to give up their carnal life on earth for the eternal LIFE in Y'shua the Messiah. Y'shua came to get rid of the veil.

Matthew 27:51-53 MKJV And, behold! The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And the earth quaked, and the rocks were sheared, (52) and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose, (53) and coming out of the tomb after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

THAT IS THE POWER OF EVERLASTING LIFE FOLKS! What did it cause? The veil to be rent in the old covenant Temple, which was keeping man from his Creator in personal relationship, to know him, and not just know about him. Why was that veiled covenant instituted in the first place? I think we've seen why - their attitude and heart decision was that they didn't want the Word in relationship to them personally, they wanted the veil saying, "lest we die." Die? He came to give LIFE. What death were they speaking of then? What has to die for us to enter LIFE is our self ego. We have to die to the selfish, self-centered carnality of the flesh, and be willing to crucify our flesh (metaphorically) with Messiah, so that we may also share in his resurrection POWER of new LIFE.

Romans 6:1-4 MKJV What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? (2) Let it not be! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (3) Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Y'shua the Messiah were baptized into His death? (4) Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5 MKJV For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection;

2 Corinthians 3:6-8 MKJV who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. (7) But if the ministry of death, having been engraved in letters in stone was with glory (so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses because of the glory of his face), which was being done away; (8) shall not the ministry of the Spirit be with more glory?

Christian false doctrine wants us to believe that the letters that work death are to be avoided. That is not what is being taught. Y'shua himself said not to even think that he came to abolish the Law and Prophets. You can only partake in the resurrection life IF you partake in the death first. Don't believe the religious spirit and false prophet spirit trying to keep you bound up in dead religion saying the Law is no good for you today. It is for your good, that you may partake "in the likeness of his death" so you will also, "be in the likeness of his resurrection." Does the letter kill? Yes! Do we then avoid it? NO! You cannot enter the new covenant of the Spirit giving LIFE without the willingness to take up your cross, die to self, and follow Y'shua the Messiah, in his example. Christians, did he break the commandments? NO! Then what example are you following in your doctrine? Y'shua didn't teach for men to purposely discard or break the commandments. Stop being like hard-hearted ancient Israel and refusing to die to self, via the working of "the likeness of his death," which is keeping you from now partaking in the power of his LIFE, growing and growing until your perfection in Messiah. You are letting the adversary and deceiver hinder your growth and LIFE in Messiah by believing a lawless message.

Pharisee anti-messiah religion wants us to believe that all we need to do is search the Scriptures for life and we will find it, even with uncircumcised and hard hearts, and that by keeping commandments we are made acceptable before Elohim and our Judge. Pork bologna!! Pharisees are partaken of the ministry of death by the letter to them alright, but because they are not walking by such in the new covenant to also be partaking in the power of the LIFE in Messiah, they are being fully condemned and brought under the law (for judgment/condemnation). They have all broken the Law, because even if in only one small point, it is written they have by breaking that one commandment, broken the whole Law, and are seen by the Judge as transgressors. Pharisaic people, when will you repent from your hardness of heart and self-righteousness, and learn that one of the primary points for the children of Elohim to learn in this age of Adam, is that YOU CANNOT DO IT. It is to learn HUMILITY. And that you NEED YAHUAH SHUA (Yahuah Saves or Yahuah Salvation) just like you need Yahuah Rapha (Yahuah Healer), Yahuah Yireh (Yahuah Provider), etc. Your flesh isn't good enough and your own efforts of righteousness are as filthy rags before the eyes of the the Pure Elohim. Your flesh is full of sin and full of corruption and full of death. UNCLEAN UNCLEAN! Quit trying to white-wash it and make it clean (spiritually). You will not make it clean by your outward efforts in the flesh. Your religious behavior will not clean it! There is only one who can clean you up and make you acceptable before Elohim - quit resisting the truth and power of his new covenant in his blood.

May the power of hasatan to deceive and keep us in bondage be broken in our lives, and may we lose our lives in Messiah to find newness of LIFE through Y'shua our Savior and Master!

With love for the people and boldness against the enemy of the people,


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Advanced Principles

Because some of the main religious groups claiming the Scriptures as their "Bible" in the past believed in such nonsense as a flat earth, the Scriptures have been viewed as unscientific. Of course, true science is the search for truth in knowledge in the natural realm.

In reality, the Scriptures contain clues about advanced principles we have discovered through modern science (minus the macro evolutionary theory - which is religion, not science). The problems, even during the times of the Roman Catholic Church believing in a flat earth and acting like anything else was heresy, were not that the Scriptures said such nonsense that modern science has proven ridiculous and false, but that the people weren't getting their knowledge from a true understanding of the Scriptures.

People believed in a flat earth, because they took an idiomatic phrase, "the four corners of the earth," to mean it was square and flat. They even believed you could fall over the edge, such as if you sailed out too far on the major oceans.

Isaiah 11:12 MKJV And He shall lift up a banner for the nations, and shall gather the outcasts of Israel and gather together the scattered ones of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

This is not a statement concerning the shape of the earth, but of the regathering of Israel and Judah. They would come to be scattered all over the earth and regathered from there. The literal meaning of the word translated as "corners" means extremity or edge. The idea here is that they will be all over the earth, including to the "ends of the earth," as it says in other places. From the middle east, the Americas and places like Australia are the "ends of the earth." We still use such phrases to this day but do not mean we think their are corners or a literal end geographically of the earth. They are phrases that speak of the whole earth and the far regions from where the scattering took place, such as in the reference quoted above.

If we look closely in the Hebrew texts, we can find clues of concepts of the natural creation that are quite advanced. We can also find historical evidence that the ancient Hebrews even sailed over the seas to the Americas and had colonies and were mining for ores over here, as far back as the time of King David. Such evidence includes ancient Hebrew writings, such as a very large paleo-Hebrew version of the "10 commandments" in New Mexico dating back to about the time of King David and King Solomon, to mines, one of which I know of in Michigan that can be visited and toured, or could at one time (I haven't checked recently), that has inscriptions in paleo-Hebrew to mark it as territory of Solomon, who was mining resources out of it. There are many more evidences that have been found in North, Central, and South America. For some reason this information is not taught in schools as ancient historical evidence, because it messes up the evolutionary concept they teach, which requires ancient men to be ignorant, less intelligent, nearly cave man, people. Proof that ancient men were quite advanced and even had discovered the whole earth, does not fit into their evolution theory. Neither do the many giant skeletons recovered, which proves the account of giants in the Scriptures proof. One museum in the United States used to display such evidence many years ago, and thankfully some photos taken by people have survived, because the museum took down the display and now even acts like it never existed.

We can see from evidence in the Scriptures, that ancient men such as Isaiah knew the earth was round/spherical , whether by observation along with reasonable intelligence (such as viewing the curvature of the sky at the horizons and thinking, "the earth and sky must go around"), or by revelation. Many Christian scientists have realized these things, such as the Scriptures telling us the earth is round, not flat. However, there are more advanced things that are hinted at in the Scriptures.

For example, in the account of Genesis 1, not only is their the surface and literal meaning we are more familiar with, but their is a layer in the Hebrew writing that tells a deeper account. In the root meaning of the word for earth/ground (erets in Hebrew), we have the concept of SOLIDS, that which is firm. In the root meaning for the word for waters/seas (mayim in Hebrew), we have the concept of LIQUIDS, that which is free flowing and needs to be given boundaries to have shape (such as water in a glass or waters in the oceans with coastal boundaries). In the root meaning for the heavens (shamayim in Hebrew), we have that which is lofty and even less dense than the free flowing waters, that is, GASES. Solids, liquids, and gases, are the three primary forms we find the buildings blocks in, of the natural creation as we know it. Before matter would have been separated into these form, they would have all been massed together in a seemingly formless state, with no evident and orderly separation.

There are probably mysteries contained in the Hebrew words of the Scriptures about the natural creation that we still have not discovered, as the Word created it all and knows the compositions and secrets of everything, down to the smallest particles and up among the most distant regions of the cosmos.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The judgment of Yah is a mystery, as we have misunderstood his idea of right judgment, with no respect of persons, and with a just weight and measure. Religions of men, including man-made Christianity (not to be confused with scriptural discipleship in Messiah), teach some strange ideas of judgment, if we stop and really consider them logically. As it is written, let us reason together.

Is it a just weight and measure and serving justice to torture a person for infinite time without end for x number of finite years of transgression against the Law? Or does the Law require punishment to be just, with no respect of persons, according to a just weight and measure, the punishment fitting the crime?

Is it our Father in heaven and Y'shua his Son that sit enthroned wanting to accuse and condemn Adamkind, or is their intention to save Adamkind, through a refinement process including fiery trial and death? Who does accuse and condemn according to the Scriptures?

Where does the spirit of man go when departing the body (bodily death) according to the Scriptures, and how does this contradict religious ideals of men? What is the first death and what is the second death? Are we not now in death, needing saved out of it, enduring fiery trials and even the company of 3 primary evil spirits (adversary or anti-messiah, false prophet, beast)? Does the anti-messiah spirit already work in the earth according to the Scriptures, or not yet, but in a time to come?

Are we getting our answers to these kinds of questions strictly from the Word, both the Scriptures, and the rhema spoken as we commune intimately in personal relationship with HIM, or are we listening to preachers and religious dogma that we THINK we can trust to tell us the truth? In other words, are we seeking Truth for ourselves, or are we just believing what other men/women tell us? That is, are we like the Bereans that diligently searched the Scriptures, prayerfully, to see if what Paul said was true, or are we like most "believers" who know very, very, very little of what the Word actually says? Are we knowledgeable and wise in our own eyes, taking pride I religion, denominational understandings, and clever theologies worked out in academic studies, or are we humbly seeking Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, even if it means humility in admitting we were once wrong in our religious thinking, as the Pharisees and Scribes were? Or will we be prideful like many of them, truly rejecting the Truth walking among us, while priding ourselves on our great religion, thinking we of all people have all the answers - like those Pharisees and Scribes?

Do we even really want the Truth, as the Light shines in our darkness, exposing things in us for what they are, wicked and corrupt and fleshly, needing made new and overcome? Can we be so humble as to truly submit to our Father in heaven and his Word, and the dying to self on the cross, to pick it up and follow our Y'shua as Master, or are we more concerned with appearing righteous before men, and fitting in with the dominant form of religion of our day in our land?

These are serious questions, and if we are honest with ourselves, instead of deceiving ourselves, we will seek the Truth, and find, and in finding, many lies will begin to be exposed in our thinking and in our religion and in our self-righteousness; along with short-comings, sins - rebellion and lawlessness, idolatry with false messiah's we imagine and false god we call on to do our bidding, and be in our image and likeness as we want him to be. Yes, if you truly submit to the cross, to follow the Messiah as Master, instead of self or religion being master, the Light will shine in the darkness very brightly and expose you as you are, needing to be made new in so many ways, due to current corruption. But, can you handle this? Can you submit? Or will you desire instead to be your own god, while professing the Creator is your God? Does your profession fool him? Can you truly hide from him and his Light? Will we be like Adam and Eve trying to hide from the Word, or will we be corrected willingly by it?

I hope and pray we can overcome by faith and allow the Light to fully shine upon us and in us, exposing all that is wrong and needs restored to righteousness. Religion of man will not help us in this.