Questions & Answers
1 Timothy 1:4-7: "Neither give heed to myths and endless genealogies, which cause questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talk; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor the things they affirm."
2 Timothy 2:14-16: "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the ruin of the hearers. Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain utterances: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."
THE 4th BEAST, LITTLE HORN & 1260 DAYS OF DANIEL 7
Q: Could you shed some light on the 4th Beast of Daniel 7, the Little Horn and the 1260 days mentioned in Daniel 7? There seems to be so many different beliefs on what this means from different Prophecy teachers, depending on who you ask. Would really appreciate you opinion on this.
A: I have been studying the scriptures ever since I was born again thirty four years ago. Prophecy has always been one of my favorite subjects in the Bible. Throughout the years, I have probably subscribed to most of the different belief systems as to what Daniel 7 is all about. The more I have prayed and meditated on this, the more I have come to realize that most of this has already been fulfilled in history as we will attempt to explain shortly. Of course, there is such a thing as dual prophecy fulfillment where some prophecies in the Bible have both a short term and long term fulfillment. With that in mind, let's take a look at Daniel 7 and see how it saw its fulfillment in the arrival of the Roman Empire and the Papal System. (Watch Video).
Daniel 7 describes four beasts coming out of the sea:
Daniel 7:2-7 "Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns."
The beasts represent kingdoms and the sea water represents people or poplulations:
Daniel 7:23 "Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces."
Revelation 17:15 "And he said unto me, The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."
Most Bible scholars agree that these beasts represent the four world kingdoms that have exercised power over the people of God. These are the same four kingdoms that are mentioned in Daniel 2. These four kingdoms fit what has happened in history perfectly. The four beasts of Daniel 7 are shown as a part of the Antichrist kingdom, because the papacy incorporated the beliefs and practices of the pagan people that it absorbed from all four empires. The Catholic Church "Christianized" these pagan beliefs and practices and introduced them as part of Christian traditions.
The first beast in verse 4 is a lion representing the kingdom of Babylon. There is reference made to this in the following scriptures:
Jeremiah 4:7 "The lion has come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the nations is on his way; he has gone forth from his place to make your land desolate; and your cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant."
Jeremiah 51:38 "They shall roar together like lions: they shall growl as lions' whelps."
There have been archeological discoveries in the nation of Iraq (which is the location of ancient Babylon), depicting winged lions just like what the prophet Daniel saw in the vision. The second beast in verse 5 is a bear, representing the kingdom of Medo Persia. The bear came up on one side because the Persians was stronger than the Medes. The three ribs in the mouth of the bear represent the three kingdoms the Medo Persia overcame as it rose to power, namely Babylon, Lydia and Egypt. The third beast in verse 6 is the leopard, and represents Greece. The wings on the leopard represent the quickness with which Alexander the Great fought and conquered.
Habakkuk 1:6-8 "For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the earth, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed from themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen press proudly on, their horsemen shall come from afar; they shall fly as the eagle that hastens to eat."
The four heads represent the four parts into which the empire was divided by his four generals (Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy) when he died. The fourth beast in verse 7 that had iron teeth and devoured and broke in pieces and stamped the residue with its feet represents the Roman Empire which was known as the Iron Monarchy because of its ruthlessness. The Roman Empire of couse was the Kingdom that existed when Jesus Christ came to the Earth. The Roman armies destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD just as Messiah had prophesied. This also fulfilled the abomination of desolation prophecy which the LORD spoke over Jerusalem as He watched over it (Please our previous post on this page below titled: Daniel's 70th Week & The Abomination of Desolation). In 476 AD the Roman Empire fell apart from the inside due to its total moral depravity and decadence and was attacked and overcome. The 10 horns on the beast mentioned by Daniel 7:23-24 represent the 10 kingdoms into which Rome was divided by the barbarian tribes that attacked and conquered the Roman Empire.
These 10 kingdoms were: (1) English Anglo Saxons (2) German Alamanni (3) Swiss Burgundians (4) French Franks (5) Italian Lombards (6) Portuguese Suevi (7) Spanish Visigoths (8) Vandals (9) Ostrogoths (10) Heruli. There arose out of the Roman Empire from the midst of the ten horns another little horn mentioned in Daniel 7:
Daniel 7:8 "I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things."
There are some things mentioned in Daniel 7 about this little horn. It says that this little horn would arise from the Roman Empire; be different from the other kingdoms and would subdue three kings as it rose to power:
Daniel 7:24 "And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings."
Daniel 7:8 "I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things."
Daniel 7:20 "And of the ten horns that were on its head, and of the other which came up, and before which three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was greater than its fellows."
It would also speak great words (blasphemy) against the most High; make war against (persecute) the saints; would change God's laws and would be allowed to continue in power for three and a half prophetic times/years (1260 literal years):
Daniel 7:25 "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Revelation 13:7-8 "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
Although many have tried to put this event in the future, there is only one power in the history of mankind that fits every one of these things perfectly. This time of persecution was so horrific that it is mentioned several times in the scriptures as 42 months, 1260 days and 3.5 times or years. They all equal 1260 prophetic days which represents 1260 literal years. Most Bible scholars from the time of the Reformation agree that this power is the Papacy.
Ezekiel 4:6 "And when you have accomplished them, lie again on your right side, and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed you each day for a year."
Daniel 7:25 "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Daniel 12:7 "And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him that lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when he shall have accomplished the shattering of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Revelation 12:6 "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there athousand two hundred and three score days."
Revelation 12:14 "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."
Revelation 13:5 "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."
Revelation 11:2-3 "But the court which is outside the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth."
The Papacy was different in the sense that it was a religious power as opposed to the others, but it persecuted the saints of the Most High during the period known in history as the Dark Ages. It has been written that at least fifty million Christians died for their faith. The Papacy used the excuse that they were only trying to control the spread of heresy. However, it was brutal and demonic beyond description. The Papacy omitted the second commandment and changed the fourth commandment in their liturgies and catechism. The persecution lasted for 1260 years; 538 A.D. - 1798 A.D.
This horrific time in history started with Catholic Emperor Justinian's edict in 533 A.D. which acknowledged Pope John II to be the head of the Christian Church. Then in 538 A.D. Roman Emperor Justinian acknowledged in a letter that the Bishop in Rome would beome the head of all churches. His letter would later become a part of Justinian's Code, the fundamental law of the Holy Roman Empire. This began the prophetic 1260 years of temporal rule by the Papacy. More than fifty million Christians were brutally killed during that period of time. The Holy Roman Empire uprooted three kingdoms as it rose to power.
These kingdoms were from the ten kingdoms that arose out of the old Roman Empire; they were the Heruli in 493 A.D.; the Vandals in 534 A.D. and the Ostrogoths in 538 A.D. The power of the Papacy was broken in 1798 A.D. when one of Napoleon's general Berthier, took the pope captive; the pope later died while in exile. There is no other power in the history of mankind that fulfills all of these scriptures so specifically.
Then in 1929 Mussolini gave the Vatican back to the Pope, establishing it as a country in what is known as the Lateran Treaty. The treaty was ratified later in June 7, 1929 recognizing the Vatican (Vatic-anus - Oracle of Cybele) as an independent state. Again, this was a fulfillment of scripture about the deadly wound being healed:
Revelation 13:1-3 " And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast that I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world marveled after the beast."
Revelation 13:11-12 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them who dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. "
Since the time the deadly wound was healed, the papacy has grown in strength and increased. Today it is the most powerful religious political organization in the world.
Revelation 13:5-6 "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven."
The pope is guilty of blasphemy because the popes claim to be the vicar of Christ on the earth. The pope took the title "Vicar of Christ" which means that he is Christ's representative on Earth (in the place of Jesus Christ). The title of the pope of rome in Latin is "Vicarius Filii Dei", which means in English "Vicar of the Son of God". So he literally is saying that he represents the lamb. He always dresses in white just like a lamb. The two horns could be explained by the pope's mitre, which literally has two horns. He attributes to himself powers that only the Almighty has. Presidents, Kings and dignitaries travel to Rome to pay obeyance to the pope, kiss his ring and worship him.
In the the Catholic Encyclopedia, the mitre that the pope wears is called "The Two Horned Mitre". Again, this is fulfilled in the pope; he represents the lamb with two horns of (Revelation 13:11). The Apostle John saw the last Pope as the Second Beast of Revelation 13; the False Prophet. So the Pope does not fit the description of the end times Antichrist. In the Bible, the Lamb represents Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."
It also says that he spoke like a Dragon. A Dragon is the Serpent of Old in the garden of Eden (Revelation 12:9). In (John 8:44) Jesus called Satan the father of lies. By letting scripture interpret scripture, the dragon or serpent speaks lies to deceive the people. This is how Popes operate, especially the last pope who will endorse the First Beast - the Antichrist who will be the one taking over and ruling the whole world in a New World Order right before Jesus Christ returns. The pope is in a position to fulfill this prophecy of the second beast better than anyone else. The pope will not be the coming prominent political world ruler but the religious spiritual leader who looks like a lamb and promote the 1st beast.
In order to identify the dragon, we must be able to read and understand Revelation 12. In the Bible, the Bride of the Lamb is always pictured as a pure woman, which represents God's true remnant or church (Jeremiah 6:2). On the other hand, the false church is always shown as a fallen prostitute mother with her harlot daughters (Revelation 17, 18). In Revelation 12, a pure virgin is depicted as pregnant and about to give birth. The dragon is waiting for the baby to be born in order to devour the child at birth. However, the child is born and evades being devoured by the dragon and fulfills His mission, before being killed and ascending into heaven.
Of course King Herod tried to kill baby Jesus by ordering that all children under two years old in the city of Bethlehem be killed (Mathew 2:16). The dragon in this scripture represents Rome, of which Herod was the king. The power operating behind Herod was the devil (Revelation 12:7-9). Satan always operates through various people and governments of the world to accomplish his will. There is not a true historian what would not agree that the worst Christian persecution in history took place during the Inquisition that took place in Europe during the Dark Agees. Historical data estimates that as many as 50 million people who refused to bow their knees to the papacy were martyred during that time. Not only were they martyred, but they were cruelly tortured as recorded in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, as well as many other historical records. These horrific events that took place in this dark time of history was a fulfillment of scripture:
Revelation 12:12 "Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil has come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time."
Right around this time when this horrific persecution of Christians was at its words, Cristopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. It was at that time that the European nations that were horrified by the cruelty of the papal inquisitions, decided to send them as colonists into the newly discovered land of America, or the new world as they called it back then. This was a fulfillment of the wilderness experience for the persecuted woman who gave birth to the manchild spoken of in the scriptures.
Revelation 12:14 "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent."
Also bear in mind the mention of an eagle in the above scripture. It says that the wings of an eagle were given to the woman. It is not a coincidence that America came to be known by the symbol of an eagle, after she gained her independence from England. America came to be known as a place of refuge for persecuted Christians all over the world. It was after Columbus discovered America that the 'earth opened' its mouth and swallowed the flood of persecution the dragon had cast out of its mouth (the horrific demonic Roman Catholic Papal inquisition taking place in Europe during that time). It was at that time that the Papacy and the powers involved in the brutal persecution taking place in Europe, shifted their focus from killing the Christian heretics to the newly discovered continent by Columbus known as America, with vast opportunities for acquiring wealth and more power.
Revelation 12:15-16 "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."
The Christians that arrived to America known as the Pilgrims, with the new liberties that they enjoyed in having Bibles and studying the Word of God became very strong in the Word of God and in their walk of faith. Eventually America became a bastion of Christianity and evangelism, being used by the LORD as the center for Christian movements and revival in the whole world. For several hundred years after this, the devil continued to persecute the offspring of the woman just like the scriptures say. Even though the persecution of Christians has continued in Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East and many parts of the world, the demonic brutality of the inquisition ceased, although persecution and religious intolerance continued in many other shapes and forms. All of this helped to make America the cornerstone and the bulwark of freedom and refuge for all the oppressed christians of the world.
Revelation 12:17 "And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Q: Regarding the intimate physical relationship in marriage, is oral sex sinful? I have read so much material on it and I am SCARED TO DEATH because a brother who has a deliverance ministry told me that I would have to answer to God if my husband and I engaged in this kind of lovemaking. I am tormented with fear since he told me this! I am afraid to die now because when I stand before God He will reject me. My husband has erectile dysfunction so it can be difficult for us; how do we seek healing for this physical affliction?
A: Thank you for being candid and reaching out to us with this very personal issue in your marriage. There are some areas and things that we do in life which are neither black nor white and there are no Bible scriptures to guide us on. This is one of those areas. The Bible is silent on the specifics of what you have asked. Some believe that it is absolutely wrong while others believe that there is nothing wrong with it, believing that the LORD seems to be leaving it up to the mutual agreement of the marriage partners. We will take a look at both sides of this issue and the arguments that each side presents; however the final decision must rest with each couple as they are led by the Holy Spirit in the privacy of their marital bed.
First we will take a look at the objections to having this type of sex within a Christian marriage. Some of the things that we will share here on this post will be very candid, straightforward and may be offensive to some. If you get offended easily, then this is the time to stop reading this post and go to another part of this website. Although there are no scriptures directly addressing this issue in the Bible, there are scriptures that tell us to abstain from every appearance of evil and dishonorable passions:
1 Thessalonians 5:22 “Abstain from all appearance of evil”.
However, how is evil judged if we have no Biblical foundation to base it on? Although there is no biblical evidence that it is a sin against God for a husband and wife to express love for each other in this way, there are certain kinds of acts that are intrinsically disordered and immoral regardless of the circumstances, intention or purpose. Examples of intrinsically disordered sexual acts include: masturbation, homosexual acts, sexual acts with more than two participants, oral sex, anal sex, manual sex, sexual acts involving objects or devices, etc.
These sexual acts can never be justified regardless of circumstances, intention, or purpose. These sexual acts are unnatural because they violate the natural laws that the Eternal One set in place when He created all things. The human person was designed by God so that sexual relations would consist in acts of genital-to-genital intercourse, between one man and one woman. Other kinds of sexual acts seem contrary to this intention and purpose of God, which He designed within human nature.
Serious students of the Bible and archaeology know that the kind of things that were going on at Sodom were done by extremely ungodly people, expressing enormous selfishness, lack of love, extreme depravity, and rebellion against God.
Genesis 13:13 “The men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord”
In other words, the sexual lives of godly husbands and wives were not an issue at these cities, nor did it have anything to do with its destruction.Sodom's problems had nothing to do with how godly, loving marriage partners were expressing their affection for each other. The problem was a total lack of godly, loving, heterosexual marriage partners in Sodom (except Lot and his wife). However, the ungodly sexual acts that were committed there are associated with sodomy; which comes from the name 'Sodom'. The word sodomy has a three part definition according to The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition:
1. Anal copulation of one male with another (homosexuality)
2. Anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex (oral sex) and
3. Copulation with an animal (bestiality). (The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition).
On the other side of this issue, the book of Leviticus which mentions many Old Testament sex-related prohibitions and rules for the Israelites, never mentions anything relating to your question. We are commanded in scripture to meet our mate's sexual need. When we marry, we actually relinquish the right to our own body, and turn that authority over to our mate. The wife's body now belongs to the husband. The husband's body now belongs to the wife. This means that we must love our mate's body and care for it as our own. We must not cheat our partner by abstaining from the habit of sex, except by mutual consent for a brief time.
We are aware that some have tried to make a biblical issue out of what parts of the body a married couple can and cannot kiss. In their minds, there is only one biblical form of sexual expression in marriage, sexual intercourse. They attempt to defend their viewpoint on biblical grounds trying to make it into a holiness issue. However, nowhere do we see Scripture putting such limits on the sexual relationship of a godly husband and wife, even Levitical priests (who were forbidden to do many things).
Most knowledgeable and spiritually mature Christians realize that God is the author of sex and love, and every part and sensation of the human body, and that He intended the relationship between husband and wife to be loving, sensuous, joyful, creative and full of pleasure. The Book Song of Solomon uses delicate, romantic language and metaphors as it describes a beautiful, affectionate, romantic, sensuous, joyful and passionate love between husband and wife. It seems to be speaking of the lovers tasting, eating and drinking of each other's bodies.
Song of Solomon 2:3 "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."
Song of Solomon 4:16 "Awake, O north wind; and come, you south; blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat its pleasant fruits."
Song of Solomon 8:2 "I would lead you, and bring you into my mother's house, who had instructed me: I would cause you to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate."
In God's view, the sexual experience between a husband and wife is for their mutual enjoyment. Each has an equal right to the other's body. Each has not only the freedom but also the responsibility to please the other and to be pleased in return. These basic principles concerning the enjoyment of sex in marriage are found in scripture:
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 "Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife has not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power over his own body, but the wife. Deprive not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your lack of self-control."
One cannot be sure what this means exactly, but certainly we see no evidence here or elsewhere that God is concerned with what part of the mate's bodies they might be touching, including where they kissed their mate. God is concerned about your love for each other. He wants all Christians, including husbands and wives, to be kind to each other, patient, respectful and unselfish. The institution of marriage between a man and a woman is the only condition whereby sexual relations between a man and woman is not only allowed, but encouraged throughout the Bible
Hebrews 13:4 "Let marriage be held in honor by all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."
One of the guidelines that you can use relating to situations such as the question you asked, is how do you feel when you engage in this activity? Does it grieve the Holy Spirit within you? Do you feel peace about it? This is something that you should be able to pray about. God wants us to be righteous in every aspect of our lives. This includes the intimacy shared between a married couple. However, due to the varying and differing circumstances and situations that may exist in each marriage couple, the final answer rests with each couple. Ultimate love is pure in motive and action. Follow that goal, and you are not likely to go wrong.
DIVORCE & NEW MARRIAGE
Q: Regarding the topic of divorce and new marriage, could you please explain it and shed some light and wisdom on the matter. There is a lot of confusion regarding this subject in the Christian Church, and there are many conflicting points of views which are causing much confusion.
A: This is one of the most controversial topics in the Bible; one that requires much wisdom,study and insight to understand. I have seen so much unnecessary suffering, guilt, misery and condemnation in people dealing with the topic of divorce and new marriage. Many others have asked the same question in times past. I will answer this question as honestly and candidly as I can based on what the Bible says on the matter and what the LORD has shown me through all the years of study and prayer on the matter.
The debate over divorce in the Christian Church has been going on for a long time, and many books have been written on the topic; and yet multitudes of people remain confused on the subject. The topic of divorce and new marriage does not concern me personally, as I have never been divorced. However, I realize that it is a serious problem in present day Christians; and out of love for those who have been divorced, it is a topic that deserves to be studied. Many people are very dogmatic in their accusations of others without offering any proof that supports their doctrine and condemnation of the innocent person, robbing them forever of the possibility of a new marriage.
A divorce that does not fulfill the Biblical requirements is an epidemic in our present day. The majority of the churches today are as liberal regarding the prerequisites for divorce as the Pharisees of old, who allowed divorce for any reason whatsoever. This Holywood style divorce is not acceptable in the eyes of the Father. However, there is the other extreme in some churches which strictly prohibits a divorced person from marrying again. Many believers who have divorced and married again suffer much cruelty at the hands of other believers and Churches. The intensity and type of the punishment varies from church to church and denomination to denomination. In some churches they are allowed to have holy communion but they are not allowed to be a part of the church choir or be involved in any other activity. So, they are not tagged as full fledged adulterers, but semi adulterers or semi saints. What we are dealing with here is what Jesus Christ Yahushua called the hypocrisy of The Tradition of the Elders:
Matthew 15:1-9: "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, who were from Jerusalem, saying, Why do your disciples transgress thetradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death.
But you say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift devoted to God, whatsoever you might have received from me; And honors not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God void by your tradition. You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, These people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
Is a marriage dissolved in which one of the two parties has committed adultery and there is no chance or reconciliation? If fornication or adultery dissolves a marriage, then there should not be questions about the right to re-marry. In order to understand this topic more fully, we need to go deeper to study the words of Jesus concerning divorce.
Matthew 5:31-32: "It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, Thatwhosoever shall put away his wife, except fort he cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery."
In the above passage of scripture, Jesus Christ Yahushua approved the Jewish divorce that allows a new marriage, but limited the application only to cases involving fornication. This divorce by adulterythat the LORD allowed, absolutely severs the marriage ties. Once this type of divorce is cosumated, the marriage is null, invalid and dead. It is the same as if the partner that committed adultery had died. This being the case, then there is no obstacle for a second marriage. The only type of divorce that the Jews knew was one of disolution, where the marriage was dissolved. This was also the only type of divorce recognized by the Greeks as well as the Romans. The divorce that only meant separation was invented by the Latin monks centuries after Christ.
The New Testament Law on divorce and new marriage is strict compared to the thirty reasons for divorce existing in the United States. The Old Testament Jews allowed divorce for any reason, the same as in this nation. However, Jesus Christ approved divorce and new marriage based on any kind of sexual sin. The word fornication in the Greek is the word Porneia, which is the root from where the English word pornography comes from. Any kinds of sexual acts committed with another person constitutes the sin of fornication. Let's look at another scripture where the Messiah deals with this topic:
Mark 10:2-12: "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? testing him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses allowed a man to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; And they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he said unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery."
In order to understand the answer that the LORD gave to the Pharisees, we need to understand the history of the Old Testament. During the time of Moses, many Jewish men treated their wives with cruelty. Because of their cruelty and hardness of heart, God allowed deivorce. Men would divorce their wives for any frivolous reason such as burning their food, or not being a good housewife. Many times these excuses were used because they found other women more attractive than their wives. The Jewish law sytem was designed to satisfy the whims and desires of the husband. The only thing a Jewish man had to do to divorce his wife was to give her a bill of divorcement in front of two witnesses. This way, the marriage was legally dissolved and both sides could marry again.
Deuteronomy 24:1-2: "When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it comes to pass that she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife."
As you can see, after the divorce both the man and the woman were free to go marry again. It the second husband divorced her, thesecond marriage became dissolved and she was free to marry again a third time. However, she was not allowed to marry the first husband again:
Deuteronomy 24:3-4: "And if the latter husband hates her, and writes her a bill of divorcement, and puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband dies, who took her to be his wife; Her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and you shall not cause the land to sin, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance."
For the Jews at the time of Messiah, divorce and new marriage was common. A divorce where the person was not allowed to marry again was unknown at those times. We have seen from scripture that according to the Mosaic law, divorce severed the marriage ties so completely that the woman was allowed to go and marry another man. The Bill of Divorcement was an emancipation document that allowed her to marry again. There remained no traces of any marriage ties between the two parties; it's as if they had never been married. For fourteen centuries from the times of Moses to Jesus Christ, this Bill of Divorcement constituted the only divorce of the Jews. When the Messiah was approached with the question of divorce and new marriage, He approved divorce for the reason of fornication.
The LORD did not abolish divorce or introduced a new type of divorce. He did not change the certificate of divorce to one of separation because He did not talk such change; He merely corrected the abuses of divorce, and approved the correct use of the same.
So, in lieu of these scriptures that have been presented, what happens to a married man or woman who was betrayed by his partner who married another? Is this person condemned to live for the rest of his/her life without marrying again because of what Messiah taught?
According to what Jesus Christ taught and we explained above, the only way to dissolve a marriage is through fornication/adultery. The moment one of the two partners commits fornication with another, that marriage is dissolved, and becomes null, dead. The innocent party is legally divorced before the eyes of God and free to marry another person without feeling condemned or guilty. Because of the act of adultery/fornication of the other party, the innocent person has been set free from that marriage, and is free to marry another person.
This is a passage of scripture from the Apostle Paul's firs letter to the Corinthians, where he deals with marriage, divorce and whether a person should remain single.
1 Corinthians 7:1-16: "Now concerning the things of which you wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife has not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power over his own body, but the wife. Deprive not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your lack of self-control. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot have self-control, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother has a wife that believes not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman who has a husband that believes not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? or how do you know, O man, whether you shall save your wife?"
Jesus was approached a second time by His disciples and asked a question dealing with this topic. This time, the answer of Messiah is more revealing and sheds even more light on this difficult topic.
Matthew 19:9-12: "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away does commit adultery. His disciples said unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, only they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, who were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, who were made eunuchs of men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
Here His disciples seem to be in the same predicament that many believers find themselves today regarding this subject. Basically, they were saying to the LORD that if it was so difficult to get out of a bad marriage, then maybe it is better not to marry. He answered them by saying that not everyone is able to receive His teaching; basically telling them that if they were able to live as eunuchs without sinning, it would be the best thing. However, not everyone is graced with this gift. Most people do not have the gift of abstinence, and may need to marry again.
In conclusion, let's recap all that we have covered. It is very obvious from scripture that the Almighty does not like divorce. He allows it only in circumstances involving adultery/fornication, in which case the marriage is rendered dead, null, void and the innocent party is allowed to enter into a new marriage. Believers who fall into this category do not commit sin if they marry someone else, as they are free to do so.
From the reading of scripture, both Jesus Christ as well as the Apostle Paul make it perfectly clear that it is better for a believer to remain single. However, If the person does not have the gift of abstinence and feels the need to marry, then they should do so rather than burn in lust.
Once married, they need to stay married and ask the LORD for the grace to do so. If one of the two commits adultery/fornication,the marriage is considered dead, null and void and the innocent party is free, and no longer under any obligation to that marriage covenant in the sight of God. It is very clear from scripture that once adultery or fornication takes place, the severance of ties in that marriage is decisive and final. However, if the guilty party repents and the innocent party is willing to forgive and remain in that marriage, they may do so by mutual consent.
Once divorced, both Messiah as well as the Apostle Paul state that it is better for a believer to remain unmarried. However, if the innocent person does not have the gift of abstinence and desires to marry another person, the person is free from the previous marriage and may enter in a new marriage without any feeling of guilt or condemnation.
A believer that breaks the marriage covenant by committing adulterywith another, has anulled that marriage by his very act. Theinnocent party in that marriage is free to leave, and marry another if they desire to. The guilty party will suffer the consequences of his sin in this life, as well as in the next. However, the salvation of his soul is not in jeopardy as long as he repents and continues to live his life as a true believer in Christ Jesus. There is grace available to these believers for their lives to be fully restored. However, there are some guidelines that should be applied in order to protect them, as well as others in the Body of Christ.
The believer who broke the covenant vows of his previous marriage should remain unmarried for a reasonable period of time (Approx. 1-3 yrs) to get his life back into alignment with the LORD. During this time, the believer should remain pure and not have any type of sexual relationships with the opposite sex as he receives ministry for healing and restoration in his life. During this time, the believer should not to be involved in active ministry to others as he himself is being healed and restored. Just like in the natural a soldier who has been wounded is not allowed into battle until he is completely healed, likewise in the spirit.
After his healing and restoration is complete, the believer is ready to resume his normal life and ministry. If he has the gift of abstinence, he should remain unmarried according to the scriptures. However, if he does not have the gift of abstinence he should marry again rather than burn in lust. Believers should be willing to forgive and welcome him back as a brother, and a fully functioning member in the body of Christ.
THE SONS OF BELIAL
Q: I just wanted to ask you what you know or have read about the Sons of Belial? It seems so relevant to spiritual warfare and how this spirit is so alive and kicking in today's world. It's so interesting what I've heard and read in the related scriptures.
A: The phrase Sons of Belial, is used frequently in the books of Samuel. They were perverse, wicked men; the children of the devil. Theyknew not the LORD. These men were the main cause of all the ungodliness of Israel. Their conduct described in 1 Samuel 2:13-17 caused the people to hate the Lord’s offering.
1 Samuel 2:13-17: "The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest took therewith. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
Yes, before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man who sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have boiled flesh of you, but raw. If the man said to him, They will surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as your soul desires; then he would say, No, but you shall give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. The sin of the young men was very great before Yahweh; for the men despised the offering of Yahweh."
Likewise, an ungodly priesthood is the main cause of the sins and ruin of any nation. The main cause for the moral depravity and spiritual decadence prevalent in America and in the world today has to be traced back to the spiritual condition of the Church and its leadership. You need to look no further. Show me the spiritual condition of the Church in any nation, and I will show you the socio-economic condition of that nation. What happens in the spirit realm always affects what takes place in the natural realm.
In the New Testament, Paul contrastsChrist and Belial, as if Belial were the name of an idol or the personification of evil (2 Corinthians 6:15). This probably led to the use of the term “Belial” in the King James Version, instead of expressing its meaning, which is wickedness. Theydid not acknowledge, honor, regard, love, or serve The Eternal One they had no fear of The Almighty.
They did not know the way of the LORD. The sons of Eli were sons of Belial. Although they were involved in the priesthood, they neither knewthe power of God nor His presence. They had thrown off its restraints and went in the opposite direction of extreme recklessness. A spirit of lawlessness has taken over America and most of the world today. This is in preparation for the man of lawlessness who is soon to be manifested with all kinds of deceptions and lying wonders.
Romans 1:28-32: "Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them."
1 Corinthians 15:33-34: "Don't be deceived! "Evil companionships corrupt good morals." Wake up righteously, and don't sin, for some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame."
Titus 1:15-16: "To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess that they know God, but by their works they deny him, being abominable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work."
Jude 1:4; 8-13: "For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation:ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ."
"Yet in like manner these also in their dreaming defile the flesh, despise authority, and slander celestial beings. But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation, but said, "May the Lord rebuke you!" But these speak evil of those things which they know not. but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in these things are they destroyed.
Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about by winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
TONGUES & THE LAYING ON OF HANDS
Q: I have grown up in a very legalistic church and they always believed that speaking in tongues was of the devil. In the last several years I have realized that they have been wrong by your ministry and others. I love your message and others you have been with on the radio who speak in tongues. Recently I traveled an hour to a church. They had a healing and impartation training. I got the feeling that something was just not right even though I could not place my finger on it. I received and impartation and healing there. Afterwards I had the feeling that I had been attacked by demons. I had intense depression and felt forsaken by God to the point that I did not want to live.
I have not felt that way since being a teenager so I know that it was already inside me. Hearing your last spiritual warfare radio show finally brought me out of it but it was extremely serious. I desire the Holy Spirit in my life so much but only the real thing. I refuse to join a dead church either. I find the charismatic movement confusing. But certain ministries seem to turn my stomach. All the churches that I have been to are disappointing with large problems. I appreciate your radio shows so much especially the spiritual warfare series.
A: Yes, speaking in tongues is a genuine gift of the Holy Spirit given to believers to talk to our Heavenly Father. When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, that person has the abililty to speak in tongues as it is one of the gifts available through the Holy Spirit. Spiritual tongues is the language that we use to commune with our Heavenly Father as we pray in the spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:2: "For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God: for no man understands him; but in the spirit he speaks mysteries."
1 Corinthians 14:15: "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."
However, just like there is a real dollar bill, there is also a fake. We know also that demon possessed people in other parts of the world speak in these demonic tongues. To say that all tongues are of the devil is just as wrong as it is to say that all tongues are of God. Discernment is needed for this, as well as checking the fruit in a person’s life. This is exactly what Jesus Christ told His disciples to do.
Matthew 7:17-19: “Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
Matthew 12:33: "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit."
The laying on of hands is something not to be taken lightly. I teach and train churches to be very careful who they allow to lay hands on the believers. The laying on of hands is used in the apostolic ministry to transmit the healing power of God into a person’s life, and it is also used to impart a gift or activate believers in their calling and gifting. There are many examples of the laying on of hands in the Bible. This action symbolizes a transfer, an imparting or assigning of something. The ceremony of laying hands on someone was also a sign of endorsementand confirmation of God's purpose. The physical hands don’t actually do anything. It is God, through the power of His Holy Spirit that does the transferring and the assigning. This has scriptural foundation:
Mark 16:18: "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, andthey shall recover."
Acts 8:18: "And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money"
Acts 28:8: "And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of dysentery: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, andlaid his hands on him, and healed him." In the New Testament there are many examples of the laying on of hands performed after baptism for the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:5-6 "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, theHoly Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied." The laying on of hands is always performed by someone ordained to the five fold ministry. It is used to transmit the power of the Holy Spirit to the individual who just got baptized.
Acts 8:15-17 "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."
Other examples in the New Testament of the laying on of hands include anointing during sickness
James 5:14-15 "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall deliver the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."
Luke 4:40: “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them”.
This I have done as well in many of our meetings where many have been healed, set free and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. However, there is another dimension to this. I do not lay hands on everyone. If the Holy Sprit warns me not to lay hands on someone, I will only pray for that person without laying on of hands. Discernment must be excercised before hastily laying hands on anyone.
If the person laying on hands has some type of stronghold, demonic spirits and sins operating in his life, when he lays hands on a person he will also transmit those things to the person he is praying for. This is why it is so important to know that the person laying hands on you is a man of God and living a clean, pure, holy life before the LORD.
1 Tim 5:22: “Lay hands hastily on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep yourself pure.”
The apostle Paul instructs Timothy to not lay hands hastily on anyone for a reason. Apparently it has much to do with keeping himself pure. If a minister is laying hands on someone who has strongholds of some sort, demonic spirits or is dealing with some sin issues, those things could also be transmitted to the minister. This works both ways, as the laying on of hands is a type of connection, point of contact between two people where spiritual things can be transmitted one way or the other. Pray for discernment and wisdom in these last days.
The laying on of hands is also performed on other occasions such as the blessing of the little children. This is a custom which is performed once on young children and traditionally takes place during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Matthew 19:13 "Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them."
During this ceremony, the minister asks God to assign special care and protection over the young child that is being blessed. The laying on of hands is also done during the marriage ceremony. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God. The Laying on of hands during a marriage ceremony demonstrates an acknowledgment that the marriage covenant is an agreement which is bound and sealed by the Almighty who dwells in heaven. Authority is transferred to the couple where the husband is to lead his wife in love, and the wife is to submit herself to her husband.
Genesis 2:24-25 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."
Ephesians 5:22-25 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."
Finally, when God was delivering His nation out of the land of Egypt, Aaron laid hands on certain of the sacrificial animals for the transference of all sins. There is an Old Testament scripture which demonstrates this laying on of hands ceremony:
Leviticus 16:21-22: “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness”
Another example found in the Old Testament that demonstrates the laying on of hands was to fulfill the biblical transfer of birthright promises:
Genesis 48:16-18 “And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long into this day. The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads, and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth”
The transfer and assigning that took place in this ceremony shows just how important the laying on of hands is. The laying on of hands was also used in the Old Testament for the transfer of authority and the ordination of people to a position of responsibility. Moses laid his hands upon Joshua as a symbol or a sign that God Himself was placing Joshua in an office of responsibility.
Num. 27:18-20, 23: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Take you Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And you shall put some of your honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.”
The restoration of this person should be done under the supervision of one or more elders (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor &Teacher). The final decision as to when he is completely healed, restored and ready to be involved in ministry again should be made by a council of elders in the Body of Christ.
If there be anyone who is contentious and is still not satisfied with the considerations shared above, I will now appeal to your sense of reasoning and common sense. We all agree that King David is one of the most beloved characters in the Bible. He is called a man after God's heart
Acts 13:22: "And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who shall fulfill all my will."
We also all agree that David committed a terrible crime by sending Uriah the husband of Bathsheba to the forefront of the hottest battle to be killed, because he had fornicatedwith his wife Bathsheba and she was carrying his child. After Uriah was killed, David brought Bathsheba to his house and she became his wife. However, this thing that David had done displeased the Almighty (I Samuel 11).
Now, we also know that David, after he was rebuked by Nathan the prohet, repented before the LORD and he was forgiven of his grievous sin (I Samuel 12). However, although he was forgiven of his sins by the Eternal One, David suffered greatly as there were dire consequences for his sins. The child he had with Bathsheba died, and later his beloved son Absalom betrayed him and tried to take the kingdom away from him. Eventually, his son Absalom whom David loved dearly was killed by the hand of Joab, the commander of his army (2 Samuel 18).
Now, David stayed married to Bathsheba and had a son with her named Solomon, who wrote the Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon. We all agree that King David made it to Heaven along with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the heroes of the faith. Bear in mind that this happened while the Old Covenant was in place. The New Covenant was implemented by Jesus Christ with His 12 apostles. This is called the New Covenant of His Blood:
Matthew 26:27-28: "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it; For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
I leave you with this question: if King David repented of his sins and was forgiven by God and made it to heaven under the Old Covenant of the Law, how can believers in the New Testament who are under the New Covenant of Grace (which is supposed to be superior to the Old Covenant of the Law), not make it to heaven for committing and repenting of the same sin as David? Selah.
Hebrews 8:6-7: "But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second."
IS GOD IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHNG THAT HAPPENS ON EARTH?
Q: I do have two questions for you 1) you where talking about the time you where on the show (live) while the war was going on in Syria and God spoke and wanted you to pray cause the war was not caused by him it was Satan. The next day after praying it came to a stand still. My question is I thought God was in control of everything, that Satan can't do anything without God's approval? and another question, I just thought of when a saint is in trouble (spiritually or physically) why do we intercede? Why doesn't God just protect them or stop what is going on? I am lost on these two questions.
A: This is a very good question, but the answer is not that simple to explain. I will attempt to answer it in a concise manner. You are not alone in asking this type of question, as it has been asked for ages by believers in Christ Jesus. Unfortunately, the answer that is most often given is the one that you just mentioned. Most churches teach that everything that happens is God's will. They try to re-assure the sheep by telling them not to worry, that God is in control. Although the premise of that statement is true, it is not that simplistic. Although the Creator is in control of the universe, the situation on this earth is a tad more complicated.
Psalms 115:16: "The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth has he given to the children of men."
You see, when the Almighty created this Earth, He gave Adam authority over the Garden to tend it and nurture it. Adam was given total and complete control over this earth to be its custodian. However, the Creator also gave Adam and Eve this little thing called "Free Will". When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and fell into sin on the Garden of Eden, this world and all that is in it came into the possession of Satan. As a result of that, this world and everything in it has come under the influence of Satan and the powers of darkness.
Ephesians 2:2: "In which in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience"
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried and resurrected from the grave He restored part of what was lost at the Garden of Eden by destroying Satan and the power of death, hell and the grave:
Colossians 2:15: "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
However, if Jesus Christ has has already taken care of the problem why are we still having all kinds of problems in our world such as disease, wars, murders, corruption, etc? The answer is that thevictory that Jesus Christ obtained at the Cross of Calvary has to be applied, appropriated and acted on in order for it to be validated. Otherwise, everyone in the world would be saved now, wouldn't they?
1 John 5:18-19: "We know that whosoever is born of God sins not; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one touches him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness."
Everyone has the responsibility to exercise their own free will and choose who they want to serve. There is a spiritual law of NON-INTERFERENCE in human affairs that applies to the Kingdom of Darkness as well as the Kingdom of Light. The only way they can legally engage or interfere in human affairs:
1. Kingdom of Light: if is if it is requested by a human being through Godly prayer or intercession
2. Kingdom of Darkness: if it is requested through some kind of satanic/demonic ritual or blood sacrifice
The powers of darkness will do anything they want to do as long as they act in accordance with the rules and spiritual laws set up by the Almighty. As long as they do that, they can do anything they want on the earth and get away with it although it goes totally against the will of God. Why would Jesus teach His disciples in the model of prayer to pray "your will be done on the earth as it is in heaven" unless that is not the case most of the time. The will of the Father is implemented by the prayers of His saints on the earth. Only humans have theright to act on the earth based on the scripture posted above. Human beings may be children of the Most High or the children of the devil:
Matthew 13:25-30: "But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the plant was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? from where then has it tares? He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Will you then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them.Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
The children of the devil will do anything they want to do on this earth even if it is not the will of God. We have been placed on this earth as the enforcers of that which Christ has purchased for us through His atoning death at the Cross of Calvary. We are basically the ones that have the obligation and the rightful authority to pray and engage the Kingdom of Heaven into whatever is taking place here on the earth. This is the reason why Yahushua told His disciples to go and preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out devils and raise the dead saying "the Kingdom of God is at hand".
The problem today is that most of the church believes that way. It is so passive, that the powers of darkness have their way with the people of God. Satanists, witches the rest of the hordes of hell laugh whenever they refer to the Christians. They see christians as mushrooms, who do not know much about anything regarding spiritual things and as weaklings who cannot even stop a demonic attack. Sad as it is, they are not far from the truth. Christians are not being taught spiritual warfare, healing and deliverance among other things in the local churches.
What a difference from the ministry of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ who was feared by the demonic hosts. Same with Peter, Paul and the rest of the apostles. They had spirit power operating in their lives and were not afraid to use it when confronting the enemy. The Body of Christ better wake up before it is too late.
GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER
Q: I would like someone to address what does it mean to get your house in order. When you talk about such things, many do not understand what that means; because I was asked: does that mean all bills have to be paid, etc? Thanks for the reply.
A: As the scripture below indicates, getting your house in order means getting your soul and spiritual condition right with God and into alignment; repenting and asking the LORD to forgive you and cleanse you from all sin and evil things you have done. It also has to do with forgiving all who have harmed you in one way or another releasing them unto God. Then obeying the LORD as to what He would have you do.
2 Kings 20:1-3 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus says the LORD, Set your house in order; for you shall die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech you, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
The time to come into alignment and get your house in order is now. Things are about to get real messy and only those who have gotten their house in order and come into alignment will be eligible to receive divine protection and guidance in the days to come. As the world gets darker, it behooves us to pay attention and check ourselves to see whether we are in the faith and if there is any dirt on our wedding garments. Only those with a wedding garment will be able to enter into the wedding of the LAMB. May the LORD grant us grace to repent and get our house in order before the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD comes.
GRACE, FAITH, SABBATH, SACRED NAMES & HEBREW ROOTS MOVEMENT
Q: I have been learning to be a Shabbat Observant...however, after listening to Pastor Mike Hoggard's teachings today, I am beginning to think he is right and this is a deception from the enemy. There is no 'deeper knowledge' than what comes from the Bible. We don't need anything else. We stand on grace, through faith...not on sacred names, shofar, saying shalom or being a Friday/Saturday observant (shabbat). Where do you stand on this issue, please? I have been following the teachings of Michael Rood and Jim Staley for the last months...but, am now seeing that I may have been led down the garden path, though I am a seasoned believer in the word. That can happen to anyone. My desire is to please the LORD, and that was the only motivation.
A: Your statement that we stand on grace through faith is true, however it goes much deeper than that and the explanation may be somewhat lengthy. So, if you will bear with me I will try to explain. First of all, right off the bat let me say that the Sabbath among others, is considered one of The Feasts of the LORD, not of Israel (Leviticus 23:2-4, 37, 44,). They were given to Israel by God through Moses as types of shadows of the coming Messiah and His Redemption Master Plan which He would accomplish in the future. Israel was commanded to keep these feasts. Along with the feasts, they were given sets of rules, principles and instructions that they had to live their lives by. This was done so that Israel would learn the ways of God, and live their lives in a way that was pleasing to a Holy Creator. The first half of the commandments had to do with laws and instructions dealing with their relationship with the Almighty. The second half of the commandments had to do with laws and instructions dealing with their relationship with each other. This was to teach and train them to become His people.
I have always been a seeker of Truth. I spent many years in the wilderness looking for the Truth (if you are interested, my whole story is written in our book Smile, Jesus Loves You). After my conversion, I spent 7 years in a very legalistic system before Jesus Christ revealed His grace to me supernaturally. For the next 7 years, I went to the opposite extreme and embraced the grace message wholeheartedly. I started preaching the grace message as passionate as I had become consumed by it. It was such a powerful and necessary revelation in order to walk in the fullness of our inheritance. However, although I preached grace and faith messages to the people, I knew there was something wrong; something was missing. At that point in time, the LORD began to bring me into a balance regarding these things. This was a process that took many years. You see, I have come to understand through the years that there are very few absolutes in the Kingdom of God. Here are some absolutes:
JESUS CHRIST YAHUSHUA
WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:27)
WAS THE LAMB OF GOD (John 1:29, 36; Revelation 5:6; 15:3; 19:9; 21:22-23; 22:1; 22:3)
WAS SINLESS AND PERFECT (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:19)
WAS THE SON OF GOD (Mathew 16:16; 27:54; Mark 1:1, 3:11, 5:7; Luke 1:32, 35; 4:41; John 1:34, 49; 3:18; 5:25)
WAS GOD MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH (Isaiah 7:14; 9:61; 1 Timothy 3:16)
SHED HIS BLOOD ON CALVARY FOR THE SINS OF ALL MANKIND (Romans 5:8-12; Ephesians 1:7; Colosians 1:14)
DIED AND WAS RESURRECTED ON THE THIRD DAY (Mark 16:9, 14; Luke 24:6; John 2:22; Acts 17:3; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:20)
ASCENDED TO HEAVEN (John 3:13; 20:17; Ephesians 4:8-9; Acts 1:9-11)
WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD (Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:16; 1 Cor 4:5; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5; Rev 19:11)
SAID THAT YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN TO ENTER HIS KINGDOM (John 3:1-8; 1 Peter 1:23-25)
IS THE ONLY NAME BY WHICH WE CAN BE SAVED (John 20:31; Acts 4:12, 18; 10:43; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 3:17)
MENTIONED HEAVEN 125 TIMES (Mathew 5:20, 45, 48; 6:1, 20; Luke 18:22; John 6:38, 41-42)
MENTIONED HELL 16 TIMES (Mathew 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; 16:18; Mark 9:43; Revelation 1:18)
These things are FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS. You can put them in the bank as ABSOLUTE TRUTHS (Read more by going to Statement of Faith) Then you have other areas as the one you asked about which are not as clearly defined in the Word, which is the reason why there is much disagreement and confusion on it. There seems to be some apparent contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible on this subject; therefore it requires much study and revelation from God to get a better understanding on it. Simple head knowledge will not do it. For example, let's take the the doctrine of Grace. According to what we hear most preachers teach today, it is all about the Finished Work of Calvary. The LORD revealed to me the Finished Work of Calvary. I understand Grace better than most. I spent years studying that subject at the feet of the Master. However, I do not agree with what is being taught today in the Liberal Super Grace Church System that you have to do nothing to be a Christian, only believe. This doctrine has led to the corrupt, sinful, lustful and worldly Christians in the Churches that we see today in America.
Then on the other hand, you have the other extreme: The Legalistic Church System. They are very careful to keep the letter of the law, but fail miserably in the department of the spirit of the law. This Church System has produced corrupt, intolerant, arrogant and unloving Christians in their Churches. These are mostly the ones that will criticize, judge and send you to hell if you dare disagree with them, yet will not even raise a finger to help the lost, the poor, the suffering of this world or help the ones that are trying to do so. These were the same ones that killed the Master when He came the first time because they were jealous and envious of Him. While He was out ministering to the lost, sick and demonized they were busy trying to figure out a way to catch Him doing or saying something that would contradict the Law of Moses (as far as they believed). No matter how many people He fed, healed and delivered from demons, the religious Pharisees and Saducees were determined to find something wrong with Him in order to unjustly accuse Him and kill Him:
Matthew 12:24: "But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, this fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils."
Matthew 10:25: "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?"
Mark 11:28: "And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?"
John 8:3-6: "And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not."
Mark 1:21: "And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught."
Mark 2:23-28: "And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Thereforethe Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."
Mark 3:1-6: "And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him."
Luke 13:11-17: "And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him."
Luke 14:1-6: "And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things."
John 5:8-10: "Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed."
John 5:16-18: "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."
John 7:21-24: "Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
John 9:14-16: "And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them."
These scriptures are a good segue to the main question you asked. As the scriptures above prove, Messiah Himself did not always keep the Sabbath while He was here on the earth. If you read these scriptures, you will realize that the Master was more concerned with the Spirit of the Law than the letter of the Law. According to the religious Pharisees and Saducees Jesus Christ Yahushua broke the law of the Sabbath whenever He healed the sick, cast out devils or preached on the Sabbath. However, that is not how He saw it. He placed a higher emphasis on helping people than on keeping a law. He placed a higher emphasis on doing the right thing rather than trying to keep the Sabbath. He said it best when he said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. The reason that the Sabbath was created was to allow man a day to rest from his secular labors, and also a time to give thanks to the Creator and worship Him.
Every day should be lived as an expression of thanksgiving and praise to our Creator and Savior. The Sabbath was never meant to become a strict, religious empty ritual that a believer has to keep or he comes into condemnation. The command to keep the sabbath day was specifically given to Israel, not to the gentiles. It is considered a part of the Mosaic Covenant given to Moses by the Almighty.
Exodus 31:16-17 "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed."
In his epistle to the Romans, the apostle Paul tells them how to live their Christian life in compliance to the ten commandments, yet strangely leaves out the Stabbath day.
Romans 13:8-10 "Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
Christian believers that want to keep the Sabbath today are free to do so as long as it does not become a strict religious ritual that will lead them to bondage. Whenever keeping the Sabbath becomes a strict, religious duty, you have stopped operating in the Spirit of faith and have come once again under the yoke of the Law of Moses.
2 Corinthians 4:13: "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak."
2 Corinthians 3:6-9: "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 gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministry of the Spirit be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory."
Once you are born again and filled with His Spirit, you have entered into His rest, which is a continual Sabbath. Once a person has been born again and has become a disciple of Jesus Christ, he is supposed to rest from his own works and come to Him who is Greater than the Sabbath.
Matthew 11:28-30: "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
John 1:17: "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
Hebrews 3:18-19: "And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
Hebrews 4:1-11: "Let us therefore fear, lest, although a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we who have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day in this way, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, They shall not enter into my rest.
Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter into it, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limits a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."
The seventh day of the Creation week was designated as a type of the Sabbath by our Creator:
Exodus 20:11: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
God's rest day was broken by the fall of man. There would be no rest until redemption was brought in for the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt through the offering of the Passover Lamb, which is a type and shadow of the Lamb of God Jesus Christ. The Sabbath did not exist before the dispensation of the Law as Adam, Abraham, Isaac or Jacob were told to observe it. The Sabbath was not commanded to be kept until after the exodus from Egypt in connection with the gathering of the manna. The first time that we read about the Sabbath is in the book of Exodus:
Exodus 16:23-26: "And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none."
As you can see by now, the whole issue of the Mosaic Sabbath was a type and shadow of the spiritual rest that Messiah would bring when He came.That is why this issue of Grace versus The Law is such a complex and controversial subject. We need to understand that believers in Yeshua are under the Covenant of Grace. God's Commandments and standards are perfection; man is unnable to keep all of His Commandments every day of his life to the satisfaction of the Almighty. That is the reason why Jesus Christ brought God's Commandments to a whole new level:
Matthew 5:27-28: "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Every sin has its roots and beginnings in our hearts. God sees all our sins; it is futile to try to hide your sins from Him. In order for God to reconcile us to Himself, He had to deal with this sin issue which separated us from Him. This is why He sent His own Son Jesus Christ so that whosoever believes on Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life:
John 1:12-14: "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth."
John 3:16-18: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him. He that believeth on him is not judged: he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God."
2 Corinthians 5:21 " Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him."
The Everlasting Father sent His perfect, sinless Son Jesus Christ to make an atonement for all the sins of mankind. It was His shed blood that bought us forgiveness and eternal life to all who would believe in Him. None of us have self righteousness; Jesus Christ is our Righteousness. Why would anyone want to go back under the Law that brought condemnation and death when we have been given a better New Covenant of Grace, by which the Spirit gives us life eternal? Those who insist in going back to the Law are diminishing the finished work of the Cross. Once you are born again and filled with His Spirit, you will want to keep His Commandments our of love and a grateful heart to the LORD. Jesus Christ did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. It is a fact that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law:
Matthew 5:18: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Matthew 5:17: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
Isaiah 64:6: "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."
Luke 24:44: "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
Acts 15:28-29: "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That you abstain from anything offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well. Farewell."
Romans 3:20: "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Romans 3:28: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Galatians 2:16: "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Galatians 3:10-13: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does them shall live in them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree."
Galatians 3:24: "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
Colossians 2:16-17 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
Galatians 4:9-11: "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."
Galatians 5:4: "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace."
Every day should be lived as an expression of thanksgiving and praise to our Creator and Savior. The Sabbath was never meant to become a strict, religious empty ritual that a believer has to keep or he comes into condemnation. Whenever keeping the Sabbath becomes a strict, religious duty what you have is religion. Keeping the Sabbath is a beautiful thing, as long as it is done out of love and spending time with the Master rather than a religious duty. I love to spend the Sabbaths with my LORD and Savior because it causes me great joy. However, I love to spend time with Him every day as well because it gives me great joy in my heart to do it, not because I have to do it. That is the difference between Law and Grace. Grace does it willingly, out of love, thankfulness and appreciation for what Messiah has done. Law, on the other hand, does it out of fear and not out of joy and love. Whenever you do anything like this, it becomes a dead, empty ritual. No matter if it is prayer, fasting, worship, acts of kindness, or any other thing. Without love, anything you do for the LORD is a dead, empty ritual which He will vomit out of His mouth.
Matthew 15:1-6 "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, who were from Jerusalem, saying, Why do your disciples transgress thetradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do you alsotransgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death. But you say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift devoted to God, whatsoever you might have received from me; And honors not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God void by your tradition."
Galatians 3:28-29 "There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for you all are one man in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise."
The Sabbath with all the ritualistic observance of Jewish Feasts, ceremonies and offerings came to an end at the close of the dispensation of the Jewish Mosaic Law, and the coming of the Church Age of Grace with the death of Messiah on the cross of Calvary. The new Church Age began fifty days later with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. From that day until now, Christian believers have been operating in a different dispensation of Grace; a new covenant based on the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The Jewish Sabbath was not changed to a Christian Sabbath, just like circumcision was not changed to baptism. The former was symbolic of the latter, not a replacement; Christianity does not replace Jewish Judaism. The Old Covenant was a shadow of things to come in the New Covenant. The Sabbath has to do with the Law and the Old Covenant; whereas Christianity has to do with Grace and the New Covenant based on the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The two cannot be combined into some form of Hybrid Religion. They have been separated in the scriptures for a reason, and should remain separated.
Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits, which fell not on a Sabbath for He lay dead in the tomb on that day, but on the first day of the week, the morning after the Sabbath. Also, the birth of the Christian Church took place in the Feast of Pentecost, which also fell on the first day of the week, not the seventh. From that moment on, every Christian believer worshipped on the first day of the week, long before the Papacy came into existence. Sunday (the first day of the week) became the day when believers in Jesus Christ gathered together in the early church to break bread and listen to the Word of God being preached. In the New Testament it is called the Lord's Day, not the Old Testament rest day or Sabbath day. It is a day that is supposed to be filled with worship, joy, love and celebration of the Resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOR, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom in all the world.
Matthew 28:1-6 "At the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow: And for fear of him the guards did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not: for I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Mark 16:1-6 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were amazed. And he said unto them, Be not amazed: you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him."
Mark 16:9-10 "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven demons. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept."
Luke 24:1-3 "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others came with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus."
John 20:1-9 "The first day of the week came Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and saw the stone taken away from the sepulcher. Then she ran, and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet went he not in. Then came Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and saw the linen cloths lying, And the cloth, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, who came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead."
Acts 20:7 "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the next day; and continued his speech until midnight."
1 Corinthians 16:1-3 "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you.Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever you shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem."
There is a movement with much doctrinal error that is causing concern. It is prevalent among many believers today and growing; that is the Hebrew Roots Movement. It comes in many names, flavors and colors, so it is not possible to catalog all the factions in this movement under the same label just because they believe on some of the same things. Some of the main core belief system in this group is very dangerous to the Body of Christ. Many believers in Jesus Christ observe the Sabbath and Feasts of the LORD; have an understanding of Hebrew roots; understand Jewish history; use Hebrew words to explain the meaning of some sayings in the Bible etc. I myself am a believer in our Hebrew heritage as well. However, you need to understand that there is a big difference between that and what the Hebrew Roots Movement believe and teach. I understand that there are different factions in the Hebrew Roots Movement that do not believe the same things. Some are not as extreme in their beliefs as others. If you are one of those, then you would be wise to come out and not associate yourself with the Hebrew Roots Movement.
There is nothing wrong for a Gentile believer in Jesus Christ to grow deep in the knowledge of our Jewish heritage in Hebrew Culture and it is a good thing for us to learn about the Feasts of the LORD, Holidays and other Jewish customs and traditions. This will deepen our appreciation and love for our Messiah, and help us understand the common roots that Gentile share with Jews. However, to place Gentile believers in Jesus Christ under the yoke of bondage of Old Testament Law is something that is unscriptural and has no foundation whatsoever in the Word of God as written in the New Testament. The Torah cannot and will not save anyone. You can keep the Torah all you want, and you will not be saved unless you accept Jesus Christ Messiah as your Savior and His finished work of the Cross where He shed His pure innocent blood as the Lamb of God. The Father gave Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, all authority in Heaven and Earth. There is no other name given to man that can save you but the name of Jesus. He is the way to the Father, not the Torah. Without Jesus Christ, you are lost and headed to hell.
Acts 4:10-12 "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him does this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved."
That is what the LORD himself and the Holy Scriptures teach. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father; the only gate through which all must enter in order to be saved from hell and inherit eternal life. Many people say they know God, but do not know Jesus Christ. There is no other way to God the Father except through the Son Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear about this. Many tried to kill the Messiah because of these words that He spoke. The same with Apostle Paul; they stoned him and tried to silence him because of the message that he preached. The HRM is trying to lead people away from Jesus Christ and lead them to the Torah. They pick and choose scriptures in the New Testament only to confirm what they believe to be the truth, and avoid the scriptures that show salvation is only through the person of Jesus Christ, not by keeping the Law or the Torah. The Bible begins with the Torah, but it ends with the LORD Jesus Christ. The purpose of the entire Bible is to lead us to Jesus Christ the Messiah, not the Torah. The Law lets a person see his true sinful condition, but it is unable to save; it leads us to the only one who can save us.
Galatians 3:23-26 "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
John 14:6-11 "Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him. Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it will satisfy us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you 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 dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake."
Luke 19:10 "For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."
It is not my habit to accuse anyone of what they believe or are doing in their service to the LORD. Each person will have to give an account to the Righteous Judge on that day. However, much of the teachings of the Hebrew Roots Movement are right down dangerous and harmful to the Body of Christ.
There is much incorrect unbiblical teaching in their ranks which is extremely dangerous. Messianic Judaism, although more Christ oriented and not as dogmatic as HRM, is very similar in many of their core beliefs. Many Jews who have accepted Jesus Christ as Messiah, are trying as the Christians in the early Church, to combine the works of the Law, Old Covenant, the Sabbaths and the Holy Days with Christianity. Many precious Gentile believers because of their love for the Jewish people and Israel are easy prey for the HRM and MJ. It is true that the LORD will one day restore Israel, but not the old Judaic Religious System because Jesus Christ did away with all of that when He became the Lamb of God and was crucified on the cross for our redemption, and thus fulfilled all of the requirements under the law which that system could never do.
Matthew 11:13-15 "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you will receive it, this is Elijah, who was to come. He that has ears to hear, let him hear."
Luke 16:16 "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it."
Matthew 22:34-40 "But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, who was a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Romans 8:2-4 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
All of the laws, ordinances and rituals pointed to Jesus Christ. Having faith in His Atoning work of the Cross, His shed blood and His Grace is sufficient to save the lost of the sinner. If you add anything to that or take away from it, makes what He did on the cross in vain. This is what is happening with the HR and MJ movements. There are probably some in this movement whose belief system is somewhat in line with scriptures. However, the same could be said of the Catholic Church or many other movements. Many people in those groups are the sweetest, nicest, most spiritual people you could ever met. Some of them even believe similar to the way evangelicals believe as they worship only the LORD, not the Virgin Mary and saints; they believe salvation is only through the atoning finished work of the cross. However, they are still a part of a system whose roots are not in alignment with scripture. As a matter of fact, some of the HRM teachings are in total contradiction to scriptures. Thus, the whole of their teachings becomes extremely dangerous to born again believers. Apostle Paul tried to warn the Galatians who had fallen prey to this error:
Galatians 1:6-9 "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed."
Galatians 3:1-3 "O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been openly set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?"
Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
Galatians 5:18 "But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law."
The Apostle Paul was chosen by the LORD to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and Peter together with other Apostles to the Jews. Believers in Jesus Christ should not declare themselves to be a part of the HRM just because they believe some of the things that the Hebrew Roots Movement believes in. Just to give you an example: even though I speak in tongues and believe some of the things that the Pentecostal Movement believes in, I am not a part of the Pentecostal Movement. I also believe some of the same things that the Baptist movement believes in, yet I am not a Baptist. I could name many other denominations and movements as an example. Although all of those Christian denominations and movements have some good teachings and wonderful people who are a part of them, I would not want to be a part of those movements or denominations because I know that some of the things that they believe in are not in alignment with what the scriptures say. What I am trying to say is that just because you believe some of the same things that HRM or MJM believes in, does not make you a part of it.
Chritians that succumb to the error taught by the Hebrew Roots Movement do not realize that the majority of Christians throughout history did not keep the Jewish dietary requirements, Sabbaths and the Mosaic Law. While the children of Israel were in captivity in Babylon, they substituted the synagogues for the temple and appointed Rabbis to teach them the Law (Torah). However, the Rabbis interpreted and changed the Law to suit themselves. This is where the oral tradition of the elders came from. These traditions of men in time were written down and began to take the place of the Law. That is what is contained in the Midrash, Mishnah, Haggadah, Halakah and the Talmud. The writings in these books are not the Word of God; however they form the foundation of the doctrines of the Hebrew Roots Movement. This is what the Pharisees, Saducees and the Messiah Himself referred to many times during His time of ministry on the Earth:
Matthew 15:1-6 "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, who were from Jerusalem, saying, Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death. But you say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift devoted to God, whatsoever you might have received from me; And honors not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God void by your tradition."
Mark 7:1-13 "Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, who came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands often, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, bronze vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not your disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands? He answered and said unto them, Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such things you do.
And he said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever curses father or mother, let him die the death: But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift devoted to God, whatsoever you might have received from me; he shall be free. And you allow him no more to do anything for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such things do you."
The HRM is basically repeating what the Judaizers did in the days of the Apostle Paul; trying to judaize all believers. Their core teachings demand strict obedience to the Torah (Law of Moses); strict aherence to a Kosher diet; strict observance of Sabbaths; Jewish Festivals and Holidays must be observed today. A person is saved by the keeping of the laws; grace has nothing to do with salvation. Many adhere to a sacred name philosophy. If you do not use that particular name for God, they accuse you of not knowing Him. When someone claims that there is only one name for Jesus or God, there is a good chance that they are in the Hebrew Roots Movement. Many in this movement have rendered their own translation of the Bible because they believe that no one has EVER in the history of mankind done it correctly before. They believe that born again gentiles must assume Jewish customs and traditions if they want to be mature and please God. (More information on the sacred name teaching)
The deeper down they go into these rabbit holes, the more strange and weird their doctrines become. Many of them see the New Testament as inferior to the Old Testament, and some even say that Apostle Paul's teachings are contrary to Christ and thus they completely reject or minimize the Pauline epistles which is about one third of the New Testament. The whole purpose is to make you doubt the New Testament and embrace another gospel as mentioned by Apostle Paul. Some of them believe that Jesus was the Messiah but not God; others go even so far as to reject Jesus as the Messiah and say that He was just a Rabbi who pointed us to God. Some even believe that their leader or leaders represent one or both of the two witnesses of Revelation. These are the same type of legalistic, pharisaical, judaizing teachings that Paul and Barnabas had to continually confront. They had many heated discussions with those groups over this question, which eventually ended up with them having the Council in Jerusalem to settle this matter with the other Apostles and Elders once and for all:
Acts 15:1-29 "And certain men who came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying, It is needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, you know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, who knows the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why test God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.Then all the multitude kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring what miracles and wonders God had done among the Gentiles by them.
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the rest of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, says the Lord, who does all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Therefore my judgment is, that we trouble not them, who from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from defilements of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greetings unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Since we have heard thatcertain who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, You must be circumcised, and keep the law:towhom we gave no such commandment: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That you abstain from anything offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well. Farewell."
As you can clearly read in the above scripture, the Apostle Paul, Peter, James and all the others Apostles and Elders did not command the gentiles to keep the Torah (Law of Moses) as given to the children of Israel. On the contrary, the Apostle Paul wrote many Epistles (Letters) confirming what was established by the Apostles and Elders in the Council of Jerusalem, basically that the gentiles (those that are not jews) are not expected to keep the Law of Moses, Rituals, Sabbaths, Holy Days or any of the other Rabbinic Teachings. There is no evidence anywhere in the New Testament that commands gentile believers to observe the Sabbaths, Jewish Holidays and eat Kosher foods. The Apostle Paul gives instructions to the gentile believers throughout his epistles in the New Testament regarding the way we should live our daily lives. Anything else that any sect, denomination movement or group may try to tell you that you must do to serve the LORD, is contrary to what the New Testament teaches and you are under no obligation to do those things. Walk in the liberty whereby the LORD has given you. Visit this link: Black Hebrew Roots Movement
Another group that has extreme views on keeping the Sabbath are the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA). There are many good people in the SDA Church, but they believe and follow the teachings of their founder Ellen G. White excessively. They believe that Christian believers who worship on Sunday are submitting to the mark of the beast and in danger of loosing their eternal salvation. The SDA share some of the same heresies embraced by the Jehovah's Witnesses (and Mormons), and both share their early history. Early adventist N.H. Harbor co-published with Charles Taze Russell (33rd degree Freemason, Joseph Smith). However, they later had a fallout over dates about the end of the world and parted ways. These groups share some of the same doctrines such as Hell does not exist; Jesus is Michael the Archangel; Soul Sleep and others. If you would like to study these things in more depth, visit this site.
John 8:36 "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Galatians 3:23-26 "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
Romans 3:19-20; 28 "Now we know that whatsoever things the lawsays, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Galatians 2:11-16 "But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed. For before certain men came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision. And the other Jews joined likewise with him; so that Barnabas also was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compel you the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the lawshall no flesh be justified."
Galatians 3:10-13 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does them shall live in them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree."
Galatians 5:3-4 "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace."
Colossians 2:16-17 "Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
Romans 8:1-4 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
God is not a man, as I have shared so many times throughout the years. I understand that most people want to be precise whenever they call on the name of the LORD. However, believers from the HRM, MJM and others place too much emphasis on saying the name exactly as they think it should be without knowing much about the origins of where all of these names come from. I have used the name of Jesus Christ all my life to cast out devils devils, heal the sick and deliver the oppressed. I have seen the power of God manifested throughout my ministry while simply using the name of Jesus. Many people have also reported incidents of so called aliens who have come to abduct them and they have resisted them in the name of Jesus, and the aliens (which are demons and fallen angels) left them alone. There has been much research done on the topic of the Sacred Names used to refer to God and Jesus Christ, so I will not get into that deep subject on this study. Suffice to say, believers need to stop majoring on minors and begin to emphasize things which need to be. If you would like to research this more throughly, see Sacred Names.