Sometimes I run across people who are infatuated with studying or thinking about false things. Let's examine the occult. Let's look at this conspiracy. Let's spend time seeing what Satan is doing, because we don't want to be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).
A long time ago I heard a man talk about how his job was to know counterfeit bills apart from genuine bills. He said that the way he got good at discerning counterfeit money was not by studying counterfeit money, but by picking up a genuine twenty dollar bill, and studying that; over and over again. If he knew every mark, every emblem, every feel, every crevice, he would automatically know when a counterfeit bill entered his hands.
Some counterfeit bills would be better than others, but the study method remained the same. He just kept studying the genuine in order to better and better discern what was false.
As followers of Yahweh, there is no need for us to spend time studying or meditating on what is false. It is a waste of time actually. What we should spend time studying is Scripture. We ought to meditate of the law of Yahweh day and night (Psalm 1).
Most Christians I run across haven't done this. You can tell just after a few minutes of discussing with a person if they are diligent in studying the Bible. I say this to encourage you to study more. Read, yes. Sing, yes. Pray, yes. But don't stop with those things. If you want to be fully equipped for every good work, you need to study and meditate on Scripture.
When you do this, it matters not how pretty or well made a counterfeit is when it comes across your social media feed or walks up to your door. You will be able to discern the evil, because you studied the good. You won't be ignorant of Satan's devices, not because you studied Satan, but because you've spent so much time with Yahweh.
It's election cycle again, and I've almost let myself lose my peace of mind. What I mean is that I let all the news, debates, social media, etc. suck me in to the point where I just about went bonkers. My brain can't process it all. It makes me sick, physically, to see and hear all the trash that goes on between candidates, not to mention seeing people get behind certain candidates as though they are the Messiah himself.
I've written about voting before, so I'm going to keep it simple. I'm a Christian. This means everything I do needs to be filtered through Holy Scripture. Whether that makes sense to me or anyone else doesn't matter. Scripture calls me to trust in Yahweh and not lean to my own understanding. Scripture calls me to not be wise in my own eyes, but let Yahweh direct my path (Proverbs 3:5-7).
What I'm going to share in this blog post is going to make some people roll their eyes. Others will laugh and mock. There will be some people who think I am complete bonkers. But, I cannot let any of that bother me, because I'm trusting in Yahweh. I'm not worried about getting praised by man.
I'm sure it sounded weird to the Israelites when they were told to march around the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-16). 10 out of 12 Israelites that spied out Canaan land thought there was no way they'd defeat the giant Canaanites (Numbers 13-14), even though Yahweh had told them, "I'm giving you this land." Dipping 7 times in the Jordan River seemed senseless to Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5:1-14). Looking at a bronze-cast snake on a wooden pole seems ridiculous, when someone tells you that's how you'll get healed of poisonous snake-bites (Numbers 21:4-9). I could go on, but my point is that Yahweh's methods aren't man's methods. Yahweh honors those who trust His word in spite of how strange it sounds to the ears of man.
When we look to Holy Scripture we are given clear, specific criteria for appointing men as leaders in a governmental capacity. Deuteronomy 17 gives us the qualities of a proper King. He must...
Other passages do the same. Leaders must be Yahweh-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes (Exodus 18:19-21). They must be wise, understanding, respected, and show no partiality (Deuteronomy 1:13-17).
If we believe what Yahweh says, we should make sure that the men we appoint for high offices meet these criteria.
People often say, "You're not going to find a perfect man." I say, "Of course, nobody said we had to find a perfect man." Yahweh never said, "Only appoint a king that is sinless." Yahweh did however give us qualifications for a king or leader. When we look for men to appoint in leadership, we will find that some meet these qualities better than others.
Then I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, commander of the fortress, because he was a faithful man who feared [the Almighty] more than most. (Nehemiah 7:2 HCSB)
To ignore these qualifications is ignoring Yahweh. To vote for a man who blatantly doesn't meet these criteria is in essence saying, "Yahweh, I've decided that I know best. I know what our country needs, and I'm not going to trust You, nor do what You tell me to do." Yahweh didn't put the criteria in Scripture to merely take up space. They aren't there for frilly edges. They are there because they are important. We need leaders who are men of Yahweh. We don't need someone just because he speaks well, is rich, and knows how to entertain. We need someone who we can look at and say, "Yahweh would be pleased to have that man ruling our nation."
Here's where people will think I'm nuts, but I don't care. Like I said, I'm trusting Yahweh. He always honors our faith in His word.
I'm writing in my vote for President, and the name of the man I'm writing in is Arnold Bowen. I've known this man closely for 20 years. I've talked to him before, and he has expressed to me what he would do if elected President. He is an elder, and has much wisdom, natural and spiritual. He reads in Yahweh's law every day and studies to show himself approved. He is level headed, and would not take a bribe. He is not interested in power for himself, but would be a humble servant to the people. He loves and fears Yahweh, and I believe he would do his very best to please Yahweh in all of his decisions for our country.
For these reasons my vote goes to him for our current earthly leader. I'm placing my faith in Yahweh and His word in casting this vote, and I fully believe that Yahweh will bless my endeavor to remain true to His word in this area.
People will say this is ridiculous; that it will make no difference. But these people are thinking in the carnal, not the spiritual. As I've said previously, Yahweh's methods are not man's methods. What I am doing has the backing of Yahweh. This means that Yahweh will honor it, whether I or anyone else can see with our fleshly eyes just how this will take place.
Over the years, one of the arguments I've heard in attempts to prove that "Yeshua is really Yahweh," is that Yahweh had to die in order to be able to re-marry the nation of Israel. I've even heard it said that this is the argument that clinches the belief. I heard this come again just the other day, so I thought I would comment on it here.
People who promote this basically say (in a nutshell): "Yahweh was married to the nation of Israel. Yahweh later divorced Israel, because of her harlotry (with other gods). After the divorce she continued her harlotry, and based upon Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Yahweh could not have taken her back as His wife again. But, He could die and be resurrected, making it possible for Him to remarry Israel (based upon Romans 7:1-4)."
I must say that it seems odd to me to try to prove that Yeshua is Yahweh by piecing Scriptures together like this (arguing from reasoning instead of direct scriptures). I would suggest that if we want to know who Yeshua is, we start with the Bible verses that specifically address the issue. Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 16:13-18 are a good place to start. I believe anyone who reads those verses (among many others) with no "axe to grind," will easily see that Yeshua is Yahweh's Son.
Here are 5 reasons why this idea of "dying to remarry" just does not work at all.
1. Yahweh's marriage relationship with Israel is strictly metaphorical. It is certainly not like the marriage I have with my wife (Yahweh didn't ask "Israel's father" for her hand in marriage). We can know this further by looking at Exodus 4:22-23 where Yahweh calls the same people (Israel) His son. So which is it? Is Israel's Yahweh's bride or Yahweh's son? Is Yahweh married to His own son? Ridiculous I know, but these points show that Yahweh's relationship with Israel can be described as both a Father and a Husband because they are metaphorical relationships, not literal ones. Literally, Yahweh is our Creator and we are His creation.
2. The law of Deuteronomy 24 is a law that Yahweh gave for His people Israel to abide by. We should not take that law given for human beings and try to apply it to Yahweh who is Spirit. The law is speaking about a man of Israel divorcing a woman of Israel, and then she being allowed to go and be another man's wife. If then this second husband divorces her or dies, she is not allowed to go back and marry her former husband. How in the world does this apply to Yahweh? First of all, Yahweh cannot die (I'll get more into that in the next point). Secondly, if hypothetically He did die, then to whom does Israel marry? A resurrected Yahweh? How does that follow the law of Deuteronomy 24? The law in Deuteronomy is talking about the first husband divorcing her, and then she marrying another man who is not her first husband. To apply all of this to a metaphorical relationship that Yahweh has with His people is absurd.
3. Yahweh is immortal (1 Timothy 6:16). Immortal carries the meaning of "not able to die." Immortality is what Yeshua obtained at his resurrection from the dead, and it is what we are seeking to obtain in the future as well. Now that Yeshua has been resurrected to immortality, is it still possible for him to die? How then can the word immortality even have a meaning to it? To say that Yahweh can die is to say that He is not really immortal. We would then have to say that Yeshua, although immortal, still has the possibility of dying again, and also that we (when we obtain immortality) will still have the possibility of being able to die. All of this makes the word immortal not really have a meaning at all. If we start changing the meaning of words we can come up with any teaching we want to come up with.
4. I've heard some try to use Romans 7:1-4 in pushing this doctrine of Yahweh having to die to remarry Israel, but go read Romans 7. Paul is talking about a woman being bound to her husband as long as he lives. It's like my wife and I. She is my wife. If she tries to "marry" another man, she is an adulteress. But, if I die, she is free to get married to another man because I'm no longer in the picture (alive). Paul uses this as a means to get across his point that we have become dead to the law through the death of Messiah. In other words, the law's death penalty had us bound, but through Yeshua's death we are set free to be married (metaphorical here) to him who is raised from the dead. Married here literally carries the idea of "attached to" rather than wedded to, but Paul uses married to go along with the point he just made. There is zero here about Yahweh having to die in order to remarry Israel. In Romans 7 it is us who die to the penalty of the law through the one who died in our place, Yeshua.
5. Some have asked how we can be both the bride of Yahweh and the bride of Yeshua. The answer is simple. Seeing that the relationship is metaphorical and not literal, there is not a problem. In the same way Israel can be Yahweh's son (Exodus 4:22-23) and bride (Ex. 19:1-6) and it not be a problem, because these are not literal relationships. It's not like one woman is married to both a man and his son in the natural. That would be adultery. The relationships that Yahweh and Yeshua have with us aren't literal in this sense.
As I said before, instead of trying to reason our way into believe that Yeshua is Yahweh from texts that do not say such, why not go to texts that are explicitly about who he is?
"You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call his name Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and [Yahweh] Almighty will give him the throne of his father David." ~ Gabriel (to the virgin Mary; Luke 1:31-32)
"How could HE do that?!" "How could SHE say something like that?!" He, she, they, them, others; it's the Pharisee prayer in another form (rf. Luke 18:9-14). I'm afraid that we do not see our own sinfulness. I'm afraid that we've yet to come to the light and let it expose our deeds. I'm afraid that we are content with keeping our own sin concealed rather than getting it out in the open.
Sometimes I talk like this to people and they look at me with a strange look on their face that seems to say, "Well, maybe that's you, but it's certainly not me." What we have here is a person that has yet to see the depth of their sin and depravity. They've yet to see that "the law of Yahweh is perfect." (Psalm 19:7)
But enough about others, I get caught up in that madness too much; focusing on everyone else and forgetting that I need daily salvation from my sin. I have seen the light of the law. It has shone brightly into my life. As bad as it hurts my pride to admit it, it has cut me deep and exposed me in ways I used to be unaware of.
When I see a person stumble into sin, or even living in sin, I now try not to compare that person to me, or compare me to that person. Sure, sometimes my pride rises up and I do, but I want to be at the place where my heart breaks for them. I've experienced it in my life. I know what it feels like to fall. I know what it feels like to have things that are concealed, revealed. My desire is not to see others condemned, but to see that they get help.
I'm not called to rejoice when I meet an alcoholic or a drug addict. I shouldn't leave thinking, "Whew, I'm glad that's not me." I'm not called to gloat when I see a woman get caught in adultery or a man cheating on his wife. I'm not called to make my self-righteousness feel better by talking about them or laughing about them. I'm called to have a broken heart for them, to pray for them, to weep for them. To hope that the Savior finds them.
I want to teach my children this concept. I want them to be like Yeshua mostly in this regard. To reach out to the lost with a desire to see them found. To help those and talk with those who no one else will touch. I've failed to do this, but I'm trying to correct my failure. I'm trying to instill in my children one of the greater matters of the law: mercy.
I've failed miserably in areas of my life, but in those failings there are people who stand out in my mind. The people who stand out aren't the ones who said, "I told you so," or "You should have listened," or "Why did you have to be so stupid!" No, the people who stand out in my memory are the ones who told me, "It's going to be okay," "I'm here to pray with you," "I'm sorry this happened," "There is hope."
I don't want people who fall to be hammered into the ground even harder. I want to see them picked up and dusted off. I want to see them restored. I want them to feel the love of the Savior.
When I speak this way there are many who want to "remind" me of: "Don't you know that Jesus rebuked people?!" Let me ask you to do something. Go back and read the Gospels. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and every time you see Yeshua rebuking someone make a note of that text and examine WHO He was giving the rebuke to. I've studied this and continue to study. It has opened my eyes. I believe it will open anyone's eyes that is willing to see.
Luke 7:47 - "Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that's why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little."
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.