Have you ever been driving (of course, this would be pre-GPS days), looking for the sign, street or exit, or name of place or building; and drove right passed it as you read the very sign you were looking for? Sometimes it’s because the signs are not well lighted or marked. Sometimes it’s because we forget to slow down, sometimes feeling pressure from the traffic behind us other times our own frustrations at not knowing where we are going. Let’s face it, our ability to know the lay of the land makes a huge difference. In this world we have flaws, signs that don’t direct accurately. I can’t tell you how many times we have entered a GPS location and it took us to the wrong place, a place that no longer existed and even more frustrating; the right place but in a neighborhood behind or around the actual location; not to the entrance. Even GPS has flaws. Our eyes have flaws, light and it’s location makes the difference between seeing out ahead and at the last minute. We won’t begin to talk of the pride of our hearts that often keep us from asking for directions or signs at all. Yet in this world we have less pride to do small things like ask for directions to a place. When Yeshua (Jesus) came, all we wanted was to ask for signs.
Please, something new! If you are God, something BIG! We’re sick of what we’ve had so far. Show us something that will make us believe!
Forgetting the “BIGGNESS” of creation itself, that alone should be enough. Yet then, delivery from Egypt, the splitting of the sea, the cloud by day, fire by night, the manna falling, water from plain rock flowing. The handwriting of His own finger on stone tablets, the voice of Him on the mountain, the detailed instructions that would keep us loving, kind, true people, healthy, wise and just. The water stopped in the Jordan, the giants slain, nations conquered, land given. Chance after chance after chance to repent, turn, do tishuva (complete directional turn around back to Him). The great deeds through and in King David, King Solomon, the temples. The safe keeping of Daniel in the lions den, and Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego from a fire pit. The rebuilding of the temple, walls of Jerusalem. All the wonders through the prophets…and then there is Jonah. This sign that Yeshua says is the only sign given to a wicked and adulterous generation. (That’s us too, by the way). Since He said it, people have been driving right passed this sign or ignoring it all together. Not just this sign though. Yeshua was frustrated because there are so many signs in the Torah, Prophets and Writings that were the Good News/Scriptures at that time, it was ridiculous they asked for more signs at all. Not to mention the signs He’d given so far, healing, feeding, calming storms, expelling demons. All these were signs in the Scriptures already and then before their very eyes, within their reach He was fulfilling them. Fulfilling every word of it! All the directions of God, every part of it, the heart of God He did and still does. Every sign God gave along the way, there Yeshua, the Son of God stood and with human eyes, flawed as they could be, we could see Him! So then, why Jonah? It’s just the tale of a stubborn Jew that was told to go to Nineveh, preach and he didn’t so God dumped him into the sea, had a whale swallow him, spit him out three days later, so he goes, preaches, the city repents, Jonah pouts, God talks to him…end of story – right? So okay, we see the correlation now. Sort of. They didn’t then, Yeshua still hadn’t been crucified yet, when He said this to those around Him. But really? Why this sign? I mean why not Abraham and Isaac? This seems more “fitting” don’t you think? To be clear, that by pointing at Jonah, Yeshua wasn’t dismissing all the rest of the Word that pointed to Him! Yet this sign doesn’t “seem” to be as well lit or laid out to so many. Then it made no sense at all to those who were already ignoring the Word of God already given. Even His disciples still didn’t understand the whole “death part” to their Messiah. A cloud of apathy had grown on those hearts like glaucoma on the eyes of the blind. They had waited and waited…they just didn’t know what they believed anymore. What was being done before their eyes they could believe, but they couldn’t see beyond it.
I will give the highlights of my study here. Taken from a hebraic perspective. Yet, I will make very clear, truth revealed in your heart will only come from studying for yourself. Especially now, with all the resources available to us to aid our study of God’s Word, we in these last days – acharit-hayamim – will stand MORE accountable than they who stood in Yeshua’s hearing at the time He said this.
Jonah – Yonah means vexed or dove depending on the Hebrew definition you decide to adopt. In Hebrew verb form it’s vexed, in noun form it’s dove. If I was to cross connect this to Yeshua, I’d adopt both, meaning a ‘vexed dove’. The Holy Spirit being symbolized by a dove throughout scripture, I think it’s safe to say, Jonah vexed the Holy Spirit. Yet if you take each letter of Yonah’s name in Hebrew and break it down by each meaning linked together; Yonah means: The Work (Yud) that Secures (vav) and Continues (nun) to Reveal (hey). This meaning, I think, reveals much more as to why Yeshua pointed us in this direction.
There are 12 signs given within the text of the book of Jonah.
♢ Sign 1 – verse 1 – right off the bat, God sends His Word. The first sign in the Bible is the exact same sign.
♢ Sign 2 – verse 3 – the urge to do it our way.
♢ Sign 3 – verse 4 – God went after Jonah. He didn’t just let Jonah decide to abandon His plan.
♢ Sign 4 – verse 5 – We fall asleep in disobedience and others suffer.
♢ Sign 5 – verse 12 – Confession and repentance.
♢ Sign 6 – verse 13 – Told what to do, we try harder our way.
♢ Sign 7 – verse 14 – Finally we do it God’s Way when things become impossible.
♢ Sign 8 – Chapter 2, verse 1 – Sign of hope, God is prepared, God makes a way out. He goes forth…
Jonah’s prayer in the belly of the fish. Lesson: In the belly of the fish God gets Jonah’s thinking right. The most note worthy lines of this prayer are at the end (though the whole thing is important). Read from the hebraic view, look at the “hidden” gem in verse 9.
Those who worship vain idols give up their source of mercy; but, I, speaking my thanks aloud will sacrifice to You, what I have vowed, I will pay. Salvation (YESHUA) comes from Adonai!
♢ Sign 9 – Chptr 2, verse 10 – Adonai compells, He drives all things. He spoke to the fish and it obeyed. Oh if only we would be like the fish!
♢ Sign 10 – Chapter 3, verse 1 – 2nd Chance! God doesn’t give up on His plan.
♢ Sign 11 – Chptr 3, verse 5-10 – God’s plan works, they believe and repent. He is proven trustworthy!
♢ Sign 12 – Chapter 4, verse 1 – Resentment of God’s ways. The rest of this book ends with God questioning why Jonah thinks he can complain. Jonah pouts and pouts big! God still shows compassion, but in the end we are left wondering if Jonah came around. Some particular scriptures came to mind here:
For everyone who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. As for this worthless servant, throw him out into the dark, where people will wail and grind their teeth!
Pay attention, then, to how you hear! For anyone who has something will be given more, but from anyone who has nothing, even what he seems to have will be taken away.
Now the servant who knew what his master wanted but didn’t prepare or act according to his will, will be wiped with many lashes; however, the one who did what deserves a beating, but didn’t know, will receive few lashes. From him who has been given much, much will be demanded – from someone to whom people entrust much, they ask still more.
You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! Our do you suppose the Scripture (Torah, Prophets, Writings – there is NO New Testiment at this time) speaks in vain when it says that there is a spirit in us which longs to envy? But the grace He gives is greater, which is why it says, “God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble He gives grace.” (Prov. 3:34) Therefore, submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against the adversary, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded people! Wail, mourn, sob! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom! Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Now let’s go and see what Yeshua said. Remembering it takes two or more witnesses to confirm a truth.
Then some P’rushim (Pharisees) and Tz’dukim (Sadducees) came to trap Yeshua by asking Him to show them a miraculous sign from Heaven.
[Note: the Pharisees focused on the Torah – 1st 5 Books – and what it requires of ordinary people rather than on Temple ritual – ie: themselves. The Sadducees tended to be richer, more skeptical, more worldly and more willing to cooperate with Roman conquerors than the Pharisees.]
But His response was, “When it is evening, you say, ‘Fair weather ahead’, because the sky is red; and in the morning you say, ‘Storm today!’, because the sky is red and overcast. You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times! A wicked and adulterous generation is asking for a sign? It will certainly not be given a sign – except the sign of Yonah (Jonah)! With that He left them and went off.
The P’rushim came and began arguing with Him; they wanted Him to give them a sign from Heaven, because they were out to trap Him. With a sigh that came straight from His heart, He said, “Why does this generation want a sign? Yes! I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation!” With that, he left them, got into the boat again and went off to the other side of the lake.
Luke 11:16; 29-32
And others, trying to trap Him, demanded from Him a sign from Heaven.
As the people crowded around Him, Yeshua went on to say, “This generation is a wicked generation! It asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it – except the sign of Yonah. For just as Yonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be for this generation. The Queen of the South will appear at the Judgement with people of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Shlomo (Solomon), and what is here now is greater than Shlomo. The people from Nineveh will stand up at the Judgement with this generation and condemn it, for they turned to God from their sins when Yonah preached, and what is here now is greater than Yonah.
Yeshua is not soft on this point. Neither should we be. If the Queen of the South will go to the ends of the earth to hear Solomons wisdom, how much more should we dig upon the fertile ground of God’s Truth to find Yeshua’s? It’s a humble thought that the people of Nineveh will condemn those who miss the sign of Jonah. I say get out the maps, take the time off work, do whatever you have to to find this sign and understand its meaning. Yet, here we have a sign now greater than Jonah. This sign isn’t pointing to a church building every weekend. It’s a sign that’s been engraved and continues to be driven deeper into our hearts everyday – Yeshua! Yet we can still miss it. How? No one truly understand with the logic we possess. Why do I still hesitate to obey Him? Why do I doubt Him? It’s a mystery that only in relationship with Him, with a heart dedicated to Him more than anything else, can begin to unravel. Day by day. Keeping our eyes on Him!
I will stand at my watchpost; I will station myself on the rampart. I will look to see what God will say through me and what I will answer when I’m reproved.
Then Adonai answered me; He said,
“Write down the vision clearly on tablets so that even a runner can read it. For the vision is meant for its appointed time; it speaks of the end, ands it does not lie. It may take a while, but wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.
There are far too many believers who think the Old Testament, especially the Torah (1st 5 Books) don’t apply to this following of Yeshua. But these are the Books that teach about appointed times and how to enter into them. In order to be prepared for His second coming. Every parable Yeshua spoke pointed to them, these He observed and obeyed without fail (thus fulfilled) in order to be ready to do what noone else could have or ever will be able to do; become our Salvation!
Here in these verses we see the importance of the Old Testament still today.
1 Corinthians 1:21-25
For God’s wisdom ( better than Solomon, yet found in it as well) ordained that the world, using its own wisdom, would not come to know Him. Therefore, God decided to use the nonsense of what we proclaim as His means of saving to those who come to trust in it. Precisely because the Jews ask for signs and Greeks (gentiles) try to find wisdom, we go on proclaiming a Messiah executed on a stake as a criminal! To Jews this is an obstacle (because they know Torah, and within it you find why its an obstacle), and to the Greeks it’s nonsense, (because they know neither the Old Testament and at the time this is written there is no New). But to those who are called, both Jew and Gentiles, this same Messiah is God’s Power and God’s Wisdom! For God’s nonsense is wiser than humanities wisdom.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; 15
For the Day will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah (notice it doesn’t say from the Bible both Old and New Testaments) has been revealed, the one destined for doom. He will oppose himself to everything that people call a god or make an object of worship (any religion of any form), he will put himself above them all, so that he will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim he himself is God. (Ezk. 28:2)
Don’t you remember that when I was still with you, I used to tell you these things? (the disciples and apostles spoke of and taught only thru the Old Testament and Yeshua’s Words and deeds) And now you know what is restraining, so that he may be revealed in his own time. (This verse directly points to the Torah and the restraining being spoken of here can only be found there) For already this separating from Torah is at work secretly (not now, but at the time this was written), but it will be secretly only until he who is restraining is out of the way. Then the one who embodies separation from Torah will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Yeshua will slay with the breath of his mouth (Is. 11:4; Job 4:9) and destroy by the glory of His coming. When this man who avoids Torah comes, the adversary will give him the power to work all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders. He will enable him to deceive, in all kinds of wicked ways, those who are headed for destruction because they would not receive the love of Truth that could have saved them. This is why God is causing them to go astray, so that they will believe the Lie. The result will be that all who have not believed the Truth, but have taken pleasure in wickedness, will be condemned.
Therefore, brothers, hold to the traditions you were taught by us, whether we spoke them or wrote them in a letter.
You see, that one may come to Salvation with only the Old Testament, now. It points to Yeshua. It points to all we must do to love Him. The New Testament is not disregardable, by no means! But the heart of God began with the Beginning, the Torah – which has terribly been translated to The Law, it means The Teachings /Instructions still holds the same value as before! The Prophets books are still prophesying relevant to this time! They are still giving signs for the coming days, which are rapidly drawing to an end. The Writings, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Ester, Daniel, Nehemiah, Chronicles both 1 and 2, these are still teaching, leading, guiding – Truth! To disregard so terribly as the church does today, is a grievous mistake and just like the Pharisees and Sadducees of Yeshua’s day (and more) those who call themselves followers of Yeshua but disregard the Old Testament will find themselves here:
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what My Father in Heaven wants. In that Day, many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophecy in Your Name? Didn’t we expel demons in Your Name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in Your Name?’. Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (Correctly translated: Torahlessness)
This rebuke is the same kind that Peter received from Yeshua, when He tried to suggest that what God had written (prophesied) that must happen to Yeshua in the Old Testament should not happen! Yeshua zealously adhered to all the Words God provided (indeed He, Himself had written) prior to His entry into His ministry. Without the Old Testament, Yeshua would not have had a ministry, mission at all! There are appointments that God has made for us to show up at, where we get to know Him, that can only be found in Torah! They are repeatedly pointed to and taught at a deeper level throughout the Old Testament. In the New Testament they are only alluded to. Not spoken directly about as they are in the Old.God meant for the two to become one! This is what Yeshua is saying about not abolishing the Torah, but filling it up! Finishing it!
We must keep our eyes on Yeshua, He showed up at the very Beginning and has made Himself known from then all the way through His Word to now. The signs – signals He gave for exactly how to do what the Father wants are all throughout the Word of God. These point to specific times He set up to meet, remember His people and they Him, so that we know Him and He us. It’s hard to know where to go on a road with no signs. God did not pave us a road like this. He says, keep your eyes on Me, then the signs will be seen, right on time, taking us exactly where He wants us to go, preparing us for exactly the place He is preparing for us! Without them, we will miss the Wedding, our lamps won’t be full, He will send out His invitation and we won’t be awake to hear Him.
He who has ears, let him hear!
For more information on these appointments click go to Youtube, search Mark Biltz Feast of the Lord. These are the best videos I’ve seen on the subject, they will send you to the Word of God with a renewed passion to study, act upon and live it!
🔯Grace and peace to you, in Yeshua the Messiah, He’s coming soon!🕎
I wonder…at the simplicity and complexity of the truth at times.
To ponder it too long it would seem, can send it further out into a boundless place, mankind was never intended to fully grasp, yet could never escape. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. Yet at its most simplistic level, God, Himself, was always enough. That prefect balance that we need, always have, always will. Knowing a truth, for knowledge sake, this is the abominable forsaking of it. How many of us, (only the truly insane of human kind being the exception), how many of us don’t know a basic truth: lying is wrong. The only time we excuse it is when we’ve lost the ability to apply it to ourselves. To lie, for example, to “protect someone” from the truth; this is the ultimate oxymoron. Why in heavens name would there be an ounce of sanity involved in the mind of man to think it’s protection to keep the truth from someone; especially someone we love? Everyone knows lying is wrong because we don’t like to be lied to. Yet somehow, we make exceptions for someone else when the truth then becomes a matter of the free will God gave for everyone to accept it, let it live in them, remake them. It’s not our job to protect or defend the truth. It NEVER will be. We do many many things out of this false sense of protecting people, especially those we love. Nature gives us every clue as to Who the job of protecting belongs to. Look at the earth, such a tiny layer of protection God has given it from the vast enemies from space to kill her. That layer is, if you will, His “skin”. Nothing can kill God. Or break His “skin”. In fact there’s is only one thing God has given to us that we can break, this is His heart. His heart is Truth. His Son. Which bled out on a stake, broken for us. I begin to understand, which is to say, like Paul, through a mirror dimly, what a delicate line the Truth draws between sanity and insanity. Why, to so many, the One True God just doesn’t make sense. They are, of course, trying to use that “knowledge” intellect alone to grasp it. I know many truths, but none of them have ever done me any good until they’ve broken me, became a matter of the heart and soul, not just my head. Truth made alive, begins and ends in brokenness. Our ability to grasp that it – in and of itself – can not be held in the head for profit, but must reflect the Heart of it, that which has broken from the beginning of time, because just having Him, wasn’t enough. Can we not relate? Who among us at our very core can honestly say, that this at its very core is relationship essential: To know that just us, all that we are, good and bad, is enough for someone who says they love us.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only and unique Son, so that everyone whoever trusts in Him (Him alone)may have eternal Life, instead of being utterly destroyed. – John 3:16
How often has this verse been repeated? Used? Notice how the very last part seems to always get chopped off in the quoting so famously of it? You see, the truth has blessings, but denied it bares consequences. I almost forgot, myself, that this last part was included in the famous verse. Everyone can quote it, followers or wayward, by now everyone can quote that very first part by heart. We avoid truth because of its consequential nature, not because we can’t see the benefits of it. Everyone agrees, to be lied to hurts, it’s benefits are are acknowledged on a selfish level. We don’t like to hurt. Selfishly at the same time we throw away the benefits of the truth, to lie to ourselves first and then others, in the efforts to “protect” – ourselves. Even when we say we’re trying to protect someone else, at the very core of it, we are trying to protect ourselves first. Ever notice the lack in the Bible of any concept of our duty to protect…anything? We were told to, be fruitful, care for, but not protect. Cherish, value, teach, exhort, admonish, forgive, love, be compassionate, encourage; conspicuously the word protect is missing. There is one word that could be mistaken for it; guard.
Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences. Proverbs 4:23
But guarding in this sense is not the power given to direct and defend as if the sole responsibility is left in our hands. Guards can’t keep the heart beating as God can. They can only attempt to keep an outsider from entering in to try to kill, but the life beinging guarded is only directed by God. He counts the days of each child on earth. Many of them have been guarded, but ultimately not “protected”.
You who live in the Shelter of ‘Elyon (The Most High), who spend their nights in the shadow of Shaddai (The Alimghty), who say to Adonai (the Lord), “My refuge, My Fortress! My God, in whom I trust!” – He will rescue you from the trap of the hunter and from the plague of calamities; He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His truth is a shield and protection.
See David, who “got it”, he knew protection only came from God. That truth broke him first. He fled for years of his life, had many guards, but only One Protector. I love the CJB version of this verse. Notice why we are to guard our heart? Because it’s the source of life’s consequences. We are told the heart is deceitful above all things! Where does Life come from? If God, Yeshua, lives in your heart, its protected – the Way, the Truth, the Life can dwell within. If they do not, well enough said. My heart can now, no more be deceitful with Messiah living in me, than the ground can cave in our heave without the breath of God to move it. I can now, being given eyes with the power of Truth, see where the lies shall come to enter in to my heart and attempt to rob the truth with illusion. I can bat them away, now. Before I could not. But the protection within, is still God, Himself. Please don’t misunderstand, we in no way protect God from lies, or ourselves. The Spirit (Truth) is the power given, we just choose it, and that ability to choose only comes from one being saved/rescued by Yeshua – the Truth. NOTE: verse 24 of Proverbs is about lies and deceit. Not coincidental.
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through Him, the world might be saved (protected). Those who trust in Him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the One who is God’s only and unique Son (protector). Now this is the judgement: the Light (truth) has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the Light (truth). Why? Because their actions were wicked. For everyone who does evil things hates the Light (truth) and avoids it (protects themselves), so that his actions won’t be exposed. But everyone who does what is true comes to the Light ( truth – surrenders, makes themselves vulnerable) so that all may see that his actions are accomplished through God.
Self protection is an oxymoron too. But a choice to be sure, we can accept God’s or choose our own. The truth protects, anything other than truth in its purity, no dilution, no variation, attacks! The “consequence” of truth is vulnerability, exposure to great hurt, great pain, great rejection, great loss but also great peace, great joy, great love, great passion, great perspective and first and foremost a great life lived in the presence and relationship with a Great God.
Truth: we can not live within a deep and abiding relationship with God, and not know great pain. This pain is the constant open eyes to the consequences of our own and others rejection, avoidance and blindness to the Truth. Everyday, my closeness to Messiah, brings with it a brokenheartedness over His absence as the Way and Truth in lives all around me but especially mine. The lack of Life. Yet on the same string of brokenness, comes increasing joy, for His protection. That thin layer on the world? It protects everyone, those who love Him AND those who don’t. Grace and Mercy is God’s “molecular DNA to His skin”.
When we guard, we stand watch to only stay true to the truth that’s been given to us. We don’t protect it, or defend it. Truth, itself, does that for us. We have no power in this way, none. The watchful guardianship we are given is with eyes only on its application to us in all things, not others, not selfishly used for our gain, or as a measure of our worth.
The Word of God is protection and Truth, all by itself. It never returns void – ever. Even if we don’t choose it’s protection for ourselves, it will move beyond us into someone else. We just won’t know how. Blindness is the first symptom of truths rejection. One may ask: “how then, will I know if I’m blind?” God will be sure to send an agent to attempt to remove the scales, this is His job, and why He chose this particular application in Paul for us to learn from. Someone was sent by God, faithful as He is, to remove the scales from Paul’s eyes. They came with vulnerability, humility and truth. God is the great scale remover of all eyes. His promise never fails.
I wonder…how lately these thoughts roll down and up the halls of my mind, causing great flows of tears to fall down their walls. What purpose do they serve? I see the reflection of so many beloved faces in there, fallen, blind, beloved, prayed for with bloody knees, and (only because of the God who lives here in me), speaks the truth to each without regard to its rejection of me by them. What compels me to write this night is that brokenness, those tears, that heart that shares in Abbas suffering and hurt. Not some strange ability to know the truth, or indignation for it, or even a great grasp of it! It’s expanse is still so far beyond my ken. Unless the Truth keeps hold of me, I’m completely beyond its reach. God never gave mankind the ability to hold it in their hands, only to invite it into their hearts. Every time I’ve tried to lay hold of it in any other way, it has nearly severed every “appendage” I’ve attempted to hold it with. Remember the Scripture? It’s a double edged sword. Metaphorical – yes, but still accurate. Function is the key to understanding God’s Word and His speaking. Man is like dust, for example, what is the function of its application? Unless the Spirit (truth) guide you in the study insanity will ensue to try and grasp it. Leaving so many of the lessons making so much of dirt on the ground as we know it. The dust being referred to is that which is held in the hands of a living God at the very beginning, when He breathed His Life into it and formed the first of us. We always start at the beginning to get to the end. There are no short cuts.
The ultimate test of true bonds of love in any relationship is that the truth is always held at the center of it. Any variation, any slight shift or severe, will bring a sad illusion of strength of bond, but in truth, it will be bondage instead. Then God will send the scraping scouring agent to remove the scales, for relationships are His specialty. His invention, idea, and dedication. Not ours, and most certainly the design of His enemy and ours plainly seeks to destroy any resemblance of it or hope of it. Noone has a relationship with the devil. They are prisoners, there’s is no relationship possible with him. A relationship by God’s definition, is a total surrender to Truth, it’s direction and it’s product. He walks and talks and listens and teaches ands guides and comforts in relationship, yet there is still our ability to acknowledge we are willing slaves to Him who sets us free. What sets us free?
you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
Notice it doesn’t say, love, empathy, compassion, only truth. Which when one walks with God, we learn, all those other things only come as a result of a surrender to the Truth first. In 1st Corinthians 13, is a portrait of God, Himself. The chapter of all chapters on Love. Everywhere we see the word love in it we can replace it with – Yeshua, the Way, the Truth, the Life -.
There’s no Way to the Truth without Him, and thus no Life. There’s no Love apart from Him. No love, is no love. There are no degrees to it. We are never sort of in love, kind of loving, almost loving, we either are or we are not. We put degrees and levels on things like truth, love, grace, mercy and justice and most grievously forgiveness. God does not.
The truth in its very nature repels a rebellious heart. This is why it’s said to cut. In the Hands of a Loving God, it’s like pruning sheers. Removing the dead, lifeless, limbs, making room for the new, full of life, truth and promise to…(key word here)…grow. It’s a process, limbs get cut and it takes time to see the fruitful product of such a pruning. Many reject the truth due to the lack of ability to wait, feel the loss of the old dead unproductive thing that held life back. In time, we don’t count it as loss, as Paul spoke so well. Without the time, all we will feel is loss. Hence God doesn’t stop the suffering we often have instantly. Yet the truth to live at this point is, trust…wait and trust that God is growing something new within it. It takes time to remove scales.
Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in His presence: if our hearts know something against us, God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God; then whatever we ask for, we receive from Him; because we are obeying His commands and doing the things that please Him. This is His command: that we are to trust in the person and power of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and to keep loving one another, just as He commanded us. Those who obey His commands remain united with Him and He with them. Here is how we know that He remains united with us: by the Spirit whom He gave us. – 1 John 3:19-24
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
The Truth is our inheritance, that which we here, invest for the sake of the Kingdom. It belongs to all. It’s the thing God gave to all to invest or to bury. It’s the ultimate revelation of Yeshua’s (Jesus) parable of talents. (Matt.25:14-30) Truth is a constant steady valuable always being given to every single human on earth. We either bury it or invest it. We often mistake investing though for giving it away. When God gives Truth, it’s first intended target is our own “bank”. Our hearts and minds, that it may multiply within us and do its work there. The various levels of investment could be seen as such:
■ We see a truth, invest it a bit, but preach it far more than we ourselves submitted to it. It has made the entry of acknowledgement and agreement, but it translates only to certain areas we act on it. This isn’t completely profitless, and equates to a small invest with small return.
■ Or we see a truth, and it is taken in, as far as its potential can reach by the will of its Maker in that time and for that moment. It goes into the soil of our own hearts and minds and effects every single avenue of our being; every thought is different, every action. It’s spoken from our mouth, but more loudly preached from our lives as a whole, every action, every decision, every single aspect of our being reflects it. This is the invest, that yields thousands and thousands beyond. This takes the sacrifice of ultimate accounting – dying to ourselves.
So how does it get buried? For one, out right rejection. Truth hits the ears, the mind and heart and one returns it like a batter hitting a ball out of the park. It’s instant. Or, the worst kind, actually is. ..the acknowledgement of it with the mind, agreeing with it but applying it to everything and everyone else but ones self. There’s a reason Yeshua was so harsh with the hipocrites. Because of our great a capacity to selfishly invest a good thing and influence others to do so. Make it look good, but deep down the truth in such cases rots the very bones that it tries to heal but isn’t allowed to due to our own resistance for it to change who we are, what we look like deep inside, where no one can see but the Truth (God).
Let’s consider what Yeshua said, (John 14:6) “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, noone comes to the Father except through Me.”
Now let’s go to Matthew 26:24, where He addresses one such individual who represents the ‘buried truth’ worst case senario. Judas.
“The Son of Man will die just as the Tanakh (old testament) says He will; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him had he never been born!”
We see that Yeshua is the Way, to the Truth, that leads to Life. Many are they that acknowledge Yeshua, but with the Truth He is, gives and becomes in them, they stop there. No interest in Life, no interest in His Life. The illusion of life, as we often see it for ourselves, becomes the primary motivation. When we get to the Truth, we must submit to it, every time. We must change, not life or circumstances or others -us. Life is breathed into submissive soils, not clay like hard soils. They remain cracked, parched and devoid. The truth ignored and rejected creates a desert. The Truth applied like make up instead, makes a desert look like an oasis. Yeshua is severe because it’s that serious. When God is harsh, it’s the harshness like that of a parent who scolds a child for running in front of a moving truck without looking. Without the fear. We parents fear in that moment. God does not. So when we pick up the child and say, “Never ever run out without looking!” We apply a pressure into their little souls with the seriousness of the situation, knowing the consequences that they are not yet aware of that we wish for them to learn prior to the lessons fullest and most severe potential to teach. It’s love and protection. Not a rule monger, joy killer, party pooper. Not a harsh God whose bent on being obeyed for ego sake. When God gets harsh, it’s because Life hangs in the balance. We are comfort creatures, this is why the Truth so often hurts (or at the very least makes us wiggle). We must ask God to give us hearts to begin to take truth in as comfort, which is contrary to our nature’s. Submission.
We also tend to throw out the truth because we don’t like the way it came in. Either who said it, or how they said it. Be warned, if the truth comes to us, in any fashion, God is able to make us see it and apply. So when we say things like “what they said was true, but they were so mean I don’t have to apply it” or “that’s true but they don’t do what they are telling me to do.” These forms of human reasoning are not God. We are to be looking for Him everywhere, in all things. So when someone tells us something hard but it is surrounded by human weakness, if we are only looking for God in all things, the truth that may be shining within such circumstances is able to be seen and applied. We are accountable to the Truth no matter how God chooses to deliver it. And let’s face it, if He chooses to deliver it from the mouth of another human being, it will always be wrapped in some form of weakness as we are all fallen creatures. The truth can’t be disregarded at any time. There is no excuse for us this way.
How often have you spoke a truth to someone and they rejected it by picking apart your “style”. Remember at such times, you are sharing in God’s suffering. For it is in this way that so many of His beloved children reject Him. They don’t like His style, pick at the way its said, or what it requires of them. From the beginning of time, God has endured this kind of rejection, none on earth will ever know the depths of such repeated experience on that level like God. But He promised, if we seek Him first, we’ll be able to find Him and Life will continue to be wrought within us. Hence, our “worst enemy” could come in with a truth, and we can acknowledge it and let it do is work in us. Indeed, our worst enemy does. The accuser, he can’t use anything but the truth to start with, he can however try to twist it in our mind. But even then, the truth within the accusation can give life.
Say he comes and says, “your are being so selfish (truth), you should be ashamed (truth), God will be able to do nothing with you now (lie).”
Now if we are looking for God even in this, we see the truths and feel acutely the desire to believe the lie. But instead, the Spirit of God, as He promised, can make us able to respond like so:
“Dear God, I am a selfish human being, and I thank you that I feel shame in it, it is Your warning light that I’m grieving You. I reject that it feels like You can’t use me, nothing is impossible with You. So use me now, Father, even here in my selfishness, as only You can. I thank You that You love me, and Your grace covers me in all my deeds. See now, Your Son, my Shepherd and Savior as I follow Him to Your presence, Him whose faithful work and death and resurrection has bought and paid these, my debts to bring me to this Home You’ve made in me, I stand covered in His blood, nothing else have I to offer, but You say it’s enough. I believe! Forgive my selfishness and make me clean.”
Its never wrong to acknowledge the truthful parts of an accusation whether it’s the devil or another person. In fact it’s the first step to overcoming. I often say, “your right satan, I am xyz (all the things God is not), weak beyond accounting, but God is xyz (all the things I am not)…and it is in Him I will find my refuge!” I don’t engage with banter between the enemy on the whole, he is definitely worth ignoring in most cases, and simply saying “the Lord rebuke you!” (He’s the only One who can) The devil is not a hostage negotiator, he’s the perpetrator. Reason, especially our own kind rarely works. We can’t be understood by him, and when he is the one behind a loved one or another person bringing truth but with harshness or accusation, we can expect that we won’t be understood by them either. So we take the truth and run with it and leave the rest to God.
The circumstances surrounding the Truth, will never negate the Truth itself. We must determine to let it have its way with us, if we do, then Life is the promise, God’s presence is the promise, God’s character is the promise. It will flow out from us without reservation, and it will change for better or worse everyone it influences around us. But that’s God’s business, not ours. We are only accountable for what the Truth does in us. Only God will see the true investment of our submission to it. He only promises that we’ll see Him, and that is the glory of God!
Transformation at the feet of truth, is our life long pursuit in this fallen world. It’s the hardest work we’ll ever do. It’s the good fight that the Word refers to. (1 Tim. 6:12)
In these times, we’ve been told the truth will become less and less accepted, less and less. ..so now is the time for those of us who have The Truth as our chosen path we follow, to determine in our own hearts to never miss the opportunity to let it move in and invest us into the Kingdom from which we came and for which we are bound and most especially we serve.
May the Truth be a pleasant salve to our souls, Oh God, may we lean into its transforming power and may You continue to shape us into Your likeness, give us eyes to see, and hearts to perceive and make us able to turn away from all that isn’t of You and face You full on with confidence that, You who began the Good work in us, will complete it! Amen!
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but for those advising peace there is joy. No harm can come to the righteous, but the wicked are overwhelmed with disaster. Lying lips are an abomination to Adonai, but those who deal faithfully are His delight. A cautious person conceals knowledge, but the heart of a fool blurts out folly.
When I vote, I never vote politically, my votes, as all my other voices of opinion and all that I stand upon in that which is right and wrong, are always drained through the strainer of God; His Ways, His Wisdom, His Word.
I live in a suburb in Denver, Colorado. It’s time to cast our vote for this year’s purposals. Every issue and ballot calls for various tax increases to certain counties and cities within my voting influence. I received my ballot in the mail along with the counties pamphlet detailing each ballot and it’s purposals. With the exception of one, no print was given voice in the “vote against” section provided in each section. The reason stated every time was “No comments were filed by the constitutional deadline.”
When dealing in the area of politics I find it difficult to rule my critical heart without cynicism. I believe it’s because I realized long ago, that Yeshua (Jesus) veered away from politics. Not because He was a wimp, or had no opinions, but because when it comes to politics, without exception there is deceit, greed, and corruption at the heart of the motives for how people rule over people. God’s desire was never that people would ever rule other people. He desired to be the Ruler. His heart never corrupted or tempted by the things people are subject to in such ways. Greed cannot be His heart, nor false motives. Only God retains such a purity. His scales are able to dip much more deeply and accurately to the true needs of people than any other. The kind of education God considers essential is not and has not been taught for tens of years in any public system. The kind of needs He sees as essential come from a totally different perspective than comfort and rights. His balances are altogether unworldly. God doesn’t need money. God owns every reserve on planet earth.
The age old proverb and wise counsel of God:
“Do unto others as you would have them do into you” is twisted and distorted commonly. Yet it applies every time we vote, raise our voice in opinion, or take a stand with our actions.
At present, my income has not went up in 4 years, yet my cost of living has increased by 400%. If I do not stay within my budget and manage my money with His wisdom, I will fail to pay my bills, and hence risk debt, fines, or jail. It’s easy to sound cynical, but there’s not an ounce in my next statement.
If I can do this with my measly income, then so can those who manage theirs. My vote will be NO to each issue/ballot.
Since the beginning of time people have been griping about taxes. But the issue was not really the taxes for which they were purposed to be used but the fact they they never got used for its publicly proclaimed intent. People who rule over people with money, rarely see the people at all. They see their money, thus making a human being, precious in the sight of God, a monetary symbol in the cogs of the population wheel. This grieves the heart of God, for there will never be a monetary value placed on one person today or any day. Nor will any “formal education” whether it be labeled “Christian” or “atheist” be taken into account of the value of the pearls that each one is given by Him. So we see that God’s balance of what’s worthy and valuable disintegrates the world view of worth. He also sees the true needs of people fall into a category that far exceeds a nations debt to pay. Physical health, education, and true needs of the human body come nowhere near balanced in a human perspective. God sees no limits to our abilities – ever! Why? Because they are all caught up in His perspective, which allows for far more discomfort than humans can stoop to for themselves, but will allow for others. Given every one of these aspects of God’s character, very plainly laid out for all to see, when it comes to a monetarily motivated issue, I vote no. As He instructs. He then shows the proof of His ability to rise above the flood on money issues in my own life. I don’t manage my money so much as God manages me. Money is no object/obstacle to Him.
This is my voiced raised, speaking into the real issues to be considered for my “vote”. God, who He is, His character, is my filter for all things. Only He will cast my vote, I’m just a vessel for which His glory will be gotten, His will shall be done – on earth as it is in heaven. Every Follower of Yeshua, will cast votes according to who they truly believe that He is. Who do you say that He is? How well will He say you know Him? Cast your vote, and be counted. For at every crossroad, this is the bottom line, for all of time and eternity.
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡