eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." Revelation 2:7
Loaves & Fishes
"Excellently and truly was Isaiah right when he prophesied about you, hypocrites; as it is written: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far and distant from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commandments of Elohim and are holding on to the traditions of men. And he said to them: You have a fine way of setting aside the commandments of Elohim in order to observe your own traditions making the power of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do." Mark 7:6-9, 13
A friend in Texas recently said to me, "The last words the pilot of the airplane that landed in the Hudson River in New York said to the passengers and crew were - BRACE FOR IMPACT." As believers in the sureness of the One True God to manifest His Plans and Purposes as He has proclaimed in scripture that He said He would do, we need to brace ourselves for the impact that is soon to engulf us (Matthew 24:32 click on hightlighted reference for scripture). The events we have seen over the past six months to engulf the world has eclipsed everything that has come before and the events that are soon to come will eclipse this. Even the leading economists and pundits around the globe are now telling us that there will be no recovery. That when we finally do hit bottom - it will just be a new reality. This world is not coming to an end; it is being prepared for a new reality. That reality is to be His Rule and Reign on this earth for a thousand years from His throne in Jerusalem (Revelation 20:6).
Yeshua said for that Reign to happen, all these things we are seeing 'must need be' to prepare the stage for Him to step out on (Mark 13:7). As believers in the midst of the severity already upon us, we need to be asking how we prepare ourselves for what is yet to come. Another friend said they were storing up as much canned food stuff and Meals Ready to Eat as they could fit in their storage room. When asked if they are prepared to shoot their hungry neighbors who come to raid their food supply as a means of protecting what they have stored, their response was that they were keeping it a secret and not telling anyone they had food. When asked how long they thought they could hide their obviously being fat and plump among a crowd of starving skeletons - they realized there might be more to this than they had previously given thought to.
When Yeshua fed the 5,000, He didn't do it from a container of stored wealth. He took what was available, what He had at hand - a couple of loaves and some fish - gave thanks to the Father for it and, as the basket was passed among the crowd, the hands reaching into it simply never found a bottom (Matthew 14:15-21, Matthew 15:32-38). He said the works He did we will do and 'greater than these' will we do (John 14:11-13). This is the Life we will need to find in Him in order for us to survive the coming days with our faith intact. This Life will not just magically fall on us from somewhere over the clouds - it needs to be acquired in the same manner He exampled before us. We need to become exercised in it.
"Then Yeshua said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.' " Matthew 16:24-25
It is possible to worship the Lord in vain, as is recorded in the scripture referenced in Mark 7 above. One of the ten commandments says to not worship Him in vain. What does that mean? Vanity means to appropriate selfishly or emptily. It is possible to appropriate His Word and utilize it for our own selfish purposes - but when we do, we are taking His Name in vain. Most who do this are not of the understanding that self imposition is also at the heart of witchcraft. To keep us from having 'vain imaginings' we cast down those imaginations, and every high thing, every thought, that exalts itself against the true knowledge of God, which is denying self, and bring those thoughts into captivity unto the obedience of Christ - in conformity to the Life He lived (2Corinthians 10:5)
To deny one's self means to disregard, to lose sight of and forget himself and his own interests while in this world. To follow means to cleave steadfastly to Him by conforming wholly to His example in the manner in which He lived. It means to forsake the world. We are told to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world and, if any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1John 2:15-16)
The day the church fell in league with the world, it created a huge opening in the fabric of the Spirit through which the demonic poured into and upon innocent sheep to devour them through the teaching of the traditions of men. Have you ever wondered why it was just the "money-changers" Yeshua drove out of the temple? After all, they were only providing a service to help facilitate the worship of God. Yeshua said you cannot serve God and mammon - period (Matthew 6:23-25)
The hebrew word for mammon is 'finances'. Now, this rubs against the grain of many who would read it and, already, many of you reading this paragraph are squirming, trying to rationalize how to keep your 'stuff'. But, folks, the plain truth is - He said these words for a reason and He didn't qualify them. He lived His Life among us the way He did for a purpose - to show us how to do it. If we are going to 'cleave to' (meaning to stick like glue) His Life, we are going to have to forsake the enticement of the world - period.
There are two bits of observation about the Life of Yeshua that are revealingly enlightening. The first is that, as a man of flesh, just like we are, Yeshua exampled an intimate relationship with the Father only using what scripture was available to Him, the Torah, to validate that relationship He found in the Spirit - but that was not where He acquired it. This is important. It is why He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well that the Father is a Spirit and that whoever would come to know Him must know Him first in Spirit and, only secondly, in truth - not forsaking one for the other, but as a manner of approach (John 4:22-24). However, scripture does not tell us He sat around with the disciples all day teaching them the intricacies of Torah - He taught them of this intimacy He had developed with the Father. His primary message consistently was to 'Love the Father with all your heart, all your mind and with all your soul and your neighbor as yourself'. He said in doing this, we fulfill all that the law and the prophets are pointing to (Matthew 22:36-40). When you fill a cup with liquid, once it is full to the brim, do you throw the cup away? No. You drink what is in it - you internalize it. By saying He came to fulfill the law doesn't mean He came to do away with it - He meant that embracing His Life fills it up where it will not contain any more. He showed us the essential elements of what the law was pointing to (Matthew 5:16-18).
The second observation is how He spread that intimate knowledge - by giving all that He had to all who had need that crossed His Path. He carried a money pouch so as to hold what donations were made, but He didn't spend it on His own comfort and convenience - the Son of Man had no place to lay His Head. He didn't spend it to further 'His Ministry' - He became of no reputation and hid himself (Philippians 2:6-8). He gave all that He had to those among Him who were in need (Matthew 14:13-21) and said if we were to follow Him, to embrace His example, we would do the same (Matthew 10:38-39). We want to pay lip service to knowing Him when the reality is that knowing Him is BEing Him in this world (1John 4:17).
$750 billion bailout in October, 2008
We will begin to see many more BRETHREN among us like those in attendance at a recent men's breakfast here in Connecticut who have lost everything. They are now penniless but are walking around in some of the finest suits money could buy for them when they had the money. These are Believers in Yeshua with suits left over from their excursion into and embrace of a teaching that says God intends for all to have prosperity and wealth. They embraced a tradition of other men who made themselves rich peddling a false doctrine. Now, these followers of those tenants are floundering - awash amid the debris of this financial tsunami which has broken on the shores of mankind not knowing what to do or where to go because they are discovering a new reality. They are finding the Truth of Romans 14:17, that the externalities of this world will not bring salvation - no matter how hard we try, how loud we shout or how seemingly successful we become at it. They need our help to find the Truth of the gospel - righteousness, peace and joy in Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) only comes from denying self and following His example.
The parable of the seed Yeshua gave us in Matthew 13:20-23 tells us what happens to those who hear His Word but then become entrapped in the deceitfulness of riches - that word gets choked and becomes unfruitful. It would be easy and tempting to belabor the issue, to try to tell these folks the error of their ways, but experience is the best teacher. We need to, rather, embrace the essence and heart of the Father to love them, to show them compassion and to bring them Life. For it is with this love that the world will know us as His disciples and will, through His Life evidenced in us, begin to be drawn to know Him (John 13:35).
If we want to see the power of Elohim manifest among us as did those early believers we need to begin to recognize that we are of One Body, One Spirit and then come into One Accord as did they with those who show up among us. We need to begin to start looking upon the things of our brethren, those believers in our immediate sphere of influence, as more important than ourselves and give - abundantly and liberally and to abandon ourselves into the riches of His Glory. As we do, we will begin to see this to be the 'greater works' He spoke of for His Power will not be limited to just one vessel in this world - but be realized in and through many. The signs, wonders and miracles will begin to manifest themselves outwardly from His Body as they did in Acts 5:16 simply because the Light of His Life had become so brilliant among them.
Don't you want to be a part of that? I do. (Isaiah 58 - The Message).
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper
that love you." (Psalm 122:6)