After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace—who has called you into His eternal glory in Messiah—will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10, TLV
If he didn’t want you,
Forgive his green-eyed stares
Watching you from aDistance now as your blossoming
Lotus petals open inSpite of the mud he thoughtHe smothered you in –Pain so deep and dark washedOff by murky dirty waterThat ironically re-created you unsoiled.
He’s threatened by theBeauty that broke through theHeartache his rejectionPrompted – an ill-fated decision
Resulting from his lustOf flesh and eyes that failed toDiscern the grass is onlyGreener wherever it is watered –So, he left instead ofWorking on turning green the meadowHe now covets, afterDevaluing and dismissing your potential.
Jealousy, a soul-devouringSickness, lays dormant until he seesHow you emerged spotlessOn the outside and strong on the inside
While outwardly he fakesFeelings meant for you and inwardly pines,
So afraid to use the remedyHe once used – surrendered pride and joyFor pride and joy he thoughtLooked better on the other side of the fence.
He refuses to grab hold of
Hard to express feelings that are eating a
Hole in his sad soul and in
His ever-bleeding heart that knows you’re
His true love and she is
His first aid quick fix that never helped him
Heal self-inflicted wound –Hastily divorcing then remarrying becauseHe promised her, yet forgotHe promised you first ‘til death do we part.If he didn’t see you asSoulmate then, just forgive his
Blindness and egotismThat make him want the new youWho remarkably grewThrough his mud toward the light,Warmth, and splendorIn the grass he was searching for When he settled for anImitation – a forlorn decision that Foreclosed any possibility
He’d realize your anchored strengthAnd flexibility often lookFragile on the surface but are why youRose through adversity andBlossomed so strongly and stunningly.
- composed August 17, 2020
Alongside Babylon’s rivers we sat on the banks; we cried and cried, remembering the good old days in Zion. Alongside the quaking aspens we stacked our unplayed harps; That’s where our captors demanded songs, sarcastic and mocking: “Sing us a happy Zion song!” – Psalm 137:1-3, MSG
A keyless, noteless, lyriclessChanson is known only by itsAnnual wedding anniversaries –Twenty-two sequential somberReturns out of fifty minus one.August thirteen’s forty-ninthReturn reopens invisible chronicWounds then heightens their painWhile displacing summer nuptials’Joy – much like how a Blues styleSyncopation de-emphasizes strongBeats and accentuates weak beats.La-la stopped meaning ‘love you’Three decades, three months afterDelfonics earned a place on Soul’sInternational map with baby talk –A young male’s frequent utterance.Life has repositioned love’s dynamicDownbeat – relocated to an upbeatSpot known as the joke’s on me –Where misery’s stereophonic soundDrowns out all hope of loving anew.Sorrow is the song my soul hasSung each year for a score plusTwo years – after my divorce,Which unleashed a whirlwind ofEmotions that mark my life as aSad survivor of a modern tragedy.
- composed August 13, 2020
And He said to them, “Are you then also lacking understanding? Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the man cannot make him unholy? For it does not enter into the heart but into the stomach, and then goes out into the sewer, cleansing all foods.”
And He continued, “It is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy. For from within, out of the heart of men, come evil intentions, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustfulness, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and make the man unholy.” – Mark 7:18-23, TLV
Just because in some English translations of Mark 7:19 there is the parenthetical statement “(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean),” that doesn’t mean that Yeshua actually said it. If Yeshua said everything we eat is clean, then He would have been contradicting YeHoVaH, His Father, who in Leviticus 11 specifically names certain animals, fowls, seafood, and every creature that creeps on the earth as unclean to eat for dietary purposes.
YeHoVaH’s dietary laws that pertain to the forbidden Unclean Meats are still in effect because the listed unclean meats affect our natural/physical health. However, neither YeHoVaH’s law concerning Unclean Meats nor any of the biblical kosher Food laws (i.e., Kashrut, which refers to the body of Jewish law that deals with the foods Hebrews can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten)has anything to do with YeHoVaH’s Children’s spiritual purification, and this divine truth is the point Yeshua makes in Mark 7:18-23.
Once again, Yeshua does not say EVERYTHING we eat is clean. More important, neither meat nor food laws are what was being questioned in Mark 7:1-23. The topic of discussion is ritual purity – the ritual purity that is based on the religious traditions of the oral law.
What Yeshua says concerns ritual purity. He declares that ritual purity (i.e., ceremonial washing) does not affect what goes into the body (does not affect what we eat). Yeshua makes it clear that NOTHING we eat, whether with clean hands or dirty hands, can make us holy or unholy because what we eat goes into our mouths, down our throats and esophagi, and then into our stomachs. While in our stomachs, the foods we ate are mixed and ground until the proteins, starches, and fats become amino acids, simple sugars, fatty acids, and glycerol.
Next, our liquidy or pasty broken-down foods enter our small intestines where the breaking-down process continues until our bodies are able to absorb the nutrients from our broken-down foods – absorb the nutrients that our bodies need. Our stomachs and small intestines’ digestive processes are our cleansing/purging processes because the wastes from our eaten foods are separated from our needed nutrients. The waste parts of our broken-down foods are what our bodies can’t use and, thus, don’t need. That is why the waste parts leave our bodies as feces.
Everybody’s individual digestive process, then, is why whatever enters each person from outside of him or her cannot defile him or her because everybody’s digestive process has no effect on each person’s heart/spirit or mind. Put differently, the point Yeshua makes is that ceremonial washing is not necessary for spiritual purity or sound spiritual health because unwashed hands do not defile anybody’s “heart”/spirit or mind. It each person’s stinking thinking that spiritually defiles his or her own “heart”/spirit or mind.
The bottom line is that since spiritual purification involves the heart/spirit, ceremonial washings are ineffective and unnecessary in preventing spiritual defilement. Shalom . . . .
So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may dress yourself and so the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. – Revelation 3:16-18, TLV
None of us who claims to be Yeshua’s Disciples will want YeHoVaH to cancel our right to be in His Presence. However, the truth of the matter is that there are far too many carnal Yeshuaians who want a relationship with Yeshua on their terms instead of on His terms. These carnal Yeshuaians are today’s Laodiceans – individuals who serve the Yeshua of their own making.
Yehovah says that He will spew these carnal Yeshuaians out of His Mouth. In other words, the Holy Spirit (the Presence of YeHoVaH) will leave them the second they miss the Rapture.
TheLaodicean believers who end up being left on Earth while the true Bride of Overcomers is in Heaven need to know that the Holy Spirit left some of them because their unbelief caused them to leave YeHoVaH – they departed from the Truth and became apostates. The Holy Spirit left other Laodicean believers because they loved the world and the things of the world – had one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom of YeHoVaH.
Let the true Bride of Yeshua pray for everyone who does not know and has not accepted the Lord. Let the true Bride of Yeshua also pray that YeHoVaH will open the eyes of the Laodiceans’ understanding so that those believers who currently are fence straddlers might become Overcomers who prepare and watch for their Bridegroom. Shalom.
but they allow the cares of this life and the seduction of wealth and the desires for other things to crowd out and choke the Word so that it produces nothing. – Mark 4:19, TPT
There will be such an increase of sin and lawlessness that those whose hearts once burned with passion for God and others will grow cold. – Matthew 24:12, TPT
I am suffocating
In America’s excruciating
Knee on neck violent
Has policing technique trending
While black lives keep dwindling.
I can’t breathe
Pinned to ground
In lethal chokehold –
Publicly executed.Excessive force
Used in untold cases
Where black lives
Not resisting arrest
Still lost their lives.Can’t breathe black mothers,
Nay, all sisters and brothers
Are waiting to respire
Once injustices backfire,
Triggering an exorcism
Of systemic racism –
Domestic terrorism –
Topped off with a strangulation,
Ensuring black lives’ liberation.- composed June 16, 2020
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands. 25 Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things. 26 From one He made every nation of men to live on the face of the earth, having set appointed times and the boundaries of their territory. 27 They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us, 28 for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’
As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’ – Acts 17:24-28, TLV
20 But you, loved ones, continue building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 21 Keep yourselves in the love of [YeHoVaH], eagerly waiting for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who are wavering— 23 save them by snatching them out of the fire; but on others have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. – Jude vv. 20-23, TLV (the bracketed word is my emphasis)
I used to be unable to understand how apostates could creep in anywhere unaware. That changed while I was evangelizing in South Korea.
Sadly, at the South Korean Christian school where I taught English, there were professed Christians who, as Jude describes, were “…bellyaching grumblers, following after their own desires. Their mouth speaks grandiose things, showing favoritism for the sake of gain” (Jude v. 16, TLV). They were believers in Yeshua who also possessed knowledge of Yeshua’s Gospel; however, they were way too much like the metaphorical seed that falls on rocky soil and springs up quickly only to wilt when the scorching sun of trouble shines on them or when they are under the roasting pressure of persecution.
For sure, it was their love for more money, larger schools, more curriculum knowledge, and/or better-paying jobs that had caused them to fall away from what they at one time must have believed. Put differently, they were not walking in obedience to Yeshua, as it was evident that, as backsliders, they were following the desires of their flesh.
They were behaving like the kind of apostates Jude says the apostle Paul had warned about – “…theones who cause divisions—worldly-minded, not having the Ruach” (Jude v.19, TLV). Indeed, the people who worked at this school when I was there were definitely spiritually divided – that is to say, those who kept the faith were spiritually separated from those who had sincere doubt. It also didn’t help that the school’s Christian owners also physically separated certain staff members from each other. In other words, the backsliders or those who were wavering — those who had not become committed apostates – were isolated. These segregated backsliding apostates are the ones that Jude advises the overcomers to “…save…by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude v.23a).
At this school, there also was another kind of apostates – those who willfully rejected the Gospel of Yeshua. These were the apostates that not onlydistorted YeHoVaH’s Truths but also denied those spiritual Truths and biblical doctrines that defined the genuinely saved believers in Yeshua. In other words, these apostates were no longer backslidden believers but rather they had become the kind of unbelievers that the writer of Hebrews says cannot be brought back to repentance (see Hebrews 6:4-6).
There were the kind of apostates who had passed the point of no return – those whom Jude describes as the apostates that overcomers should “…have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude v.23b), as they are apostates whose damnation had already been secured (Jude v.4). Additionally, the apostle Peter describes these apostates as the proverbial dogs who return to their own vomit and pigs who return to wallowing in the mire (see 2 Peter 2:22 and Proverbs 26:11).
Now, the reasons why these apostates were able to creep into our churches, our schools, our business, etcetera is because so few of today’s believers in Yeshua are spiritually savvy enough to discern when believers have departed from the faith, or when wolves have joined flocks, or when a backslider’s conscience has been seared, or when so-called Christians have a form of godliness, and so forth. For sure, there are many believers in Yeshua today who are living and/or behaving as the apostates who are described above, BUT far too many professed Christians either are clueless or indifferent about these apostates who clearly neither are clinging to the Holy Spirit nor are controlled by (cooperating with) Him. In other words, these professed Christians have not crucified their own ‘self,’ and they have not been filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. They, instead, are sensual, which means they live in accordance with their senses because they are too soulish. This truth is why they are walking after their own lusts instead of being in accordance with the Holy Spirit.
Lastly, Jude makes it clear that believers in Yeshua can have victory over apostasy but only as overcomers who stay filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only One who is able to keep believers in Yeshua from falling away from the faith. He also is the only One who is able to present believers in Yeshua as blameless before their Lord and Savior, but only if they allow Him to change them into overcomers.
Becoming overcomers begins when believers in Yeshua realize their assured victory does not mean that they don’t have to fight to win. Every genuine believer has to contend for the faith – the kind of faith that will help them to become victorious over sin, the world, and their flesh. However, living a holy life will keep those believers who are progressively becoming overcomers on the battlefield. Put differently, there is no way that contending for the faith won’t be dangerous at times. That is why it is important to remember what Yeshua and His apostles taught, which is that those seeking to become overcomers will obediently do the following: 1. Build themselves up on their most holy faith; 2. Pray in the Holy Spirit; and 3.Keep themselves in the Love of YeHoVaH (Jude vv. 20-21). This is how they not only survive apostasy but also how they become victorious over sin, the world, and their flesh. Additionally, this is how they will have the power to snatch backsliders out of the fire – apostates who have NOT passed the point of no return.
Once again, the ultimate solution to apostasy is believers’ proximity to Yeshua, which is achieved through the Holy Spirit. This Divine Truth is why believers in Yeshua must always stay close to Him, and they must always keep preaching His Gospel. By contending for the faith, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and by staying close – via the Holy Spirit – to the only One who is able to keep believers in Yeshua from falling, Yeshua’s believers will be able not only to survive apostasy but also able to thrive as holy overcomers in spite of the fact that apostasy is everywhere in today’s world. Selah . . .
5 Slaves, obey your human masters, with respect and reverence, with sincerity of heart, as you would the Messiah—6 not just under your master’s eye as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Messiah doing God’s will from the soul. 7 Serve with a positive attitude, as to the Lord and not to men—8 knowing that whatever good each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. – Ephesians 6:5-8, TLV
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. – 1 Peter 1:22, TLV
In a sense, we work for Yeshua. We are employed by Yeshua to minister (to serve) men and women in Yehovah’s Kingdom on Earth. Now, no one is a slave in Yehovah’s Kingdom. We are brothers and sisters, which is why we need to know that in order for any of us to be seen as great in the Kingdom we must have a servant’s heart.
Unfortunately, there also are many Yeshua believers in Yehovah’s Kingdom on Earth who are servants in the pejorative sense of the term. They are modern-day slaves – the property of either just or unjust worldly masters.
Be that as it may. What Yehovah wants every Yeshuaian minister – whether free men and women or bondservants – to know is that all of His Kingdom Dwellers have to make the Gospel of Yeshua attractive in every way, primarily by exhibiting Yehovah’s holy Attributes and Morality while meeting people’s spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. This truth is why Paul gives five ways for believers in Yeshua who are bondservants to develop a servant’s heart – to always be ready to happily serve others selflessly and compassionately.
First, they are to be obedient to their human masters just like they are obedient to the One and only true Master – Yehovah. Next, they are to please their human masters just like they are to please Yehovah. Third, they are to hold their tongues and not talk back to their human masters just like their tongues are not to be used to murmur, tempt, curse or disrespect Yehovah. Then too, Yeshuaians who are slaves also are to work for everything they get without stealing from their masters’ possessions. Yehovah even tells these Yeshuaians that they are not supposed to covet what their masters own. Fifth, Yeshuaians who are slaves are to show their masters that they are trustworthy and loyal workers.
As Yeshua followers, Yehovah expects us to show the world that our behaviors are representative of Yeshua’s righteous and holy Character and Morality, which are the same as Yehovah’s. Put differently, we have to be powerful witnesses for Yeshua in the presence of our employers, no matter if we work as free men and women or as bondservants.
Let us be Yehovah’s Crowning Glory. Let us also remember that the world will know if we have the heart of a servant when we respond as happily and selflessly as we would to the people who treat us like we are their slaves!Shalom.
42 Therefore stay alert; for you do not know what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. – Matthew 24:42-44, TLV
What person, who has an idea about the time of day or night that a thief plans to rob him or her, would not watch for the arrival of this thief? A wise person will either wait — fully armed and ready to do battle with the robber — or he or she will alert the police, who will wait in the wise person’s house for the alleged thief so that they can catch him or her in the act of breaking and entering. Any person taking these precautionary measures is the Goodman Yeshua speaks about in His Matthew 24:43-44 Kingdom mini–parable.
Here is the point Yeshua is making: If non-believers and carnal unbelievers are smart enough to keep watch over their homes to prevent someone from breaking in, robbing, and/or harming their families, then certainly born again and saved spiritual believers also are smart enough to be like Yeshua’s Goodman. Even though Yeshua’s Bride will not be aware of the actual day and time when Her Bridegroom will return, She has the gift of spiritual discernment. Spiritual discernment helps Yeshua’s Bride know and recognize the signs of the time that will lead to Her Pre–Tribulation Rapture.
Yeshua tells His Believers how they can avoid being caught off guard. They have to watch for the Bridegroom’s return, and they also have to do Yehovah’s Perfect Will, which, in this case, means they need to handle their own spiritual responsibilities — they need to make sure their spiritual temples are prepared for the Rapture. Their Lord, Master, King, and Bridegroom’s Return will not surprise them, if they also are filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit so that He can make them ready, willing, and able to present their bodies as living sacrifices — as spiritual overcomers whose lives are holy and acceptable to Yeshua.
Be a “goodman.” Know the signs of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Look for the signs of your Savior’s Return, and be prepared when Yeshua comes for you.
Is the Holy Spirit filling you? Are you allowing the enemy to come into your individual temple and rob you blind? Is Satan stealing anything from you that the Holy Spirit needs to transform you into Yeshua’s image? Shalom.