IS YOUR NAME IN THIS BOOK?

Good day my friend. I have an important question for you.

What have you done to insure your name’s in the lambs book of life?

I know, a bit of a heavy question but none the less a very important one.

Some of you might say, ‘no one knows what will happen when they die.’

Others might say, ‘this is just another religious blog.’ and to that I’d say, No.

This is not about religion, it’s about truth, and knowing where you will spend eternity and what you can do to be sure of your eternal destination.

I’M A GOOD PERSON WHO DOES GOOD DEEDS

It’s amazing to see the outpouring of compassion, good deeds, finances and overall generosity that’s been taking place since the United States has been hit by devastating storm after devastating storm. People are opening up their wallets and getting involved with rescue efforts, clean up, and even the rebuilding of all the areas that have been ravaged by the recent fires and hurricanes. However, even with all the ‘good’ deeds that are occurring is that enough to secure our eternal destination?

While good deeds are noble, you can’t earn your way into heaven or into God’s presence.

Isaiah 64:6 says:

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”

In Pslam 14:1-3 it reads: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”

Good deeds will not secure our eternal destination, nor insure our names are in the lambs book of life.

BUT I DO BELIEVE

The most quoted scripture is possibly the most misunderstood.

John 3:16 reads; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “but I believe in Jesus, isn’t that enough?”

Contrary to popular thought, the Greek word for believe that is used in this verse means far more than to simply “accept something as true”, which is the definition of believe.

In this scripture the Greek word that is used for believe is ‘pisteuo’ which actually means to commit your trust/faith in someone.

The definition of commit means to be dedicated.

The definition of dedicated is: “having single-minded loyalty or integrity.”

So, the actual meaning of John 3:16 is, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever will be loyal and single-minded in their devotion to Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Simply believing is not enough to secure your name in the lambs book of life. You must be fully loyal and committed to the Son of God.

I’VE PRAYED A PRAYER ISN’T THAT ENOUGH?

It breaks my heart to think about all the people who believe that because they were baptized as a baby, follow the pope, or prayed a one time prayer but never committed themselves to the Messiah believe that one day they will be with God in eternity.

Prayer and baptism are both important aspects of a loyal disciples life, but when done improperly they’re of no use in placing us within our eternal home.

One bible verse that has always touched my heart, even from a young boy is Matthew 7:21-23 where Yeshua/Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

How is it that people who did miracles in the Messiah’s name are told “I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers.”?

To ensure our name is in the lambs book of life requires more than a one time prayer. More than being baptized as a baby, and much more than going to church on Sunday’s and listening to the religious words from the pope. Are you ready to be shown the path?

IT BEGINS WITH REPENTANCE

Messiah Yeshua began his ministry in the gospels of Matthew and Mark by proclaiming “Repent”!

What is repentance?

Repent means to have a change of mind and to turn around or away from the current path we are on.

So, to repent of our sins is to chose not to continue doing what is separating us from God and instead chose to obey His word which includes the teachings of His Son, Yeshua/Jesus. We turn from our way and turn to His.

Repentance is a choice. It’s a decision that’s made when our hearts are fully convinced that we are sinners, rebels against God’s law and word, and there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love and acceptance.

Once we acknowledge how pure/holy and loving God is compared to how far we fall short of the standard that’s required just to enter His presence, and we no longer want to continue on our own path but chose to follow the Messiah, then we can be assured that we have repented and have begun our walk toward our heavenly home. Repentance is the first step toward knowing our names are in the lambs book of life.

NO MORE DOING ME

A phrase I hear all too often, even among some believers is, “I gotta do me”. Meaning, “I have to make me happy. I have to please myself. I have to fulfill my dreams and desires”.

Let me be very clear, you can not be a follower of the Messiah and continue doing you.

Yeshua/Jesus taught very clearly; “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Matthew 9:23

Paul wrote: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” Galatians 5:24. Again Paul wrote, “but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8.13

You cannot be a follower of the Messiah and continue looking at porn. You cannot be a follower of the Messiah and continually tell lies or have sex outside of marriage. You cannot be a follower of Yeshua/Jesus and willfully choose to disobey His teachings and live in sin, which is rebellion against Him.

In the end it’s not about pleasing ourselves, it’s about pleasing the One who loves us enough that He died for us. It’s about dying to our desires and choosing to satisfy Him alone.

NOT BY WORKS

As I said earlier, we cannot do enough good deeds to earn our way into God’s presence. In the book of Ephesians Paul writes; “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10.

Our salvation is a gift of God. Our faith is a gift from God. It’s provided by God’s grace. Apart from God’s grace we are lost, we have nothing and we are nothing.

Messiah Yeshua said in John 3: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”…”Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Repentance is brought on by Godly sorrow. Knowing in our hearts that we have sinned/rebelled against God and that we are deserving of His wrath. We cry out for forgiveness and choose to turn from our sinful ways toward Him. We choose to ask Yeshua/Jesus to forgive us of our sins and send His spirit into our hearts. We receive His death, burial, and resurrection as the atonement for our sins and we trust in His work and not our own. Then and only then can we know our names are in the lambs book of life.

GOD’S STARTING POINT

The best place for us to begin is with God’s word.

In John it reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

God is holy, meaning He is without imperfection. He is perfect, righteous and pure in all His judgments and works. He intended for us to be with Him for all eternity. We are created in His image, meaning we are first spiritual beings that will inherit an eternal destiny.

We will either be allowed into His presence or we will not.

Our damnation came through our choice to be our own god. Our rebellion against our loving Father is what has created the divide between us and Him. We, as sinful creatures, can not stand before holy God on our own merits, on our own works.

That’s why God had to send His only Son Yeshua/Jesus to take the punishment we deserved. God’s standard is perfection, and anything less is deserving of death.

Yeshua/Jesus, God’s Son. 100 percent God and 100 percent man was born of a virgin. Lived and taught God’s word for thirty three years. He was crucified, dead and buried. He arose on the third day, and appeared to His disciples along with other witnesses. Then He ascended to heaven where He sits until the Father tells Him it’s time to return.

In order for us to begin this journey we must repent of our sins as was discussed earlier. The next step is we must receive the gift of salvation that Yeshua/Jesus provides through His life, death, burial and resurrection.

Eternal life is a gift from God and it was given at the expense of His only Son’s life. It wasn’t free for God and it wasn’t free to Yeshua/Jesus. And it comes at the cost that we must daily die to our own desires and chose to follow Yeshua by His Spirit in all we do and all we say.

LIVING IT OUT

I’m writing this today because I have a burden for the lost and those who have been led astray by either hyper faith teachings or hyper works teachings. Both of which are damaging spiritually.

We are saved by grace through faith. And yes we were created for good works, however unless the love of the Messiah is at the center of the motivation for all we do then all those works are dead. They mean absolutely nothing. Yes, we will be blessed because God’s word is true. If we bless others we will be blessed, however that doesn’t determine where we will spend eternity.

Once we have repented and given our lives to the Lord and are following Him, He will speak to us and lead us to begin doing the works He has created for us to do. Some of which are taking care of the elderly and widows. Looking after the orphans and homeless. Feeding those in need and caring for all through love. The same unconditional love He has for each of us will begin to fill our hearts and our motivation will no longer be to make ourselves feel better, or to have some kind of bragging rights, but rather for others to know the Father loves them and revealed this love through His Son and it’s because of this revelation that we are here today assisting those in need.

Living a life devoted to the Messiah is about death to self.

It’s a daily decision.

We must decide, are we going to choose to cuss and use profanity or are we going to choose our words more carefully so that the words we use are a blessing to all who hear them?

Are we going to fill our minds with porn or violent images or are we going to choose to fill our minds with God’s word so we may be a blessing to others?

Living a life devoted to the Messiah is about daily going to Him in prayer. Asking Him to forgive us of our shortcomings and the sins that we allow to filter into our lives. It’s about asking Him to fill us with His Spirit that we may be victorious daily over sins many temptations. It’s about listening to His Holy Spirit and being led to do the works He intends for us to do. It’s about reading His word daily to cleans our minds from the distractions of this world so we may hear Him more clearly. And yes, once we have chosen to follow Him with all our hearts we are to be baptized in the full knowledge that we are dying to ourselves so that we may one day arise from the dead and be with Him for all eternity.

Yeshua/Jesus taught that there are two paths. One leads to eternal life and one leads to eternal death which is separation from the Father.

I’ve seen both paths and have walked both and can tell you that the path of repentance is the much better path.

The path following the Messiah, while it’s not a piece of cake, is the true path to life, peace and joy.

My prayer is that any of you that have been fed misinformation will read this and come to understand the way to God. Yeshua/Jesus taught us plainly what we must do, now it’s up to us to choose and then follow Him each and every day.

If you have questions, please reach out and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

“May the Lord bless you and take good care of you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.”

The Revalancey of the Ten Commandments

This year will mark four years since our Heavenly Father shared His love for me, as well as His intense love for all humanity. It was a moment I’ll never forget and an event that’s changed me forever. With one sentence He broke my chains of bondage.

Once I was freed I shared in a podcast how I felt the Ten Commandments had become an idol, and that really there were only two commandments we needed to follow. “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” On the outset this does seem right, especially to professing Christians. However, since my revelation Adonai has been teaching me and has corrected me. Recently I was reading a blog in which a fellow believer shared somewhat of the same view point I once held. Today, I want to share this gentleman’s blog post, as well as my response. I believe it’s important to note that we are not made righteous by the law, however, the Commandments were given for a reason. The most liberating aspect of following Yeshua-Jesus is realizing that everything He asks of us is not meant for our detriment, but for our betterment. Once our submission and obedience is steadfast that’s when we can experience the freedom, peace and fulfillment He promises in His word. Below is a portion of the blog and my response, I hope you are blessed.

 This is what the author of the blog posted regarding the Ten Commandments:

I have proved in the Scriptures that Jesus did not expect or require Gentile Christians to keep the Ten Commandments as a moral system or a salvation system. Rives and others like him are only using philosophy and not the Bible to teach falsehoods.

Can Richard Rives prove that Jesus required his Gentile followers to keep the Ten Commandments in the Gospels?

No of course not.

Also notice that rives avoids any statements that mention that the Ten Commandments are a Christians morality. Mostly because he knows any statements that he would dare utter would be disproved by his critics simply by using the Bible itself.

Jesus taught on the Law of Moses and easily shows what he thought were the most important Commandments. See Matthew 22:34-40 and this teaching is repeated in other Gospels like:

Mark 12:28-37

Luke 10:25-37

And echoed by the Disciples in:

Romans 13:8-10

Galatians 5:14

James 2:8-13

To conclude this post.

Yes we CAN AGREE that people can uphold different opinions about Christianity. But what good is a opinion when it attacks Christianity and labels it ‘pagan’ without specific evidence to prove those claims? IF his evidence comes from antichristian teachers and is not historically accurate then why should anyone believe his claims?

I find it very sad that my fellow Christians are so easily fooled by a false teacher. How is rives right? He is not and all his followers have to do is open up their Bibles and read what Jesus said and did.

However because of sin those who follow rives will only keep a philosophy not Christianity.
This is my response to the blog:

Hello and thank you for posting this blog. I want to say upfront that I know very little about Richard Rives and so my response to your opinions have nothing to do with defending him.
I do however find it very troubling that you state:
“I have proved in the Scriptures that Jesus did not expect or require Gentile Christians to keep the Ten Commandments as a moral system or a salvation system.”

So, are you saying Jesus taught only the Jews to keep the commandments and all the gentiles needed to do is “love”?

When you begin teaching people that they don’t need to “keep” the Ten Commandments, I believe you are running a very great risk of judgment upon yourself. And I’m sharing this with you simply because I care and hope you will see the truth as God shares in His word.

First off, the Ten Commandments were never intended to be “a salvation system”. That wasn’t the intent even in the Old Testament. The only way sin could be atoned for was through the shedding of blood.
Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
Leviticus 5:11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering.”
Hebrews 9:22 “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

Jesus death upon the cross was the payment for all of humanities sin debt. However, it never scratched out the commandments.
Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

My only thought is you believe He was only instructing the Jewish people at that moment and that verse doesn’t apply to future gentile believers. Then my question for you is which verses are for future gentile believers and which were meant for the Jewish followers?

In the same chapter of Matthew Jesus teaches: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

Was that only meant for the Jewish people He was teaching at the time OR is that meant for everyone?

And if you believe He meant only a portion of His teachings for future gentile believers can you please clarify which verses?

In my opinion I believe you are attempting to separate Jewish believers and gentile believers. If you are, I’d like to know why you would want to make that distinction?

I’m certain you are familiar with Ephesians 2:8-10.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

But if we look at the rest of chapter 2 a bit more closely there is something amazing we will see. Verses 11-22 read:
“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

Now, I’m sure you will be quick to point out the verse that states “by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.”

But what Paul is saying there is Jesus became the sacrificial lamb, the blood sacrifice, that His death, burial and resurrection have fulfilled the law and all the requirements of righteousness and so there is no need to argue over keeping all the regulations for righteousness, and I want to reinforce that word, argue. But what I really want to point out here is what God’s desire is: “His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two”

It is NOT God’s purpose for there to be gentile believers and Jewish believers. That is not the plan of God. We are supposed to be ONE body being built together, worshiping together and serving together.

As far as the Commandments are concerned in Romans 3:1-19 we read why we have the Ten Commandments and why they are important.

“What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:

“So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge.”
But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

No One Is Righteous

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”

The law was given so that we would be conscious of sin. How then if we ignore it can we be conscious of our sin? How are we held accountable for our sin? How do we know when we need to repent of sin?

In Romans 5:18-21 Paul writes:

“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I think it’s interesting here how Paul writes “just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for ALL people”.
Do you believe when he says, “the law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.” was he speaking to only the Jewish people or was he speaking to ALL people?

In closing all I would say is continue to study God’s word. Continue to pray for understanding and please keep in mind the words of our Lord and Savior from Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

So, in teaching people about not keeping the Commandments I would be very careful.

“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

My desire is that no one be lead astray and all of us, Jewish believers and gentile believers be united in love and follow our Messiah and share His love and truth with the rest of the world.

Again I’m not taking up for Mr. Rives. Rather I wanted you to see the danger in the philosophy you are sharing with others and my hope is you will be a bit more careful in the future.

Take care and God bless.

No God = No Love

The phrase of the day is “love is love” and that would seem only logical since man is man, woman is woman, dog is dog, cat is cat, and poop is… well you get the picture. So, if something is so logical, then why the need to say it over and over, unless there’s a desire to change the meaning of love.

Love has been around since before creation. How do I know? Have you ever watched a sunset? Have you ever looked up into the sky and noticed that as it’s rays begin to fade behind the horizon the sky is filled with various iridescent shades of pink, blue, lavender, orange and red? If not, you need to get out more. If you have, has there ever been a time that you’ve said, “what a lovely sunset”.
Have you ever looked up into a clear night sky and viewed all of the stars or attempted to count them? Have you ever seen an ugly sunset? Have you ever looked into the heavens on a clear night when all the stars and the moon are brightly shining and said, “man, that sky sucks.”? Why is that?

Could it be that the creator of everything desired all He created to be beautiful? Could it possibly be that before He even created it He felt love for His creation?

When you love someone, is it your custom to go to a landfill and pick out an entire pale of dirty, used diapers and give that as a gift for a birthday, anniversary, or perhaps Valentines Day? I’m just asking since the phrase that pays is “love is love”. Maybe that’s how you choose to award your “loved” one with an entire pale of used, nasty, baby diapers that are straight from the landfill. Do me a favor. Please, please, please, don’t “love” me, EVER!

The truth is, God is love. God, the creator of everything, was the first to love. Love deeply, love passionately, love unconditionally, yes you heard me, love unconditionally. Yet, when we say, “love is love” we make it conditional. In what way? We pervert the true meaning behind love.

Let’s stop skipping around the subject, shall we? Those who espouse “love is love” do so in the name of the LGBT community and in an attempt to pervert the definition of marriage. However, they fall far short of exemplifying what the true definition of love is and in doing so show themselves destitute of love and in need of a reminder of what true love looks like. Enter little ole me.

Have you ever been alone? I don’t mean after a bad break up or all your friends just left your place. I mean have you ever been all by yourself, and there was no one you could reach out too? If not, I encourage you to get away from things for a bit, clear your head. If so, how did you feel in that moment you knew you were all by yourself? Were you scared, depressed, or excited? I’m sure some of you would like more quiet times, but what I’m getting at is, have you ever felt alone?

If you have ever felt the drowning feeling of complete loneliness, then you have  experienced what an existence void of true love is like.

True love would never abandon you. True love would never stop desiring to be with you no matter your mood. True love would fight for you, true love would die for you, even on your worst of days. True love would look out for you, have your back, encourage you, and more than anything, true love desires your best in this life. That is what true love does, that’s what true love is all about. That’s why there is no other definition that can ever be equated to love except, God is love.

God is love because there is no one on this planet who would die for you.
God is love because there is no one who sees through your bitterness, anger, rage and condemnation and still desires to hold you and comfort you and take all those feelings away.
God is love because no one can imagine the brokenness of a child that comes from a single parent home and is able to take that child into His arms and give them the love and care they deserve.
God is love because no one knows the scares of those who are bullied except those who have suffered at the hands of the bully.
God is love because not only does He desire to gather all those who have been bullied into His arms. He also wants to gather all the bullies into His loving arms, and heal them from their brokenness and insecurities.
God is love because nothing and no one could ever take the insults society continuously pours onto Him and still, He loves, and waits patiently for one heart to turn.
God is love because there is no one alive, or has ever lived, that would willingly choose to send their only child to die an excruciating death, while being mocked, beaten, and finally crucified for the shear purpose of desiring an intimate relationship with His creation.

Since we have laid out the extents of God’s love, and the degree to which He loves, let me ask another question. Can someone who loves so deeply, so passionately, and so purely, ever allow anyone with a lesser degree of love into His presence?

Remember back in elementary school or high school where there was that cute girl or guy and you soooo wanted them to be your “girlfriend” or “boyfriend”? Back in my day we called it “going with each other.” We had no idea where we were going, but we were “going together”. And you asked them how they felt about you and they said, “I don’t like you”. Would you want to invite them to your birthday party? Of course not. You don’t want people at your party who don’t care about you or want to give you presents because they love you, right? I wouldn’t any way.

It’s the same principle with God. He loves, cares, and desires nothing but to have a deep intimate relationship with His creation. But the ground rules are we can’t have a relationship with Him, unless we love as deeply as He does. And since there is no way we could ever love to the depth that He does, we need help. We need lots and lots of help. And that’s why God sent His Only Son, Jesus.

Jesus demonstrated the love of the Father in this way, while we were still sinners, steeped in our selfish desires, He chose to become the penalty for our disobedience. No one who is disobedient can come into God’s presence, without there being a blood sacrifice. Either we can accept Jesus sacrifice, death, burial and resurrection for our disobedience, or we pay the penalty ourselves with our own blood and lives.

See, God doesn’t hate the homosexual. God doesn’t hate the liar. God doesn’t hate the adulterer. God doesn’t hate the thief. However, He calls ALL to REPENT.

Repentance means to have a change of mind and to turn physically from your current path and begin walking in the opposite direction.

Repentance means, if you are committing homosexual acts, or in a homosexual relationship,  you stop living that lifestyle. Ask Jesus for forgiveness. Accept by faith that He paid the price for your disobedience in full. And begin living a life pleasing to God in the design and purpose He created for you.

Repentance means, if you are a liar, fornicator, adulterer, thief, or bigot, that you stop. Ask Jesus for forgiveness. Accept by faith that He paid the price for your disobedience in full. And begin living a life pleasing to God in the design and purpose He created for you by walking in the opposite direction from the lifestyle you were living.

God is love. There are no substitutes, no fillers, no additives or preservatives that can take the place of a heart that’s been touched by the Living God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the eternal Father, the great I AM, very simply desires to give you the best in this life, but it comes on His terms, and why shouldn’t it.

After all,  GOD IS LOVE.

God Always Keeps His Promise

Have you ever wondered why God chose the Jewish people? Why did the creator of the universe pick one people group? Well a revelation came to me the other day as I’ve been reading Torah, the first five books of the bible, and it’s been such an amazing revelation I felt led to share it. Hopefully, it will encourage, challenge and more than anything enlighten everyone to the great love our Heavenly Father has for us, and the lengths He will go to get our attention.

I’m not going to make this a quiz, I hated pop quizzes when I was in school, and no one’s going to be graded, but I have to ask: Did you know the Jewish people had an opportunity to say no to God?
In Exodus 19:5-8 it reads; “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.”

At one point the nation of Israel actually had an opportunity to say, “you know, we are really freaked out right now and so we’re going to pass.” But of course why would they do that when God had just delivered them from brutal slavery, right? He had parted the red sea and saved them from the mighty Egyptian army. Regardless, they had an opportunity to say no.

Why is this significant? This is one more indication of just how much God loves us. He didn’t tell the Israelites that they must serve Him, on the contrary, He laid out for them what He would do if they chose Him as their God. This is the creator of the entire universe, and He is asking them. Wow!

Now, we know how Israel tested God and disobeyed Him time, and time again, however, what I found quite amazing was what Moses shares with the Israelite’s in Deuteronomy 7:7-8;
“The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all the peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

Do you see it? God didn’t choose them because they were the smartest, the strongest, the biggest or the prettiest. The reason He chose Israel is because He loved them and He was keeping His promise.

How many of you have had someone to break a promise? It hurt didn’t it? I’ve been on both sides and I know the look of disappointment that someone gives when a promise is broken, and I’ve experienced the heartbreak when someone really close breaks their promise.
Isn’t it amazing, that the creator of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega, cares so deeply and so passionately that He will never break His promise.

So, all of the above got me to thinking and then God began laying it all out for me and that’s what I’m sharing with you now.

I wondered why pick the Jewish people? Well, He had to pick someone to demonstrate to the rest of the world that He is the Only Living God, why not the group that has the fewest members. Also, when you read about some of the other groups that surrounded the Israelite’s, it’s clear they probably weren’t the most physically imposing. Apart from all that, God needed a people He could trace a linage through. He needed to appoint a founding father, so to speak, and so He chose Abraham.

Abraham had a son, Isaac, and it’s through Isaac that God said His linage would be blessed. Isaac had a son, Jacob, who later God renamed to Israel, and Jacob/Israel was the father of twelve sons and those twelve sons are the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel.

God never does anything by accident. Everything He does is for a reason. He poured out His heart to the Israelite’s and asked them to keep His laws, but He knew it was going to be impossible for them, or anyone for that matter, to keep His standard of holiness.

We are talking about the creator of life and all that is good. He is holy, meaning set apart from everything else. He is compassionate, loving, caring, and He knew even His chosen people would in the end fail to keep His commandments. So, He had to have a linage. It had to be able to be traced so that the entire world would know exactly who He is and what He desires.

How many world religions attempt to set themselves up as “the way to god”? But when you do any research the histories of all religions fail to encapsulate one key factor that separates the Only Living God from all the false ones. That being a God who loved and cared so deeply that He chose to keep a promise.

When God created mankind He desired for us to be with Him, spend time with Him, and live with Him for all eternity. But, He wanted us to do it on our own volition. He never forced us to love Him.

The same is true today. The Only Living God is not going to force anyone to love Him or desire to be with Him. At the same time, He can’t allow anyone into His presence who has denied Him. That would be forcing something on them that they’ve already refused.

So, He had to have a linage and He made a promise. He conveyed His desires and what He was going to do through many men and women and it was documented through out history. God then chose to send His most precious gift, the only One that could undo all that we had done with our refusal to be with Him, He sent His Only Son Yehoshua/Jesus.

Remember, God said that there can be no forgiveness of sin, which very simply is disobedience to Him, without the shedding of blood. That’s why there were so many and various types of sacrifices because blood had to be spilt in order for the Jewish people to be cleansed of their sins and God could allow His glory to manifest within the very first temple.

The same penalty for sin applies today as it did when we first sinned. The only difference is we can either ask Yehoshua/Jesus, God’s Son, for forgiveness, repent of our sins, and follow Him, or in the end we will be asked to pay the penalty ourselves with our own lives. The difference being, Jesus’ blood is God’s blood, making it Holy. Our blood is tainted with sin and therefore cannot pay the debt, not in the least.

God chose a people, to reveal a heritage, and have a linage that could be traced so that no one would have an excuse on the day they stand before the Son of God and give an account for their decisions. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Meaning, He is still the same loving Father who is asking you:
“Will you allow Me to be your Father? Will you accept the gift of salvation that I offer to you through My Son? He died, and arose again so that you could be with Me in paradise.”

If your answer is yes, then I suggest you pray to Jesus, ask Him for forgiveness, repent of your sins, begin reading His word, and live a life passionately following His Spirits led.

If your answer is no, then you have made a decision to deny our Heavenly Father. He has no other option then to grant you your desire. When your days are completed on this earth He will not be able to allow you into His presence and you will be left all alone.

In either case, you can rest assured of this, God is a loving Father and He will always keep His promise.

U.S. Government on the Verge of Treason

It’s time to take a stand my fellow Americans. It doesn’t matter what race, gender or religion you are, it’s time to take a stand. All elected officials must be held accountable because treason against our Constitution has been committed by the House of Representatives.

Treason as defined by Merriam Webster’s is: “the crime of trying or helping to overthrow the government of the criminal’s own country or cause its defeat in war.”

Ever since 9-11-01 we have been at war with radical Islam, which is, by association, a part of Islam. As of December 17, 2015 Democratic Representative Donald S. Beyer Jr. who represents district 8 in Virginia has introduced H.Res569, which is:
“H.Res569 – Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States”.

This is a treasonous act and all citizens must step forward and contact their elected officials within the House of Representatives and warn them. If this becomes law they will be held accountable. As citizens of the United States of America this cannot stand.

The first amendment of the Bill of Rights states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

The definition of respecting per Merriam Webster’s is: “with respect to : concerning”

Merriam Webster’s defines establishment as: “a settled arrangement; especially: a code of laws”

Rep. Donald Beyer Jr. has in fact introduced a bill that creates a law that concerns the protection of a single religion. This cannot stand.

There are no laws condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric toward Christians. There are no laws condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric toward Jews.
There are no laws condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric toward Hindus, Buddhists, or even atheists.
Why do we need a specific law singling out the Muslim faith?

If Muslims come to America legally and desire to integrate into our culture then the same protections that are offered to all other religions should be good enough for them. If our constitutional right of free speech offend any in the Islamic faith, then I suggest growing some tougher skin. As a follower of Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, I’ve had to put up with individuals mocking my Lord and Savior for years. Why should the Islamic faith be singled out for protection?

Is this perhaps a measure to stop anyone from filing a complaint against a Muslim who rapes or attempts to harm an American citizen, or to at least silence anyone from saying anything negative against Islam?

If Muslims want to be apart of American society, then you need to abide by our laws. Laws that men and women died for and freedoms that we still fight to protect to this day. It’s why we honor our men and women who serve in the military and who are first responders because they are the ones who protect us, the citizens, from anyone who would attempt to take our freedoms away. Freedoms that are spelled out very clearly in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

If you want to be accepted into America then I suggest you print a copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and learn what is acceptable.

In recent weeks our president has chosen to go after our second amendment right within the Bill of Rights which is: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

If you’re wondering why we have this law, it’s just in case our elected officials forget, that this Constitutional Republic, NOT Democracy, is a government for the PEOPLE by the PEOPLE. We have the right to fight against anyone who might attempt to take our freedoms from us.

That’s why this is a call to all Americans. If this bill becomes law our government, ALL BRANCHES, have committed treason and we must stand and protect ourselves.

I am NOT promoting violence. However, if you witness someone attempting to harm innocent lives it is our duty to render them incapacitated. We are at war. War was declared in 2001 against radical Islam.

If you are Muslim and you do NOT wish to live by, or force anyone else to live by, any ordinances of Sharia Law, and you simply want to make a home in America for your family, and live in peace, welcome. Now, you must condemn any and all acts of violence that are committed in the name of Islam. Failure to do so simply proves your complacency, and speaks volumes of your support for radical Islam.

This country was founded on Judaeo-Christian values and laws. I understand our president doesn’t desire to acknowledge this fact, however it is a fact, and the reason we are a free society. If our values and laws offend you then you have one of two options. Assimilate into our society, obey our laws, and live in peace. OR you can leave.

I’m aware of my tone, and I’m very aware that any and all content of this post will not be popular. Popularity isn’t my concern. The safety, freedom, and well being of my fellow Americans, as well as all legal immigrants, is what’s important to me. I’m first generation American. My dad is an immigrant. And it’s one reason I hold the freedoms of this great nation very dear.

I love all people. I desire nothing but the best for each and every individual. Our Heavenly Father placed His love deep within my heart and it’s why I share the love and message of Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of the Only Living God who will forever be praised. And it’s because of my freedom as an American that I can say that.

Yeshua teaches, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” in John 13:34.

At the same time Yeshua also teaches us in Luke 22:36-37 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

We have a right by the laws of our land, to protect ourselves and our property. As Christians we must obey these per Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities (The Constitution and Bill of Rights). For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.”

That’s why I’m writing on the eve of the state of the union address, we will be told by our president that everything is alright. We are not at war. We will be told sacrifices must be made, but we will not be told who are the ones that will be called upon to make the sacrifices.

Yeshua taught, in Matthew 7:17-18, “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”

We know the fruit of president Obama. It’s clear what his intentions are. Unfortunately, those intentions are endangering American society and our basic freedoms. That’s why I’m calling on my fellow Americans to contact your local and federal government officials and tell them enough is enough. We will not stand for any more tyranny. If they vote to move forward with H.Res569, come November they will NO longer have a job. We the people will vote them out of a job, they can be sure of that.

Ladies and gentlemen it’s time to stand. It’s time to put aside all petty grievances we have with one another and stand united as Americans. This is not about being black, white, brown, a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu. This is about being an American citizen and standing up for our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

We are ALL created EQUAL. That’s it. The freedom I have to write this was paid for in blood. Very precious blood and to deny anyone their rights is a desecration of the life blood that was shed for our civil and constitutional rights. This government was created for the people and by the people and it’s time WE the people took it back.

Please call your congressional representatives and tell them to not pass H.Res569.

God bless all of you richly.

Christian’s Should Embrace Their Hebrew Roots

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the first blog of 2016! I have to say that today’s topic has been one that’s been on my heart for quite some time. Pretty much all last year I wanted to blog about Christianity and it’s Hebrew roots. I wanted to discuss how as followers of the Messiah we should begin to learn more about Jewish customs that we read about in the Old as well as in the New Testament.

This is something Adonai began teaching me last year and has continued to do so into this year. It’s my belief that He’s calling us back to His roots so that we will stop participating in man made festivals and customs and begin to truly worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Before I begin, there is one aspect of this that I have to share. I became aware late in 2015 that there was an actual movement called “The Hebrew Roots Movement”. I had no idea such a movement even existed when the Father began enlightening me with various scriptures and I began questioning certain verses. However, once I did some research the one aspect that alarms me from the Hebrew roots movement is that of legalism. What do I mean? Some in the movement may believe that by performing certain rituals, or sticking to a strict Biblical diet they are in some way gaining brownie points with God. Or, they may believe they are more righteous because they live as God directed the Jews, His chosen people, in the Old Testament.

It’s because of this legalism that I want to reiterate very loudly, we are saved by GRACE, nothing more. It’s only God’s Spirit who convicts us of our sin. It’s because of Adonais only Son, Yeshua HaMashiach/ Jesus the Messiah, who was born of a virgin, lived and taught among the Jewish people, was crucified, dead, was buried, and who arose on the third day, that we are able to be forgiven of our sins and be saved from eternal death. We cannot earn our way into heaven. It’s not possible. Not through diet, not through keeping certain festivals or dressing a certain way, the point is we are saved by grace, period. As it’s written in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”

With all that said, I do believe it’s important we learn about our Hebrew roots. I can tell you this, that during the time our Heavenly Father has been teaching me more about the Jewish culture the more the word of God has become alive to me.

I’ve been dying to share this for a while now, but the verse that God first used to spark my interest was John 17:11, where Jesus is praying and he says, “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”

Jesus says, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me. Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to disappoint you but the Father’s name is not Jesus. Allow me to share just a little bit about God’s Hebrew name. I learned this information from Hebrew-Streams.org, I encourage you to check out the website, again it’s Hebrew-Streams.org and it’s a very educational website. On the site it reads:

The name “Jesus” is an Anglicized (English) form of the Greek name Yesous. In the first century Yesous represented the Hebrew name Yeshua, which in turn was a shortened form of the name Yehoshua.

The Hebrew name Yehoshua consists of two parts.

(1) “Yeho—” is a shortened form of the Tetragrammaton [YHVH; in English Bibles: “the LORD”] when it is the first part of a name.

Hello readers, please allow me interject at this point. For those who don’t know, YHVH are the consonants that represent God’s formal name in Hebrew. The name He calls Himself in the Old Testament! The website goes on to say:

(2) “—shua” is an abbreviated form of the verb yasha, which means “to save, rescue, or deliver.” Thus the name Yehoshua means “the LORD saves or delivers.”

The New Testament reflects this Hebrew background in passages such as:

She will bear a son; and you shall call his name Yeshua,

for it is he who will save his people from their sins.

(said by an angel; Matthew 1:21)

There is salvation [Heb. yeshuah] in no one else;

for there is no other Name under heaven

that has been given among men,

by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the Name which is above every name,

that at the name of Yeshua [“the LORD saves or delivers”]

every knee should bow,

of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,

and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

I have come in my Father’s Name . . .

[Father] I have manifested Your Name to those

whom you have given to me.” (John 5:43; 17:6)

An important point: “Yeshua” is the name God himself gave his son (Matt 1:21).

This ladies and gentlemen, this is the reason I believe it’s important to understand our Hebrew roots. The very roots of our Lord and Savior. Yeshua is Gods Only Son and He is Jewish. He came to the lost sheep of Israel first to share that He is the Messiah. The Jewish people were chosen by God and it’s through the tribe of Judah, who was one of the 12 sons of Jacob, that the Messiah was prophesied to come and He did.

The reason Yeshua became Jesus is due to the Greek language as it was translated into English. Now, am I saying that by using Jesus’ given Hebrew name of Yeshua that in some way it is more correct? No, I’m not. However, my question is this. Once you learn the Hebrew name that our Heavenly Father gave to His only Son why would you not want to use it? Why would you not want to call Jesus by the very name His disciples used to call Him, when He was on earth? Why wouldn’t you want to call Him by the name His mother Mary called Him? HaShem gave Yeshua His name. The only name by which we must be saved.

I mentioned earlier that as Adonai has been teaching me about the importance of learning our Hebrew roots the scriptures have become more alive to me. Allow me to give you an example. I was reading Numbers chapter 6 the other night and in verse 1 through 3 it reads: The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins.

In verses 6-8 it continues: “Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord.”

Ok, how many of you are familiar with Matthew 8:21-22 where a disciple says to Yeshua:

“Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

For the longest time I always thought that was a cold thing for the Lord to say, I mean really? Let the dead bury their own dead. But now it makes perfect sense.

The disciple who said that to Yeshua I’m fairly certain was familiar with Tora which is the first five books of Moses, and as a result he knew perfectly what Yeshua was telling him.

Yeshua was telling him, if you want to be my disciple you must make a vow of separation. You must dedicate yourself fully to me and my teachings. You make yourself unworthy of following me if you place selfish motives and desires ahead of me. It had nothing to do with going and burying a dead relative, it had everything to do with being fully committed to God. And believe it or not the message has never changed.

Isn’t that amazing? For years I’ve read that verse and didn’t know that it was tied into the Old Testament. I mean sure, I knew it had to do with dedication, but what Yeshua says points right back to the Word of God. But then who would know the word of God better than the Living Word of God, right?

My whole point in bringing this up is I do believe it’s important for Christians to learn more about the Jewish roots of our faith in the Messiah. I do believe that by learning about Jewish customs we can get back to doing things the way God intended. And by that I mean celebrate Passover as opposed to easter. Hanukkah as opposed to Christmas. And we need to learn about God’s festivals because they all relate to the coming of our Lord and Savior.

Does celebrating Passover make us more righteous and acceptable to God. No, only the blood of Yeshua can make us righteous and cleanse us of our sin debt. However, I believe that anyone who chooses to follow after God’s word and place His festivals ahead of man made ones will reap more of a blessing. I say this from experience. Last year I choose to begin celebrating holidays from our Hebrew roots and by doing so I have felt my relationship with the Messiah and our Heavenly Father grow more intimate. Now, that could be just me, but like I said earlier, if God enlightens us into a better way of doing things, why would we continue to do the same ole same ole?

In the end, when the Messiah comes, and we are at the wedding feast. There will be guests, and there will be the bride. I don’t know about you, but I want to be the bride. And if in order to be the bride means that I sacrifice the festivals of men, and begin to participate in God’s festivals, then I’ll just delve deeper into my Hebrew roots of faith. Come and teach me Rabbi Yeshua. I will follow you always, Ha’adon Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach, the Lord God Jesus the Messiah.

Whatever any of you choose to do throughout 2016, I pray your relationship with the King of Kings grows to incredible depths. Thank you for subscribing to my blog and I look forward to bringing you more of what Yeshua places on my heart!

May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you shalom.

A Christmas Perspective

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” I Peter 1:3-7

November 2015 marks three years since God met me in what I can only say was a supernatural visitation. Prior to that month there were years that passed in which I had fallen into the depths of a depression in which I felt there was no way out, and life had no meaning. To the outside world I’m sure everything may have seemed “perfect”, however reality for me was continual inner turmoil and despair.

Through a variety of circumstances, situations, and reading materials God began to gently slice through the layers of hurt and despair. It wasn’t an over night cure but a daily process that began in the early summer of 2012. However, it took several more months before I was ready to hear what He had to say. My heart needed to be prepared, healed and more than anything ready to receive His words.

One November day, as depression seemed to grip my soul to the point of breaking I found myself asking God, “What do You want? What do I have to do, for You to love me?” And that’s when He opened my ears and allowed me to hear Him say; “Bert, you don’t have to do anything to earn my love. I love you just as you are.”

His words broke my heart and tears streamed down my face as I wept uncontrollably for hours. In fact, I wept daily for weeks as He continued to heal my broken heart and shattered spirit. Some of the wounds were self inflicted, while others were careless wounds some had ignorantly inflicted upon my young and naive heart.

During that time, the Father began to also speak of His love for all mankind and He placed that love within me. The perspective in which I viewed others changed almost over night. No longer do I see colors, religions, political parties but rather people in need of salvation and in need of love. If ever there was a mountain top experience within modern day society, I’d have to say I have experienced it.

However, as beautiful as the mountain top is, and regardless of how peaceful, we must all return to the valley. Our loving Heavenly Father doesn’t send us back to punish us, but rather so we can take the love and passion He places within us back into the hurting world around us. Our mountain top experiences are meant to prepare us for the ministry He has placed within us and desires to work through each of His children.

His ministry can take the shape of many forms. It could be full time vocational ministry. Or it could be serving the needs of the homeless. Sometimes it can take the form of a grown child who is called upon to aid a parent who’s been diagnosed with cancer. His ministry of love that is meant for all in this dying world knows no bounds and there are no degrees of importance because every ministry of His is important.

It’s been three years since the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob opened my ears. Since that time He has taught and revealed things to me that I never thought I’d be able to understand or experience. The most recent lesson He’s revealed is just because some of us are not called to full time vocational ministry, doesn’t mean we are not to be called ministers of His.

As children who are born again through the blood of Jesus the Messiah we are all called to be ministers of the Most High God. Our ministry should always begin within the confines of our own homes. I believe we have forgotten this or we overlook it, or perhaps we think too highly of ourselves when we embrace the words of Jesus when He said in Mark 6:4 that; “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” Now how many of us truly believe we are prophets? Time to snap back to reality. It’s time to begin our ministry within our families.

The family unit is under attack, actually it’s been under attack for a while now, however the effects of decades of erosion are finally being seen through out society. As I watched various interviews on TV this weekend I listened in amazement as 18 time gold medallist Michael Phelps admitted in an interview with Joe Buck that up until recently, 2015, that he had dealt with life long deep depression as a result of having an absentee dad. We look around wondering why kids act the way they do and yet we fail to look in the mirror and take responsibility for the way we’re raising them.

So, where’s all this coming from? It’s coming from the grown child who has received news their elderly parent must continue their fight against cancer. It’s coming from a heart that has been taught to be thankful through the good times as well as within the hard times. It’s coming from someone who recently received the full revelation that this earth is not our home. That when our time is done, we will either step out of this body and either into the judgment of Almighty God or into His loving presence. It all comes from a man, who made many poor decisions, and yet time after time God chose to reveal His grace and mercy to him, just so this man could share a little Christmas perspective with all of you.

Jesus the Messiah was born to teach us the ways of God, to reveal to us that He is the Son of God, as well as the promised Messiah of the Jewish people. He was born to be both the high priest as well as the suffering servant. He is the lamb of God that takes away the sins of all who ask Him. Only through asking for forgiveness and yielding to His Lordship can anyone receive eternal life and life fulfilled.

I know this to be fact because I have felt the depths of despair. The meaning of a fulfilled life can only be experienced by a life submitted to Jesus the Messiah. This is my Christmas perspective that I pray fills some with joy, some with hope, and others with anger and jealousy. Why anger and jealousy? Because I want those who feel that way to look deep within their souls and wonder just what it is that causes them to feel that way. Why do they feel that way? The harder they look, the sooner they’ll find, there is a loving Father who desires to tell them just how much they mean to Him, and the price that was paid for their lives, and it all began with the birth of His Only Son.

Syrian Refugee Crisis Is More About Politics and Less About Acceptance

Before I begin, please allow me to shed a bit of light onto my family history so you have some insight as to why I’m very passionate about the refugee issue and crisis.

It was after World War II my dad, uncles and grandmother immigrated to the United States. My family, on my dad’s side, is from Austria. They are immigrants that fled a country that had been decimated by war. A country in which there were no jobs, there was very little food and assistance for the impoverished was slow on arrival. It is a fact they arrived not knowing English and with nothing but the clothes they wore along with what they carried in a couple of card board suite cases. You heard me, card board suite cases. I know fact because that’s where my family kept our Christmas ornaments and every year as we celebrated Christmas we also would listen as my dad shared his story of immigrating to the United States of America.

I’m the son of an immigrant, a first generation American on my dad’s side. A fact that I’m very proud of. Why? Because I have listened to my dad and heard how difficult it was for him to learn English, but he did. He’s shared how hard he had to work just to make ends meet, but he worked hard and did it. The only reason my grandmother brought her family here is so that her sons would have a greater opportunity to make a better life for themselves, and every single one of them has do so. Not because the government gave them anything, but because they worked for every single dime they have today. It’s for this reason I’m proud to be a first generation American.

The United States of America is a wonderful country. It’s the only nation under the sun that as long as you have a dream and are willing to work for it, you can obtain it. And while I’m a first generation American it breaks my heart that our government has taken something like U.S. Citizenship, that was at one point in time held as precious, and has completely perverted it for personal and political gain.

The United States of America has always been a Christian nation. While some may choose to dispute this fact please refer to my last blog post titled ‘America Is A Christian Nation’.

As a Christian nation our laws and government were created through laws and teachings written within the Bible. In the scriptures we are told in Exodus 22:21, “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

In Leviticus 19:34 again Moses writes, “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”

And in Deuteronomy 10:19 we are instructed, “So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

The problem with all of the above is this, the United States of America is a nation that was created for the people and by the people. In Romans 13:7 Paul writes, “Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” So as a nation that was created for the people and by the people it would only be rational that WE THE PEOPLE are the representative authorities of this nation. Unfortunately, our current president has perverted the authority of the office of president and with that created an unfair, prejudice and biased process that is truly helping to do nothing except further his own personal agenda.

There are thousands of Christian refugees fleeing persecution as we speak. Not only from Syria but from all over the Middle East. Refuge Crisis Article

What’s so amazing to me is President Obama, who is African American and says he stands against prejudice and injustice against minorities has actually turned his back on one of the greatest minority holocausts in history. By refusing the sanctuary of Middle Eastern Christian refugees and instead preferring to allow Muslim refugees ahead of them our president is in fact going against everything he says he stands for. In essence he is a bigot.

I understand that’s a strong word to use, however what do you call someone who chooses one person over another because of their religious beliefs? The definition of bigot is “a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.”

Our president has shown his intolerance by allowing one group over another when it is within his power to create a fair and unbiased process. The solution is so simple however it doesn’t fit within the presidents personal beliefs or strategy.

All that needs to be done is allow an equal number of Christian refugees into this country as Muslim. The next item that needs to take place is to give priority to families with CHILDREN. Families with children should be allowed asylum ahead of single men and women. Everyone in the refugee crisis who is fleeing for their lives is a victim, however we all know it’s the children who suffer the most. They have no choice in whether they flee their homeland and whether they choose to seek asylum in one country over another. Families with children should be given preference among fleeing Christian and Muslim families.

The problem with my solution is it’s too practical and too fair for our president. He has his agenda and his ideology and no one will ever cause him to change his course of action. No one outside of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and who is the Only Living God.

I know this is far and away a more political blog than I usually post, however as a first generation American I know the pride my dad felt when he became a citizen. I know how hard he worked and the sacrifices he has made for his family. Becoming an American citizen needs to once again mean something and it should also be a fair and impartial process. In the end as followers of the Messiah in Ephesians 5:11 we are told, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;”

The unfruitful deed that needs to be exposed in this case is the fact that someone who says they stand for minority injustice is actually perpetrating injustice against a minority class of Christian refugees.

We must pray. We must read God’s word and know what’s our Heavenly Father’s will, and we must speak out when we see injustice taking place. That’s what I’ve chosen to do here by publishing this blog. Please join me in praying for all our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted. Also, please join and support organizations who are providing aid to those in need. That way, even though our president may not show compassion, we can show the families of the Messiah we do care and love them.

And as for the presidents policy. Let us receive the Muslim refugees with unbiased love so they may also see the love of the Messiah within us.

In the end, there is no reason to argue about the Syrian refugee crisis. There is no reason to fear or be afraid. 2 Timothy 1:7 reads, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” No matter what occurs as a result of the decisions of our president, we know who is in ultimate control. It is our Abba. Our Heavenly Father. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob along with His Only Son, Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, who will be forever praised by every nation, tribe and tongue.

America Is A Christian Nation

I felt it necessary to post my open letter to syndicated columnist and Fox contributor Cal Thomas. The reason is without it, I would feel it necessary to re-explain everything I shared in this letter in my upcoming blog post about the Syrian refugees. Time is of the essence for most of us and I value each of you that follow my posts as well as your time. So without any further adieu, this is a letter I sent to Mr. Thomas on September 16, 2015.

Dear Mr. Thomas,

On September 11, 2015 you published an article titled “America has never been a ‘Christian’ nation. Kim Davis picked the wrong issue.” Wow. I have to say that this offends me personally on so many levels. It offends me as an American in part because you refuse to acknowledge how our Constitutional Republic is supposed to work in regard to creating laws. It offends me as an academic because anyone with internet access can find quotes from the founding fathers that share their hearts and insight when it came to God, Jesus and our Constitutional Republic. Lastly, it offends me as a seeker of peace and unity. It’s clear from your tone that you are not interested in an open discussion on this issue. You have chosen instead to give a tongue lashing to all who would call themselves followers of Jesus and who desire nothing more than the freedom to live with a clean conscience before their Creator. I believe it is you Mr. Thomas who picked the wrong issue. However, the truth can still set you free.

In your intro you state, “Let’s get something straight. America has never been a ‘Christian nation.’ Those who believe otherwise have an obligation to say what part of our history was uniquely Christian. Was it when slavery was legal? How about when women were denied the vote? The Gilded Age? The Roaring ’20s?”

For you Mr. Thomas, I’m willing to go the extra mile and share a bit about the peripheral issues you used to attempt to validate your argument. However, I want to address your initial statement first, which was, “Those who believe otherwise have an obligation to say what part of our history was uniquely Christian.” Very well Mr. Thomas. This is the part of our history that is not only uniquely Christian, but the bedrock on which our government and laws were formed.

“The Pilgrims were English Separatists who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. The Pilgrims, fleeing religious persecution, broke away from the Church of England because they felt the Church violated biblical principles of true Christians. Due to persecution and economic distress, they believed they had to break away from the Church of England to form congregations which were more in keeping with divine requirements. Coming out of the recent Reformation, the pilgrims believed the Church of England had not come far enough. The Church was under strict rule of the State so their actions were considered treasonous and these Separatists had to flee their homeland.

Determined and very courageous men and women committed themselves (in all aspects of their lives) to life based on the Bible and a relationship with God. They brought their only known culture and spiritual values to the New World and attempted to establish an improved foundation of English society on an unfamiliar new continent.”

SOURCE: All About History

Where your premise fails Mr. Thomas is there is no defining point that makes America a Christian nation. In order to pick one specific point in time one would have to ignore the essence of our countries foundation. The reason this nation was founded and the government created was to escape religious persecution. This nation, at the very depths of its foundation was founded on the Bible and the principles from the Gospels of Jesus the Messiah.

If you need proof, which as an academic and journalist I assume is of the utmost importance to you, I’ve managed to drum up just a few quotes from some of our founding fathers and the sources from which they come. Sources were added for your conveyance, I hope you appreciate them. Now, a few words from our founding fathers.

GEORGE WASHINGTON : “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.”

SOURCE: George Washington, The Writings of Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932), Vol. XV, p. 55, from his speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779

JOHN WITHERSPOON : “[C]hrist Jesus – the promise of old made unto the fathers, the hope of Israel [Acts 28:20], the light of the world [John 8:12], and the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth [Romans 10:4] – is the only Savior of sinners, in opposition to all false religions and every uninstituted rite; as He Himself says (John 14:6): “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”

SOURCE: John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. V, p. 255, Sermon 15, “The Absolute Necessity of Salvation Through Christ,” January 2, 1758

THOMAS JEFFERSON: “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.”

SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XV, p. 383, to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse on June 26, 1822

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”

SOURCE: Benjamin Franklin, Works of Benjamin Franklin, John Bigelow, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904), p. 185, to Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790

JOHN ADAMS: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”

SOURCE: John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at Their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6.

JOHN DICKSON: “Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.”

SOURCE: From the Last Will & Testament of John Dickinson, attested March 25, 1808.

JOHN HANCOCK: “Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement.”

SOURCE: Independent Chronicle (Boston), November 2, 1780, last page; see also Abram English Brown, John Hancock, His Book (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1898), p. 269.

PATRICK HENRY: “Being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.”

SOURCE: A. G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry of Virginia (Auburn and Buffalo: Miller, Orton and Mulligan, 1854), p. 250

CONGRESS OF 1854 “The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

SOURCE: Journal of the House of the Representatives of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Cornelius Wendell, 1855), 34th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 354, January 23, 1856; see also: Lorenzo D. Johnson, Chaplains of the General Government With Objections to their Employment Considered (New York: Sheldon, Blakeman & Co., 1856), p. 35, quoting from the House Journal, Wednesday, January 23, 1856, and B. F. Morris, The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), p. 328

As you can see Mr. Thomas based on what the founding fathers state the United States of America was built upon Christian principals, making it a Christian nation. To deny or say otherwise, you would have to rewrite history. But before that nasty idea creeps into your head, please allow me to remind you of the dangers in rewriting history.

If you need to know the exact dangers of rewriting history, just find any survivor of the holocaust. Adolf Hitler, in order to “create” the Aryan Race had to first rewrite the history of Germany. The fact is, Aryans were not and are not German. They were of Iranian and Indian descendant. In order for Hitler to establish an Aryan race he had to rewrite German history. He needed a history that fit into his narrative and into his belief system. History proves that the end result of Hitler’s narrative was 11 million people killed, 6 million of which were Jews. See, there’s a danger in rewriting history.

Now, to address the peripheral issues you have with American history as it pertains to slavery, women’s rights, The Gilded Age and The Roaring ’20s. There is not a single country on the face of this planet that doesn’t have skeletons in their closets. I feel it’s more applicable to quote the Apostle Paul who wrote, “for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. All of us have sinned, no one does good, we are all in need of a Savior. The founding fathers were not perfect. Is slavery wrong? YES. Is denying women equal rights wrong? YES. These are areas in which we failed greatly in human history. Hopefully, we can learn from our history and strive to make a better nation, and that’s what I believe we have done. Today, in 21st century America we have an African American as President. We have a woman and an African American man running for President in the Republican party. We have come so far as a nation. But despite all of our triumphs we have failed in not keeping the definition of marriage, the most sacred union, defined as God has always intended it. We have left the foundation upon which we were built.

Mr. Thomas, as you can probably tell I am quite upset by your comments and opinion. However, the great thing about this nation is we both can have an opinion and we are both given the freedom to express it openly without fear. My hope in writing you is that you will see that this nation, although it has strayed far from it’s foundation was in the very beginning intended to be a Christian nation. Though it may not resemble one now, my prayer is by God’s grace we, as a nation, will repent of our sins, and humbly ask Jesus the Only Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to forgive us and He will heal us, heal this land, and unite us once again, that we may truly be the United States of America.