To Hear and Obey

In this day and age there are many voices clamoring to be heard. Everyone has an answer and an opinion. But what if there were only one voice to be heard? Only one opinion? I along with other like minded people have been seeking, knocking and asking. For a surety there are two voices speaking in the world today. One voice is saying "take your life in your own hands as you see your own needs". The other voice is saying "give up your life, follow me, give me control of your life". The first voice mentioned here seems to be the most popular. So the obvious decision here is to hear the second voice "give up your life" and go with the minority. For with this voice if we follow will lead to a very narrow road. This road is not the scenic route either. Most maps will tell you that it doesn't even exist. In fact if you travel this path everyone around you will do everything in their power to get you off of it. I sincerely hope you have already made a decision to take this road, and since so few choose it may we see each other often in the fellowship on it. If you have not made this decision I pray that you would follow this journey. Shalom, Chris

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

יהושע wept (Yeshua)

Joh 11:22 “But even now I know that whatever You might ask of Elohim, Elohim shall give You.”
Joh 11:23 יהושע said to her, “Your brother shall rise again.”
Joh 11:24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Joh 11:25 יהושע said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he dies, he shall live.
Joh 11:26 “And everyone that is living and believing in Me shall never die at all. Do you believe this?”
Joh 11:27 She said to Him, “Yea, Master, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of Elohim, who is coming into the world.”

Joh 11:34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Master, come and see.”
Joh 11:35 יהושע wept.
Joh 11:36 The Yehuḏim therefore said, “See how He loved him!”

Yesterday we received a call from a dear family. The wife was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, she had passed out. I believe she is around 3 months pregnant. The next call we received was dreadful. She was going into surgery to have the baby removed from her tubes, as I understand it there is no other way. I can't even begin to understand what this family is going through. Their faith in Messiah is strong, their walk unwavering. They have forsaken the comforts of this world and desire only The One who is to come Yeshua. Yet my heart breaks within me, if my heart breaks how much more does the heart of our Beloved. I don't know if they named the baby yet but I can't wait to meet him or her. Such things are the promise of those who love and prepare themselves for the coming of The King! Please pray for the Montanez family.      Shalom

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A two edged sword

Heb 4:12 For the Word of Elohim is living, and working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Mat 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword,

Luk 12:51 “Do you think that I came to give peace on earth? I say to you, no, but rather division.

In the last few days quite a few people have wished me a "merry christmas". Many people associate this particular day as the greatest significant day in history. They say it is the birthday of The Messiah. So they go to malls and superstores buying gifts that most people will be paying for in the year to come. Acres of lights displayed across eaves and bushes share their holiday cheer. Millions of trees are cut down, pruned and adorned with glitter and all manner of ornaments. Hams are roasted, shrimp are skewered and high fructose corn syrup candy canes painted red are protruding from their mouths. In fact  years ago  I celebrated quite zealously all of these things, If anyone had told me that "jesus" was not the reason for the season, they would have heard all about the significance of christmas and The Messiah. Seven years ago I grudgingly read an article that stated "christmas" was a pagan feast day. At first my blood boiled, how dare they! So I studied it out. There are hundreds of articles actually on the origination of "christmas". Here is one example.
A.    Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25.  During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the weeklong celebration.  The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.”  Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week.  At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.
B.    The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time.  In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season).
C.    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.
D.    The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.
E.      Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia.  As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst, writes, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.”  The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.
F.      The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who  first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.” Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.  However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.
G.    Some of the most depraved customs of the Saturnalia carnival were intentionally revived by the Catholic Church in 1466 when Pope Paul II, for the amusement of his Roman citizens, forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city.  An eyewitness account reports, “Before they were to run, the Jews were richly fed, so as to make the race more difficult for them and at the same time more amusing for spectators.  They ran… amid Rome’s taunting shrieks and peals of laughter, while the Holy Father stood upon a richly ornamented balcony and laughed heartily.”
H.     As part of the Saturnalia carnival throughout the 18th and 19th centuries CE, rabbis of the ghetto in Rome were forced to wear clownish outfits and march through the city streets to the jeers of the crowd, pelted by a variety of missiles. When the Jewish community of Rome sent a petition in1836 to Pope Gregory XVI begging him to stop the annual Saturnalia abuse of the Jewish community, he responded, “It is not opportune to make any innovation.” On December 25, 1881, Christian leaders whipped the Polish masses into Antisemitic frenzies that led to riots across the country.  In Warsaw 12 Jews were brutally murdered, huge numbers maimed, and many Jewish women were raped.  Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed.
But perhaps this article is not valid you might say. Well here is a link to the History Channel documenting what is written above.

 So what does scripture say about the keeping of holidays?

The tree
Jer 10:1  Hear the word which יהוה speaks to you, O house of Yisraʼĕl.
Jer 10:2 Thus said יהוה, “Do not learn the way of the gentiles, and do not be awed by the signs of the heavens, for the gentiles are awed by them.2 Footnotes: 1Lev. 18:3, Dt. 12:30 & 18:9, Ezek. 11:12 & 20:32, Eph. 4:17, 1 Peter 4:3. 2Dt. 4:19 & 17:3.
Jer 10:3 “For the prescribed customs of these peoples are worthless, for one cuts a tree from the forest, work for the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
Jer 10:4 “They adorn it with silver and gold, they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it does not topple.
Jer 10:5 “They are like a rounded post, and they do not speak. They have to be carried, because they do not walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they do no evil, nor is it in them to do any good.”

Angels, santas and nutcrackers

Deu 5:6 ‘I am יהוה your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of bondage.
Deu 5:7 ‘You have no other mighty ones against My face.
Deu 5:8 ‘You do not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth,
Deu 5:9 you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה your Elohim, am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Deu 5:10 but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.

Still there are those that would say that the ancient traditions have nothing to do with the "christmas" we celebrate now. But The Scriptures would disagree.

 1. Doing what others do and giving it another name.
Lev 18:3 ‘Do not do as they do in the land of Mitsrayim, where you dwelt. And do not do as they do in the land of Kenaʽan, where I am bringing you, and do not walk in their laws.
Deu 12:30 guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.ʼ
Deu 18:9 “When you come into the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you, do not learn to do according to the abominations of those gentiles.
Eze 11:12 “And you shall know that I am יהוה, for you have not walked in My laws nor executed My right-rulings, but have done according to the rulings of the gentiles1 which are all around you.” ʼ ”
Eze 20:32 “And what comes up in your spirit shall never be, when you say, ‘Let us be like the gentiles, like the tribes in other lands, serving wood and stone.ʼ
Eph 4:17 So this I say, and witness in the Master, that you should no longer walk as the gentiles walk,1 in the futility of their mind,
1Pe 4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the desire of the gentiles, having walked in indecencies, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties, and abominable idolatries,

2. The birth time of The Messiah
The Birth of Yeshua (Jesus) on Sukkot
Messiah’s birth,  (10 - 4 BC), was expectantly awaited (Matthew 2:1-18)  because within about 40 years Daniel’s prophecy concerning Him must be fulfilled.
The prophet Micah wrote that He was destined to be born in Beth-Lechem (Bethlehem) — the House of Bread (Micah 5:2).  (God called Him the Bread from Heaven (John 6:32-36),  though men say Manna (Exodus 16:31)  — What is It?) It was because of this prophecy that King Herod had the children of Bethlehem killed, to protect his throne against the coming promised king.
The rabbis who translated the Septuagint taught from the prophet Isaiah that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) and would be called Immanuel — God with Us.
In the expected time and place, on the Festival of Sukkot,* in a succah (tabernacle, temporary dwelling) where Passover lambs were raised in the city of the shepherd David, a Son was born to a virgin descended from that Messiah David (Matthew 1, Luke 3:23-38).     At an angel’s command (Matthew 1:21), He was named Yeshua, meaning " Salvation." God would dwell with us in a sukkah of humanity that would be bruised by the serpent, then crush that old serpent!
The apostle Yochanan (John) tells us that the Word (of God) became flesh and "dwelt in a sukkah" (tabernacled) among us (John 1:14). The author views Sukkot as figurative of Messiah"s coming to dwell among His people; this reference is not submitted as proof of a dogmatic date.
When Zekharya (Zechariah) was ministering in the temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The second course of Abia,12  when Zekharya was ministering, was a week in the middle of Sivan. If Zekharya’s promised son Yochanan (John the baptizer) were conceived soon thereafter, then Yeshua’s conception, which was six months later, would be late Chislev to early Tevet, near Chanukah (the Feast of Dedication); His birth would thence be at mid Tishri, the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles).
The month of Tishri (in the fall) also fits with the season of shepherds being out with their flocks by night, as they were when Yeshua was born; during winter the lambs are kept indoors.
Later in His life, Yeshua celebrated His birthday on a mountain with three of His disciples (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:1-10).  In contrast to birthday parties, such as Herod’s (Matthew 14:6-12),  where people were killed for entertainment, His was a celebration of life. On the Festival of Sukkot, Moses and Elijah, from centuries past, representatives of the Torah and the Prophets, appeared and talked with Yeshua. One disciple, Kepha (Peter), suggested building three sukkot for Yeshua, Moses, and Elijah, because it was required for the festival, but he did not understand (Mark 9:6) that these three were fulfilling that which the festival symbolized: they were dwelling in their sukkot (temporary tabernacles) of flesh, awaiting their eternal resurrection temples.

            So according to scripture are we to celebrate the birth of "The Messiah"? Not that I can find, so if you do find it please share it with me. But there is a feast we are to celebrate as put forth in scripture beginning in Leviticus 23. Most would say we are not to continue celebrating the "feasts of the Jews", below you will see whose feast it is.

Lev 23:34 “Speak to the children of Yisraʼĕl, saying, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Booths for seven days to
Joh 7:2 And the festival of the Yehuḏim was near, the Festival of Booths.
Zec 14:16 And it shall be that all who are left from all the gentiles which came up against Yerushalayim, shall go up from year to year to bow themselves to the Sovereign, יהוה of hosts, and to observe the Festival of Booths.
Zec 14:17 And it shall be, that if anyone of the clans of the earth does not come up to Yerushalayim to bow himself to the Sovereign, יהוה of hosts, on them there is to be no rain.
Zec 14:18 And if the clan of Mitsrayim does not come up and enter in, then there is no rain. On them is the plague with which יהוה plagues the gentiles who do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.
Zec 14:19 This is the punishment of Mitsrayim and the punishment of all the gentiles that do not come up to observe the Festival of Booths.
                                                                                   May you be whole and complete in Messiahs beauty

Thursday, December 9, 2010


               To clarify the reason for these studies on the origins of words simply put. I desire to know the truth spoken by The Messiah Yeshua. Many psalms speak of the wonders of YHWH, a deep intimate knowledge that surpasses any writings or emotions. Down deep in his nefesh(soul) David was a man after YHWH'S own heart. That description is hard for me to fathom. Do I see others as YHWH see's them? Do I love as YHWH does? Do I hate sin and not the sinner as YHWH does? The answer would be; sometimes. I don't believe that I can sit back on my laurels and just coast through to the next life. I know many of you don't either. I believe there is a greater depth to the words given in YHWH's Torah. Messiah Yeshua spoke of the circumcision of the heart and it seems few heard Him. Many times my wife and I have discussed "joy" and what it means to us. More often than not we notice the lack of it. But what exactly is it?

Mat 25:21 “And his master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant. You were trustworthy over a little, I shall set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.

                 I always look first to the Torah to get the original Hebrew word first. To my surprise the first entry translated to the word "joy" does not appear until 1 Sam 18:6 so I began to study each entry. There are 13 Hebrew words translated to the  word "joy".  To me thats quite a loose translation. Most have nothing to do with joy as we might define it as the concordance often refers to the "abstract" definition. For most people who have been part of the messianic culture "simchah" is the most familiar word in the Hebrew. There are a couple others that have some  bearing but I will focus on "simchah" and "ranan". Mainly due to the following verse taken from the king james version.

Rom 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (see end for tansliteration)

               This is the one of the verses that prompted my study into meanings behind the words.  Exactly how would you describe words like "hope, joy, peace and a holy ghost" to someone you might be sharing with? Yet It is verses like these that entire sermons and doctrines have been built around. There are so many abstract meaningless holes here that it would be impossible to discern the meaning behind the words. When you read of the men and women in scripture is it easy to understand why they fell on their facesor danced in the streets? Did you ever wonder at the one on one prayers they prayed and the answers received? Is it possible that we don't know because we have been filling ourselves with philosophical words from men? Yes there is a greek pagan root to this word joy also. But I don't feel like pointing to it. Instead I want to understand the correct response for all who take refuge in YHWH.

Psa 5:11 But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; Let them ever shout for (ranan)joy, because You shelter them; And let those who love Your Name exult in You.

               Amazing, the picture here is not to shout for undefinable abstract joy. But rather to SHOUT or ranan, Let those who love your name exult in You. This is not a "hey I'm happy shout". This is a exclamation, one that everyone within hearing distance turns their head. This is a shout that claims that the deliverer has something that everyone needs to know about
A primitive root; properly to creak (or emit a stridulous sound), that is, to shout (usually for joy): - aloud for joy, cry out, be joyful, (greatly, make to) rejoice, (cause to) shout (for joy), (cause to) sing (aloud, for joy, out), triumph. -
AHLB #1451 Shout: [freq. 54] (vf: Paal, Hiphil, Pual, Piel, Participle) |kjv: sing, rejoice, shout, cry|
{str: 7442, 7444}

           The verse above I would describe this way according to the ancient hebrew pictures. The first letter the dalet is the door or pathway. The second, a noon and the third letter a final noon are "activity and life".
Perhaps saying that this is an activity that brings life on the pathway. What is the first thing a baby does when born? The first activity of life is a scream or a shout "here I am". When you get a perfect report card what do you do? You shout of course.
Psa 137:6 Let my tongue cleave to my palate, If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Yerushalayim Above my chief joy.

From H8056; blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival): -  X exceeding (-ly), gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice (-ing).

       The picture I have associated with these two words is, "David". From shepard boy to king the things shouted from his lips we have as worship songs today. But does the same response come to us that came to Miriam at the reed sea. I would state that today is no different from yesterday. There is no lack of the wonders of YHWH and our need to praise Him, even to shout it from the rooftops or dance down the street. Of course you might go to jail, but perhaps if we kept singing the doors would open and they would either join us or let us go to shut us up!

Rom 15:13 Now the Elohim of yachal(expectation for what will come), fill you with all simchah(shouting in praise) and you be shalom(whole and complete) in believing, that ye may abound in yachal(expectation for what will come), through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh.