A New Covenant assembly which honors the true name of the Son of God; observes God's commandments, among them the seventh day Sabbath and His annual Holy Days; and believes in the consistent, logical, and non-contradictory nature of our God and His word.
Site last updated October 17, 2014
Month 7, Day 22
"And in very deed for this [cause] have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee My power; and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth." (Ex. 9:16)
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
The Last Great Day
Friday, October 17
"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month [shall be] the feast of tabernacles [for] seven days unto Yahweh.
"On the first day [shall be] an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [therein].
"Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Yahweh: it [is] a solemn assembly; [and] ye shall do no servile work [therein]."
WHAT DOES IT MATTER?
Is there really a God? If there is, does it really matter what we do or say in our worship of Him? What does it matter what we do in this life, as long as we try to be good people? Does it matter if we break God's laws...or do we have to follow any laws at all? If there is no God, what does it matter?
There is an attitude flooding this world that gives rise to the questions above. It seeks to appear righteous, Godly, and/or good while denying everything our Creator has taught us about these things. It denies the existence of God, then steals and warps His words in order to justify a self-serving concept of right and wrong. For anyone who has asked these questions and wondered whether anything really matters where God is concerned, here is the truth:
"If there is no God, we have no hope."
If there is no God, then life in this world is all we have to look forward to. This should be a sobering, wretched realization for anyone who chooses to believe that there is no God: it means that we are doomed to exist only in this degenerate world, enduring and inflicting all the wrongs of everyday life, and then our lives are over. Permanently, for ever. There is no more hope, no chance of redemption or forgiveness to be given or accepted, no possibility of change or growth into something new or better, no real reason for our existence at all. If in this life we have only the goal of living our fourscore and ten years until we die, then we above all other creatures are to be pitied our existence.
If there is no God, then it really doesn't matter what we do - whether for good or evil - in this life, because there are no ultimate consequences or rewards for our actions. If there is no God, then we really have no guidance on how to live what is generally considered to be a "good life" except the consensus of our fellow beings, because the Bible is a total fabrication of lies, not worth the paper wasted to print it. If there is no God, then our actions are only governed by expediency and our moral standards subject to change upon a whim, as long as the whim makes us feel good about ourselves.
If there is no God, then this life is only a prelude to death, and our every action is only a step towards our goal of the grave, regardless of what those actions might be. We may live lives doing what we believe to be good works - with only our feelings to tell us what is "good" - but in the end we die and those "good works" are as if they had never existed.
Alternately, we may spend our lives on evil - whatever we perceive evil to be without the benefit of God's laws to define it for us - perhaps even escaping the civil penalties of our evil, and when we die those evil deeds die with us: no justice meted, no need to ask for or accept forgiveness, no ultimate responsibility. Nothing but the oblivion from which we sprang.
If there is no God, then we are born to eat, drink, breathe, excrete, have sex, and die. Everything else is just meaningless details. If there is no God, we have no hope.
However, if there is a God, then things change and change drastically. In place of an ever-changing morality guided by expediency and good feelings, we have a set of rules and standards which can not only guide us and give us an objective goal of goodness to strive for, they can also serve as a tool to bring us closer to our Creator, helping us to understand His mind and His plans for mankind in general. In addition, we have clear definitions of what is "evil", how to avoid it, and what we can do to mitigate our evil actions - how to overcome evil and erase what evil we might do in order to continue striving for the good. With a living God we have something to hope for beyond this physical life and its actions: we can hope to become better and wiser beings as we learn the lessons in this life that we will need to move on to the next existence after death. We have the hope of a subsequent, greater existence; and death becomes simply a step in our Creator's plan for us: it become not an end, but a new beginning.
If there is a God, then we must accept that human beings do not make the rules we are to live by and that there are consequences for our actions when we go against the rules set out for us by our Creator. We must accept that there are absolutes of right and wrong given to us by that living God, and the fact that we might disagree with them does not negate them. With a living God we must accept and abide by His rules in order to receive the rewards He offers: we cannot override God and receive greater rewards by accepting and condoning in the name of "christianity" or "forgiveness" or "righteousness" behaviour He has clearly marked as evil. In doing so, we partake of the very sins we are attempting to marginalize in others.
If there is a God, then we must also accept that human beings are held accountable for the sins they commit - sins as defined by God, not man - just as they are rewarded for the righteousness they do, and this righteousness is defined by God as well. It may make people feel good to march in a gay pride parade or picket during the execution of a murderer or rapist in the name of religion, but if there is a God then one thing is certain: Our Father does not condone these things, and He will require it in the end as evil committed, not good. To claim to believe that there is a God, and then to disregard the laws that He gave us in order to justify living an un-Godly lifestyle is direct disobedience to His will and is the most widespread and greatest religious hypocrisy this world has ever witnessed.
What does it matter? It matters very much if you hope that your life will mean something more than the life of any other animal that has ever existed in this world, for if there is no God then that is exactly what we are: animals - born to live, struggle, and then die, leaving nothing behind but a rotting carcase. The only hope we have is that there is a God, righteous, just, merciful, loving, and forgiving, who has created our lives and provided us with His laws for a purpose; a God who sent us His Son to give us a way past death, relegating death to the transition it is meant to be; a God who intends mankind follow His laws and benefit from this physical existence in order to gain something greater, more meaningful, and more lasting after we die. If there is a God, everything matters.
"If in this life only we have hope in the Christ, we are of all people most miserable.
But now is the Messiah risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that slept...
O death, where [is] thy sting? O death, where [is] thy victory?
The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
But thanks [be] to God, Which giveth us the victory through our Lord Yahshua the Christ."
AND GOD SPAKE ALL THESE WORDS, SAYING,
- I [am] Yahweh thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,
- Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:
- Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I Yahweh thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate Me;
- And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.
- Thou shalt not consider the name of Yahweh thy God to be a vain thing: for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless that considers His name meaningless.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
- But the seventh day [is] the Sabbath of Yahweh thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:
- For [in] six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which Yahweh thy God giveth thee.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbour's.
"The Word of the Watchman"
"The Truth Is..."
GOD AND GAYS: WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
How many times have you heard or read the following, whether from scientists, practicing homosexuals, or practicing christians?:
"God doesn't hate homosexuals, He hates homosexuality."
"Certain people are genetically inclined towards homosexuality. God can't blame them for being gay because they're born that way."
"Christians should love the sinner and hate the sin."
Homosexuality in the past 30 years has gone from being considered a dirty secret involving deviant sex to an in-your-face declaration of self-identity and pride: from demands that the concept of marriage be legally altered to include same-sex couples to gay pride parades, every aspect of modern society has been affected by homosexuality "coming out of the closet." This trend has even reached into churches and up to the pulpit, with ministers preaching tolerance of homosexuality, urging a message of "love, not hate", and practicing homosexuals being ordained into the ministry.
What does the Bible really say about God and homosexuality?
To begin with, the term "gay" is a misnomer which deflects attention away from the true subject: in Scripture the word used to describe homosexuals is "sodomite". This term arises from the events which occurred in Genesis 18 and 19 - as Yahweh sits with Abraham in the plains of Mamre, He reveals to Abrahim His intent:
"And Yahweh said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know." (Gen. 18:20-21)
Abraham, obviously familiar with Sodom and the actions of its inhabitants and knowing the Yahweh's punishment for these actions, immediately attempts to intercede for whatever righteous people might reside in that city. Ultimately Yahweh agrees to spare the city for "ten's sake."
However, we see in chapter 19 that when Yahweh's angels reach Sodom, the men of the city, "both old and young, all the people from every quarter", go to Lot's door and demand of him, "Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them." The word "know" here means to have carnal knowledge of them - to have sex with them. Apparently they were either anticipating an orgy or a gang rape. In this instance we see a society so warped and twisted by sin that Lot's response is to offer his virgin daughters to these men rather than allow them access to the angels. The Sodomites' reaction? To refuse the women, threaten Lot with worse than what they had in mind for the angels, and move to break down the door.
As we all know, both Sodom and Gomorrah ended up as piles of smoking ash, which clearly reveals to us Yahweh's attitude towards homosexuality and sin. The city of Sodom, with a population estimated at up to 1,200 at the time, could not produce 10 righteous people and was therefore destroyed. We also see that the rest of Lot's family perished along with the rest of the city; though perhaps not homosexuals themselves (since two were sons-in-law married to two of Lot's daughters), they were obviously tolerant of such behaviour at least and willing to remain entrenched in it. This better defines for us Yahweh's attitude towards righteousness and punishment - those who condone or tolerate the sinfulness of homosexuality are obviously not considered righteous and reap the same punishment as the homosexuals themselves.
Now that the identity and sin of sodomites is Scripturally clear, we can look through the Bible to find out Yahweh's consistent attitude towards them:
Deut. 23:17: "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel."
1 Kings 14:24: "And there were also sodomites in the land: [and] they did according to all the abominations of the nations which Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel."
1 Kings 15:11-12: "And Asa did [that which was] right in the eyes of Yahweh, as [did] David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made."
I Kings 22:45-46: "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he shewed, and how he warred, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land."
2 Kings 23:7: "And he (King Josiah) brake down the houses of the sodomites, that [were] by the house of Yahweh, where the women wove hangings for the grove."
There are other less clear references to homosexuals in the Old Testament, such as Deut. 23:18, etc., but the direct references given here establish all too clearly two things: how Yahweh felt about sodomites and whether He or His righteous people tolerated them.
Now, there are those who say that the Old Testament was done away with in the New and that tolerance is the watchword for Christians. Where homosexuality is concerned, we can go passages in the New Testament which speak about this lifestyle and learn whether the Old Testament's condemnation of it is done away with, or whether it is upheld:
Romans 1:26-28: "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient..."
We see here women included in the same context, informing us that lesbians are included with sodomites in God's judgments. We also see a clear condemnation of women with women and men with men, and as God is unchanging, we can safely say that since His condemnation of the behaviour remains, so does His punishment.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
I Timothy 1:9-10: "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous one, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if any other thing is contrary to sound doctrine..."
The arguments against all three of the above cited scriptures are weak, filled with self-justification and rebellion against God's own clearly stated abhorrence for homosexuality. Some arguments appeal to the non-use of the actual word "homosexual" - even though that actual word is not used in the Old Testament, either; and the existence of "only three" anti-homosexual passages. The second argument is especially pitiable, since it not only ignores the fact that those three only uphold those in the Old Testament, but it also assumes that God must tell not to do something over and over again continually in order for us to have to obey Him.
The simplistic argument that God only hates homosexuality, not homosexuals, flies in the face of the fact that God has clearly stated that He hates those who practice sin. Ps. 11:15 - "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth." He makes no difference between the person and their actions:
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
"But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
"All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
"Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? Saith the Lord Yahweh: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live?" (Ezekiel 18:20-23)
Ist is our actions which constitute sin, and to blame God for homosexuality is the same as blaming Him for murder, fornication, or envy - homosexuality is an action, a human choice of lifestyle, not a physical fact like race, gender, or height. To escape the punishment for homosexuality, one only has to refrain from the action, not cease existing as a person.
Finally, to tolerate and embrace homosexuality, even if you are not homosexual, is to bring upon yourself the same judgment God places upon any practicing homosexual. Would we embrace and tolerate practicing murderers? active rapists? working thieves? serial adulterers? predatory child molesters?
Yes, sad to say, perhaps we would in this world of decaying morals and rebellion against God. But ignoring God's word does not negate His word - our God continues and Psalms 15:4 tells us He does not change, nor does His judgment. Sin is an action, a human choice to ignore God's laws and commandments, and the soul that sins reaps death. We do homosexuals no favors by condoning or tolerating them, we only help them pave the way to their graves and God's judgment.
Israel's entry into Canaan was delayed for a spell because "the iniquity of the Amorites [was] not yet full." Once they were brought into the land, they were told,
"When Yahweh thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when Yahweh thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, [and] utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them..."
These are the same people referred to in 1 Kings 14:24:
"And there were also sodomites in the land: [and] they did according to all the abominations of the nations which Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel."
Homosexuality is an abomination before God, abhorred by Him, and those who practice it are in rebellion against God's word, living in a continual state of sin. Make no mistake about it, this is not a lifestyle which should be embraced, condoned, or tolerated, lest we end up partaking of its condemnation. Loving the sinner while hating the sin will not prevent a practicing homosexual's death sentence, but it may bring on yours.
THE WORD OF THE WATCHMAN
"...Go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words to them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
"And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, 'Thus saith the Lord Yahweh'; whether they hear or whether they will forbear.
"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me." (Eze. 3:4-6, 11, 17)
This is the word of the watchman:
Awake, awake! The day of Yahweh is fast approaching. This day is a day of furious anger, a day of trouble and distress, a day of storm and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. It is a day of the trumpet and alarm against the defended cities, and against the high towers. And I, Yahweh, will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against Yahweh; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as excrement. Neither their lesser nor their greater idols shall be able to save them in the day of Yahweh's furious anger; but the whole land shall be eaten up by the fire of His jealousy; for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
Awake, all who read these words! The day of our God's judgment is at hand. Look around you at the world you live in. Look at your city, your state, your country, your government - look at your neighbors and close friends. Look at the newspapers and television. Open your eyes to the sin and corruption running rampant in the world today. See how mankind has transgressed against God's commandments and brought judgment upon themselves.
The watchman's task is to tell God's people and the world their sins, so that they might recognize their doom and turn from it. Look at everything occurring in the world today. Homosexuals brazenly and stridently petition to partake of the God-given ceremony of marriage even as they defy His condemnation of homosexuality. Mothers and fathers murder their children in their own beds. Religious leaders shamelessly give their support and sanction to murderers, child molesters, active homosexuals, bigots, and racist causes. Millions around the world proclaim their belief in God while existing in a state of abysmal ignorance of even the simplest of His laws. Adultery and fornication are more common than marriage, and one half of all marriages end in divorce. Helpless prisoners are tortured in the name of democracy. Murders walk free in the streets with innocent blood on their hands.
The world around us is filled with corruption and sin - a single glance at any news source reveals the evils of this generation. Governments attack and murder their own citizens. Around the world people are abused and murdered in the name of Jesus, Allah, Mother Earth, Satan, and every other deity imaginable. Drug use soars and addicts prey on family and friends in order to support their habits. Government officials, law enforcement agencies, and courts of law unite to oppress and enslave citizens through intimidation and unjust application of unrighteous laws. In the name of anti-terrorism, human rights and freedoms are trampled on and destroyed. Every form of paganism and idolatry is encouraged while unwavering devotion to God's truth is labeled dangerous fanaticism. No matter where we look, sin abounds.
Throughout the Old Testament Yahweh's laws were clearly stated. Our Creator God gave us His laws, statutes, and judgments, and then, amazingly, He was gracious enough to reveal the just reasoning behind many of those laws. With the most righteous laws ever to exist given into our hands, along with the reasoning behind those laws, mankind has gone on to twist and ignore those laws in favor of their own will. Christianity and Judaism in particular have done exactly what God warned against - in an effort to show how much more righteous they are than their Creator, they have supplanted His laws with their own traditions. How often has this resulted in those "righteous" people doing exactly what God commanded them not to do: they have wrested justice, calling that which is right wrong and that which is wrong right, and they have tolerated and even encouraged behaviour which is clearly condemned by God.
Everywhere we look today we find predictions of the end of the world or the end of the human race or the end of civilization as we know it. These predictions hang on a multitude of causes: global warming, political unrest, asteroids from outer space, terrorism, a coming ice age, nuclear holocaust - the list goes on and on. When we examine all of these causes, however, we discover one glaring fact: All of these predicted catastrophes arise from natural events due to either human mismanagement of natural resources or an evolutionary cycle of balance and imbalance; or they arise from socio-political conflict between different countries, governments, or religions. Every one of these predictions totally ignores God and the disregard of His laws as a cause of the coming cataclysm.
Even more distressing is the fact that in each of these scenarios, we find one of two outcomes: either mankind - completely apart from God - saves itself through its own determination and ingenuity; or mankind is simply extinguished, falling prey to the evolutionary cycle in favor of a more hardy species: plants, reptiles, microbes, etc. Nowhere do we find the concept of God interposing Himself in these events, stepping in as the one and only salvation of His created offspring.
Look to Scripture to find the truth of the cause of this world's destruction: "Why criest thou for thine affliction? Thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee" (Jer. 30:15). "Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord Yahweh unto the land of Israel; An end is come upon the four corners of the land. Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send Mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. And Mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I AM Yahweh" (Eze. 7:2-4). "Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way...therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled..." (Hos. 10:13-14).
And even as we know that God Himself is the cause of the coming destruction, we know also that He is our only hope of salvation from that destruction. "And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of Yahweh come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh hath said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call" (Joel 2:30-32). "...Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads" (Rev. 7:3). "And Yahweh shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning...Yahweh of Hosts shall defend them: and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones...And Yahweh their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people...How great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!" (Zech. 9:14-17)
Wake up, my beloved brothers! The time is now for people everywhere to understand some basic truths, the most primary of which is this: Throughout history, God has intervened in human events for two reasons. The first reason God intervenes is because of the sinfulness of mankind: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented Yahweh that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And Yahweh said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth...'" (Gen. 6:5-7), and "But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full" (Gen 15:16), and "And Yahweh said, 'Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me...'" (Gen. 18:20-21), and "But they rebelled, and vexed His holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them" (Is. 63:10). We see very clearly that our God intervenes, even to the point of becoming an enemy of mankind, when the their sins become unbearable to Him.
The second reason we find our Creator intervening for is to prevent the total extermination of mankind: "Thus saith Yahweh, 'As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, 'Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it;' so will I do for My servants sakes, that I may not destroy them all'" (Is 65:8), and "Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith Yahweh: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee..." (Jer. 46:28), and "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, or ever shall be. And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:21-22). We see here that no matter what the transgressions of mankind in general, our God will always intervene in order to save those people who cleave unto Him and His truth.
The word of the watchman is clear: Awake, you sons of man, from your transgressions against God's laws, in order that you might receive the blessings of His mercy in the days of His judgment. The end of this world comes not because of random natural disaster or because of mankind has brought itself to the brink of destruction. The end of this world comes because mankind has transgressed the laws of our Creator God: our hope lies not in the indomitable spirit of mankind, but in the gracious Spirit of our Father who will shorten the days of our tribulation in order that a remnant of His people might survive.
"Seek ye Yahweh, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of Yahweh's anger." (Zeph. 2:3)
How many of us have been in discussion with a friend or acquaintance, and heard the conversation go something like this:
"If homosexuals are born that way, how can God condemn them?"
"If it's wrong to kill people, then why does the Bible tell us to execute murderers?"
"Marriage is just a civil agreement between two people, so why does God say divorce is morally wrong?"
"If there is a God, why does He allow all the suffering in this world?"
The examples could go on endlessly: people form their opinions about life and death, how to worship God, how to interact with their fellow man, etc., and then go on to criticize God because His rules and actions don't agree with their opinions. As time progresses and this world races toward its final meeting with our Creator, it seems that mankind is determined to deny, nullify, and condemn everything upon which the majority of people claim to base their faith. The question is: How much will God tolerate when mankind presumes to judge Him?
We find examples in Scripture of men and women disbelieving, disagreeing with, judging, and criticizing God and His emissaries. Even in the beginning, Adam and Eve chose to disbelieve and disobey Yahweh's warning concerning eating of tree which He commanded them to refrain from. We know the punishment for this was dire, as it condemned not only Adam and Eve, but the whole human race to toil, sorrow, and eventual physical death. In this example, we find a common theme for events in the rest of Scripture and in human reasoning: Although Yahweh clearly ordered Adam and Eve not to eat of this tree, explaining the punishment for disobedience, He did not enter into a detailed explanation of why this tree wasn't good to eat. When the serpent entered in and offered a plausible (human) motivation for God's actions, Adam and Eve accepted it as justification for disobeying their Creator. Rather than trusting Yahweh and accepting His commandment in this case, they chose instead to invoke their own flawed reasoning under Satan's urging in order to do what they wished to do all along.
If we examine many people's arguments against God, we often find among their motivations some personal agenda which will suffer if they accept God's rules. People who judge God's condemnation of homosexuals are usually associating with one or more people who cling to this lifestyle where it would inconvenience them to reject and condemn this lifestyle, perhaps costing them a relationship or even money. People who argue against God's condemnation of divorce are usually either divorced themselves or related to someone divorced. Those who bewail the suffering which "God allows" in this world are not only suffering themselves, but are almost certainly living their lives in total denial of His laws, statutes, and judgments: they hate the suffering, but they hate even more the restrictions they would have to submit to in order to ease their suffering. Opponents of the death penalty thrive on their self-righteous claim to love human life indiscriminately, but they reject the righteous concept of justice for those whose lives have been taken.
We see this pattern played out again and again in Scripture - people would rather justify themselves than justify their God. If we look to the case of Job and his friends, we find this fact demonstrated very clearly. Throughout Job's discourse with his friends, he continually justifies himself, even to the point of saying, "Oh that One would hear me! behold, my desire [is that] the Almighty would answer me, and [that] mine adversary had written a book." (Job. 31:35) This man has sunk to the level of calling God his adversary! We know that this is true, because 32:1 tells us that the three friends stopped talking to him because Job "[was] righteous in his own eyes" - more righteous even than God!
Finally Elihu - literally, "He is God" - appears on the scene, tells Job, "Behold, I [am] according to thy wish in God's stead..." (33:6), and proceeds to harshly rebuke Job for his attitude and words. "Behold, [in] this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man." (33:12) Elihu goes on to say, "Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment," (34:12), and "Thinkest thou this to be right, [that] thou saidst, My righteousness [is] more than God's?" (35:2). Elihu cuts to the heart of the matter with these words: so many people believe that they know more than God, that their judgment is more righteous than God's, that their generosity and mercy are greater than God's, and that therefore God is somehow wicked and they are so very righteous. It is this attitude which is destroying our morals and our world today.
So many other examples exist in Scripture which demonstrate this attitude of rebellion and superiority: Sarah's laughter and disbelief as she hid behind the door listening to Yahweh assure Abraham that he and Sarah would be blessed with a son (Gen. 18:9-15); Abraham's false belief that he could save Sodom and Gomorrah where God could not, by lowering to ten the number of righteous souls to be found in those cities for their salvation (Gen 18:20-33); the rebellion and disbelief of the ten spies after they had searched out Canaan, and then the subsequent rebellion of all Israel as they disobeyed Yahweh's order and went up into the land without His blessing (Num. 13 & 14); the presumption of the sons of Korah, who proclaimed their own holiness in defiance of Yahweh's selection of Moses and Aaron as His agents (Num. 16); Saul's disobedience of Yahweh's orders to utterly defeat the Amalekites and refuse their spoil (I Sam. 15:1-26); the self-righteousness and multiple offenses of those who condemned Yahshua for healing a man on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:10-14; Mark 3:1-6; etc.); the list could go on and on.
In searching these examples, we find different levels of punishment for these transgressions - in Sarah's case, there was a simple rebuke; in Abraham's case Yahweh withheld rebuke and even allowed some bargaining to go on; with the Israelites and the sons of Korah, death was the penalty exacted; and with Saul there was the loss of his position as king of Israel. From each context it becomes clear that while Yahweh will countenance mistakes and false assumptions when they spring from an underlying foundation of faith and obedience, He will not tolerate rebellion and disobedience when their motivation is disbelief and self-aggrandizement.
If this is true, then our world is positioned to encounter the very harshest punishment possible upon Yahshua's return: we wantonly criticize God's rules, statutes, judgment, laws, and commands because they encroach on our desires; we exalt ourselves over God by claiming our greater justice, understanding, righteousness, or mercy; we condemn the principles dictated by Him as too rigorous, too fanatical, too fundamentalist, or too extreme while substituting nothing besides "do what feels right" to guide ourselves through life; we ignore His rules and then cry because He refuses to intervene and save us from ourselves, thereby allowing our actions to cause all of the suffering that disturbs us so; we tolerate every deviant behaviour possible, making excuses for this behaviour and condemning God for setting standards for deviance in the first place; we refuse His mercy because of the requirements that would ensue if we accepted - then we complain that God is ignoring us. All of this springs from hearts hardened into cement by selfishness, cruelty, childish egoism, and simple rebellion against God's authority.
Scripture tells us clearly what happens when we reject or bypass God and do what is right in our own eyes: if we read the book of Judges, we see a nation falling into moral destruction and terminal sinfulness and reaping the consequences of such a culture. Even when God intervenes and sends a judge/saviour, after several have come and gone we begin to realize that the people are reprieved only as long as any one judge is in place: once the judge departs, the people are incapable of continuing on their own and immediately fall back into the moral quagmire they've created for themselves.
Judging God is more than risky business - it can be a deadly business. Job's example tells us that we can escape from this error only by self-examination and heartfelt repentance, something this world is in dire need of. When we read prophecy which tells us of the coming judgment and punishment of mankind, we can know for sure that what is bringing this judgment upon us is our blind willingness to judge and condemn the One who created us and this world in the first place. Now is the time to stop judging God, and exalt Him instead: only when we first justify our Creator can we then justify ourselves before Him and perhaps save ourselves from the punishment to come.
"Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?"
A Memorial of Our Loved Ones
In past years many of us in Yahshua's family have lost family members and friends, and in many cases these losses have only added to similar losses we've already sustained. In addition, some of us have been left alone and without any way to truly mourn or honor those we loved so well. In an effort to address this situation, provide a means to honor our beloved dead, and perhaps ease the pain of our losses, the House of Yahshua has created this memorial section, which will be be added to and preserved indefinitely. We remember here the family and friends no longer with us, honoring their memories and celebrating their lives:
Jeannine T. Touchton
Paul Griffin Amman
Dr. & Elder Alex D. Ratnam
Mr. Y. D. David
Mrs. Deena David
R. P. Touchton
Preston David Touchton, Sr.
"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart: and merciful men [are] taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come]. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, [each one] walking [in] his uprightness." (Isa. 57:1-2)
THE TRUTH IS...
In John 18:38, Pontius Pilate asked Yahshua, "What is truth?" Earlier Yahshua Himself said, "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). Unbeliever that he was, Pilate couldn't know that he was speaking to the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14) when he asked that question - in effect, Pilate was speaking to the embodiment of truth, a fact which escaped him.
In addition to the fleshly Word, who was available to the world for only about 33 1/2 years, we have the enduring word of Scripture - a spiritual testimony breathed by God Himself in order for us to learn about Him, His will for us, and how to live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him. Authorities say that the Bible is the book most widely purchased and most seldom read. Even among those who read and study this Book faithfully, there are points of truth and facts contained in it which may have escaped them. A few of those points, and some practical observations and Scriptural facts, are offered here.
The seventh day Sabbath was instituted in Genesis 2:2-3 by the fiat of God, with no mention of any relationship to the sun, moon, or any other physical phenomenon or point of reference. This God-given seven day cycle is reinforced in Exodus 20:8-11, again with no mention of any point of reference besides Yahweh's six days of creation and one day of rest. Again, it is reinforced in Exodus 31:14-17 only with reference to the Creation week; likewise in Hebrews 4:4. Our Creator is the only point of reference for His sanctified Sabbath, not any heavenly body or any other part of His creation.
Homosexuality is rebellion against two of the earliest ordinances concerning mankind and marriage:
The first is "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth..." (Gen. 1:28). Ironically, homosexuals, by the very nature of their chosen lifestyle and in spite of their rejection of Yahweh's laws, cannot reproduce without using methods that force them to submit themselves to the laws of nature which God created, thereby submitting them to God Himself.
The second is "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife..." There is no provision here for a man cleaving unto his boyfriend.
In Numbers 3:28, the males of Kohath are numbered at 8,300 - which when added to the other Levite males yields 22,300 rather than the 22,000 recorded in verse 39. According to Wycliffe's Bible Commentary, this is due to a scribal error, where one letter was omitted: sh-sh (six hundred) written instead of sh-l-sh (three hundred).
While many people claim that Eliyah was caught up by a whirlwind to God's throne in heaven, "translated" and never seeing death, this is impossible. Besides the clear Scriptural testimony that "no man has ascended to heaven, except He that came down from heaven", there is the simple fact that Eliyah wrote a letter to King Jehoram (II Chron 21:12) somewhere between five and ten years after his disappearance, a letter we can safely presume was sent from somewhere on earth and not from Paradise.
In the Old Testament, all offerings presented to Yahweh were to be unleavened - Lev. 2:11 - however, the two wave loaves offered at Pentecost (Lev. 23:17) were offered with leaven. Leaven is the classic Scriptural symbol for sin, which explains why Yahweh's offerings were to be leaven-free, but the wave loaves were offered with leaven because they represent the firstfruits redeemed from among mankind (Acts 2:41, etc). Mankind, being fleshly or "carnal", is weak and naturally at odds with God (Rom. 8:7), co-existing with sin in spite of our best efforts (Rom. 7:17-19). It is only through our spiritual redemption and conversion through Yahshua that we present ourselves to God in spite of the "body of death" (Rom. 7:24-25) in which we exist: hence, the symbolism of the wave loaves - a type of firstfruit acceptable to God in spite of being leavened.
In Revelation 17, the "great whore" of verse one is identified in verse 18 as that "great city" - a term used to identify Jerusalem in ch. 11:8: "And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified", as well as in ch. 21:10 - "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem..."
If we follow the trail of references from Exodus 12:12 to Exodus 12:27 to Exodus 13:2 and 11-15 to Numbers 3:12-13; we find that Yahweh redeemed the deaths of the firstborn of Egypt by claiming for Himself the firstborn of Israel, whom He subsequently traded for the tribe of Levi. If we understand that the Passover lamb was slain - not as a sin sacrifice, but in order to save the lives of the firstborn of Israel - we then see that Passover was the beginning of a process by which Yahweh purchased to Himself a physical priesthood from His chosen physical nation. In like manner, when Yahshua instituted the New Covenant at Passover in the New Testament, He set in motion a process by which He began to create for Himself a new priesthood, this time spiritual (1 Peter 1:5, 9), from all those He has chosen out of the world to become His spiritual people.
The name "Yahweh" appears from Genesis 2:4 through Genesis 39:23 some 158 times, an average of more than 4 occurrences per chapter in 38 chapters. The name appears only once in the remaining eleven chapters from Genesis 40:1 through Genesis 50:26. The next occurrence of the name Yahweh is three chapters into the next book, in Exodus 3:2. The first time that name is spoken by a human being in Exodus is in Ex. 4:1, by Moses.
The "Old Covenant" - the covenant made with the children of Israel, mediated by Moses at Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:24 thru 24:8, and sealed with blood - had nothing to do with the "Levitical law" or "Levitical priesthood". A careful reading of this covenant will show no mention of the Levites or many of the laws commonly perceived as Levitical laws - i.e. ritual washings, specific sacrificial laws, purification rules, etc. The Sinai covenant was made in the third month after the exodus (Ex. 19:1), while the tribe of Levi was first formally spoken of as separated for service to Yahweh in Numbers 1:49-53 on or after the first day of the second month in the second year after the exodus (Num. 1:1) - well after the Sinai covenant was instituted. (Even the early reference in Exodus 38:21 is a forward looking reference to the passage in Numbers.) In truth, the Old Covenant was as personal and non-ritualistic as was Yahweh's first covenant with Abraham, which was made with him before the ritual of circumcision was introduced (Rom. 4:9-10), and was just as personal as the New Covenant is now.
The word rendered "wormwood" in Rev. 8:11 is the Greek word "apsinthos", the equivalent of "absinthe" in English. Derived from the plant Artemesia absinthium, wormwood liqueur (absinthe) is a bitter, emerald green, addictive drug. Absinthe has been outlawed in many countries due to the fact that it is hallucinogenic and toxic.
The Hebrew word for atonement, as in the Day of Atonement, is kippur - Strong's #3725 - meaning expiation. It comes from Strong's #3722, which reads "kaphar: a primitive root; to cover". With the understanding that blood is given to us for a covering (Lev. 17:11), we realize that our Saviour's blood was shed as a covering for the sins of His people in order to reconcile them to Himself. It is because of this covering that our Father, who cannot look upon evil (Hab. 1:13), is able to turn His face to us and regard us as we strive to obey His words and live according to His will.
The Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament consisted of the all the male descendants of Levi, who was one of the sons of Jacob (Gen. 29:34; Num. 3:12). This tribe became the priests who performed the sacrifices and services within the tabernacle and the temple. The "sons of Aaron" were the descendants of Aaron, who was a member of the tribe of Levi (Ex. 4:14): it is this family of Aaron that directly served Yahweh as the high priests of Israel, primarily because of the actions of Aaron's son Phinehas in Number 25. While all sons of Aaron were Levites, not all Levites were sons of Aaron, and the duties of each group were widely and specifically different. In Ezekiel it is the descendents of Phineas - the "sons of Zadok" (1 Chron. 6:4-12) - who continue the direct service to Yahweh (Ez. 44:15-16, 23-24; etc.), while the Levites fulfill the lesser functions of the priesthood (Eze. 44:10-14).
The primary passage in the Bible which supposedly supports the concept of a triune God - "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth..." (I John 5:7-8) - never appeared in any Greek manuscripts before the 16th century. This passage first appeared as a marginal comment in some Latin manuscripts and later was added into the text.
The Feast of Trumpets is the only Holy Day that is already upon us by the time that we know for certain that it has begun. In keeping with the idea behind the day, we must therefore be prepared and watch for the new moon that signals the beginning of this Feast, lest we be taken unawares by its arrival.
The word translated "pale" in Rev. 6:8 is "chloros", which means "green".
Homosexuality is condemned both in the Old Testament (Lev. 18:22 & 20:13; Deut 23:17; II Ki. 23:7, etc.) and the New Testament (Rom. 1:26 & 27; I Cor. 6:9; I Tim. 1:10). Active homosexuality is rebellion against God's word; claiming to know and obey God's will while practicing such a lifestyle is rebellion against God Himself.
The Day of Atonement is an interactive event, with us suffering hunger pangs throughout the day and faithfully enduring as the day goes on, and our Father noting each pang, our faithful endurance, and the obedience to His will which leads us to keep the day in the first place.
The first occurrence of the proper name Yahweh occurs in Genesis 2:4 - the entire Creation Hymn is couched only in terms of the plural noun "elohim".
Lev. 20:13 - "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them" - is perfectly mirrored in Rom. 1:26 & 27 - "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet (appropriate)."
Yahshua cleared the Temple twice during His ministry: once at the beginning (John 2:11-17), and once at the end (Matt. 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46).
Yahshua's definition of marriage is this: "...Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall become one flesh?'" (Matt. 19:4 & 5; Mark 10:6-8)
There are four women included in Yahshua's genealogy in Matthew: Thamar, Rachab, Ruth, and Bathsheba, though Bathsheba is not mentioned by name.
Our calling is not "eye for eye", "tooth for tooth", "stroke for stroke", or "life for life". Our existence as individuals and as a nation is not defined by our ability to take vengeance: Yahweh says, "To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompense." Rather, our calling and existence is defined by this: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also...Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away...Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; That ye may be the sons of your Father which is in heaven."
In Rev. 6:5, the reference to "a pair of balances" comes from Strong's number 2218 - "zugos" - which is the same word translated as "yoke" in Matt. 11:29 & 30; Acts 15:10; Gal. 5:1; and 1 Tim. 6:1.
The word translated "martyr(s)" - Strong's #3144 - in Acts 22:20, Rev. 2:13, and Rev. 17:6 literally means "a witness" or "witnesses" (as in one witnessing an event and therefore able to testify to it), and is translated as such in the KJV everywhere else except 2 Cor. 1:23 and Phil. 1:8, where it is translated "record".
Although Yahshua pre-existed as God and was our Creator, it was absolutely imperative that He give up that existence as God and become a human being in order to offer salvation to mankind. Why? Because we know that our salvation is based on the shed blood of the Messiah (Eph. 2:13; Heb. 9:13-14; 1 Peter 1:18-20; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5), and that only physical beings can shed blood. God is spirit (John 4:24), and a spirit being has no blood to shed. If Yahshua had remained God and not become flesh and blood, there would have been no blood worthy enough to shed for the salvation of mankind.
Think about it.
"Then they that feared Yahweh spake often one to another: and Yahweh hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared Yahweh, and that thought upon His name.
"And they shall be Mine, saith Yahweh of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth Him."
In loving memory of Jeannine Touchton: mother, sister, wife, minister, and devoted son of God:
one of our Father's precious jewels.
I miss you more with every day that passes.
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