Is Yehovah’s Sabbath for Today?

It is interesting how since the Fourth (4th) Century, the organized church has veered away from the traditional Sabbath. The fourth commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” From this simple statement flows a stream of spiritual precepts, lessons and principles.

The Ten Commandments are foundational to the Judeo-Christian belief system.  There are more commands, ordinances and statutes but the “Ten Words” are the focal point.  Everything concerning worship and relationship stems from the Ten Commandments. 

Being as it is in this present time, misinterpretation of passages written by the Apostle Paul to various churches in disarray are used to nullify the Sabbath as the seventh day and create an alternate day, calling it Sabbath.  Apostle Paul was neither writing to emphasize the end of the traditional Sabbath nor the institution of the first (1st) day of week, Sunday, as the new, legitimate day of rest and worship.  Sunday is not the Sabbath day as outlined in Torah.  Scripture does not indicate that it has been eliminated, altered or reformed in exercise. 

Instead, he was showing how our struggles for acceptance, salvation, redemption and restoration are provided by faith in Yeshua.  Yeshua Messiah is our Sabbath Rest in salvation.  We need not, like the Colossians in their paganism, go the extremes of self-denial, asceticism, perfectionism and the like to acquire salvation.  It is all in Yeshua.  The consumption of food and drink and the enjoyment of gatherings, festivals and celebrations are well within the boundary of the Commandments and the Precepts of Life derived from them.  It has been said, “Disregarding the true Sabbath is like throwing away the key to a treasure chest—we are ignoring a vital area of understanding that will open up our minds to Yehovah and His purpose”.

The Sabbath is much more than a weekly day of rest. The Sabbath was created for man and not man for the Sabbath, Mark 2:28.  Yehovah designed the Sabbath as a special time; a set-apart time characterized by rest from labors.  He placed His blessing on time, that particular segment of time He recognized for separation from the worries, work chores, business activities, schedules and toils to a time with family and individual rest.  In essence, Sabbath included physical, mental and spiritual rest. It is Sabbath each week that is devoted and focused totally to Yehovah.  It serves as an indicator of the quality and depth of our relationship with Him.

There are countless articles, teachings and studies concerning the viability of the true Sabbath as the only sabbath Yehovah honors.  So, I will not labor in those areas.  The best thing to do is to look at a several of things and reckon them meaningful.

First, Yehovah created all things.  The last thing He did in creation was to rest.  He called that day, the seventh day.  Genesis 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts 2 By the seventh day Yehovah completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.  3 Then Yehovah blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which Yehovah had created and made”.  Later, Yehovah named the seventh day, Sabbath. Exodus 20:8-1 alludes the naming, ““Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. You shall labor six days, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yehovah your Yehovah. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; 11 for in six days Yehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yehovah blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy”.  He said to keep it holy – separate it, make it different, not like the other days.  He made no time holy other than His weekly and annual Sabbaths, set-apart days.  This should signal a warning to those who believe the Sabbath can be any day or any day the church chooses it to be. 

Secondly, the Sabbath is worthy of respect, adherence, and vigilance that cannot be ascribed any other time segment.  It is set-apart and sacred because it is derived directly from Yehovah and made holy at creation for it is part of creation. When Yehovah assigned and ascribed the word “holy” to the Sabbath, the seventh (7th) day changed from the ordinary and common and became a special time element and special day.  No other day was given special treatment or esteemed by Yehovah as the Sabbath.  The Sabbath may look and seem just like any other day since it is a part of the yearly cycle of the weeks and days; however, the Sabbath is separate from the other six days.  It may be considered common or ordinary by many, but it is not.  It was called holy by Yehovah and we are told to venerate that day, not just any day of our choosing but the seventh (7th) day.  The other six days are common, given for the pursuit of life essentials. Sabbath, the seventh day (7th), is a day Yehovah has reserved for man’s benefit for special things, different things—spiritual things.

Thirdly, though people can be declared holy by Yehovah, they of themselves cannot make something else holy because they do not possess a holiness that is transferable to anything else. They may erect shrines, building, churches, institutions, etc. and call them holy.  Those objects may be considered as holy in an earthly sense, since they are dedicated to a specific use, but not holy in the Kingdom of Yehovah sense of holiness.  You may feel Yehovah’s presence during worship time, bible study or fellowship prayer time, but Yehovah’s presence does not continue to sanctify that particular time nor does the place remain holy continually. Residue may linger for a period of time but not continually.  We are told to keep the Sabbath day holy. 

Holy people may bring Yehovah’s presence to the meeting and they leave with His presence.  His presence is not anchored to a shrine or to a particular meeting place by decree from the Kingdom of Yehovah.  The Tabernacle was His design and purpose.  When the Hebrew people moved to another location, the Tabernacle was dismantled and carried to the new location and assembled.  The ground it had sat upon was holy because He was there within the Tabernacle.  Once the Tabernacle was removed, the ground did not stay holy.  There is a difference with the Sabbath.  It is based on time and remains in time.  Therefore, what Yehovah sanctified remains holy until He decrees otherwise.  It is His emblem set as a witness and not just as a standard. 

John Ritenbaugh said, “Everything that truly matters reveals the Edenic Covenant to be universal in application. This means that, along with everything else in that covenant Yehovah charged us to submit to, the Sabbath is still in effect. Nothing holy has been created to replace the Sabbath Yehovah created in the first week”.

We have been taught something as truth, but it is not.  Sunday is not the Sabbath.  That which is etched in stone remains today.  The decree and Commandment to honor the Sabbath is specific.  It is direct.  Yehovah has not changed it regardless of what man says or uses as authority.  People can meet and worship on any day of choosing.  This does not negate the fourth (4th) Commandment.  The Sabbath is holy because of decree and definition given by Yehovah.  Who can change His word?  No one can. 

Philip Pedroza, August 2020

Shaking of the Nations:

It has now been over three months since the first case of Covid-19 was diagnosed in the USA.  Other nations were infected earlier.  Let’s take a look at what has happened and see if Yehovah was sending a message to the entire world.

Yehovah said He would give a sign showing when He would begin to shake the nations in this end time. That sign has already arrived. Do you know what it is?

 Haggai 2:21, “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.

Haggai 2:7, ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Yehovah of hosts.

Amos 9:9, “For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Israel among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground.

Isaiah 13:13, Therefore, I will make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place at the fury of the Yehovah of hosts in the day of His burning anger.

Hebrews 12:22-28, 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living Elohim, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, 23 to the festal gathering and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to Elohim the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Yeshua, the mediator of a new covenant, (Jeremiah 31:31) and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel. 25 See that you don’t refuse him who speaks. For if they didn’t escape when they refused him who warned on the earth, how much more will we not escape who turn away from him who warns from heaven, 26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now he has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.” (Haggai 2:6) 27 This phrase, “Yet once more” signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, receiving a Kingdom that can’t be shaken, let’shave grace, through which we serve Elohim acceptably, with reverence and awe, 29 for our Elohim is a consuming fire. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

The book of Haggai ties step by step to the return of Yeshua HaMashiach.  Elohim gives a sign of when He would start shaking the nations. It has everything to do with events never before encountered and the persecution of all mankind

“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Yehovah of hosts” (Haggai 2:7). Elohim always keeps His Set-Apart people up to date in specific and direct ways. He would certainly let His Set-Apart people know when and how He will shake the nations.

We have and are witnessing some interesting events.  This virus, Covid-19, is new according to medical scientist.  To the human cell system, it looks like a friendly virus.  This Covid-19, like many viruses, is able to mutate and fight for survival.  In its struggle for survival, it seeks a host.  It cannot enter the body and do any harm unless the host helps the virus though touch and breath.  The virus gains entrance when the host’s hands are not washed properly, the fingertips are not cleansed correctly and touching the mouth, eyes, or open areas such as cut, wounds, or scraps.  Once in the body, the virus invades cells and begins to set up a homestead in the body through the cellular system.  If the immune system is compromised and infection thrives, the Covid-19 grows resulting in sickness and even death.

Whether or not the Chinese government knew of this virus in the wet markets in Wuhan Province is still debated.  Whether or not the Chinese government is solely responsible for the outbreak is still debated.  What we know is this virus became rogue and spread infection to the entire world.  The outbreak is worldwide which leads me to think that this manmade fiasco maybe part of the predicted end-times events.  It is something Yehovah allowed to occur.

Is this the end?  No, I do not think so.  However, I do think that this episode is part of the shaking events getting us closer to the end.  Elohim will shake the nations.  How He does it has been a mystery and a topic for debate for centuries.  The words in Haggai 2:6 speak about the shaking and Hebrews 12:25-28 reminds the reader of the certainty of the word spoken by the prophet.  Do we understand that Hebrews tells of the certainty of Haggai’s words?  So, are we surprised all the nations have been shaken?

This is not the first wave, but perhaps, the third wave with several more to come.  The first wave of shaking came when the early church started doing the works of proclaiming the Gospel to the nations.  The first wave began in 70 AD and ended by the 4th Century.   

The second wave occurred in the early 1900’s when the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) was poured on different venues around the world igniting the surge of power of the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) to revive believers to do the work of the evangelist and spread the Gospel to the nations.  The passage from Joel 2:28-29 then became the rallying cry of the church. 

The first and second wave were ushered as preparatory events of calling men to recognize Elohim and reverence Who He is.  These waves were nets to gather in those who chose to follow the Holy Spirit’s (Ruach HaKodesh) wooing and commit themselves to be disciples of Yeshua.  The Gospel is the center piece of Elohim’s plan.  It always has been central and remains central to the end (Matthew 28-19-20). 

The first two waves were forceful in the spiritual domains to extend the Kingdom of Elohim.  The two waves were intended to bring man’s soul and spirit back into alignment through choice.  The Gospel was preached, taught, and lived so others would ask the question that opens the door to Gospel seeding in that person’s soul and spirit.  Though the Gospel is still announced, the world is saturated with Gospel tools to reach the nations.  With great advancement comes equal resistance. 

The spiritual has cooled.  The truth of the Word has been gutted and watered down.  Religion has become passé for many.  The Church follows the world’s culture and slowly accepts it as norm.  The result is little difference in the believer and non-believer in the marketplace.  With this, Elohim has determined it is time for another shaking.  His calendar is almost completed in regard to His timetable.

We are in the midst of another shaking.  This shaking is centered in the religious realm targeting all, but especially targeting the religious leadership.  Denominational and local church leadership have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof and teach that to others.  They speak with little depth or true revelation and proclaim what people want to hear for they fear running off the flock. Programs, agendas, the latest method and the exchange of Biblical teaching for a short version provides facts but not experience is what is prevalent today.  Those leaders have allowed the corruption of the church to become significant.  Priesthood of the believers is taught as a privilege and feel good experience.  Titles and positions are sought masking an egocentric driven desire.  The call to do comes from a desire to be and not from Elohim’s direction and instruction.  The Prophet Malachi has much to say about the compromise priesthood.  A shaking will reveal what is true and real.

The church leadership in the nations is being called into question.  Elohim is demanding for His Set-Apart people to be His priests, wearing His garments, speaking His word, and performing the task He ascribed.  The shaking involves exposure.  What is hidden is being revealed.  What is false is being exposed.  Is there a cushion of help for the believer?  Only if the believers have been wise to read the times and seasons predicted.  Elohim calls and warns before He institutes judgment (Matthew 10:26).

~ Philip Pedroza

 

 

The Name of The Almighty

It was 2009.  We were in Malaysia. This was our first time in Asia. Spending 3 months in a place allows one to acquire a good grasp of the surrounding culture.   I have come to realize that being in another country for a short time really does not allow enough time for a person to grasp a full understanding of the culture. However, on the other side of the spectrum, being in another country for years can desensitize one from the gravity of spiritual untruth… and that is what contextualization fosters. Therefore, I am grateful it was 3 months we spent in Malaysia. I became aware of the people and learned to enjoy aspects of their culture.

The most significant impact for me was watching the people and their commitment to their religious beliefs.   We encountered Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Animists, and of course, Christians as part of the culture. We visited a temple and a mosque in order to see the interaction of the people in their spiritual realm.

The question that burned within me when we returned home was ‘Why do all other religions know the name of their god or gods and we as Christian believers do not know the true name of our God.”  I quickly realized something was missing. I remembered that in Judaism the Rabbis teach that His name is so holy we cannot speak it. However, in my spirit I knew something was wrong with that thought process and pattern. My constant request unto ‘our God’ became “I want to know You, the real You, not what man or church has determined but Who You truly are. I want to know YOU, what You say about things and I want to know Your Name!”  My journey then began!

I will not go into the details because there is much that took place. Through divine appointments, crossing paths with significant people, reading Scripture without biases, and listening to His Holy Spirit, I discovered that ‘our God’ wants us to proclaim His Name! The enemy’s scheme has been successful…having us call out to The Almighty with a generic word (God) or with titles (Lord) and descriptions (healer, protector, provider, etc) but not His Name.  Titles show respect, names show relationship.

We sing songs like  “Blessed be the name of our Lord” or  “Glory to His name, Glory to His name”  but we don’t even know His Name!

Scripture is full of verses, 100s of verses, telling us to praise His Name, to sing to His Name, to glorify His Name, to declare His Name to the nations!  How do we do this if we will not speak His Name?

In Exodus 3:15 YHVH tells Moses His Name is forever. The Hebrew word ‘olam’ forever has the meaning of ‘the universe’ or ‘for the duration of the universe’.  So that seems to me that knowing His Name was not just for Moses and that time period.

The word God is a generic word. Every religion has a god and each religion believes their god is spelled with a capital “G”.   Lord is a title. So not spelling out God or Lord like some do (G-d or L-rd) isn’t bringing any honor to Him… those are generic words; those are not His Name.  When I came to the full understanding of the impact of this fact, I was stirred to the core of my being…stirred to change my ways to His ways.

I quickly learned that YHVH is His Name spelled in Hebrew without vowels, which is how you find it in the Hebrew Bible. By the way, YHVH is found something like 6,828 times in the Hebrew Bible. You think ‘our God’ was hiding His name from us?  I further learned that because the vowels were not inserted there are several opinions on how His Name is pronounced.  In fact, that has even become a controversy. Yehovah, Yahovah, Yahweh, Yahuah are various pronunciations.

For quite a while I called Him Yahweh. I certainly am not a scholar but after some research and listening to others who are scholars, I have come to settle on Yehovah.  My spirit leaps joyously each time I declare “Yehovah” or each time I hear someone declare His name.

We are all on a journey and I believe Yehovah is very pleased that so many are searching for truth and returning to know His heart’s desire.  Many are responding to the drawing of His Holy Spirit.  So, I believe this is a time that grace is extended to us. Yehovah sees we are trying to align with Him and we may not get it all right but as we continue to search, to ask His Holy Spirit, and to remain teachable, He will show us.  After all, Yeshua (Jesus of Nazareth as most people know Him) said, “When the Holy Spirit comes He will teach (lead) you in all areas of truth. (John 16:13)

So needless to say, my journey has been exciting.  Learning about His Name was just the beginning.  My world has been turned upside down in a marvelously good way.   My heart’s desire is to align with Him in all aspects. When Yeshua returns, I want Him to find me seeking, searching and learning about the Truth of His Kingdom.  I want to be found responding to Yehovah’s Holy Spirit.

Yehovah’s Word is a lamp to my feet. He illuminates my every step because I let Him know that I want to know Him. His Spirit has guided me on this journey.  Each step is not careless but carefully measured and taken as Yehovah’s Holy Spirit points me toward knowing Him. His Word is a light unto my way…the good pathway as Jeremiah 6:16 describes.   So I, like Apostle Shaul (Paul) says, ‘I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which Yehovah has called me heavenward in Yeshua, our coming Messiah.’

– marleen

What is in Your Name?

Isaiah 8:18
“Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion”. (NKJV)

The Book of Isaiah is known primarily as a prophetic book. It is filled with warnings and alarms of impending judgment from heaven. The book paints a picture of a peoples group who knew Yahweh’s word yet did not follow His precepts. It is rich with stories and examples of blessings and curses. People are blessed when they follow the ways and commandments of the Lord. When they do not, they enter into judgment and curses. No wonder the writer says in Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

Isaiah understood not only his role in Israel’s destiny, but also, realized the purpose of his family within the community. He and his family were “for signs and for wonders in Israel”. The family was selected and equipped to be signposts to Israel’s misguided and disparaging relationship with the One True God.

Apart from the fact that Isaiah, the teaching prophet, was the son of Amoz, we know almost nothing about his background. We know nothing more of his wife but that she was a prophetess with prophetic gifts used in the service of Adonai Elohim. Isaiah and his “nameless” wife were one in understanding Adonai’s thoughts and counsels. Their united life was so different from the celibate life of Jeremiah, the miseries of Hosea’s home life, and the tragic loss Ezekiel suffered.

Everyone in Isaiah’s family had a specific purpose. No one was left out. Isaiah’s name means “salvation of the Lord” or “the Lord is salvation” and it is certainly symbolic of his message. The names of his two sons, Shear-Jashub and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, (Isa 8:3) also symbolized his message.

The first of their two sons was Shear-jashub whose name means, “The remnant return”. The name was prophetic of the literal and spiritual return of Israel from captivity.

The second son had an extended, mystic name, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, meaning, “haste, spoil, speed and prey”. It strongly depicts the coming Assyrian army with swiftness and precision as they “hasten to the spoil” and to the taking of Syria and Samaria, “they speed to the prey”.

Though the family did experience captivity and the dispersion of the Hebrew people throughout the world, they did not fail to carry out their family prophetic purpose. They suffered the wrath of Israel. Isaiah was sawed in half because of his message to Israel.

Their family names told the story of Israel’s situation. So what is in a name maybe warning or rebuke, perhaps, blessing and promise? What is in your name? What is your family’s purpose? Families need to wake up and realize there is a greater and there is higher purpose than to just “living under one roof” for 20 or so years together. Parents’ need to carefully name their children. For in the name is a signpost. It could be that there are marvels and wonders yet to be discovered within the family structure that will positively impact the community surrounding your dwelling place.

Life is Interesting…

logoLife is interesting to say the least. Whether we like our life or not, it is interesting. Some would say it isn’t for them. But it really is. For those who agree that life is interesting, they will cite examples of daily occurrences that justify their claim.

Life may not seem interesting to some due to their perspective on life. For them, life is a mess of problems, confusions, demands and subjugations. For them, each day is a drudgery to get up and face the 24 hours before them or at least the 12 or so hours they are relegated to face.

When I was a boy I would ponder on what life would be for me. I had no lofty dreams or aspirations at that time. There was no one in my life to challenge me to have dreams and aspirations. Dad was gone from my life and mom had to work and provide for her children. There was no one in my life to open up the possibilities of hope and faith. It was life simply described as uncomplicated at the time.

Once I entered the stage of responsibility, things changed. Notice, I did not say I was taught responsibility as a child. No one was there to provide direction. The only direction I received was from the neighborhood and that was not good.

Facing responsibility was and is a challenge to anyone who has not be trained to shoulder it. I soon learned that no one had time to show or train me in being responsible. So life became a no win situation for me. I did not have the skills needed to handle life until I asked and searched.

Today, many households are busy with “making ends meet” by working long hours or second jobs that rob them of nurturing, training, guiding and directing their children in issues of life. Relegating this “job” to the church or school is not the answer. It never was and it will never be. For those, like me, who grew up in this type of home setting, life can become turbulent and trying.

I have since learned that without the proper coaching from home, the heart suffers, the mind becomes a futile ground for misdirection, and home becomes a place to leave instead of a place to be. Sad, isn’t it? The one place where a person should be able to thrive is the one place that person does not care to be. Be it good or bad, the epitaph fits. “There is no place like home”.

I learned to get off the wide road that was leading me to destruction and get on the less traveled road that leads to life more abundantly. It all begins with 3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers”. I changed my perspective and redirected my “Life GPS” to get me to the place where dreams do come true. I learned to take responsibility for my words, actions, thoughts and behavior. I realized I do have a father who cares for me, Yahweh (Abba Father). He does direct my steps and provide me counsel and direction that I need in life. There is a good pathway and I am so fortunate to recognize it and follow it. So can you…

Engaging Life…

logoAs you already know, life is not simple!  Perhaps at one time it was simple.  Yes, there was a time when life was simple, gathering fruit and vegetables and eating them.  The Garden of Eden seemed to be a place far less complicated than the complexities we face today.

Everything we do today involves a process and myriad of decisions.  Hundreds of decisions are made everyday.  Those decisions involve processes that may be few or many, simple or difficult or conscious or unconsciously performed.  We think through things before agreeing or committing ourselves to whatever.

Every step of the way, from birth through death, there are processes that either we engage or they engage us.  We, at times, decide, respond and react without truly considering the ramification and impact those decision have on others and us.  How we process information, situations, circumstances and personal interactions with others should be considered.  Who or what is governing our thought and decision-making process?

Yahshua (Jesus of Nazareth) said in John 10:10b, “…But I come to give you life and that more abundantly”.  He came to give life and for it to have a particular purpose…more than just living but abundantly.  This means that left to chance, nothing is received.  The passage indicates an engagement between the promise and the reception. 

Between the promise and the reception is one pathway with a fork in the road. Choosing the right direction depends on the factors one uses to make choices.  For this to occur the proper process must be engaged.  What is this abundant life Yahshua so assuredly states?  It is to purpose, to thrive and to prosper.  “I come so you can have life and have it more abundantly”…here on Earth.  Nevertheless, what we engage can either bring us to enjoying the abundant life or it can preclude us for doing so.   

 What is in your life?  Do you carry bitterness in your heart toward someone?  Do you allow the setbacks of life to overrun you and cause you to misery?  Do you enter into self-rejection and self-accusation about who you are and how life had been?  Is the abundant life a story to you with no tangible application or does it resonate with blessing and provision for you?

 That is something to ponder.  The Kingdom of God has a prescribed purpose for each of us. Simply said, purpose has an overarching goal, an aim or a desired outcome.  Did you get it…a desired outcome!  Life is full of interactions affecting the end result of our purpose.  Life is not a feather in free-flight mode.  No, life is engaged. Life is not static but kinetic.  Yahshua did not come to give us a “free-flight” but to provide us with a pathway full of Kingdom of God blessings, abilities, initiatives and benefits.  He called it “life more abundantly”.  If Yahshua offers abundance in life, what are we doing to ensure that we are putting in motion those processes resulting in fulfillment of desire and purpose?

The Virus of Debt

logoPeople are struggling in keeping up with every aspect of life, it seems.  The daily news is mixed with stories of “all will be well” to “there is a ‘Fiscal Cliff’ looming ahead that will devastate the economy even more”.  With all the talk about the future and what it may bring, I looked at one aspect of the debate at hand.  I looked at the issue of the connectivity and the relationship of debt to prosperity.  By connectivity I mean that we are connected to others around the world.  I am not talking about the social media but the real social-economic mediums that exist.  These mediums have shrunk the world to the point that what one does affects us all.  No longer can a person or country remain isolated from others.  Because of necessity, natural resources from one country are sold on the world markets to other countries.  

How is debt created and why? Most people buy what they want, when they want and give little or no thought about tomorrow.  Today people look at debt as a very natural course of life.   It is easy to succumb to the advertisements that subtly reach into our minds and finally our pocketbooks.  The advertisers’ allurements are directed to several specific areas of our complexity… create the need, then the desire, and finally provide the easy way to acquire through credit and extending beyond what is reasonable.  Sounds good but it is forfeiting tomorrow for today.

Debt, as a villain, has entered the Church.  It has infiltrated and weakened the ability for many to fulfill their calling and purpose according to the will of God.  Debt is bondage.  Debt has its roots in the spirit of pleasure and narcissism.  It robs blessings from the next generation for today’s pleasure.  Debt destroys marriages, homes, and relationships.  
Many claim some debt is okay.  For instance, to maintain a good credit score one must use the credit cards, and pay the monthly bills on time.  This whole concept of credit is deceptive and destructive.  There is no good debt.  Debt and the spirit behind it, seeks mastery over a person.  It strives to keep the person from being free to function as God intends the person to function. Take a look at the many credit cards any given person carries.  Each card represents a master who seeks repayment at costly terms.  
Prosperity, in most circles, is measured by what you have and how much you have- such as cars, clothes, large houses with fashionable furniture and decor.  Being able to afford the monthly payments does not mean prosperity.  To be truly prosperous is to be debt-free.

Being deft-free is the means to truly prosper.   The person who is debt-laden reaches a saturation point of not being able to seize opportunities when they appear or help when there is a need.   Being debt-free is enabling.  A person is then able to do much, such as, contribute to the Kingdom of God, help those in need, acquire wealth, leave a godly legacy and enjoy life due to not being encumbered with debt.  

Here are six things one can do to gain the upper hand with finances:

  • Pay off all debt as quickly as possible
  • Always pay the tithe (10%) of the income
  • Separate 10% for giving to others in need
  • Save 10%
  • Invest 10% with soundness and wisdom, and
  • Live on the rest (60%).

This may seem difficult to do for the 21st century person but this is what countless of generations did up and into the mid-20th century.  Those generations knew the concept and practiced the principle of Proverbs 22:7, “The rich (lender) rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender”.  

Being debt free is being prosperous. Saving and investing in assets that appreciate in value provide the advantage of securing the future with the blessing of God.  Being discipline in knowing the difference between need from impulse buying provides a person with wisdom and soundness in making good decisions that are lasting and profitable to the next generation.  Proverbs 13:22 states, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children….”

Identity and Blessing

Throughout my life I have seen families blessed beyond measure while others struggle to make sense of life.  I have seen this in and out of the church world.  The question is, why?

In traveling the world, I have been in countries where church is a non-issue and faith in the One True God is nowhere to be found; yet some families flourish and thrive while others eek out their living.  

It has also been said, “We all serve God in our own way and there is not just one-way to serve Him and know Him”.  This statement indicates a hope in a map that one does not fully trust to be accurate but nevertheless follows.  However, there is an ancient pathway laid before us by God Himself that is exact and attainable.

God’s ‘old’ pathways are not systems but processes.  According to Jeremiah 6:16, the old ways are the good ways that have a specific purpose… to give rest to our soul.  God has   placed His mark in every culture.  These marks have to do with family, community and identity.  I have come to understand that the Almighty, Everlasting, One True God has had His imprint in all cultures since creation.  However, man has obscured those markers; therefore has lost understanding of the pathway by not knowing what was imparted and why they were imparted.  As a result cultures form their own opinions based on fractured revelation of truth and establish their systems of journey called religion; removing family as central and vital to walking in God’s ‘old’ pathways.

Two such markers are embodies in the following important questions, “Who am I”, and “What is my purpose”.  These questions deal with a person’s dignity, his value and esteem, acceptance of purpose and legitimacy to reach fulfillment of his destiny.  Each family in every culture holds the key to unlocking blessing upon their generation and the next generation.  This is how God wanted each generation to live – blessing their children and enabling them to thrive and flourish in life.  

The blessing process is important.  Blessing children instills dignity, imparts value, shows acceptance and reinforces legitimacy.  These are God’s markers along the ancient (proven) pathways.  The process of blessing involves the parents speaking blessings at critical time in life. From conception through the birthing process, from childhood into adolescence, into marriage and career, blessing opens the door for one to thrive and flourish in life.  

The American culture has lost much of its identity with God.   America is no longer the God-fearing nation it was 70 or so years ago.  Its identity in the slogan, “In God We Trust”, has been eroded.  The ancient ways that Jeremiah 6 admonishes are becoming by-gone also.  The family and the nation are at risk; however returning to those ancient pathways that God holds dear can redeem them.  If parents seriously take to action that of blessing their children, imparting identity and purpose, two generations will be blessed beyond compare.  The walls of despair will crumble and struggling in life will diminish.

 

What’s in a Name?

Although many do not realize it, much of who a person is, is tied to or wrapped up in his or her name.  Names tell something about a person.  It is said that we act-out our name. There is some truth to this adage.  We decided to apply this thought to naming our ministry when we launched it.

The name Berean Pathway was chosen with specific intent.  We chose Berean from Acts 17:11.  When the Apostle Paul had shared with the people of Berea, those listening told Paul they were intrigued with his presentation of Messiah as revealed in Yeshua.  However, they also “searched the Scriptures” to see if what he was relating to them was indeed true and verified by Scripture.  Berean has come to mean, “Searchers of the Scripture”.   We strongly encourage everyone to search the Scriptures themselves and not just rely on someone’s word.

This has become foundational to ministry and teaching.  Many propose knowledge and ability to understand our times and the future.  They often relate their own concepts without truly seeking Scriptural harmony to substantiate and qualify the teaching.  They may use Scripture text but malign the intent and meaning of the word, words or passage for their own interpretation.  Good words do not mean good theology.  The men of Berea would have exposed the person who had corrupted Scripture for they, the Bereans, were “searchers of the Scripture”.  The name Berean emanates a commitment to search, balance, and live God’s Word without prejudice.  

Pathway is a simple word denoting a known trail or way.  More specifically for us, Jeremiah 6:16 tells us to choose the old paths to fulfill destiny as the LORD intended.  This Scripture offers the challenge to seek-out the ancient pathways, the good ways.  With this, we understand the passage is speaking about a lifestyle and mode of living that God prescribed and instituted since the creation process.  It refers to a means of flourishing, thriving and certainty in life.  It addresses direction in finding fulfillment in living according to how God intended man to live… with rest for his soul.  The passage calls it the “ancient paths, the good way”.   Needless to say, both time and deviation has caused man to wander away from the “good path’ laid down by God Himself for our betterment in our spirit, emotions, health, finances and relationships.  

Berean Pathway encourages people not to accept what anyone declares as revelation without first searching the Scriptures and balancing the Word with harmony before accepting the revelation as honest and true.  Berean Pathway also encourages people to seek-out the pathways laid down by God for man’s benefit.  The “good way” is summed up in Romans 14:17, “…the Kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit”.  Yeshua said it this way, “I am the Truth, the Way and the Life and no one comes to the Father but by Me.   

John 14:6.
So what’s in a name?  …meaning and identity.  

Is God to blame?

Have you ever considered why misfortunes happen to you?  Some say that God is sending a misfortune, a bad event or a sickness to teach a lesson.  It seems those people are blaming or placing complete responsibility on God for all that occurs to us.   Although He, God, is all powerful and all knowing, He is not the blame for our misfortunes.  Then who is?

There are stories in Scripture that point to God as the one allowing events to occur such as with Job, Paul, Judas Iscariot and many others.  On the surface it may seem that He is to blame but underneath the story line a different set of circumstance is at work.  God allows what we desire, crave and devote ourselves to and, yes, even what we fear (Job 3:25).  He allows us to make choices and then allows those results, whether good or bad. 

We lose sight of what God has required of us (Micah 6:8).  Many say God sent this pain, time of trouble or tragedy because He wanted to gain our attention.  They, like many of us, fail to realize that what we have desired, craved or devoted ourselves to has given life to detriments that are contrary to principles of the Kingdom of God lifestyle. 

Our words and thoughts are heard in the heavenlies…whether by the Kingdom of God or the evil kingdom.  We must take responsibility for our actions and mature in understanding that what is in our hearts will show itself in one form or another.  Psalm 115 says those who trust in idols (other things but God) are like them.  What are the idols in your heart?  What are you attracting to affect your life?

Think on this… Matthew 7:11 says our Father gives good gifts to His children.  James 1:17 says every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights.