Posts Tagged ‘deception’

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Numbers 16:21-26…Get Away!

April 11, 2008

So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” Numbers 16:23-24…And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” Numbers 16:26 

As we have learned, the uprising of Korah and his followers was more than just a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. It was in actuality, a rebellion against the Holy One of Israel.  It was He who chose Aaron to be High Priest…it was He who chose Moses to be the prophet to whom which He spoke face to face… and it was He who had chosen Moses as the leader of Israel. Yet, Korah had somehow convinced 250 “leaders of the congregation…”men of renown”… to actually stand against God and His spoken Word.  How foolish you might say.  Couldn’t these “leaders” of the congregation see what was happening and speak out against Korah before it was too late?  Had they not promised to do “all that the Lord our God says” as spoken thru Moses? How could they be so deceived and turned around?

Again, Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that these events were written down as a warning for us in these last days, that we might avoid making the mistakes of our forefathers.  Question…Have we learned the lesson?  Could we ever be deceived into taking a stand with our words or our lives that is in complete opposition to God’s Holy Word? Are we able to recognize “Korah” and the need to “get away”? I believe these questions are relevant for today. 

(The following is spoken in love. For many years I myself was caught up in the rebellion of Korah.  I was able to get away in time only because of God’s grace in my life, only because someone had the guts to challenge me with Scripture and I had the guts to check them out.  I would like to do for you what someone once did for me. I encourage you to praise God for his grace poured out thru His Son Jesus, (Yeshua). He is our Salvation.  I also encourage you ask yourself the hard question…Is it possible that I and some of those around me have strayed from God’s Word?  Are we really living as we should be as “sons of Abraham”? It’s an important question)

In the book of Jude we are warned about men who in our time would “turn the grace of our God into lewdness” and “perish in the rebellion of Korah”. Despite this clear warning, very few who call themselves bible believing Christians even know who Korah was. This does not bode well when you consider that the Master Himself, quoting from the Torah said in Matthew 4:4 that Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  Take heed, for out here in this final wilderness, Korah is both alive and well in the camp. In the spirit of Korah, many “leaders” of the congregation, “men of renown” are once again standing against God and His Word. Contrary to the words of Jesus (Yeshua) (Matthew 5:17-19) Paul (2 Timothy 3:16) and John (1John 5:3) there are actually some pastors and leaders today, who declare boldly that the Word of God as given thru Moses is no longer valid for instruction in righteousness.  Instead, they teach that Torah has been “done away with” or “nailed to the cross”, and that God’s people are now “free in Christ” to live contrary to some of the very Scriptures our Master lived out and taught from.  Eating the detestable and ignoring God’s Sabbath’s and Appointed Times are now fully permissible according to those taking part in this rebellion.  Using things of pagan origins to worship God is acceptable as well (christmas trees and easter eggs) as long as it’s done in the name of Jesus. Instead of relying on Scripture to define sin, (1John 3:4) they teach people to “follow their hearts” and to repent only upon “feeling convicted”.  Friends, anyone teaching you that sin can be defined by something less than the “transgression of Torah” as given thru Moses, stands contrary to God’s Word just as Korah did.

As you must know, the Lord God has always called His people to be separate and distinct…to be holy as He is holy.  (Leviticus 11:44-47, 1 Peter 1:13-15)  From Genesis to Revelation, He makes it clear that we must line our definition of sin up with His Word and repent if needed.  The rebellion of Korah continues to this day…as does the warning from God to separate ourselves from this sin before it is too late… 

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4

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Sabbath…A Gift He won’t Take Back!

April 11, 2008

Exodus 20:8-11 says “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.  In it your shall do no work….For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it“. You have probably read this command from God before.  Now check out an awesome promise from our Father, one that our enemy does not want you to hear and take to heart.

 

 

 

   Isaiah 58:13-14 says “ If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 

 

 

   That sounds great, but is it true for us today?  Is the Sabbath command really a commandment, or just a suggestion? After all, we are often taught that the Sabbath was given for the Jews, or that it was changed to Sunday or, that it’s just no longer valid.  In this issue we will search the Scriptures to find out if there is any support for these teachings. Friends, what if… just what if, our enemy has once again tripped us up with ”Has God indeed said..” as he did in the garden of Eden.  

 

 WARNING>>>WARNING>>>WARNING>>>POTENTIAL MISUNDERSTANDING ALERT>>> This issue is not about trashing Sunday worship.  No way. I hope that each of us worship the Holy One each and every day.  No, this issue will specifically address one question…Does the “New Testament” change or do away with God’s command to keep and honor the 7th day as the Sabbath of the Lord.   Remember, God’s Word trumps man’s tradition every time… right?? Repeat that last line and then hold on!! Here we go….

 

 

     Let’s start by checking out Mark 2:27…”The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”  Notice, Jesus tells us that the Sabbath was made for man.  All men!  He does not say it has been done away with or changed.  In fact, we know that in Matthew 5:17-19 our Lord says that He would never abolish any of the Law or the Prophets.  And, he warns us (in verse 19) about teaching men to break any commandments. That would definitely include the Sabbath command.  Now, let’s answer the question “WWJD” concerning the Sabbath, or rather, “What Did Jesus Do”.  Luke 4:16 tells us “And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read”.  Remember, as His disciples, we are to be conformed to His likeness as it says in Romans 8:29.    

 

    So, we learned from Luke, that Jesus kept the Sabbath during His earthly ministry.  What about after He went to the cross? Did that change the Sabbath command?  First of all, keep Matthew 5:17 in mind, but also notice what He says in Matthew 24:20; “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath”.  In this passage, He is clearly referring to the last days, and yet speaks of the Sabbath!! It’s still there!! To go along with that, check out some other millennial passages in Isaiah 56:1-8, and Isaiah 66:22-23. Does it sound like the Sabbath has been abolished or nailed to the cross?

 

 

 

     Now, some teach that because Jesus did not repeat the Sabbath commandment in the “New Testament”, He thus rendered it null and void. Does that make any sense to you considering the fact that He created the Sabbath, (Colossians 1:15-17), He lived it, (Luke 4:16), He taught it, (Matthew 12:1-12) and God says it will be kept by all living in the future! (Isaiah 66:22-23) How many times should God (Yahweh) have to tell man something in order for us to listen? (In my case it has been way too many times).  By the way, bestiality is prohibited in Exodus 22:19, but not repeated in the “New” Testament. Surely, that does not make it okay. You know, Luke 6:5 tells us that Jesus (Yeshua) is Lord of the Sabbath, not you or me or the Pope. We have no authority to change or abolish the most often repeated commandment in the Bible!!  We can reject it, but that is not a good idea according to Hebrews 10:28; and Matthew 7:21-23.  Besides, if we truly love our Master, we will obey Him.  He tells us that plainly in John 14:20-21

 

 

 

     Finally, check out Matthew 15:3-6 and Mark 7:7, 9, 13 and you will notice something. Jesus did not have much time for “traditions of men” when they contradicted the “Commandments of God”.  With that in mind, let me ask you a question. When we call Sunday (the 1st day of the week) the Sabbath, (which is the 7th day according to Scripture) or, ignore the Sabbath command, are we following the Commandments of God (Yahweh), or traditions of men? In Acts 5:29, Peter and the apostles make it clear what we should do.

 

 

 

     Now, let’s spend some time with Paul to see if he taught anything different about the Sabbath.  Paul in his day was falsely accused of teaching against the Law of Moses, (check out Acts 21:20-26) as was Stephen (Acts 6:9-15).  Not much has changed. To this day many still accuse Paul of being anti-Torah.  In fact, I was one of his accusers until recently when I began to check things out. For instance, notice that in 1Corinthians 11:1 Paul says “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”. So what did Paul do? Let’s find out. Take a look at the following Scriptures: Acts 17:2, 18:4, 13:14, 13:42, 13:44, and 16:13.  It seems to me that Paul had ample opportunity to make a point about the Sabbath being changed or abolished, but he never did.  Did you know that Peter warns us about Paul’s writings being misunderstood?  In 2Peter 3:14-18 he tells us that “untaught and unstable people twist Paul’s writings to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures”.  For example, let’s look carefully, in context, at two of Paul’s writings often used to justify ignoring God’s commands.

 

 

 

     Check out Colossians 2:16. Did you read it? At first glance it sounds like Paul just blew out of the water everything I have shared with you about the Sabbath does it not?  But let’s go back and read Colossians 2:1-23 and search for context as we read.  Notice in verse 4 Paul is concerned about deception by persuasive words.  Then in verse 8 we see he mentions philosophy, empty deceit, traditions of men, principles of the world and not according to Christ!! Did you catch that? If not read it again. So, is the writer talking about God’s Holy Commandments? His Torah?  Let’s go on. In verses 13-14 Paul encourages us in that we are forgiven, made alive in Jesus, with the all the condemnation that was against us nailed to the cross!! Praise the Lord! Then verse 16 warns us not to worry about what the world thinks of us observing His Sabbath commands (Leviticus 23:3), His dietary laws, (Leviticus 11) or His festivals (Leviticus 23).  Finally, in verse 22, Paul once again shows us that his concerns are about us following after doctrines of men instead of Yeshua!!

Check me out and let me know what you find. 

 

     Now, let’s do the same thing with another section of Scripture often used to falsely accuse Paul, Galatians 4:9-11.  Now I know that a lot of well known teachers say that Paul is referring to the Commandments in those verses.  But remember, context!! Go back and check out verse 8. In it, Paul let’s us know that these people were pagans, idol worshipers before they knew God. Now, read verse 9 and let me ask you two questions… Would Paul, a Pharisee, call what God  had commanded, “weak and beggarly elements”? Also, how could pagans “turn again” to something (the Mosaic Law) that they had never followed? Now read verses 10-11 again. It becomes clear that Paul is talking about pagan holidays like many observe today, not God’s Holy days!!

 

 

 

      Now this may be a little off the subject, but for some hints to understanding Paul’s letter to the Galatians, check out the following verses. Galatians (1:6), (2:16), (2:17), (2:21), (3:2), (5:4). Notice, Paul never teaches against the Law of Moses. But he does slam the door on any futile attempt to be “justified” or “saved” by keeping the law.  Paul tells us that we are saved by grace thru faith (Ephesians 2:8) but what does he say in Romans 6:1? Check it out and don’t forget what the definition for sin is. You can find it in 1John 3:4.  Also remember, Yahweh first saved His people from Egypt, with the blood of a lamb, and then gave His Commandments at the mountain.  

 

 

     Finally, what about the changing of the day from the 7th day to the 1st? Let’s check it out. First of all, “Sunday” does not appear in the Bible. But, the words “first day of the week” can be found in the “New” testament 8 times. I will point you to each verse with a short commentary, and then you check them out to see if you can find any authority to change what our Father has commanded. Remember, these are the verses that many teachers and Bible commentators use to justify “changing” the Sabbath Command. Here we go

(ONE)Matthew 28:1–This verse actually proves that three days after all was “done away with and nailed to the cross” the Sabbath is still the day before the first day of the week!! 

 

 (TWO)Mark 16:1-2Tells us the same thing as Matthew 28:1.

 

 

 

(THREE)Mark 16:9–Nothing here says anything about changing the Sabbath

(FOUR)Luke 24:1–Check this one out very carefully.  You will notice that the women brought the spices on “the first day of the week” which tells me that this is a common work day. If you have any doubts, take special note of the verse just before, Luke 23:56.  Remember, the Holy Spirit inspired this statement 30 years or so after these events. Does it sound like the commandment was changed or abolished? …

 

 

 

(FIVE)John 20:1–Nothing new here.

(SIX) John 20:19–Many point to this verse for establishing Sunday as Sabbath to celebrate the resurrection.  But here’s the problem… they were not gathered for celebration.  They were gathered for “fear of the Jews“.  In fact they did not even believe in the resurrection! (Mark 16:14) Finally, they were together in the “upper room” because that is where they lived according to Acts 1:13.  Do you see anything here to set Sunday apart as a holy day or change the Sabbath command? 

 

(SEVEN)Acts 20:7–You check it out, but all I see from Scripture is the disciples gathering to eat (Luke 24:30; Acts 2:46; Acts 27:35) and then Paul talking all night because, he was going to “depart the next day”. Once again, I see nothing that changes the Sabbath command. Do you? 

 

(EIGHT) 1Corinthians 16:2–Paul asks them to gather and store up a collection of food for the saints in Jerusalem. (Romans 15:25-28).  Again, the 1st day of the week seems to be a work day, not a day of rest, and nothing mentions changing the Sabbath day.  Are we missing something? Are these the 8 foundational verses from Scripture that we have used to “add to” and “take from” (Deut 4:2) His Word? Did you see anything that would authorize us to change the day that HE hallowed?

 

 

 

 

     Finally, some have said that the Sabbath command is for the Jews only. If that is true, then what about the command not to murder, or commit adultery?  No, the Sabbath command and blessings are for all of God’s people.  In fact, check out Isaiah 56:1-8 for something you don’t hear taught very often! It turns out that God commands the foreigners who turn to the God of Israel,  not to think that they have no part in His Sabbath.

 

 

    

    A few years ago, my wife Roxie asked me why we didn’t honor the 7th day Sabbath. At the time I did not know how to answer, so I just repeated what I had heard without checking it out, and then tried to ignore the uncomfortable feeling inside me.  Friends, the Sabbath has never changed. But I am afraid the stiff necked people of God have not changed either. (That’s us)  You know, Jesus gave us an awesome gift when He gave us the Sabbath.  He won’t take it back. Read Isaiah 58:13-14. Do you believe Him?

 

 

 

James 1:22—“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves