Overcoming #1 – Works – At Ephesus

Rev 2:1-7 “To the messenger of the assembly of Ephesus write, ‘He who is holding the seven stars in His right hand, who is walking in the midst of the seven golden lampstands, says this:I know your works, and your labor, and your endurance, and that you are not able to bear evil ones, and have tried those who say they are emissaries and are not, and have found them false; and you have been bearing up and have endurance, and have labored for My Name’s sake and have not become weary. But I hold this against you, that you have left your first love.” So remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works, or else I shall come to you speedily and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have, that you hate the works of the Nikolaites, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I shall give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of Elohim.”

In Luke’s account of The Master’s life, we read;

Luke 10:38-42 And it came to be as they went that He entered into a certain village. And a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Miryam, who also sat at the feet of Yahusha and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and coming up she said, “Master, are You not concerned that my sister has left me to serve alone? Speak to her then, to help me.” And Yahusha answering, said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many matters, but one only is necessary, and Miryam has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Martha was misjudging her sister Miryam, thinking that she was lazy because of her desire to hear and know The Word, whereas Martha thought that serving was more important, even though the Master points out that it actually caused her to worry and be troubled…

Similar to Martha’s approach, the Ephesians were very industrious, always toiling and laboring for HIS Name’s sake! They learned to endure and were successful in exposing false sent ones! (apostles, pastors, teachers, etc.)

What I refer to as “the Martha Syndrome” is the tendency for professing believers to be so preoccupied with works of service for Messiah that subtly they substitute these works of service for time with HIM. In their zeal they become judgmental of others who are not accomplishing as much as they are. But in all of their doing they rarely spend time in prayer or sitting in quiet contemplation and no longer read HIS Word for the shear pleasure of it. Theirs is a works based religion. These do not rest, nor are they at peace. To these the Master calls in Mat 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I shall give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.”

If we find ourselves in this peace-less, joyless, distracted and worrisome Martha mode of thinking, we must STOP and receive HIS exhortation to remember, repent, and return to our first love! We must regain the focus that we had at the first. That of waiting on HIM…hearing HIS Voice and listening for HIS specific instruction so that we can enjoy accomplishing HIS good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10b)

But, why is there such a hatred for those known as the Nicolaites?

Trying to understand just exactly who the Nicolaites are and their deeds and doctrine takes a bit of exposition. Because there is so little mention of them in the Scriptures, many have decided that we cannot arrive at a definitive conclusion as to who they were and what they were all about.

The two references that mention the Nicolaites are:

To the Ephesians in:

Revelation 2:6 “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaites, which I also hate.”

And to in Pergamos in:

Revelation 2:15 “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaites, which thing I hate.”

There appears to be two types of unacceptable works addressed in Revelation 2:1-9. The first, we addressed above. This next type seems to be even worse. That of “the deeds (works) of the Nicolaites. These works must be diabolical! They are clearly hated by The Master. Lets find out why!

The word used in 2:6 is defined in the Strong’s #G2041 hñãïí ergon er’-gon

From ergo (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act:—deed, doing, labour, work.

It is the very same word found in verse 2, translated “works.” So see how this word also used by Shaul in his letter to the Ephesians . We find four references. Consider;

Eph 2:8-10 For by favour you have been saved, through belief, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim, it is not by works, so that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah יהושעunto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Notice the Contrast;

  • Supernatural works – not by (natural) works!
  • HIS Work-manship IN Us – not our work on us!
  • Our Works IN HIM, HIS Way – not our works our way!

Eph 4:11-12 “And He Himself gave some as emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah…”

Notice the context;

  • HIS resurrection substantiated HIS gifting and empowering of HIS called and sent ones such as emissaries, prophets, evangelists, (under) shepherds / teachers to “perfect” those who receive HIS Workmanship in their lives!
  • The result will be “building up” (edifying, confirming) those who are HIS!

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them.(reprove; expose, reveal)

Notice that Shaul’s final use of this word seems to be in perfect alignment with The Master’s hatred of “the deeds (works) of the Nicolaites in Revelation 2:6!

Those deeds / works being;

  • Their rejection of the work of HIS SPIRIT in their lives! No need of: new birth, anointing, empowering, revelation, inspiration, leading, guiding, teaching, lifestyle in line with HIS Word. In essence; “an appearance of esteeming HIM, but no power!”
  • Their rejection of the work of HIS SPIRIT through HIS Gifts and HIS Gifted Ones! No more: Emissaries, Prophets, True Evangelists, Shepherds / Teachers committed to HIS Word above all else. In essence; Just career clergy for hire.
  • Their receiving of “the fruitless works of darkness” in their lives, ministries and movements! Propagating men, women, myths, fables, idolatry, lawlessness, doctrines of demons, false: teachers, evangelists, prophets, emissaries, etc!

So, from the verses in Revelation 2:1-9, we can conclude that the Ephesians, (and us!) MUST OVERCOME the tendency to fall into a works based mentality for the Master, instead of allowing HIS Workmanship to be accomplished IN us! And the Ephesians, (and us!) must continue to hate and expose the fruitless works of darkness known as Nicolaitanism!

Heb 12:1-2 “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”

Amein

6 Reasons Why The Greek / Roman / Latin Jesus Cannot Be The Messiah

The saying “Truth is stranger than fiction” is an accurate assessment of this article, but will only be “stranger than fiction” to those who are not lovers of Truth! Please consider;

2Th 2:9-10 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved.”

So, without a “love of the truth” one cannot be saved. Not my words, Paul’s. But he was only confirming what was said by the Messiah in John 14:6“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

And HE also stated when praying to HIS FATHER in John 17:17 “Set them apart in Your truth – Your Word (both written and Living) is truth.”

So, without having a “love of the truth” as well as embracing THE ONE Who IS TRUTH, one cannot be saved and cannot come to the FATHER!

Hmmm…That is concerning! Why? Because there are approximately 250 million (Protestant) Christians in the World today. America has the majority of them with approximately 140 million! Combine that with the 70 million Catholics who also refer to themselves as Christians in America making the total approaching ¼ of a billion people in America who consider themselves to be an expression of Christianity! But that’s not what I’m concerned about. My concern stems from the fabrication of a savior who is being propagated as one who is not in line with how the scriptures portray the true messiah. I am not in opposition to what the scriptures say. I am in opposition to how the scriptures have been twisted to produce a whole different version of who HE is! The following 6 Reasons detail my concerns;

REASON #1

Christians and non-Christians alike have been told that The Messiah’s name is Jesus. That is simply and unequivocally not true. HE, The True Messiah of The Scriptures would never have responded to someone calling to HIM using the name Jesus. HE was not Greek / Roman / Latin. HE descended from Judah (Yehudah), born to a Hebrew maiden and had numerous Hebrew half brothers / sisters. HE was given a Hebrew Name. His true Name is very important, as it reflects who HIS Father is and what Name HIS true followers will receive! The Greek “Iesous”, a Greek healing entity is NOT who HE is. To intentionally call on another for salvation is not wise. Lets consider what HE says about HIS Name;

John 5:43 “I have come in My Father’s Name (YAH; Short for Yahwah. Preserved in the KJV Psalm 68:4 as “JAH” see note) and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, him you would receive.” (There was no Hebrew letter “J” when the Psalm was penned)

Act 4:11-12 “This is ‘the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. And there is no deliverance in anyone else, for there is no other Name under the heaven given among men by which we need to be saved.”

Rev 3:12 “He who overcomes, I shall make him a supporting post in the Dwelling Place of My Elohim, and he shall by no means go out. And I shall write on him the Name of My Elohim and the name of the city of My Elohim, the new Yerushalayim, which comes down out of the heaven from My Elohim, and My new Name.”

REASON #2

The Greek / Roman / Latin fabricated version of their Messiah, named Jesus, appears to be a brown/blondish haired, blue-eyed foreigner (Caucasian), who allows his followers to carve, engrave, tattoo, carry, kiss, bow to, worship and wear various forms of images of himself. These practices are in absolute opposition to The Scriptures! Consider;

Exodus 20:4-6“You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth, you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, Yahwah your Elohim am a jealous EL, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.”

Psalm 81:9 “Let there be no strange mighty one among you, And do not bow down to a foreign mighty one.

REASON #3

The Greek / Roman / Latin fabricated version of their Messiah, who they have named Jesus, allows his followers to observe the Roman Catholic sabbath in revering the sun. (Sun-day; the day dedicated to the sun) The True Messiah according to the Scriptures did not do so nor would HE today because it is not True.

Mark 1:21 And they went into Kephar Nahum, and immediately on the Sabbath He went into the congregation and taught.

Luke 6:6 And it also came to be on another Sabbath, that He entered into the congregation and taught, and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

Luke 13:10 And He was teaching in one of the congregations on the Sabbath…

The context of all three of these examples finds The Master in the assembly “on the Sabbath” teaching. All three also are commentaries of HIM “healing”and/or casting out demons! HIS authority proves that HE was not lawless. Is today’s powerlessness among professingdom proof of the fruit of lawlessness? So, who changed HIS Seventh Day Sabbath to a sun-day observance? It wasn’t The True Messiah of The Scriptures!

(See articles “From Sabbath To Sunday – Who Changed it?” and “The Names of the Days of the Week”)

REASON #4

The Greek / Roman / Latin fabricated version of their messiah named Jesus teaches that the Law (Torah) of YAH was fulfilled and discontinued upon Him being impaled (crucified) and thus is no longer in effect today. This is not true. The True Messiah of The Scriptures said in;

Mat 5:17-18 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.”

Obviously, heaven and earth are still here… (See Article “Matt 5 – Destroy / Fulfill” for a more exhaustive study on what HE meant “to fulfill”)

REASON #5

The Greek / Roman / Latin fabricated version of their messiah named Jesus was born on December 25th and is to be celebrated by the cutting down of an evergreen tree, erecting it in their homes, decorating it and putting presents to each other under it. These pagan traditions are not endorsed in The Scriptures. (Read Yirmeyah 10:1-15 especially 3-4)

Yirmeyah(Jerimiah) 10:3-4 “For the prescribed customs of these peoples are worthless, for one cuts a tree from the forest, work for the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They adorn it with silver and gold, they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it does not topple.”

(See Article “Christian Holi-Days”)

REASON #6

The Greek / Roman / Latin fabricated version of their messiah named Jesus evidently condones the UN-scriptural observances of paganism and at the same time does not insist on the observances mandated by HIS Word. But please consider what The Scriptures say:

Reading Leviticus 23 you will see that THE Creator clearly states that these are not, as traditionalism teaches, “the festivals of Israel”, but are HIS appointments, HIS observances, HIS Sabbath, HIS Feasts in verse 2.

Beginning with the 7th Day Sabbath (signifying rest after 6 days of creation/work)

Passover,(speaks of the Spotless Lamb Slain)

Unleavened Bread, (speaks of the removal of leaven/sin)

First-fruits, (speaks of assurance of a harvest and Messiah ascending as the First-fruits from the dead)

Shavuot (speaks of the harvest that typifies The SPIRIT in those of the New Covenant Jeremiah 31:33 & Ezekiel 36:26-27)

Trumpets (speaks of HIS people hearing HIS Voice)

Day of Atonement (speaks of the final judgment at the end of the age) Sukkot (speaks of the righteous dwelling with HIM Forever).

For a more in-depth look at The Feasts of Yahwah, (see articles related to The Feasts…)

May you see the beautiful picture of redemption in/through HIS Feasts that you will not see in the observances of traditionalism!

Those recognizing HIS Appointed Times understand that the blood sacrifice of the True Messiah fulfills every aspect of every blood sacrifice and offering mentioned in the above as we acknowledge HIM yearly through each Feast bringing us revelation of what HE accomplished, of what HE is accomplishing now and what HE will accomplish in and through those who walk according to HIS Word!

The observances of traditionalism practiced by so many today say nothing of the true plan of YAHWAH, nor do they accurately portray the true person of HIS Son, the True Messiah, who I believe is named Yahusha! While in my ignorance and lawlessness I taught lawlessness and error! I called Yahwah by generic titles such as LORD, GOD, ALMIGHTY, ADONAI. I also referred to HIS Son as LORD, JESUS, CHRIST. I desired Truth, but was trained in traditionalism. Finally, I heard / recognized Truth and began to pursue HIM wholeheartedly! I rejoice in every day I’ve been given in hopes of rectifying (in some small way) the error and lawlessness that I once embraced and taught! This article is an effort to reach those who have a love for Truth! My prayer is that you will respond to HIS Voice and “come out” of fabrication and never look back!

Do diligence, dear reader and see for yourself that what is being taught (according to traditionalism) does not measure up according to The Scriptures…

The Statistics of the Story – A Follow-up on The AMA Serpent-Entwined Pole…

At the risk of being labeled a fanatic, do you believe what these verses say?

Mark 16:17-18

And these signs shall accompany the ones who believe: In My Name they shall cast out demons, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly drink it shall by no means hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall get well.”

True fanaticism is demonstrated by those who profess to believe The Scriptures, but live in lawlessness (rejecting HIS Law);

As they (supposedly) cast out demons…but in reality, the demons are just acting like there was deliverance…

Speak out in an emotional gibberish (and call it “tongues”)

Handle snakes (in their faith rituals), as a supposed sign of their faith…

ARE NOT protected from deadly drink, as evidenced by their constant illnesses…

Are involved in phony healing crusades, that leave victims in the wake… Consider;

Mat 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works(miracles) in Your Name? And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!”

Rev 13:11-15 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he does great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from the heaven on the earth before men. And he leads astray those dwelling on the earth because of those signs which he was given to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword, yet lived. And there was given to him to give spirit to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause to be killed as many as would not worship the image of the beast.”

Rev 16:13-14 “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as frogs, for they are spirits of demons, doing signs, which go out to the sovereigns of the entire world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of Yahwah the Almighty.”

Those truly empowered by The Master have this testimony;

Luke 10:17-20

And the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Master, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan falling out of the heaven as lightning. See, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and none at all shall hurt you. But do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names have been written in the heavens.

When Paul was bitten by a poison viper, here’s how he “handled” it; Acts 28:5 “Then, indeed, he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no evil.” Literally, Paul did what the phrase “take up serpents” in Mark 16:18 means; (“…to loose…put away, remove, take away”)

I searched for the phrase, “confirmed miracles and healings” and found very little to be excited about. It appears that those who did not believe The Word during HIS earthly ministry, are being paralleled in unbelief today.

Mat 13:58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

I also searched and found this site: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28186008/

At this site I found this;

“Recent studies of medical errors have estimated errors may account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the United States (U.S)., making medical errors the third leading cause of death. Error rates are significantly higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom (U.K). At the same time less than 10 percent of medical errors are reported…”

Another site confirmed the above and gave more detailed information. Look at this!

https://etactics.com/blog/medical-error-statistics

From the site:

“Researchers used four separate studies from 2000 to 2008 and hospital admissions rates from 2013 to analyze this problem. Based on extrapolated data of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, medical errors cause 251,454 deaths per year. This translated to 9.5% of all deaths per year.”

Diagnostic mistakes lead to the death or injury of 40,000 to 80,000 patients annually. The misdiagnosis rate is 10% to 15%. These problems are a challenge regardless of medical specialty. Surgical errors are another common problem with at least 4,000 occurring each year in the US.

While medical devices advance and improve the health industry, they still aren’t perfect. There are over 5,000 kinds of medical devices used in healthcare, so mistakes are inevitable. Sometimes these devices end up getting recalled because of their risks. But unfortunately, the flaws aren’t always caught before it’s too late. Across all devices, the FDA reported more than 1.7 million injuries and around 83,000 deaths in the last ten years.

You’d think that you’ll be least likely to get sick at a medical facility. After all, it should be clean so patients can heal. But a health-associated infection (HAI) is one adverse effect that results from medical care. According to the CDC, one in 31 patients has an HAI on any given day.

In 2013, 99,000 people died from this effect. Thankfully this number dropped within a few years, but not by much. In 2015, there were still about 72,000 patients who died from HAIs during their hospital stay. But patients were 16% less likely to have one of these infections in 2015 versus 2011.

Patients who end up with an HAI after surgery spend an extra 6.5 days in the hospital on average. They’re also five times more likely to return after hospital discharge and twice as likely to die.

I write this article, not to blast healthcare and those who work in it. I write this article to challenge those who believe that it is the only choice. Doctors have a place. But should that be everyplace? Especially in the lives of professing “believers?” The choice is yours!

#3 – The Hypocrisy of the Pharisees – Matthew 23

Mat 23:1-4 Then Yahusha spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Mosheh. Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do.”

The Master is explaining that as long as the scribes and Pharisees are instructing strictly from what is written in The Torah, guard and do it. But do not follow their example. Their hypocrisy (acting) reveals who they really are.

Mat 23:4 “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but with their finger they do not wish to move them.”

The Master categorizes what these burden consist of throughout the remainder of the chapter. Some today would try and convince folks that the “burden” referred to here is The Torah / Commandments of Yahwah. But John has a different understanding. Consider;

1Jn 5:3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy,”

Mat 23:5-8 “And they do all their works to be seen by men, and they make their t’fillen wide and lengthen the tzitzit of their garments, and they love the best place at feasts, and the best seats in the congregations, and the greetings in the market-places, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brothers.”

Those who are already wrapped up in the outward appearance (in the world), will easily transition into the (religious) mindset of the scribes and Pharisees. They are all about drawing attention to themselves, their appearance, perks, notoriety, position, etc…They especially loved being revered as the teaching authority on The Scriptures. But those who receive The Spirit in the New Covenant will shy away from these outward expressions, being more conscious of “the inner man”, the “hidden man” reflective of Messiah’s presence in and through them. (also see Eph 3:16, 6:6, 1Pet 3:4)

Mat 23:9-12 “And do not call anyone on earth your father, for One is your Father, He who is in the heavens. Neither be called leaders, for One is your Leader, the Messiah. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”

The Master is not forbidding us to refer to our earthly parents as father or mother. Torah teaches that we are to “honor” our parents. The context of the verse dictates that He is forbidding HIS followers to specifically revere another as their highest spiritual “Rabbi, teacher, father, leader.” Ephesians 4:11-12 confirms ministry gifts given by The Master “for the perfecting of the set-apart ones…” However, Revelation 2:6, 2:15 condemns“the deeds” and “the doctrine” of the Nicolaites.” These are leaders / teachers that are continuing the error of Balaam in putting stumbling blocks before professing believers by upholding the liberty of eating things sacrificed to idols as well as committing (literal & spiritual) fornication. (See articles: “The Parable of The Bride & The Whore” and “Christian Holi-Days”)

Mat 23:11-12“But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Contrary to the prideful, lofty, me first mindset of the scribes and the Pharisees, The Master establishes the proper expression of those who will gain entrance into HIS Kingdom; Humility:The attitude of “others first.”

Php 2:3 “…doing none at all through selfishness or self-conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Mat 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the reign of the heavens before men, for you do not go in, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

The following 2 verses explains The Master’s meaning.

Luk 11:52 “Woe to you learned in the Torah, because you took away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”

Joh 9:22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Yehudi for the Yehudi had already agreed that if anyone confessed that He was Messiah, he should be put out of the congregation.”

These same two indictments apply today. Those who are learned (in the Scriptures), but not learned in Messiah, are teaching what they do not understand and have taken away knowledge and understanding from their hearers. And those same teachers forbid their hearers to consider the truths of the True Messiah; That HE was not Greek and does not have a Greek name. HE did not come to start a new religious movement but came to complete what began with the First Covenant. HE did not put an end to The Commandments for HIS followers. HIS Favor (grace) is not a license for his supposed followers to live in sin…and so on.

Mat 23:14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you eat up widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers. Because of this you shall receive greater judgment.”

An interesting article on Religious Televangelists some years back stated that their “target audience in America is comprised of older, female rural women.” The article went on to say that most of these older women are generous financial donors. I’m left wondering how many of these older women were also widows…

2Ti 3:6 For among them are those who creep into households and captivate silly women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts…

Mat 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you go about the land and the sea to win one convert, and when he is won, you make him a son of Gehenna twofold more than yourselves.”

The Master doesn’t seem too pleased with their missionary efforts. Why? How can HE be pleased with the efforts of people who are rejecting HIM for who HE truly is? They may have zeal but any effort based on misconceptions will not have HIS blessing nor can it convey a valid eternal message. Again, the problem today is no different. This is why The Master says they were making people “twofold more than themselves.”

Mat 23:16-22 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the Dwelling Place, it does not matter, but whoever swears by the gold of the Dwelling Place, is bound by oath. Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the Dwelling Place that sets the gold apart? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it does not matter, but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, is bound by oath. Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sets the gift apart? He, then, who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all that is upon it. And he who swears by the Dwelling Place, swears by it and by Him who is dwelling in it. And he who swears by the heaven, swears by the throne of Elohim and by Him who is sitting upon it.”

The blind guides had their emphasis upon the earthly, the temporal. The Master uses the contrast between the eternal; “Dwelling Place” and the temporal; “the gold” to illustrate their blindness. Consider;

Rom 8:5-6 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.”

Little did they know, but their fleshly mindset caused such blindness that it kept them from seeing the very “Dwelling Place” of Yahwah standing right in front of them! The same is the case for those who encounter the Dwelling Place of Yah today as HE lives in and through those who have received HIS Spirit! (also see 1Cor 3:16, 2Cor 6:16)

Mat 23:23-24 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you tithe the mint and the anise and the cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah: the right-ruling and the compassion and the belief. These need to have been done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides – straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!”

The scribes and Pharisees placed great emphasis on one aspect of Torah (tithing), while they neglected the other important aspects reflecting the true spirit of Torah (right-ruling, compassion and belief). Their rigidity reflects “dotting every I and crossing every T” even at the expense of the living. This type of lopsided rigidity results in volumes of man-made dogma containing commentary, commandments, rules, regulations, ordinances, traditions, etc…

Mat 23:25-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside of them becomes clean too. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. For a detail look; See Article “Cleaned Up – But Not Filled”

Mat 23:29-33 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in the blood of the prophets.” Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who did murder the prophets – and you fill up the measure of your fathers! Serpents, brood of adders! How would you escape the judgment of Gehenna?”

The Master knows that these actors are of the same murderous spirit (the devil – John 8) that put the prophets to death in previous generations. HE also knows that they will be instrumental in putting HIM to death. Because they are blind to the truth they try to convince themselves (and one another) that they would NEVER do such evil deeds to the righteous by building tombs and decorating their monuments. I have witnessed for years the same outward show from the guilty and unrepentant, as they give money and get behind church building programs to try and convince themselves (and others) of their supposed piety… Yahusha is not fooled by their folly…we shouldn’t be either.