Category Archives: Yeshua

A Sabbath Thought

Identity

(Exodus 31:12-18, Rom 11:16-17, Eph 1:20 & 2:6)


I sought for an identity,

I had no sense of worth,

Until Yeshua drew me and cleansed me,

And placed me on His throne. 

At the right hand of Father
I heard that ancient truth,

The one He spoke on Sinai’s mount:

”I, the Lord, do sanctify you and give to you as sign—

My Sabbath—keep it forever, evidence you are mine.”

Lacking identity no longer, I walk with inner strength,

Child of God forever, His  day I faithfully keep. 

Kennedy Brown
February 28, 2018

How to Judge a Prophet

How to Judge a Prophet?

Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist and John the Revelator to name a few, are all bible prophets. Many of their prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. Then there are those today, men and women, who are referred to as prophets. 

Their admirers have no trouble with the prophet title. Their detractors are very often vehement in the expression of their detraction of the individual and the title. They seek to expose any cracks in the work of the prophet. Triumphantly announcing a particular prophecy did not happen as prophesied and therefore the prophet is a fraud and subject to the Torah prescribed death penalty. 

Forgetting for the moment that not keeping the Sabbath also incurs the death penalty, what might have been the reason for inserting the Torah instruction concerning the “false” prophet? It seems the only time God gets really fired up about this prophet question is just before the Israelites enter the promised land—big pagan territory. Every one of the -ites they will meet has gods, altars, priests, rituals—lots of opportunity to be confronted by “prophets” of a god. Truly a need here to sound the alarm. In the narrative, up until now, the Israelites really don’t have a good track record against foreign gods—remember the golden calf, the Midianite gals?

So, Yahovah gives them two warnings, almost in the same breath, as they are standing at the Jordan’s shore:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5
“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass (think of Pharaoh’s magicians), of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away (nice way of saying it) the evil from your midst. (Parenthesis are mine) 

Deuteronomy 18:17-22
“And the Lord said to me (Moses): What they (the gathered Israelites) have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who PRESUMES to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it PRESEMPTUOUSLY; you shall not be afraid of him. (Parenthesis and bold added)

I think the operative word here, particularly in the verses in Chapter 18  is presumes. Let’s take a look at the Hebrew word Moses used that gets translated into English as presumes. 

PRESUMES:  Strong’s h2102. זוּד zûḏ; or (by permutation) זִיד ziyd; a primitive root; to seethe; figuratively, to be insolent: — be proud, deal proudly, presume, (come) presumptuously, sod.
AV (10) – deal proudly 4, presumptuously 3, presume 1, proud 1, sod 1;
Englishman’s  Concordance
to boil, boil up, seethe, act proudly, act presumptuously, act rebelliously, be presumptuous, be arrogant, be rebelliously proud(Qal)to act presumptuouslyto deal arrogantly (with ‘al’)to defy proudly (with ‘el’)

Now, Ill put on my New Testament hat as that’s the expanded Torah standard taught by Yeshua. As Yeshua would say, “It all comes down to the condition of the heart!” Is the prophet speaking from a heart of insolence, pride or anger? We might be on shakier ground than the prophet if we try to compete with God in assessing that heart condition. And, in my opinion, God is looking at the condition of the prophet’s heart more than the words he speaks.

God calls the believers to be a kingdom of priests and prophets. There is also the office of prophet. Unless a person operating in that prophet office speaks arrogantly or is speaking in utter disregard of what God is saying, the lack of perfect hearing is not a sin—for which I’m thankful. 

If a person is speaking for God and not against him there seems to be much more scripture calling followers of Yeshua to encourage, uphold and support one another rather than to be so quick in pointing out fault. We followers are really to be in the world, not of it (or like it). 

If you are a believer and don’t like the way another believer dresses, their accent, their hair style and really even their message, I would caution circumspection in your criticism. You really should communicate your concerns with them directly and not through social media. Praying for them is not a bad option either, but trying to get a crowd to agree with your vilification is not in my opinion WWJD!

DISCLOSURE
All of the stock market “prophets” make a disclosure at the end of their prophesy as to the investment they have, don’t have or intend to have in the security they’ve just touted. 
This is my disclosure:
Over my 44 years as a believer I have invested heavily in harsh judging, criticizing and gossiping about other believers, regardless of their calling. I have never really studied what the word said, until now, especially about prophets. I could always be counted on to pick up a stone. After repenting, I will now be investing heavily in avoiding that critical, judgmental, self-righteous spirit. This will be my long term investment strategy. 

The Shed Blood

The Shed Blood: the Firstborn, the Bondservant and Me

Before Egypt’s flight, blood placed on door post and lintel
Flowed from sacrifice of a perfect lamb. 
From the Death Angel the blood purchased Firstborn’s life —
Who with his family passed through that blood-marked portal
To begin freedom’s march to the promised land. 

Did Firstborn pause to consider
At what cost the blood was shed?

Two servants stand at the Master’s door
Each for six years has passed through in bondage.
Soon one will step over that threshold “free.”
The other chooses to remain at the Master’s side—
The portal marked with the blood of his decision.

The bondservant he would be called
His shed blood forever closing “freedom’s” door.

So, now do I too who walk with blood-bought freedom
Grasp that I walk so without cost?
That the blood through which I passed to life
Was the shed sacrifice of that Sinless Man?
Is there a choice which can be made?

Yes, there is a response which I can make—
The shed blood from my pierced ear.

The world’s “freedom” is not my choice.
True freedom leads me to the Master’s side,
There to remain—back turned to Babylon’s cry.
The bondservant’s life knows no greater freedom—
My ear’s blood on His door will forever testify. 

Kennedy Brown, August 22, 2017

Motivation for poem—
The theme of shed blood is common to three experiences of our faith: the Exodus from Egypt; the law of the bondservant and the sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua.

Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17, the Torah Parsha (portion) called Re’eh, speaks of the servant who prefers to remain with the master after his six years of service entitle him to a release from slavery to freedom—to become a bondservant. Perhaps he did not consider his six years of service as bondage. The procedure for establishing a bondservant as set forth in Deuteronomy is a restatement of the procedure first set forth in Ex 21:5-6. The procedure results in the servant placing an ear sgainst the Master’s door or doorpost where the ear is pierced. The blood from the piercing remaining as a reminder of the servant’s commitment.

This fact recalled to me the preparation for the final plague in the exodus account. There the blood from the sacrificed lamb was placed on the door post and lintel (Ex 12:5-7), its purpose to exempt the Firstborn from the Death Angel.

The next logical connection was the shed blood of the Lamb of God, Messiah Yeshua. His shed blood did not exempt Him from death, but evidenced Him as bondservant.

Drawing a poetic parallel was easy, Yeshua’s apostles often refer to themselves as bondservants. Should I do any less?

Shed Blood and the Master’s Side

Before Egypt’s flight, blood placed on door post and lintel
Flowed from sacrifice of a perfect lamb. 
From the Death Angel the blood purchased Firstborn’s life —
Who with his family passed through that blood-marked portal
To begin freedom’s march to the promised land. 

Did Firstborn pause to consider
At what cost the blood was shed?

Two servants stand at the Master’s door
Each for six years has passed through in bondage.
Soon one will step over that threshold “free.”
The other chooses to remain at the Master’s side—
The portal marked with the blood of his decision.

The bondservant he would be called
His shed blood forever closing “freedom’s” door.

The Firstborn and Freedman each seek Freedom.
In that struggle of life their strength will fail.
Firstborn will remember the shed blood that set him free.
Freedman will recall the shed blood on the Master’s door.
The same Author of each choice reaches out with open arms.

Firstborn and Freedman now hear true Freedom’s call—
Shedding blood from a pierced ear to gain Master’s embrace.

Man will never know true freedom away from the Master’s side.

Kennedy Brown, August 27, 2017

Motivation for poem—
Did you ever read the books popular in the 1980s where you could choose different paths offered by the author? You would wind up at different conclusions. They were the Choice Adventure series.

This poem is not the reader’s choice, but the author’s choice. I took the first four stanzas of the poem Shed Blood: the Firstborn; the Bondservant and Me and provided a different progression of the premise.

Both poems conclude there is no relationship that will satisfy apart from a bondservant relationship with the Master. This poem points out the illusion most of us had that we were the captains of our destiny. As I found in my personal experience, doing it in my strength was destined to fail. I also experienced the open arms of the Prodigal’s father receiving him (me) back.

True North

34322062 - old compass on vintage map
34322062 – old compass on vintage map

True North

There lies somewhere in the polar north
An enormous mother lode—
With unerring accuracy It draws the compass needle
To its hidden depths.

How much like sin this deception speaks
Luring each who relies on an off-course life
Till at the end, when destination reached,
No time for correction remains.

For most of life, magnetic north will get you by—
But the wise traveler will stay on course,
Always making correction to head true north
Even if life’s storms would blow you off course.

Come around to that North Star’s unerring path—
Make correction against that subtle deception—
Resist its magnetic attraction.
Let no other choice alter your path from True North.

Kennedy Brown
January 8, 2017

Motivation for poem—
I so appreciated a recent, thought-provoking post. Many valid points were made, along with the reference to true north being reflected by the compass. The metaphor was used to show that being one degree off wouldn’t get you to your destination—true. However, in my old Boy Scout days, some 70 years ago, I learned about “magnetic declination.” This was the correction that had to be made from magnetic north to true north. So, for me, the metaphor didn’t ring true. As I continued to think about the compass deception—the metaphor of magnetic north being like sin came to me. The subtly of sin can lead you throughout life just slightly off course, even if you know the truth. How sad to end life’s journey, only to find you were following the wrong guidance. There are many subtle adjustments that we must be aware of and make, once we know life’s destination: to arrive at True North. How special to think Yeshua is that infallible, guiding North Star.

My Thoughts on Yom Teruah

My thoughts on Yom Teruah
Yom Teruah (Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah) is the fourth of seven annual appointments (feasts) which the Lord has set to intentionally meet with His people. During the Gregorian (Western) calendar year of 2016 the feast is celebrated beginning at sundown October 2. This is the first day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Each annual celebration renews in me a desire to more fully understand and embrace this feast.

First I will make a brief observation that this is my Messianic sense of the feast. I say “my” Messianic sense to be sure it is understood as being my experience and not necessarily a belief of others who profess a Messianic understanding.

Next, just to be clear, as a self-proclaimed Messianic, I am saying I believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is God come in the flesh, the promised Messiah. His shed blood, death and resurrection are God’s provision (grace) which enables me to keep God’s Word-Torah. This standard of conduct was recorded by Moses and amplified by Yeshua and the Apostles. My keeping of Torah frees me from the curse which would otherwise result from my imperfect ability to keep the commands.

The instructions to keep this fall feast are sparse—we are told to keep it annually as a memorial observed as a Sabbath (Lev 23:24 and Num 29:1). In Judaism it is kept as a New Year observance. It also ushers in the Ten Days of Awe in preparation for the next feast, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

The word “memorial” used in the scripture connotes something that has happened which you want to remember. It may call for a resolution to remember so that it will not happen again. My brief word study of scripture brought up the first mention of trumpet as being at Mt. Sinai (Ex19, especially verse 13 and following). This was the mighty sustained, ear-piercing, rock-splitting shofar blast, trumpet blast, to announce God descending onto the mountain to speak to those gathered at its base. It is His first tangible appearance since He indirectly manifested through His miracles in Egypt. This Egypt scenario had resulted in the Israelites being freed and brought to this location before the mountain. The outcome of God’s visit from the mountain is recorded in Exodus 20:19—the people speaking: “You (Moses) speak with us (those assembled), and we will hear; but let not God speak with us lest we die.” Thus began 1500 years of indirect communication through priests, prophets and others (donkeys, for example) before the appearance of God come in the flesh—Yeshua!

I believe that year after year I and my generations have been called by the shofar blast on Yom Teruah to personally embrace and reaffirm the indwelling presence of Creator God—a memorial, if you will, to remind me not to reject Father’s desire to live big in me.

This celebration becomes then an annual heart check for stoniness—yet at the same time a day of unbounded joy because my God wants, desires and has provided for this personal, indwelling relationship through Messiah Yeshua.

What a blend of introspection, repentance, joy and celebration—let the shofar sound!