The world is in search of a new culture. A few years ago they thought we had come of age, evolved to a higher stage of existence where we no longer needed a heavenly Father to sing us lullabies. Nature could be explained and controlled, and even religious pundits sought to rid the church or synagogue of “myths” that no longer seemed relevant. We were free to set our own course and decide what is best for ourselves. Paired with the potential of science to bring us quality of life, who could ask for better?

But now their words are the ones that sound obsolete. The author of The Secular City had to backpedal and write a sequel reflecting his own surprise at the resurgence of religion. The realistic limits on how far we could travel in space were beginning to sink in, and the factories that had promised unlimited growth were sludging up the oceans. “Ending all wars” was not as easy as it had once looked.  

Common courtesies were jettisoned because they seemed too rigidly tyrannical or at best inefficient. But the human heart demanded something better. Such a matter-of-fact world left little room for poetry. What was all the progress FOR? Our sunglasses were not only screening out the sun, but the traffic lights as well, and now we’d been pulled over. It was time for a new prescription. Spirituality just would not be repressed; it came back with a vengeance.  

The Return of the gods 

Now people were screaming for “a more human world” rather than just mechanization--a green, integrated, “wholistic” approach to life, not just the one side that had been emphasized in the West. More of the right brain and the feminine side. Anthropologists tell us that a culture only looks outside of itself when it encounters needs that its own paradigms can no longer meet. But where were we to look? Every other culture seemed far behind us technologically, and hardly able to answer the knotty questions we had gotten ourselves into.  

But some looked anyway, having been too used by the system to want to be part of it. Some turned hook, line, and sinker to gurus from old-world cultures that put more emphasis on interpersonal relationships than the goal-oriented West did. Humans don’t keep geologic processes running, so many cultures find it more valuable to think in terms of what meteorological events MEAN than how they work. If a crime is committed, they spend more time on how to restore balance to society and compensate the victims than how to penalize the one responsible.  

There must be a reason so many cultures clung “stubbornly” to their traditions in the face of “enlightening” reason. After all, the ancient Greeks already knew the earth was round. Abraham’s contemporaries had well-developed mining and dam-building technologies. Might the ancients have known much about science, but opted for a richer way of expression? Who really wants to think that a world littered with “no littering” signs is more real than the enchanted world people have always seemed to believe in? Does reducing “St. Elmo’s Fire” to mere phosphorescence really give sailors more hope in the face of a life-threatening storm than the idea that something beyond human wisdom was there to aid them? Is that really progress? Maybe it’s not so bad that many scientific laws were little-known until relatively recently in the overall scheme of history; other sides of knowledge may have been more necessary over the long haul.

But there’s one side of this comeback that some of us still choke on. Most relationally-oriented cultures feel a responsibility to stay on good terms not only with their fellow humans, but with the spirits that they consider part of their everyday environment. Though invisible, the gods and their dead ancestors are neighbors—part of this world, not another. They see the earth not as a lifeless rock determined by impersonal forces, but an organism with all components in lively interaction with each other, and therefore needing to be kept in balance. Learning how to influence the spirits that control the natural elements is seen as a high priority.

Many in the West may have believed in a God, but haven’t usually seen any other spiritual beings as relevant. Now that the world is a global village, it’s hard to ignore what anthropologist Paul Hiebert called “the excluded middle" between the upper and lower tiers. These 5,000-year-old traditions might not be mere ignorance after all. Were the sophisticates in The Exorcist and Omen really any better prepared for what they saw occurring? Even the very rational Greeks spoke of demi-gods in a then not-too-distant history. Might such things be more literal than we’d thought?

Now that a recently-deceased dinosaur was netted by a Japanese trawler in 1977 and otherwise-credible people have described what seem to be a brontosaurus and a pterodactyl still living in Africa, why should we be surprised that cultures once as far separated as England, Israel, and China should all come up with legends about dragons independently of one another? The Paluxy River in Texas suggests that at least some dinosaurs survived long enough to be contemporary with humans. Agamemnon, the Trojan warriors, and the Philistines have all been moved from the precinct of myth to the realm of proven history; why shouldn’t we question whether other folklores might not have been just fairy tales invented to keep children entertained. If one reads far enough back in Celtic and Scandinavian lore, the tales seem more like matter-of-fact accounts of things genuinely feared than mere bedtime stories. Were people really that ignorant? Might we just be so caught up in our creature comforts that we are missing some of the more subtle aspects of reality? Might the spirits’ wispy figures, more visible in bygone days, just be washed out by our floodlights?  

And increasing number of highly-educated people are beginning to think so. Scientists, the catalysts for demythologizing in the first place, now say the universe is more like a mind than a machine. Quantum physics is dovetailing very neatly with this. What seems random on our normal scale of seeing things actually resolves into very regular patterns when a bigger picture is seen. This way of looking at science has yielded such novel ideas as the hologram, a renewed look at herbal medicine and the body’s natural ability to heal itself, and a deeper sense of responsibility to the natural environment. Einstein himself said his biggest discoveries came through intuition rather than experimentation. Political leaders, too, feel a need to consult those who claim a knowledge of the paranormal; more rational means have apparently not done the job. Technology, which was supposed to be our salvation, has gotten us in some big messes. People say they have never needed guardian angels more than they do now. And books on clinical death sell like hotcakes; people are no longer so quick to accept the notion that “when you’re dead, you’re dead”. Our culture seems ready to admit its need for supernatural help.

And help seems to be forthcoming. The idea that more highly-developed aliens from other worlds exist and want to help humans make the transition to our next stage of evolution is the subject of not a few novels and films. Pioneer psychologist Carl Jung thought the rash of UFO sightings was one sign of the transition from one age to another; he was one who popularized the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius”.  

In the 1960s, eastern gurus seeking a market in the West had to couch their ideas in psychological terms like ”self-actualization”; now psychologists almost have to incorporate yoga into their disciplines to gain a following! If these unseen but influential spirits are real and we don’t take them into account, we may be missing some of the most significant cues about where our world is headed.

Psychic Science or Spiritual Sabotage? 

Black Elk, a leader of the Lakota (Sioux), said, “Peace comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and realize that the center is really everywhere. It is within each of is.”

It’s an idea whose time seems to have come. Today’s children are educated to be “citizens of the world.” High-speed transportation, not to mention the Internet, has rendered our neighbors nearer, and one nation’s garbage pollutes other countries; we can no longer think in terms of isolated domestic interests. Everything affects everyone.

Such sentiments extend into the realm of religion as well. Each faith, we are told, is just one particular way of expressing the universal ideals of ethics and love for neighbor. If an eclectic creed that promotes peace and harmony between all peoples can be forged, why not give up the beliefs that have led to so many wars? Keep your beliefs if you want, but keep them in your heart; don’t express them in divisive terms. We now have to rub shoulders daily with those of rival faiths, so tolerance is paramount.

Jacques Vallee, a French astrophysicist and the leading researcher on what people say occurs when they encounter UFOs, says that by all appearances, these “visitors”, whatever they are, seem to be engaging in a “worldwide enterprise to create a new form of belief.”

Such a paradigm shift seems to offer a welcome occasion to put aside the questions we have never been able to solve anyway, and start with a “clean slate”. But as we see it beginning to be fleshed out, we can’t help but notice that there may be more to adopting other cultural grids than we bargained for. Is all of this really certified consumer-friendly? Even if they are more intelligent than we, does that guarantee that they are benign and sympathetic just because they tell us they are? Are we sure every god is equally good? Might they not be as capable of hidden agendas as we are? If anything, warns Vallee, the evidence is that these beings place people “under the control of a strange force that is bending them in absurd ways”, which may be another form of subminimal seduction. “Their purpose seems to be anything but open contact…Rather their goal seems to be psychological and social manipulation”, and if social, it is bound to become political too.

The editor of Flying Saucer Review, the leading publication in this field, has gone on record as saying “there seems top be no evidence yet that any of these craft or beings originate from outer space.” Mark Eastman notes that even if they could travel the speed of light, it would take thousands of years to reach our world from the nearest galaxies. Why would they go to the trouble? Even if there were millions of advanced civilizations out there, the odds of just one extraterrestrial craft per year reaching us would be unlikely, yet we are seeing tens of thousands of these craft annually. They seem to thrive “uncannily well in our atmosphere with no need for a breathing apparatus. We have to wonder if they are somehow ‘native’ to it.” Scores of military pilots from several nations have fired on them and never seemed to hit anything solid. This does not necessarily mean they are hallucinations; it would just mean they are non-physical, though they can operate, at times at least, on the physical level. Vallee concludes that “we are dealing with a yet-unrecognized level of consciousness independent of man but closely linked to the earth”.  

Or is it only unrecognized by our relatively-recent scheme of categorizing cosmic phenomena? Ancient Inca and Druid legends and the Hindu Bhagavad Gita refer to beings from other realms coming to earth. Hare Krishna founder Swami Prabhupada says that text and others contemporary to it suggests that the Hindu gods engaged in interplanetary travel with “aerial cars” and flying disks. Whitley Strieber, whose own experiences with UFOs became widely known through his movie Communion, said these visitors would once have been called fairies or gods or demons from which we would hide. His own encounters were characterized by a fear “so powerful it seemed to make my personality completely evaporate”. This sounds remarkably like the Buddhist goal of losing all sense of individuality to become “one with the all-pervasive universe”.  
​Some 50,000 people studied who had had direct contact with UFOs said they had experienced expansion of their minds, floods of information, energy currents throughout their bodies, and psychic abilities—effects uncannily like those of mind-altering drugs. Our children are now introduced to furry little teddy-bear “spirit guides” in school—a “new way of defining reality” less controversial than illegal drugs but just as suspect, because why would an altered state of consciousness be necessary to understand our potential if it is really just an innate human capacity? And wouldn’t it give its users an unfair advantage over others? How does that square with the push for universal equality? Would everyone’s self-created reality really mesh with that of others? And isn’t everyone creating their own reality the very definition of anarchy? And one wonders how genuine a “reality” it can be if it is not obvious through more objective means of analysis.

A comment by physicist Roger jones is a poignant check on the pulse of this movement: “I reject the myth of reality as external to the human mind”! Can we consider “scientists” with such definitions to be objective experts on reality? But social engineers they do seem to be. Those who carry psychotherapy to its logical conclusions now agree that it is bankrupt, but, having written a creator off as irrelevant, there is simply no therapeutic alternative. Or is there? Now the American Psychological Association accepts reincarnation as a fact. Yet where it has been taught for thousands of years, reincarnation is not a pleasant concept at all. It spawned such problems in India as outcastes, widow-burning, and seeing poverty as a punishment for the sins of past lives and thus not to be interfered with, lest we doom the recipient of our mercy to many more go-rounds of karma (the “law” that you get only what you deserve).

Brooks Alexander wrote, “The spiritual anemia of the West has left this generation ravenous for reality, and therefore vulnerable to any spiritual counterfeit offered in the name of Truth.”

How do we know “spirit guides” will be any less tyrannical than the despots we worked so hard to escape? Many shamanistic cultures classify most such spirits as unequivocally evil. The mantra-chanting cults are not just repeating meaningless, relaxing syllables; likes mediums, they are invoking the presence of Hindu gods. “Yoga” is the ancient Sanskrit word for “yoking” oneself to these spirits; how different is that from “selling one’s soul to the devil”?

There may be a great deal of truth to the legends of many cultures about their “gods”. We would expect beings that are not bound by bodies and have lived thousands of years to have a bit of an inside track on some of the secrets of how the universe works. But if we read the accounts correctly, some of that knowledge was forbidden even to them. Can we assume it would be good for us? The creatures of Greek and Medieval folklore were always trying to “pull one over” on humans. Augustine of Hippo reported that certain Romans gods had been seen staging a battle in exactly the spot a human battle was fought shortly thereafter, as if they were trying to inspire such activity.

So before we rush in where angels may fear to tread, we had better be sure we aren’t being driven by something more powerful than ourselves into a future that might not be all that “human”. Consumer Reports and Snopes have not yet published a handy guide to such matters, but we need a credible informant who can provide us with an absolute standard by which to discern the suprarational from the irrational before we sink our whole future into it.

We may already have something in our arsenal that needs only a good cleaning off and an interpretation that takes the supernatural very seriously but which can judge the integrity of its various components. There is one that tells us there are indeed spirits that make their abode in our planet’s atmosphere and are somehow even its rulers, but warns us to beware that they do not deceive us. This gels better with the paradoxical realities of life than one that either assumes “demons” are just a primitive way to get a handle on the harsh realities of life or, alternately, assumes the whole spirit world is one package deal just bursting with nothing but goodness.

This one is at least worth looking into.

A Truly Person-Oriented Alternative

​Before birth, members of the male persuasion undergo a hormonal bath that all but severs the two halves of our brains. We can separate things into neat categories, leaving work behind when it is time to go home and relax. Artists and poets seem a little less affected, but overall this seems to have been a beneficial turn of events, since men by and large have had to be the ones to fight the wars and rule nations—situations where passions of almost any kind would only get in the way. But wars and the occasional need for benevolent dictators are more the exception than the rule, and women seem to recognize that relationships are at the heart of reality. Nurture, belongingness, and communication are more important than trying to be the first to accomplish great feats or come up with new methods of winning. We’re beginning to recognize something that other cultures have known and practiced all along—that human relationships are more important than wealth, prosperity, or “progress” as we’ve defined it. We are more willing to tolerate actions that would otherwise irritate us if they are done by someone we love—i.e., “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”.  

The immense void left by demythologizing has led teenagers to long for parent-figures much more than material things. The reason they try to find “life” in sexual partners is that they have been starved for true, meaningful relationships. We can suppress the idea that this is a primary need, but it is too deeply-engrained in the roots of our nature to die.

It is good that we have done away with superstitions. We now know broken mirrors have no power over us, you can safely live on the thirteenth floor, and if your firstborn isn’t a son, we don’t say you are less of a person. We’ve been allotted a longer tether, but some want to be untied from any anchor. If we could successfully battle the waves ourselves, that would be a reasonable wish. But can we?  

What if we have “come of age”? That would only mean we are adolescents. The time of questioning all assumptions has its value, but who wants to remain there? An adult comes back to his parents’ traditions after he learns that, though in themselves they seemed to be a shriveled-up cocoon, they were actually the only way to a deeper life that overflowed with rich, colorful meaning.

Once there seemed reason for confidence that everything could be explained empirically. But now weathermen say any butterfly that moves its wings will ultimately affect meteorological patterns the world over. Science has never been able to isolate just exactly what life is. We can say much about what inhibits life, what aids in its continuance, or what mix of amino acids characterizes it. But who has ever seen life—with no particular expression or form. Biologists are baffled as to why a body that is designed to renew itself should ever wear out.  

So why should we be surprised to encounter a Creator who says, “You die because I am Life and you have forsaken the connection to Me, your Source”? The breakdown of Western culture and the recognition of the potential dangers in the new quasi-religions force us to at least reconsider the claims of this One who says He “upholds all things by the word of His power” and that “in Him all things hold together”. (That last quote was also used by Plato, a Greek among Greeks, to whom the litmus test for everything was rationality.)

It’s easy to see why people would want to do away with the idea of hell, but who really wants to be without the prospect of heaven—or at least a Messianic Kingdom? Most demythologizers were only trying to be relevant to society’s felt needs, but what “the people” perceived to be lower priorities got crowded out, and the experts on these things started finding themselves out of a job, and so focused elsewhere. But in their effort to please everyone, it ended up helping no one when the world started realizing it needed these things after all. Can we really be at ease in a cosmos with no sovereign to monitor the interplay of all aspects of reality—especially if He were a benevolent monitor? After all, the tradition that brought society out of barbarism was built on this concept all along: that the Creator was not just a capricious deity to placate, but a loving Father who more than anything wanted to have a healthy relationship with mankind. Have we really come up with a better solution? (I don’t mean a nicer-sounding one; I mean one that really works.)

What if YHWH is not only still there, but is the primary relationship on which every other relationship must be built in order for global society to function properly? Every perfect circle is really an infinite number of tangents checking and balancing one another. When there is an adequate center or gravity that can hold them all in equilibrium, there is room for every side of reality to be expressed. But we have thrown away not just the things that caused imbalance, but the center of gravity as well.

According to the radical way of thinking that broke into the world through a tiny, war-torn land that joins three continents, Truth is not just a series of propositions, but a Person. Unless we know Him, all we can learn are bits and fragments. That is why all of our great institutions of higher learning initially emphasized theology as “the queen of the disciplines”.

The “harmony with nature” that most cultures have striven for is motivated not by a desire for intimacy with their deities but out of a fear of their capricious power and thus a desire to manipulate them so they would do as little harm to us as possible. If they ever did pay attention to humans, it was to demand worship which glorified their ego and sapped men’s resources. It seemed that the “hosts of heaven” were randomly at war with one another and we were just the ground that got hurt when the two elephants that were fighting. (We should give the ancients credit: until 701 BCE, Mars did have a different orbit that periodically came close enough to earth to wreak untold havoc. That the planets—originally called “wanderers” have become more predictable has made us latecomers imagine that the spirit world is benevolent or at worst indifferent to mankind.)  

In contrast, YHWH claims to be the good behind every one of the forces of nature (once assigned to specialist-deities that opposed one another rather than cooperating). He knows how to be both just and merciful, firm and loving, intolerant and all-inclusive. Yeshua the Messiah, the only visible image YHWH ever allowed of Himself, is an authority who knows what it means to be oppressed—in Phil Keaggy’s words, “a king worthy of his crown”. YHWH crested human nature, so He knows the proper hierarchy of emphasis needed for psychological and spiritual health.

“The respect of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom”, said the wisest man who ever lived. Any other focus will fail to cover every base. Know Him, and you gain an insider’s knowledge of history, philosophy, and every other discipline. You begin to see the interrelatedness of them all, and have the inside track on why they work. But don’t ask for peace or security while rejecting the one whose nature they are only by-products of. None of them is ever sold separately.

Religion is not meant to consist in giving up certain things, but loving the Creator and other people enough to give up almost anything to maintain good relations wit them. We will end up spending less on ourselves if we care enough about the many needs around us, but the focus is on what they gain; our sacrifice is only incidental. “Love does no wrong to a neighbor, so he who loves has fulfilled the law.” This simplifies matters so much: Focus on loving, and you will fulfill your debts to people. SO when YHWH gives laws, are they meant to put us in bondage? No; they are simply the best possible way to facilitate relationships between persons when they have competing needs.
So before you write off our Judeo-Christian heritage as a proven failure, ask yourself: “Are you sure you’ve tried all of it?” Rationalism often becomes brutal ideology, ignoring the needs of the human heart. However hard we try to dispose of some aspects of it, reality will still punish anyone who tries to get around the laws that make it work. What if, I our reaction to obvious excesses in the Church, we forgot to check into what its actual charter, Scripture, really said? The Dark Ages came about not because of its tenets, but because of pagan superstitions that crept in because of seemingly-harmless compromises.  

There are parts of the Bible that Western logic has developed further than more traditional, inward-looking cultures could. But there are also parts tat are noticeably absent from Western pulpits, possibly because we just don’t understand them. But they make a lot of sense to those who use a more Eastern form of logic. Unless we are scholars, most of us have been bored by the Bile’s genealogies, but they were the turning point for the Balangao people of the Philippines in their understanding of how good the Good News really is. There is something there for everyone. 

“Do good to those who hate you, and you will heap burning coals on their heads” only confuses us, but in third-world cultures where people will literally starve to death if their cooking fires go out, having someone carry live coals to them in earthenware containers on their heads makes perfect sense: by helping instead of hurting those who misuse us, we supply them wit the very things they were trying to get from us by force or manipulation. If we go back to the Bible with the “new” questions raised by the cultures now pouring into our backyards, we are amazed to see how well it really speaks to every side of life.

Moses’ worldview included a lot more of the supernatural than ours, but he considered the burning bush as “strange” as any of us would. The Apostle Paul did his share of demythologizing of the superstitions he encountered, but he stressed how crucial it was that we not be ignorant of Satan’s tactics. So we’d better pay attention when he warns that all who worship idols, lifeless though they are, are actually paying homage to spiritual beings who use the images as their points of contact. Demons are not “behind every bush” but they are behind a lot more bushes than we might think. Yeshua, who experienced many more dimensions of reality than we are capable of, would not have warned us about them if he knew they were not real. As Keith Green, tongue in cheek, credited Satan with boasting, “My job keeps getting easier…because no one believes I me anymore!”

History would make a lot more sense if we accounted them as factors in otherwise-senseless brutality. This “behind-the-seen” world is much more related to our daily experiences than we might think. Believing in demonic forces does open a “Pandora’s box”, but the Bible holds a solution to that, too. It says that though there may indeed be many “gods” because man has surrendered to them his right to rule creation, for us there is only one Elohim.  

The very secular religion of the book of James says that faith that cannot be applied in the marketplace is worthless. But he never considers the Scriptures part of the useless husk of religion. No, he says that “perfect law” is actually our liberator, our springboard into the rest of life. Since archaeology keeps “burying skeptics of Scripture with every turn of the spade”, we ought to at least give its conclusions a fair shake.  
The Bible is very relevant to the Eastern mind. It does have a lot to say about why events occur. Earthquakes and other natural calamities are seen as “acts of God”—a term we still use but often sneer at. If it doesn’t rain when it is supposed to, people start taking stock of where their relationship with Him stands.

And yet it is neither Eastern nor Western. We don’t have to choose one or the other. Any real universal answer must come from neither East nor West, but from the Center (or the “Middle” East, if you like). YHWH chose the place where Africa, Asia, and Europe—the only continents known to most of humanity until relatively recently, and still the most populous—converge to be the hub of His operations. Hebrew culture did not just emerge as the most logical way to deal with a particular mix of geography and economic necessity. This one was personally and directly planned by the One who knew humanity’s needs better than anyone, because He knew what He had designed man to be.

If it is other cultures that we as “global citizens” want to learn from, this would be the one to start with. If we learn how the Hebrews counted years, read Scripture through their views of truth rather than our criteria for accuracy, and just become familiar with this culture that is the balance between head and heart, we can resolve the enigmas that hyper-rational minds have called contradictions.  

The Bible is a record of YHWH’s personal dealings with human beings in concrete historical situations. The wisdom of His proverbs is not for gurus atop mountains, but for young lads on the street with everyday difficulties. The Church lost a lot when it let Greek philosophy and Renaissance idealism crows out its Judaic roots, which saw YHWH first as covenant-maker and only secondarily a purveyor of doctrines and propositions. Turn back to these, wand we will find the corrective our culture needs without losing its valuable aspects in the process, as the other alternatives seem to guarantee will occur.

It’s a PERSONAL universe. The world was created to respond to mankind. When humans abrogated that position in exchange for the alleged chance to displace the only higher authority, a momentous new need cam about. YHWH didn’t want His crowning creation wasted. SO He began the tortuous process of reconciling man to Himself without sacrificing either truth or free will. See this as the reason for the biggest events in history, and the whole story makes a lot more sense: Here is a deity who has emotions, who has lost His most beloved relationship, yet aches to see it restored. He doesn’t just sit back and let the laws of entropy take their natural course. He intervenes. And history becomes no longer a yawn but a wild adventure.

The Driving Forces Behind History 

G.H. Pember wrote, “It has been usual to regard Paganism as a mere brutal worship of stocks and stones…so utterly devoid of intellectuality that, when once expelled, it could never again return and deceive an unenlightened world. It was carelessly assumed to have sprung from ignorance and mental incapacity…Its wonderful power of adapting itself to the carnal mind should rather have suggested…those Powers of the Air which ruined our first parents…Many are again looking to the astrologers, the star-gazers, and the monthly prognosticators.”

Many think the myths of all nations are essentially variations on the same theme. An ancient Mohawk sage said, “In the fullness of time, the spiritual traditions of all peoples…will be united in a great gathering of their secret leaders. And they will gain power to remake the world.” As the argument goes, none of the world’s religions has really accomplished what the mystics hoped for, so the only hope for the world is to redeem it from within. They envision a religion that may include a Creator; just don’t try to definitively say what He is like. Anything that cannot be harmonized with other religions will have to go. They must all meld together if they want to find their fulfillment, so don’t take your own tradition’s creed as something universal, because everyone’s experience of “God” is different. None should be made to feel that his is inferior.

It’s fair that no particular religion be given status in a pluralistic society, but what is this that is turning up in public schools? Winter solstice celebrations? Well, yes; an astronomical event can hardly be anyone’s exclusive domain, and we have to celebrate something! But, wait; the children as tree spirits, seated according to astrological sign, partake of sun and moon cake, and begin chanting. Sounds a lot like Druidism or other ancient earth religions. Transcendental Meditation per se was ruled to be a religion by the Supreme Court, so it can’t be directly taught, but it has sneaked in through the euphemism “centering”. And participation in the increasingly-common yoga is inherently involvement in Buddhism.

The children of the 1960s did not stop trying to make social change when they grew up and got their degrees; now they are teaching in the schools whose classes they disrupted. And they see themselves as proponents of a new faith. The most widely-accepted union of educators instructed its constituents to report anti-satanist activity immediately! Why should concern over children’s involvement in something so clearly dangerous be considered subversive—unless it was part of someone’s hidden agenda? Isn’t it a little odd that as soon as a critical mass had reached the consensus that the Bible was outdated, back came the talk about “spirituality”? Ancient pantheism is being presented as “cutting edge” in a “spiritual reorientation”.

According to Virginia Hine, “demythologizing” was just a front for replacing old myths with new, global ones. “Pluralism…is a word society employs during the transition from one orthodoxy to another…A society cannot remain permanently fragmented with respect to values,” says Joseph Campbell. “Objectivity” is just a smokescreen, because in reality they don’t all agree. They are all one—all but one, that is… The only thing not tolerated is a faith that is intolerant. So they are really imposing Buddhism, Baha’i doctrine, or Hinduism on everyone, because only those fit the “politically-correct” vision.

Today even children are demanding the right to sue their parents. Men are demanding he right to marry other men. Even criminals want their rights—but that would mean the victims would have none. “There is nothing new under the sun.” Such caricatures of liberty have been tried before, and it was a colossal failure. All antinomianism really guarantees is uninhibited violence.  

The Tower of Babel was such an attempt to break free from the restrictions YHWH placed on them after they thus abused their liberty, and Diodorus wrote that it was the first pagan temple. “Its top to the heavens” may actually mean it was dedicated to the worship of the stars, rather than referring to its height, for many ziggurats based on its design have been found to bear inscriptions to the stars in their uppermost chambers. Nimrod, the tower’s builder, was celebrated as a liberator, because he “emancipated” people, not by taking away their evil inclination (as YHWH intended to do in due time), but by legalizing sin. He was executed by the righteous, and his religion forced underground. The Tammuz the ancients mourned for was the son of Nimrod’s widow and was considered his reincarnation. Babel, which the European Community has adopted as one of its symbols (alongside a woman riding a beast), became Babylon, and Scripture tells us all the world will again mourn the loss of its all-encompassing system, which will again become prominent, at least metaphorically.

Many are saying the only answer to economic and environmental crises is a single world economy. Former U.N. secretary Boutros Boutros-Ghali said that when nations prove unworthy of guaranteeing human rights, the international community must take over. We’ve seen this done in Serbia, Iraq, Haiti, and “Palestine”. Para-governmental “think tanks” behind the scenes guarantee that no matter who is elected, the end result still turns out to be the same. As early as the 1930s, H.G. Wells explained that “the New Plan in America and the New Plan in Russia [then bitter enemies] are both related to the ultimate World-State.” Its goal, revealed in 1973, includes political realignments to result in ten political/economic regions called “Kingdoms”. (Sound familiar?) The on-again, off-again “free trade” agreements are one step toward bringing this about. “Emergency management” contingency protocols being put in place are another.

They envision a revival of the Holy Roman Empire—the globalist ideal behind “putting Humpty Dumpty back together again”. The momentum is so great now that secrecy about the conspiracy is no longer considered necessary. People as different as popes and new-age cults all see themselves as “servants of a grand design” billed the “fifth kingdom in nature” (beyond the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human) whose “Christ” was revealed by Theosophist Helena Blavatsky to be “the same figure as Hermes”—the ancient Greek name for Cush, the father of none other than Nimrod again. The roots of all paganisms stem back to the religion that took root at Babylon. Interestingly, Daniel describes another “fifth kingdom”—really an outgrowth of the fourth (Roman again), which tries to unite ten “toes”, but which is so diverse that it adheres as well as iron does with clay.  

Who are the real masterminds behind this improbable alliance? George Otis, Jr., documents many cases where those reluctantly scattered from Babel, when encountering mountain ranges that seemed impassable, made pacts with “spirit guides” who offered to help them find their way through—on the condition that they and their descendants continue to worship them perpetually. This established “strongholds” in which threats of lost benefits, social pressures, or just the comfortable rut that traditions always forge made them all but permanent fixtures written into the very bedrock of these communities and nations. One such fantasy that nearly became real was the Aryan dream; another more current is the “Islamic devourer” depicted on wall murals in the slums of Lebanon. Otis said, “Unless we deal with the spiritual realities of Mesopotamia, the vision of Saddam Hussein will live on.” He saw Hussein as only one of a series of human incarnations of the spirit described in Scripture as Gog. Stalin was not from Russia, but from Georgia, in the Caucasus region initially inhabited by the peoples of Tubal and Meshech. The revolution exported from Iran (biblical Persia) first took root in Baalbek, Lebanon, a historical “high place” where the temple of Bacchus and Jupiter had once thrived through Greco-Roman mystery religions. Hezbollah was given birth I the shadow of these ancient demonic worship sites where haSatan already had a lot of “pre-positioned spiritual assets”, made operative because people think of the “high God” as having moved farther away and become less accessible, so they feel they have to relate directly to other beings—lower gods, their ancestors, spirits, demons, or dead saints—as intermediaries, a pattern ever since humanity obeyed haSatan and therefore cut himself off from direct relationship to YHWH, thus leaving us subject to the one we listened to. We thought we became our own rulers—“like Elohim”—but that was an illusion. Until direct relationship with our Originator is re-established, each person is very much subject o=to a whole series of stand-ins, some good, some bad, some physical, some spiritual.

Lucifer and his minions seem to have inhabited the earth bodily before their uprising (possibly after having been cast out of heaven), and it was an affront to their pride that man—the “new kid on the block”—was given jurisdiction of the earth, so in their jealousy, their first goal was to make man unworthy of that rule. Of course, haSatan knew that if man could be made to think he could create his own reality instead of sticking to YHWH’s rules, man would really be placed under his rule. And so it was. By trusting haSatan’s word over YHWH’s, man abdicated his throne, and haSatan became again “the ruler of this world”, now able to give its rule to whomever he pleased—or whoever pleased him. HaSatan received the legal custody of everyone at birth who was legally represented by Adam.

In YHWH’s eyes the act of one man can decide the status of any who fall into a category he initiates. The “sale of one’s soul to the devil” changes nothing in reality, although it may strengthen the tie that already exists. HaSatan is more than glad to oblige those who want power, provided they submit to him first. He even tried that one on the man who circumvented the legal category created by Adam’s sin—the one who thus was for the first time in the position to “crush the serpent’s head”, being the “seed of a woman”—not of a man except indirectly. He thus created an alternative legal category—a “new race” in a way--to whom others could be transferred if they accepted his rule and his agenda, which was once again pure. Now there was a real hope of a real global kingdom of which the other was a mere counterfeit set up in anticipation of this so that some would thin it the more original.

When we hear what those allegedly taken aboard “alien” spacecraft were told, there is no question of where those craft originated. This “evolved race” claiming to want to help humanity achieve their level by attaining the next “quantum leap” in our evolution are none other than these demons who have never cared for man and have always wanted to destroy us so they can again usurp our place in YHWH’s order. New Ager John White predicted that the “old race” (humanity) must die out to make room for the “rising race”. Since our intellect has “crowded out nature”, “the life force will resist ‘the disease called man’ by bringing a higher life form onto the planet” to eventually crowd us out. Some have even claimed to have been impregnated by those beings to set this plan in motion. But this was tried once before (read Genesis 6 and the mythologies of countless other peoples about their "demi-gods"), and this occasioned the worldwide flood to preserve Noah, who was “perfect in pedigree” (i.e., still completely human) so that the "seed of the woman" could remain unimpaired.  Yeshua (the “father” of the true new race of which this can only be a counterfeit) said conditions prior to his return would be analogous to the days of Noah.  That could apparently include even this.

It doesn’t take much imagination to guess how the demons’ spokesmen could interpret YHWH’s sudden removal of His new race to a safe place while He again deals with the rebels as such a massive “cleansing of the earth”—taking those who inhibit “progress toward unity” off the scene so the “tolerant” (i.e., gullible) can bring about their agenda.

Who Really Calls the Shots?

The Earth once belonged to haSatan, then was withdrawn from him because of his rebellion. Through subterfuge he persuaded our first ancestors to abdicate their dominion. When they got out of the proper order, they lost their relationship with YHWH, and by default the world again belonged to the tempter, because they had unwittingly submitted to him, all the while thinking they were serving their own interests.  

Though wicked, haSatan is still proud and will not be satisfied for his last holdout to be divided up and full of inhabitants who “stubbornly” keep worshipping the true Elohim. He has often tried to unite mankind through the Tower of Bavel, great empires, Communism, etc., and though YHWH has often had reasons to withhold the fulfillment of his dream, it will ultimately be permitted just once. An impostor messiah referred to as “the Beast” will be allowed to persuade the whole world to worship him and their bodies will even be somehow tagged as belonging to him, possibly through an implanted computer chip or some successor to that invention.

Meanwhile, back in Rome, the popes have been key players in moving the world toward a global religion as well. If the “catching away” and hiding away of millions of people who now recognize they are Israel (described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and Isaiah 26:20 respectively) were to be explained away as a fulfillment of Matithyahu 13 (“[The messengers] will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend and those who do iniquity”), such a one could easily pass himself off as the real Messiah. Prophecy seems to indicate that there will also be a counterfeit false prophet who could pose as the predicted Elijah (Mal’akhi 4:5)

But with all this talk about “things foretold”, you should, by now, be beginning to recognize that there is an authority on where history is headed. Other theorists and conspirators are just hopefuls who think they are riding the crest of the wave. But who initially set in motion the physics that caused the wave to start with—and that keep it from surpassing its boundaries? Shouldn’t we listen to Him and try to get with His program instead?

The real Messiah warned us in advance that all of these things would occur, and they did not excite him. So the “aliens in UFOs” did not originate the concept that some upcoming event would galvanize the world’s inhabitants to accept such a universal authority. They just have to come up with a reasonable-sounding explanation that people will “buy”. George Otis says “subjective illusions, if they are to remain effective, must be set up or given credibility by objective realities. Spirits (or ancestors) must occasionally be observable; idols must hear and deliver; astrological predictions must sometimes come to pass.” Demons have to cross over between the material and spiritual dimensions. Maybe they allowed those “aliens” that allegedly “crashed” at Roswell to be physically recovered and studied by the U.S. military to “prep” humankind to become more comfortable with such contact.  

However far back any human conspiracy may have begun, the winds of the spirit world have been converging for millennia to build the unprecedented “strong delusion” that will allow haSatan free rein in the last days of his rule.

The roots can be traced. European Druid paganism (seemingly connected to the Dravidians because of the similarity in name) from India, which, like other paganism, stemmed from Bavel (Babylon). When light came to the scattered tribes of Israel, the “ancient wisdom” usually had to go underground, thus becoming known as “occult” (hidden) religion. But it was too dangerous to go back to unvarnished heathenism, so syncretism became the norm anywhere the politically watered-down version of Yeshua’s take on the Torah was spread, becoming “Catholicism”—the “universal” faith that could include anything. Thankfully, some of this was recognized later, leading to widespread reforms, though much of the paganism still remained.  

But when the small remnant of Jews in the Holy Land refused to turn Jerusalem over to the Catholics, a benefactress (apparently a papal plant) showed up who ended up marrying an earnest Arab who said he had been visited by the angel Gabriel. It is unnecessary to offend Muslims with the claim that he was deluded; Paul had already warned that there were angels that would spread “another Gospel” that would deceive millions. This lucidity showed that none of this took YHWH by surprise. He made sure that, again, in the process outright idolatry was removed from a large part of the world’s population, even though many other details of his father’s faith (which had been strongly influenced by the equivalent of Messianic Judaism in his day) got skewed at the same time, perpetuating the hostility between all branches of the faith that stemmed from the Hebrew Scriptures.

But though Rome’s overt influence was reduced on many fronts, there remained clandestine tentacles that continued to influence governments around the world, one of which surfaced as the Club of Rome, which sought to divide the world into ten regions but under one head. This sounds a lot like Daniel 7:15-28 and its commentary in Revelation chapter 13, which speaks of a loosely-united successor to Rome whose weakness would be in that looseness. Its influence goes far beyond the parameters of the original Roman Empire, but the “mystery Babylon” of Revelation 17 and 18 which sits on seven hills was clearly a reference to Rome. Therefore, wherever the data of the revelations of YHWH and His Messiah have spread, the battle has always been between reading it through the “glasses” of Babylon/Rome or the eyes of Jerusalem, the original continuum through which it could be interpreted most simply and straightforwardly with none of the pagan slants the other view inevitably brought to it.

The best the natural world can offer will be allowed to challenge the pure faith one last time, to weed out the pretenders so the truly faithful can stand out more clearly. YHWH is giving haSatan permission—pushing him, really—to “show his stuff” on the positive side also. Peace appears within reach, casting doubt on the idea of the depravity of all men since Adam. Cosmetic cover-ups can finally overcome the reminders—from bad breath to indigestion—that our bodies no longer agree with the world we live in, because corruption has affected it all. Great leaps in the medical field seem to challenge even death as YHWH allows Babylon one more extreme and decisive occasion to make its bid as His rival for men’s loyalties. He lets every possibility be manifested so that man’s potential for ordering a peaceful society without YHWH can be tried and found wanting.  

He is lifting some of the restraints only so the evil foundations of Babylon can finally be unmasked. He may have also allowed the once-impoverished religion that is ascendant in the physical location of Babylon to be funded by world oil markets so that its true colors can become obvious enough to the public eye and many of its adherents as well, so that they can return to the real Eloah who can be known.

The initiative is always YHWH’s; as we see from the book of Iyov (Job), Lucifer must ask His permission to do even the least of his dirty work. Any victories of his must follow YHWH’s blueprint; his dreams are not permitted to veer from the pat YHWH has determined his rebellion can take. “Even the wrath of man will praise You, and the remainder of wrath You will restrain.” (Psalm 76:10) English has become the lingua franca for this global rebellion to spread, but teaching English is a way YHWH’s messengers have gained access to lands that would not have permitted them otherwise.

All through Scripture and history run the theme of life out of death and the deep pattern the Joseph learned in Egypt: “You meant it for evil, but Elohim meant it for good.” He is ultimately the one forcing every sin out of the closet. He has let “grace” leak out so anyone could taste it and come back for more, but men took liberty so far that it is only a matter of time before it ruins the world for everyone. Paul tells us that in the last days men would listen to “doctrines of demons”, and he also says that in the last days men will be “lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Elohim.” Could anything sound more like today’s world?

As YHWH’s “grace period” stretches to the limits of what it can accomplish in a world that must eventually be judged, what else can wee expect but that the world will want to shake off the perceived shackles of a Biblical worldview that seems to them to have run its course?

What hasn’t been tried? The colonization of space, maybe, but on the practical side, only the politico-economic-religious unification spoken of in prophecy yet remains to be fully realized. Dictators from Charlemagne to Hitler have tried to restart the Holy Roman Empire, but they will only succeed when YHWH knows the time is right. With democracy on the upswing, this looks unlikely, but with democracy there can be no consensus, so nothing truly monumental can be accomplished. Leaders cannot be heroes, only puppets of “the will of the people”. But after absolutes have been undermined, the “will of the people” is pluralistic! Can this bring social cohesiveness? Only a ruler who makes his agenda look advantageous to selfish individuals could fit both of these prophecies. But this “unity in diversity” sounds exactly like the feet or iron mixed with clay in Nevukhadnetzar’s dream.

The “Beast”, to successfully pass himself off as universally acceptable, would certainly have enough foresight to introduce himself to Hindus as Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Krishna, whom they expect to show up when “a righteous age is ready to begin”. He may come so smoothly that Muslims accept him as their Imam Mahdi, loosely-observant Jews as the long-expected Messiah, nominal Christians as “the lord of the secondf coming”, and Buddhists, their own Maitreya or Bodhisattva, the fifth reincarnation of Buddha. Though strong, polished, and charismatic in an unparalleled way, he will be so lacking in conviction about truth so as to fit into anyone’s paradigm once those who “understand the times” are no longer there to restrain him.

The end of the Babylonian king’s dream shows that YHWH is simply letting history play out every option so that no one can accuse Him of not letting all the cards be played. By exposing His whole deck to the most rigorous of litmus tests, by allowing a delusion so strong that even His chosen people stand at risk, He is overtly proving that every alternative to His will as revealed in the Torah is inadequate. As the plagues on Pharaoh were direct parodies of the very things the Egyptians worshipped, in the last days the “nature” that men are again worshipping is demonstrated to be woefully lacking in real power to oppose the One who made it and can withdraw at any time He wishes.

In every detail, He is pushing the world to its final watershed when all who oppose His Messiah will be consolidated into one thoroughly-deluded force, ending all question of whether He is right to condemn them. They will have proven quite clearly what they would choose when no one was coercing them in either direction. Human beings left to themselves will inevitably trample their dignity. The justice of His judgment will be plain to all.

Boxed In? It's All Part of the Plan

​If you’re like me, you’ve probably felt the itch to drop out of the rat race, find a picturesque spot, and live off the land in “harmony with nature”. But if you’ve ever tried it, you know it is not as romantic as it sounds. Life may be simpler in the wilderness, but it certainly isn’t easier if there is no “manna”. It brings its own set of problems, including the disquieting realization that even “nature” is not even in harmony with itself. Wherever we are, living involves so much maintenance and so little progress. The work is never done, and there is no time to “really live”.  

“That’s life”, they say, when the eviction notice finally comes or you lose a whole day’s work on the computer. Yes, that may be how it is in this world, and all the more as the enemy knows his time is short. But is that how we want to define “life”? Maybe eastern religions can smile as ready at tragedy as at triumph, calling it a normal and necessary part of the balance of nature. But it’s far from what Yeshua meant when he said, “I am the …life.” It’s more like death, for tragedies result from the death that entered the world that dark day in Eden.

We should deplore the diseases that devour our loved ones. No one is meant to be victimized, even if, for the sake of peace, he chooses not to take full advantage of his rights. David, whom YHWH called, “a man after My own heart”, was always asking, “How can I put up with this?” YHWH tells us to be bold and courageous, but also promises to collect every one of our tears. To understand what YHWH is doing in the world, we have to feel the wrongness of the world as it is. We’ll never see our need for a deeper solution if we try to ignore or dull the pain.

If one kind of government doesn’t bring a utopian society, people assume that we just need to replace it with another. But the real problem is which world we live in. Even long-term equilibrium, let alone a paradise, is simply out of the question in this age. Never considering the factor of the Fall in human nature, they try to patch up what is all the while becoming more and more disorderly. Our ideas can at best be temporary crutches to lessen a pain that belongs to a mortal wound. Only by getting ready for the winter will we ever find the door into the “endless summer” that is not yet possible.

In a book entitled Dark Horse, John Fischer writes, “We travel at night, because this is the age of darkness. Darkness is the reality…daylight is the lie. Run in the daylight and you will be fooled by a lesser light or a well-worn path. He would lead us along new paths…paths to be found at night, for then we see only what He reveals to us. A morning comes when His light will ride the plains of the sky—the beginning of the eternal day. But until that morning we run at night, because it is truly night in the world.”

Those who never feel a need to push beyond the confines of their safe routines may not see how futile they all really are. But those who are pressed so far that they know they need a way out find that there are definitely walls around us, and we can’t get off the treadmill. Three thousand years after King Solomon tasted the whole smorgasbord of human options and despaired of finding anything of lasting value, “all is vanity” is the best analysis. “Everything under the sun is utterly pointless!”, he surmised. A closed cycle of the meaningless repetition of birth, reproduction, and death. Dust returns to dust, and even the earth forgets we were ever there.

Unless we are dropped a line from outside the closed system, that is—and by use of that phrase “under the sun”, he hinted that this was indeed a live hope. Last Paul revealed more. All is vanity specifically because the entire world is in “bondage to decay”. Why? Because YHWH has subjected it to futility.

Why would He be so cruel? Well, He certainly doesn’t fulfill every item on our wish lists, but might He not have a good reason to place limits on us?

​I’ve heard it said that it is only repressive social taboos that drive people to commit crimes like rape. If we only legalized hard drugs—which is now starting to become a reality—we wouldn’t have people killing for them! But has drunking driving ceased because the old laws prohibiting alcohol were repealed? And has the loosening of sexual morés reduced or increased sexual harassment?

In broad daylight advertisers claim a certain cologne will “make a woman do a man’s every bidding”, as if she were one of Pavlov’s dogs. Psychologists openly counsel salesmen to flatter customers if it will help clinch a sale. Why pretend it’s not just a game, if everyone knows you’re only out to win over a new customer anyway? If the road to reforming human nature seems too long to be practical, why not capitalize on the status quo? Yes, “you’ve come a long way, baby”, but have you really gotten anywhere?

Over 100 years ago, G. H. Pember saw the fallacy in this supposedly-revolutionary new philosophy: “The fitness of man for a condition of extreme liberty, and the worth of a trust in an innate justice supposed to lie at the bottom of the human heart, have been already tested by the great creator.” Genesis 6 tells it all: “The wickedness of man became great; all flesh corrupted its way…and the earth was filled with violence.”

This is the description of the time just before the great flood of Noah—a time Yeshua said would resemble the last days of the present age. A T-shirt glorifies “Decadence: a way of life”. Anything less than suggestive doesn’t qualify as funny enough for TV anymore. They say freedom of speech is a constitutional right, but somehow I think we have lost sight of what freedom is really about. But in a society that has given up on the ethic that brought the order which allowed us to progress, today’s “value-free” society is only logical. In the current state of nature, it is not really self-evident which way is up. The leopard’s violence is as common as the ant’s diligence or the goose’s monogamy.

Even a quick glance at history shows that most who have made it into positions of power have not usually had many qualms about how many people they have had to crush to get there. Despite all the political innovations, the “spirit of this age” has authorized, he has really introduced no new options. Pete Townshend summarized it well: “Meet the new boss: same as the old boss.” Those who knew too much still got bumped off during the most “liberal” administration the U.S. has ever seen. With one vocal sample, a “recording” can be made in the original speaker’s voice to “prove” he denounced the state or whoever wants to discredit him. Who would be so naïve as to believe this technology will only be used for good?  

Pember wrote, “Except for special grace, man seems incapable of bearing the slightest weight of power upon his shoulders without losing his balance… [YHWH] does not forbid us to search as far as we can into the laws of His universe, but He utterly refuses to aid or accelerate our studies… For the present, He would have us rather attentive to the moral renovation of ourselves and our fellow creatures.”

What we did with the insights YHWH did let through, and the extent to which He did leave history up to men’s choices, were enough to make Him sorry He created mankind at all. And the Messiah’s exasperated cry echoed this: “How long must I put up with this race?”

What is the United Nations trying to unite us against? Crime? War? Prejudice? Yet all of these things flow from our own hearts. It’s not fashionable to believe in a sin-prone nature anymore. Pop psychologists tell us to affirm that “every day and in every way I am getting better and better”. But what do the facts say? Sexually-transmitted diseases, school shootings, the “dysnfunctional family”, litigation over the smallest complaints, “road rage”, and governments in debt existed only in minuscule proportions before the “liberation of the suppressed self”. Every day the TV news tells us that “we have met the enemy and he is us”.

The Minoan Civilization, Nestor and Telemachus, and Nineveh have all shifted from myth status to historical fact as archaeology has turned them up. (Those who still believe the biblical critics of the 19th century are calling their own bluff; since archaeology has come into its own as a science, the catch-phrase has been that “every time the spade is turned, another skeptic is buried.”) Troy too was long considered fictitious. Why should we be surprised if the legends about a Golden Age before the present one—or many stories of lost knowledge—turn out to also be true?

Over 100 years ago, G. H. Pember saw the fallacy in this supposedly-revolutionary new philosophy: “The fitness of man for a condition of extreme liberty, and the worth of a trust in an innate justice supposed to lie at the bottom of the human heart, have been already tested by the great creator.” Genesis 6 tells it all: “The wickedness of man became great; all flesh corrupted its way…and the earth was filled with violence.”

This is the description of the time just before the great flood of Noah—a time Yeshua said would resemble the last days of the present age. A T-shirt glorifies “Decadence: a way of life”. Anything less than suggestive doesn’t qualify as funny enough for TV anymore. They say freedom of speech is a constitutional right, but somehow I think we have lost sight of what freedom is really about. But in a society that has given up on the ethic that brought the order which allowed us to progress, today’s “value-free” society is only logical. In the current state of nature, it is not really self-evident which way is up. The leopard’s violence is as common as the ant’s diligence or the goose’s monogamy.

Even a quick glance at history shows that most who have made it into positions of power have not usually had many qualms about how many people they have had to crush to get there. Despite all the political innovations, the “spirit of this age” has authorized, he has really introduced no new options. Pete Townshend summarized it well: “Meet the new boss: same as the old boss.” Those who knew too much still got bumped off during the most “liberal” administration the U.S. has ever seen. With one vocal sample, a “recording” can be made in the original speaker’s voice to “prove” he denounced the state or whoever wants to discredit him. Who would be so naïve as to believe this technology will only be used for good?  

Pember wrote, “Except for special grace, man seems incapable of bearing the slightest weight of power upon his shoulders without losing his balance… [YHWH] does not forbid us to search as far as we can into the laws of His universe, but He utterly refuses to aid or accelerate our studies… For the present, He would have us rather attentive to the moral renovation of ourselves and our fellow creatures.”

What we did with the insights YHWH did let through, and the extent to which He did leave history up to men’s choices, were enough to make Him sorry He created mankind at all. And the Messiah’s exasperated cry echoed this: “How long must I put up with this race?”

What is the United Nations trying to unite us against? Crime? War? Prejudice? Yet all of these things flow from our own hearts. It’s not fashionable to believe in a sin-prone nature anymore. Pop psychologists tell us to affirm that “every day and in every way I am getting better and better”. But what do the facts say? Sexually-transmitted diseases, school shootings, the “dysnfunctional family”, litigation over the smallest complaints, “road rage”, and governments in debt existed only in minuscule proportions before the “liberation of the suppressed self”. Every day the TV news tells us that “we have met the enemy and he is us”.

The Minoan Civilization, Nestor and Telemachus, and Nineveh have all shifted from myth status to historical fact as archaeology has turned them up. (Those who still believe the biblical critics of the 19th century are calling their own bluff; since archaeology has come into its own as a science, the catch-phrase has been that “every time the spade is turned, another skeptic is buried.”) Troy too was long considered fictitious. Why should we be surprised if the legends about a Golden Age before the present one—or many stories of lost knowledge—turn out to also be true?

​Charles Berlitz, of travelers’ phrasebook fame, reports the discovery of what seem to be model airplanes made in South America 1,400 years ago, and even evidence of electric lighting in Egyptian burial chambers. (How could we disprove it? Only stones survive such long aeons; any wiring would have long since disintegrated, especially in such a humid climate.)

Ancient books from India described rockets and “the destruction of whole armies in one brilliant cosmic flash”. It makes the words of Solomon ring true: no new discoveries being made today have not also been realized somewhere in the forgotten past. The cave drawings that paleontologists call “primitive” might have been done by children. And not every artist in a culture reflects its collective level of sophistication. (Case in point: Picasso.)

If a mathematician figured out the circumference of the earth 2,000 years ago, why did Columbus think he was reaching India so quickly? Could his ignorance have been a result of a purposeful world setback in knowledge analogous to Babel?  

The evidence is not that mankind is evolving upward, but, if anything, downward. In the days of Noah the gene pool was not as polluted by disease, so their minds were probably much sharper. With lifetimes of nearly 1,000 years for evil schemes to multiply in, combined with no foul weather to contend with, and only one language for all to communicate with, what knowledge could men gain? Yet the result was that earth’s very survival was universally threatened. But YHWH still had big plans for this earth, so He had to turn back the clock of progress through the worldwide deluge.

​The conquest and colonization of the New World is out of fashion today, to say the least. Today’s historians—and the man on the street--almost universally agree that it should never have occurred. But questions of race and imperialism aside, every story does have two sides. Many Native American tribes stemmed from Chinese Buddhist peoples, whose religion is rooted in India, a land of 300 million gods (demonic lords). Mind-altering drugs were an integral part of Native American religion, and that is again what the masses have been influenced to accept and now even legalize; might it be another attempt to open people up to the influence of spirits who wants to wreak havoc on society? And, though the conquistadors were not all “Christian gentlemen”, what did they find when they got to the West? Aztec religion demanded that every year tens of thousands of 10-year-old girls have their hearts ripped out, served up on a platter, and eaten. In all our talk of “restoring ancient tribal rights” and “multiculturalism, such facts are suppressed. These people may have been “savage”, but they were certainly not all “noble”. The Aztecs would queue up for miles to take place in parades “from being to non-being”, which included skinning the victims alive. In Mexico City, the sight that met the Spaniards was that of two pyramids, one dedicated to the goddess of fertility and the other to the god of war. The priests who dug the hearts out of these victims kicked their bodies down the steps and were not allowed to wash the blood and gore off their bodies or hair. If we were to witness such shocking and horrifying practices, would we want to “respect the native cultures” any more than the conquerors did?

Whether they had the same right to carry out judgment that Israel did, in retrospect we cannot help but see parallels that YHWH’s sovereignty at least allowed. He had told Israel to never even mention the names of false gods, and the memory of those who associated themselves with them and their lewd and cruel practices (burning their firstborn children alive to “guarantee” additional fertility) was to be blotted out forever. Those that are mentioned in Scripture are left there to teach us other lessons, and in the context of YHWH’s clear attitude toward them. The movies about demons being released when archaeologists unearthed the crypts that had imprisoned ancient astrological secrets may not be so far off the mark after all. Maybe we should think twice before we dig up the ruins of some empires. There may be a reason they were lost.

Our days are all named after pagan European animism: Wodin’s day, Thor’s day, and so on. Yet who thinks of them that way today? Linguistic shifts have neutralized the etymological clues, and such word origins are indeed better forgotten, as wit the many place-names around the world that are named after pagan gods. The borders imposed “arbitrarily” by colonizers may have been another of YHWH’s strategies to bring fresh air into stagnating cultures by allowing the formation of new “peoples”, and borders that bisected tribes’ historical lands may indeed have broken up the monopolistic rule of their spiritual overlords, since He saw that their devotees were adequately prepared to have the way reopened to let them relate more directly to their Creator. Kingdoms come and go, not to benefit the powerful, but for YHWH’s purposes.

“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of Adam, He set the bounds of the peoples…” (Deut. 32:8) The Apostle Paul revealed to some Athenian philosophers that YHWH had planned for mankind to be scattered into many nations so that they might know their limits and “maybe even seek after Him and find Him”. (Acts 17:26-27) But instead of submitting to YHWH’s slow process of restoration after mankind’s Fall, the Babylonians began to look for a quick alternative, a much cheaper substitute that allowed for a high degree of comfort in the present life, giving them a false sense of having recovered something of that “Golden Age” we had lost. So He had to keep repeating the pattern throughout history.

YHWH did not displace the Canaanites by Israel’s hand until they were too far gone to be remedied. (Genesis 15:16) When we hear how pervasive the AIDS virus can become, we can see how merciful YHWH was to prohibit the kinds of sexual activity that spread it. We know the same practices that are being encouraged today were practiced by those peoples whom He considered to have defiled His Land. Some bacteria can only be destroyed by total immersion in water, as testified to by the fact that Jews, who kept that commanded practice alive, avoided many plagues that spread across Europe when their neighbors were not in the habit of bathing even annually. We can see why, when certain practices became widespread, the only way to prevent a critical mass of corruption was to wash the entire surface of the earth clean with an unimaginable volume of water in Noah’s day.

 Pre-colonial India, which classified some people as untouchable, cremated widows alive with their deceased husbands, and whose religion introduced the original “Thugs” (terrorist devotees of the goddess Kali), needed some correction from outside, and YHWH used the Western peoples to accomplish that. Not that the instruments He used had noble motives themselves; those by whom He corrects others are always held responsible for their attitudes as well. (Jeremiah 50:11; Ezekiel 25:6; Obadiah 1:12) But since it was further influenced by the Messiah than any other power had yet been, the West has been obligated to confront lands in bondage to demonic darkness that, in its most respectable forms, still discouraged humanitarian aid through the religious belief that to help the suffering might set their karma back many steps, because they were only getting what they deserved for sins in pat lives. YHWH’s arch-enemy certainly thinks up bizarre reasons to keep human beings in bondage to decay.

A few who share His loathing of their deeds have been allotted glimpses into the enshrouded past so they could expose the fact that all pagan cultures had a common origin: all their legends (under many names but with the same basic story) refer back to Nimrod in Babel (the precursor to Babylon), who was the human instrument haSatan had used to instigate the conspiracy of rebellion against the “oppressive” Elohim. Any such culture, in a fallen world, has the potential of being another Babel. Nations periodically have to fall so that their volatile secrets will not get out to the rest of the world. YHWH loves everyone else too much to want them to be terrorized by the wicked; He wants to keep the world safe for the rest.

Even government inefficiency, as trying as it is, is one of His ways of holding back man’s wicked potential. What evils would people devise if they had all the free time they wanted? Power itself does not corrupt, but it does remove many of the restrictions YHWH has set up to inhibit the corruption that is already latent in every man. Nationalism is not without its problems, but it is one way of preventing invalid unifications of the whole world. A human confederation which writes off its moral ground as irrelevant is more blasphemous than the belligerent world it wants to replace.  
In this “information age”, many seem to think we will someday make life perfect. But the history of politics shows that, barring a few improvements, this is about as good as it’s going to get. Did Yeshua ever promise that in this age, haSatan would cease to be the “god of this world”?  

Some hoped the concept of evolution might get us somewhere better, but that was taken on faith and wishful thinking more than any real evidence, and though the earth itself may be as old as they say, the record on the chemicals and conditions that make it habitable shows that man cannot have been here that long. The rate of ozone depletion in the atmosphere, the depth of meteoric dust on the surface of the moon, and the amount of sedimentation from river deltas, are much too small to account for the vast aeons that pseudo-scientists say were needed for evolution to occur. (Now demons in their former bodies, unlike ours, may have inhabited the earth long before they fell and were judged just as mankind was, when there were different conditions on the planet.)  

The fact that YHWH created the world with these built-in rates of geologic decay means that the cosmos has a planned obsolescence. Earth’s lifetime itself has a built-in expiration date. This is also His mercy, because it means that YHWH, knowing we would fail, designed the planet (which he knew would fall from its prior glory) to wear out, so the era of sin could not go on forever. His fences are for our protection.

Long before vegetarianism became popular, G.H. Pember cited a Hindu belief that a vegetarian diet could replenish a body fluid they called akasa that makes one more susceptible to spiritual forces and is necessary for the success of mediums, but which is soon depleted upon such contact with those spirits. True or not, it may be one more reason Indian culture has discouraged meat-eating. Is it a hidden agenda behind why it is being pushed here? ? This might have also worked in a more positive way with Daniel when the unavailability of kosher meat forced him to be a vegetarian, and he became very spiritually sensitive. But might this be why YHWH even allowed the eating of meat after the flood—because such contact with demons was far too common before that, even to the point of cohabitation, which produced a “super-race” much like the Aryan (again Indian) philosophy which Hitler borrowed. Called Nephilim (“fallen ones”) in Genesis 6, they were not totally human and probably gave rise to the legends of demi-gods which appear in many cultures’ memories. But is this the goal of the alleged abductions by aliens we referred to earlier?

Women are said to be more spiritually sensitive. YHWH considered this wonderful trait worthy of greater protection, because it renders them just as susceptible to bad spirits as to good ones. But because some of the men He gave to protect them became tyrannical, many women want to be out from under this covering and on their own. Feminists are now saying that equality is not the goal, but only a stepping-stone to “re-establishing female dominance”. The next step is to establish a “natural religion…centered around the mystery, sexuality, and psychic mysteries of the female.” Their 1971 manifesto removes any doubt as to their real intent: “The end of the institution of marriage is the necessary condition for the liberation of women.” It also mandates a return to “ancient female religions like witchcraft”. In 1988 the National Organization of Women announced that “every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist”! You can imagine where that would lead. It is because Eve (Chavvah) was “enlightened” first that in pagan myths (“doctrines of demons”, really), goddesses are thought of as more powerful than gods.

Must we always learn the hard way that YHWH’s laws were meant for our welfare? Because we didn’t trust His motives, His only choice was to put barriers around most people. If we would not stay within intangible boundaries, He had to make them unavoidable. It’s only when we are boxed in that we will look for an answer from outside. And it is there, waiting for us.

The One Big Exception 

​“Tell us what You are like, Master,” the glorious beings asked.

“How can you know the depths of My heart, the far-reaching galaxies of My being?” He pondered. “I know; I’ll tell you a story. No, better yet, I’ll make you a story. Remember that charred, flooded planet where the rebels are confined? It’s not useless. No, indeed; it will be the scene of the greatest drama you will ever see. Let’s go there…You yourselves will have a part to play.”

They’d watched Him spin worlds into existence, and His power made them sing for joy. But now they were to get a glimpse of His heart. They realized this was something He wanted them to ask for, because it was to be His crowning act. They leaned forward in their seats to watch it unfold. They held their breaths when Eve pondered what to do with the serpent’s offer. Their hearts sank as they saw what she and her husband decided. They sighed in relief when their Master promised to remedy the situation. But when wave after wave of judgment fell and earth’s inhabitants were scattered over the face of the globe, staggering under the weight of the none-too-friendly powers that now oppressed them and already making pacts with the angels that fell with Lucifer, they must have wondered how He would ever manage a remedy for the human condition.

But now that all nations were scattered out of range of Babel, safely established at the extremities of the continents that were then divided still further apart in Peleg’s day, the time was actually ripe to set the stage for the solution. With Abraham, everything changed. A counter-history began that could go beyond post-Fall norms. Its very inception was beyond anything that could come in the course of nature. It received inheritances it had not earned, exceptional renown, and a purity of information about spiritual matters that no one else had discovered on their own. Its patriarchs were given new names, and all contingencies were severed. A nation was taken out of another nation into the wilderness that belonged to no one and given a set of instructions. Now history was given a direction.

The great dichotomy shows up most vividly in the difference between Babel and Abraham: “Let us make a name for ourselves” versus “I will make your name great.” On the surface the end result seems to be the same, but it is really a watershed: natural versus supernatural, by YHWH’s power alone or apart from Him.

Under the sun, all IS vanity. Everything is repetition and gets nowhere. It is nothing but maintenance. But YHWH has broken into our history through from somewhere that is NOT under the sun. In Him, “your labor is not in vain.” The whole creation, Paul tells us, was subjected to bondage to futility, but it was subjected in HOPE. And only as we were given limits could that hope rise to the surface.

He had not left Himself without witness before that; as new tribes are discovered and ancient histories re-examined, the evidence keeps turning up that all peoples retained some vestiges of the moral that Noah taught his children. In fact, over 250 “primitive” tribes all had preserved relatively similar accounts of the flood of Noah. As recently as 1912, China still had an annual ceremony at the Temple of Heaven, which bears no marks of having ever been pagan, which recognized the need for the nation’s sins to be atoned for. In many ways it resembles what we see in the opening books of the Bible. 

But YHWH did not play favorites with the existing nations when He wanted to demonstrate His truth and teach about the plan He had to free mankind from the curse in the purest possible way. He took a man who was past all hope of having descendants out of his own country, and created a new nation—a supernatural one. And if that wasn’t enough, He told that man to offer up to Him the miracle son that had come into being, so that his only expectation was that this son could be raised from the dead. This way, all trust in natural contingencies could be burned away. None of this could be seen as coincidental.

When the nation was large enough to act out the drama on a grand scale and free from obligation to any other nation, He hand-delivered their culture and customs straight from heaven. He set up an elaborate system that, in every element, mirrored what He was planning to do. He gave them a fast track to bypass trial and error in figuring out what worked or did not, in the form of laws designed to maximize their freedom from the effects of the curse—hygienic in ways we are only now discovering, designed to promote harmony in all community relations, and give people the possibility of living on a level higher than subservience to their natural inclinations.

Even its rites of passage were all molded into an exact shape that foreshadowed great events that He had planned.  Its festival calendar was a microcosm of world history. Year after year, they met at the sanctuary for a trio of “convocations” (literally, rehearsals) at the “appointed times”—the very days when YHWH had “appointments” with Israel, and through it, with the world. All through history, in many ways, He made it known that He was in the process of providing a way out of the sentence of futility—an escape from the treadmill available to those who would cooperate with His purposes and therefore not need all the restrictions all the time. Creation only awaited a “second Adam”—the first man on the same footing with Adam since the first had dropped the ball. Through many struggles and roundabout paths (to throw YHWH’s spiritual enemies off the trail), that man did finally come. Many of his contemporaries thought they could bounce back to normalcy by the mere overthrow of another empire’s occupation. But the gash in human nature was much deeper than that. There can be freedom only because the sweat of this other Adam’s brow did resist the roots of sin to the point of blood.

Ever since the event east of Eden, humanity has been under emergency regulations. The death of a perfect substitute was the only way to remedy the choice mankind had made and still salvage mankind. This unique man with a completely intact connection to YHWH and who alone bore His unmarred image had to be sacrificed, and YHWH agreed to do this, but the one who drove Him to it will pay eternally. Yeshua knew what YHWH had intended the world to be like, so his blood vessels burst in primal revulsion at the thought of “becoming sin” for us. This was the most painful part of his very cruel death, for in doing so he entered our uncleanness for the first time. Only by stooping much lower than his dignity deserved, taking the blame when he was not at fault, could the score be settled. Only by absorbing into himself the pent-up frustration of the human dilemma could the vicious cycle of escalating hatred be broken. Mere forgiveness could not cross the chasm between Elohim and humanity. Torn beyond recognition, no longer the ideal picture of human perfection, the Messiah revealed all our sophistry to be sawdust. YHWH outsmarted the wise by doing something foolish by all normal measures.  

Other parts of the world may still be orderly and lightly-scathed by the effects of the curse. But here is an indelible mark: the untainted blood that could answer all the blood that cried out from man-gone-wrong--the cross that could cross out and re-write the story of our lives. Even in the heavens, where death might otherwise be unknown, the story of this death is sung; even in his resurrected, perfected body, the scars from this battle still remain. YHWH doesn’t want it forgotten. In a sense, it was the first real murder in history, for haSatan had a right to the life of everyone else because they had to die eventually because of sin; for Yeshua, death was not a necessity, and in killing this man, haSatan lost all the rights to the earth. Isaiah calls the Messiah a “secret arrow hidden in YHWH’s quiver”; he was a “wild card” that haSatan did not completely foresee, or he would not have tried to do away with this man. So in pulling off this surprise coup, YHWH undid the source of the damage—guaranteeing that he will eventually finish undoing the damage itself.

After he submitted to this plan, Yeshua was able to truthfully say, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” The earth is man’s again. Pontius Pilate said more than he realized when he shouted, “Behold the man!” All other men since Adam had been of the truncated variety, a caricature of what were once had been, having to grovel before other powers set in place to keep us in check. But now, those who opt to do so can be brought back under the jurisdiction of one of our own kind—the “second Man”. He is the pioneer of a new race, the oldest brother of any who are now coming alive. As the “firstborn from the dead”, he was a true “renaissance (rebirth) man”. No wonder they had a hard time categorizing him. Anyone who chooses to believe that this is the fuller reality is delivered from Adam’s race and thus haSatan’s rule, and transferred to the “corrected human race” whose “ancestor” is Yeshua. To these, he passes on that authority “over all the power of the enemy”, and for these there is the promise that one day the earth will indeed be back in harmony and that when this “last Adam” takes his throne visibly, all things will be restored to what they were originally meant to be.

The cross truly is the “crux” of history, for it brings every issue to a crisis (the Greek term for judgment or the call for a verdict). Not just demons and governments, but stereotypes, binding regulations, human expectations, prevailing tastes, and defective paradigms had stifled valid creativity as well as invalid. Whatever held us back from being true men and women had to be de-ultimatized. So YHWH brought every unresolved dilemma in the universe to its watershed here. The seed for every solution was planted then. Everything was accomplished that was needed to set the restoration in progress. Wherever it is involved, the powers must submit, since his authorization overrides all their orders. He provides a “secularized” view of nature (it is no longer our god), yet also a renewed relationship with the earth, our home which was created to respond to us. YHWH’s final choice of dwelling place is not in heaven, but, after it is fully cleaned up, on earth with us.

“The true light is already shining.” In the midst of this chaotic world, we can already taste the “powers of the age to come”. The authority that will one day fully triumph can begin to triumph in our lives right away, changing us from within, with the implantation of a “new heart” and a “new spirit”. Demons are only temporary players on the earthly stage, having been called into existence only to smelt and polish the sons of light into the eternal rulers YHWH means us to be. We will judge angels someday as YHWH’s co-rulers, so it is humans who are the permanent fixtures.

Since this is the only way out of the endless cycle of futility, this counter-history which comes to its fruition in the Messiah is now the only true history—the only option with any real direction and progress. Only in Messiah does history have a definite goal.

With this, the universe opens up to us! We are no longer under obligation to the things that once drove us. The exodus is still a live option. Three days after Passover was a holy appointment called Firstfruits, on which the first and best of the produce was brought to the sanctuary to thank YHWH for providing us with any harvest at all. That was the same day Israel was delivered from its impossible dilemma by having a way opened through the Red Sea. And on the same day of the year, Yeshua rose from the dead to become the “Firstfruits of them who were asleep”. He opened a way as the trailblazer for this new race of men who now, unrecognized, walk the face of the earth.

The “out” has been granted. Abraham was called a “Hebrew”, which means “one who crosses over from the other side”. YHWH is calling out from “every tribe and tongue” in the world a wildly-different people, an entirely new option. This community, known as the “called-out ones”, are forming a new entity. We are the preview—the evidence that the world will not always be in the hands of those who mismanage it.  

Before man’s fall, YHWH said His creation was “very good”. What He said of Yeshua, the prototype for the second creation of mankind, was exactly the same: “In him I am well-pleased.” And now we, who were once estranged from Him, can be called His sons too. Everyone who is “in the Messiah” is called a “new creation”-not only different from what we were, but different from anything ever seen before! A rebirth, a “second childhood” is possible. We can recapture the wonder of having a Father who really is bigger than all challengers. The limits do not surround Him, so when we are aligned with His purposes (a very important “when”), all things are still possible. We can indeed be connected to every bygone and future age when we connect with Him who is eternity.

You Can't Create Your Own Reality, but you can get on its Good Side

We can’t fully appreciate the eternal kingdom that is breaking in on us until we deeply feel the complete bankruptcy of all natural options. But just when we are disillusioned by our own ability to live up to our ideals, we see that there are people who are living as we know nobody can. And it is there for us too if we let our empty dreams drop and take hold of the only thing that can make the world what it should be. Politics, medicine, science, and positive attitudes can change things on the surface, but can they really change the defects in the world itself? Can we really make the world a better place?

Some good grain does still grow in the thorn-cursed soil, but it is getting harder to pull the weeds without damaging it. That has to wait until the harvest. Waiting until YHWH makes a better world to have our expectations fulfilled is not defeatism, but the point to which a world peopled by free-willed human beings must come.  

The earth is abnormal partly because of our direct negligence; Arthur Custance pointed out that thorns are a natural result of plants that are not properly cared for after they had once been cultivated—as they were in Eden. Evil got the upper hand when man, who was created to be king over the rest of creation, wanted to be independent of YHWH. So everything else in creation was now severed from man and placed under the impersonal rule of instinct. YHWH’s response, rather than anger, was probably one of, “Oh, no! Now you’ll have thorns for sure.” Even the curse was His way of protecting us from the worst scenario. By barring us from the tree of life, He prevented us from living forever in our now- and increasingly-imperfect state.

The Messiah began to reverse the curse; the desert can bloom like a rose, but only to a limited extent. “We do not yet see all things subjected to man”, for redeemed men belong more properly to the next creation. This age only gets a few glimpses of what is to come—usually before it sends us on ahead by its own choice to get rid of anything that reminds it of how fallen it really is. Normalcy is still suspended until the new Kingdom arrives in its totality. But liberation from bondage to the elements was not an option at all before Yeshua neutralized the claims of nature and spirits offended by our new liberation.

Messiah has restored man to ascendancy, but haSatan will do all he can to obscure that fact. “Humane” New Agers would even put us below the rest of creation, having less right to change our environment than beavers do when they make their dams! But YHWH left many parts of nature in their raw form so we could complete them with the creativity that remains of His image in us. Who can look at a horse and deny that it was designed for us to ride? Without redeemed mankind to rule over them, beast who were equipped to help us bear burdens would have no purpose at all but to live, eat, and die. By giving them a job to do we can at least dignify the animals while they groan for a better world, and free them in some measure from bondage to futility.

In this age, the world can’t be repaired completely, but lives can be improved and limited healing can take place. As the “salt of the earth”, Messiah’s community slows down the corruption and prevents the world from losing all of its redeeming qualities. But our influence can only last as long as mankind is willing to be influenced, and more and more people are turning willfully back to the elemental spirits of the world and deliberately rejecting YHWH, so He must soon intervene so that we are not all drawn into this delusion.

But another theme begins to take precedence: we can take part in YHWH’s direct acts. There are now two histories side by side. Since Messiah, there are two “tracks”—two histories side by side: Man is re-taking the earth for YHWH, but the world is also uniting its forces against Him. The cross removed the direct authority of demons over us, but they still have a job to do that serves YHWH’s purpose, and He sets limits on how much damage they can do. Messiah did not dispute haSatan’s right to offer him all the kingdoms of the world at that time, for they were still his. He had to disarm the powers because they were taking their authorization as a license to lord it over mankind, but Scripture instructs us not to revile them. We are only to oppose them when they are preventing men from knowing Him to whom they are still grudgingly responsible. They were all originally appointed by YHWH, whether they are now loyal to Him or not. The principles of nature which He dethroned are still His creation; He only requires them to get in rank, as when Yeshua rebuked the wind and waves. They were only doing their job, but by threatening the people he was redeeming, they had usurped a position of too much importance, so he had to “put them in their place”—the essence of the meaning of “subordination”.

We are still “a little lower” than the angelic powers, but they are not gods, and must be reminded of it by our refusal to treat them as such. Our flesh is still an enemy of YHWH, so they still have some jurisdiction over us—when we get out from under His, but He offers a direct relationship to those who want it. But for the rest, it remains as always. As William Penn said, “If men will not be governed by [YHWH], they must be governed by tyrants.” Motivational psychology and competition are not ultimately acceptable to YHWH. “It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh accomplishes nothing.” But they can maintain a reasonable level of civilized order to hold anarchy at bay. However short of the ideal, fallen man must be under someone’s jurisdiction to keep power-hunger and foolishness in check. Yeshua says casting out a demon won’t do any good if it leaves a vacuum; leaving one demonic ruler in place over a people may be better than leaving them to their own devices, which may invite seven. We must certainly oust them from our homes, but on their own turf, haSatan is still “the ruler of this age”. They rule by His permission, and if men prefer to be enslaved to them, we have no right to overthrow them except by offering men the choice of something better.

​And it may not always be spirits of that kind. The “elemental spirits of the world” may just be things like “common sense”—things your mother said were “just the way it’s done”, If I have not yet learned a sense of propriety—true self-control—then YHWH may let the fear of embarrassment guard my lips. But when allowed a monopoly, the “Principality of Propriety” stifles all creative innovation. He is an important teacher, but as fallen as any human governor. As we grow to know the “only wise Elohim”, we begin to notice that this Prince, too, has a demonic streak in him. If he tells me to be careful and keep quiet while the counterbalancing Prince Reason teaches me it is time to speak out boldly, it’s clear that somebody is out of line. But Prince Reason is not to be obeyed without a grain of salt either. Helmut Thielicke rightly noted that reason must be “screened from above and below” so that it turns neither fear nor the Gospel into a law, but lets them both be what they are really meant to be. YHWH’s gift of a sound mind enables us to see where each Power is meant to take precedence so we can realign the fruit basket upset in Eden.

Our early tutors were spared because they brought us to the Messiah; the trustees who guard those who choose to reject YHWH’s merciful solution after tasting it end up being nothing but torturers that force them to pay the last penny. “If one does not want to work, don’t let him eat” is the only reply YHWH has for those who abuse their liberation. Mercy does rejoice over judgment, but it does not cancel justice as a valid principle if mercy is scorned.

​Even good expectations that our tutors had placed on us are now overridden by direct service to our King.  We are released from the world's norms if we are truly following the spirit behind the letter of His laws.  But when members of His new community began breaking laws for personal gain, YHWH struck them down.  Only for something larger than the rule—to remedy an emergency need—does He allow rules to be broken. We let ambulances break the speed limit, but will we endanger others by breaking it for more convenience, or just to gain a vague sense of freedom?

All creation will once again be given its freedom one day, but not until the seed of Messiah comes to fruition in us, fully allowing all men to again be earth’s caretakers. For now, man is offered only one escape from nature’s cycles, and Messiah is its only entry point. No other exception works, or the universe would be in disarray. Only for His purposes is the curse partly lifted in this age. The Author has the right to adapt the script, but no one else does. The rules are still the starting point, so the one window that is open can be gloriously appreciated. For those who accept His alternative, justice has been done and He can let our mistakes slide, but everyone else must pay for his own sin.

We have been freed from much servitude to nature by technologies that were consciously invented for YHWH’s glory. It is again man’s servant. But whether all the ease of communication and rapidity of transportation is really His will depends on the motive. But the pope called for the “elimination of all that has divided us in the past”. Really? Truth has often been what divided people. It still remains impossible to get around. It hurts those who resist it. It comes across as violent to those who try to storm it, because it won’t budge. It is not something we are meant to be forever seeking and never finding; it demands that you choose the one thing and refuse the other. If one thing is right, what contradicts it is wrong. Not that YHWH despises our best efforts, but since Adam we are already condemned, and there is only one adequate solution; only the Second Adam fits the bill. All unifications not based on Messiah inevitably declare war on YHWH.  

Only in the Called-Out Community, where the spirit of holiness enables people of all races to live in harmony and still be themselves, can true pluralism really work. YHWH’s one big exception is as legitimate as being the last to go through the intersection at legal speed before the light turns red. But global culture followed us through the stoplight after it had turned red. It is not equipped to survive on the other side until the light turns green again—after Yeshua brings a truly viable framework for universal peace. Environmentalist “wisdom” will eventually bring the revolt of nature, since it tampers with the special balance YHWH set up to compensate for the fallenness of the world that globalists will not admit exists. The attempt to allow even perverts to express themselves freely will create hazards that will too quickly become apocalyptic juggernauts, and one third of humanity will die of the resulting incurable plagues. With unified fallen man’s mismanagement, another third will starve to death—soon after the “perfect government” is formed.  

Historian Arnold Toynbee says that the sign of a society’s nearing its end has always been the imposing on it of the “peace” of a universal state. In “the time of the end”, Daniel says “knowledge shall increase”. Many imagine that this will improve the human condition, but it really only paints changes onto the surface. We are on a stationary bicycle, and YHWH means it to be that way for now so we will recognize His authority. If we had not thought we could add to what He had accomplished, none of these curses would have come upon us. The only way He can totally redeem the creation after it reaches that critical threshold is to bring it to an end and remold it in a form that suits those who cannot be at home in its present condition. He gives us a head start by telling us that earthly things cannot slake our deep insecurities. We could make the best of it and try to perfect the closed system, but the smallest thing can destroy that kind of security, so we have to shut other people out to ensure ourselves an advantage. Only when we admit that we are boxed in will we look for answer from outside—and it is there waiting for us to ask for it.

There is really only one alternative lifestyle, and it only does away with selective aspects of the curse for now; we should not be tempted to think everyone is trustworthy just because forgiveness is now possible. Though a way into the Holy Place has been opened, the dichotomy between righteous and wicked people still remains. In a sinful world, all other apparent alternatives are only illusions. We are free to reject His way out, but that choice inherently includes being left to its natural consequences—that is, remaining captive to the elemental principles of the world: you get what you deserve. If we choose the double eye, what other reality can there be for us? Sin means “missing the target”—going against the way reality works. “He who has a crooked mind finds no good.” He who digs a pit for others will fall into it, because that is the wavelength to which he limits himself. As Michael Card puts it, “He simply speaks the sentence that they have passed upon themselves.” He doesn’t want us crushed by His judgment, so He warns us to get out of the way: “I have set before you life and death—so choose life!” 

For those who operate along with Him, the history of our errors is struck from the record; “who exists to harm you if you prove zealous for the truth?” But His mercy must be applied for on His terms. We are not permitted to offer sacrifices for sins in places of our own choosing. If we foolishly insist on our own way, what more can He do to prevent our demise? “There will be no future for the evil man”; there can’t be. “We can do nothing against the truth.” Judgment always finds a contact in those who have nothing in themselves with which to resist it—like a spiritual “immune deficiency”.

He does not free us from the routine if we just want more time for ourselves; it is so we will have the space to help others get out of the pit. Indulging the old hungers in new ways is not revolutionary at all. The only possible foundation for change has been laid; we can build on it, or find our structure sinking because the ground under it is not solid. Any disloyalty is only legitimate for the sake of a higher loyalty—a choice martyrs have had to make. Those who obey YHWH rather than men still uphold respect for authority if we accept the punishment it metes out when Kingdom work necessitates exceptions to rules that must remain intact for the rest of the world. Since the world is abnormal, Yeshua admits that anyone who takes steps toward renormalizing it will experience strain from even the most basic social units, his own family. We cannot be “well-adjusted” in a world whose present ruler does not like the fact that we remind him that there is one he still must answer to. Of course there is a backlash, for he does not want to lose his monopoly. But anyone who has been truly set free knows it is worth the disruption. We may be the victims in the process of unseating the Powers’ authority, but that is not the end of the story. Falling from the world’s good graces allows us to start from scratch and let YHWH radically redefine who we are supposed to be.  

Once we admit the boundaries, the adventure begins. There is a new Age of a different kind coming, and we can have a part in it even now. Those who realign themselves with the original Ruler of the universe find ourselves insiders in it. Being united with the Messiah makes His accomplishments ours, so we are not caving helplessly to YHWH’s will. We are His will. What He wants most is a people who choose to be involved in the highest potential He intended for us—a people with whom He can share His heart as His companions. No one can cage Him in, but we can ride along with His current. Every secret is to be revealed one day, but if we are His friends, we get to hear it first. He gives us a backstage view of why events occur. When we know His character, we can understand His world and how it works. When we participate willingly in His reality, it becomes our own in a far deeper way than if we tried to create our own.  

Reconnected to Your Source

If we have chosen to be on the good side of Reality, we are told, “As he [Messiah] is, so are we, in this world.” (1 Yochanan 4:17) The “as” here is just what it sounds like: “to the degree that, or in proportion as”. That doesn’t sound realistic, does it? We know we do many things wrongly. The renewed covenant introduces a term called being “in Messiah”. What does that mean? The answer is radical.

We were created for childlike dependence on a Father who would always be there. We were made to see other people as beautiful examples of His ever-new creativity. Instead, we opted to make humanity the measure, and compare ourselves against one another. Adam chose to try to be the highest being there could be, rather than being glad about his slightly-subordinate position. Before that, there was never any reason to question one’s “self-worth” or ask if he was as successful as someone else. His was a life of receiving from the Creator all the joys He had to offer. There was no reason to get in the fast lane. Tomorrow would always be there to finish the job.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil introduced something different: a direct knowledge of easrthly things, a way to interpret new data on one’s own without having to go through the Maker. It must have seemed a giddy prospect of growth into a whole new dimension, and that is exactly how the Serpent advertised; what he didn’t tell us was that we were not equipped to live with this knowledge. Before that, the animals responded to Adam’s wisdom as he responded firsthand to his Maker’s direction; no one knew anything could be abused. Life was a dance, not a regimented march. Now suddenly they had to judge for themselves whether something was good or not. So many “what if’s”. The division of the human heart had begun.

Biblically, human nature has three major aspects: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit is the unique personality, designed to operate in unison with YHWH’s Spirit and be the driving force. The soul, which includes the will and mental and emotional capacities, is the interface between the spirit and the body, and may result from the two being combined. An analogy Yeshua used was that of being the branches of a vine: its life runs through them all, like the electric current that keeps an appliance “alive”. When Adam sinned, his spirit-soul connection came “unplugged”. In this sense, it is dead—though in this case, not so much lifeless as separated from a proper relationship. A dead body is one that is separated from its soul and spirit, like a branch broken off a tree. So the Bible says we are “dead in sin”, because we are divided from the part of us that was most sensitive to YHWH and thus most qualified to guide us into the right paths. Like a car battery that needs recharging, it still carries an echo of former things, but as time goes on, it gets weaker and weaker until it is eventually unable to accomplish anything. Proverbs 20:27 tells us that “the spirit of man is the candle of YHWH.” What we call “conscience” may simply be the remnant of this spirit-connection to YHWH, but if we keep taking our cues from other sources, it turns into “an evil conscience”, a guide which we can no longer trust.

Because we inherited Adam’s truncated nature, we are born with a hollow spot that YHWH designed our spirit, enlivened by His, to fill. We have tried method after method of compensating for this loss of empowering—through anything from cosmetics to political power. But like Adam, even after he was clothed, we have to still say in the present tense, “I am naked.” HaSatan does not miss the fact that we still hunger for what we lost, and he goes all-out to provide a “spiritual dimension” that effectively distracts most from the real Source. But the spirits that occupy these people are not their own true spirits, but temporary squatters in the abandoned homes that are only a shell of what they were.

But Messiah has shared his “bandwidth” with us, and when we allow him to reunite us to YHWH through his “trunk line”, we receive our own spirits—those created for us “in him” before the world began, and we become complete persons for the first time. We can therefore be “born again”. If that is not an invitation to a new beginning, what is? And it is not just an opening to try again; it is receiving a new center out of which to operate, a new spirit which speaks the language of all creation. We have a new relationship to everything. As one of my friends says, “I am not a recovering alcoholic; I am a new creation, victorious over my past through Yeshua!” The patterns that were engrained into our very brain tissue are no longer binding on us. When they try to claim a right to rule us, with Yeshua we can say that they no longer have a point of contact in us. He liberated us from ourselves to be our truer selves.  

A piano is not expected to produce its own scores; it just responds by being what it is made to be. Likewise, all we need to do is let YHWH do through us the works He has prepared for us beforehand, which are already complete in His mind as the Composer. The power to do anything He asks of us is provided through the Spirit that He put within us. We just have to allow Him the freedom and cooperate in whatever way He tells us.

So why, then, do we still find ourselves failing even when we want to do right? Paul told the Romans how it works: “If I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who am doing it; it is the sin that remains in me that does it. For in my inner being, I delight in YHWH’s law, but I see another law operating in…my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner…So I myself am a servant of YHWH’s law, but my flesh [natural physical body] is a slave to the law of sin.” (7:15ff) So our conscious decision is not to disobey, but there are other factors still involved. We don’t really want to do wrong, so YHWH counts that as our true decision. But much of the baggage we carry over from our former history (habits, thought patterns, or just natural strength) often gets in the way of what He wants to do through us. This “old self” stays with us, paralleling the new, until physical death puts an end to it, as the fullness of our redemption. The more mature we become in the things of the spirit, the more set in its ways the old self becomes, even becoming further corrupted. It puts up a bigger fight with each confrontation.  

Human nature will never improve, but we can override it—and accept each other in the meantime. Our spirits are renewed daily to the potential to be all that YHWH wants us to be to each person we encounter. Unbroken upward progress is unlikely, but in YHWH’s economy there is never no way out of temptation. There are doors that open up from “backstage” when we need them. We have the option of being righteous at any given moment if we choose to “remain in Messiah”—let his side of the argument decide which choice we will make, rather than our old habits. “Anyone who is [currently] remaining in him is not sinning.” (1 Yochanan 3:6)

Your true self—if (and only if) you are “in Messiah”—is the spirit, not the flesh. Yes, we will never be acceptable to YHWH on our own, but He looks instead at who we belong to: haSatan (through Adam, who forfeited his throne to haSatan) or the Messiah (Second Adam). If the latter, we are covered by all that is true of him. If there is no condemnation for him, there is none for us. A new reality has intersected our old one, and we have “switched roads” and entered into it. We do not operate in our own name, but in his, so we can use his authority to dismiss and ban evil influences. Likewise, YHWH can treat us not only as if we had never done wrong, but as if we had always done right. We are taken out of our own history and Messiah’s record is applied to us. If you have chosen to return to a relationships with Him, opting to become part of Israel, when he returns, “a search will be made for your sins, but none will be found.” (Jeremiah 50:20) When YHWH discloses the motives of men’s hearts,…each will receive praise from YHWH.” (1 Corinthians 4:5) The new heart YHWH promises to put within those who put their confidence in Him (Ezekiel 36:26) “cannot sin, since it is born of Elohim”. (1 Yochanan 3:9)  

But we are also responsible to use what He has given us and forge for ourselves a new heart by putting away the deliberate crossings of the line in which we used to engage, because if we continue to live in them, for all practical purposes, the end will still be death. (Ezekiel 18:31) YHWH wants all the parts of our being to line up with what He has already declared is true of us, positionally. David prayed, “Unite my heart to fear Your name.” We cannot change YHWH’s opinion of us by changing our behavior; that’s getting the cart before the horse. But we can let Him recreate us, and when we find out what He has made us, we will gladly concur with the good works that the new nature He has put in us wants to accomplish. Behavior changes when we look in His mirror—the Torah—and see who we really are. (Yaaqov/James 1:23) That is the right order.

YHWH so fully accepts the merit Yeshua has offered to us (unlike Moshe, who could not quite cover that many) that He wants us to “forget” who we were (except when we are becoming ungrateful). Wherever Messiah, the Head, goes, we, his Body, are welcome. Everything he ever was is credited to us; the spirit that is connected to him now carries all of his characteristics and has access to his supply of power to do the right thing. It is already resurrected with him and “seated with him in heavenly places”. (Ephesians 2:6) Thus, to obey, we operate not from struggle and strain to drum up something that is not there, but from the basis of an already-accomplished fact. Notice the two aspects of our transformation: “By one offering he has [past tense] forever perfected those who are being made holy [present tense].” (Hebrews 10:14) YHWH’s commandments are directed toward demonstrating what we already are. So while we have the same bodies, there is a new motivator: “If anyone is in the Messiah, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away; all things have indeed become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

See yourself as a citizen of another realm, here on a temporary visit, and , like Yeshua, tempted to think we are just like others who are still disconnected for their source. They look the same, but the innermost part has changed. YHWH has already accomplished all we will need to live a righteous life, but our mind and emotions need to be informed of that fact, like the tale of Rip Van Winkel, who fell asleep and woke up in the same place but with a new government over him. The fact that he was still giving homage to King George did not nullify the fact that another George was now his authority. But, being uninformed, he was still serving the old master to whom he now had no obligation.  

When someone is born afresh, born of Elohim, his whole self belong to YHWH, but all the “inhabitants” need to be informed. The mind usually picks up on it and concurs more quickly than the emotions, which tend to be tuned to what looks true outwardly. Where the work of the Messiah has not been applied, the unbelieving heart still remains, and severely impairs our ability to bear fruit for Elohim. Each malfunction of the soul is an area where we still do not trust Him. It is territory that was appropriated to us, but must be experientially subjected to that truth.

The "flesh" includes not just the body as such, but all the natural strengths we develop.  When healing begins in one area of your soul, be on your guard; things that never affected you before may now truly tempt you, because you are more human than you ever were.  "Pray...for the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."  All-night praying, in which he focused on hearing his Father's voice, helped Yeshua overcome his greatest temptation better than any sleep could  have.  He said his food was to do YHWH's will.  You can't outsmart haSatan using fleshly methods; like Samson (Shimshon), he will snap the cords easily. There is only one way to avoid acting according to the flesh: "Walk by the spirit." (Galatians 5:16)

We can't avoid being tempted, but we don't have to live on that level.  The Messiah has made his own history--and future--ours.  The pain we feel may never go away, but we are free to not express resentment.  Will we act as the person we used to be, or the one we are becoming?  Which will you affirm: your changeable feelings, or your heart's true choice?

Don't deny that gravity exists, but harness the newfound law of aerodynamics that can override it--the "law of the spirit of life in Messiah that sets us free from the law of sin and death".  It is now the Messiah living inside us that can give us the power to do right.  Even the faith that starts us on the right road is YHWH's gift. (Ephesians 2:8)   And the good works to which He calls us (Eph. 2:10) are part of the metamorphosis He has brought about in our hearts.  "It is YHWH who is at work within you, helping you [both] want to the good He desires, and to actually carry it out." (Philippians 2:13)

Yeshua preserves all who are his, but those who operate only on the level of the soul, not the spirit, may get into the Kingdom "by the skin of their teeth", while the "wood, hay, and stubble" by which they build their house will be consumed by the fire, when they could have built with gold, silver, and precious stones.  Only as his life is ​allowed to work in us can we be pleasing to YHWH.  Nothing else will be vindicated in the day of testing, no matter how good it appears.  Kefa (Peter) says fleshly desires "wage war against the soul".  They get things out of the proper order.  If the flesh is in control, it ruins the soul; if the spirit is in charge, the soul is more truly itself than ever, and the body can be put to good use, even though it is fallen.

A Short in the Wiring?

​Why do our responses seem to lag years behind what we know about who we are in Messiah--the man the Torah-mirror showed us we are?  Malfunctions in the soul--traumas that have scarred us--can keep spiritual truths , though transmitted perfectly, from being received.  Our wills can also block off the "still, small voice" in a perversion of the appropriate way in which the "spirit of a prophet is subject to the prophet". (1 Cor. 14:32)  The soul is meant to serve the spirit by shaping its message to the audience according to the input from the body's senses.  Its fervency must sometimes be regulated to adjust for the sensitivity of the hearers.

From our earliest days, all we learn forms a grid through which we perceive reality, and there is nothing in our paradigm by which we can categorize some aspects of the Kingdom.  To deal with psychological confusion without recognizing that our old patterns are sinful at the root is to miss the heart of the cancer that we are trying to remove.  If haSatan ​keeps us in the old thought-patterns, in practicality our chains to the past are still not severed.

Al Whittingill put it well: “In [YHWH]’s economy, it is the unbroken things that are useless.” Yaaqov was not fit for His supernatural plan until he was brought to the end of himself and crippled. As Filipino linguist Dr. Rudy Barlaan put it, “Only in the Kingdom of [YHWH] is the scarred person better than before he was injured.”

“Everything that can withstand the fire must be put through fire, and then it will be clean.” (Numbers 31:23) Whatever we think we want, we must subject to the test--and more importantly, the purification--of fire, or it will belong to this age only. The passage here says it must also pass through water to be fully pure. Do we really want to receive our reward in this truncated, very temporary age, or have something that has passed through to “the other side”—been “baptized” or “immersed” as a picture of death and resurrection--and which we therefore know is one of the “things that remain”?

Anything good that comes our way is more than our corrupt flesh deserves, but the best thing that could be done for us has been done, so can we complain of we are denied some of the lesser amenities for now? He does want to bless us with good things, but if that is all the bigger our expectation of Him is, how will we ever be able to flesh out His earth-shaking agenda? He is much more concerned that our spirits be liberated than whether our outward potential is every reached. We can do many things but accomplish nothing. Our individual bodies and personalities are built to serve the particular purposes of the particular spirit He has clothed with them. Like a horse, they have to be “broken”, tamed, or we will still be enamored with cheap glitz in our old age, and as harmless to haSatan as if we were living in blatant sin. So YHWH sacrifices many periphorals to get our spirit, soul, and body to operate in harmony as a single unit.

Avraham was being called to seek a different greatness than the kind he was being groomed for as a boy. He probably disappointed his mentors, but where is his Chaldean society today? But all nations are still being blessed because of his seeming sacrifice. The inconveniences that ruin our routines are YHWH’s way of pulling us out of a current that is rushing toward a precipice.

Our flesh is like a space-suit that enables us to function in a certain environment. It can even warn you that you are resisting the life the spirit within it wants to produce by becoming “stiff-necked” or “hard-hearted” as opposed to “upright”. But YHWH is training us to transfer from one environment to another, and for this to take place, the flesh must die—at every stage. So of course it protests, but are its complaints worth listening to? It is not meant to have a life of its own, any more than the space suit should tell the astronaut what to do. The new spirit that resides in your body has every right to force the body to suffer if it is for a higher purpose. Discipline is not punishment; it is a positive strengthening—“subduing” a stubborn habit. 

But unregenerate people can discipline their bodies in order to achieve their goals; the soul is much more difficult to crack. It is meant to be a channel for the spirit’s work, but it can also respond to the outer man. Only YHWH’s word is capable of discriminating between the soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12) so that we can know which is the real motivator. So if you have not yet been able to make the distinction between “thoughts and intent of the heart”, do not act yet. We are divided beings, so often the spirit has to command the soul, as David does in the psalms: “Bless YHWH, O my soul!” “Hope in YHWH.” “Wait in silence for Elohim.” Tell your noisy emotions to get in line with what your true self really wants. Yaaqov (James) begins his letter to all 12 tribes by telling us to educate our minds: “Make this your definition of joy: when you face all sorts of trials, recognize that testing of your faith builds perseverance, which can bring you to complete maturity in which you lack nothing.” Bear with it a little longer, and you will be a step closer to experientially being the person the spirit that indwells you has already been made.

If we hang onto anything at the fleshly level because it appears too beautiful to let go, we actually keep it from being metamorphosed into its most mature form, like keeping a caterpillar from making a cocoon because we want it as a pet. Those who have not suffered give pat answers to those who have; their success may have seemed to come naturally, and it intimidates others. After you have suffered, your words are full of life for one who is in need. Once we have gone through the worst, we know evil’s limits and we know where to brace for the next onslaught. And the more we will be able to discern the mind of Messiah. “He who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sinning.” (1 Kefa/Peter 4:1)  Spiritual warfare is at least as much about changing ourselves as it is about fighting demons.

It takes a whole lifetime to teach the soul to be as holy as the spirit, but YHWH intends to accomplish something worthwhile with them even while it is still mortal. The deeper the pain He uses, the deeper the channel for the living water to flow through you to others. Everything that comes to us arrives very personally through His hands; if the fiery arrows do get through, be sure He has screened them and will direct them to the spot you can best handle being hit, making sure they hit us in places that are already out of joint so that the blows can actually right our former problems. He breaks down our souls and bodies so they can be reset for His purposes if we let Him finish. Others may be spared the hard road, but for those He wants to use, He does the job rightly. Those who get away without His shaping and polishing are not blessed; they are the ones He considers least weighty.

YHWH does give us power to change, without a need for altered states of consciousness. The soul is insatiable if we answer it directly, and if we try to cater to its desires, we act only like more sophisticated children, and there is something disturbing about that. Only indirectly—by obedience to the spirit—can the soul ever be fulfilled. Neglect it to choose the spirit, and it will be no worse, because it will be taken care of in the process. To put Yeshua’s words in modern lingo, if we actualize ourselves, we lose the self; our psyches are not designed to have a say in how they are used; if we “lose” them—let their independent authority be submerged in the service of the spirit—their fullest potential will be realized. Let go of control, because it prevents you from doing anything that will outlast you.

The emotional responses of the soul have a definite effect on the body, especially the brain. The connections within the brain may be more pliable in a child, but with frequent repetition of thought patterns (or what someone else drills into him) the electrical paths in the brain become more regularized. Habits form; our “tapes” play back automatically with certain stimuli. But under the right conditions they can be changed. We can literally be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” if we “put off the old self…and put on the new, which is being renewed into knowledge through the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:9-10) We have to “LET the peace of YHWH rule in our hearts” (3:15); it is a conscious choice.

With frequent use of certain thought patterns, the electric paths in the brain become more regularized. Physical “ruts” are actually formed, but under the right conditions they can be changed. New synapse-firing patterns can be forged within minutes. As YHWH untangles the choked channels of our minds, new insights can come through. He can create alternative thought connections. This is how our minds can literally be renewed rather than squeezed into the world’s mold. (Romans 12:2) Paul says YHWH can give life to our mortal bodies also by His Spirit living in us, though they still bear the effects of years of sinful usage. (Rom. 8:11)  

As we choose the new patterns more often than the old, they can become more normal for us and the flesh-based patterns recessive and eventually only latent. Defiled hearts can be melted down from the mindless shells that did the devil’s bidding and purified, re-molded into a flexible person who can uniquely and appropriately serve the Kingdom that sets its subjects free to be their true selves for the first time.

Principles -- or a Presence? 

Trendy theologians want us to be less absolute in our paradigms for the sake of world peace. It just seems to arrogant to insist that we can be right about theology, and not the best way to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. That would be the case if the ideas were merely our own, but what if the viewpoint about YHWH that we cling to was one that He Himself gave us?  

Our faith is relationship from start to finish. “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Theology is not abstract, but directly related to us. Though we don’t want to have “zeal without knowledge”, a passion for YHWH seems more valuable to Him than our having every “t” crossed properly.  

What would be left if we gave up this personal, particular emphasis? Does the faith need to be “updated”? Those who are so ready to sacrifice a faith they claim to be part of for abstract concepts like “world peace” can hardly have truly tasted of its power. Loving our fellow man is at the heart of the commandments, but there is an even deeper core that holds all ethics and morals together: loving YHWH Himself with everything inside of us—i.e., “with all we’ve got”. If we shift the focus to universals like “love”, we leave the door open for any con artist in clerical or judicial robes to give it whatever definition he chooses. The revelation that keeps every human authority in its place states that “Elohim is love.” He not only practices love; He produces all genuine love that exists. And He defines what love is in ways that transcend the changing whims of society--most specifically as keeping His commandments. Yes, "the letter kills, but the spirit gives life"; the letter was somehow used to condemn the Messiah himself to death! But the spirit always comes to us first by way of the letter.

Human religion thinks the solution would be to have all men work together to build a better world.  But  where are YHWH's "needs" in all this? When does He get to speak His mind? Yes, the earth is man's and no longer haSatan's, but above this stands the fuller perspective: "The earth is YHWH's." He is the primary consideration in defining the purpose of "religion".

"Exclusiveness puts fences around the Mysteries," complains Samartha. But isn't that what holiness has always been about? "It creates dichotomies between the divine and human." Well, yes...isn't a Creator always greater than what He creates?

 If YHWH is no longer at the center, what substantive truth will we bequeath to the poor whose oppression drives the “new” theology, after we finish liberating them? Anything we do for them must follow from YHWH’s concern for the poor or it will become one more anchorless rallying point based on what we feel at the moment. How will they be liberated from the greed that is in them as much as it is in the rich? The Messiah changes hearts, not just behavior; we must never settle for a lesser liberation.

The blessings of Israel have spilled over to the whole world, as YHWH promised Avraham. But in another amazing overruling of history's direction, YHWH will again make Israel the visible embodiment of the chain, completing the genealogy of both blood and faith as He brings every promise to its impossible consummation.It is already taking place. Our own parents saw Judah rise from the ashes, but now we are seeing the rest of the tribes awakening to who they really are.

Yes, it's unfair that those who forsook the day of visitation by the Messiah are offered another shot at the covenant for no other reason than that YHWH promised it. But the rest of us deserve it even less, having forsaken the covenant that Judah at least held to in some fashion.  Deserving is not the main point, but His choice. 

Yeshua is the “Torah fleshed out”. Since he has brought YHWH’s instruction to its fullest meaning through his life and death, the only consideration now is what he himself tells us to do. Paul called the Torah our “tutor”, meant to lead us to where we can see out need for a redeemer. If we don’t unbderstand the problem, the solution isn’t particularly appealing. But the tutor is not meant to oppress us when we are mature enough to administer our own inheritance. We keep learning new things from the Torah every time we read it, and from the Sabbath and festivals it prescribes whenever we practice them, but now they are our friends—guards who protect us, not secret police who threaten us.

The one to whom all the “Powers” that keep us living like minors must submit is the final judge of which ones we should listen to. Appeal to the highest authority: learn to hear the Master’s voice directly, without middlemen. Ultimately YHWH intends to make us peers of all these principalities—or even higher than them. Predictably, the jealous Powers are now using the alluring “back-to-nature” movement to subtly regain their lost control over us. But last time we were under them, most of the perceived “enchantment” had been a great cause for fear. People were only its adherents unwillingly. After millennia of struggling to be free from the tyranny of spirits, those who have tasted freedom now want to go right back under the tyranny! The “opening up to higher consciousness” of which we hear may just be a cunning ploy demons use to gain access to the bodies they so long to possess again.

When we disentangle ourselves from pseudospiritual Powers, we will no longer be the gullible followers he world counts on. If we pause to make sure what we are doing is not just more “vanity”, we will be branded as “hindrances to progress”. Until the Prince of Peace sets up his worldwide reign, his followers are the biggest obstacle to peace on any other base. But what others call the “real world” is instead the hamster’s directionless wheel. The world’s greats may flaunt their access to whatever they desire, but just there they prove themselves to be slaves to their passions, and thus not really in control. If they have to hold the “right” opinions to keep their high standing, are they really any better off than the poor who parrot a party slogan just to keep head and body together? Is forfeiting their opinion on an issue because it is politically expedient really freedom?

It is just here that their confidence falters. Pontius Pilate thought he was the one with power, but when he found himself confronted by true authority and self-control I the one who seemed so helpless before him, he proved to really only be a puppet of the spirit of power, and the crowd used this against him. But being in relationship with the Messiah makes us able to do what we truly wish, not what our insecurities dictate. We are released from bondage to earthly needs to serve the truest Truth. For those who seek YHWH’s Kingdom above all else, He partially lifts the curse and allows us reprieve from the cycles of futility and its resultant drudgery. If the unusual measures sometimes needed to push His Kingdom one step further keep you from being able to earn a living in the normal way, He promises to provide sustenance in a more direct way, without the middlemen.

Being selfless doesn’t mean we need to stay “under the circumstances”; Messiah sets us free to answer only to him—and he is an authority who has been in our shoes and is thus all the more compassionate. So stand against the usurpers! “Even if there are so-called ‘gods’,…for us there is but one Elohim, the Father, from whom all things came.” (1 Cor. 8:5-6) No matter how many intermediaries others need, for us there is one direct authority. If He uses the others for His purposes behind the seen, we don’t need to have any dealings with them. 

 So don’t let Prince Caution tell you that Messiah saved you for the purpose of adhering to a set of rules. YHWH has no hidden motives. “Messiah set us free so we could be [really and truly] free!” (Galatians 5:1) He wants us to reach the full stature of what He intended human beings to be. The Torah is practical provision to enable us to live in community in a now-hostile world; it is the masterpiece when compared with other law codes. It was designed to make life as liveable as possible in a defiled world—and as such it still works. But when its laws are followed to their truest conclusion, they are swallowed up in something much larger—not license, but an inward connection to YHWH which abolishes the need for the mediator our ancestors asked for because they were afraid to meet Him directly.  

YHWH said it was a good thing they asked for, but He also commissioned the brass serpent. The one who destroyed it pleased Him also, because by then it had become an idol. No one whom the Torah has fully trained wants to go against it; Kefa tells us that only through adding to our faith things like knowledge, self-control, and kindness can we reach the Kingdom in a robust manner. There are proper channels for fleshing all these things out, but they are still only “servants to help us to maturity”, because there is a bigger reality than just following procedures. We can’t find our way there without its trail markers. They are there to help us, and in their proper place they make us more hungry for Him. But each is our authority only in certain areas; to let them rule elsewhere is to let law become legalism, and I think that is all Paul was driving at in the statements that Kefa said unlearned people were twisting into the doctrines that became codified and have kept the two Houses of Israel separate for so long. When Torah has done its work, we are all the more eager to please and obey YHWH, but it is no longer the focus; He is. The “Lord’s prayer” is not a formula for persuading YHWH to meet our needs, but an invitation to intimacy—a sampling of the relationship we can have with Him.  

He teaches us principles so we can know Him. But we respond to them because it is He who commands us, not so much because they make sense, for they are based on a higher logic. If we focused only on the laws themselves—even the “law of love”—there would always be something between us and YHWH. Part of our lives would be outside of immediate relationship with Him. The only mediator He wants is the Man who has been fully restored to His image and who can thus bring us there too. As Michael Card sings, “In the wilderness there’s not a way, for the Way’s become a man, and a man’s become the Exodus, the way to holy ground…”

​The foundational principles are YHWH’s idea, but once the real house is built and revealed for public display, the foundations are to remain hidden. They are not the main thing; the house is. King Sha’ul lost his throne because he chose an abstract “wisdom” over obedience to YHWH’s actual command. Our best-sounding excuses are tests of whether we really love Him or only the pleasing results of the principles He has taught us. Remember, “We must obey Elohim rather than men” was spoken to religious, not political, leaders.

YHWH’s original plan was not that we would know things themselves as good or evil, but bring every question directly to Him. When Y’hoshua made a decision based on his own wisdom without bringing the matter to YHWH, he had bitter consequences to live with. Adam and Chawwah opened this “can of worms” of independent moral agency. But YHWH is restoring the original plan as He allows us to be in situations where we just can’t figure out the solution without talking to Him about it.  

Righteousness is not a commodity He doles out, but His own presence working through us. He doesn’t give us a cupful of joy now and a ration of peace later. We don’t need to replenish so many qualities as separate entities, but draw upon His own nature which already lives right within us through the Messiah—being within us, already, all the wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption we need. (1 Cor. 1:30) We don’t need a righteousness of our own, but only to remain connected with him and live out what he receives from the Father. He will bear fruit; we just have to be in the right place to be a channel. Sin is not an entity in itself, but the absence of YHWH—not that He leaves but we unplug ourselves from Him. Where else but in YHWH could we obtain goodness, anyway?

A lot of the qualities you envy in others are just personality strengths, never tried by fire. Though they are charismatic to men, they will never accomplish anything by YHWH’s measure. No flesh—nothing of earthly origin—can ever inherit the Kingdom of YHWH. The fire that tests them is His own perfection. It is not our ability He tests, but the building materials we use--whether what we are doing is something He initiated or not. He is the only One who can meet His standard, and only His works can last forever. Nothing can be added to them. (Qoheleth/Eccles. 3:14) Any good motive we ever have comes from Him. (Yeshayahu 57:18; Hoshea 14:8) We should be ashamed of our evil ways, but not surprised when they come out; it just means the artificial supports have been removed and we have done what we would have done all along had they not been there.

Sin pervades our natural condition so deeply that any automatic reaction—any step not taken by the express guidance of the Holy Spirit—is certain to cause damage somewhere. That is why only where His Spirit is, there is liberty. When we glimpse how wicked we are on our own, we will readily acknowledge the wisdom of the limits YHWH has put on us and be ever so grateful that He has allowed us one exception. There is one and only one way we can be acceptable to YHWH during our sojourn in these bodies that are dying as soon as they are born. But it is available. Nothing but rejecting YHWH’s offer of redemption on His terms will condemn anyone.

“If it is your hand that makes you sin, cut it off.” We are in a no-nonsense battle where nothing less than perfection will suffice. Truth is not for those who just want to dabble in it, but for those who will burn every bridge to find it. But what about the next time? How many body parts will we have to cut off? Yeshua, who “fulfilled” the Torah by pushing it to its fullest application—the heart--goes on to give us the solution: “If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light. If the light that is in you is darkened, that is the ultimate darkness!” If we are impure, all we do will be impure. So he deals with the root, and that takes care of the rest.  

We don’t give up things; we give up self—and let ourselves be replaced by new selves that are branches of the Messiah’s perfected self. A much more complete solution than cutting out our eyes or tongues. We need something more than our own resources. We cannot do YHWH’s work; only He can—through us. Anything good we ever do is an outflow of His work. The burden is not on us to accomplish it; we just participate joyfully in what He is already doing. Yeshua said over and over that he could only accomplish what he saw the Father doing.  We, too, can accomplish nothing truly lasting unless YHWH Himself initiates it.

We don’t need to be self-sufficient entities (the first temptation), just open-ended vessels that let Him flow through. He has made us what Yeshua is, but we can’t stand alone, independent of our vine. Eternal life is already present in our spirits if we are born of His Spirit; it just waits for us to let us break through into the present through the choices we make each day.

There don’t need to be any surprises on That Day. Fire cannot burn in the same place twice. The Messiah has already gone through our death for us. The flame that is in YHWH’s own eyes even now is the same fire that will judge our lives then. If we submit to His painful scrutiny now, His light will show us what impurities ae left, and we can deal with them. “If we judged ourselves rightly, we would not [need to] be judged.” (1 Cor. 11:31) He will not leave us in the dark about what He wants from us, if we really want to know it. He will not judge us by any standard that we could not know about now.

Oh, we will do plenty of good works; at the right time we will work harder than all the rest. But even that is the direct result of YHWH’s empowerment (“grace”); He has put the good works into us to do. (Eph. 2:8-10) He has even “performed all our works for us” (Yeshayahu 26:12), not only at the beginning, but all along the way. Our everyday holiness comes from the same source as our original new birth. We don’t begin with His Spirit and then continue in our own strength. (Galatians 3:3)

Nor do we have to be driven by our natural whims. We now have patience and self-control for the asking. We can “just say ‘no’”, not because it is an easy battle, but because the power He has available to us is stronger than the pressure. He gives us new options: supernatural ability to forgive, to love the unlovely, to love without lust. “Where the Spirit of YHWH is”, some of the restraints can be lifted when it is for His purpose. It is indeed a true alternative to our worn-out habits.

When we don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to mistreatment as expected, you can actually “heap burning coals on your enemy’s head”. This puzzle is solved by a practice still carried out in some third-world countries today of carrying on their heads buckets with live coals to start a cooking fire where kindling is hard to come by. When you stubbornly corral your hatred and choose to meet your assailant’s needs instead (the real definition of love), you remove his need, and thus his desire to rob you of anything. Where we have been wronged, if someone does not comply with YHWH’s protocol, we don’t need to demand something back, because YHWH can provide either resources, confidence, or joy from outside the situation--a source totally independent of the conflict, and thus we can live above it. 

True contentment is not resignation to the inevitable; it is an internal ability to meet any circumstance with a power that we carry within us even in the most parched of conditions. Outward possessions can easily be taken away; our fortitude must be independent of them, or we will quickly dry up. But if we are “I Messiah”, YHWH Himself is with us wherever we go. Nothing else is permanently part of us, not even our bodies. So let your roots go deep into Him, and you will not only survive any drought, but keep being fruitful. (Yirmeyahu 17:7-8)

There is only one voice we are ultimately responsible to; that is simplicity. Please YHWH, and we will satisfy everyone else who really matters. That takes the worry and sting out of every circumstance. You have a new way to look at every situation when YHWH is your point of reference. The essence of holiness is “I do not ultimately belong to anything but YHWH.” We may accidentally fall into other categories, but our allegiance to then only goes as far as where they fit into our service to Him.

Apart from His direction, anything can become an idol. He wants us to help the poor, but to give to the first beggar you encounter might leave you nothing to give to the one He really wants you to help. “Dead works” art those that build on yesterday’s relationship with Him—what He did in the past. Instead of asking, “How would Yeshua respond?” (a hypothetical idea), ask YHWH what He is actually doing now and how, like Yeshua, you can connect to and be part of it.

Unlike any of the gods that are being conjured up again, only He can stand alone. Though our problems may take new forms, He is still enough of a solution. Our ability to make the right choices does not depend on our heredity or environment, but on the Spirit He has anchored deep within us. Paul chose the context of learning to be content even in the most humiliating of circumstances to tell us that we can do all things through the Messiah who lives in us. (Phil. 4:13) Contentment is a greater power than tangible freedom, for it can stand anywhere: even if we die captives, we triumph.

His strategy for banishing worry does not consist of leaving the stressful world. He can create a peace that “rules in our hearts”, overcoming fear even while our enemies are still breathing down our necks. (Psalm 23:5) When the Holy Spirit writes YHWH’s law on our hearts, we can remain pure even in the most tempting context. The truism says it’s better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish. But in some countries there are no more fish to catch. We need to know where our real coverage is in the meantime. A message worthy of the whole world must be accessible to anyone—even the outcasts, wounded, and oppressed.

And that we have in the Messiah, who tells us that even while the release from futility still seems so far away, “I am [already] eternal life...I have overcome the world.” He only asks us to pray, “Give us the bread we need for today.” Why clutter our lives with insurances we may never need? If we don’t have enough money for something, and YHWH does not give it to us after we ask, we just don’t need it. Times of lack can liberate us when we see how much we can really live without. The truth sets us free: all I need for this moment is Him and what He wants.

Like the Pool of Shiloakh (Siloam), we have a reservoir within, even during times of siege when we cannot get resources from anywhere else. Any place can then be our home, for He who is our Home has brought us there with Him. When Moshe needs to confront the threatening Pharaoh, YHWH does not tell him, “Go!” but “Come to Pharaoh”, because YHWH is already there where he needs to go, waiting to be his adequacy.  

If you have to leave one joy behind, it is because there is a better one ahead. Our calling is to be princes with endless resources for the asking. So why don’t we start now to live up to who we are becoming, even before it is complete? No one promised we’d be comfortable, but comfort may not be the best place to work the Messiah’s mind deeply into ours? And is anything less than that a legitimate goal? So why not decide to enjoy whichever condition you are in? If you feed what cannot be taken away, then what can be taken away inevitably is, you will be no worse off.

“Though the fig tree shall not blossom”, He will still be our Provider. Sometimes He has to bring us to the end of our resources to show us what a tremendous supply He has, only waiting for us to claim. It’s natural to expect to be sustained somewhat by our work, but there is nothing in creation that gives us reason to conclude that money would have been an inevitable fact of life on earth. It’s at best an intruder to put to work for us for a limited time. But do Yeshua’s seemingly-unrewarding work, and he promises you will be sustained by other means.  

So when YHWH speaks, don’t appeal to normal laws: “Master, you don’t just pick up a snake by the tail!”  
He makes the final decision of whom they will bite anyway. Since He has promised to supply our every need, concern for tomorrow is no longer wisdom but sin—because wisdom is not ultimately just the ethical use of knowledge, but a person.

A Personal Universe

So when YHWH interrupts your routine with a real alternative, don’t be disturbed by it or disregard it and choose what is familiar even if painful, because we are being offered a place in the biggest event in history! Since Messiah defeated everything that accused us of being incomplete, if you never have anything by which the world measures worth, your value as a person-in-Messiah is not lowered by one grain. All it reflects is how YHWH has juxtaposed your calling into His overall plan.  

He highly values loyalty to one’s family, but it is not the ultimate value; there is a new kind of relationship—the body of Messiah—that will take us even further. Earthquakes are natural shifts in the earth’s crust, but one that occurred right as Messiah was dying and one when his envoys needed to be released from prison were carefully-planned events that revealed much truth about YHWH and gave it occasion to spread like wildfire. Is there a storm? It’s to make Jonah repent or teach the disciples where to put their faith.

Should we be surprised if nothing in the physical realm is absolutely constant? Only if we have made the laws of nature themselves into gods. YHWH made left-handed and right-handed people, writing that goes right to left or top to bottom, every imaginable way to pronounce the same words, and an infinite number of personalities with their unpredictable preferences, so nothing but Himself would appear ultimate and thus enslave mankind. Once the earth stopped turning for a whole day! The manna that was kept overnight spoiled, but the only explanation was lack of faith, because on the Shabbat, it did not spoil! A few people never even died. Justice is usually all-important, but it too an be surpassed by the right kind of mercy. YHWH alone, as His name implies, is the only constant, self-existent reality. We don’t live by bread alone; if He chooses, He can alter our digestive functions. It isn’t the sun that gives us life; His words do. Right now the sun fills in as the instrument, but it is not His only option; there was light long before there was a sun. 

When you think something is “out of character” for someone you think you know, you are only remembering the past that you know. YHWH says that those who have reconnected with Him actually were in the Messiah before the world was founded! Your slice of the spirit world is much older than your body, so we will be able to feel at home with those who went on ahead into the Kingdom ages before we were born.  

As we work for the Kingdom, we see many such surprises. The line between work and play can begin to blur again as the Messiah begins to restore Eden in our hearts. YHWH does not want us to waste time, but neither does He want us deriving our identity from constant activity and accomplishment. Judas saw only the waste, but Yeshua had considered every angle: love includes a need to be lavish in its giving, and especially when he is the object, we can break the rules that apply to other things.  

Caleb was as strong at 80 as at 40, because like a child who believes without looking for a catch somewhere, he had a promise from YHWH that he was still eager to receive. We need words to describe the evils in our world, but such words are not in the vocabulary of the Most Real. Children would have enjoyed it more than anyone while even the morning stars had not yet learned to sit still. Their ideas of what is possible are not yet so solidified.

So Yeshua tells us to be like them—to remember that the One who has the final say about what actually ends up taking place is friendly toward us; the One who has all power is also good. YHWH still has many ideas up His sleeve; He has not stopped creating. And the power that raised Yeshua from the dead is available to sustain us even though our bodies are mortal.  

He speaks doom only to those whose lives are full of frivolity and have stepped on others to guarantee it. To those already downtrodden, he was a merrymaker almost to the extreme. He brought the balloons and streamers into their grey lives, because the One he represented is the Elohim of the living, not the dead. He wants us to choose life. He took the sting of death so we wouldn’t have to. Joy does not cheapen the terrible price he paid; he did it so we could have that joy back.

Wonder recovered after cynicism sets in is a thousand times more glorious than wonder that is never contrasted with anything else. It is a resurrection of something we never thought we’d see—something really new! The closed system is not the ultimate reality!

Why the Car Wouldn't Start

Two young friends of mine had just gotten back into their car after filling the tank. But it just wouldn’t crank. The gas station attendant couldn’t find anything wrong with it. In the course of testing one thing after another, the conversation turned toward the deeper needs in life. The would-be drivers delivered a liberating message about Yeshua to the attendant, and he responded. As soon as they had let him know where to turn for further spiritual growth, they tried the car again. It started up right away with no hesitation at all. The men just had a divine appointment with that attendant, and YHWH wasn’t going to let them miss it. As soon as they had delivered their message, His messenger took his hand off the starter, and the natural laws were back in operation again.  

Yes, the spiritual world can be that closely intertwined with our everyday lives! When we remember that He is personally managing the affairs of those who have sided with Him, we can see that the other events in our lives are also carefully orchestrated—even the things that appear to be going wrong.  

And the purpose closest to His heart is the recovery of a nation scattered and lost among “every nation, tribe, and language”. His interest right now is to salvage all who can be saved out of an age that is marked for destruction as surely as S’dom and ‘Amorrah were. For now, the progress of this message of redemption may be the only place in which progress is an unquestionable good. YHWH has now commanded us to cross the boundaries He set up at Babel, not for the purpose of commerce or the solidarity of fallen man, but to spread the message that the earth has been liberated and no one needs to serve the demonic usurpers any longer.  

Governments that restrict some liberties are not necessarily bad unless it is the knowledge of the Messiah that they oppose. So we pray only for particular individuals to be set free to accomplish YHWH’s specific purposes. No one else has the right to demand rights equal to “the glorious liberty of the children of Elohim”. For example, the Kurds are the largest people without a nation of their own, and suppressed everywhere they live. Turkey, one of the most liberal of Muslim nations, does not even let them speak their own language. But we need to think from YHWH’s sovereign viewpoint, not a democratic one. The Kurds are none other than the Medes, who had their moment in the sun as a major world empire in the prophet Daniel’s day. But YHWH does not allow human kingdoms permanent ascendancy. If they were still in power, what evils might they again perpetrate? But the message of the true Messiah has gotten to them—in their language. YHWH allows exceptions to get through when redemption is the goal.

When Gandhi’s friends were beginning to see how important he was, they encouraged him to devote all his time to his cause. “Forget your profession”, they told him. “You’re giving India something much more critical. It would be a privilege for us to take care of your expenses; you concentrate on bigger things.” How much more those who have a Kingdom that is more than political to bring to birth. No one who cares to serve it will live an “ordinary” life. But who wants to, when something so extraordinary is afoot?

The Called-out community must never be drawn away from its primary calling to serve even good and pressing causes, which anyone else can serve just as well; only the redeemed can bring the Kingdom. A nation like all the rest is something YHWH constantly warned Israel to never become. But our ancestors felt left out of world affairs, even though they were in fact the only world affair that had any real direction. YHWH’s people is a radical alternative—something completely different from anything ever seen anywhere else in the world. It is the only thing that can abolish hate, prejudice, and any other society’s myriad other ills. We exist to rescue people from the need for judgment or coercion. We act as prophets reminding rulers of their responsibility to YHWH, and as such our job complements the governments He has set up as executioners of justice or deterrents to evildoers, not to be another of the same until our current job is complete. Getting people into the door of the Kingdom and learning its ways is a big enough focus for this age.

When Yeshua called Kefa (Peter), he could have opted for life as usual. He thought Yeshua was too good for him. Besides, to leave his fishing business for three years would be economic suicide. But something far bigger was in the air, and he was in on it, so even necessities could get left by the wayside. People make fools of themselves for games that will mean nothing a year from now. Will those whose only motivation is survival outshine those of us who are offered a place in the most worthwhile venture in history?

He solves the reason for our grief at the root, but we still become privy to a kind of pain no one else could ever know—the sharing of his sufferings, the tension of the peacemaker who keenly feels both sides of the dilemma. He didn’t give us all the details in advance; only what we need to know to plant the seeds in the certainty that one day they will flower. We are offered adequate supply by which to do everything YHWH wants us to. Not necessarily anything else. He has lifted the restrictions in one area, giving us authority over every spirit, nation, or barrier that stands in the way of the lost sheep knowing their Shepherd. Other “bucket lists” can wait until the Kingdom, when conditions will be better anyway. The limits He leaves in place just keep our energies from being dissipated. He is willing to temporarily forfeit many ideals to realize this over-arching priority. We must too.

That is not to say that our other visions are just grand delusions. Like Yosef’s dreams, they may be YHWH’s ideas after all. But if we cannot achieve them with integrity, they may not be meant for this lifetime. But we DON’T go around only once, so we can be satisfied if we are not very influential now. If we used all our freedoms at once, they would clash. We know we are made for more, but “to fulfill all righteousness”, we submit to the constituted authorities now, and focus on doing what will, in the process and as a side benefit, earn us a better place in the age to come.

Recognizing that the days are numbered for the world as we know it can spare us from many futile rabbit trails. Knowing the something better is coming gives us the hope we need to encourage others to stay strong through their difficulties. Helping them through the increasingly-severe storms is one of our chief responsibilities, but if we make it our chief mission to relieve poverty or make peace without informing people that it cannot last without a longer-term connection to the Creator, we would only confirm the world’s notion that all that is required is a minor adjustment, not an entirely new creation. A “love” that tries to comfort those on a sinking ship without telling them it is sinking would be the worst form of neglect. Medication or physical relief cannot stave death off permanently. Cleaning up the world will only have to be done again and again. A political victory can be reversed as quickly as it came, but give a man the option of knowing the Messiah, and he has something that the loss of every earthly freedom can never rob him of.

This life is the only time we have to demonstrate our love for YHWH amid distracting but pointless alternatives. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, so He says to redeem it. Decide that it won’t slip away from you. Make it count in a way that will outlast time. Our King has revealed the direction He wants history to go: a Kingdom of another kind is coming, and our task now is to fill it with citizens. That is our part in bringing history about.  

The increasing earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and melting ice are harbingers of the planned obsolescence YHWH built into the world with the changed weather patterns He set in motion after Noah’s flood. We can never ultimately “save the world”, but we can preserve people by “saving them” onto the “spirit drive” that can be transferred to the next age and “read” again after the old hardware “crashes”.

There’s always a quantum leap between the best we can do and the fullness of the Kingdom, but we can still bank our daily choices on its behind-the-scene repository that brings options the world could never imagine. The most potent activity on earth—prayer—costs absolutely no money. The Kingdom cannot completely triumph without the re-shaping of the world, but it breaks into every page of history and is truly manifest whenever we choose to walk according to the spirit and not the flesh.

When one meets life in all its uncaged, unabashed, and untamed glory, he has spontaneous good news to proclaim, not just a tired creed to hand down. One who has really encountered the Messiah will not come at you with, “I want to convert you to my opinion”, but “I’ve found pure joy and I want you to share it!” Our job is just to make sure everyone knows his options—to “read them their rights”.
Nowadays it’s almost a crime to think you are right about anything, and that all we should ever do is “dialogue” to create rapport, as if an elderly person should go to a kindergartner for advice, just because they are equally human. Yes, they can certainly learn something from him, but if one choice is no better than any other, why should we bother talking about anything?  

If we pushed as “Gospel truth” what was merely our own opinion, yes, it would be the epitome of arrogance. But we didn’t make this up ourselves. For anyone who really looks into how extraordinary this is, there is all the evidence in the world that YHWH Himself has spoken, so we can echo it authoritatively. As G.K. Chesterton put it, “The object of opening one’s mind, as with opening his mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

If you believe in a Creator but can’t define anything about who He is, anyone will be able to persuade you to do anything, simply by claiming to speak for Him. Astronauts who operate in zero gravity only find it frustrating; we can’t function without fixed points of reference. How could we live if water was not intolerant of oil? We’d do well to embrace YHWH’s intolerant side, too, instead of apologizing for it. The truth, even if it is a bitter pill, will set us free. Are we afraid to enter a burning house because its inhabitants are drinking tea and don’t want to be disturbed?

Those who aren’t on firm footing themselves can’t help those who are sinking. It’s no superiority complex to help someone when we know how. Yeshua stood out because he spoke with authority; shall the heirs of his spirit be known for just the opposite at such a decisive time in history? People may be readier to listen than we imagine. People who worship evil spirits (in whatever form) don’t usually do so because they love them, but because they’ve somehow been intimidated into making a pact with them. Do we ruin other cultures by bringing the message that there is a genuine way out of the fatalistic spirit worship by which they have felt oppressed? When an anthropologist was accosting a missionary for doing just that, a bystander told him, “I’m certainly glad I was not overlooked!” That is what people from “innocent” tribal religions think of “comparative religion”.

No matter whose laws forbid us entry, the Owner of the land has sent us. Should we be intimidated if the world protests? They are the ones at a disadvantage, and we are the ones who have what they need. Yeshua was totally unselfish, but he did not bow to a foolish majority opinion, and did not hesitate t admit that his plan was better. As those who have been made part of the light, we are now judges of the darkness. We are not helpless victims of circumstance; we are called to shape the direction history takes.  

The disciples told Yeshua, “The demons are subject to us in your name!” (Luke 10:17) Anderson explains that this term “’subject’ is a military term [that] pictures a group of soldiers snapping to attention and following precisely the orders set by their commanding officer.” If we press the point, lies must give way to the truth. YHWH doesn’t bring injustice to our attention so we can complain about it, but so that we will make it right. We are put in the situation to bring His Kingdom into it, because He has given us the only real solution—prayer, which invites Him into it and then enlists us as the means.  

The Messiah has brought back Man’s position as ruler of the earth, but alternatives must be given to each people so that it is humans, not spiritual Powers, that bind a people to its past, so they can be free to make the kind of changes they do find worthwhile. Each culture is a unique experiment in fleshing out what it means to be human. The rest of the world does not have a right to tell a people how to govern themselves. In a fallen world, each does tend to go to the logical extremes of its particular identity and become one-sided, losing the aspects of their human potential that they neglected (another reason some degenerate to “primitive” levels), and if a culture starts to see itself as the highest at the expense of others (as most do), they are in danger of becoming like the Nazis. In today’s shrinking world, they will affect others, so they have to be exposed and corralled. But no one can accuse YHWH of not giving enough time to repent; He waited 490 years from when He brought Avraham into Canaan as a better influence until He finally determined that the iniquity of the Emorites had been filled up.

But eventually He presses the point. It’s far better to improve a culture from within by offering it a direct relationship with YHWH than to leave it to military policing by other nations or their gods, but if, when offered, they choose to reject their only hope, there is not much we can do to protect them from the harsh justice that is built into their choice. Gandhi and the gurus knew a lot of truth, but it was borrowed. They may have been told isolated facts by the spirits, but o one permanently owns any truth unless he is connected to its Source. “Not holding fast to the Head”, rather than any particular wrongdoing, is the essence of sin. Accepting cultures exactly as they are is going too far.

But affirming what they long to be is our goal. Start with their own ideals, which they don’t live up to, as Paul did, and let the Messiah’s transforming power do the same for them as it did for the people of Israel. YHWH promises to reveal Himself to any who truly see, so don’t hold back; yours just may be the final blow that breaks the stubborn stone.

We are offered supernatural gifts to accomplish this task. “The [Holy} Spirit takes up the slack of our imperfections by carrying the other side of whatever we can’t handle by ourselves.” (Romans 8:26) You may not be aware of it every time YHWH uses you mightily; He may not want you to, knowing how we tend to imagine the accomplishment was our own. Sometimes the words that do come to mind when we want to help someone seem mediocre to us, but may be exactly what the person needs to hear. So if you are walking in the Spirit and still draw a blank, YHWH is in that too. Go on the faith that the wisdom He has already given you is enough for what He intends to do. It is possible to be so united with Him that our inclinations are (at least sometimes) no longer in variance with what He wants. Any time we who are flesh obey at all, a small miracle has occurred.

Once you learn to fear Him, fear nothing else. His commands are not clubs held over our heads, but His loving desire to make us better. So we don’t have to be paralyzed by the fear of moving ahead when there does not seem to be the opening we are looking for. He is always there as another factor in our apparent lack. We can venture into uncertain territory unafraid for our ultimate welfare. If the decision turns out to be wrong, operate in faith that in His overall plan, more good will come from your mistake than if your choice had been the “perfect” one. We are free to take risks, and have good reason to. The places where we stand to lose the most are exactly where the greatest victories can be won.

Don’t expect your weakness to go away just because you have the mind of Messiah. What YHWH wants to do through us is so radically different from any kind of human strength that any success we have will clearly be His doing. That He has not yet made us stronger when He could have shows us that it is in His plan for it to remain for now. Like the man who drinks what his little daughter’s dirty fingers have so lovingly carried to him, YHWH delights in those who want to have a relationship with Him, despite the taintedness of all we can ever do to try to please one so infinitely above us. Eventually, He does want you to be cleansed, but He has a job now that requires you to know just as much as you do. Just as He did not clear all the Canaanites out of the Land lest the wild beasts become too numerous until Israel grew to fill it, He can use your current blind spots and rough edges to accomplish other parts of His plan, which includes breaking other people’s pride. No stage of our healing is wasted. By what He allows you to suffer, He is building into you a particular message that He wants you to pass on to others.

When the righteous, concerned with integrity at all costs, come into contact with the pragmatic world whose bottom line is “self-actualization”, who do you think will appear to win? Will haSatan concede territory he’s held for millennia without a fight? Ultimately he must yield when confronted with the fact of his defeat, but the shorter he knows his time is, the angrier he becomes and the more damage he wants to do before his house is “repossessed”. (Rev. 12:12) Some of us will be casualties—temporarily. In Greek, the language by which much of the Renewed Covenant had to be put to be understood by most in that day, the word for “witness” is literally “martyr”. But that in itself is testimony that the world has lost the battle, because it has not won us over; it can only do away with our flesh, for in this war the victims turn out to be the survivors when the visible things, which are by definition perishable, do indeed pass away. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

YHWH measured the prophets’ success by their faithfulness, not the results they got. Can a meek person appear powerful? Yet he has the real power: self-control. We operate by entirely different rules. What kind of ambition does a servant have? To be on top, or to genuinely meet needs? Yet Yeshua said that through him we always have the victory. When the evidence seems to say otherwise, look deeper and see what he really means. Ore that is harder to dig out becomes a richer treasure. Maybe that is why we are called “more than conquerors”; conquering is too poor a description of how the Messiah meets the world again through us.

YHWH has given mankind free will, and men usually choose wrongly. Though some prophecies of doom can be mitigated by our response (as seen in Jonah), the world as we know it has to be transformed before the Kingdom can come. But we do not need to be part of its demise. He is pushing the Powers into one corner after another so their inferiority will be obvious to all and their illusions will be taken away. He makes the wrath of man to praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He restrains. (Psalm 76:10) It is always by His permission. And that goes for demons too, as Iyov (Job) shows us; by the very act of letting the Powers rage, YHWH is breaking down strongholds as secure as Islam itself.  

If He has decided that no damage is to be done to us, our bodies may be destroyed, yet “not a hair of your head will perish”. (Luke 21:17-18) So why do we worry, even “in the presence of our enemies”? Why do we act as if the things that pierce us have not been pre-screened by Him who knows exactly what “accurate pressure” we need? The mediator of all things stands between us and any curse, any old pattern, any fear of tomorrow based on past mistakes that haunts us.

Do people feel the shaking of all things when we pass by? Occult initiations operate by formula; YHWH has designed each child of His as a work of art with specific good works that He wants to live out through His unique creations, each of whom has a part to play in preparing the world for His Kingdom. You can’t just push the right buttons and make the supernatural world work for you; it only works if we sell all we have for this “pearl of great price”. We waste this power if we neglect it—or let it become just one of many ambitions. Why settle for “realism” if He says, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance”? “If you believe, you will see the glory of Elohim.” Dare to step into and forget about living a “normal life”.

YHWH can even add new personalities if that is what we need to communicate His message to someone who is on another wavelength. He enables our ambitions to be pure, so ask with audacity. Ask like a child.

For Every Counterfeit There is a Real 

​The Creator of all things put the same basic message into many forms: poem, treatise, allegory, prophecy, and most of all, historical account. He emphasizes one truth when our rebellious flesh rears its head, and another when we are sincere but needing encouragement. Some parts of His truth are for our intellects, some for our hearts, and some for our wills. Yeshua didn’t tell the “rich young ruler” to assent to doctrines, but to repent in a way that was appropriate for where he was lacking. He did speak theologically to religious leaders, but only to one of them did he speak of being “reborn from above”. We cannot use the same approach for everyone.

The Called-out Community first took the form of theistic communism, but it must be kept free of prescribed form so it can be as much at home when we are in hiding as when we are free to build grand sanctuaries. There is a beauty in each culture when Messiah completes it, once it is separated from the idolatry that was superimposed upon it. He often speaks to Muslims through dreams, which they respect as revelations, especially when no other emissaries can get to them.  

Even the zodiac was originally a picture of redemption. Many Hebrew prophecies have counterparts in the ancient Semitic names of the constellations and their component stars. (See Bullinger’s The Witness of the Stars.) YHWH “did not leave Himself without witness” anywhere in the world. (Psalm 19; Acts 14:17) Astrology has been twisted because it was designed as a precursor to the Messiah, and he has already come. But YHWH did not despise people’s searching; He used a language they understood to lead them to the fuller reality. He met the “wise men” where they were. Their mentor, Zoroaster, was a student of none other than Daniel, and he passed on to his students the prediction of an event that would be heralded in the heavens. They acted on what they knew, and found much more.  

YHWH shaped His revelation to Nevukhadnetzar around the mythology of his own land—a tradition of each era being ruled by a deity connected with gold, silver, bronze, and iron. He used Nineweh’s tradition that one day a supernatural being would rise out of the waters to lend credibility to Jonah’s message. Was He placing His seal of approval on myths invented by men? Or was He the one who put those thoughts into their heads to set the stage for what He wanted to teach?

 Israel was the only perfectly accurate lead-up to the Messiah, but many other peoples have proven ripe for Him to fulfill their longings also, just at the time when the message of redemption reached them. In many cases, it probably has to do with vestigial memories of their own ancestral past as parts of Israel before they left the covenant.  

He accepted the Greeks’ misguided first steps, and sent a messenger to quote their own philosophers and then lead them to move on to a more certain revelation. Tolerance of many views is good until the facts are known; at that point it becomes willful foolishness to suspend judgment. A scientist is no longer scientific if he does not accept the facts he uncovers just because they were not what he had hoped for!

The world is so set on finding perfection within the closed system that they can only interpret our boredom with their grand schemes as backwardness—when in fact it is the only truly forward option. Those who say we are “behind the times” because we question their sexual dissipation are like third-generation Communists who brand their new opponents “counter-revolutionary”. Sorry, folks, but you are now the counter-revolutionaries. The real sexual revolution didn’t take place in the 1960s; it came when YHWH established boundaries for human sexuality, which was running wild in so many directions; Dennis Prager wrote that it was only this channeling of sex into the confines of marriage that made orderly civilization possible. The Torah’s prohibition of homosexuality was another major part of this liberation and made women no longer peripheral or irrelevant to men’s lives. Who can really love more than one person so deeply in one lifetime anyway? It was the limits on what parts of the love relationship could be made public that took men to the limits of creativity of all sorts—something the more recent, mediocre appeal to the easy route never did for anyone. To give free rein to our drives is not a step forward, but thousands of years backward.

Anyone who has come in from the cold knows that to be in the Messiah is only joy and freedom. When we see “Babylon” for what it is, we are repulsed by it. But we still have to live there to rescue others, the difference being that we are no longer captivated by its fads, even though once in a while we might use one of them to communicate to them, but our motivation has been forever changed. This “disenculturation” is only a release from the bondage to form; if in your heart you have escaped the abusive form of something, it doesn’t matter if you end up in the same position you once accepted unquestioned, for you have seen the heart of the matter and it is now your own, not something foreign that is imposed on you. If we are free enough to break away, we are also free enough to fit in, if that will better demonstrate YHWH’s love. If it makes no difference one way, it makes no difference the other. If the goal is readiness to do whatever the need of the moment calls for, and the tried-and-true method accomplishes that better, you need not be original.

There are as many solutions as there are problems, and YHWH gave us a toolbox full of different ways to bring truth to bear on less-than-ideal situations. You may not need them all, but someone will. Don’t rejoice so much in your freedom as your freedom to set aside your freedoms if that is what love demands. Usually there is just one issue at stake in someone’s life, holding him back from true liberty, so feel free to use a method you had avoided in other settings if it is the tool that will do this job best. YHWH does not need any particular format or ideal condition in order to accomplish His purposes. He has given us a clear goal, but a wide range of ways to get it done. Just be sure you are listening to His right-now voice.

The Kingdom has thousands of unprecedented job descriptions. Why settle for a “normal” life when He has a tailor-made plan for you? You were not created to fill a stereotyped slot. The Creative One wanted to know someone just like you, with all your strengths—and seeming weaknesses. He is making you into a unique message for the world, uniquely suited to solve complex problems that may never have been encountered quite in this way before. He wants to demonstrate His love in many ways, and you are part of it! He risks giving us experiences that could make us jaded if there is the slim possibility that we might be deepened by the hard knocks. He knew a world with the potential for sin could become really deadly, and that there were countless pitfalls, but He knew the great heights to which right choices could make us rise, so it was worth doing. There was no guarantee it would be a success, but there was a possibility that some would really get His point. Giving us too many restrictions would also handicap those He has enabled to have the right motives. An open system is always scary, but if we have matured sufficiently in our trust in Him, we can venture closer to the edges to salvage the special treasures that are only there.  

Good things become dirty as they accrue such barnacles as are found in a dirty environment, but it does not mean that they themselves are innately dirty. The most beautiful things in YHWH’s creation are always in danger of being idolized, but the problem is not in the thing; it is in us. If someone else is using it purely, by no means quench it! It is a great victory to harness once-abused things for His glory.

Anyone who is balanced will seem like an extremist to both sides. There is a sophistication that is substantive—a readiness to answer each kind of person appropriately—but that comes from learning to be sensitive to YHWH’s power, not from worldly wisdom. Rationalism is dethroned not by meaninglessness, but by the meaning-in-Messiah that is fuller than any mere reason could ever be.

​Like an inoculation, knowing where something does fit the scheme of things makes us its master, so that we will easily recognize where it is not useful. Good things cause trouble for us when we are not using them rightly; even YHWH, who is pure good, is a terror to those who will not get on His right side. His laws are not legalistic at all; they are just instructions for how to enjoy His good side without getting burnt. The problem is, we use things before reading the instructions (which is what “Torah” means)! Sin is using things the wrong way, at the wrong time, or for the wrong reason; using them itself is not the sin. Don’t throw away the tools you don’t need right now; same them for later, when you probably will need them for a different job. And even if you don’t, somebody else will.

In this ultimate battle, every weapon is needed. Some are unprecedented, and there are battlefields that require weapons that have seldom been used for righteous purposes, so we need to allow one another the freedom to take risks that are necessary to enter unclaimed territory.

Life is both giving and receiving; YHWH emphasizes giving because it is the harder thing to do. He doesn’t waste words by commanding us top do what comes naturally. When things get to cataclysmic proportions, extreme measures may be necessary; on a listing ship, you have to lean hard in the other direction to keep it afloat. But that cannot continue long, or other crucial elements will be lost. YHWH might use a particular method only once in the whole history of the world, because it is only needed once. We are called to be consistent only with His priorities for the short time we have left. HaSatan loves it when we make a formula out of how YHWH used us once; that’s another form of trusting in our own resources.

He may even use you in areas in which you are not particularly gifted, because you are the only one nearby who is willing to let YHWH solve the problem through him. If He calls you to step out in faith, saying that it would rob your children of advantages in life is just an excuse. The best favor you could do for them might be to liberate them from materialistic lethargy and into a meaningful life. The world motivates its sons and daughters with the appeal of “getting ahead”. But if we have tasted of the higher reality, that leaves us cold. To get ahead of anyone but the Adversary would defeat our purpose, for the nobility that Messiah creates in us is a compassionate, serving elite. Pioneers take the lead only to break ground for others, not to gain an advantage over them.

We are not in competition with other parts of Messiah’s body! The victory of one is the victory of us all. Those who have made dignity and authority a natural part of ourselves by learning at the Master’s feet have no need to prove anything. They cannot help but command respect; they do not need to demand it. The truly wise do not show off how much they know, but use their wisdom where it is needed, and know how to keep it hidden when it would intimidate others. When you truly love someone, you want to strengthen him, to give him what you have, not impress him.

Why steal another’s thunder when it is really yours anyway? If he was acting according to YHWH’s plan, your spirit was in complete support all along. So you really did take part in it, because we all build up the Body “through that which every joint and ligament supplies”. (Ephesians 4:16) Some may have more visible roles, but our reputations are not separate. An ear that functions well takes nothing away from the importance of having eyes and feet that work properly also. The blood and lymph systems never even touch each other, but they are working toward the same goal. Do the part YHWH has given you, and you will feed everyone, whether you know it or not; every one of us depends on every other.

All of us have the responsibility of keeping our channels open so that His power can flow through to one another and “supply that which each part is lacking”. If someone does not receive the wisdom they need, the result may be imperceptible at first, but it will compound itself as other decisions get made wrongly and one bad one leads to another. So even if someone appears to “have it all together”, it doesn’t mean he does not need the specific gift of love that your spirit has been strengthened and moved to give him or her. Self-sufficiency is only an asset on the few occasions when we must work alone.

YHWH doesn’t bring us all to maturity in the same way or give all of us lessons in the same order. So don’t judge someone who is just now learning a lesson you learned long ago as inferior to you, because he may have already learned the big ones you have yet to master. One may emphasize preserving what good is left in the world, while others major in fighting its evil. Some focus on preparing for the world to come, while others concentrate on practical demonstrations of love to those who suffer the worst effects of the present sinful order. In YHWH’s order these are neither inconsistent nor incongruous, because the whole spectrum belongs to Him. If we castigate one another for not emphasizing this or spending too much time on that, we are missing the point. Each is working on an agenda YHWH has given him. Each has a different function, and while we want to sharpen one another, it must be done for the sake of building up the others, and helping them get to where we all really want to go, not trying to make them look small so that I can look bigger.  

Look at each situation objectively, without getting stuck on a pet method or trying to force everyone else into what you are learning right now. Maturity is being able to switch to the right tool for the need of the moment. The very extent to which haSatan takes his abuses only points to the tremendous value of the prototypes. Everything important enough to be worthwhile to the spirit also arms the flesh with the same knowledge, and the flesh tends to abuse everything if not kept in check. We can’t avoid the risk if we want to keep growing; we must simply be vigilant. But why give haSatan more attention than he deserves by letting the precautions have more airtime than the instructions on how to use each thing properly? Yes, there are thieves and robbers, but Yeshua came to bring us life to its fullest. Can’t we have both grandiose dreams and concern for the poor? Isn’t YHWH big enough?  

If YHWH took away all the emotions that might harm someone, we would also be unable to get excited about anyone’s accomplishments. Emotions are allowed to be our tourguides (to whom we voluntarily relinquish our freedoms), but not our captors. We should put our whole selves into everything we do, but never give our hearts to the thing.

All things can again become pure to us (Titus 1:15) as they are fit into the right framework. “All things are yours” (1 Cor. 3:21), not just one side of reality. Purity is not measured by how little we possess or what we do not do, as if these made us more holy. A simple life is just having a purpose that prioritizes how we spend our short lives. It may require many material accessories, but these are merely tools to get the job done, not things our heart clings to. Our union with Messiah can become so complete that nothing stands between us and any goal—the position the builders of Babel wanted, but were denied, because they tried to storm Heaven to get it. When YHWH gives it, don’t be afraid to exercise it, as long as it is for the purpose He has authorized. 

How could haSatan create anything? He can only commandeer and twist the good things YHWH has made. Truth is the only raw material he has. So we have to get back to the pure form YHWH intended and use it in that way. He does raise us to a higher level, but that also means getting above our own pride. Babel tells us that we can and must establish our own lives because no one else is going to care enough to help us. But that is not true. The Kingdom of YHWH offers us better options, if we will only take hold of them.

Most attempts at unity have failed because they were too willing to compromise truth. Rome may have more revenue by which to express grandeur and mystery, but we do not have to go through it to inherit those things. Every element that is over-emphasized by one religion or another is present in YHWH’s Word in its purest form, and with none of the compromises we would have to make if we looked for them where they are most advertised.  

When any part of truth is underemphasized, but people know they need it, they will go after whatever appears to offer it. People are trying to slake their thirst at so many “broken cisterns that can hold no water”, and we hold in our hands the genuine antecedent behind anything they are seeking. If we do not provide the alternative to the world’s abusive ideas, who can?  

Self-esteem, the core of psychotherapy, is a poor substitute for one’s glorious identity in the Messiah. “Is it because there is no Elohim in Israel that you go to enquire of…the god of Ekron?” (2 Kings 1:3) There would be no attraction in false philosophies if we really knew and made known how much we have inherited in the Messiah. We have the Real Thing; why settle for substitutes?  

Many tribal mythologies operate on the idea that if you know the origin of something, you have power over it. In knowing Him who is the root of all things, we bypass their origin in our journey back to eternity past, when all that existed was Him. Knowing Him, we can know the power that raised Yeshua from the dead, so we need not fear anything in the world into which we are born late in time. Being connected with him, we predated them all and will outlive them all.

Why would we give up the riches we actually possess for the sake of being accepted by a world that will capriciously turn its back on us at any moment? “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who chirp and mutter, shouldn’t a people inquire of their Elohim? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 8:19) It is an affront to YHWH, who gives us direct wisdom to make decisions ourselves. Every day we can “touch base” with the headquarters of the entire universe! We have a direct connection to the very King of everything!

Because of an illegitimate birth ten generations before him, David was the first who could fill the throne of Israel which was decreed to be the right of the descendants of Judah. So a wind was in the air as his birth drew near, but like Avraham who had the promise of a son, the people demanded a king just before the legitimate king had come of age. Likewise, today, a real New Age is coming, and people can feel it coming, but “Babylon” is trying to forge it with the materials of this age, which simply are not adequate. As Rich Mullins sang,

    “I’m filled with the wonders of Your world.
    If there’s a better world and a brighter day…
    We’d all be fools to think that it could be made
    By the wills and the hands of foolish men.”

Are we arrogant to judge parapsychology before we have tried it? No; once we try it, it is too late. We are hooked and we can no longer be objective. “We are not ignorant of his schemes”; don’t walk into them with your eyes open! We are already Insiders in the True, so we can recognize the false without having to experience it. Miracles can still be counterfeited, as in Moses’ day. If we are not constantly discerning through the Holy Spirit, we will be prime targets for the “strong delusion”.  

Some of the psychic potential Eastern religions have uncovered may simply be natural—powers that Yeshua himself tapped into because he knew the right methods. But we must not get them through illegitimate channels. Demons have knowledge far beyond what humans can discover in our present state, so their revelations may not all be unrealistic, but since YHWH has prohibited the use of mediums, this field is highly suspect. But the “higher self” they advertise is not one’s true self anymore at all; getting there invariably involves opening oneself to spiritual “mentors” that end up as parasites that rob the rightful occupants of control over their own bodies and minds. Its adherents can peel themselves like an onion trying to find that “pure self”, and will discover their own personal “nirvana”—nothingness, indeed, but it will hardly be what they are seeking. “Self-actualization” is a subtle cover-up for independence from YHWH—the very thing Adam and Chawwah (Eve) were tempted with from the start—as if all their walks and talks with Him boiled down to an impersonal force that could have been tapped into apart from Him? History shows that when one is left to himself, he ends up power-crazed or obsessed with self-gratification. Instead of proving at his center to be a god, he always comes out a devil. The objective facts do not support a man’s ability to permanently change himself for the better.

“Self-actualization” carried to the conclusions now being advertised actually destroys loyalty, teamwork, and relationships. Being made complete in Messiah—restored to what Man was originally meant to be—is the true “Humanism”. Only thus can we indeed be made “like Elohim”. Why settle for substitutes like yoga when we have been given the real, permanent gift of a connection to Elohim?

Others claim to have the key to peace, to ending prejudice, and harmonizing science with religion. But only the Messiah can really do all of this—and more. His spokesmen are “Jehovah’s real witnesses”. “Islam” means “submission to Elohim”, but only those who “obey the Glad News” can really fit that description. And why adore “enlightened ones” when we can meet the true Light for ourselves?

The New Age “awareness of union with ‘god’” is so heinous, not because it is an unrealistic concept, but because it detracts from the unique glory of the true union with YHWH which was procured only at the high price of the uncorrupted blood of Messiah. There is no cheap substitute that will pass the test.  

The mental power evidenced by Adam in naming all creatures and effectively directing their activities may still be latent within us, but YHWH has roped off part of our brains’ potential since it is too dangerous in our fallen state except for those few instances when He chooses to tap into it for His purposes—as seen in Yeshua’s walking on water as if it were solid; Moses’ rod did swallow up the rods of the astrologers. We might have dreams or be given bits of supernatural knowledge or linguistic ability to meet urgent, immediate needs. “The Word of Elohim is not chained”, though everything else might be. But we are not meant to be enamored with “miracles” but with YHWH Himself. The Bible does not instruct us on how these forces operate, because until all things are put back under Yeshua’s feet as the Second Adam, the only valid way to use them is when He chooses to let that power through. He doesn’t give knowledge to those who want to be esoteric, but to those who need it.  

Yeshua cut through all the hierarchies of angels, principalities, and powers to forge a direct spiritual connection that renders all psychic connections superfluous. If He chooses to send an angel to help us, that is His prerogative, but not our right. From our end, we focus only on Him and receive the enlivening spirit of Messiah only from YHWH Himself. Even Yeshua points us to YHWH alone, because after he gathers all things under his feet, he will give it all back to the father. (1 Cor. 15:24ff)  

Not by might, not by power”, not by psychic principles, intellectual wit, or military persuasiveness, will His goals be accomplished, “but by My Spirit,’ says YHWH.” (Z’kharyah 4:6) A mind renewed by the Holy Spirit is not limited to one’s IQ, but only by whether he is listening to YHWH. This REAL growth into a “higher consciousness” is crucial. We can create a new spiritual receptiveness with each right choice we make. As blockages in our souls are eroded away with His truth, our reservoir of options is re-programmed, and we are no longer bound by the ways the world said we could do things. We are permitted to step out of the dismal drama of futility and into the glorious history of reconciliation and redemption. YHWH severs us from our earthly past so we can be exactly who we need to be for Him and those He wants to help at this moment. Don’t submit to any lesser offer!  

We are free to take or leave anything but Him. If we choose to “take it”, we find it has greater beauty when seen through Him than it ever did when it was our taskmaster. Now we know it as our friend. YHWH does not hide what He is doing from those who really want to work along with Him. When we understand His purposes, discipline need not be imposed from outside, for we have something right within us that answers to what He desires.

When we work for the praise of men, all motivation to continue is gone if they do not appreciate our work. When we do our work as worship to our Creator, we are liberated to enjoy the innate pleasure of the work and see what is hidden from those who only scratch the surface. We discover the underlying patterns and tap into the very life of the universe, gaining a unique ability to integrate all areas of knowledge, for it’s related to the One who ties them all together. No wonder theology was long called “the queen of the sciences”.

If we choose to “leave it”, we find that there is life after any of these things is taken away, for if we still have the Messiah, we have lost nothing of ultimate consequence.

Only one thing can right the wrongs in this world. But still, one thing can! Yeshua says, “I am the real vine”. (Yochanan 15:1) “My flesh is real food.” (6:55) Physical vines or flesh are only illustrations of these. We have something better than the “three wishes” in all the stories; an Elohim who answers all of our prayers in the best way. Many psalms sound like the exaggerations about legendary figures: “He roars and the mountains tremble!” Only in YHWH’s case, they are not larger than life. There might not be a real “fountain of youth”, but there IS a “fountain of living water”.

Men have never been able to achieve a “new age”. While they imagine that they can become a super-race, YHWH has created for us a true second race, which we can join—“the younger brothers of Yeshua”. We are not given the option of being gods. How could there be more than one Sovereign over the universe? But we can become true human beings. And wasn’t that the plan all along?

​Heavenly-Minded is of Infinite Earthly Good

​Seldom can we mention making the spirit world our priority without being warned not to “be so heavenly-minded that you’re no earthly good”. Whole books have been written on the theme that “every generation has found reasons to believe it was the last, and they’ve neglected here-and-now needs for some pie in the sky that never panned out.” Yet how can we fault those who expected the Messiah to return in the year 1000? They “loved his appearing” and all who do so are promised his welcome. If we assume ours probably won’t be the time he will return, we are guaranteed to not be ready and he will not find faith on the earth.

Thinking too much of our truer, more real home could, I suppose, lead us to a kind of “faith without works”. But “heavenly-minded” rally just means having the same priorities YHWH has. He spent as many words on safety regulations as on what we might consider religious laws. So we know He doesn’t see a dichotomy between physical and spiritual. Heaven is not so much another place as another dimension that has been hidden from us for a while until earth is ready to receive it again.

Though temporarily out of touch with surface trends, those who seek the most basic trend—YHWH’s Kingdom—are the only ones who can do within society what will be most effective in the long run. Because the earth is fallen, the only good we can do comes from “Heaven”. So we must keep the invisible Kingdom ever in our inner eye, directing every outward choice, or despite our attempts to be practical, we will stray from meeting the deepest needs. The social reforms that can really stick can only come indirectly: through changed hearts. The abolition of slavery was a side effect of the influence of evangelists like Wesley and Finney. If we focus on secondary successes, even they will elude us. After spending all night in prayer—looking into the heavenly dimension—Yeshua had inner strength to move on and do the work that would have eternal results, despite pressure to continue his popular healings.

YHWH will meet us where we are, but we need to remember where He is taking us, and treat everyone with the same dignity. The only way to solve impasses in a world where everyone is wrong—yet everyone has rights—is for someone to break the cycle by absorbing the consequences into himself. In one breath, Yeshua tells us our faith can open any door on earth to us, and in the next, he says, “so…forgive.” This is our highest option, a choice not everyone has the power to make. But despite all our lofty thoughts about self-sacrifice, something in our hearts knows it is only an emergency measure.

We can’t bear all swords into plowshares until the Messiah visibly reigns over all. But the sword is not woven into the very fabric of reality; it was not seen until after we were expelled from Eden. We can never regard evil as normative. It only exists because YHWH had to something to compensate for sin.  

Psalm 90 is a poem about the painful realization of the shortness of life: we “finish our years with a moan”. Since Adam’s fall, anything that goes right is a miracle! Yet it ends with the plea that, despite the meaninglessness of it all, YHWH will still “establish the work of our hands”. When He gives us a paradox, He expects us to take hold of both horns and not let go of either, expecting that He can reconcile the two. When Solomon appraised everything as futile, he did not conclude that we should be pessimists. Though we are disillusioned by the fact that all our creations will crumble someday, we still feed the hungry and produce great works of beauty because it is the right thing to do. It is now our nature as children of light. “It’s the thought that counts” is no mere platitude when seen through the Messiah. Each act of kindness comes from a far deeper well than our feeble attempts to express it make it seem. One day its full significance—now “behind the seen”—will be brought to light.

Mid the decay of this corrupt world, the new creation has begun. The Elohim of the Age to Come sets before us an open door even now. Faith can remain alive even in a dying world. The cross means the future is never just an unbroken continuation of the past. Encounters with eternity introduce new elements into the present and do change history. One day He will finish the job and impose the full Kingdom from outside. But “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” means that the permanent reality can break into our other four dimensions, touching our days with eternity and gilding our greys with real hues.

Improvements can’t be permanent because human nature does not change. The best we can do is a patch-up job until we can trade it in for a new one. There is nothing spineless about recognizing that the “brave new world” of Man-Come-of-Age is the real illusion, the real failure to come to terms with reality. They can’t stave off death forever, but they seem confident that they will somehow find a way. Taking the afterlife into account in all our decisions is the true realism. Who in his right mind would want to settle for a sinking ship, when we do have an ark that can carry us into what is permanent?

Even one who is born again still passes on the unregenerate nature of Adam to the next generation, and they need to have the same transformation take place again.  

But we can derive strength and perspective from the world behind the one that is seen, and relax in the lulls and limbos of waiting for our full inheritance. We can even destroy some of the effects of the Curse with each dirty dish we clean. Rust affects us adversely, but it can be a form of hope: a reminder that the most blatantly-evil works of men will eventually crumble into dust.

    The morning fog declares the glory of Elohim.
    But alas, it is short-lived, hastening to whence it came.
    Day unto day, the everyday things—
    Speech, man’s ingenuity, a friend’s touch, a playful pet—
    All cast light on the diamond of Himself.

    Yet how evident it is that these are all imperfect shadows:
        Our speech is so easily polluted,
        Ingenuity used to its full only for new war machines,
        The richest romantic feeling still fades,
        And the most beautiful creatures prove to be predators.
    Every cell in me bristles with hope when you say,
        “You are not of this age;
        There is another, where you will be at home.”

The story is told of a man who arrived in the Kingdom and was awestruck by its beauty. His wife, who had preceded him, responded, “You could’ve been here five years ago if you hadn’t gone on that health-food diet!” Now, I’m all for preventing unnecessary disease through wise stewardship of our bodies, but why would we want to stay in this condemned phase of the world any longer than we have to? It’s this that haSatan wants to preserve, because soon it will be his only domain. Like Babel, many are trying to build a paradise now, when there are still hurricanes and volcanoes to destroy it, instead of waiting for YHWH’s time. So His agenda is to emphasize its limitations, so that when He brings the original building-blocks back, the contrast will be all the greener. In a striking parallel with the plagues in Egypt, YHWH will again show the world that the things they trust in cannot stand up when put to the hardest tests. Those plagues will also be His means of “formatting the earth for its new applications”, but this time the hardening of hearts will be complete. Like Pharaoh, the repeated chorus in revelation 16 is, “Still they refused to repent.” If only we knew how much of an affront to YHWH this rebellious world system is, we would not balk as much at the idea of a final judgment.

Jewish tradition says that the counterfeit Messiah, who will spearhead the final Nimrod-like thrust of Babel’s perpetual attempt to try to perfect the rotting cosmos, comes from the tribe of Dan. It is interesting that Yaaqov’s final comment in his message about “what would befall Dan in the last days” is, “I have waited (expectantly) for your deliverance (yeshuah), O YHWH!” (Genesis 49:18) If we wait humbly when He says, “No, this is not yet your rest, because it is defiled” (Mikha 2:10), like one who saves all his love for his spouse, we will be able to appreciate the glory of the Real all the more for having banked everything on it. His new world may be a long time in coming, but who wants a hastily-chosen gift anyway? The waiting is troublesome, but that is the intent; we are not supposed to be comfortable or satisfied now, though we can be content while we wait.

“The creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it in hope…But…who hopes for what he already has?” (In Biblical thought, “hope” is not wishful thinking, but certainty and confidence in the face of apparent evidence to the contrary.) When all things are back under Yeshua’s feet, we will get our full potential back. We don’t need to flesh out all of its aspects now; we are “looking for a better country”. If that marks us as “backward”, so be it. We know the way forward is steep and rugged, not candy-coated as the counterfeits are.

In the 1960s, it became very popular to espouse the lifestyle of “live simply so that others may simply live”. It’s hard to argue with that motive, but by and large, the Hippies turned into “Yuppies” and it turned out to be a short-lived fad. What made such a noble goal fall flat?  

Scripture calls it “Mammon”; as part of the Babylon system, it “sells the bodies and souls of men”, squeezing a profit from life’s most memorable occasions, smearing people’s names through competition for the same money, and making creativity subservient to market trends.  

When man fell, sweat became the only way to gain bread. But from the very start, YHWH’s mercy prevented that from being the whole story. Before the Curse left His lips, He set limits on how far it could go. The Sabbath day, which He built into creation even before we chose the path of hard labor, kept us from total enslavement to work. The demands of productivity ethics are not ultimate. Far from being legalism, through the Sabbath YHWH shows us His grace. There are alternatives to money. YHWH, who made the whole beautiful world, can certainly preserve us intact without one small man-made commodity. We who have joined the work of the Kingdom have been released, in part, from the sweat of the brow, the tutor that keeps most of the world out of trouble, so that there may be at least one drain on Mammon’s jurisdiction. He has put an effective leash on the “system”. Don’t waste that mercy by falling back into bondage! If you want to get rich instead, just remember that you have chosen all the worries of the world along with it.

Buddhists says they have found the way to a trouble-free life: just have fewer desires; accept life as it is and don’t try to change your lot. But we cannot do that, because we know the world is not as it is meant to be. Yeshua has brought a deeper solution, in which we actually break the power of sin instead of thinking only of whether we are keeping all the rules. Our outward actions can’t condemn us any longer, but they are a measure of how real we truly believe the “Kingdom of Heaven” is. Do we really expect our prayers to make a difference? Are we venturing into anything that would be absolutely foolish if YHWH was not a factor in the equation?

A Whole Lifestyle Based on Unseen Resources ("Grace")

The world pinches pennies because it fears the future; Mammon thus holds the poor as well as the rich in its servitude. In contrast, we avoid unwise expenditures because we know the things money can buy won’t satisfy the ache of our souls anyway. YHWH says, “Don’t bother wearing yourself out to get rich; it’s not necessary. His command to be “content with food and covering” is based squarely on His promise to be our ever-present provider who can do anything. If we are “sons of the Kingdom”, we do not live by bread alone. So why live as if we are enslaved to the system that prescribes changing fashions to keep us ever obligated to spend on things we do not need? “Why do you spend your money on what is not bread, and your wages on what will not satisfy? Everyone who thirsts, come to the water; drink wine and milk without money and without cost!” (Yeshayahu 55:2, 1)

In the Garden of Eden, labor was unrelated to provision. It was a creative dignity by which Elohim’s image was to be carried on—the proverbial “satisfaction of a job well done”, without being mercenary to the drive to survive. We are free to dedicate ourselves to meeting others’ needs and not make monetary considerations the issue, because we have a source of reimbursement that is not dependent on normal channels. We are free to jettison the securities which are really only a mirage, and travel light, unencumbered by the baggage that always accompanies them.  

What we own often ends up “owning us”. As soon as Zakkai caught a glimpse of grace, he wasted no time abandoning Mammon, the lesser god that had been his slave-driver. He dived head-first into grace (expressed through obedience to Torah) and received what the “rich young ruler” had forfeited for mere wealth. Yeshua had no pillow to call his own, but took his home—His Father’s will—with him wherever he went, and it required none of the bother of keeping house! A content heart can find even in the slums a joy that still eludes South-Sea vacationers.

There were only two things one could bring into the Temple in Jerusalem (a precursor to the Kingdom): the receipt proving that he had paid for a sacrificial animal (which corresponds to faith in Yeshua) and alms for the poor; nothing else, just as “you can’t take it with you”. Yeshua spoke of the “rich fool” who built bigger barns for his overabundance rather than being “rich toward YHWH” by giving his excess to the needy. The Proverb says, “He who gives to the poor lends to his Maker”, who will then repay from a “bank” unaffected by market slides and invulnerable to robbery. By giving to those who cannot pay it back, we actually send it on ahead of us into the Kingdom. By using Mammon this way, we take it out of circulation: a sabbath rest, in which we joyfully lay aside all thought of money, gives us the perspective we need to keep it in its place. We might even be more carefree in shelling it out, for the One who gave us friends to love will continue to provide for us if we dare to turn Mammon, a tyrant to others, into a mere tool.

If we hoard for tomorrow’s needs which may never materialize, we lose both ways, because not only will moth, rust, and inflation make it all worthless; we are also guaranteeing that YWH will “have nothing” to give us tomorrow, since we aren’t “investing with Him” now. When He replaces even the sun and moon, what possible need could we have for anything else? The “treasure in Heaven” is not only for after this lifetime, but to draw upon now as we need it—a “cash advance” on our “life insurance”, if you will. But we cannot receive it until after we have depleted our natural resources. Treasure is laid up in Heaven only as we let it out into the needy world now. (He does not give us visions and revelations to entertain us, but for when we desperately need them.)

New Agers and their ancient counterparts require so many expensive accessories or elaborate rituals to guarantee “spiritual wellness”, and sadly, both Jews and Christians have adopted the same kind of accretions that keep religious hucksters in business. Advertisers count on us not finding the real Source of satisfaction; if we do, their market is gone. We have found what everyone else covets and can never attain. Our search has ended; we have found him for whom our souls were always longing, and He loves us! Remain in him, and you will have everything you need. “Why spend your money on what is not bread, and your wages on what will not satisfy?”

​If we compare ourselves with one another, our lives are ruled by the ones we are trying to please, measure up to, or outdo. We are no longer living our own lives. Yeshua, instead, offers “rest for your souls”—an easy yoke. One can only brag of what’s reasonably possible. One man’s natural strength might attain more than another’s, but when people see what we are wearing, they can only say, “Who gave you THAT?” All we can do is point to the Giver.

Humility and dignity are really inseparable. Neither is difficult to cultivate once we simply recognize that we didn’t create ourselves. Then we will no longer care to outshine others, but only to meet needs. What liberation! He wants us to have rest in the midst of our activity, drawing from Himself only the day’s responsibilities and the resources He gives us to handle them. We are thus freed from the vicious cycle of “karma”. Because we are sinners, we don’t deserve what we need, and never will. That’s why YHWH offers us His grace as the only escape—to take us out of the realm of rights altogether. To live too “realistically” when He offers us so much more would be tragic.

Because Messiah allows us to “change races” from that of the first to that of the second Adam, it is already established that we are loved and accepted. We do not have to join an inner circle or attain a consistent level of faithfulness to get there. It was accomplished for us, and we can live from that truth as our starting point rather than spending all our energy trying to get there. YHWH not only forgives us; He fulfills the needs that pressured us to incur the guilt in the first place by trying to fill our empty souls from the broken cisterns the world offers us: thus the appeal of temptation is taken away too. He has separated us from the world’s claims on us, so that while it still surrounds us, we can live as if it no longer tempted us. We have not arrived yet, but neither do we “have to” sin anymore. As overwhelming as our enemies seem, we do have the option to say “no” to them.

Thus arrogance is not just sinful; Messiah rendered it unnecessary. We need no personal glory, for we share in what he has accomplished. We don’t need to advertise ourselves, and we can let insults run off our backs. Our security is in YHWH’s hands, so we can lose nothing that really matters.

After a long warfare, that simplicity of trust that unfallen Adam knew—that purposiveness, that carefree enjoyment of life—have been bought back and offered again to mankind. Here at last is the way out that everyone has been searching for all of these centuries! But not everyone can see it. We’ve been so completely swallowed up by the knowledge of good and evil that we have come to think of it as normal. It is so liberating when YHWH meets us in the midst of our franticness and says, “What are you doing that for? I didn’t give you that responsibility!”

We don’t need to get even. We don’t even need to let a conflict alter our course one way or the other, because we derive our joy from a source totally independent of how others treat us. Yeshua had full confidence in who he was, and how did he show it? He served others in the most humiliating ways instead of lording it over them. We know there is an age coming in which there will be justice, so we can lay aside our pride and “wash one another’s feet” as he did. This way we both meet others’ needs and find self-fulfillment (without looking for it directly). Who could have devised a better plan?

Envy, too, is a waste of time, for you have every resource at your disposal all the time just as much as anyone else does. YHWH simply chooses the personality He most wisely suited for each message He intends to get across. Be glad that it has been expressed, whether it was through you or not; you don’t have to take away someone else’s supply to fill your own. Any seeming lack is just His reminder that His resources are there just waiting for us to ask for them. He sends troublemakers not to spite or test us, but because we alone have the power to meet the needs that inclined them to act that way in the first place. No one deserves love, but everyone needs it. We—who have the Messiah within us—are the solution. So bring that ideal into a situation rather than expecting to find it waiting for us when we arrive.

It always hurts to find out that you are not as great as you thought you were. But just there is your link to freedom from yourself. Recognizing that we are sullied opens the door to be remade. Grace does not operate according to our limited resources; those who have any of it can always be given more, for in YHWH’s economy, giving does not diminish the giver. Nor is our worth based on being innately lovable, but on the love of the One who thought it important to redeem us.

We become slaves to those we will not forgive, because we are still expecting more satisfaction from them that they cannot give. When we forgive, we are declaring that we no longer look to our debtor to provide anything for us. YHWH alone has the supply, but He does want to give it away. All along, He has been the only reliable source anyway. We just thought there were others, but they never really existed.  

Do we need anything but what He gives us? Life is too short to make full use of the distractions. He is saving us in stages, and we only need access to what we need for today. If we are able to do what we are supposed to do, and are restricted from everything else, we are as free as we need to be. If we had time to do everything, there would be no value in wise choices. Limits only force us to tighten up and weed out the pointless.  

Any time you remain under His orders, you are bearing fruit, whether there are visible results or not. By just standing firm, you defeat the enemy. (Ephesians 6) If we are barred from “civilian pursuits”, it is not so you will feel left out, but so that you can live out alternatives no one would have thought of otherwise. He is just keeping you from where you would be the least fruitful, and deepening your concentration on the areas of your richest potential. He leaves us strong where it matters. If our agendas are interrupted, it is because He knows the experiences we would not have voluntarily chosen are the ones that will make us strongest. The sufferings of today are tailoring us for specific higher callings tomorrow. If we bit the bullet and submit to “staying in our place”, we will find to our joyful surprise that, until we outgrow it, it really is ours. When there is a better place, it will be given to us, so we don’t have to go searching. The rose garden you long for will be yours after the final sorting, so “bloom where you are planted” and beautify the garbage dump with Messiah’s presence in you in the meantime. He safeguards His richest treasures by putting them in place those with evil motives would never think of looking.  

“From the Beginning it was Not So”—and it Won’t Always Be

While Herod sat on one of earth’s thrones, the last true king of the world was born. He crossed the path of only a few rulers, and didn’t pretend to threaten any of their literal thrones; Herod could have relaxed in that regard, because, as Pilatus found out, his kingdom was of a different kind. But Herod was right in thinking that his—and every earthly king’s—rule was threatened by this new type of king. When he was executed, the justice of Rome was found wanting, as surely as Jerusalem’s law was violated in many ways to force his trial; YHWH was breaking the pride of both.

Strength was haSatan’s dream, so in the battle to rescue men who thought they had it all under control, Yeshua undermined haSatan’s whole plan by redefining victory. He caught him off guard by going outside the whole realm of power. By being “crucified in weakness”, he defeated the enemy’s pride by using all the weapons it would never let him stoop to—dependence, humiliation, and loss of privilege. Herein lies the truest power, which the world knows nothing of. It proves all of their power-vying the real folly. So for now we, like Moshe, are called to suffer with YHWH’s people rather than accepting the hypnotizing luxuries the world wants us to grasp for.

The moment we think we can predict what evil spiritual forces will do is the moment we stand to be fooled. But we can know some of their general tendencies and be warned. They like to divide and conquer, so we should always be on the lookout for anything—even “neglected truths—that could put a hole in our unity, for they can then rush in through the breach. Many wonderful things lost at the Fall have not yet been restored, but the most important things have. “Faith, hope, and love remain”—and they are enough to get us through the hard times if we help one another.  

It is our enemy who brought sadness and pain; our Savior feasted more than he fasted. Joy is the normal humanity we are aiming to recover. Yes, there is some need for stubborn discipline, in order to pry ourselves away from the pied piper’s tune that we’ve been hearing as long as we can remember. The Kingdom is entered by deliberate choice, so some parts of the dance will be forced and awkward at first. You can’t always avoid having to trick your enemies if they are trying to keep you from doing the right thing. David says something interesting about YHWH in 2 Shmu’el 22:27: “With the pure You prove Yourself to be pure, but to the crooked, You show that You can wind your way around them.” In other words, He can outsmart the crooked by twisting in a different kind of way. The two times it says “pure”, it’s the same word in Hebrew, but the two kinds of “twisting” are different Hebrew words. There is a good kind of crookedness, by which He could beat haSatan at his own game. 

He did that many times in this war that has been going on ever since, so that those who would only abuse the truth would not know what He was doing until it was already safely done. He had a hidden purpose, “encrypted before [this] age, which Elohim appointed beforehand so that we could prevail…for had the rulers of this [present] age understood this, they would never have crucified the most honored Master."  (1 Corinthians 2:7-8)  

Who does this say really killed Yeshua? That has been the source of our disunity for a very long time. But this says that ultimately it was neither the Jews nor the Romans whom they hired; it was demonic rulers who are in lock-step under the one Yeshua called “the prince of this age”. But the days of that age are numbered, because the verdict has already been rendered that that very prince has been deposed, because he had no claims on Yeshua yet he killed him anyway, thus becoming a murderer and losing all of his rights. (Yochanan 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) The earth is again in the hands of a human being—one who has been restored to all that Adam was and even more, because he overcame where the first did not.

So the birthpangs have already begun for a true new Age that supersedes any repetition of past cycles of life. Wherever possible, we are called to live even now according to the laws of the next age so that it can be brought to bear on the present order, which is already passing away. A new day is pressing in on us before the old completely fades out. Will you keep enjoying prosperity as the old age defines it, or share in the birth pains of the new? Will you suffer with it while it is still unsettled, so it can indeed be brought forth?

​The times we are worst oppressed by the Powers are the times to rejoice the most, for this is a sign that YHWH is pressuring them to let go. They have to shout louder when their position is threatened. It is the time set for our permanent release. When they tighten their grip, it is proof of their defeat and assurance that we are on track.

The final showdown, the last shaking of all that can be shaken is upon us. Do not be surprised if it gets rather confusing in the process. We are warned, but His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor. 1:9) When we seem absolutely unqualified for a task YHWH gives us, and then it actually gets done, He is the only explanation and the only one who can get the credit.

We have an invitation to get on the only truly unsinkable ship. We are here with a task, but we are fully provided for. We are loved. When we go through the darkness, He is no less beside us; the wasting away, the privations, are only outward. What is inside is growing, making the light in us outshine the dark. So banish shame and do your loving with a flair fit for the King. Confound the wise with a gleam in your storm-weathered eyes, for Love never fails.

Be apprehended, and you will find your life. And it will really be yours, unlike anything we think we prefer. But by then you will be so lost in Him that you will wonder why you ever wanted the credit. Forfeit the independence that is only illusory anyway, and find that you can indeed defeat the most invincible foe, for there is One who can do it through you, and He is simply waiting for you to ask Him to.

Such grand principles need a particular tack to hang on. Here is where the earthly and heavenly meet. YHWH’s will must be fleshed out. Just as art is more appreciated in the mundane—a letter folded beautifully, a functional chair decorated with heartfelt detail—than when tucked away in museums, the situations we actually face are the occasion to demonstrate the truths we learn. They seldom come in the glorious way we dreamed of, but they are where YHWH has chosen to meet us.

With each decision, we can make others’ lives in a fallen world easier to bear. Our actions may look the same on the surface, but if we are liberated from Mammon and his cousins, they are now done from a base of restful servanthood rather than anxiety-ridden competition.  

Instead of sacrifice and offering, “a body You have prepared for me”. (Psalm 40:6, LXX) It can be a liability at times, but in spiritual warfare, it is our wild card. The world tries to save its skin at any cost. That we can bow out of the rat race is our secret weapon. If we don’t care what becomes of our bodies, which must be spent on something anyway, haSatan can do nothing to stop us.

But repeatable death to self (“taking up one’s crucifixion stake daily”) is far more useful than martyrdom, in many ways. When by His grace you are ready to die for Him, that is when it is most useful to be alive for YHWH. When earthly things no longer motivate you, your usefulness to the Kingdom is just beginning! Let that disillusionment be your advantage. You are going to die anyway, so why not consciously spend your dying on something that will outlast you by far? What more permanent gift do we have to give others than the service of the body we carry with us everywhere?

If our position in Messiah is not altered on inch by what befalls us on earth, we are the ones who can do the dirty work. There is no museum for well-preserved corpses. We have to be poured out somewhere, so why use only half of our potential? A car in a showroom gets more attention, but goes nowhere. We are earthen vessels—so fragile! But when one discovers the treasure inside, who cares what the container looks like?

Your body and soul were specially-designed to fulfill the particular calling YHWH prepared for you, and not necessarily for anything else. What if we are inept at the things by which the world measures success? What if our souils are ruined for every purpose but YHWH’s? His is all that will ever count anyway. I even heard of a woman who thanked YHWH for letting her go blind so she could concentrate more on prayer.

So lay aside every weight, because those are things you really do not need, and when we jettison them, we have more energy than ever. When we have Him, we have all that matters. Step back and see how great a thing He has really done. Yes, the world is going downhill, life is getting harder, but He has salvaged the most important part and, after He defeats the other Powers through us, will carry it across the chasm to the other side, the Promised Land where it will be at home.

...and you're invited to participate in it, inherit it, and help take it where it's going!
Old treasures
written 1998
reclaimed 2018
after 20 years of aging 
and improvement...

(See  Matithyahu 13:52 
and Luke 5:39)
More on spiritual warfare from a Hebraic standpoint: The Lion's Path