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Life, Love and
Pleasing the Creator
I have had the desire, since being called out, to speak to people who have not heard the profound truth contained within the Scriptures and who are seeking truth. This article is, in essence, my effort to draw those who have been called out of Babylon, but have not yet found the Way that leads to salvation and redemption spoken of by Yahweh’s anointed, Yahshua Ha Mashiach.
I offer greetings and blessings to you who are reading this writing. By doing so, you have demonstrated your desire to grow and mature in the light of the Holy Spirit, the Set-apart Spirit of Yahweh; and I pray that you may be richly rewarded for your curiosity and desire to understand more about Life, Love and Pleasing the Creator, our Heavenly Father, Yahweh, Almighty.
What I hope to address is the meaning and purpose of Life, the character and process of Love, and the message that our Heavenly Father has given to us about what He expects of us in order to please Him.
If I may, let me first tell you a little about myself, so that you might understand what I’m preaching, in the light of my life’s experiences. I was born into a home where my mother was raised Catholic, my father was raised Presbyterian and I was raised … by mid-American TV evangelism. I remember, as a kid, in my innocence and naiveté, setting up a make-shift alter at the foot of the TV, using some pillows and a brass fruit bowl off the kitchen counter. As I look back upon that scene, I now see how the ancient Israelites had the child-like desire to create an idol, impatiently waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain. In this case, I bowed down to the god of the TV – which had become my deity, my source of comfort, understanding and wisdom. It preached the wisdom of the world, and today, our TV is disconnected to the air waves.
I was never taken to church by my parents; however, a Baptist neighbor, inquiring of my mother about our family’s church affiliation, discovered that my sister and I had never been to church, and she volunteered to take us to her place of worship. My parents consented, and that is where I first had the opportunity to make a place in my heart for the Savior. Later, as a young teenager, returning to that neighbor’s church to seek a connection to the Creator, I had what I would call my first “manifestation of the Holy Spirit.” I felt, and visualized, the hand of the Creator coming down from heaven and enveloping me in His gentle grasp. I had been “called”. Amazingly, though, when I “answered the call” to “come down” to the alter at the end of the service, I was ushered into the pastor’s office to answer the question, “Do you want to be baptized?” I answered, “No,” not fully understanding the connection between that fresh spiritual experience and the formality of baptism. Having given that answer, I was then ushered through another door out of the pastor’s office – and into the parking lot! I had been rejected as effectively as if I had been flushed down the toilet. At least, that’s what I thought in response, as I stood there wondering what just happened.
From that point, my confusion lead me to various attempts to discover truth, including submersion (not immersion) into Transcendental Meditation and the philosophical teachings of the Maharaji Mahesh Yogi, dedication of myself to Mormonism, then rebellion to Mormonism into Agnosticism, attempts to “find a place for myself” in multiple marriages, diversion to drugs and country rock music, acquiescence to conventional Protestantism, and then seduction into “Signs and Wonders Pentecostalism.”
Lastly, I think the Creator took pity on my soul, and spoke to me directly (not auditorily), while writing 3 words on my heart. As I sat in a pew, after a Sunday service which was, as I recall, directed at the value of grace over works, these 3 words transformed me into a new being. There were no fi reworks; and, no volcanoes erupted that morning; there were no horns blasting, and I had no compulsion to “go out on the street corner to preach the good news.” I simply had a profound sense of peace, a gentle assurance of a deep change within me. The three words were, “Honor My Sabbath.”
There was no question in my mind that I was being called to set the 7th day, the Sabbath of Yahweh, aside to read Scripture, pray and sing. And, that’s all I did. In doing so, I received an inordinate amount of energy; I became maniacally obsessed with reading the Word. The first Scripture “given” to me was Romans 3:4 – “Let Yahweh be true and every man a liar.” That’s what the text said; but I knew that, for me, it meant that I should set in abeyance everything ever preached to me and, instead, read the Scripture for myself, for what it actually says.
What I discovered unsettled me, for what I read did NOT correspond with what was being preached from the pulpit! And, I spent months, meeting with the pastor in an effort to reconcile these differences. But, I could not be reconciled, and the last words this pastor spoke to me was this, “Don’t read the Old Testament; it’s only good for a few stories!” In that moment, I knew that I could not go back to my former complacency, sitting in the pew, listening to words that contradicted THE Word.
I found myself again, “out in the parking lot,” so to speak; except, this time, I had been CALLED OUT of Christianity; since being PUSHED out apparently didn’t take. I wonder if those who ushered me out of the church were working to do Yahweh’s will? Was I too blind to see His hand in this matter? One day, maybe I’ll find out.
I had severed the umbilical cord to tradition, denomination, dogma – and to the institution of Christianity itself. At the same time though, I was given a deeper testimony of the One who took the stripes for me, bled and sacrificed His life so that I might have life, and have it more abundantly. I was dragged out of religion, and my eyes were opened to the light of the truth contained in the Bible. This experience was, for me, as if a veil had been lifted from my face – I could see clearer now; though, be advised, I know that I am NOT the holder of the truth. I instruct you who are reading my words to follow the admonition of Paul, “Let Yahweh be true, and every man a liar.” You are to consider me to be a liar – not as a means of condemnation, but for the purpose of seeking out the truth for yourselves. I know that “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Don’t believe ME! Believe the Word of the Creator. Read the Book for yourself and see if the words contained in it speak to you. I suggest that you set aside, as I was led to do, the notion that “the man behind the pulpit knows MUCH more than I; after all, he went to school to learn all this stuff. Who am *I* to contradict what a minister preaches?!” People, we are admonished to “work out our OWN salvation – with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12. Do not rely on me or anyone else for the truth. Take the veil from off your face and seek the Spirit of the Creator for the truth. Seek the Heavenly Father, whose name is Yahweh.
And, with that last bit of knowledge, let me begin to describe to you what I have discovered, or more accurately, let me teach you what the Holy Spirit has given to me. I must tell you an astonishing story of how my wife and I came to know the Sacred names of our Heavenly Father, Yahweh, and His Anointed Son, Yahshua. It is astonishing for two reasons. 1) An acquaintance of my wife came into our lives, having an abiding and enduring strength of testimony of the truths contained within the Old and New Testament. She did not know about this revelation of mine, and the first time she came over to our house, to go for a walk with my wife, she saw me sitting at the table, reading the Bible. She was struck with the sight of someone actually reading the Bible. She enquired about my study, and I spoke to her about my call to honor the Sabbath. Her eyes bugged out and, for the next 6 hours, she, my wife and I shared about our experiences and Scriptural understandings. She had studied the Bible for years and had an amazing ability to quote and teach the truths contained in the Word. She introduced us to some amazing facts contained in Scripture, including the name of the Creator and the name of His Son.
Proverbs 30:4 - Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name and what is the name of His Son? Surely you know!
Yet, now, she has abandoned these truths and seriously doubts the legitimacy of the entire Bible, including the redeeming work of salvation suffered by our Savior. She is, for all intents and purposes, lost. I pray for her return to faith in the Creator. I don’t know if it was a blessing or a curse that, when the opportunity to be baptized in the name of Yahshua came, she relented to do so. For me, if there was ever a picture of someone who had extinguished the Holy Spirit within them, this was it. That’s not to condemn her; clearly, I have no right to do that; but her story only serves me as a possibility of what the only unforgivable sin might look like.
Secondly, I have no knowledge of this woman having an impact on anyone else’s life that had any resemblance to the impact she had on my life and on that of my wife. It was as if she had been raised up for one purpose, to bring light to me and my wife. I know that sounds terribly self-serving and grandiose; however,
I have witnessed her speaking to others what she shared with us, and I can absolutely say that I have no evidence that anyone ever accepted her words of wisdom. All whom she spoke to rejected her teaching. Once, while simply READING the Scripture to someone, that person stood up and yelled, “The Bible does NOT say that!!” Wow. How powerful is the influence of false teachings over the very words of Scripture?! After she, herself, fell away, she tried to convince us of the error of faith in the words of the Bible. Sadly, for her, she again found rejection of her teaching. We remained faithful to Yahweh’s Word. I have much to share with you; and, normally, an instructor might take his time introducing new ideas so that he doesn’t overwhelm his audience. Even so, I’m going to risk giving you the whole ball of wax in a briefly-worded list of truths I have discovered pertaining to the names of the Father and Son, the Bible, the plan of salvation, and so on.
1. The name of our Heavenly Father is Yahweh. His name may be new to you, but it has been known since the beginning of time, and has not been removed from the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. It is my assertion that the pronunciation of His name has not been lost, a concept that has been promoted by the Jewish people. The meaning of His name, AND the pronunciation of His name, is found in the two Hebrew words, hayah and haweh, which both, interestingly, mean “to be, to become or to exist.” Hence, His name is translated and interpreted in English, in Exodus 3:14, as “I am that I am.” To the extent that any human being can know history, we can be assured of the pronunciation of His name. What more can be expected of us?
2. The name of Yahweh’s Son is Yahshua. His name in Hebrew means “the Salvation of Yah.” “Yah” is the poetic name of Yahweh. “Shua” means Salvation. This is the name that the Angel Gabriel spoke to Miriam to name the Savior of all mankind.
3. The Law of Yahweh, which was given to Moses to give to the Children of Israel, is NOT dead, and has NOT been nailed to the tree to be erased from memory. It is still alive and living in the hearts of those who worship Yahweh and His Son, Yahshua, who was the example given to us so that we might more fully obey. After all, Yahshua said, “If you love me, you will obey My commandments,” John 14: 15, 21; John 15:10.
4. Sin is lawlessness. What law? The Law of Yahweh, and most importantly the Law written by the hand of Yahweh on Mount Sinai, the Ten Commandments. 1 John 3:4 - Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5. Sabbath … the day set aside for the remembrance, honor and worship of the Creator of the Heavens and Earth, is the seventh day of the week. It begins on the sixth day at sunset (the day identified on the Gregorian calendar as Friday). It ends at sunset on the day referred to as Saturday. Exodus 20:8-11 - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy [or set apart]. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is *a* Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and made it Holy.” Yahweh consecrated and blessed this day as belonging to Him. He wrote in stone that He and all of those who worship him have a weekly Appointment with Him at His Sacred meeting place.
6. In Exodus 20:10, it says “but the seventh day is a Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim.” It is *a* Sabbath of Yahweh. The *other* seven Sabbaths, or Appointed Times, of Yahweh are found in Leviticus 23. There, we find the Plan of Salvation, which we will delve into in much greater depth later. Nevertheless, we shall discover, there, how Yahshua has fulfilled the first three of the seven Appointed Times (the seven annual Sabbaths), foreshadowing what must happen before the end of time. The Appointed Times are, after the weekly 7th day Sabbath, Passover (in memorium to the blood of the unblemished Lamb of Yahweh placed on the door posts and lintels of our “houses,” protecting us from the “destroying angel”). Next are the Appointed Times of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or coming out of sin, (meaning *Purity* in Greek) and leaving the idolatry of Egypt. The third Appointed Time is that of Pentecost, also called the Feast of Weeks, the day of the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai and the day upon which the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples of Yahshua in the Temple or House of Yahweh. The Feast of Weeks is thought to foreshadow the coming together of the House of Judah and the House of Israel. These three Appointed Times, Passover, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, have been fulfilled by Yahshua. The remaining four Appointed Times are yet to be fulfilled: the Feast of Trumpets, which foreshadows the heralding of the Revelation of the Messiah; the Day of Atonement, when Heaven and earth become “at one;” the Feast of Tabernacles, when Yahshua will tabernacle with us in His thousand year reign; and the Last Great Day, when all evil will be put away and the earth renewed to its former paradise.
What I’ve described here, to me, are the most relevant issues that we need to absorb and hold on to, because, it makes the rest of Scripture understandable. It serves to clarify what is seemingly nonsensical in the Bible. For example, we find in the King James in Matthew 28:1, “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” In some other versions the 1st phrase reads, “After the Sabbath…”, which implies that Sabbath is over, and we are now on Sunday. However, that same version in the American Standard Version reads, “Now late on the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first (day) of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” When the English ear hears the word “dawn,” we naturally think sunrise. Right? But, it is used here in the sense that “It dawned on me that I was late for my appointment,” having nothing to do with sunrise. We know this to be true, because in ancient times, one day ends and another day BEGINS at sunset. So, Mary went to the sepulchre BEFORE the sun set, on Sabbath, to visit the grave of the Messiah, and found Him gone. Yahshua was raised from the grave on the Sabbath, the day of which He is the Master and Sovereign. He did not rise on Sunday.
Life - chaim
In His role as Shepherd to us, as sheep, the Savior says these words in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
He contrasts the concept of life and death to the concepts of something that is valuable being stolen, having died or being destroyed. Life, as the Savior is describing it, must therefore mean to be restored, to be born and to be built up. I take it that He is restoring us to a former state of being, BEFORE we were stolen, killed or destroyed; perhaps to that state in which Adam and Eve found themselves in the Garden of Eden. Life, to Him, means being born from Above, a re-birth into the Kingdom. And, the Messiah seems to be saying that Life involves a continual state of being built up, learning knowledge and developing wisdom. May His words bring us closer to that Kingdom.
Love – Ahab
Deuteronomy means a retelling. In chapter 6 and verse 5, Moses is reminding the Chosen People what Yahweh had formerly covenanted with them, “You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” In Deuteronomy 7:13, Moses describes Yahweh’s part of this covenant, “And He will love you and bless you and multiply you.” NKJV
Pleasing the Creator
Luke 2:14 says, "Glory to Elohim in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." That’s from the NASU version. The NIV version says, “Glory to Elohim in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." Upon whom does His favor rest? Our Shepherd and Redeemer says, “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments.” For me, He is describing what He expects of us in order to be favored, or chosen, by Him. Remember, He harshly turned away those who “drank in His presence, taught in their streets, and who prophesied, cast out demons and did many wonders in His name.” He rejected them because they practiced … lawlessness. See Luke 13:26- 27, Matthew 13:41-43 and Matthew 7:22-23.
There are many, many more jawdropping discoveries to explore, found within the books of the Scriptures. For example, do you know the ONE sign that Yahshua gave that He was, indeed, the awaited Messiah? Do you know the sign that shows that you are a Child of our Heavenly Father, Yahweh? Is Christmas mentioned in the New Testament? How about Hanukah? In Biblical times, when does a day “dawn”? Upon what day did sun-worshippers meet for worship? Do you know who Easter is, or whose birthday was celebrated on December 25? In what book and chapter of the Old Testament is the Plan of Salvation laid out? (Hint: blood is shed to protect from death, sin is removed, the "Firstfruit" is lifted to Heaven, the Spirit is given, the Messiah returns, order is restored, He reigns [for a thousand years], and Death is put-away). Can the Creator lie? Did he lie about saving a remnant of Israel? For whom did women mourn for 40 days and make candled cakes for the Queen of Heaven? Where, in the Old Testament, is the New Testament described? How is the New different from the Old? Who comprises the House of Judah? Who comprises the House of Israel? What does Scripture say will happen to them, some day? Why did the Messiah send His disciples out to "the lost sheep of the House of Israel"? What did He mean when He said that He has only come for "the lost sheep of the House of Israel"? Who did James (whose real name is Ya’akob) write to? When Peter (Kepha) wrote to the Pilgrims of the Dispersion, who was he writing to? If he wrote letters to them, do you suppose he knew their address? When does a day begin, according to Hebrew culture? When Mary went to the grave "as the first day of the week dawned," what time of day was that? John said that the Messiah's body had to be off the cruel tree by sundown because the "High Sabbath" was approaching. What's a High Sabbath? The Messiah said that He was the Sovereign of the Sabbath. Which day of the week was that, the 1st or the 7th? Who created the entire universe? "What is His name; and what is the name of His Son? Surely you know.” James likened a dead body to one's faith. He said that spirit brings that body to life. What is it that brings one's dead faith to life?
If you do not know the answers to these questions, then stick around as we explore this amazing book, the Bible, the Word, the Scriptures.
As a final note, we hear snippets from the Bible (and sometimes NOT from the Bible) that generate false understanding and false beliefs about who Yahweh is. One of them is found in Luke 2:14, which says, “Glory to Yahweh in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Great! Right? Yahweh is bringing peace and good will toward all mankind. Cool. It implies that the Father will “save” everyone. In a very important sense, that is true, because Yahshua offered His life’s blood for all mankind. However, Biblical scholars have seemingly found a flaw in this translation. The phrase, "Good will toward men" is a reading much disputed. A.T. Robertson, who wrote Word Pictures of the New Testament, says that a better translation would be, "peace among men in whom He is well pleased" (as translated in the American Standard Version). The NASU writes, "Glory to Yahweh in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." The idea here is that “He loved us first.” That’s why we love Him. Yahshua did the work of salvation for us. We are ALL able to accept what He paid for us. But, many reject Him. Luke 2:14 says that those who receive Yahweh’s Son and act according to Yahweh’s Laws are pleasing to Him and will receive peace in their souls. We are in a covenant with Yahweh. He provides for our salvation; but to be redeemed, we must uphold our part of our agreement. We who obey Yahweh’s Law will be redeemed. He paid the price and will return to redeem those who did not rot on the vine, who did not fall to the earth or were not plucked up by birds of the air and who were not stolen by thieves. He offers to make of us new wine, placed in new wine skins for eternal joy.
May Yahweh Bless you and enrich your understanding of His Word. HalleluYah!
-Elder John Fisher
© 2009 Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua
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