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A Lying Spirit

A couple of months ago, I had a great conversation with an older fellow believer. He was concerned that I had become too legalistic in my obedience to the laws of God. Although, he didn’t outright say that, I could tell based on his attempt to have me reconsider not fasting from leaven during Passover. He knew that my family and I didn’t eat leaven during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but he did. And similarly to many Christians, he prided himself on being spiritually obedient and living according to the spiritual commandments written on his heart. This is a very noble effort indeed.

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Laying Up Treasures

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV)

Treasures – We discovered in another post that laying up treasures was diligently adhering to the righteousness of God. It had everything to do with what you did. And the work that one did was defined by the works of the Torah.

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Lech Lecha

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Genesis 12:1 (KJV)

Get thee out – God tells Abram, lech lecha (לֶךְ-לְךָ), get thee out. As is much of the Hebrew Bible, this is another play on words. The words may sound identical, but actually mean two different things: “go” and “to yourself.” The implication is that although Abraham must undergo a traumatic departure from his native land, he is actually traveling to find his more authentic self. Once Abraham enters the land, his true relationship with the one Lord can grow. 

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Sinful Nature: A Greek Paradigm

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Romans 7:18 (NIV)

Sinful nature – If it’s in the Bible, it must be true, right? Unfortunately, “sinful nature” is not what it means in Greek. You might also be surprised to learn that “sinful nature” is a Greek-rooted paradigm of the Hebrew yetzer hara.

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Year Review of 2019

I spend a lot of time researching and writing articles for this website. It’s been a project of mine since 2014. My cadence is normally about one article per week because 1) it’s all the time I have, and 2) It doesn’t overwhelm my audience with posts. This site is an effort to document my journey and relationship with YHVH and I’d like to take a moment to look back at 2019.

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To Sanctify, or Not To Sanctify

All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep.

Deuteronomy 15:19 (KJV)

Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the Lord’s firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the Lord’s.

Leviticus 27:26

So which is it? Should you, or shouldn’t you sanctify the firstling of beasts? If you take these two verses verbatim as they’re written, this is an obvious contradiction in the text. Deuteronomy states that you should sanctify the firstling, but Leviticus states that you should not.

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Calling on the Name

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:13 (KJV)

Call – For most of Christianity, we imagine ourselves verbally calling out “Jesus” to receive salvation. In fact Paul writes just three verses earlier, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Obviously there’s a message about verbalizing the Name. But could it be something different? Are we interpreting this correctly? It just seems so easy. If I want salvation, all I need to do is call out Jesus’ name. It’s almost too easy.

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God Will Provide

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

Genesis 22:13-14

Jehovahjireh – This word literally means “Yehovah will see to it,” or as many say, “God will provide.” It’s a common saying in Christianity today and this may very well be the root of it. Christianity has really gained some mileage around this feel-good saying. I think we use it for just about any trial as a beacon of hope. And it bears some truth too. God does provide … until the time He doesn’t.

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Importance of Pronouns

Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.

2 Chronicles 24:19 (KJV)

He – If you’re familiar with this story, this verse should cause some hesitation. The “he” is lowercase causing confusion around just who had sent the prophets.

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