Be aware, be kind, be giving, love

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our Elohim and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James‬ 1:27

If there is one thing that has always been in the forefront of my faith it is to take care of those in distress. i won’t list the times here as this isn’t about ringing my own bell just simply that even with all i can point to i still feel as if i need to do more. The other day i was talking with some folks and as we talked life and such we got on the subject of foster care. i have done foster care several times and it is an incredible opportunity to show the love of Elohim.

Even if you are unable to take in children, you can support those that do or as i discussed with this couple; Most of these kids when taken from home to home pile all their belongings in trash bags. What if the next time you replace your luggage you take a suitcase down to the foster care center and donate it to a child. Instead of them feeling as if all their worth is garbage they can have some sort of dignity.

It’s not just here but i try to be aware of my friends, especially those that are single mothers. What do they need? Money to help their kids play sports? A bill that is due and you can see their stress? i will often donate to support their children’s sports or pay a bill for them. These aren’t huge but they are helpful. It doesn’t require a lot just awareness. Be aware of those around you. i don’t always give but what i do is seek the Holy Spirits direction and remain open to His leading.

i just want to encourage you in these days of uncertainty, inflation is on the rise, and the cost of living is a giant stress. Those in need now are really going to feel the stress before some of us do . . . Be aware, be kind, be giving, love those around you the best you can. “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our Elohim and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself untainted by the world.”

You are loved,

cj

Flee from idolatry

And YWHW spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the poeple of Israel and say to them, I am YWHW your Elohim. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow My rules and keep My statutes and walk in them. I am YWHW your Elohim. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My rules, if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am YWHW.’” Leviticus 18:1-5

These are the laws and the statutes that you shall be careful to do in the land that YWHW Elohim of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. You shall not worship YWHW your Elohim in that way. But you shall seek the place that YWHW your Elohim will choose out of all your tribes to put His name and make His habitation there.” Deuteronomy 12:1-5

Have we as a church allowed the influences of the world to creep in on the things of YWHW our Elohim? Have we, as Israel, forgotten that our Elohim is jealous for us? i fear that as we embrace the traditions of man over the appointed Feasts of our Adonai, we are in a way doing as Israel did time and time again. We don’t possess the land, so i am not calling for violence or to take the measures outlined in the verses above. However, in a spiritual sense, i am saying, that we need to purge these things from our life as to not blend man’s tradition with Elohim’s statutes or His Feasts.

YWHW our Elohim is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As He revealed Himself through Yahshua, He didn’t somehow condone idolatry. He didn’t say, it was now okay to worship anyway we see fit. What He did do is affirm our need for a Saviour and dependance on the Holy Spirit in our lives. We cannot serve two masters. We are still to flee idolatry. We should be growing closer to YWHW our Elohim through Yahshua by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and forming our worship of Him through His instruction. How we worship matters, it has always mattered, and it will matter when we see Him, shouldn’t we then focus our attention on the ways He has outlined for us?

You are loved,

cj

For love’s sake i appeal to you

Now, therefore, fear YWHW, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river and in Egypt. Serve YWHW! And if it seems evil to you to serve YWHW, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve YWHW.” Joshua 24:14-15

This is my yearly appeal to you out of love, walk away from Easter and all of its pagan roots. We know it to be true that Yahshua fulfilled the Passover. John the Baptist declared on the river’s edge, “Behold, the Lamb of Elohim, who takes away the sin of the world!” Yahshua is the final Passover Lamb, we should be honoring that and not the combination of a pagan festival mixed with the richness of the Feast of Elohim that tears the vale and covers us in righteousness, cleansing us from our sin.

In Emperor Constantine’s letter to “all those not present at the council,” following the Council of Nicea wrote how it would be better to separate from Jewish custom. He called out the Jews for killing Yahshua and in many instances called for anti-Semitism. For instance, he wrote, “We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews.” He goes on to say, “They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two Passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the Passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people [the Jews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division. Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired[to establish] only one Catholic Church.”

The question of whether or not Constantine truly converted to Christianity or not has been debated for centuries. However, we do know for a fact that rather than adhere strictly to Christian tradition and belief; for the sake of the unity of the empire, he combined the festal days of paganism and Christianity. His disdain for the Jews as represented in his letter, and his lack of judgment in establishing a new religion where we see the combination of paganism and Christianity should certainly call into question our adherence to these traditions.

When Adonai your Elohim cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? —that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship Adonai your Elohim in that way, for every abominable thing that Adonai hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. Everything that I caommand you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” Deuteronomy 12:29-32

i want to make a clarification here about Constantine’s reference to two Passover’s, clearly he was unaware and sadly none of the scholars of his day enlightened him. In Numbers 9 we read of some men who were cerimonially unclean and therefore unable to bring the sacrifice of Passover. They inquired of Moses and Aaron on what to do. YWHW told Moses to give this instruction: Numbers 9:10-11 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, if any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through tourching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to YWHW. In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. . .”

Concerning the idea that Passover or any of the Feast of Adonai are strictly Jewish, i present Leviticus 23:1-2 “Adonai spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, these are the appointed feasts of Adonai that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are MY appointed feasts.” Clearly they are HIS feasts, much like the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.

Finally, let me close with this, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Messiah Yahshua. And if you are Messiah’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:23) Passover this year begins at Sundown on Friday April 15, in line with Good Friday services, however, the tomb would not be discovered empty until Tuesday morning fulfilling the three days and three nights. Often Easter and Passover do not line up and occasionally are off by a months time. Although this year is very close in timing i will refuse to attend any church that is honoring Easter, hosting an egg hunt, or in any way mixing pagan tradition with this most Holy of Feasts, Passover.

You are loved,

cj

A Different Gospel

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Messiah, to a different gospel.” Galatians 1:6

As the world grows darker and societies and governments move further from Adonai, we will see many turning from the truth to have their ears tickled. As Paul writes above to the Galatians and also warned Timothy, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

We need to be dilegent in our study and understanding of Scripture specifically the “Good News of Yahshua Ha’Mashiach” (Jesus Christ). The world is turning further from the truth and embrassing lies, many of which are cloaked in half-truths. If it contradicts the Word of Elohim we must turn from it. Schools are becoming a target for this as well. When i was in elementary school i remember taking a bus on wednesday’s to a church to study the Bible. It was called, religious release. Later as a youth pastor, i help establish and participate in Campus Bible Clubs. All great things, however, as the world hates the name of Yahshua they also will hate us as Yahshua states, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake, But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22. Now enters, Satan Clubs, an alternative after school program. And it’s not technically new as they have been around for a few years now.

i believe their end goal isn’t to have a club but for their to be such an outcry that all religious clubs are banned. Either way they will see it as a win. The influence of this world is growing stronger, with the increase of influence by the internet, social media, video games, and soon the metaverse. The struggle for the mind of our youth and even many adults have increased exponentially. Many churches today are only a shell of what they once were in doctrine as they have begun to preach a different gospel. Folks, if you don’t know, you will fall prey to the sceams of the devil.

As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:9-10

I charge you therefore before Elohim and Adonai Yahshua Ha’Mashiach, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2

You are loved,

cj

What’s in a name

This post is open for debate, more so than most. Mainly, because it is something i am still working through and i find when i write things out it helps me to see more clearly the thought. Also, i would welcome any of your thoughts on the matter. The question is, what is in a name? If you travel to a foreign country, and the hotel clerk asks you what your name is you tell them your name, as you know it. For instance, my name is cj which doesn’t necessarily work for this example so i will use my full name, christopher. If i travel to let’s say, Spain, and i go to a hotel and the clerk asks my name, i am going to say, “christopher.” In Spanish my name is translated, Cristobal, but i don’t say, Cristobal, i say christopher because that is my name. Moreover, when the paperwork is printed and i am given a receipt, the name on that paper will say, christopher, not Cristobal.

So with this example in hand, why do we use the Greek terms, God and Jesus, for YHWH and Yahshua. It is undisputedly clear that YHWH revealed Himself through the nation of Israel and the Hebrew language. In fact, we are introduced to YHWH in a more personal way in Yahshua, and yet still we render His name in Greek as well. If we don’t translate our name when we travel, why do we do it with names that we are commanded not to take in vain?

Exodus 20:7 says: “You do not bring the Name of YHWH your Elohim to naught, for YHWH does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught.”

Here it is in the NKJ: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who take His name in vain.”

The Greek term for the lord is Ba’al. Why have we associated it with our Adonai? Adonai, translated from Hebrew to Greek is Lord but the Greek root is Ba’al. Let me just share a bit of what Wikipedia has to say about this: “Baal, or Baʽal, was a title and honorific meaning “owner”, “lord” in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applied to gods. Scholars previously associated the theonym with solar cults and with a variety of unrelated patron deities but inscriptions have shown that the name Ba’al was particularly associated with the storm and fertility god Hadad and his local manifestations. The Hebrew Bible includes the use of the term in reference to various Levantine deities, often with application towards Hadad, who was decried as a false god. That use was taken over into Christianity and Islam, sometimes under the form Beelzebub in demonology.”

Knowing that we are to hold the name of our El which is commonly translated God in reverence, why are we so accustomed to the Greek forms? What does the Word of El Shaddai have to say on the matter?

“And in all that I have said to you take heed. And make no mention of the name of other mighty ones, let it not be heard from your mouth.” Exodus 23:13

“So as not to go in among these nations, these who remain among you. And make no mention of the name of their mighty ones, nor swear by, nor serve them nor bow down to them. But cling to YHWH your Elohim, as you have done this day.” Joshua 23:7-8

“The sorrows of those who run after another one are increased; I would not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor take up their names on my lips.” Psalms 16:4

i am not sure what i think of all this . . . However, for as much as i can, i am going to use the Hebrew names, as this is how YHWH introduced Himself to us and hasn’t, anywhere i can find, changed it. Let me know what you think!

You are loved,

cj

Concerning the coming of our Adonai

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Adonai Yahshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Messiah had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 NKJ (Italic’s & Hebrew Names added by me)

i feel a pressing urgency to write to you, in light of current events. i hear many talking about getting ready because the rapture is going to happen. Yet, time and time again as Paul wrote above, and Yahshua, said in Matthew 24:12; “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Many are not ready for what is at the doorstep of the world.

i want to say this as succinctly as possible. Instead of hoping for a rapture, what we should be doing is strengthening our faith in order to endure. There are times that are coming, as Yahshua declared and as Paul taught, that will try every man (humanity), and we are called to endure. Paul says it this way, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Adonai Yahshua HaMashiach Himself, and our Elohim and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

Yahshua says it this way, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” John writes to the Churches in Revelation, saying, “repent,” “overcome,” “endure.” These are not merely empty sayings but warnings; we as believers are going to see a time like nothing seen before and we must be able to endure. Not with fear but with hope. Not alone but by and with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).

i fear the reason we read about a falling away is because many are not ready to endure, not many are willing to give up the pleasures of this world. Rather, they are putting their hope in it which only leads to destruction. Narrow is the way to salvation and few find it, are you ready to endure?

You are loved,

cj

Living for the Lord

“For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 1 Corinthians 7:19

For all that was taking place in Corinth at the time. For everything that Paul was addressing. i don’t think, although it appears a footnote, that his mentioning the commandments is a small matter. It wasn’t about ritual; it wasn’t about Abrahamic Covenant or Mosaic Law; it was instead a call to obedience to God through His commandments. Specifically, The Ten Commandments.

In the full context of what Paul was addressing, we find that he was qualifying the new believer. This is no small point either. However, you came into a relationship with Jesus, remain. If you were circumcised, then remain; if not, don’t seek it out. If slave, don’t concern yourself with freedom; if free, don’t seek to be enslaved by man. Instead, both should consider it a joy to be now a slave to Christ, obedient to the one who calls us out of the bondage of sin into a life made free in Christ Jesus.

Yet, one point in this, “but keeping the commandments of God.” What are the commandments of God? Here, specifically, The Ten Commandments. That’s right; Paul qualified his remarks by stating it should be our concern to follow the commandments of God. Paul didn’t seem to think it was too much for the new believer to find himself a slave to Christ and a subject to the Law of God.

1. Have no other Gods before me. (How might we put other gods before the Great I AM? Could it be in our traditions steeped in pagan practices?)

2. Do not Worship any graven image. (This one is a bit more speculative on my part, but could it be our adoration for electronics, or even perhaps the use of statues within Catholicism?)

3. Do Not Take the Lord’s name in Vain. (Beyond a curse word, this also implies the use of the Lord’s name to make a statement more impactful, “The Lord told me!” Be careful, my friends, on how you use the Lord’s name!)

4. Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy. (Certainly, this doesn’t mean any ol’day of the week. Clearly, a day was chosen. History reveals to us that Jesus observed the Sabbath, what we refer to as Saturday. It is clearly written here, to remember it and keep it Holy . . . yet so many dismiss this commandment with ease, why?)

5. Honor your father and mother. (This is more than a child being obedient, this is a grown child caring for his elderly parent. It goes far beyond simply obeying your parent as a kid under their roof).

6. Do not kill. (This is about cold-hearted murder, don’t confuse the issue with self-defense).

7. Do not commit adultery. (More than a physical relationship, this is also emotional, Jesus talks about adultery of the heart through the lust of the eyes, or inappropriate texts, etc.).

8. Do not steal. (When having a peaceful protest, it still isn’t ok to loot).

9. Do not bear false witness. (Beyond lying, this is also gossip that is based on rumor and not fact. Be careful what you say and of whom you say it).

10. Do not covet. (Be content. Live in the moment. Don’t concern yourself about how your neighbor lives; concern yourself with your relationship with the God of the Universe, one day, you will meet Him and receive either reward or condemnation).

You are loved,

cj

Your days are numbered!

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16 ESV

”Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.” Job 14:5 NASB

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:27 NASB

A glimpse into the knowledge of Creator God, He has ordained our days. His knowledge supersedes our own in every way imaginable, and this includes knowing the exact amount of days we will walk this earth. Worry will not add any time; knowledge will not add any time; in fact, nothing we can do will add a day to our lives. You might say a good diet, exercise, or just healthy habits, in general, will add to our lives. But not in the book, not in God’s knowledge.

i am not discouraging good eating or healthy habits, i am simply pointing out that God already knows, has already counted, has already ordained our days. It is, however, within God’s power to add if He so desires, to our days, as we read: “Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.’” Isaiah 38:1-5 NASB

So why am i writing this? What is my reasoning? We have a tendency to assume or believe that we are in control of our days and that we always have tomorrow. But we are not guaranteed tomorrow. As we read in Luke, “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’”

The most important thing you can do isn’t a good diet or exercise. It isn’t financial security or healthy habits. The most important thing you can do is prepare your heart, soul, and mind. Life has always been spiritual, we are spiritual beings, and the battle we fight is spiritual; worship is spiritual, yet Satan is actively attempting to distract us with physical things and making it seem as if physical things or physical appearance will be what makes us happy. i assure you, we find our happiness, not in the physical realm but the spiritual.

You will never be satisfied with the things of this world. The word is clear, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:33-34 ESV

So, if you were to die, if God were to require your soul tonight, do you know where your soul will go? You can have the assurance of tomorrow in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Word says, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Romans 10:13 ESV) There is no secret initiation, just simply: “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart, you believe and are justified, and with your mouth, you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:8-10 Berean Study Bible

You see, God so loved the world that He made a way for us; we only need to respond in faith, repent of our sins, and seek first His Kingdom. If you want more information or have a question, please don’t hesitate to comment below or reach out via messenger on our Facebook page, Coffee with Jesus.

You are loved,

cj

spiritual forces of evil

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

i think we need a reminder of something. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) This is as true today as it was when Peter wrote it, and as true as: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say,’” (Genesis 3:1) Not only is he crafty, he is the father of lies. If you are a true born-again believer, he knows who you are, and he hates you.

There is a fascinating book within scripture that has many difficult sub-stories within the main story, and that is Job. There is much we could talk about, but i would point you to the beginning and the interaction between God and Satan, Job 1:6-12. Consider the entire context but for emphasis, let me share what Satan already knew of Job. Verse 9 “Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.’” Truly Satan did know all there was to know about Job. Consider also this passage from Acts 19:15 “But the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” The spirit was talking to itinerant Jewish exorcists; they were not followers of Jesus.

Although Satan will use the non-believer for his purposes, he doesn’t, nor do his minions know them. They don’t care to know them. However, if you are a child of God, you have a target on your back, and i can assure you, Satan and the fallen ones know exactly who you are and want nothing more than to see you fail. They will stop at nothing to accomplish their mission. They have crept into the Church, they have crept into the family, they have crept into governments, and their mission is to devour the children of God. To usurp the authority of God, and we can read in Revelation, they will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal.

Indeed, we must be vigilant, sober-minded, watchful! “Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. . . . praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me . . .” (Ephesians 6:13,18,19a)

You are loved,

cj

A living parable

Adventure through life like it’s a parable. What is a parable, you ask? Well, simply, it is a story with spiritual meaning or application. Imagine, if you will, every situation, every conversation, everything you read or watch, becoming a parable. It can if you simply ask the question, “what does Jesus want to say to me through this . . .?”

“He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’” Matthew 13:31-32 ESV

This is obviously talking about how the Kindom of heaven may have small beginnings but grows beyond what one would expect. Life is a bunch of mustard seeds. Every word you speak. Thought you think. Choice you make. These seeds grow. It is why it is essential to choose your words wisely, be quick to listen, and slow to speak. It is why we need to take every thought captive and bring it before the Lord that we not be ruled by our limited understanding but by the Truth of God’s Word. It is also why we must choose wisely, be doers of the word; whatever we do in word or deed should glorify God.

Could you imagine the impact one could have if they started to think of everything they do as the beginning of a parable? Considering what a word or action would later produce is kind of common sense, but sometimes although the idea is there, the actual thought is not. You might say it would be too much pressure. i disagree. i view it as an adventure! It’s like one of those old choose your adventure books. You read a little and then your character faces a choice. In the book whatever you choose, you turn to a particular page and continue the story, some outcomes are good and some are not so good. However, unlike most choose your own adventure books, most of our day to day choices are redeemable. That should give us some hope.

i have been living this parable life idea now for some time, and i can honestly say that my life has become a great adventure! i don’t always make the right decision, but i am constantly learning and growing and experiencing life with a desire to have the mind of Christ, the hands and feet of Christ, the words of Christ, the love of Christ.

Join me in my adventure in being a living parable.

You are loved,

cj