He is Coming.

It’s faint, in the distance, the group falls silent. How far, is hard to tell. Yet, it is distinct like the sound of one walking a trail in a thick forest. The sound brings with it a feeling, and it inspires the senses. A smell of pine in the air along with falls crisp morning. Even in the house one feels as if their very souls were as dew settling on the grass. It is both comforting and alarming. Sitting around the table a hush has fallen as they search each others eye’s and yet look past them. It’s hard to think about. It’s wonderful, yet it is also unknown. Silence is broken as one musters up the strength, in a quiet breath, just slightly above a whisper, “He’s coming.”

This is not a new scene. It has played out before. Once in a garden, once in a stable, and now. The feeling of what is to come has been here before and all along. He walked in the garden and we hid in our shame. Later, He was birthed in a stable covered in blood. Then a man He would hang on a tree, bloody, bearing no shame of His own but ours, willingly. He approaches again, to settle accounts, who has enough to pay the debt? No one. Yet, no one need pay anything. The debt has already been paid. Only receive it by faith through repentance. Time whispers, “He’s coming.”

As the foot steps grow louder, you can feel the earth shake with anticipation as it longs for restoration. Nature shifts, the waves roar, the storms rage, but man misses His approach, consumed by self, what must we do? Surely we must do something. Nature becomes humanities focus even while nature whispers, “He’s coming.”

The noise is deafening. It is hard to think clearly. Life consumes, the destroyer wages war on the soul of humanity, whom the destroyer hates, with distraction after distraction. The destroyer knows how, having studied the likeness of He who is coming, the destroyer lays out traps as only the destroyer can do. The destroyers time is running out, with every footstep heard, the noise doesn’t deaden the sound for the destroyer knows all too well his fate. The destroyer hesitant to acknowledge, whispers, “He’s coming.”

Most are unprepared. Many are without understanding. Lost in their perceived reality, devoid of the impending doom. Few have enough oil to get through the night. Night is coming. Do you have enough oil for your lamp? Go and buy oil without money. Put out the distractions from your mind. Sit in silence. Be still. Listen. Get ready. Every soul willingly or unwillingly, whispers, “He’s coming.”

He is coming.

You are loved,

cj

Labor Day Special

“. . . holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Messiah I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:16

There are a few head scratching things about a Labor Day Special. The very idea of it is to draw in business, increasing sales; “come in today for ‘Unbelievable Labor Day Specials!’” However, who is it that is going to help you? A Laborer. What is Labor Day anyway? According to the History Channel, and i take extreme liberty in paraphrasing, (read more about Labor Day here) it is a day to celebrate the laborer. Yet we have decided the best way to celebrate is to have sales that require laborers to labor on Labor Day. We have a lot of weird things in our culture like this, “Black Friday” the day after Thanksgiving just to name another. Mostly people buying things for the sake of a sale. We are a consumer driven society, we want things and we will go out of our way to buy them on sale.

Lately, i have been noticing a few more empty shelves. In some instances i am noticing lots of shelves filled with the same product, seemingly because there is an abundance of one and a lack of another. So to keep the appearance of looking stocked, they just put out what they have. Have you been hearing any rumblings of an impending food shortage? According to Business Insider, “Zoom out and it’s clear: A food crisis is unfolding around the world, with prices shooting up everywhere.”

One of the things i enjoy is watching prepper channels on YouTube. Most of them have cool, innovative, solutions for general crisis and natural disasters that would make life easier during a difficult time. However, if you are a student of history one thing you should know is that in times of war and in times of famine, food becomes incredibly valuable. In Germany in the lead up to extreme Jewish persecution the government came and confiscated food. During the occupation of Eastern Europe food rationing was a big part of how they controlled the citizenry. Of course one would say, that wouldn’t happen here, and to a degree one would be right. However, food is a powerful tool. When a population is hungry and they are told a certain group is hoarding food, it sorta creates a different dynamic. In a crisis certain things are enacted, water rationing, rolling blackouts, so if one hopes to be a survivalist, you will need to understand each facet with all the moving parts. Think you are safe because you own your own land or grow your own food . . . Just look at this article by The Western Journal.

Here is my point, i certainly do not want to discourage anyone from preparing for disaster or crisis, especially given the times in which we live. However, do so quietly. No fan-far. Fly under the radar the best you can. But now for this advice, and this advice is free, yet, it may just be the most valuable piece of advice i can give. It comes from Revelation 3:16-22.

SO, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘Rich I am, and I am made rich, and need none at all,’ and do not know that you are wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you become rich; and white garments, so that you become dressed, so that the shame of your nakedness might not be shown; and anoint your eyes with ointment, so that you see. As many as I love, I reprove and discipline. So be ardent and repent. See, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I shall come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I shall give to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

You are loved,

cj

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

Focus People!

There is so much information out there in the world today. Every one of us carries endless information in our hands via our smartphones. Most of us have a Facebook or a Twitter or some sort of social media account. Those platforms are riddled with information. Some of the information is labeled, misinformation, and then some sort of fact-check is done on it with other information that is now misinformation and the original information is correct.

Have you been following the events in Ukraine? There is so much information coming out of there that it will have your head spinning. Many of the stories carried by the MSM have been false, for example, the Ghost of Kyiv was just a propaganda piece, as was the Snake Island heroes. Even the reasons for the invasion are sketchy at best. With all this misinformation and misdirection it is hard to know what to believe or even who to listen to for that matter.

There are a couple verses i am going to share here and all though they aren’t necessarily within full context they still hold some marit. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12:4 For good measure here is another, Paul writes to Timothy, “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7) We live in an iformation age and anyone with a smartphone has their fingertips on endless knowledge. Yet, we find ourselves almost dumber for having them.

Just today i was on my tablet scrolling through Facebook when i received a text from my oldest son who happens to be in Ecuador at the moment. So of course i stopped what i was doing to see what he said. After replying i then began to scroll Facebook on my phone. A few minutes go by and i look up and i have the same post open on both my phone and tablet, at least i am consistent. But that isn’t the point, i just shook my head and said how dumb is this!?!?! i will answer it for you, it is very dumb!

i was immediatly drawn to the passage i read this morning in my personal devotional time . . . “Coffee with Yahshua.” Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethern, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatevert things are of good repoet, if there is any virture and if there is anything praisworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the Elohim of peace will be with you.”

Be encouraged today, set your focus on the things above. Don’t fear what is happening in the world. Our Adonai is coming soon . . . look up! Meditate on His Word, seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and everything else will fall into place as He has planned.

You are loved,

cj

Elevator to Eternity

i read an article today about a girl who, for all that could be seen, was a happy, healthy, successful, accomplished, beautiful young lady, she died by suicide. She was just 22. i recently found out that a childhood friend died from a drug overdose in 2019, she was 45. Another childhood friend was found dead in her home last year, i don’t know the cause of death but i know that it was unexpected. There has been a rash of celebrity deaths, many of them were sudden all of them tragic. Sudden, unexpected, like a thief in the night, death lurks at all of our doors. No one knows when your ticket will be punched as you step out of this world and into the elevator to eternity.

Everyone expects to step into that elevator and hear the words, “Going up!” Sadly, far too many will hear the opposite. In a world of uncertainty, one can be certain about one thing, what you will hear when stepping into that elevator to eternity. Yahshua, said, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) His entire goal, His life mission, was to save a world standing in line for the down elevator. He made it possible for anyone to step over to the up elevator. He did this out of love; out of a desire to restore creation. Paul records it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “that is, that Elohim was in Messiah reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

So how does one switch lines from down to up? It isn’t complicated but it requires death, not physical, although we will all die eventually, this is a metaphorical death. Dying to the flesh, the desires of this world, and living new. Again Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” How does one become new?

Yahshua said in John 14:6 “Yahshua answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Earlier in John Yahshua said, “For Elohim so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For Elohim did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Elohim’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18). We read in Romans 10:9-10 “If you declare with your mouth, “Yahshua is Lord,” and believe in your heart that Elohim raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” That’s it!

Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Yahshua is Adonai and you will be saved. In John 10:9-10 Yahshua said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” He doesn’t stop there however, He continues, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. . .” You see one never knows when their time on earth is up, sudden death, is around the corner, simply meaning we will all one day die. Where you spend eternity can be secured right now by simply calling out to Yahshua. Believing and confessing as stated above and with it comes the assurance of salvation. Of course with believing also comes a life change but that isn’t the first step, that is the journey. The pressing question today is, which line are you in?

You are loved,

cj

The days of Noah

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37-39

Yahshua’s words here in Matthew are so much more than just evil continually. All though we can see the increase in evil and lawlessness, and not just by the average citizen but also those in government who were elected to govern and not rule. i looked at my monthly budget last night and i am $300 over budget on gasoline. i am $75 over budget on electricity (i have all-electric heat). i am $100 over budget on groceries. Combined, that is nearly $500 in the hole. At this rate, it won’t be long before my account is upside-down. One would say cut back. Well, gas prices have increased where i was able to fill up at the end of my day for $20, i now pay $35 which is $15 a day, five days a week, four weeks in a month. Electricity, i only heat a portion of the house, i can’t imagine what my bill would be if i heated the entire house. i leave minimal lights on and always wear a sweatshirt, in the winter. As far as groceries, i buy the same things every week. even cutting back on the quality of meat i buy and still the same items are now costing $25 more a week. This is just three of my examples and their are many facing the same reality. So why am i telling you this?

It is easy to get fixated on these things and make that the focus of every moment. i need to pay my bills, i need to eat, i need to, fill in the blank. It’s not all about bills either, one wants to also live life, and that becomes a focal point. The days of Noah were days in which evil was abundant, yes, but also, life was focused on living and surviving the best they could, “Your best life now.” The solution being offered by Noah seemed out of touch with life. Judgment was coming but their children wanted to get married and have children. They wanted to eat and drink and make merry. The thought of doom and gloom wasn’t a part of that plan. Fast forward to today, and we are on point with the days of Noah. And the return of Messiah is mocked and scoffed at . . . even within the church.

Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’” 2 Peter 3:3-4

Believe it or not, we are being set up to receive a leader who can bring peace and safety, not just on a local level but a global one. Those that are asleep are falling in line with the narrative, hook, line, and sinker. i am not saying you shouldn’t worry about paying your bills, but don’t worry about it. i mean make the necessary changes in order to meet your obligations, of course. However, we are not to worry about tomorrow and to pray without ceasing. Still this isn’t why i write this . . . i am writing to warn us to not get too fixated on living life here on earth. The Kingdom of our Elohim and King is coming and although we will face many many hardships in this life, do not lose heart, keep your eyes on Yahshua. Our hope is in Him and not in this world or anything it has to offer. It is going to become increasingly difficult to hold that line; The Word is clear on that point. If you aren’t in the Word daily you will fall in line with the world.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10

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