Good Day, in Messiah! I would like to bring you all up to speed on what’s going on in my life. I haven’t posted much in a while. The past year has been eventful for the entire world, and it certainly has been eventful and hard for me and my family as well. While the world was in the throes of a so-called “pandemic” with a virus with a 99% survivability rate being used to lock down commerce, social activities including religious services, and limiting our ability to have personal face to face interaction through quarantines of healthy people and unscientific mask usage, our family was dealing with the loss of our oldest daughter.
She was in Mexico being treated at CHIPSA Hospital, an advanced immunotherapy hospital, where she had been for several months. This was her last of four stays at the hospital where she had been successfully treated. Covid restrictions ultimately caused the hospital to have to close and send everyone home. She and her husband were informed the day before they had to evacuate. After a 2300 mile drive back home to East Tennessee her health continued to decline and she passed into the presence of the Master Yahusha on June 10th, 2020. I bless Yah she is safe with Him, though it has been hard for us who are left behind. We miss her and all the promise of life that might have been. But I know she is experiencing life in a way I can’t even imagine right now. The Apostle Shaul, called Paul wrote of Paradise, having been there and returned.
2Co 12:2 I know a man in Messiah who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, Elohim knows – such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
2Co 12:3 And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, Elohim knows –
2Co 12:4 that he was caught up into paradisea and heard unspeakable words, which it is not right for a man to speak. Footnote: aLit. garden.
In another place Paul wrote;
Php 1:21 For to me, to live is Messiah, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 And if to live in the flesh is to me a fruit of work, then what shall I choose? I do not know.
Php 1:23 For I am pressed down by the two, having a desire to depart and be with Messiah, which is much better,
Php 1:24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
Php 1:25 And being persuaded of this, I know that I shall stay and continue with you all, for your progress and joy of belief,
Php 1:26 so that your boasting might overflow in יהושע Messiah on account of me, through my coming to you again.
And we read in Revelation Chapter Two, spoken to Yohanen/John by Messiah, I believe, saying;
Rev 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomesa I shall give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradiseb of Elohim.”
And Messiah told one of the men who was hanged on a stake beside Him;
Luk 23:39 And one of the evil-doers who were hanged, was speaking evil of Him, saying, “If You are the Messiah, save Yourself and us.”
Luk 23:40 But the other, responding, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear Elohim, since you are under the same judgment?
Luk 23:41 “And we, indeed, rightly so, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this One has done no wrong.”
Luk 23:42 And he said to יהושע, “Master, remember me when You come into Your reign.”
Luk 23:43 And יהושע said to him, “Truly, I say to you today, you shall be with Me in paradise.”b Footnote: bLit. garden.
The commas instituted by the translators and versionizers (not a word, I’m sure) of copies of the Scriptures are not always helpful. It can predetermine a meaning that the original didn’t. The comma after the word “today,” moved to after the word “you” changes the meaning of what Messiah says. Some say He was speaking at that particular time and His usage of the word ‘today” signified that particular day of His declaration, and the comma after “today” leads to that conclusion. But moving it to after “you” says to the man who He was speaking to that this very day you will be with me in Paradise.
Read that portion of test with the comma moved and it says, “And יהושע said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you shall be with Me in paradise.” That changes the whole thing. Who determines the comma placement?
Here’s where I am with it. A compendium of evidence, of Scriptural context is best, and I believe that is represented in these portions of Scripture. You seek Him and hear Him for yourself.
Here’s what I hear. Paradise, being with the Master Yahusha, is the place believers go when they pass out of this existence, putting off the earthly tent. It is where the Tree of Life is at. It is the “Garden of Elohim/God), and where those who have entered into His presence may eat of it.
This is my belief and my confidence in Messiah that He who began the good work in Laura and me, and all who believe in Him will one day be in His presence in Paradise. It existed in Paul’s day because He was caught up to it and witnessed the most amazing place that was impossible to describe, or maybe even unlawful for him to say. He didn’t even know if his time there was out of his body or in his body. He just knew that he was there. I rest in this.
2020 was life changing for us, with Laura’s passing, but it also marked a momentous change of direction for me and my family. After twenty-seven years of attending and serving in various capacities, including leadership at Messiah Fellowship, we left last July. Since we have been fellowshipping with some other families who left a few years back, who live west of us in Goshen, Middlebury, and Bristol. Our time with them is refreshing and peaceful, encouraging and revealing. I believe I’m hearing the Voice clearer and without distraction or other voices competing with His at a level I have not for many years. He has set me in a different direction. It is not one that sets aside the Torah, yet it is one that emphasizes the goal of Torah; Messiah Yahusha, the Anointed of Elohim, His chosen Lamb for His House, who takes away the sin of the world – Whose blood is applied to the doorposts of His Household so that the messenger of the second death will passover over us who remain in His House. He is the Pesah Lamb of Yah. This is all about Him, and we who believe in Him.
Moving forward, we will continue to fellowship with our dear brothers and sisters west of us, while seeking the Father. I feel led to reach out here in my immediate area and I’ve begun to do so. I still have fellowship with some who still attend Messiah Fellowship, and that is sweet. But I’ve also started to reach out to others who have left. I believe that Papa Yah desires restoration of fellowship, if that is possible. I’m also reaching out to those who are still in traditional Christianity and I’m praying for opportunities to those in the Hebrew Roots persuasion as well. And of course I’m hoping to reach those who have not decided in either direction of travel. I have already begun that process.
I’m nearly ready to publish a book I’ve written that details the testimony of Laura’s life and my family’s testimony through her journey. I’m going into studio the first week of May, Yah willing (It is scheduled and preproduction has begun) to record several songs that I’ve written, some to accompany the book, and some for regular release. The goal is that all of this will be used for His glory and to encourage and inspire others to hear and follow Him.
The message is simple; You must be born again by the power of the Set Apart/Holy Spirit, hear the Voice of our Teacher/Rabbi Yahusha who will reveal and provide Torah/Instruction in real time as to what you should do and how you are to walk in obedience to Papa Yah, according to what is written. We cannot understand what is written in the flesh. And we can’t rely on one another and consensus of what to do and how to do it. Each of us must work out our salvation/deliverance with fear and trembling before Elohim, one on one. We are individuals, yet are not independent of one another. I believe we are to love and encourage one another, being careful in our interaction to not be ripping up wheat while we are so bent on pulling up the tares. The Master said we should leave them alone and let them grow together. The day will come when He will sort them out. Our judgement can deceive us. Sometimes it’s hard to know if a person is moving forward in coming out, or going back, or hasn’t started the process at all. May we not get in the middle and hinder the work of the Author and Finisher of the belief/faith of others, but encourage them in the Master.
Karen and I are looking for a bigger place to host home fellowship and seeking the Father as to just what He desires moving forward. I’ve said and still believe that we are not to amass buildings that take our resources to preserve and maintain, but recognize that the Building of Elohim is His people. But I’m open as to what He desires. If He desires to provide a place that many families can gather on a regular basis, I’m in. I’m just not into business as usual. I don’t desire, nor do I believe He desire a traditional Sunday go to meeting representation, and some Hebrew Roots seem to have just incorporated that on the Sabbath. I’m also not interested in the “we’ve got to figure everything out” crowd of Hebrew Roots where each group believes they’ve got a lock on how to guard Sabbath or when it begins, or how to observe the Modem/Feasts of Yah, or has THE calendar all locked down tight. I just want to love Him and love and encourage others.
All Scripture verses quoted are from the ISR 1998.