“I’m SCARED!”

September 23rd, 2014

There is no question that those with “eyes to see” know that times are tough. In spite of propaganda about “economic recovery” — any day now – the money printing continues at record pace, debt both public and private is at the highest levels in history, and even the TV shills have trouble keeping a straight face saying words like “free market” in the face of blatant manipulation and international bank criminality. Currency collapse and depression invariably signal other woes, however. Ebola runs rampant in west Africa, while diseases of all stripes cross the sieve in the southern United States once called a “border.” Executive orders threaten preemptive concentration-camp confinement on mere suspicion of possible contagion. “Terror screening” at airports, in the face of reports that the much-ballyhooed naked body scanners are far better at examining the genitalia of coeds and young boys than finding actual contraband, is not merely a sick joke. Since any “real” (ie., non-blue-glove-wearing) terrorist doubtless see hundreds of tightly-packed victims in the pre-grope cattle pens as obvious targets, the real purpose must then have more to do with the same type of police state conditioning recently made so clear in the Ferguson suburb of St. Louis. And let’s not forget ISIS jihadists or the drumbeat toward World War III.

More and more people seem to be waking up to the situation, and coming to the conclusion that the personalities and politicians who like to believe they are god-like don’t have a clue what to do. Or that, worse still, most may even know better, having sold out for all the age-old forms of bribery, from power and money, to sex and self-gratification.

No wonder the comment I hear most often from people who KNOW that the answer in Scripture is “come out of her, My people” is “I’m scared!” But they already know Scripture says repeatedly, “Fear NOT!”

So the question which invariably follows — even more than the usual “How do we do that?” – is “how can I NOT be afraid?”

And the answer to THAT question turns out to be something that the Bible spends a LOT of ink discussing. Because YHVH warned us – over and over again – what lies ahead, and knew what our reactions would be, too.

Let’s start with the “why?”

Most people who have studied His Torah even briefly recognize that it is about “blessing and cursing,” and that we are to “choose life”, and then walk in obedience to Him. *

But that understanding is only the beginning of the process, and even invites other questions. Why prepare, if we can’t stop it? What difference does it make? And – now that I KNOW what is coming, and why – isn’t that somehow worse? Maybe ignorance IS bliss. Once we understand that nations and peoples really DO reap what they sow, how can we not be afraid of the judgment that seems so close at hand now?

The answer is found in prophecy. And Scripture is loaded with that, for several reasons. First, it demonstrates how YHVH keeps His promises – period. It reinforces the single consistent message of the prophets, too, “tshuvah”, or “return – to Me”. In other words, repent, and start doing right.

Finally, it’s important to remember the KEY: He warns us, and gives us guidance about what is coming so that we can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

We are told that we should be like the “sons of Issachar”, in I Chron. 12:32,  “that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” Yahushua frequently refers to parables like the fig leaf, which similarly remind us to “know the times” and thus understand what lies ahead.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, Shaul/Paul reminds the reader that they DO know such things!

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

And Amos 3:7 tells us, “surely, YHVH Elohekah will do nothing, but that He first reveal His secrets to His servants the prophets.

It is therefore important, even commanded that we be aware, and watchful for what lies ahead. In his “Give me Liberty or give me death” speech, Patrick Henry made the point dramatically:

We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth… Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

Be thankful that YHVH gives us His Word for good reason.

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.

The fact that we DO have choices to make, and that they very much matter, is certainly comforting.

Unlike the boogey-man of police state terror, where the message boils down to “Be afraid, be VERY afraid,” and at the same time literally a not-so-subtle coercion to trust in “another master,” an “arm of flesh,” and ultimately other “elohim,” mighty ones, false gods, our Creator says “Fear not,” and means it.

Following a list of events which mark the “end times,” including “men’s hearts failing them for fear,” Yahushua tells of His return this way:

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Other words of comfort abound in Scritpure for those who “overcome”, “stand,” persevere, and learn to trust in Yah rather than the things of man and this world. Most readers probably have a number of them come to mind, just from reading those key words above.

But some of the most inspiring come from Isaiah chapter 40, and the same prophet who begins and ends his work with some of the most dire warnings in Scripture:

Comfort, yes, comfort, My people! Says your Elohim.” (v 1)

Yes – there IS certainly chastening and rebuke for sins. BUT…

…those who wait upon YHVH shall renew their strength.

They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Speaking certainly for myself, I find it not only inspiring but exciting to think that we just MIGHT be living through one of the most dramatic and important periods in human history, when events prophesied by some of the greatest men who ever lived play out right before our eyes. IF these are truly the days which will literally scare some men – who do not know Him – to death, others of us who do will see life, and blessings, and the miracles they dreamed of first-hand.

“Bo Meshiach!”

But either way, the bottom line remains the same:

Kazakh” – be strong and of good courage!


*Deuteronomy 30:15 and many more

Parsha Ki Tetze – and how the Bible is NOT “politically-correct”

September 10th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tetze, from Deuteronomy 21:10 through 25:19. This week’s discussion also comes with another warning — not only is the material associated with marriage, covenant, adultery, divorce, and a number of other issues at the ‘adult’ level, but it is among some of the most politically-incorrect in Scripture. Is it the ‘traditions of man’ that matter, or are we willing to read Scripture as Written?

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is again an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM Ki Tetze 2014

The longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on some of those politically-incorrect, and therefore not only overlooked but often simply distorted aspects of the Bible, as well as the connections to why ‘modern society’ is the mess that it is.

Ki Tetze – on Marriage, Divorce, Adultery, and a lot of other NOT-PC mitzvot — it’s about COVERING

Torah portion “Shoftim”

September 1st, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, from Deuteronomy 16:18 through 21:9. This week’s portion focuses on the concept of “Justice”, and provides some incredible insight, generally overlooked in today’s “post-Biblical” world.

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is as usual an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM Shoftim 2014

The much longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on a major theme from the parsha in greater detail, and even more than usual this week in connections to the current “times and seasons”.  The contrast between <em>”Justice, JUSTICE! you shall pursue,”</em> and the “Greater Babylon Metro Area” has never been more stark.

TT CooH Shoftim 2014 – With no hint of “Justice, Justice” – no wonder some are scared

Torah portion “Re-eh”

August 27th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh, from Deuteronomy 11:26 through 16:17. This week’s discussion continues some of the most no-holds-barred rejections in Scripture against idolatry and those who might entice the unwary into it as well.

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is again an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM Re’eh 2014

The longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on specifics from the parsha in more detail, as well as the connections to the current “times and seasons”. It very much IS about “Who is to be Master — that is all!

TT CooH – Re’eh – “Who is to be Master?”

 

 

Torah portion “Ekev”

August 18th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Ekev, from Deuteronomy 7:12 through 11:25. This week’s discussion also some of the most blunt evidence in Scripture concerning the admonitions against idolatry as well.

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is again an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM 15 August, 2014 – Ekev

The longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on specifics from the parsha in more detail, as well as the connections to the current “times and seasons”. Given what is happening today, and the context of this Torah portion, Mark chose to subtitle this teaching on the parsh “Where in the cycle ARE we?

TT CooH 16 August, 2014 – Ekev “Where in the cycle are we?”

Parsha “Vaetchanan” — Deut. 3:23 – 7:11

August 10th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Vaetchanon, from the Book of Deuteronomy 3:23 through 7:11. This week’s discussion may be one of the most central, and important, that Mark has done; don’t miss it!

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is again an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM 8 August, 2014 — Vaetchanan

The longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on specifics from the parsha in more detail, as well as the connections to the current “times and seasons”.  And this one asks a vital question, in light of the recent attempts to foster and incite a “pandemic panic” —

Is DNA part of “His Word”?

Mark Call TT CooH teaching for 9 August, 2014:  “Is DNA really ‘His Word,’ too?”

What fellowship have Torah-observant Believers with Xtianity?

August 8th, 2014

Recently a friend, who is still not QUITE convinced about all aspects of trying to walk in obedience to “Torah as Written,”  asked me a somewhat blunt question:  “Why are you so hard on the evangelical church?”

It’s probably true.  I often refer to paganized “holi-days” like Ishtar sun-god day and Xmas when I am teaching on the Sabbath, or observe that there are many verses in the “New Testament” which are all-too-often twisted.  Romans 13, of course, and there’s “Peter’s Dream” in Acts 10, which does NOT prove that “Jesus Christ died on the cross so we can all now eat ham sandwiches,” as well as the four “necessary but not sufficient conditions” from Acts 15:20-21, and literally scores of others.  “Not all Christian denominations,” I was reminded, teach the lie that the “law was nailed to the cross.”

And that’s a good point.  I certainly try not to lump all Christian denominations into the basket I tend to call “Xtianity.”  Some are starting to return to at least acknowledging that the Feasts of YHVH might still have something to teach us.  Some are questioning the pervasive “Rapture Cult” message that we’re going to get beamed out of here before anything REALLY bad can happen.  (Perhaps, though, because it’s getting harder to deny that bad things ARE happening already!)   Quite a few more are beginning to examine prophecy — even “Old Testament” prophecy — as ask questions like, “are we entering the End Times?”   (Although, in fairness, many have been predicting dates on that score for centuries, too.)

But the vast majority of the licensed, tax-exempt, 501c(3), “Caesar-created faith-based corporate institutions of another god,” still tend to ignore far too much of what the Messiah they claim to acknowledge as “Lord” said.  Things like that He would not change ANY of His instruction (torah) so long as heaven and earth still exist, or that “many” who practice torah-less-ness would come to hear Him say, “depart from Me, you who practice iniquity, I never knew you.”

“Fine,” I heard in response.  But the subsequent exchange boiled down pretty much to a reminder that, “you can catch more flies with honey,” than vinegar.  And that leads me to the real point of this article.  When we talk with people, particularly friends and loved ones, whom we KNOW, one-on-one — we must of course be sensitive to individual concerns, and engage in a discussion, where, hopefully, “iron sharpens iron.”  The value of personal discussion is just that — listening, quoting Scripture, responding to concerns, or misunderstandings, even prejudices, in a productive way.    But when it comes to a teaching in front of a fellowship gathering, or on the radio, or even in an article like this, things are a bit different.  While people can, and do, respond with questions or comments, the audience is often more “general.”  It usually includes people who ARE searching for more, and have come to realize that we have all, “inherited lies from our fathers.”   And — here is the real issue — there comes a time, warns Scripture repeatedly, when we must ACT:  to “blow the shofar,” because we recognize there’s a “sword coming upon the land,” or “come out of her,” because we can likewise see the plagues at hand.  And, ultimately, those who fail to “know the times and the seasons,” will end up being “without excuse.”

Why am I often so hard on the evangelical ‘church’?  For the same reason that Eliyahu (Elijah) was.  And Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Isaiah.  And Moses was.  And Yahushua was.  Because it’s a matter of literally “life and death,” or blessing and cursing, and time draws short.  Many WILL die.  And many ARE being “led astray” by wolves masquerading as shepherds.

Shaul, or Paul, put it this way.  (2 Cor. 6:14-17) “…what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”  Just exactly who is he talking about being “unequally yoked” with?

The answer can be found in the repeated prohibition of mixing: of the clean and the unclean; of the qadosh, or “holy”, and the profane; and even of things like wool and linen garments, crops in a field, or different types of animals to a plow.  Most importantly, we are not to mix the worship of YHVH with the types of things pagans did — and still do! —  for their false “gods.”  From the infamous golden calf, to Baal, and Molech, and Ishtar/Astaroth/Astarte/Easter, to Xmas trees, the winter solstice, Mithras’ December 25th birthday, and Halloween, to mix what our Creator specifies that He wants with pagan traditions is not only expressly forbidden, but called “abomination.”

Shaul’s Second letter to the people of Corinth still seeking to “come out of” paganism goes on to make it so clear — IF we can rid ourselves of the “Xtian baggage” we often still carry:

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living Elohim…          (Are we really, if we commit idolatry before Him?)

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith YHVH, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…”

Ultimately, if we are to do as he sought to do, to “speak boldly, as I ought to speak,” then we must confront idolatry, EVEN within the ‘evangelical church,’ exactly as Scripture confirms.  And perhaps ESPECIALLY with ‘the church’!  The last lines of Deuteronomy chapter 7 are unequivocal.  We are not even to “bring an abomination into [our] house!”  And the reason why is equally clear…”lest [we] be a cursed thing like” those idols He abhors.

If we love Him (John 14:15), He says we should keep His commands.  And if we love our brothers, we’ll speak His truth boldly.    Even if it sounds hard.

Parsha “Devarim” teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

August 4th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Devarim, which begins the Book of Deuteronomy. This week’s discussion also includes a bit more from the Haftorah as well, in the first three chapters from the prophet Isaiah.

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is again an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM Devarim 1 Aug 2014

The longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on specifics from the parsha in more detail, as well as the connections to the current “times and seasons”. Given what is happening today, and the context of this Torah portion, perhaps a good subtitle of at least one aspect of the teaching could be, “What? You call THOSE giants scary?”

Talking Torah Teaching – Devarim – 2 August, 2014

 

 

Parsha “Masei” teaching from Shabbat Shalom Mesa

July 28th, 2014

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Masei, from Numbers chapters 33 through the end of the Book.  This week’s discussion also includes a bit more from the Haftorah as well, in the second and third chapters from the prophet Jeremiah.

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is again an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM Masei 26 July, 2014

The longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on specifics from the parsha in more detail, as well as the connections to the current “times and seasons”.  Be forewarned due to what might be called “adult content.”  Because there is a significant aspect of this week’s teaching which concerns idolatry, and the fact that YHVH through His prophet didn’t “pull any punches” — be advised that Mark doesn’t either.

TT CooH 27 July, 2014

Vows, marriage, and lawlessness —

July 20th, 2014

 

Parsha Matot

Join Mark Call for two related, but different looks at this week’s Torah portion, Matot, from Numbers chapters 30 through 32.  The discussion of vows, in particular, is one of the most important understandings in all of Scripture when it comes to recognizing what is wrong today with a faithless world, and the institution of ‘marriage’ in particular.

The first recording is the regular Erev Shabbat teaching, from the Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship, and is again an overview of the entire parsha:

SSM teaching – Matot 2014

The longer teaching from Shabbat concentrates on specifics from the parsha in more detail.  This week, Mark focuses on Numbers chapter 30 (as you might expect!) and on broken vows that shed light on the ‘times and the seasons.’

 TT CooH teaching – Matot 2014 – Vows – marriage – and why Lawlessness abounds