Teamwork: Good or Evil?

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting story a few days ago titled “When people work together, they’re literally on the same wavelength, brain waves show.”  To see the article, click here.

Our Elohim warns us, as His set-apart people, to not intermix with those who reject Him.  Throughout the Tanakh, He tells the Hebrews to not join together with pagans who will not turn to Him and His ways.  Yeshua and the Apostles taught the same thing.

Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness?  What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God — as God said,“I will house myself in them, . . . and I will walk among you.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.”  Therefore Adonai says,“‘Go out from their midst; separate yourselves; don’t even touch what is unclean.  Then I myself will receive you.  In fact, I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters.’ says Adonai-Tzva’ot.    ~~ 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18

These verses have often been interpreted as not marrying or going into business with a non-believer.  But, what if it also means working cooperatively or in a team atmosphere?  That would expand the meaning greatly, wouldn’t it?  Isn’t it interesting that this translation (the Complete Jewish Bible) actually says “in a team”?  If the study mentioned in that news article is at all accurate about joining wavelengths (brain synchronizing with others), could part of Sovereign YHWH’s divine warning (re: unequal yoking) be because our Creator knew this is how we function?  Just something to ponder…


Glorifying Busy

Have you ever noticed how we can glorify being busy?

I hadn’t really thought about it until recently, but it happens frequently.  Either we say it ourselves or others say it.  It is often used to insinuate importance or as an acceptable excuse for something… neglecting to call someone, forgetting an occasion, being late, etc.  “Oh, you know she is so very busy with her work and kids.  She doesn’t have time for anything.  She always has so much on her plate.”   Such things can be declared as a badge of honor.  What a super woman she must be…!  

Those of us who have, by Adonai’s grace, come to learn the immense importance of rest and ceasing from labor probably see this phenomenon clearer than others.  May we think before we speak (THAT is always a good idea, isn’t it?) and not glorify the works of our hands or our busy efforts.

Enjoy your rest, brethren!  Shabbat Shalom!

Falling Away

So what does it mean to fall away from the faith?

Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. ~~Luke 8: 13 (New American Standard)

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. ~~ Romans 11: 2 (New American Standard)

But I have this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Therefore, remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place — if you don’t turn from your sin!  ~~ Revelation 2: 4-5 (Complete Jewish Bible)

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons  ~~ I Timothy 4: 1 (New American Standard)

My brothers, if one of you wanders from the truth, and someone causes him to return, you should know that whoever turns a sinner from his wandering path will save him from death and cover many sins.  ~~ James 5: 19-20 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Falling away is becoming apostate, or no longer having enough faith to be counted as a follower of God.  It does not mean making a mistake, committing sins or stumbling in your walk.  It’s renouncing or leaving the faith in one way or another.

Some churches minimize some of these verses by saying those who fell away were not real believers in the first place, just pretenders.  But, how do you fall away from something if you never had it?  This line of thinking does not match up with Scripture.

No outside human or spiritual force can make you lose your salvation in Messiah Yeshua.  But each person can willingly and deliberately turn away and remove him or herself from the faith.  It is very controversial, but Scripture seems to indicate this is so.  Yeshua says in the verse above from Revelation that He can (and will at times) remove someone’s menorah or lamp stand.  From what I understand, that indicates Him removing His presence and the Enlightenment He brings.  He does this when someone willingly turns away from their love and belief in Him, stopping it on their own and choosing to return to sin.

The last days “falling away” means a person expressly disavows Yeshua as Lord and chooses to put faith in man-made deceiving doctrines of one kind or another.  Mankind has freewill and YHWH allows people to reject Him.  He doesn’t force faith on anyone.  Just as some people 2000 years ago who eagerly followed Messiah eventually found His teachings to be too “hard” and turned back from following Him, it will happen in our day too.  It is already happening.

One of the main purposes of this blog is to encourage brothers and sisters in the faith.  Regardless of the sober reality that falling away will indeed happen, we can find encouragement.  Hold tight to Yeshua.  We know what the source of Truth is, and we are able to hold written copies of this Truth in our hands.  No man-made doctrine can compare.  But don’t just hold the Truth like an ornament.  Dig into it.  Learn the deep and meaty things it contains.

Know what the source of your beliefs are.  If they are false or man-made, reject them.  If it is rock-solid Biblical truth, hold on with both hands and don’t let go.  Days will grow even darker, but our light must grow brighter in that deep night!  Whatever happens around you or to you, keep your eyes, heart and mind in the Word, keep on loving YHWH and Messiah Yeshua, keep on obeying His commands out of your love, and you will stand in the end.  Shalom!

What is His Will?

We all get tangled up at times wondering what to do.  Decisions don’t always come easy.  This can especially be true as we grow older, experiencing (and getting burned by) more of the ups and downs of life.  Sometimes we can become paralyzed trying to choose, wondering if this is Adonai’s will.

One of our most favorite Bible teachers has a great quote on this:

Too often we modern Christians think that in order to know for certain what Yehoveh wants of us we need some kind of personal spiritual revelation about each of the countless circumstances we encounter in our lives (a thing often referred to in sermons as seeking God’s specific will). Scripture teaches us that almost everything regarding God’s will for us has already been established in the Word of God, and so it is there that we need to turn for most of our answers. But our hope is usually to find a good loop-hole to avoid what it is that we know we ought to do (or not do).

               ~~ Tom Bradford,

We were certainly taught this.  Were you?  But the thought that every circumstance we face is somehow unique and separate from the instructions our Elohim has already given just trips us up!  It’s not that complicated, really.  We make it so much more burdensome that it should be.  And, unfortunately, we tend to make it all about us, not Him.  We have so much freedom in YHWH!  Follow His instructions.  Lovingly obey them and seek Him above anything else.  Then…within those parameters, make your choices, embrace your personal preferences and enjoy the myriad of options He allows!  Praise Him!