One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49


Discerning the Times
Being Able to Tell Whether a Ministry is of YHWH


Ephsiyah [Ephesians] 4:14-15
We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the Head, Mashiach.

The times in which we live can be quite perilous if a person is not able to discern the truth of what he hears and reads.  There are many ministries, both on the internet and otherwise, that vie for our attention, and even our allegiance.  It seems that so many ministries have some sort of gimmick, special truth, or some other special thing that, according to them, we dare not be without.  Many claim that they and they alone are the “One True Faith.” 

How is a person to know for certain if a ministry is teaching truth, or a watered down version of the truth?  How is a believer to know if a certain person is teaching the truth, or falsehood, or some sort of mixture of truth and error?  And how important is it to discern truth from error?  Does anyone have a corner on the market when it comes to truth?

Are you always looking for the "new" teaching that comes along?  Do you change what you believe from week to week and month to month?  Are you constantly looking for something that is sensational?  Or something that no one else is teaching?  Do you reject something just because it is found in Christianity?
Have you grown up into every aspect of Mashiach, as the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit) commands us to do through the Apostle Shaul in Ephesians 4 (above)?  Is the maturation process happening in you?  And is that maturation process that you personally are experiencing, healthy?

Ephesians 4:14 
We will then no longer be infants tossed about by the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive. 

There are many today who are blown about by all the different winds of doctrine.  And in today’s world, that is a vast amount.  One of the things which one needs to learn to do is to take his eyes off of man and stop following the teachings of man and to follow Mashiach Yeshua.  That most certainly includes this present teacher as well!  We need to measure everything we hear and everything we read with Mashiach Yeshua.  He is the Torah made flesh.  It cannot go against Him; if it does, then it cannot be correct.

Make no mistake about it: when a person is confronted by truth that is contrary to what he previously held, a person is obligated to change his beliefs.  But how does a person know when what he is hearing or reading is truth (or not truth)?

Let us be clear here on this point.  Truth is what comes from the mouth of our Creator.  In fact, He is Truth.  This is what we need in our lives: Him!  So as we seek truth, we should actually be seeking Him.  Do not confuse facts with truth, for they are not the same.  It is a fact that you are now reading this study.  That fact, while true at present will cease to be a fact when you have finished reading it.  A truth, on the other hand, is always true – always!  Truth is always true regardless of whether man accepts it or not.  Truth is eternal.  Truth is eternal because He is eternal and He is Truth.  Keep this in mind as you proceed through this study; yea, throughout life. 

Yochanan (John) 14:6 
Yeshua says to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me.”

Remember, seeking truth is not seeking knowledge, understanding, or wisdom, but seeking a Person; in particular, the person of Mashiach Yeshua, as He is truth! 

2nd Thessalonians 2:10 
And with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

What does it mean to love the truth?  The answer to that question can be found by looking at what a person does when Mashiach Yeshua reveals something new to him.  Does he reason it away, or does he reorder his thinking and life to conform to that new revelation from Mashiach?  When I am witnessing, this is the very first thing that I try to determine:  whether a person loves the truth or not.  If they do not love the truth, then there is very little if anything, that I can say to that person that will make any difference in his life.  When a person has already made up his mind as to what he believes and is not open to new truth, especially truth that would contradict something that he already holds dear, then there is nothing that I can say that will do any good.  If he is not willing to search a matter out for himself, to seek to find the answer in Mashiach Yeshua, then what is there that I could possibly say to him? 

The truth of YHWH must have absolute authority in our lives.  Let me give you a couple of examples of what I am talking about.  Phrases that I often encounter go something like this: “Well, I believe...”, or, “We believe…”, or “but, I was taught…”  These statements close the door to an open exchange of ideas concerning Scripture.  One of the most common areas in which I encounter this type of statement, is when I am talking to a person about the “rapture,” trying to point them to Scripture to show them that this is not a Scriptural concept.  At some point in the conversation, when they do not want to hear any more Scripture because they cannot refute it, they will make a statement beginning with something about what they or their group believes, or what they had been taught.  Honestly, who cares what you believe or what you were taught?  I want to know what Scripture says, so I can do it!  Let’s talk about Scripture instead of beliefs!  Do you see the difference? 

Another example that I have come across, is when a person I am speaking to indicates that they belong to a group that is the “One True Faith.”  The “one true faith” is not, and cannot, be bound or confined by man or within the organizations of mankind.  We need to understand that belonging to the one true faith is determined by what we do, not which group we belong to. 

Being able to discern truth from error is vitally important to your spiritual well-being.  Hopefully, by the end of this article, you the reader, will be more adequately equipped to discern the truth from falsehood.  Or at the very least, you will have the basic tools available to begin learning to discern these necessary things.

Yochanan Aleph [1st John] 2:18-27
18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that anti-Mashiach is coming, even now many anti-Mashiachs have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.
19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Set-apart One, and you all know.
21 I have not written to you because you do not know the Truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Yeshua is the Mashiach? This is the anti-Mashiach, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.
27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

This passage has more relevance to ministries within the Nazarene and Messianic and Hebrew roots movements than most believers may at first realize.  What are the signs of a person or ministry being anti-Mashiach?  First, notice very clearly that those who are anti-Mashiach went out from the brethren.  Those who denied Yeshua separated themselves from the body of believers.

It is important to understand that there is only one body of believers. 

Ephesians 4:4 
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

We either belong to that one body or we don’t.  But how can we know whether we, or to whomever we are speaking, belongs to this one body, the body of Mashiach?  First, a person must love the truth.  As the Scripture which was quoted above states, when a person loves the truth, he will be saved.  And if he loves the truth and he is saved, then he is, in fact, a part of that one body, regardless of what label is attached to that particular part of the body or even what kind of label a person has taken upon himself.

But oftentimes an emotional appeal is made to people, couching the terms in such a way as to capitalize upon the rightful desire of all of us to belong to His body.  So when a particular group begins teaching that it and it alone is the one true body, with the only true teachings, then it is appealing to the emotional fleshly desire to make sure that we are included in His body.  After all, who doesn’t want to have eternal life?  In effect, what such a group has done is to place itself in His place, teaching that if one does not belong to this particular human organization, then he is not part of the body and thus he is not saved.  Make no mistake about it, this is anti-Mashiach!  Why?  Because such a particular group is making itself stand in the place of Mashiach.  In short such a group is idolatrous.

There have been many anti-Mashiachs that have gone out into the world, and there always will be, until He returns.  Several years ago in the US alone, there were over 1500 men and women who claimed to be Mashiach.  Most of those we can easily dismiss; but there are many more who claim to be his “one true” representative.  If one does a search on the internet for some prophet’s name, like “Elijah”, there will be hundreds of thousands of hits.  Brethren, we need to walk uprightly so that we will not be deceived by one of these many who have gone out into the world to test us to see whether we are listening to His Voice, or to the voice of another.

Each one of us needs to make sure that we are following Mashiach Yeshua totally and completely and not following a man or a man’s teachings.  It is this very thing that causes me to tremble before YHWH our Elohim.  YHWH has given me many insights into His word.  As I freely share the truths with which He has blessed me, there are those who begin looking up to me.  While I do not mind people seeking counsel from YHWH through me, I simply want others to come and walk alongside me, not look up to me.  I am a flawed person just like every other person.  I am no better or worse than any other person.  I am your brother in Mashiach Yeshua.  Let us walk together following Him, for only He is worthy to be followed.

One area in which our discernment needs some serious sharpening is our worship.  Are we engaging in mixed worship? 

Who defines what mixed worship is or is not?  It must be YHWH!  Anyone else attempting to define this will be eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  In this discussion, we want to discuss two aspects of mixed worship:  absolute and relative.  The absolute is dealing in the black and white of this question, and something is either mixed or it is pure; there simply is no middle ground.

Shemot [Exodus] 20:3 
“You shall have no other gods before Me.”

YHWH does not want us worshipping or serving any other deity; only Him and Him alone!  That is absolute.  There is no room for YHWH and another god in our lives.  Yeshua taught us that we cannot serve two masters.

Matithyah [Matthew] 6:24 
“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve Elohim and money.”

But as His Spirit has gone out into the world in search of people who are willing to serve and worship the one true Elohim, and as those people respond to His call, we need to realize that we and they are also all in different places of our/their walk and our/their understanding.  Obviously, none of us has a corner on the market when it comes to His truth.  We are all growing in our knowledge and understanding.  And the simple truth of the matter is that we are all involved in mixed worship if we are worshipping in any language other than Hebrew.  If we are not speaking in fluent Hebrew, particularly in our worship services, but also in our everyday living, then what comes out of our mouths is not pure, neither can it be, for the English language is filled with words that have their origins in the names of pagan deities.  So, what do we do?

Ivrim [Hebrews] 4:12 
For the word of Elohim is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.  

What YHWH looks at, is the intentions of our heart.  He knows and understands that in our limited humanity we have to go through a process to come out of one thing and embrace something else.  That is no less true of our coming out of Babylon and returning to His family.  True, there comes a moment when we make a decision and we step out of the past and into His grace by faith.  However, that process does not stop with that decision.  We still have many things in our lives that are mixed worship and mixed service to Him.  But He is gracious and compassionate towards us so that He gently encourages us and brings us along in our walk with Him.

As a Scriptural example of what we are saying on this point let us consider Avram.  YHWH called him to leave his family and come out of Babylon.  First, Avram had to make this decision.  Then he had to do it.  His doing it consisted of a journey.  Many of us are on that journey now; although, at various points located along that journey, but on the journey nonetheless.

Here is the thing.  Relatively speaking, we all are still in this process!  Some are further along than others, but we are still in the process of weeding those things out of our lives that are not pleasing to Him.  As such, should we not give each other the same measure of grace that we have received?  To be sure, we should, indeed!

Matithyah [Matthew] 18:22-35
22 Yeshua says to him, “I say not unto you, only seven times; but, rather seventy times seven.
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, who would make a reckoning with his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents.
25  But forasmuch as he had not the means to pay, his master commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down and worshipped him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all of it.’
27 And the master of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him a hundred shillings; and he laid hold on him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe me.’
29 So his fellow-servant fell down and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’
30 And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay that which was due.
31 So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were exceeding sorry, and came and told it to their master all that was done.
32 Then his master called him unto him, and says to him, ‘You wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you besought me;
33 should you not also have had mercy on your fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on you?’
34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due.
35 So shall also My heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not everyone his brother from your hearts.”

What Yeshua is dealing with in this passage is forgiveness; however, there is another principle here that very much applies to each and every one of us concerning this matter that we are currently discussing; namely, compassion.  The principle is this: that what we have received from our heavenly Father is what we should also be very careful to give to our fellow servants, lest our heavenly Father take back what He has given to us.  What have you received from YHWH?  What are you giving to others?  Is it the same?  It should be!

And in this matter of spiritual growth, YHWH is kind and compassionate, slow to anger with us, in that He is patient with us as we struggle and wrestle with these things that sometimes are not as clear to us as we would like for them to be!  Yet, He knows that it is through the struggle that He is able to purify us!  Therefore, let us not become impatient with our fellow servants thinking that, “it is so very plain; how can he be so blind?”  Let us not forget that we too went through these same struggles at one time, perhaps in different areas, but the same struggles all the same.  Therefore, let us extend the hand of mercy and compassion, encouraging one another as He has encouraged us; knowing that He is in the process of purifying all of us, day by day, as the time of His return approaches.

2nd Timothy 3:16-17 
16 All scripture inspired of Elohim is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.
17 That the man of Elohim may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

It is important that we teach according to the whole counsel of Scripture.  If there is a passage or passages that seemingly contradict what one is teaching, then he needs to do the hard work of rectifying those passages so that there is no contradiction.  Of course, when doing this, we should not, we dare not, violate the simple understanding of a passage of Scripture.  Violating the simple understanding of Scripture is an almost sure way to get oneself into spiritual hot water very quickly. 

As one works at rectifying supposedly opposing passages of Scripture he needs to understand and expect that he will have to go through a purifying process in order to get to that place where he can see the passages in harmony.  For what is keeping him from seeing them in this fashion is not the written word but some uncleanness within himself.

When we look at the ministry and words of Mashiach, He taught us how to live according to Torah.  His focus was mostly on what we should do, not on what we should believe.  Does the teaching that you are considering, focus more on right beliefs (which are always changing as we grow in grace and knowledge, or at least, they should be), or does it focus on helping His people to increase in the walk and obedience of His commandments?

Some even take this to a higher level of not just right beliefs, but also of correct pronunciation, particularly of His name.

Many today in Messianic and Nazarene and Hebrew Roots circles use this area as a sort of a litmus test to determine whether a person is a “true” believer in their eyes.  However, using something as this as a litmus test only leads to division and not unity in the body.  While it is best if we use His Name as He has revealed it to us, there is a diversity of opinion on just exactly what the correct pronunciation actually is.  This is just one more area in which we need to extend grace to our fellow servants.  The important thing is not whether we all pronounce His Name exactly the same; but rather, whether we are all trying our best to hear and obey His Voice in this matter.  We must not mistake uniformity with unity.

Furthermore, as most of us have come out of the Christian church system, we have learned to use names and titles that are not according to Scripture; i.e., Lord, God, Jesus, and Christ.  While it is best if we stop using these names and titles in reference to our Elohim as quickly as possible, we must also realize that there are those who are just coming into this knowledge, and we who do not use these names and titles, do not want to be guilty of causing one of these little ones to stumble in his/her walk of faith.  It would not be good for them or for us (especially on Judgment Day!). 

Therefore, we need to extend grace and compassion in the same measure in which we have received it.  In order to do this, each one of us needs to be able to discern the spirits.

We have already discussed several ways in which we should watch for and be aware of discerning the spirits.  However, no matter how extensive and thorough these lists are of ways in which we can discern the spirits, we cannot overstate the importance of listening to and heeding the leading and guiding of His Spirit.  Ultimately, this is where the final call lies and the only way we can know with any degree of certainty.  The passage quoted above from Yochanan Aleph teaches us that this type of anointing is available to us.  When we have this anointing, then He can and will teach us who is anti-Mashiach and who is not.
If we do not have this anointing, then what hope do we have of living in this world and not being deceived?  None.  We need this anointing and we need to seek Him until we are filled with His Spirit!  It is by and through the infilling presence of His Spirit that we are enabled to test the spirits to see from where they come.

Please understand that there are many counterfeit spirits out there which would attempt to deceive you and get you to accept them as His Spirit.  Even the spirit that you receive is asking permission to fill you; test it!  Do not just assume that it is His Spirit.  A person will not offend His Spirit by obeying His written word of testing a spirit; and it then turns out to be the Spirit of YHWH!

Yochanan Aleph [1st John] 4:1-6
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from YHWH; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of YHWH: every spirit that confesses that Yeshua Mashiach has come in the flesh is from YHWH;
3 and every spirit that does not confess Yeshua is not from YHWH; and this is the spirit of the anti-Mashiach, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
4 You are from YHWH, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from YHWH; he who knows YHWH listens to us; he who is not from YHWH does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.

This passage is often quoted, but this passage is not often understood in the context of the power of the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit).  If one were to attempt to test the spirits in the wisdom of the flesh, then that with which he will end up is something that actually appeals to the flesh.  What will happen then is that a person will be deceived into thinking that the spirit that is being tested is good, when actually it is not, because the testing was not done by His Spirit, but in the flesh.

The above passage teaches us to test the spirits.  We are to test all the spirits at all times.  No exceptions!  If we begin making exceptions, then at some point we will become deluded and begin following a spirit that will appeal to our fleshly nature.  It is quite easy to find a spirit that will justify our every thought and give us all the fleshly desires of our heart.  This is not what we really need.  What we really need is the Spirit of YHWH who will lead and discipline us, preparing us for the Olam Haba (world to come).  An unclean spirit does not do this; in fact, an unclean spirit will actually prevent this from happening and we will be unprepared.  Thus, we will not have a part in the Olam Haba.

One way to test spirits is to compare what the spirits are saying with Scripture.  If the spirit in a person becomes upset or belligerent towards us when we compare what it says to the Word of YHWH, then that spirit is clearly not from YHWH.

When Scripture speaks of testing the spirits, in context that could be a spirit, a thought, an idea, or another person or some type of messenger trying to get us to accept what is being touted.  For example, in TV commercials, there is a spirit present in each and every one of those commercials.  If a person does not test the spirit of those commercials, then he is more likely to fall victim to and do what the commercial is peddling, which in most cases is to buy its product because of its vast supposed superiority over competing products.

When we test a spirit that is not from YHWH, it typically will become irate at some point.  Perhaps it will insult you in some fashion.  I have seen times when these spirits would attempt to exercise their “sovereignty” or “authority” in an effort to derail the testing.  However, when we compare the “spirit of sovereignty” to how the apostles referred to themselves as servants, the difference becomes obvious.

Know for certain, that any spirit that becomes irate when confronted with Scripture is not from YHWH, because for it to react in such a fashion is to deny Yeshua. To react in such a fashion is anti-Messiah.  Why? Because it is against the Scripture!  In fact, it is an attempt to replace Mashiach.

When a spirit is tested according to His Word, and it is from Him, it will react with the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control.

When confronted with Scripture, does the spirit react in a loving, brotherly way?  Or does it ridicule?  Does it pander to your emotions?  Does it insult you, harass you, or attempt to put you down?  Or, does it respond to you in a loving and compassionate way, full of patience?  When you disagree with this spirit, how does it react to this disagreement?  Disagreement is not sin according to Scripture, but according to some teachers, to disagree with them is sin.  This is a good indication as to the origin of the spirit you are testing.

Let us discuss briefly a rather touchy subject – name calling.  On social networks in particular where people are not interacting face to face, emotions have a high tendency to run amok and get out of control rather easily.  Brothers and sisters, this is not edifying to those involved and it certainly is not edifying to those looking on.  Please understand that all of us on these social networks have friends and family to whom we are witnessing who have not yet come into His truth.  So, when discussing something and it falls into name calling, what kind of witness is that to those who do not know Mashiach Yeshua?  Honestly, this is not a very good witness, is it?

Now it has been argued that Mashiach Yeshua called the Pharisees names and that this makes it okay for us to do that.  Well, perhaps in certain settings, but only in a limited manner.  And if that name calling is from a mind filled with strong emotions, then it is doubtful that the action of name calling is correct.  Please understand that when Yeshua called the Pharisees names He knew them personally.  He also knew who was present in that setting.  Furthermore, He did it to their faces, not across the airwaves of some social network.  There is a great difference; not to mention that He knew their hearts, whereas we do not.  We should be very cautious and judicious about calling another person any name whatsoever.  It harms one’s witness and does nothing to further one’s argument.  In fact, it actually hurts one’s argument and has a tendency to derail the discussion from the subject matter.

Again, the key to knowing the difference between the spirit of error and the Spirit of truth is by the indwelling presence of His Spirit.  Without the indwelling and empowering presence of the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit), we cannot know whether we are dealing with a spirit that is pro- or anti-Messiah.

Knowing the difference between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error is literally life or death, spiritually speaking.  At times, it can also mean the difference between physical life or death. 

Are we willing to do what it takes, to learn how to discern the times, and the spirits?

Ephsiyah [Ephesians] 6:10-13
10 Finally, be strong in YHWH, and in the strength of His might.
11 Put on the full armor of YHWH, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, take up the full armor of YHWH, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

We are involved in a war.  It is a spiritual war.  This war is not against our fellow humans.  Sometimes humans are used by the enemy, but the reality is that no human being is our enemy.  No matter how much another person mistakenly hates you, mistreats you, lies about you, attacks you, and tries to destroy you, or reviles you, that person is not your enemy.  The sooner that we understand this truth, the better we will be able to treat our fellow man, regardless of the circumstances or how badly he is mistreating us.  Just because we are mistreated by another does not give us permission to mistreat another.  The way that we treat others must be guided by His Spirit.  If it is not, then one is walking in the flesh and this is not good!  And if one is walking in the flesh then most assuredly he will walk down a wrong path.

Our enemy consists of those spiritual forces and spiritual beings that have raised themselves up in rebellion against YHWH’s Kingdom, and His authority.  No human being can possibly identify these wicked spiritual forces in his own wisdom or knowledge, let alone overcome them in his own strength.  The only way to be an overcomer is to stand in His Strength.

After having done everything YHWH has commanded us to be able to overcome the enemy, the one thing we must actually do is to "stand" His ground.  It is not our own ground that we are standing, for we are nothing and we have nothing.  It is His ground that we are to stand.  It is the only sure ground on which to stand.

Shemot (Exodus) 14:13-14
13 And Moshe said to the people, "Do not be afraid.  Stand still, and see the salvation of YHWH, which He will accomplish for you today!  For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
14 YHWH will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace!"

When we stand in His strength, YHWH will deliver us.  He will give us salvation to overcome our enemies.  When we overcome our enemies in His strength, we literally become Israel, which means: “he who overcomes, with the help of Elohim.”

Ephsiyah [Ephesians] 2:3
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

The first thing that we need to work on overcoming is the lusts of the flesh.  If we are in the habit of always giving ourselves or our bodies everything which we desire, then we will be severely lacking in the area of spiritual strength.  If we desire to increase our spiritual strength, then we need to deny ourselves regularly; and in particular, to deny ourselves the desires of the flesh.

Qolesayah [Colossians] 3:2
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

What does it mean to deny ourselves regularly?  It means that we will have certain urges that we will have to deny.  We will have to move slowly, carefully, and deliberately, listening for the sound of His Voice to tell us what to do in this area.  But as He directs, as we step out in faith, then He will empower us to overcome in these areas.

Only when we move slowly, carefully, and deliberately, according to the sound of His Voice, will He respond to us in His power.  Only then can we truly stand on His ground.

What your mind is set on will greatly determine whether you will be able to discern truth from the lie.  Are you bringing every thought into captivity?  What is your mind set on?  What do you dwell on and think on throughout the day?

Qorintyah Bet [2nd Corinthians] 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of YHWH, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Mashiach.

No person will ever be able to discern by the power of his own wisdom, whether a ministry or a person is teaching truth or error.  It can only be accomplished by the power of His Spirit.

Without His Spirit operating fully in our lives, we cannot discern truth from a lie.

Yochanan [John] 14:26
But the Helper, the Set-apart Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

It is the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit) who teaches us the truth.  There is no other being that can deliver truth to us.  No human teacher, author, or writer can deliver truth to another human being.  This writer cannot teach you any truth, nor can any other human.  Either I or another human can be used only as an agent of His truth, but that is as close as a human can get to being used to teach another His truth.

Philippians 2:25 
But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need;

As we can see in the above passage, humans are often sent forth as messengers.  The interesting thing about this passage is that the word “messenger” is often translated as “angel,” as this word can mean either a heavenly messenger or a human messenger.  Thus, YHWH can and does send messages to us through the agency of other humans.  Are we listening?  Are we testing the spirit of those messages?

Even animals can be used as messengers of YHWH.

Bemidbar (Numbers) 22:28
Then YHWH opened the mouth of the donkey , and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"

Even things can be used as messengers, if we know how to read signs.  This is not to say that we should be looking for or seeking after signs.  Rather, signs occur all the time around us if we are paying attention and listening for His Voice about how to understand the signs and what they mean. 

However, while people can be used as messengers, one needs to remember that the message comes from YHWH.  For that reason, all glory, honor, and credit should to go to YHWH, each and every time.  If a messenger (or author) tries to take credit for himself, then that messenger (or author) is anti-Mashiach, because he is attempting to replace or put himself in the place of YHWH.

If you feel convicted in your spirit about something you have read in this article, then please remember, it is not my words that have done that.  Rather, it is the ministry of His Spirit, who has placed this conviction on your heart.  So when we feel that convicting power of His Spirit, we need to be careful not to blame the messenger and not to attempt to kill the messenger literally or figuratively as by character assassination.  Furthermore, doing away with the human messenger will not do away with the convicting power of His Spirit.  It is much easier and much more beneficial to yield to Him in whatever way He is speaking to us.

Often, when a messenger delivers a message to someone, and that someone feels the message convicting him (but does not wish to soften his heart, and yield to YHWH), then that person will attack the messenger.

How often have you been attacked, as a messenger of YHWH?  Or, how often have you attacked a messenger from YHWH?  Testing the spirit of a message is not attacking.

If we attack a messenger of YHWH who is attempting to bring a message to us through His Spirit, is that pleasing to our Heavenly Father?  What does that say about the spirit in which one is operating by attacking a messenger of YHWH?

Ivrim [Hebrews] 3:15
"Today if you hear His Voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me."

What will you do with the conviction He brings you through His Spirit?  Will you harden your heart against Him?  Or will you yield to Him and do as He directs you to do?  Please remember, it is your choice.  Do you love His truth?

Yochanan [John] 16:13
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

The Spirit of YHWH does not teach a person just part of the truth.  The Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit) teaches all the truth.  However, this does not mean that the Spirit will teach you everything all at once.  Rather, the Spirit will probably teach you little by little, over the years, so that it does not overwhelm you.

However, the Spirit will only give you more if you are obedient to what it has already given you.  That means, that if you harden your heart, or quench the Spirit in any way, that is the last you will get, until you soften your heart, and follow His gentle guidance.

Let us also realize that in the manner in which His Spirit deals with us personally, His Spirit is also dealing with others in the same manner.  This means that I need to be careful to give grace to others as I expect that same grace to be given to me as He deals with me and teaches me.

Without His presence in our lives we cannot understand these spiritual principles.  If we do not surrender our lives, and allow Him to move us, we cannot understand His will for us.

Please pause and reflect on the following passage:

Yochanan [John] 7:17
"If any man is willing to do His (YHWH’s) will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of YHWH, or I speak from Myself."

Here is the basic difference between the Western mindset and the Hebrew mindset:  In order to know the truth we have to do the truth.  If we do not do the truth, He will not lead us into more truth.

Esau despised his inheritance.  The end result was not good.  Therefore, when He gives us something, we should take hold of it, and cherish it.  This applies to the opportunity to trade in our old lives of living to fulfill the desires of our old fleshly nature for the opportunity to follow the sound of His Voice, having been renewed by His Spirit to walk in the fullness of His life.

In contrast to this, the Western mindset is content with just believing something.  In the Western mindset, what one does is not considered important.  In fact, this is so true, that if a person actually tries to live by the principles found in Scripture he will usually be chided, ridiculed, and told that he is attempting to earn his salvation by works; and that he needs to repent and only believe.

In contrast to this, Yeshua teaches us that only the person who actually does His works will be able to know and understand the truth.  Please pause to reflect on this statement also.

Yochanan Aleph [1 John] 3:24
And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.  And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

The one who keeps His commandments abides in Yeshua.  Yeshua abides in the one who keeps His commandments.  We know that He abides in us, because He sends His Spirit to guide us in our daily walk.  Without the leading and guiding of His Spirit, moment by moment, there is no Salvation (Yeshua) in our lives.  Yeshua also taught us that if we love Him we will obey His commandments.  To obey His commandments is something that we do, not something that we believe.  This is actually one of the ways in which we can test the spirit of a message or messenger.  Does this messenger do his best to live and keep His commandments?  If not, then how can His Spirit abide in Him?  It cannot. 

If you had a rule in your home in which your children had to be home by ten o’clock in the evening, you would not be interested in whether they believed this or not.  What you would be interested in would be whether they actually were doing it!  If they did not, then someone is going to have to answer for the non-compliance (disobedience).  Likewise, YHWH is interested in our obedience and has made available to us His Spirit so that we might actually have the power to comply and lovingly obey His commandments.



So how can we know whether or not a ministry or a minister or teacher is from YHWH?  How can we know if what we are hearing or reading is of His truth?  How can we know what is happening in our world today in relation to Scriptural prophecy? 

1. It is by doing our very best to keep and obey all of His commandments that He will abide in us, and give us the presence of His Spirit.
2. It is by the presence of His Spirit that He will teach us His truth.
3. It is by practicing the truth that we will be able to discern the difference between truth and error.
4. It is by discerning the difference between truth and error that we will be able to know who is a part of the true body.

May YHWH give you all of these blessings, that you may have a part in His Kingdom, and have a share in the Olam Haba (World to Come).

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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