Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Actions Can We Take? Or Should We Take?

Just what can we individuals do, or should do, in these days of social upheaval, political degradation, and spiritual decline?  To combat these movements should we join forces and act as a cohesive unit?  Should we become political activists?  Should we lobby our leaders, secular and religious, to make public statements and/or announce support for "our" political candidates?

These types of questions have been most common recently, especially from emailers who are frustrated by what they see as a general decline in society and the world.

This political cartoon from Lisa Benson, January 31, 2012 sums up the problem, at least from my perspective.

The Roman Catholic Church, in N. America, recently read a letter to it's congregants.  The letter is linked here.

Roman Catholic Bishops initially announced support for "Obamacare", stating that all people must have access to affordable health care.  If you haven't been following this issue in the U.S., the Obama administration is trying to implement socialized health care here.  So, although first announcing support for the measure, the Bishops are now saying that the "free" birth control, morning-after abortion pills, and access to abortion providing doctors cannot be part of the package.

My answer to these kinds of questions and concerns might surprise you!  As usual, I will go back to scripture and start asking questions.

Hmmm ... let's see.  Did Jesus, Paul, Peter, or any of the others try to work with the Roman Empire to correct the percieved wrongs of the world, to provide for the poor, or place their political candidate in the Roman Senate?  Uh ... nope!

Did the Apostles, like the SDA Church, sign on to an agreement to ban certain weapons to help achieve a more peaceful Roman Empire?  Uh ... nope!

Just what was the early church's stand on these things?  Obviously, their emphasis was on the spiritual growth of individual believers as it relates to their personal relationship with Yeshua (Jesus), not a reliance on man's political systems (or Man's religious systems!).  You see, the good book teaches us that only God can produce what we need in society.  Man, on his own, cannot!  Historically, capitalist societies have provided for more people and shared more wealth than any other system.  But even these systems become corrupt when God is removed from the picture.  I offer up my own country, the U.S. of A., as a prime example of this.

So what do I do, personally, to achieve a better societyWell, I start with myself.  First and foremost, my personal relationship with the Almighty must be a daily and regular connection.  My relationship with Him must be solid and personal.  While understanding their is nothing I can do to earn His favor, I still come to Him, on my knees, where I belong. (Acts 15:11) (just do a search on the word, "grace" in the N.T.) (Exodus 20:1, 2, 3)

Next, I try my best not to be a burden on society or on my neighbor.  I don't ask my government or my neighbor for help.  I believe it is my spiritual responsibility to keep from being a burden on others.  When a need does arise in society, the Tigress and I do everything we can to help. (1 Tim. Ch. 5)  You see, the government is not supposed to be the ones to help others.  We believers are supposed to do that.  And, if a person lacks the spiritual awareness and fortitude to care for themselves we should be there to assist the person to achieve this spiritual connection with God. (Matt. Ch. 7) (Exodus 20:17)

(Folks, I understand things happen to people and sometimes they can't help being poor, etc., but this misses the entire point.  Sin is the reason we have problems in life.)

As a member of a generally free society (this is changing as we speak) it is also my duty to participate and vote in elections as I see fit.  I actually pray to God about my vote!  What is my measuring stick concerning political candidates?  The Bible of course!  Yes, we all fall short!

Again, keeping in mind their is nothing I can do to earn grace, I try my best to turn away from all things that the good book has shown me to be bad.  It's taken a life-time of study but I have learned to turn away from pagan influences such as; Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Idols, Love of Money, Love of Power, etc.  The list goes on and on ...  I have tried to steer myself and my family towards a purer form of worship based more on the First Century church which is anchored in biblical Hebraic roots, not in pagan "Church" history.  To grow spiritually we must be an avid reader of the Bible and study it often.  In many countries, Bibles are illegal!  Here in America we have no excuse.

(Have you noticed how important the 10 Commandments are in this overall question?  The "Big 10" cover every sin known to man - EVERY SIN!  They are the mirror that reflects our sin back to us, so we may clearly see.)

IOWords, I try my best to actually be that light that shines so others may see.  (Matt. Ch. 5)  In this blog you will hear me at my most "preachy" because I'm trying to explain myself to a wide audience.  In life, I try not to be that way. Actually, my success rate has been very good.  People ask me about my belief often and tell me they like it and want it. 

BTW, I do not support socialized health care!

Now comes the million dollar question. "Tiger, how has all this worked out?"  "Why is the world in such a bad state if this was God's plan?"

I would suggest to you that our thinking is not God's thinking.  I suggest you do a word study throughout the entire Bible, on the word, "Remnant".

The Observer

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why I Believe The Church is Not The Replacement "Bride of Christ"

Hear me out on this one, folks.  I understand this is a controversial subject!

From a comment on the last blog entry, Viral Vid Reminds Us To Not Love Religion , Ladyhawk spoke, tongue in cheek, about "staying home and not attending any church".  This brought up a quote from the young man in the video:

Religion as the institution and as the church — as Jesus’ bride — that is God’s plan A and there is no plan B. So I don’t want to abolish that. I don’t want to turn from that. And that’s where God is manifest.”

I know exactly where the man is coming from because I used to believe the same thing!  This teaching, that the "Bride of Christ" has become the Church, is widespread throughout Christianity and is considered a doctrinal truth.  I would politely and respectfully disagree!

BTW, I want to thank Ladyhawk because she is a person who understands the wonderful, ancient art of conversation, something which I believe blogs are perfect for.  Alas, so many people nowadays have forgotten this art and prefer anger over discussion.

To assist me I will be using notes from a good friend and respected Elder, Mr. Ron Warren, who regularly publishes study notes and Parsha references in a newsletter format.  At the end I'll give his contact information if you're interested in receiving his newsletter.

Notice the word, Parsha?  (also spelled Parashah)  Look it up if you're not familiar with it.  On the simplest level it means a portion of biblical script studied in meaningful sections.  To an Orthodox Jew it means much more and consists of Torah portions only.  To a Messianic Jew it also means Torah portions but with accompanying B'rit Hadasha (New Testament) references.

... now, to the subject at hand ...

The Four Cups of Passover

It is written in Exodus 6:6-7 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the Lord, and I {YHVH} will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I {YHVH} will free you from being slaves to them, and I {YHVH} will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I {YHVH} will take you as my own people, and I {YHVH} will be your God. Then you will know that I {YHVH} am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.”
These verses were used before Yeshua’s time, to produce the four cups used in the Passover Seder by the rabbis of antiquity.

* I {YHVH} will BRING YOU OUT” - Cup of Sanctification
* “I {YHVH} will FREE YOU” - Cup of Salvation or Deliverance
* “I {YHVH} will REDEEM YOU” - Cup of Redemption
* “I {YHVH} will TAKE YOU TO ME” - Cup of Hope and Acceptance

It's a shame to skip ahead because Ron does such a tremendous job with this, but for the sake of the subject we will jump to "Cup 4", the Cup of Hope and Acceptance.

The Fourth Cup - Hope and Acceptance

Then I will take you for my people, and I will be your God…”

This promise is different (than the earlier ones). It has little to do with Israel’s enslavement. It has to do with a personal intimate relationship that God wanted to make with them. When God used the Hebrew word that translates “to take”, it is used in other places in reference to someone taking a wife. If that is the case, God was proposing marriage. This was Israel’s formal legal engagement to their future husband, the Lord our God.

These words do create an identity crisis with the church. The Tanakh (Old Testament) teaches that Israel is God’s bride. The Torah hints at it and the prophet Hosea specifically teaches it. But, as Hosea says, Israel was an unfaithful bride.  (Hosea Ch. 2)

This causes some people to say, “God just left this unfaithful bride to go and marry another.” They will use Ephesians 5 to teach that the “church,” God’s faithful “called-out ones,” is His bride. God rejected Israel and married the church instead.

This reasoning, that God rejected Israel and married the Church, has a few problems. According to the prophet Malachi, God says He “hates divorce.” If true, it is inconceivable He would go against His own nature not to forgive, and divorce His unfaithful bride, Israel. Hosea also spoke, in Chapter 3, how God will make her faithful and mend their relationship.

Also, God make other promises in the Tanakh and Torah where He would bring Israel back to Himself and their land (Deuteronomy 30). He also promised that Israel would always exist as His covenant people (Jeremiah 31:27-37).

If this is true, how should you understand about the church being God’s bride? Does God have two brides?

Paul gave the solution in Romans 11. Non-Jewish believers in Yeshua are grafted in to the olive tree, which is Israel. Being grafted into the commonwealth of Israel does not make them Jewish, but it means they are part of Israel.

God does not give up one bride for another (“Replacement Theology”). He does not have two brides (“Two- Covenant Theory”), nor does the Gentile become Jewish (“Two-House Theory”). He is increasing His bride by adding more to it – non-Jewish believers in Yeshua.

You see folks, we believers in Messiah in the Church, and the Jewish believers in Messiah, and the actual nation of Israel (the Bride) are ALL ONE!

Maybe you'll think differently now when you hear something on the news about Israel and our national relationship to her.  If we, as a nation, abandon Yeshua's Bride, we are in deep trouble!

I would also recommend reading Pastor Steve Wohlberg's essay on the two Israels.  Although Pastor Steve has the opinion that the Church has become the Bride, his essay actually helps to clarify how Israel becomes ONE!

Friends, their is no reason why we can't disagree with one another on issues of interpretation, as long as we're both worshipping the Lord and serving Him.  It's when we begin accepting sin in our midst we go down the wrong path.

If anyone is interested in receiving Ron Warren's newsletter you may contact him at:


and ask to be added to his list.  Ron will definitely give you the Messianic Judaism view of things, which is in itself interesting, since he was raised as a Lutheran!

The Observer

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Viral Vid Reminds Us To Not Love Religion

An especially great reminder!  Religion is NOT the answer!  A personal relationship with God is the answer.
HT: The Tigress (Never Make Her Angry - I'm Just Sayin!)
The Observer

UPDATE! Related article from the Blaze

Friday, January 13, 2012

When Progress Isn't

It has been said that no study of religion is complete without a corresponding study of history.  I believe this.  Many will say that religious beliefs change dependent upon accommodating modern social mores and taboos.  That modernity defines religion, in other words.  Some of us see our present day in the light of ever increasing sensitivity to our fellow man's foibles and desires, while others see the human race repeating historical mistakes made throughout the ages, the old optimist/pessimist debate.  We still organize in this way, arguing whether the glass is half-full or half-empty.  This, "modernity changes religion vs. religion never changes" contention is true, in my humble opinion, and it seems to be a driving force in today's society. I happen to agree with the late Clare Boothe Luce.  In this world, she said, there are optimists and pessimists. "The pessimists are better informed."

Please consider the latest news stories concerning our ever "increasing sensitivity to our fellow man's foibles and desires" and consider if you agree with me and Clare or not!

Greece, the ancient home of Western reason and philosophy, continues to have money problems.  In plain language - the country is flat broke - and is a burden on it's E.U. partners.  So, how has the Greek Labor Ministry decided to address this problem?  By handing out more cash, of course!  Yes, Greece has decided to add (you can't make this stuff up!)exhibitionists, kleptomaniacs, and pedophiles to it's list of persons authorized for disability payments.

Let's just allow that fact to soak in for a moment ...

Why does it seem that only the political Left will argue for an immoral act, and in addition, ask for taxpayer subsidies to support it?  Don't believe that statement?  Go ask N.A.M.B.L.A. and Planned Parenthood.  You can look up the first group on your own.  I get sick to the stomach when I research it.  Planned Parenthood, itself sickening, has been thoroughly studied and is presented extremely well by a fellow blogger, Godfather Politics.  And yes, his piece is well documented.

"According to its latest annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) received $487.4 million in tax dollars over a twelve-month period and performed 329,455 abortions.

Previous Planned Parenthood annual reports showed total funding from “government grants and contracts” (which were $363.2 million in 2009), while this year’s report also accounts for payments from Medicaid managed care plans among the payments the group receives from government.

When compared with previous annual reports, the latest one shows an almost steady increase in the number of abortions performed at its clinics: In 2006, Planned Parenthood did 289,750 abortions; in 2007, it did 305,310; in 2009, it did 331,796; and, in 2010, it did 329,445 — a small decrease from the previous year."

Now, back to Greece.  Here's the real kicker.  As the nation is having all these financial problems while handing out checks to criminals,  the DailyMail is reporting that; 

"Children are being abandoned on Greece's streets by their poverty-stricken families who  cannot afford to look after them any more.
Youngsters are being dumped by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet in what is fast becoming the most tragic human consequence of the Euro crisis."

If moral irony has just smacked you in the face, if you have just risen from the floor after being knocked down by this incredulity, if you have a glimmer of moral acumen left in your heart; then you will most likely survive the future and what is to come after the realization of such injustice.  Greece is giving disability checks to pedophiles while children are being dumped on the streets! 

Now, you may be thinking that I'm picking on Greece, instead of pointing out problems in my own backyard!  No, I have to say, President Obama has now declared that homosexuals and lesbians can serve openly in our military forces and he and congress have worked together to strengthen existing "hate crime" laws almost to the point where this very article may become illegal!  Even my hometown of Orlando now has an official city registry where "gay" couples can sign up so their names can be added to a list of folks receiving city benefits for themselves and their partners.

What Does History, Politics and Morals Have To Do With All This?

Every study, throughout history, of political organizations, empires, conquerors, city-states, and yes, even biblical nations indicate they have all failed, in part, due to a lack of morality and leniency of moral behavior.  If you don't believe me, find an honest historian and ask him.

Think about the Greeks, Romans, Israelites, Babylonians, Persians, Spartans, etc.  They all had problems in this area.  We in modern times are no different.  The U.S., Europe, China, South America - all of us, are having great problems with moral behavior!

There is only one answer, folks - only one.  We must turn away from false gods of any stripe.  We must turn away from pagan ritual and celebration.  We must turn away from the lies and deceits of "progressive thought", which says that sin is just fine for society.  It didn't work for Sodom and Gomorrah, it didn't work for Rome or Greece.  We must turn away from all these things and turn towards the one true God, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, Yeshua!

This time, it won't simply be a repeat of history.  It will be the end of history.

The Observer