A Demon Made Me Do It

For many people in the modetn era “A demon made me do it” replaces “Christ lives in me”.
1 Timothy 4:2ff is far more scary than we’ve imagined. I am sure you’ve noticed how the very air we breathe is filled with deception. There are lies everywhere. Paul’s prediction ought to bother us that “some” are in possession of the same profile as the 45th president of the United States and they act like the champion of truth.

Is this you with a fried conscience? Do you

  • Say old = new
  • Think Moses rules Messiah
  • Tell people who to marriage or not to marry
  • Believe that God sees Gentiles as unclean

That is a picture of the last days departure from the faith. People who say those things and have those attitudes have left the faith. They have no contribution to make to the journey of Christians to their glorious destiny.

Fried consciences are symptoms of demonic influence and this apostolic saying hits hard, almost like a seven-thunder utterance, that is, does not need to be written (Rev. 10). It is one thing to believe the Bible and another to believe in Christ. Demonic influence therefore is an outcome of rejecting or denying Christ.

I pray that’s not me and I pray that’s not you!

1 Timothy 4:1-8

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

A Tour of SHEMA

A Tour of Shema
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day,

Safe in Yeshua

Safe in Yeshua Despite our Best Efforts

Does Christ make half-alive (half-dead) children? How saved are we when we confess and believe the gospel?

“To the uttermost” is how Christ saves. eis to panteles. ACE TAW PANTEL-ESS. panteles παντελες goes all the way or not at all. The completeness of Christ’s intervention is not in question. The gift of life to us is not in question. The ailing woman in Luke 13:11
was not able to raise herself eis to panteles (= at all, or in any way, or all the way).

And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was (a) bent over and (b) not able to straighten herself fully.
Safety does not need topping off by us. Included in our response to the gospel is our putting distance between ourselves and our generation. What Peter said about his generation applies because when ae ask ourselves about the sources of militant opposition to our faith in Christ we realize that the finher points to our generation.
Our parents, the institutions that are the lines of civic, secular, and sacred authority are all good efforts but they are capable of being obstacles to the progress if life in Christ. They are typically received as authoritarian, not gracious.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

Twisted and Destroyed

Twisted and Destroyed
If the Isaiah 8:20 test is to be applied to Christian faith we should have a consistent definition of law and testimony. What is the law? What is a testimony?
What is the Isaiah 8:20 test? It is a light test. It tests content for accord with the law and the testimony. Speech that lacks this solidarity with the law and the testimony is without light.

What is the law? All of the instruction given to the Hebrew people is law. Torah is the noun derived from yarah, he taught, ירה
More precisely, the law refers to Moses’ 5 books, commonly called the Pentateuch (from the Greek for five scroll, pente teuchos)
An even more restricted but contrived meaning of law is the covenant, the Ten Commandments, thought to be the eternal moral standard for all creation. It is contrived because there could not possibly be any such pre-human standard as the two tablets address. Property, relationships, and procedures that did not exist before the creation of man make such standards irrelevant.
The New Testament has its own precision about law. It tells us about the law of Christ as opposite the law of sin. Whatever the Jewish people called law is, by Christ’s intervention, ineffective for salvation and righteousness. Despite the terrifying, high and mighty claims of the psalmists and the Pharisees, the law is done: it has fulfilled its purpose.
There seems to be little precision in using “the law” as a test for light.
Christ’s testimony is all Holy Spirit business. His speech and work are his testimony and believers, by witnessing his glory and grace are part of that testimony.
In the earlier revelation testimony is grounded in the covenant. Yahweh’s witness, most spectacularly, comes in the fiery and cloudy pillar, the tabernacle, the mercyseat and the tablets of the covenant.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

Perfect Praise

The praise of children in the temple is a striking example of how we should approach the Saviour even though the term Hosanna strictly speaking is not a praise term. It is a cry for help from the Hebrew language. HO-SHE-AY-NEE, means “save me” or as we have it in the New Testament from Aramaic HO-SHA-NAH, meaning “save” (Greek has no “sh” letter hence we get “hoSanna”). It is what Peter would have said in his native language, Aramaic, as he sunk in the waves of Lake Kinneret.
A familiar mode of salvation comes from the Red Sea experience of standing still to see the salvation of the Lord.
Another comes from Israel’s sojourn in the land of Canaan where the people face their crises not by arming themselves but by sending forth choirs of praise.
In response to both actions of God’s people he saved them from oncoming enemies and so he’s able to do the same today.
So how does hosanna to the son of David work? It works because we leave our salvation and have a rescue in the hands of the great saviour of the world. That’s really raising a cup of Salvation to the son of David.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

Faith in Action

Faith in Action
The one thing that pleases God remains jumbled behind Pharisee zeal for Moses and the Law, liturgical purity, Protestant speculation, and present truth innovations. One cannot read the proclamations about faith without realizing that we experience its value in both living and dying. Hebrews 11 is an iconic exhibit in this regard with its instruction about what faith looks like in the lives of ancient witnesses.
As a result of believing the subjects – Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — experienced a variety of outcomes, all of which “pleased God”.
It is obvious that moral behaviour is not the focus of these outcomes and commendations. The message is not that these individuals avoided sin: the commendations assert that faith made the impossible happen or made unseen things appear. “Faith needs works” is a distraction that springs from a dark place, a Christless place. The condition and behaviour of the just are not tied up in “You shall not” but in God’s work.

Jesus answered them, This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent. John 6:29

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 1 John 3:23

1 John 3:24
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

It cheapens salvation to imagine that compliance to any law is evidence of a relationship to God and especially one through Christ and especially one that comes from doing nothing. The church unravelled the knots of every ism in its early days (Acts 15, Acts 6 and 7, Galatians 2:12-14, 5:2-6) yet here we are 19 centuries later tied up in knots about irrelevant theories.

Believers are not hoping to be righteous: we are. Believers are not capable of untying that knot that kept us bound: Christ has, in one majestic act, replaced the nots with yea and amen promises which yield life and true righteousness. He has replaced the knots with reliability.

Believers have “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”. Ephesians 4:24

Returning to the proposition that faith is discerned by both living and dying we find that faith needs love and hope. More precisely, we find that we come to life through faith and the life we live is tagged as faith working in love. The critical evaluation of the faithful seems also to be faith-related when the writer of Hebrews in 11:13 concludes that those who died in faith are secure.

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

The Hell-Earth Traffic

The Hell-Earth Traffic

A Prayer for life to be free from challenges and evil is popular, and while the invitation to ask God for what[ever] we wish stands such a prayer is shortsighted and pitiful.

For the children of God, no such world exists.
Everyone does not receive the object of our best wishes.
Saying “in the name of Jesus” does not make the prayer effective.
No one can command:
(a) the unbeliever “saved”, (b) God to save xyz, or (c) command xyz to get saved.
There is no one going to Gehenna today and there is no one coming from Gehenna today.
Preachers who say there is hell-earth traffic are under a demonic spell.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled

The Right to Eat Compromised

Did you know? You May Have Given up your right to eat.

We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Hebrews 13:10

Food and drink and carnal ordinances do not cut it.

[The tent symbolizes the present age]. According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:9-10

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

Tabernacle is a fancy word for tent.
Yes, that place that moved with the ancient Israelites and provided them with the point of access to God and atonement was a tent.
No matter how dazzling the beauty or splendour, the Tent of Meeting (and the later temple) was a far cry from the Word made flesh. Jewish attempts to rebuild a temple are probably just the kind of thing one thinks one sees at a funeral parlour viewing. Which part of “desolate” do they not understand?
He was full of grace and truth and brought the same to all.
The ToM was limited to Israelites.
It had no grace for the guilty.
It was the place where the last murder of an innocent took place.
The children of Israel called it _MISHKAN_ because God resided there. שכן. _shakan_, he dwells. (Shekinah is from this word)
The children of Israel called it _MIQDASH_ because God’s devoted things were there. קדש _qadash_, he devotes (he makes holy)
The tent is defunct because a *better and eternal covenant* is now in place. Hebrews 13:20 and Matthew 26:27-29

The long and short of our interest in the tabernacle is that no-one can serve God and the tabernacle (or what it stood for). People can seem to be hugging Yeshua but once they start talking about tent, holy place, commandments, regulations about food and drink it is a foregone conclusion that they are lost in the woods.
If you are trying to be the “new Jew” or if you have been convinced that there is justice and morality in the old covenant it is no surprise to God. When Moses brought the Israelites the covenant they were telling themselves that a golden calf had rescued them from Egyptian bondage. When Christ gave the Israelites the only sign of who He was – *dead for 3 days then back to life* – they told themselves that the disciples had stolen the body.
The new covenant does not contain the old covenant.
The new covenant is not the old covenant.
Following Moses, the Old Covenant and its housing puts you in the wrong place. You have no right to talk about the Saviour as if you know him.

Elbert E Joseph, PhD
Salt that refuses to be trampled