I get into a lot of trouble with the online community because of what I believe about the Word of Yahweh. This has cost me friends and even a few family members.
I’ve accepted that this is a price that must be paid.
When the Most High created us, He gave us a mind to use and logic to apply to the learning of His Word. We were never meant to be “blind followers of the blind,” and yet that is mostly what the mainstream church has become.
The Best Advice Ever
About a year before I got married to my lovely wife (sheesh, 21 years ago?), I sat down with a mentor and expressed to him my frustration with all of the various doctrines of the church, and how they didn’t agree with each other, and how everything was going downhill, despite their smiling faces and positive confessions.
Kevin, you know that Jesus is your Messiah … and you know that this (pointing to the Bible) is the Word of God. Now, forget everything you have ever learned.
Take this Book and start from the beginning. Read it… believe it… and do it.
If anyone tries to teach you anything that is contrary to what this Book says, toss what they say right out the window. Even if I (pointing to himself) teach you anything contrary to what this Book says, ignore me, because I’m wrong.
That was an event that marked my life forever, and I do my best to live by that advice.
Now, I haven’t always been faithful to that advice.
In fact, the reason that I got messed up in the Word of Faith and Prophetic movements was because I wasn’t faithful to that advice! But Yahweh WAS faithful to rescue me from my own shortcomings and bring me back around.
- If you’re feeling disillusioned with the mainstream church and wonder how this all adds up…
- If you’ve said the Sinner’s Prayer and know that Jesus/Yeshua is the Messiah, yet you feel lost in the midst of all the noise…
- If you know that the Bible is the Word of God and want a stable path to follow…
…If all these things ring true, I strongly suggest you take the advice my mentor once gave me.
But let me warn you, some life-changing things happen when you start to learn for yourself and apply basic logic to the Word of the Living God.
You are cast out of the fold.
It’s the plain-and-simple truth that your average church-goer simply cannot handle an independent thinker. Once you start to question the status quo, you become too much for their docile minds to handle.
As a result, you are labelled divisive and argumentative (even if you’re polite) and – if they can’t rescue you from your “backsliding,” you are cast out of their inner circle.
All of this happens simply because you dare to question the conventionally-accepted belief.
Indeed, “cookie-cutter christianity” is intolerant of any man (or woman) who dares to cut his/her own path, spiritually speaking.
You realize the Way really is narrow.
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Our churches are packed with people who will not listen to any teaching about a “difficult way” that “few” will find. If you do not preach a Joel Osteen gospel, they’ll just stay home.
The Word states in Proverbs:
The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
The words “will come” are italicized because our beloved translators thought that it explained the verse better. They were wrong.
The verse SHOULD read:
The way of the LORD is strength [H4851 – ma’owz] for the upright, but destruction to the workers of iniquity.
The reason the Way is difficult (as in Matthew 7:14) is because it destroys OUR way.
But if you walk in righteousness, which is in agreement with His Way, it is PROTECTION (“ma’owz” means protection) for us.
This is in agreement with another verse in Matthew, where Yeshua said:
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
He was not contradicting Matthew 7:14 in this verse.
If we take His easy yoke upon ourselves, we will be imitating His Ways.
His Ways are God’s Ways.
The road only becomes “narrow” because man does not want to give up his/her own ways.
You realize that Scriptures did not just occur “in a vacuum.”
As you study the Word for yourself, you realize that these individual Scriptures (heck, entire BOOKS) were not written independent of each other. There was a historical and cultural background that MUST be considered when interpreting the Word.
Probably one of the worst things being taught from the pulpit is the habit of piecing together individual Scriptures to create your own doctrine.
I can’t over-emphasize this enough … When you do this, you are in serious danger!
We all have a strong tendency to do this, but we must break free from this habit. If we do not, our 40,000+ denominations will continue to grow in numbers.
You embark on a lifetime of discovery.
You will probably be labeled an isolationist, and that’s fine.
It was said of John the Baptist:
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
John the Baptist belonged to the tribe of Levi, and had he stayed out of the wilderness, probably would have continued in his father’s steps. But Yahweh kept him from that… He had a better plan!
What happened out there in the desert is anybody’s guess, but his time in the wilderness resulted in a Calling for John to come to the multitudes in the Spirit and Power of Elijah with a heavenly message.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
A friend of mine once told me, “Rejection is a Baptism… embrace it.”
I don’t think he realized how far that phrase would go with me, for right on the heels of him saying that, (I believe) the Holy Spirit continued, “for only then will you truly live free of the Fear of Man.”
I’m going to leave you with that thought. Nobody said that it would be easy… but our rewards are eternal, not temporal.