Jude is a tiny book in the Brit Khadashah [NT]. But, it is chock full of good instruction. Jude is a distilled version of the name Judah, coming through too many languages to get to English, whereas straight from Hebrew we get Judah. This was the brother of Yeshua, a JEW, who is writing to the believing community, warning us about false brothers in the End Times. Boy, are we there!
“20But another one came and said, ‘My Adon, here is your coin which was with me, which I kept laid up in a purse. 21For I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you pick up what you have not laid down, and you reap what you have not sown.’ 22He said to him, ‘I will judge you from your own mouth, O wicked servant. You knew me, that I am a harsh man, and pick up what I have not laid down, and reap what I have not sowed. 23Why then did you not give my money to the exchange, so that when I came I could demand it with its interest?’ 24And he said to those who stood in his presence, ‘Take away the coin from him and give it to him who has ten coins.’ 25They said to him, ‘Our Adon, he has already with him ten coins.’ 26He said to them, ‘I say to you: To everyone who has shall be given; and from him who has not, even that which he has will be taken away from him. 27But those my enemies, who were not willing that I should rule over them, bring here, and kill them before me.’” “
The parable above is often cited for motivation. For some, the motivation is money. For me, the motivation in declaring the Good News of Messiah Yeshua, the Son of God. In this parable, the ‘great man’ GOES AWAY, and he does so to RECEIVE A KINGDOM. This is huge, and should make us stop and think. Yeshua, at this point in His ministry, has preached about “Malkhut HaElohim,” the Kingdom of G-d, for three and a half years. He is staying in Beit Anya, a tiny ‘daughter city’, a farming village on the side of the Mount of Olives. He knows the Pesakh is coming, and that He is about to be betrayed, tried and executed. He is about to die and be buried, to rise again after three days. And then He will go away. He explains this going away in depth in the Pesakh Seder, using Galilean wedding rites as the framework of it. And He is explaining in this parable what will happen in the meantime, after the ‘great man’ goes away to ‘receive a kingdom’: SOME will labor, and grow their master’s wealth [kingdom], some will barely grow it; but some will receive their gift from him, and just ‘sit on it’, and do nothing with it.
In my view, the ‘hyper-grace’ theologians are the ones who just sit on it. They think there is nothing to ‘do’ in His Kingdom. They think they know their master so well, and that He requires nothing of us after He gives us this great gift of salvation. They have received this great gift of being rescued from the stench of their sin, and from the punishment they deserve, and they simply relax. And anyone who comes along to ‘spurn one another on toward love AND GOOD WORKS” they mock: “that’s ‘legalism'”, and they do nothing to GROW themselves or others in Messiah Yeshua. They think they are ‘in like Flynn’, and they simply sit by and ‘ride the coattails’ of those actually laboring for His Kingdom. They ignore all the many admonishments in the scriptures to ‘check our faith,’ to ‘serve and obey’, to ‘hold on to that which you have’, and not to let people among believers ‘take us away from God’, or to ‘steal our crown’; they ignore Yeshua saying over and over “to him who overcomes”, where ‘overcomes’ is an action verb, and implies struggle. They ignore the mandate to share the GOOD NEWS, “Besorah”. They ‘think’ the good news is simply ‘know Jesus’ in the intellectual way, to ‘believe’ that He took away all our sins, without understanding that He requires “Teshuvah”, that everyone should turn AWAY FROM their sins and turn toward God, to live a DIFFERENT LIFE. And that once this is done, to GO OUT into the world and BE LIGHT.
And because they don’t do this, ‘even that which he has will be taken away from him’. That which he has was SALVATION: the GOOD NEWS. That great gift we ALL SHOULD CHERISH, and INCREASE on His behalf!
Yeshua, four days before Passover, is telling us that while He is away, some of those who actually receive from Him will sit on their duff and do nothing with the gift of SALVATION. To INCREASE it. We INCREASE SALVATION by INVESTING our lives into the lives of others, and brining that knowledge to them, CHANGING them by giving them the NEW BIRTH Yeshua gives us when He imparts life to us, and spurning each other on toward good deeds.
Is everyone called to be an overt ‘evangelist/karoz?’ A ‘herald’ in the street? No. But, we are all called to have His Ru’akh, His Breath/Power within us, and to treat people the way He would have us to treat them: with compassion. And by that compassion, share with them the news that they can indeed be RESCUED from their sin.
Our society has learned to accept sin, and of late has begun to PROMOTE it, with PRIDE. We, instead of having compassion on those who struggle with sin, either embrace it, or ridicule the person so much they would never look at Yeshua. People who participate in this month of ‘pride’ have been fooled into thinking that since they have ‘felt that way’ ever since they could remember, they must have been born that way, and God must have designed them that way, and so the behavior is ‘okay’. When the truth is, they were born into the fallen state of sin, and need a ‘new birth’, to be BORN into HIS KINGDOM, and then to do something with it.
And then there are those who have no apparent sin struggle, of which they are aware. These usually are those who are ‘successful religionists’, and they are smug in their perceived righteousness. They think they get their righteousness from Yeshua, when truthfully it is contrived in their own minds, or by their version of christian religion. They may have at one time had His righteousness, but what they then do with it is develop another kind of pride. The pride of Korakh, crowding out true righteousness. They see themselves as so righteous, that they cannot even recognize their own sin of self-righteousness, when they contrast themselves against another of His Servants.. They deem themselves ‘anointed’, ‘holy’, and worthy to tear down anyone who is actually anointed and DOING the work of God, when they WOULD NOT. They don’t ‘declare;’ they don’t put themselves on the line, but they are quick to criticize everyone who does, and find fault with His laborers where they may be weak. And the ‘earth’ swallows them up, without their knowing it. They have NO COMPASSION for those who actually minister.
And next, we consider what Yeshua said to those who say they serve Him, but do NOT FOLLOW Him:
23A man asked Him, “Are there only a few who are to be saved?” Yeshua said to them, 24“Strive to enter in through the narrow gate; for I say to you that many will seek to enter in and will not be able. 25From the hour when the Adon of the house rises up and locks the door, you will be standing outside and knocking at the door, and you will begin to say, ‘Adoneinu, Adoneinu, [Our Lord] open for us;’ and He will answer, saying, ‘I [Yeshua] say to you, I do not know you or where you come from.’ 26And you will begin to say, ‘We have eaten and drunk in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27And He will say to you, ‘I do not know you or where you come from; depart from me, O you workers of iniquity. 28There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Avraham and Yitz’khak and Ya’akov and all the Nevi’im in Malkhut HaElohim, but you will be thrown outside.”
These are NOT people who never heard of Yeshua! These are people who EMBRACED Him, and CLAIMED that He was their teacher! That they followed Him! But, they in fact did not, because they were “WORKERS OF INIQUITY”. Most people do not realize that a ‘worker of iniquity’ is one who breaks His Torah. The books of Job and Psalms echo that phrase over and over, and almost always explain it as those who do not follow His Torah. Following His Torah is FIRST AND FOREMOST about how we treat our fellow man, and then ALSO about how God expects to be worshipped. You cannot have one without the other. Throw away your least favorite half of the Ten Commandments now, the ones you don’t want. One half tells us how to love HIM, and the other how to love people. But, most people only live by one or two of the ten.
The purpose of this is NOT to ‘sound’ ‘high and mighty’. Not at all. I discipline myself daily, and check myself. But, I also know that there are far too many people who stay comfortable in their laziness, and/or in their sin. Today is not a day to do that.
20“But you, my beloved, build up yourselves anew in the consecrated trust through The Ru’akh HaKodesh [Consecrated Breath/Spirit], by means of prayer. 21Let us keep ourselves in the love of Elohim, looking for the mercy of Adoneinu Yeshua HaMashi’akh, and for the life which is ours forever. 22And those we have discussed, prove. 23And some of them, snatch them from the fire; and when they repent, have mercy on them with compassion; despise even a garment which is spotted with the things of the flesh.” Yehudah
Below is a reply to someone who trolled me about the truth of scripture:
[I shouldn’t have to do this, but I must inform everyone again that I do not subscribe to the notion that “all caps” is yelling, but merely inflection and emphasis.]
The scriptures are far more than mere stories. I have not been a casual reader of them, but I have studied them in four languages, for nearly forty years. I challenged my own beliefs, and those of what were taught to me, both in churches and in academic settings. One thing I can tell you: they stand the test of everyone’s doubts and their lack of knowledge.Further, I have lived the scriptures. I have trusted in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in His Son Yeshua. I have not just ‘believed’, but I have been transformed by HIS LIFE. Yeshua went to His death for MY sake, because I could not keep myself from doing wrong. I loved only me. I had a proclivity to think things I should not about other people, to want for myself things that were not good for me, to be utterly selfish. For some reason, HE chose to reveal to me that He LOVED ME SO MUCH that He would suffer a most horrible death, and then go further into the realm of the dead and suffer, because He KNEW that if He trusted in HIS FATHER to bring Him back from the dead, that He would save ANYONE from their lack of LOVE and COMPASSION. I lacked not love for myself, but for God, my CREATOR, and for others. He gave me LOVE. And for more than forty years, every single time that I am the victim of hateful humans, HE HAS GIVEN ME LOVE AND COMPASSION. He has taught me to LOVE THEM. Because He has SHOWN ME how much He loves ME.
I have pondered how I might reveal this to YOU. You do not know me, nor I you. But, I KNOW what it is like to be without love. To be jaded, bitter, hardened in my heart. And I know what it is like to believe lies told me by people I respect. As I said, I have studied these “stories”, AND the history wrapped around them. It probably would do me no good to point out ALL the many times these scriptures have proven ALL OF MANKIND WRONG. People said King David didn’t exist, nor his son Solomon. Archaeology has proven they did. People said Jericho was a myth. I’ve seen it myself. People said Solomon’s colonade, the pools of Jerusalem, etc, were fictitious, yet we keep digging, and the earth itself proves these words more accurate than any other book. People said the Bible wasn’t written until the third century, and then the Dead Sea Scrolls are found in the 1900’s and are almost letter for letter the same as our latest Hebrew texts, though they date from before the first century.
It would also probably do me no good to tell you of all the MANY TIMES that God has MANIFESTED for me. How He got me off a submarine three years before the Navy’s guidelines, how he healed my puss-sore laden throat ON THE SPOT while I sang to Him “O God, You are my God, and I will ever praise You,” how He healed my brother’s broken neck in my living room, my wife’s plurasy on the spot, raised my daughter off her death bed, healed a man’s lung which the doctors were going to take out that day until we prayed and the cancer was removed, told me I was going to get a job that would change my life, and the very next day I entered into a 28-year career. It would do me no good to tell you how He forced me to forge on and ‘try’ to start a congregation, a Jewish congregation in the midst of nothing but rednecks, when I wanted to quit and go hide in my hole, and how many SOULS he would cleanse, save, bless and prosper after I did not give up. It would do me no good to tell you how OVER AND OVER He has provided for my wife and me, HUGE SUMS OF MONEY coming from the most bizzare places, one time being a box full of cash mailed to our doorstep from out of state, from where we knew no one.
I wish I could tell you EVERYTHING, every LIVING thing, He has done, that has PROVEN HIS WORD to US over and over again. But you wouldn’t believe it. You’d write them off as ‘stories’. Even if I could show you the proof. The science PROVES God exists, and that the earth is merely 6,000 years old. But, mankind chooses to believe the lie, so that he can persist in his DENIAL of living a life according to His will. History PROVES that Yeshua existed, lived, died and rose again, and that He is the Son of God; but mankind chooses to pervert the message, deny the scriptures, nay-say the notion of His return, and scoff at the idea of living rightly, with LOVE for Him and for one another.
You are barking up the wrong tree if you think your little quip is going to cause me to doubt. I sat in Muscat, Oman, among Muslim sheiks, and listened to an Athiest say the same things you just said, face to face. This man was a genius, a super-intellectual, and he told me he was an athiest, but, the BREATH of God in me FORCED me to blurt, “No you are not! The fool says in his heart that there is no God, and you’re NO FOOL.” I could have been arrested, because I’m in a Muslim country declaring the truth of Yeshua and the Jewish God, our Creator, and I’m a very demonstrative person. But, somehow, we were protected, and I managed to get the whole truth out to this man. YEARS LATER I find out that not only does he believe there is a God now, but also that he trusts in His Son, Yeshua.
So, you can try to rely on ‘the force,’ and I know you were dangerously close to mocking His Spirit with that cartoon, but I KNOW the ‘force’ of His Breath, the MIGHT of His TRUTH. Your mindsent was predicted in these scriptures you mock. So, I will set your cause before the creator, for YOUR sake, and hope that you will BEGIN to THINK, and to FEAR your CREATOR. Otherwise, you will live in the regret of having taught YOURSELF to ignore Him, because you didn’t want to give up your sin, and you’ll think that way in darkness FOR ETERNITY.
I hope you will find His truth, before darkness swallows you forever.
This vlog was partly inspired by the episode above, but mostly by the readings for this week.