Friday, February 29, 2008

More About Paul but...

I just read a book for kids/teens called Escape From Egypt that reminded me of something. How about the Exodus when some of the Israelites started complaining about Moses? Their argument was about the same as mine, wasn't it? They asked, "Is Moses the only one God speaks to? Why do we follow him, hasn't the Almighty spoken to us and others as well?" Then those people who had spoken against Moses were swallowed up by the earth for it!

What if this is the same thing? Didn't they have what they considered good reason to question? Is there a difference between wondering if Moses was right in all the myriad things he said and wondering about the preachings of Paul? Did Moses always say, "This is what YHWH has commanded me to say to you..."?

Complaining was a big issue with the Almighty. But I realize i can easily question why it is that we have to do without things we need when we are promised them. Like the Israelites in the desert - they had no water! Why did they have to wait until they were desperate before it was provided? Are we to assume they didn't ASK, that they didn't PRAY for water before they got to the point of wanting to return to Egypt? Why did YHWH wait until they were afraid they were beyond hope, until the children were dying of thirst (DID anyone actually die), until the people thought they had been abandoned because they lacked what they needed for their very survival before He provided the water?

I've heard it proposed that He waits until the last minute quite often so there is no misunderstanding - all provision comes from HIM, it's not our power. If we can obviously get what we need but it doesn't work for some unfathomable reason, then we will understand that it was always up to Him. But waiting BEYOND that point? I don't get it. In the desert, it had already been quite obvious that God was protecting them and had truly led them there, look at all the miracles done for them! Is that the difference? Or is it even different? I've seen miracles but I still question whether i'm misreading situations at times. I question if I'm hearing right, if I've learned the real lesson, if I've chosen the right path. Is that the only difference? Does He continue to give me what i need when i question my OWN understanding, but send plagues and trouble if I question HIS wisdom in putting me in certain situations?

And how does any of this apply to the question of Paul and Moses? Were those who were destroyed questioning the Almighty by questioning Moses? Okay, yes, they must have been, all
that they had seen made it quite clear that He was with Moses, directing his steps and words!

But then what about all the false prophets who are to come in the name of Yahshua doing signs and wonders?

Questions About Paul

For some time now I've thought Paul was like many of us - filled with the spirit; different than most in that he was given a specific mission that was MAJOR. In his writings, he says things like 'I was determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified.' For the rest, at least much of the rest, could he perhaps have been giving his own understandings? These letters he wrote are not what he was specifically sent to teach and preach, these are letters addressing questions and problems that may or may not apply to us in every situation. I often wonder if he'll be horrified to know that his opinions - Spirit inspired, yes, but opinions and understandings - are considered of equal or greater weight than those of Messiah himself?
One time I asked my pastor how he was different from Paul. I know quite well this man often "let" the Spirit speak through him and that he preached from understandings he was given. The pastor was horrified by the question, thinking i was elevating his speaking to the level of scripture. But I was just accepting that it was truly the spirit of YHWH speaking through him and I still don't really see the difference in him and Paul, maybe other scripture "authors" as well. If the pastor speaks the very words the Father gives him, aren't they holy and set apart truths? But that doesn't mean that I will understand every word out of his mouth to be instruction and teaching from the Father.
This is pretty much where i am right now. Paul himself said if it doesn't agree with Torah and the prophets, it's not true. Then why do people use his teachings to 'disprove' and 'discredit' Torah? People seem to generally believe that either:
1. He teaches the old testament is totally passed away OR
2. He agrees fully in all his teachings with Torah and we are trying to twist his words
Personally i don't agree with either view. I believe he was a man in close communication with the Father, filled with the spirit but not infallible!
I fully realize i may change my mind, the Spirit may change my understanding of this and anything else i think i know but it always helps me to write it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Brian McLaren - excellent!

This is an excerpt from an article, a blog entry perhaps, on by Brian McLaren. It's SO GOOD.

"Our interpretations reveal less about God or the Bible than they do about ourselves. They reveal what we want to defend, what we want to attack, what we want to ignore, what we're unwilling to question.
When Judgment Day comes, God might ask a lot of us how we interpreted the Bible-not to judge if our interpretations are right or wrong but to let our interpretations reveal our hearts. That will be telling enough."


Sabbath, signs, Marks, implants

A few minutes ago, i read an article that i appreciated and was glad to find. Besides not being all that sure of how literally one should take certain spiritual things, i'm never quite sure of my conclusions. Sometimes they're not even conclusions, merely considerations, theories, possibilities. When i wrote about the sabbath being the sign, it was simply out of frustration. Things have happened that make me feel a little better about not working yet, things like i needed to keep my grandbabies while their mother had surgery - if i had been working, i couldn't have kept them. Then there's the fact that grandbaby number three is due in less than two weeks! Perhaps with tax return money, i can make the trip out to see him! If I had a job, i couldn't go. Plus I need to go be with my son while he deals with a trauma this sorry world has struck him over the head with. PLUS...well, yes, there are a couple of other things as well.
Anyway, the article pointed out that this "mark of the beast" is supposed to be in the hand OR in the forehead, not both. If it's an idea that one performs, that would be both, the mental keeping would be the forehead, the physical performance would be the hand. Not that i agree totally but at least there may be something to that. Maybe next i'll just join the mild hysteria going around in some groups about using one's thumbprint to buy things, or the ID chip that is supposedly soon to be implanted. Okay, that hysteria i can gladly join in with, i detest the thought of being branded, marked, CHIPPED like an animal to be kept track of by my "owner" - the government?!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sabbath the Sign?

I'm starting to believe those people who claim the sabbath is the sign of YHWH, and that the people who keep no day or Sunday or maybe Friday have accepted the mark of the beast! Why? Because apparently no one in this country can get a job anymore without working on Saturday. At least, I don't seem to be able to. Even when i go to what i expect are Mon-Fri places, they add at the end of the interview, "And of course, you'll have to work an occasional Saturday, but that's no problem for you, is it?"
Well, YES! That's the whole reason i respond to ads that require availability Monday through Friday!

This certainly IS affecting my ability to "buy and sell", it DOES feel like a persecution, it IS a test of my faith in the Father to provide... I keep worrying that i'm really not supposed to follow what scripture says, that i should do the easy thing and choose my own day for a sabbath or not bother with one at all. Except that i really don't believe it's my right to do such a thing. But neither do I believe living off of someone else is His 'provision'. Something needs to happen.