Patience Rooted In Love

Patience Rooted In Love

Patience is a virtue. As it pertains to how believers interact with each other, this adage should hold true. Unfortunately, it often does not as our frustrations with one another’s interpretations of scripture become apparent. 

Before we allow ourselves to get annoyed, we should pause and biblically consider how to treat one another. 

We may think: “They are just stuck in the milk of the word” or “They are still brainwashed by Christian dispensationalism doctrine” and so forth. However, the question remains – how should we react to one another when points of view and scriptural interpretations differ? 

This is a complex area to navigate. It involves our most deeply held beliefs about our Elohim Yahuah (God), our understanding of His character, our role in His kingdom, and our relationship with His son Yahusha (Jesus). 

For example, you may have very strong emotional and philosophical reasons about how the names of Father and Son are pronounced. Another person may be fully convinced that the calendar they are following is correct, and so forth.

Nonetheless, we should not be so dug in that we become unwilling to listen and consider different views of scriptural interpretation – lest we risk becoming stiff-necked and hard-hearted. As we interact with one another, we should consider the examples set by Yahusha Messiah and examine how he responded to his disciples and others in similar situations. 

Likewise, we should also examine how the disciples responded to others following Yahusha’s ascension. 

Patience is Forged from Friction

It seems appropriate to prime this section with a biblical reminder that all believers are at different points in their spiritual walk, and only some share the same level of understanding, research, and knowledge. 

But the wisdom from above is first clean, then peaceable, gentle, ready to obey, filled with compassion and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17 TS2009

Indeed, all true wisdom comes from Yahuah, and what wisdom we do have, we should apply it in a similar fashion as did Yahusha and his disciples. Additionally, believers should remember that we are all different members of the body of the Messiah. (1 Corinthians 12) It is not everyone’s calling to be a Bible scholar, teacher, rabbi, or preacher.

Believers should pause before judging brothers and sisters in Messiah who have a different understanding of scripture. First, we must determine if what others are presenting is simply a different point of view,  or if it is indeed a strange or blasphemous doctrine. This advice does not suggest that we tolerate blatant lies, blasphemy, evil, or immorality. As believers, we should stand up against such doctrine in those instances. 


However, the focus of this discussion is not on these types of situations, but on those where some believers react negatively to scripture topics that should be open for discussion.

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17 Cepher 

It is essential to remember that when iron sharpens iron there is friction in the process, and although there is friction, the goal is to improve the tools being sharpened. We should be building each other up and encouraging one another as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 instructs.

Is the Medium the Message?

Philosopher and media theorist Marshall McLuhan popularized the expression “the medium is the message.” He argued that the medium (video, print, internet, etc.) through which we choose to deliver a message will determine how that message is received. 

On a personal note, one of the most intriguing phenomena I have witnessed over the years is the quick acceptance of YouTube teachers’ interpretations of scripture versus “face-to-face” explanations. Perhaps a psychologist might better explain this phenomenon of why so many people are receptive to video teachings about a bible topic and so resistant to the same information when presented in a personal conversation. 

Is it the lack of visual aids, charts, graphs, soothing music, or perfectly edited statements? Or perhaps it is the inability of the viewer to talk back, interrupt, or argue – leaving no choice but to either listen to the message or turn off the video. Nonetheless, it seems very disingenuous that believers won’t give full attention and consideration to biblical interpretation to a brother and sisters they know personally, holding strangers they don’t know personally, of which they have no way of judging their fruit above their personal relationships. 

I would challenge all brothers and sisters in Messiah to strive to become better listeners during “in-person” scriptural conversations, as this will undoubtedly result in stronger relationships and more profound scriptural growth over time.

Patiently Building Up or Rudely Tearing Down?

Several biblical topics are deeply rooted in our core values and beliefs. The pronunciation of the name YHWH is one example. 

Many believers are deeply convicted about pronouncing the Father’s name correctly as a sign of admiration and respect toward the Father. Once they discover that the name was intentionally removed from Scripture and replaced with “God” and “LORD”, they may feel that using these titles for Yahuah instead of His real name is disrespectful. This is understandable. I also felt this way during a certain period of my walk. 

However, in doing so I failed to show patience and consideration toward other believers for whom the full significance of the true name had not yet been revealed and who were actively researching and studying this topic for themselves.

The Bible states in Philippians 2:12-13: 

So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.


So, did my adverse reactions help build up or tear down my brother? Did my sharp corrections act as a building block, or a stumbling block for my sister? Could I have presented my understanding of the name more positively? 

I could have and should have, in many situations.

Another touchy subject is the calendar. Some believe the traditional Jewish calendar is correct, while others believe the Enoch/Zadokite calendar is accurate. While others’ research has led them to trust another variation of the biblical calendar. 

Many of us are deeply convicted and emotionally connected to the idea of keeping the calendar in the most accurate way possible. Some may feel betrayed and lied to from years of deception from the mainstream Christian church, which falsifies dates about when the Messiah was born and observes pagan feast days dedicated to the false goddess Eostre (Easter). 

I once shared those feelings of betrayal and felt very convicted to make sure that I keep Yahuah’s feast days as outlined in the Bible.  I did not want to offend the Father more than I already had in my former sinful life. These are just a couple of examples.  

As believers, we should be extra considerate of others’ convictions about these topics, given their extreme importance. 

patience with those who have different opinions

However, this is a two-way street. We should not become hard-hearted toward one another. We must remain open to listening to a brother or sister’s research which led them to the conclusion they are presenting. 

We can listen, learn, and disagree with respect and love toward one another. The same approach holds true for discussions regarding:

  • Flat Earth
  • Round Earth
  • The Millennial reign
  • Bible calendars
  • The Crucifixion
  • The Melchizedek priesthood
  • Duties of the High Priest
  • When a Day Begins

 The list of differences goes on and on.

So how do we show love and patience toward one another in circumstances of differing scriptural understanding? The Bible gives guidance in numerous verses, and here are a few to consider regarding this subject: 

  • Romans 14:1-4
  • 1 Peter 3:8-11
  • Proverbs 16:24
  • Matthew 7:12

Together with one of my favorites is 2 Timothy 4:1-2:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.


This verse is very instructive in that it simultaneously advises us to be prepared at all times to reprove (correct misguided interpretations of scripture), rebuke (bluntly reject blasphemy), and exhort (encourage, advise, and appeal to sound biblical interpretation). 

It is an excellent summary of how our approach toward each other should always be. 

We must also apply Ephesians 4: 1-6:

I call upon you therefore, I the prisoner of the Master, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being eager to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – one body and one Spirit, as you also were called in one expectation of your calling, one Master, one belief, one immersion, one Elohim and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  


Verse 2 presents a critical point to this discussion: if a person is a brother or sister, we should express humility, meekness, and patience toward one another in love.

Lessons in Patience and Humility

patience and humility

So, what might 2 Timothy 4:1-2 and Ephesians 4:2 look like in practice between brothers and sisters in Yahusha Messiah? Let’s take a closer look at how Yahusha behaved in a few situations to understand his example. 

In Luke 9:46-48 Yahusha reproves his disciples who were arguing about who would be “the greatest” in the Kingdom.  Our Messiah explained that welcoming a child in his name was equivalent to receiving the Father. He also stated that the least (those who humbled themselves) were considered to be the greatest (highly esteemed).

Yahusha rebuked his disciples several times for lack of faith and for being hard-hearted. (Mark 8:33, Mark 16:9-15, Luke 9:49-50, and Mathew 17) Mark 16: 9-15 serves as a great example of what happens when “the messenger” gets in the way of the message. 

Mary Magdalene was given orders by an angel of Yah to inform the disciples that Yahusha has risen. Yet, their response was hard-hearted and they dismiss her report. 

Pause for a second and think about the gravity of this passage and the severe error that the disciples make in rejecting her message. The disciples knew Mary personally as a sister in Messiah. They knew she had sincere love, obedience, and commitment toward Yahusha. They knew this woman had faith and compassion toward them as well. Yet, when times got tough, the disciple’s knee-jerk reaction was to dismiss this woman’s message – in disbelief! Would you recognize a message sent directly from Yahuah through a woman’s mouth? Would I? 

Yahusha responded with righteous anger a few times because of disbelief, hypocrisy, and lack of compassion toward one’s neighbor. 

Many of us are familiar with the account in Matthew 21, John 2, Mark 11, and Luke 19, where Yahusha (Jesus) went into the temple and drove out the moneychangers. His anger at their sinful behavior and disrespect of the temple is evident in this account. A response of righteous anger was warranted.

In Mark 10:13-16, Yahusha expresses his displeasure with his disciples, who rebuked those who brought children to him. Messiah publicly called out their errors and corrected them in front of both children and adults. It must have been embarrassing and humbling, considering they were his trusted twelve who walked with him and learned from him daily.

There are several other instances where the Messiah becomes indignant and displeased, rebuking people and disciples. However, the point is that when appropriate, Yahusha is quick to correct egregious errors in scriptural interpretation, thought, and misstatements in a righteous and very blunt way. Sin is sin. Believers should not pull punches in publicly calling out sinful and unbiblical behavior.

Patiently Exhorting 

Lastly, Yahusha set an example of exhortation – encouraging, advising, and appealing to people earnestly seeking the truth of Scripture. 

Messiah Yahusha showed patience with his disciples and the Israelites’ lack of faith and scriptural understanding on numerous occasions. One good example is found in Matthew 6:23-27  where Yahusha rebukes the storm. Messiah calmly questions their fear and faith. And yet he shows them, by example, what genuine faith in practice can accomplish as he commands the storm to stop. 

In Matthew 13, Yahusha patiently unpacks the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Weeds. Likewise, in Matthew 14, Yahusha tells his disciples to give the crowd of 5,000, something to eat. The disciples lack the faith and understanding to accomplish the task – responding with a list of food inventory (logically) instead of feeding the crowd by faith as he commanded them to do. Yahusha shows them what faith can accomplish. 

Likewise, Yahusha showed patience with Peter when he tried to walk on water. Instead of highlighting his failure, Messiah reached out his hand and asked the disciple why he doubted. 

These are just a few examples from the book of Mathew. Numerous other examples can be found in Mark, Luke, and John, wherein Yahusha responds to a lack of faith and misunderstanding of scripture with patience and understanding. It is not done in a corrective or rebuking manner. 

Patience In Context 

Much depends on the context of the situation and the person’s heart condition as to how Yahusha responds. He is the perfect example of how a mature believer should behave and react. 

When we think of Yahusha’s reactions when questioned by the Pharisees, we most often recall the verses where the Messiah points out their hypocrisy and lack of scriptural understanding. He rightly calls many of them out as a “brood of vipers and sons of the wicked one.” 

However, in some instances, Yahusha responds in more of a reproving and advising manner. 

In John 3:1-20, Nicodemus the Pharisee meets with Yahusha. He confesses that they know he came from Yahuah – because no one could perform the signs he has unless Yah was with them. However, Yahusha responds with an astounding biblical salvation statement in verse three, stating that unless someone is born again, they cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus does not understand and asks, “But how can anyone be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” 

This discourse is interesting in two ways. First, it is apparent that Nicodemus is asking the questions earnestly, not with a hidden hypocritical agenda. Second, Yahusha doesn’t perceive the questions as a trap or trick, but instead, he sees that Nicodemus does not fully understand the deeper scriptural mysteries of spiritual matters and knows Nicodemus is thinking only in the physical. 

Yahusha provides a few examples to help Nicodemus understand the spiritual meaning. He even reproves Nicodemus in verse 10, reminding him that as a teacher of Israel, he should know these things. Again, this discourse is not presented as adversarial but is an excellent example of a firm yet respectful and mature discussion between the Master Yahusha and a person with a much different understanding of scriptural interpretation.

Final Thoughts

The reactions of Yahusha in these various situations depended on the content of the questions, the agenda of the person, and the context of the topics. If the line of questioning was a blasphemous or hate-rooted question or challenge, Yahusha rightly put people in their place with a biblically founded, righteous response. 

However, if they asked a question earnestly, they are responded to with grace, wise correction, scriptural guidance, and truth. 

Hopefully, these examples will help Torah-observant brothers and sisters who sometimes struggle to know how to respond to challenges in their understanding of scripture, as I, too, struggle. There are always two sides to the coin –  two different minds at different places in their spiritual growth and walk. It is my hope and prayer that we treat each other with the love, patience, and forgiveness spoken of in Colossians 3:12-13, Ephesians 4:32, and 1 Peter 4:8. 

Through the grace and power of Yahusha Messiah, may we all do as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 advises:

 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 

Blessing and shalom to you all, and thanks for reading.

The Gospel of Pie-In-The-Sky

The Gospel of Pie-In-The-Sky

It wasn’t at all what I expected or hoped for. The twenty-something preacher with the stern look was not playing around on this particular Sunday. He was laying it all out there for me to wrestle with in the private recesses of my tortured soul. 

The pastor spoke of sin, repentance1, counting the cost, and the lake of fire. I wanted to hear about streets paved with gold, eternal bliss, and a Savior who would do all of my heavy lifting in matters related to salvation. I wanted the idiomatic ‘pie-in-the-sky’ gospel message.

When the altar call came, I sat glued to the pew. I was convicted of my sins, but my feet refused to move me in the direction of the altar, or my heart to repentance.

So I left.

A Different Gospel

The phrase pie in the sky was the brainchild of labor activist Joe Hill. In 1911 Hill wrote a song titled “The Preacher and the Slave” which parodied the hymn “In the Sweet By and By” – a song often used by the Salvation Army. Hill claimed that the organization’s promise of future heavenly rewards did nothing to address the earthly needs of the poor.

The gospel of ‘pie-in-the-sky’ is a bit more nuanced. It subtly mixes the truth of heavenly rewards with questionable soulish doctrine.

Here are a few of its basic tenets:

  • once saved, always saved
  • the Law was done away with by Jesus
  • the Scriptures are all about me
  • if you name it you can claim it as yours
  • reciting the sinner’s prayer gets you into heaven
  • a believer’s life will be trouble-free

A person can spend years in church trying to make sense of this brand of soundbite theology; feel-good phrases that misalign what the Scriptures actually say when taken in context. I know, because it happened to me.

These doctrines lead to confusion and disillusionment. They misrepresent the Father’s plan of redemption through Yeshua, our Messiah, and High Priest. Many churches rarely bring up the subject of a believer’s covenant2 with Yah.

In his Notes on the Bible, theologian and Greek and Hebrew scholar Albert Barnes had this to say about erroneous doctrines:

They will not merely eat out the truth in the particular matter to which they refer, but they will also spread over and corrupt other truths. The doctrines of religion are closely connected and are dependent on each other – like the different parts of the human body. One cannot be corrupted without affecting those adjacent to it, and unless checked, the corruption will soon spread over the whole.

The apostle Paul constantly warned his protegee Timothy about the danger of accepting doctrine at face value alone without taking the time to search and study Yah’s word. The Berean believers in Messiah took this to heart.

Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth. But avoid irreverent, empty chatter, which will only lead to more ungodliness, and the talk of such men will spread like gangrene.

2 Timothy 2:15,16

Easy Believism Theology

Many of us in the faith have fallen prey to certain individuals, groups, and institutions promoting a set of beliefs about what it means to be a disciple of Yeshua. The doctrine they teach tickles the ear and stirs up the flesh. 

Wrapping themselves in the ‘seeker-friendly’ mantle they try to make the Gospel that Yeshua preached3 more appealing by making it all about the individual. This is referred to as narcigesis — a combining of narcissim with eisegesis. Through the lens of narcigesis, a person is taught to view the Scriptures as being primarily focused on his or her life at this particular point in time. So, the Bible becomes all about them. Worship is all about them.

The individual is taught that since “God loves me just the way I am” I am absolved of any responsibility in the sanctification process. There is no incentive to obey the commandments from a heart of repentence so I can be changed. The implication is that Yah is here to serve the believer.

Name It and Claim It

Another heresy of the gospel of ‘pie-in-the-sky’ is the “name it and claim it doctrine.” The so-called prosperity gospel falls under this umbrella of teaching whereby you can speak things into existence. People are encourged to proclaim such things as: “That new home is mine” or “I declare that I am wealthy.” They are told to sow financial seed in order to reap a harvest. If they name it they can claim it. This power belongs only to the Most High.

— God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

Romans 4:17 (b)

Let all the earth fear Yahuah; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.

Psalm 33:8,9

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless Yahuah has ordained it? Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High?

Lamentations 3: 37,38

Just Invite Jesus Into Your Heart

The notion of “inviting Jesus into your heart” as a way to everlasting life is another scriptural distortion. Peter did not lead three thousand people to repentance and belief by telling them to ask Jesus into their hearts. (Acts 2:37-41).

Illustration of woman caught in adultery - John 8:1-11
Repentance and Forgiveness – John 8:1-11

Almost as bad is easy believism’s assertion that once you give your life to Yeshua your problems will miraculously vanish. And while it is true that many have experienced quick deliverance from addictions to drugs, alcohol, or smoking — these are the exceptions.

Most will have the same problems and more to face. However, we get help from the Holy Spirit in dealing with our problems and setbacks. What once may have seemed impossible is now possible. But it requires perseverance if we expect to bear the fruit of righteousness. (Luke 8:15) (Luke 13:24) (Hebrews 12:1)

Living a life that shows genuine repentance and is dedicated to walking in obedience to Torah is proof of salvation. (2 Cor 5:17)

We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

You can’t fake this. When you encounter Yeshua nothing about you will ever be the same. The ‘old you’ has to die to make way for the new you. Everything about your life will change.

The Sinner’s Prayer

Another component of easy believism is the use of the sinner’s prayer to bring someone to a salvation decision while they are in a highly emotional state. Unfortunately for those who sincerely want their sins forgiven, this method is a gross distortion of the way of salvation.

The sinner’s prayer is not in the Bible. It is a tradition of the modern church that was popularized in 1930 by Billy Sunday, an Iowa baseball player, and utilized by Billy Graham during his revival meetings. 

Because of easy believism the church has failed to impress upon people the seriousness of being in covenant with the Most High. There is more to this life than just repeating the words of a prayer. 

The fact of Yeshua’s resurrection is just the beginning. We all face a lifelong sanctification process of regeneration through faith and works, and we will not experience the fullness of sanctification until we are resurrected.

Our part involves a commitment to walk in his ways by obeying Torah – instructions on how to live. Yeshua’s part as our High Priest involves interceding4 with the Father on our behalf. This goes beyond an emotional choice made during an altar call. This process of intercession includes obeying the call to repentance and returning to the ancient paths. 

This is what Yahuah says: “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: ‘Where is the good way?’ Then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’

Jeremiah 6:16

For when I brought your fathers out of the land of Egypt, I did not merely command them about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but this is what I commanded them: Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be My people. You must walk in all the ways I have commanded you, so that it may go well with you.

Jeremiah 7:22,23

The Testing of Our Faith

The faith we profess to have in Messiah will be tested. Believers should expect their life to be filled with many hardships5 and trials. (Acts 14:21-22

Paul and Barnabas were very clear in their message while visiting Lystra, Derbe, and Antioch. It was during this time that Paul was stoned and left for dead. The ‘happily ever after’ doesn’t begin until after we are resurrected. Right now it is time to train for the battle that is on the horizon. (1 Peter 1:3-7) (1 Peter 4: 12,13

Our brother in the faith James (Ya’aqob) wrote: 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:3,4

Counting the Cost

Salvation is offered to us as a free gift but it cost our Messiah everything. We are expected to die to self and conform to the likeness and behavior of Yeshua. This takes time and commitment.

In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting for Yahuah, for whom and through whom all things exist, to make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. For both the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are of the same family. So Yeshua is not ashamed to call them brothers. Hebrews 2:10,11

The Gospel demands that we count the cost of our salvation

The thought of being persecuted for our faith in Messiah is foreign to most brothers and sisters who live in America. We recoil at reports of Christians being martyred for their beliefs in other countries. But, quite frankly, most of us would rather click away from those stories or change the channel. 

Watch the movie “Perpetua: Early Church Martyr” 

While a believer’s life in his mortal flesh is a life of challenges, it is also a life filled with hope, love, joy, peace, and blessing. Yes, we are overcomers and more than conquerors, but the ability to move mountains can only be obtained through faith and obedience.

What is the Kingdom of Yah worth to you as a believer? Are you willing to die for your convictions? Knowing that ‘the way’ is paved with suffering, do you still desire salvation?

The Gospel of Truth

The only way to know if you are being served a slice of the ‘pie-in-the-sky’ gospel is to know what your Bible says. New Testament-only churches do a grave disservice by ignoring the first half of the book, or by only referring to cherry-picked scriptures from the Old Testament to prove a pet doctrine. 

Who in their right mind would not read a novel from cover to cover? If we believe that the scriptures are here to instruct us in righteousness, we need to consume every page of every chapter.

We have been told that in the last days, many will not tolerate sound doctrine. They will seek out teachers who suit their soulish desires and turn away from the truth. (2 Timothy 4:3,4) These teachers who promote a ‘pie-in-the-sky’ gospel are unwittingly producing churches full of narcissistic believers. They suck you in through love-bombing then push forward doctrine and practices that keep people confused, enslaved, and carnal. 

Through tenets of easy believism, modern-day Scribes and Pharisees convince biblically ignorant followers that all they have to do is practice love to get to heaven. They suppress the weightier matters of the Torah by elevating their traditions. (Matthew 23:1-34

We must pray for both well-intentioned teachers and well-meaning people who sincerely desire to become disciples of Messiah. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

Yeshua modeled a righteous life in obedience to his Father. We are expected to do the same. What does this look like?

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-10) speak of the characteristics of those who will inherit the Kingdom of God. In the rest of the chapter, Yeshua instructs us on how we are to behave in this life. (Matthew 5:11-48) The last verse of Matthew 5 sums up what Yah expects of his children —

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

The Greek word for perfect is teleios (G5046). It means “brought to completion; fully accomplished, fully developed, or fully realized; brought to its end, wanting nothing necessary for completeness.” 

If we hope to be resurrected to eternal life, our High Priest is telling us how we should be living now. While we understand that we will sin, we have been given a mechanism to deal with our sinfulness. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

The perfection that Yeshua desires to see in us is an uncompromising dedication to righteous living. Our main goal in this life should be focused on emulating Yeshua. It is the highest calling for those of us who pray to be found worthy to inherit the coming Kingdom. 

The Rest of My Story

After I left the church that Sunday, I wrestled all afternoon with the Holy Spirit. Years and years of living a sinful life had caught up to me. I finally realized I needed a Savior, and only Yeshua was qualified to offer the forgiveness I so desperately needed. 

By the end of the day, I repented and surrendered. I picked up the phone and called my mother to tell her that I was ready to become a Christian and turn my life over to Christ. I could hear the joy – and relief – in her voice.

Fast forward many years and I am more committed than ever to seeing this narrow walk through to the end. This road has not been easy. I have struggled (and still struggle) to understand the Bible (cover-to-cover). With the help of the Ruach, I have managed to cast away the residue of the ‘pie-in-the-sky’ doctrine that clouded my understanding for many years. 

I have lost friends and alienated family members along the way. But this journey has been more than worth it.

My prayer is that someday Yeshua, as my High Priest, will vouch for my authenticity as a true believer before the Father. My heartfelt desire is to be deemed worthy to be called a citizen of Yahuah’s glorious Kingdom.

Until that day, I press on toward that goal and take to heart these words of Paul the apostle:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

All of us who are mature should embrace this point of view. And if you think differently about some issue, God will reveal this to you as well. Nevertheless, we must live up to what we have already attained.

Join one another in following my example, brothers, and carefully observe those who walk according to the pattern we set for you. For as I have often told you before, and now say again even with tears: Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame. Their minds are set on earthly things.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself, will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body. Philippians 3: 12-21


1 The Hebrew word for repent is teshuvah (#H7725) which means to turn back.

2 Simply put, a covenant is an agreement that secures a relationship of commitment between Yahuah and his people. The reality of our covenantal relationship with Yah has sometimes been called “Christianity’s best-kept secret.”

3 Read Chapter 10 and the Epilogue section of The Gospel Worth Dying For to understand the Gospel of the Kingdom that Yeshua taught. (Download a PDF of the book here.)

4 In Romans 8:34 the Greek word for interceding is entugchano (#G1793) and can mean to ‘entreat’ (in favor or against).

5 The word used here for ‘hardships’ is thlipseon. It is in a category of tribulation that implies persecution, affliction, distress, and tribulation. These are stresses that we experience in our inner being. Put another way, it is a type of internal pressure whereby a person feels they have no options or no way out.