Saturday, July 14, 2007

Living for Jesus

I have discovered and experienced the Lord working in my life. I can tell you this, the way He reached in my life recently made me want to live more for Him. I can say this though, don't try to become like Jesus, if you do, you live under the law...

[Please read comments below too]
The whole idea is not for you to put in your effort to reach Jesus Christ, because it's almost like trying to get to the Father with our own strength (and we know we cannot, thats what living under the law was about). Jesus said that we should, instead, live under His Grace (and not abuse it) by being obedient to His laws and word (not trying to obtain your salvation from/through it) and to surrender to Him or to die from yourself.

Those who don't know what "dying from yourself mean", it's obviously not to kill yourself but to depart from every sin, giving up everything you own, even the people you know and love, to God! You won't be able to do it instantly (as the Apostle Paul mentioned) it takes time, even years.

How do I know this? Well the word of God says so of course!

It all started 2 Sundays ago when our preacher's wife had a teaching on the wedding feast featured in Matthews 22:1-14. We all know this passage, the king having a wedding feast and the invited didn't want to come, so he invites the people from the streets and one of them was kicked out because s/he didn't have the right clothes on.
We know that those who've accepted Jesus Christ are amongst those who accepted the invitation, right? But what about the one guy who got kicked out, even accepting the invitation? Now that was startling. The one L10T site talks about this too, you can find it here.
But Jesus said that those who believe in Him are saved?! How can anyone be kicked out, having Christ. One may argue that the person didn't really accept Christ, which might be a possibility. But those who accepted the invitation are the ones who are coming to Christ's wedding feast! And the fact that one accepts Christ as Lord and Saviour seems to be only the 1 half. We need to dress accordingly as well but one cannot do that beforehand. We see that there was some time that past between those who accepted the invitation and when the king came down and noticed the guy without the right clothes. Since they were people from the streets, they didn't have the right clothes, so the king must have supplied some to them to dress themselves with. If this is the case, it makes more sense. The guy refused to dress accordingly, thinking he is better than the rest and we notice that he got kicked out into the darkness.

Well from the Bible we learn a few things about dressing for something. In Romans 13:14 we find Paul telling his crowd to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the other crowd in Ephesians 4:22-24 telling them to put off the old man, and put on the new man. We also find him telling us the weaponry that we should put on in Ephesians 6:13-18. What does this all mean? It means, get rid of your old sinful nature (which is supposed to be drowning in the baptist water) and put on the new nature God wants you to have. The nature of Jesus Christ with the protective inventory to protect your new Holy life. In other words be obedient to God and His commandments!

The way we dress everyday is the way we shape our identity. Sometimes I woke up and just in some sort of way there is almost a switch inside of me that flips to live for or against Jesus. If the switch is set for Jesus, I would go off and try to be holy (before I have learned this new way of living) and when switched off, I would easily give in to my sinful desires sometimes without resisting even.
The more I lived like that, the more my identity started shifting. One moment the sins that you really hate to do, suddenly becomes something you really want to do and then you do it without even thinking, you become in bondage to it. What shift had to take place for one to start liking the rebellious actions against the one s/he wanted to serve? Immediately you can see the kind of clothes that person has on. Obviously Christ called everyone, "good and bad" (described in the Matthews passage) to come just as they are, but He didn't call everyone to stay like that (like we've seen).

After hearing that teaching I wanted to read more but then stumbled on Matthew 19:16-30.
Reading it I came across all the elements found in Matthew 22. We find that the man acknowledges that he lacks something to get into heaven and Jesus said "If you wish to be complete..." meaning, if you want to get into heaven, you need to be complete and you would do the following...
This shows something we all know, only the perfect ones can go to heaven. Hearing that His disciples said "Then who can be saved?". Jesus replied "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." This shows that only God can make us perfect enough to enter into heaven. But why was there mentioning of the rich man having it hard to enter? He was rich, he had many things. Read Matthew 19:21-24. The rich man didn't want to give up all he had. And there lies the key. To become complete, you need to surrender some things in life. Jesus's disciples did and Jesus assured them that they would get a hundred fold in heaven, all except for Judas obviously (who was going to betray Jesus).
We also can see in the different version of the wedding feast found in Luke 14:16-24, that a man was also inviting people to his feast but they were all too busy to come. Everyone made excuses and then it occurred to me, people who have many things who do not offer it to Christ will be too busy for Him, or maybe even putting those things above Him. For Jesus said that if we do not leave everything for His sake, then we are not fit for His kingdom. That started to make sense to me.

Now you see that being obedient and surrendering yourself to God is essential, not only for hereafter but for a blessed Christian life on earth. It is all about Jesus! He gives the Grace, He washes away your sins, and He should be the first love in your life! Bring your thoughts to Him to be placed under His obedience, bring your life to Him to be shaped to be complete! Jesus knows what is best for you and He'll lead you all the way. Look what the disciples had! They were with Him and they weren't asked to do extravagant things which He was not able to teach to them personally and patiently.

This was only a tip of what I discovered and learned and to write everything down would take forever (well figuratively speaking ;-) ) but I have written down that which I wanted to say. I do remember Jesus saying "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory" and I sure hope I didn't do that! ;-)

May the Lord Jesus Bless all of you and may He bring you to him like He is starting to do with me.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr LA,

I have some things for you to consider. I was pointed to your site by a post at Linux Questions with a link hear at the bottom. Let me state at the outset that I am a goy (gentile).

You made a statement in the first paragraph of this blog that I find very disturbing and in complete conflict with Scripture. "I can say this though, don't try to become like Jesus, if you do, you live under the law..." Saying this indicates that you haven't been properly descipled. If we look at Mathew 28:19 we see a very interesting statement that is very much misunderstood in Christian culture. It says

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

What did that mean to the people He said it to? What did it mean to "make a disciple of someone." The text tells us that John the immerser had disciples. From the other ancient righting we know that the Pharisee's had disciples. The scrolls of Qumran (dead sea scrolls) indicate that the Essene's had them. The Sadducees had them. Hence it was a very common thing of the day. What did it mean to them?

Remember that the culture was completely Jewish. True, under Roman rule, and influenced by the Greeks and others in times past, but still Jewish. Discipleship has existed in Israel since the time of Moses, and maybe from the time of Abraham. There are indications in the ancient Hebrew righting that Abraham had a school where he taught all those that wanted to embrace a Monotheistic God. Discipleship is a very old practice. The Mishnah in Pirkei Avot (Words of the Fathers) records where Discipleship came from:

"Moses received Torah at Sinai and and handed it on to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets. The prophets handed it on to the men of the Great Assembly. They gave three instructions. 1: Be prudent in judgment 2: Raise up many disciples 3: Make a fence around the Torah." 1:1

The Great Assembly was the men of Ezra's generation. They are the ones that came back to Jerusalem in obedience to God from Babylon. They were commissioned to be very careful in their judgments, make many disciples, and guard Torah.

Let's look at them one at a time.

First what does it mean to be "careful in judgment?" If we are going to understand this correctly we have to place ourselves in their time frame, because what it means to people today is a poor imitation of what it meant to them. What were they judging? What dictated the laws of their culture? God gave the Israel it's government at Sinai, it is called Torah. If you read it you will see that a large portion of the commandments in Torah are governmental in nature. There are even commandments specific to the king and only the king. That makes being "careful in judgment" being careful to obey Torah, and to rule in favor of, and by Torah in legal cases.

Second. Now we get to the good stuff. Simple logic and some time to contemplate on this will show the truth. The disciples of that time had 4 duties. 1 Memorize their teachers words. Remember written texts were rare. So memorization was the only way to pass on the commission of Moses. 2 Not only were they to memorize the scripture but also how their teacher understood it. Let's follow that for a second, Joshua memorized how Moses, the one God gave it to, understood Torah, the "elders" memorized how Joshua understood Torah, and so the prophets on to the men of the Great Assembly who continued to hand down by memorization how Moses understood what God had said to him, all the way to the time of Messiah. 3 The third duty I find truly fascinating, and a real pleasure to implement in my life. It is to imitate the teacher. To hold a fork the way He did. To dress the way He did. To study the way He did. To obey Torah the way He did. To become EXACTLY like Him. Who is the Him I am talking about? None other than Yehoshuah, His Hebrew name, or Yeshua, His Aramaic name. You might think His name was j-e-s-u-s but that is a name that didn't appear until in the third century. One must question why His is the only Hebrew name that ends with the Hebrew letter 'ayin' that is altered when translated to Greek. The forth duty of a disciple is to make more disciples. Messiah even corroborates this in Mathew 10:24-25 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord"

Third. Understanding the commission given to the Great Assembly by Moses to guard Torah is it any wonder Orthodox Judaism has placed fences around it to protect it?

Let's go on to something Yehoshuah said in Mathew. Remember this is a statement He made. If He is the King of your soul, Ruler of your spirit, the one you owe your very existence to, and to quote you "by being obedient to His laws and word", we should do as he says, correct? Mathew 23:1-5ff

"Then Yeshua said to the multitudes and to his disciples, 2 saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat: 3 therefore all things what ever they are they bid you to do, do and observe: but you do not after their works; for they say, and do not. 4 Yes, they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. 5 But all their works they do to be seen of men"

Let's take note hear that Yehoshuah is talking to a bunch of people. Also note who are the ones that are to be making disciples. Then He gives a very specific instruction to OBEY them. I don't see any caveat about not obeying the hard ones. In fact I see the opposite, to obey them what ever it is that they instruct. He even agrees that they pile on extras that are not really needed but I still see a very specific instruction from the Master to obey them.

"The whole idea is not for you to put in your effort to reach" I have to wonder if you have really read a Bible. Israel = struggles and overcomes. The instances in the text where God puts people in places where they have to struggle are many. What does He tell Adam when He kicks him and his wife out of the Garden? Don't tell me Noah didn't have to struggle to build that Ark. How about Saul (Paul) getting stoned, whipped, and ship wreaked was not a struggle. How about Ester, Naomi, Ruth, Rahab. The list goes on and on. Try Job's life on for size. I think you have your head stuck in the sand like an ostrich. It is the struggle that causes us to grow. Read the book of Jacob (changed to James by, you guessed it, King James) "Is your life full of difficulties? Then be happy, for when the way is rough your patients has a chance to grow, so let it grow and don't try to squirm out of your troubles...."

Try this, read God's love letter to mankind. Start where he did. At the beginning. Because "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth" Shoot even a book of matches has instruction. We are so much more complex that, that it took Him a couple of thousand years to relate to us what we needed to know to please Him. He gave it to us in a specific order. He told us the things He wanted us to know first, first. Kind of like programming, you don't start out righting kernel code you have to work your way up to it. There are many building blocks you have to put in place first. Without them you will not even be able to write code that will run, much less be bug free. To properly understand the apostolic text requires a foundation in Torah.

Given more time and a continuing dialog I can show you from the text of the scripture why understanding the text this way is how God meant it to be understood.

LA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LA said...

Hi Anonymous,
I removed me previous comment because I was acting foolishly.
I think the meaning of the phrase above was written incorrectly and obviously the meaning was brought incorrectly to the reader.

I'll explain why:
I started to think about what you've said and I started to ask myself what 'trying' really means.
Usually I identify the word try with: try -> fail, try again -> fail again, give up.

However (now), how else does one struggle if there is no trying involved.
If one tries to do something out of own strength (purely, without God's help), then the deed is in vain. That is what I tried to say. My humble apologies.

Today I thought about my relationship with Christ. In Revelation 2:5, Jesus said to the Ephesians that even though they did good things, it wasn't enough for Him because their love for Him was not what it used to be in the beginning. For a few days now, I asked that myself. Why my love for Christ is not like it used to be.
Like you said, I didn't commit to the activities of a disciple was supposed to do. I became a casual Christian and no longer one that shines the light of Christ. I no longer tried in the things I used to do in the beginning. Now I must repent and recommit myself into becoming a disciple of Christ.

I thank you for challenging my writing and what I thought/believed.

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Mr LA,

Please note that this was written before you removed your comments. And I thought I had posted it, but it seams that HaShem wanted it to wait for awhile.

I hope all is well with you. So that you have a better way to address me than "Anonymous" how about "rbees" I would like to continue examining the statements you make in this post on your blog before I address your comments to my comments. I do tend to ramble on sometimes, please excuse that fault. So moving on to the third paragraph, you state:

"It all started 2 Sundays ago when our preacher's wife had a teaching on the wedding feast featured in Matthews 22:1-14." If I am understanding you correctly, you are accepting the teaching of a woman. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that a woman can't have keen insight into the scripture. But the text is very specific about women teaching men. Look at 2Timothy 2:12 Paul makes a very clear statement in his instructions to those who are suppose to be making disciples of Messiah. So if you are, as a man sitting in a Bible study class taught by a woman, well you do the math.

Let's go on to what was taught. One must be very careful in basing any theology on parables. It is not recorded that the Master explained this parable to the apostles, so His exact meaning can always be questioned. Parables are only stories to help make a greater point understood with out a lot of in depth explanation. Anything beyond that point that we try to establish from the parable is suspect to error, and I generally discount it as not kosher. His point seams to have been that many were called but they chose to ignore the kings summons, so he called others, one of whom did not make the proper preparations. So the simple point He was trying to make: come when He calls and be dressed right.

Several things to note about this parable, the guests are NOT the bride, they are only guests to help celebrate. So the conclusion I must come to is that basing theology on this parable equating the guests to Israel, the bride of Messiah, would be in error.

Second: That a person was able to get in in a less than perfect state indicates that this example relates to the thousand year reign not to the eternal kingdom. The prophecies about that time frame indicate there are still many people hear on earth that are not part of the eternal kingdom, as indicated by Zachariah 14, Ezekiel 46, and others. The Revelation talks about ha-satan being released from the bottomless pit after a thousand years "to tempt mankind again." So obviously there are people in a sinful state hear on earth, because in a sinless state Satan can't temp us to disobey HaShem, so no reason to release him.

What about those who were invited to the wedding feast and wouldn't come? Notice that the King sent His armies and destroyed them.

What would the proper clothing be? Remember Messiah was talking to Jews, not Christians who didn't even exist until the third century (documented historical fact). What did that statement mean in that culture to those people? You state "Well from the Bible we learn a few things about dressing for something. In Romans 13:14 we find Paul telling his crowd to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the other crowd in Ephesians 4:22-24 telling them to put off the old man, and put on the new man."

If we are going to take Shaul at his word and put Yehoshuah on as a garment what do you suppose He, Yehoshuah looked like? What did He act like? What did he dress like? What did he study, consider to be scripture? That statement of Shaul's would seam to indicate that we are to be exactly like Him after we put Him on. So what do we know about what he looked like? I am not talking about what Christian tradition portrays. I am talking about historical fact.

First: He is an Israelite, from the tribe of Judah, from the family of Jesse, and the royal line of David the king. To be the King of Israel he must be, or He can not be King. Look at God's instructions to and about the king of Israel in Devarim 17:15 (Deut)".. only from among your brethren may you set a king over yourselves; thou may not put a foreigner over yourselves, who is not your brother." That brings with it, just like dependencies on a package install, certain facial features, skin color, and body structure. So I can state with a reasonable amount of certainly that He had dark colored hair not blond like the Christian portraits show. Aramaic facial features and skin color too. Brown eyes not blue. No long hair and not clean shaven. He probably dressed much like a Yemenite Jew in traditional dress (wikipedia).

Second: There is another very revealing statement in Devarim 17:18 about the King of Israel. "..when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he must write for himself two copies of this Torah in a book, (exact copies) of the one that is before the Priests the Levities." Now if you look in most English translations you will see that they state only one copy, that is a misunderstanding of the Hebrew word 'mishnah', which does mean 'a copy', true. But it also caries with it the idea of it being 'the second copy.' If we follow that through to a reasonable conclusion, it would seam that this King would already have one copy before he became King, the one he may have completed for his bar mitzvah, and then while sitting on the throne he must wright himself a second copy.

So what does this imply? Having started this process myself in righting my own copy, in English because I don't know Hebrew well enough yet, I can relate the benefits very well. When you set down to make a copy of something it forces your mind to process the information differently. Your mind must turn the thought given it by the word you read into a physical action in order for your hand to make the motions necessary to put that same word back on a different piece of paper, or computer screen for that matter. Thought into action (doers not just hears). It causes you to see things in the text you wouldn't otherwise see. The end result being that you end up with a much better understanding of the text and develop a more intimate relationship with it. So how does that affect the statement Shaul made? I will leave that for you to sort out.

Third: "..and it shall be with him, and he shall read from it every day of his life; so that he will learn to fear HaShem his God, to keep all the words of this Torah and these statutes, to do them;" Devarim 17:19. This is what Shaul instructs us to put on. This is King Messiah. If this does not apply to Him as the King then He simply can not be the King of Israel. Because God instructs the king to study Torah every day of his life. The King must also render His legal decisions by Torah. What else does this mandate as fitting actions for a King? How about that He live by it. This is the Man, Shaul instructed us to put on.

Forth: "that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel." Devarim 17:20 If King Messiah turns aside to the right or left of perfect obedience to Torah, He is not qualified to be the king of Israel.

Take into account that He said: Mathew 5:17 "Think not that I came to destroy the Torah or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For shurly I tell you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will in no way pass from the Torah, till all things be accomplished. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever will do and teach them, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, that except your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will in no way enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Verse 17 seams to be a statement that He made to fulfill the mandate of Devarim 17:20 because if He does away with Torah then He has in essence turned to the side. Now the last time I checked the earth was still hear, so Torah is still how HaShem wants His people to live. If He taught to not obey Torah then He can't be Messiah as previously shown. Look at verse 19 very carefully. I would be very careful in telling anyone not to obey Torah, that is unless you really want to be last in the kingdom heaven.

What about verse 20. Pharisaism turned into Orthodox Judaism in the second century (documented historical fact). These are the people Messiah said we were to be more righteous than. So what does it mean to be righteous? Take your concordance and find out. Follow it through all the way to the root Hebrew words. You may be shocked at what you find.

Devarim 30:10 "If thou shalt obey the voice of HaShem your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the Torah; when you return to HaShem your God with all you heart, and with all you soul. 11 For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, and read it so we can hear it, so that we may obey it? 13 It is not beyond the sea, so that you should say, who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and read it so we can hear it, so that we may obey it? 14 But the word is very close to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you do it."

It is not to hard to obey Torah or God would not say that we are able. Let me ask you this. Would you consider it hard to wright code? It can certainly be a challenge, but not to hard to do. At least not for you as a programmer. On the other hand for someone that has not been trained (descipled) it is a very hard thing to do. I know, from personal experience. I have tried on a couple of occasions to learn, but without a teacher I was never able to get very far. Hence the instruction by Messiah to make disciples that follow Torah.

Also note that God said, and unless He lied I must take it as truth, that Torah already indwells His chosen people. If you will begin to read and study Torah you will find many more statements that God makes that ruin much of Christian theology.

There is one thing I didn't mention in my last comment. Messiah gives us a very clear directive in Mathew about who is the one that all future disciples are to be like. 23:8-9 "But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven." That one master disciple is none other than Yehoshuah. There is much to be learned from this passage that I will not go into now.

So if I have not been too long winded yet I will move on to comments on comments.

First I wish to clarify my gentile status. If I lived in a place where conversion was a possibility I would strongly consider taking that step into closer obedience to HaShem. HaShem is two Hebrew words 'ha' being 'the' and 'shem' being 'name.' This reference to God is used in Jewish culture because the correct pronunciation of God's proper name is very unclear. There is a big discussion about the whole thing that I won't go into now. Suffice it to say that in a Christian Bible HaShem is rendered LORD.

The problem I have with "trying to be like j*e*s*u*s" is; the historical documentation that shows that he did not exist prior to the establishment of the Catholic church. This documentation also shows that his name is a version of the Greek god z*e*u*s. If you look at how the j name is rendered in Spanish the similarity is just to striking to discount. All you have to do is look into the early church and you will find the truth about a lot of things besides this. This info is readily available on the internet if you look for it.

I did read the last two paragraphs and I will get to them in due time.

I find your reference to that passage in Romans 9 interesting. It starts right out confirming the need to obey Torah. Look at verse 4; "They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Messiah who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen."

"To THEM belong" and no one else.

Adoption = becoming Gods people.

the glory = if you are not part of them you don't get any

the covenants = WOW!! So to follow this a little way. You can't be part of any of the convents with God unless you are part of Israel. True, some become part of Israel through adoption by Messiah as related by Shaul later in the Roman letter. Becoming part of Israel brings with it Torah and the need to obey it. Shoot, the one who adopts us obeys it or He is not qualified to adopt us. There are many instances in Torah where God tells His bride that Torah is eternal. For instance, the "...tzitzit (tassel, fringe) on the corner of our garment is for you and your descendents for all your generations..." Bamidbar 15:37-41 (Num)

The Torah = the rules that God wants His creation, mankind to live by belong to Israel.

Worship = if you are not part of Israel you can't worship God.

The promises = WOW AGAIN. So Shaul is telling us that only Israel has God made the promises to. So eternal life; if you are not part of Israel you don't get it. Blessings for obedience, same thing. Curses for disobedience, same thing. There is one specific curse that I think falls outside this statement, but I will not be dogmatic about it. That is the one where God tells Abraham that He will bless those that bless him and curse those that curse him.

Read Torah, the first five books of the Bible, and you will see that we become like Messiah by obeying Torah. For instance; if you obey all the mitzvot (commands) about how you relate to your brother/neighbor you will succeed in being exactly like Messiah because you will be loving him/her as yourself. You will not do anything to hurt them, in fact you will suffer loss so they don't have to. The same goes for your wife, your livestock, the earth, God, the angles, every aspect of our lives is covered by Torah. If we obey the mitzvot we will be like Messiah because we won't sin. True it is not easy to accomplish, but as shown previously, Torah lives within us and HaShem told us we are able to obey the whole of it. Sense Messiah lives in us and Torah lives in us they must be One and the Same. So Messiah = Torah.

Shalom

until next time

Torah Disciple

LA said...

Hi rbees,
I haven't read through your comment just yet.
Expect another reply soon (maybe).

LA said...

Hi rbees,

I am amazed at your wonderful writing but before I continue I would like to comment on the following things you wrote in your last comment:

"If I am understanding you correctly, you are accepting the teaching of a woman. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that a woman can't have keen insight into the scripture.
But the text is very specific about women teaching men. Look at 2Timothy 2:12 Paul makes a very clear statement in his instructions to those who are suppose to be making disciples of Messiah. So if you are, as a man sitting in a Bible study class taught by a woman, well you do the math."

You are probably referring to 1 Timothy, and learning teachings from a woman doesn't necessarily mean that they want to lure you away from God.
I only know of that verse where the statement was made (not commandment). Also I understand what you mean, it was also Paul who went to a certain tribe and was pleased to see when they looked up what he taught them to make sure that Paul taught from the scriptures, accurately.
A lot of people had issues about accepting her as a teacher but she isn't like our reverend, she gives teachings as she gets revelation from God and I can tell too.
I'm not going to argue over this but I am careful when listening to people teaching me things.

"Parables are only stories to help make a greater point understood with out a lot of in depth explanation. Anything beyond that point that we try to establish from the parable is suspect to error, and I generally discount it as not kosher."

True, but Jesus came to teach to those who could hear and obscure even more to those who couldn't (if you know what I mean). I believe it gets mentioned a few times in scripture (in Matthew I believe, sorry I am writing off my head).

"Several things to note about this parable, the guests are NOT the bride, they are only guests to help celebrate. So the conclusion I must come to is that basing theology on this parable equating the guests to Israel, the bride of Messiah, would be in error."

Yes the invited guests (referring to the Israeli leaders) didn't want to come because they were to busy (there was mentioning of the slaves that was sent and got killed in other versions of that parable in the other books of the Gospel, which refers to the prophets of God). The people who came from the streets (uninvited Gentile guests) came with open arms but only some could have part of the feast as those who tried to clothe themselves with their own good works instead of Christ's works, is thrown out. I think that story teaches us 2 things: 1. Just because you are a born Israelite doesn't mean that you are going to Heaven, and 2. People can't get into heaven with their own good works but by works of Christ that shines like a white robe once you have it on.

"The problem I have with "trying to be like j*e*s*u*s" is; the historical documentation that shows that he did not exist prior to the establishment of the Catholic church. This documentation also shows that his name is a version of the Greek god z*e*u*s. If you look at how the j name is rendered in Spanish the similarity is just to striking to discount. All you have to do is look into the early church and you will find the truth about a lot of things besides this. This info is readily available on the internet if you look for it."

I know that His name wasn't Jesus originally but I grew up knowing that He still identifies to that name. I call out His name and He answers, in His name Demons are cast away and His name reigns.
I know that God has many, MANY other names, names such as My Saviour, My Counselor, Redeemer, Helper, Friend, and so on (and then the names brought from Hebrew, etc. which I don't know how to spell or pronounce) but the one name above them all that stands out the most (as He told Moses) is "I AM". The GREAT I AM. God has many personalities which have different links to his many names, I know this sounds funny to you but what I mean is, God has a part of Him that wants to heal people, thus people in the Bible call Him the 'Healer', etc. and so it exists for every other part of Him, even the part that deals with Judgement.
It is important to know that God has other names and I know that the Catholic churches in ancient times messed up and I don't want to get tied up in things such as those (as my knowledge is limited about them). Jesus is not a so called zeus or anything like that, Jesus is my God and if that were not so, I would never have experienced any power of Him in my life. Also how would the Spanish resemblance matter? I can go and say that God in Afrikaans (just for the sake of argument and is ofcourse not so; Afrikaans is my native language) could mean something bad aswell.
If Jesus were to come to me and say that I should call Him something else, then may it be so, but so far He seems ok with it.

"Also note that God said, and unless He lied I must take it as truth, that Torah already indwells His chosen people. If you will begin to read and study Torah you will find many more statements that God makes that ruin much of Christian theology."

When you refer to Christian theology, are you referring to the classic image of a boring church where people come in Sunday after Sunday, singing "Praise the Lord" with a voice that could put a toddler to sleep? I admit that in my country (South Africa) this was the kind of thing that happened many years ago and still takes part today (not so much anymore).
So little intimate knowledge of God and especially Jesus. They just thought that going to church was all that was necessary to get into heaven. I am glad that it changed. Knowledge of embraced words of God instead of the intellect of a Reverend with a PhD in Theology.


I know that in order to become more like Christ, I must take His yoke and burden on me which is to take in His words and do as He commands.

I remember the words of Paul as he wrote in Romans that Israel is like an olive tree with a branch that is removed and replaced with a branch from a wild olive tree indicating the Gentiles that got planted into the tree of God's people. I still don't understand it very well though but I know that I am part of God's people and that He still sees the people of Israel as His eye-apples. We (Gentiles) are called to look after the Israelis till this very day, via Romans (its somewhere between 9-11).

"Read Torah, the first five books of the Bible, and you will see that we become like Messiah by obeying Torah."

Obeying the laws aren't enough my friend. Remember the rich man who went to Jesus, saying: "What more should I do to get to heaven"? He obeyed all the commandments and still fell short.
Someone shared me a view of the law that I think is what God had in mind for us:
The law of God should be like driving on the road and observing all the street signs and obeying the laws of the road. If you obey them, you are free to roam from point A to B without having any issues to deal with or causing any accidents (excluding the others who do not obey the laws of the road). The laws are actually for us to move around in life safely (and freely) rather than it being a boundry line that restricts our selfish fun and pleasure.

Waiting till next time too...

LA