23 Kislev 5775

12:19 PST

Slept in again (10:30 PST). No good excuses. Going to wrap up what little is left of picking up around apartment. [Pastor]’s son never got the TV yesterday.

Meditated on the law of reciprocity last night – “you reap what you sow.” Also recalled a conversation I had with [Pastor] some time ago, the upshot of which was just because you might be forgiven your sins by confessing to and profession Yeshua, that doesn’t mean you won’t still have to deal with the consequences of your sins. Having reflected on these two things, it was easy to understand why I no longer had people I could talk to at all hours about anything.

Yesterday, I took the advice of (I believe it was Ghandi) and started to be the change I wanted to see in the world. So, I reached out and called or (ugh) texted as many in the [church] community as I could for prayer or to just see how they were doing. I will be the first to admit that my prayer life isn’t at where it probably should be. Though, as I wrote yesterday (I think I wrote it anyway), YHWH knows how excellent he is. I get the sense that he would rather I spend an hour applying his principles than supplicating Him, though this may just be a spirit of self-justification and self-righteousness rearing its ugly head. Likewise, I don’t feel compelled to spend much or any time petitioning for my own needs, as I know the provider YHWH-Jireh has that covered too. That leaves intercession, which is where I spend most of my time. That, and of course, repentance.

I have always been desirous of intimate (not just the physical sense) relationships. I didn’t always recognize and appreciate theo nes I had, and often I would do a lot of introspection and brooding. Lately, I have been lamenting this lack somewhat, though I think the Father, Son, and Ruach Qodesh might be leading me into a season of depending upon them for intimacy. This, however, is not being said as an excuse for me to shut others out (as I have seen some do!), since the scriptures do instruct us that we are misled if we think we can love our invisible creator and not love our brothers (1 John).

Looking forward to receiving ISR translation.

17:20 PST

Made some progress with apartment. Found my old iPod, listening to [Spock Beard’s] Snow, just like before I left for Utah. Found the text of the Request Mast, also. Now it can live on in eternal perpetuity on some Google server.

Derek aka Fignuts will be taking the PC – and hopefully all related video game paraphernalia – off my hands tomorrow. I feel a little bad about making him drive [approx 4 hours] but at the same time he’s getting what was a $5,000 computer last December for free.

Memories of high school and burned bridges. Do most people even grow beyond their high school mentalities? Perhaps. Interestingly, found a post card from Kelsey in my things. Received while I was a patient at NMCSD. I suppose I should be glad I’ll never be in the headspace to understand why I treated her the way I did. She’s in [redacted] now, I think. Reached out to Sam who is in Portland and Sara who is in Olympia – won’t be surprised if I don’t hear from them.

This lyric… “Got a lot of heart ache I don’t show… what it’s like you’ll never know… to be the solitary soul” That’s a big lie. We pretend as if no one can understand us nor has anyone gone through what we’ve gone through in order to justify our defense mechanisms and walls.

It’s interesting to think about our interconnectedness. What I mean by this… I might spend an hour at a restaurant and eat some food. But for some, that food represents the culmination of their life’s work – the business owner, anyway. I like to imagine that the people preparing it also take pride in it though that isn’t always necessarily the case. Either way, the people of the restaurant spend their day to day lives engaged in the business of something we casually consume and think little on.

If this seems disjointed, it is a bit, because I’m dining. I don’t know if my departure feels “real” yet, but it isn’t the first time I’ve set out either. I’m leaving behind a lot of stuff, but you do that for boot camp. I’ll be interested to see how these “mixed dorm” hostels work out. If I am “afraid” of anything it’s meeting people who don’t want to talk and who just don’t care. About anything.

I was trying to think of Biblical characters to model on this journey. The only analogy I can think of is when Paul became the missionary to the Gentile nations. Even then it’s not the best fit. I am like unto a Roman through and through, touring the Empire, supposing I can say a thing or two about Yeshua only rarely (and not recently) having had the power of the Ruach Qodesh work through me such that others felt and could not deny it. Does that make me a pretender, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? I notice many are eager to claim they are speaking “for the LORD,” but the Word is clear that teachers and preachers will be held to account for every word they utter – for good or ill – above and beyond the average person’s reckoning.

Would like to finish clean up and sorting and maybe evne try for the gym for the first time in forever tomorrow. Plus switch over to primarily liquid diet. I see my Doctor on Friday, [Nurse] tomorrow I think. Before returning home I might drop by Starbucks and read a bit (poor reading light at Banbu outside). My handwriting seems to be less sloppy than on the first day, so that’s something. Been holding off on telling landlord until the apartment is in a more showable state.

[Later…]

Hate this Starbucks music.

22 Kislev 5775

10:50 PST

Going to try to start using Jewish calendar. Talked to [Ryan] about how I had ordered Names of God translation and he alerted me to ISR which I immediately ordered. Waiting on service to begin; perhaps 10 people gathered although most were on time today!

[Ryan] prayer: Jeremiah 11:1-5, 12:17, John 21:12-19

1 John 3:18, 4:20

Jeremiah 17:5-10

[Pastor]: Psalm 138

John 17

15:45 PST

I wanted to wait until I had a more accurate – if that is the word – translation of the scriptures before I dove into this topic, but I feel the need to write my thoughts.

I’ve sampled some of organized Christianity for a few years now and I see two major issues that do not sit right with me. The first is that people go on and on about “knowing the LORD” and “knowing Jesus” but they neither know the Father’s nor the Son’s name! The second issue has to do with our performance of love.

I could elaborate on the name but people may miss the point. As regards love, Yeshua said the world would know his disciples by the love they have for each other. The apostle “John” wrote that if we cannot love the brother whom we we see, how can we love the creator who we cannot? Moreover he admonished the called out ones to love not in word or tongue but in deed and action.

[Psalms 51:16-17, James 1:21-27, 1 John 3:18, Luke 6:46-49]

David writes that YHWH does not desire sacrifice nor burnt offering. James writes about the folly of hearing and not doing. Yeshua himself laments how readily people will call him “Lord, Lord” and yet do not do the things that he says.

Many will tell you many things about how to “get spiritual.” While you sometimes might find a scriptural example of a particular ritual, you’d be hard pressed to find any Biblical character teaching it as a rule. Other than… do the Word!

Metaphysics and Mystical Experiences

Continuing the train of thought from my earlier post on metaphysics:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T_P14JjMcM]
The video speaks for itself, so I won’t waste your time repeating its content.

Another topic I consider metaphysical – though some might not – is the topic of the make up of the spiritual realm. I encounter many people who seem happy to believe in Elohim – the Creator – and that a man named Yeshua (Jesus) existed some 2000 years ago. They may or may not believe in the miracles. They may or may not believe in the resurrection. They emphatically agree that loving God and loving your neighbors are the right way to live. But, often because of the history of the Bible or misunderstandings concerning how ancient texts are analyzed and translated, these well meaning people conclude we don’t need the scriptures to tell us how to pursue a relationship with God. When push comes to shove, they often cite their own “spiritual experiences” to back up their assertions.

Now, when I said I considered this topic somewhat metaphysical, it’s because it has to do with the nature of reality that is in fact much more real than observable reality. It kind of goes back to the difference between temporal reality and eternal reality – the spiritual realm is where angels, both righteous and fallen, reside. The Bible clearly affirms the existence of angels, as well as demonic spirits, and the spiritual realm. But if you are one to throw out the scriptures, you may argue that there are no such things as demons, or that Satan is just a metaphor for human misconduct, or there is no such thing as “evil.” And you might be arguing this because – and listen carefully – a demon disguised as an angel of light whispered sweet things in your ear about tolerance and respecting all paths to God and so on and you – being untrained in the scriptures; not believing in the scriptures; not recognizing Yeshua as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the way, the truth, and the life – are now living according to doctrines of demons!

But what really are “spiritual experiences,” especially if people who don’t prescribe to a certain religion can claim to have had such experiences from God? I think William James did a pretty good job summing it up in 1902, though he called them mystical experiences. To summarize, mystical experiences are defined by two major and two minor qualities – in the major, they (1) defy expression, (2) are authoritative as providing insight into truth; in the minor, they (1) are transient (cannot be maintained for a long time) and (2) are passive (i.e. cannot be voluntarily induced).

Don’t believe the what I said 2 paragraphs ago? Despite being exactly one of the people I describe (having succumbed to my own spiritual experiences, and consequently coming to some odd conclusions), the scriptures testify of these matters. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NKJV), Paul warns the church about false apostles but also expounds on Satan’s power to deceive:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Paul also warns Timothy – and by extension Church leadership – about doctrines of demons in 1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV):

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…”

Not every sweet voice that whispers to you good sounding things is of God! 1 John 4:1-3 NKJV:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Yeshua HaMashiach has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Yeshua HaMashiach has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Why is it so critical we place our trust and faith – pledge our fealty and sacrifice our lives – to Christ? In large part because Christ is truth and everything else is a lie! John 18:37 (NKJV):

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”

Yeshua answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

John 14:6 (NKJV) reads:

Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 8:31-32 (NKJV) reads:

Then Yeshua said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in my word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Most people remember verse 32, but not verse 31, which instructs us to abide in Yeshua’s words, to be disciples (disciplined ones) of Him! We can see clearly from the scriptures above that a chief aim (or even THE chief aim) of Yeshua’s earthly ministry was to prove there is an absolute truth and to lead people to that truth! Ever notice how Paul frames spiritual warfare almost in the terms of a debate in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5? The scripture reads:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to Christ – the mind is central to spiritual warfare, and truth is central to obtaining the mind of Christ!

We now know that we cannot come to the Father, except through Yeshua. But are we allowed to worship our Father in just any way? Well, the answer has some depth. While Abba – YHWH our Father – is absolutely a loving God (1 John 4:8 NKJV: He who does not love does not know God, for God is love), he is also absolutely a Holy God – Jehovah Tsidkenu, the LORD of righteousness. (Leviticus 19:2 NKJV: “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I YHWH your Elohim am holy.”) In our Father, there isn’t even the slightest hint of evil – James 1:17 NKJV: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

In the Old Covenant, there were many rituals and laws designed to protect people from YHWH’s holiness. You might be saying – say that again? Because the people were sinful – and because the only mediator between YHWH and man was the Law, which was perfect but unattainable for man – YHWH had to protect the people from Himself lest he obliterate them with his holiness. Take for example the story of the profane fire from Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10 1-3 NKJV):

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before YHWH, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from YHWH and devoured them, and they died before YHWH. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what YHWH spoke, saying:
‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.'”
So Aaron held his peace.

Nadab and Abihu offered profane fire in a manner not instructed according to YHWH’s righteousness and were consumed by his holiness.

Now, Yeshua has come, and stated in John 4:24 (NKJV) “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Moreover, by His death and resurrection, He tore the veil between God and man, pouring out His Spirit and serving as Mediator of a new covenant that grants direct access to our Father (Hebrews 9:11-15 NKJV):

But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Yet this still doesn’t mean “worship any which way you please!” As 1 John 2:3-4 states:

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Yeshua had many commandments – such as the one above, “abide in My word.” Or the whole Sermon on the Mount. But it’s about time to wrap this post up.

The take away I’m getting at is, you can’t just trust your emotions when it comes to spiritual encounters. Satan is deceitful. Most people aren’t going to knowingly worship something evil, but they might be duped into abandoning the truth for a sweet sounding lie. (This is sometimes called COMPROMISING!) Make sure you know the truth. Pray that the Holy Spirit aid you in living the truth.

The Confession of Sins

This post was originally written by hand just hours before I checked myself into a psychiatric ward for the fourth (fifth if you count an ER visit that was over in one night) time, for suicidal ideations. Additional commentary not in the original handwritten manuscript will appear [in brackets].

[1 John:7-9]: But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ Yeshua Messiah His son cleanses us of all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

[Your sins need only be confessed to the Holy Father, AHYH ASR AHYH or YHWH, in order to be forgiven. However, it can be edifying to confess your sins to fellow Christians, and that is why I have written this post. I hope you can join in my example and confess your sins publicly in the comments below, and feel the freedom it brings.]

I have sinned. When I was young, I came to hate my mother. Though I understood she had come from a massively abusive home and left at an early age; though I understood her first husband had left her to raise her first son on her own; though I understood she supported me and my sister on her own without child support from our father (her second husband), I could not forgive her the harsh words she spoke to me. I refused her love and refused to love her. And now I ask — Lisa, will you forgive me of this?

I have sinned. I have dishonored my father. I have spoken harsh words about his financial stewardship and refused to seek him out because he refused to seek me out. [I harbored bitterness and resentment for the way he seemingly abandoned our family.] I have refused his love and refused to love him. And now I ask — Ross, will you forgive me of this? Continue reading