The above video has beautiful lyrics to celebrate Our Messiah. I pray it blesses you to listen to the group “Lamb” and their excellent worship music.
You can see by the copyright date that I wrote the below poem many years ago. It came about just as I was learning about the Hebrew/Jewish roots of the Christian faith in which I was raised. Learning the Hebrew roots of my faith changed my walk with God more than I can put into words. It made the “Old Testament” come to life for me, and it explained so many of the words of Jesus I had grown up with. Through studying, especially in using The Complete Jewish Bible, I learned that Jesus/Yahshua actually quoted many Old Covenant words as He ministered. I recommend the above study Bible, which also comes with some great notes and appendices. I enjoy it in print and on my Kindle.
I have shared my testimony in previous posts, so I thought it was a good night to share the poem that came from my new understanding of The One who was both The Jewish Messiah and the Christian Messiah I had grown up with.
YAH-SHUA THE JEW
© 1999 By Crystal A. Murray
If Yahshua had come teaching
All the things we teach these days;
If He came not as a Rabbi,
But taught modern “Christian” ways;
If He said, “Stop being Jewish
For their laws & feasts are old;
Just form a church on Sundays
And give the pastor all your gold.”
If He taught multi-religions,
And many-faceted beliefs & ways
Religious & sin tolerance:
No judgment, no prices to pay;
If He taught that love means acceptance
No matter what other people do,
Would ANYone have believed in Him
As Messiah, King of the Jews?
See, it’s not the miracles He did,
Or the hungry that He fed.
Or His interpretation of the Scriptures,
Or any fancy words He said,
It’s the old, anointed, prophecies,
The promises of a virgin-born Son,
That proved He was THE Messiah,
Lion of Judah, and The Holy One.
‘Cause He could not have grafted anyone;
Into a vine of Love, pure and true,
If He, Himself, was not The Vine,
The Lamb, Son of Yahveh, and a JEW!
This is a day of many mixed emotions for me. I love cute little images like the kitty and pumpkin above, kids dressed up in all variety of adorable outfits, and the smile on a child’s face when they score big candy treasure. I have never been one to like the dark side of the day, like witches, vampires, and zombies, but an abundance of superheroes and princesses roaming the streets is adorable.
Many years ago, I was in a “no TV” phase of my life, so reading and a shortwave radio were my main entertainment. I found a book at the library that is out of print but one of the best books I’ve read on the history of Halloween and other American festival days. It’s called Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays, and it’s co-written by the editors of Hallmark Cards, so it’s unbiased and probably more accurate than many such books. It was through this book that I learned, not only the history of “All Hallows Eve” but the history of many traditions for the day as well. It’s not pretty.
The main thing I learned about the day (and no, I won’t call it a “holiday” since that’s a shortened form of “holy day”) concerns the spiritual elements. In spiritual terms, it compares to “hell night” when kids have one last night of partying before trying to buckle down for nine months of school. In this case, spirits have a wild fling before the religious season that begins with All Saints Day aka All Hallows Day. So, the eve before, called All Hallows Eve or Halloween, is a last chance for evil to run amok and get away with it. Sure.
Anyway, people would perform all sorts of rituals to try and appease the spirits to keep themselves free from harm. The rituals may have been partly based in religion, but they were most certainly pushed because of fear. Some rituals included dressing up as that year’s deceased, a feast to appease the spirits, or a parade to lead evil spirits out of town. Where a virgin girl was demanded to appease the spirits, parents would put candles out in pumpkins or gourds to show they had an available daughter.
As God’s own people, we know we have a Power (Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world) that will protect and defend us. No rituals are needed except maybe prayer and fasting as Yeshua said to the disciples in Mark 9:14-29. We are told in James 4:7 that all we have to do is resist the devil and he will flee. Note in the Scripture that it does not say “rebuke the devil” and the resist part comes in only AFTER we have submitted ourselves to God.
Still, even with that authority, Yeshua reminds the disciples not to rejoice because of their authority over evil. Instead, they should rejoice because their names are written in Heaven. That speaks of humility before God and gratefulness for the blood of The Lamb over our repented lives. It’s why I have some trouble with songs that rejoice over the enemy and say things like, “I’m marching through the enemy’s camp to take back what he took from me.” I worry about the arrogance in that. I worry about the dark “Christian metal” bands with names like “Demon Slayer” that sound as if they are arrogantly bragging about their authority over evil.
So, should we celebrate this festive day that coincides with Day of the Dead celebrations around the world? Personally, I don’t like it. I don’t even like that my husband wants to give out candy, but I understand both sides. I understand the joy of making a child smile, so for parents that dress them up and nice neighbors who treat them, it can be fun and festive. For those who do want to play dress up though, if they call themselves Christian, I believe they should avoid anything dark. I would even suggest trying to dress kids (or yourselves) up like Bible characters, so when candy-givers ask what you are, you can share God’s word. 🙂
Whatever people believe and do, I encourage you to study the word of God, and I suggest you find out more about whatever festivals and recreations you take part in. Whatever you do… Do all things as unto The Lord (Colossians 3:23), and Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). On this holy Sabbath eve and day, I bid you Shabbat Shalom in The Lord, and I leave you with these words from The Amplified Bible…
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
What does it take for beauty to be beautiful? Perception. Whether it’s a beautiful look, sound, touch, smell, or thought, it must be perceived. We can’t smell with a stuffy nose, hear when we’re deaf, or see when we’re blind, even if those disabilities are temporary. I think we all get out of focus at times, and I think it affects all our senses.
Our lack of perception does not change the quality or beauty of the thing we cannot seem to grasp. That includes trying to see ourselves through God’s eyes, so we can trust His direction for our lives. We fail over and over, and we cannot perceive that God sees us with a love that causes Him to forgive us over and over. We wallow in guilt and feel unworthy, but God wants to swaddle us in His love and help us to understand that His worth is what matters overall.
Imagine if you created something, and you saw it as perfect and wonderful, but someone else came along and kept saying it was horrible. That’s part of the lie the enemy of our souls has tried to create in us since God placed Adam and Eve in the garden. While God gave them every tree except one, the enemy changed their focus and perception to where that one looked greater than everything else they had with God and in the garden. The enemy made them believe they were incomplete without that one provision, and they fell for it–literally.
These days, we have the blood of Christ to cover our imperfections, so God sees us through that. We have God’s written word, so we can understand how He sees us. But, we still have human eyes and human perceptions, so we often see things incorrectly and get ourselves and our lives out of focus. We may focus on a beauty or success that is not beauty or success in God’s eyes, or we may miss a God-given beauty or success completely. When we get out of focus, we end up in chaos and running around as if we are spiritually blind and deaf instead of walking according to God’s path and rhythm.
The lesson of focus has been made abundantly clear to me (no pun intended) through a week of chaos. While I did everything in my power to create a scenario for our authors to present and sell their books, every door I tried to open slammed shut. I wondered if we were missing out on God’s favor, or if we were just under attack. I was missing the mark on both accounts, and I only found my peace in God when I got my perception corrected through prayer.
Here’s what I learned: God called many people to carry His precious good news to the world. He has anointed us to present that message through a variety of methods, and many of those are in the arts. I believe our creativity is a gift from God whether we use it for Him or not. And, because it is a gift from God, it will do its best work when it is done for Him first and for ourselves last. If we get that turned around, we lose perception.
For our writer’s group, we were trying to create an event centered around sales rather than ministry. We thought success meant a lot of people coming to buy our products instead of a lot of people coming to hear a testimony of God’s gifts in our lives. Our perceptions were skewed by the cacophony of voices out there shouting words like marketing and SEO. It doesn’t help that the Christian book market is more than just a niche genre anymore. It holds its own and therefore needs just as much professionalism and proper presentation as any book topic out there. However, if we’re not careful, we can let the marketing become more important than the message.
Well, we learned our lesson, and now instead of wondering how we’re going to handle a bunch of people we can’t sell things to, we’re hoping we can minister to all of them. We did a lot of advertising, but only God knows what souls He is sending and what message He is wanting them to hear. Our job is to be sensitive, so we can perceive His voice and direction. He says in John 10:27 (NLT)… “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” If we keep our perception in Him, we can see and follow His leading, so we will not become blind leaders of blind followers. If we don’t, we may find even His beauty out of focus.
Having ears, they hear not, and eyes, they see not. They are blind leaders of the blind. And so is every person who does not listen to the word of God.
I said it when Todd Bentley came on the scene. I said I felt in my spirit that something was wrong. I quoted Scripture. I had many discussions with other followers of Christ. Some were downright heated. I warned that people needed to look beyond the “miracles” to see that something was wrong, but they kept worshiping him and his miracles as if he were the Messiah. And when it was finally revealed that he was having his 2nd affair with a staffer, & that his own wife had medical issues and was never brought out for any of his “amazing miraculous prayer,” he just quietly slipped away. And I said, “I knew it.”
Now, I’m saying the same thing about Barack Obama. I felt it back in 2007 when I first saw him in front of a room full of people. This was before it was announced that he was officially a nominee; before I knew he founded the criminally-acting organization of ACORN; before I knew his law office was suing banks that refused to write the risky loans that got us into the housing troubles we’re in now; before I knew his parents were Communist; before I watched him take 6 weeks to produce a birth certificate that most of us could provide for only the amount of time & money it takes to get to the county seat where we were born. Surely, the President of The United States of America could snap his fingers and an office full of employees would drop everything to pull the file, make a certified copy, have it notarized, and put it in the next overnight package out the door. 3 business days max. But, I digress.
Everything I saw in that first event was before I watched him blame the housing problems on his opponent, before our government got so big for its britches that ordinary citizens could go to jail as criminals for violating laws they didn’t even know existed (and will even more when they are jailed for tax debts incurred under Obamacare), and before I watched him divide our country more than unify it. It was before all the proof out there that, like Todd Bentley, the “winds of change” do not always blow with the Spirit of God.
What I saw that first night was a dark power. An evil being born that held more sway over the people than what I saw with Bentley and those who supported him, wrapped him in a robe, put a “special” ring on his finger, and called him “blessed of God” and “specially anointed.” The way people threw their arms up in the air and practically worshiped the man on the stage like he was some kind of rock star… well, it scared me then and it scares me now. It scares me that on the night before the election, so many are still so swayed that they would call themselves Christians and still vote for someone who thinks it’s okay to kill the innocent via abortion. It scares me that the candidates are even close when so much of what Obama has done is against the constitution, for bigger government, and opposite the foundations laid by the founding fathers of this country.
But I should not be surprised after reading Proverbs 28:5 where the book of wisdom says, “Evil men do not understand justice, but they who crave and seek the Lord understand it fully. ” Every person I have heard so far that is still in support of Obama has been that way for selfish reasons. They, or someone they know or are close to (or maybe related to) is in need of something the man has said he will provide. They cite his provisions for health care or other “free” supplements to their lives without noticing that he is also saying he will tax the very people from whom he is now getting all the provisions so many fear they will lose under Romney. They do not cite how great Obama will make our country for their children and grandchildren; only what he will do for them in the here and now. That smacks of pure selfishness. And, since the word “evil” means “minus God,” it makes sense. As it was in the days of Noah, men’s thoughts are continuously “minus God,” even in “the church world.” They are focused on what answers they can get from a man and not from God.
So, I urge and beg those who even begin to think they love God Almighty to humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked (selfish) ways and vote for one who is more apt to truly love our country. Vote for one who’s party does not vote to remove God from the party platform. Vote for one who’s pastor has not damned our country. Vote for one who’s wife has not complained of how she hated our country. Vote for one who supports Israel rather than bowing to her enemies. (And for those still thinking of voting for Paul, he said Israel was her own problem, so even if I was not urging you to change your vote to keep the balance toward Romney, I would urge you to change it to keep us from losing the benefits we gain with God by being an ally to the country where God will someday place his throne.)
And whatever happens tomorrow, I know that Yahveh, God Almighty, is still on His throne, and I know that the righteous will not be forsaken. I know that God will protect us, and I even know that He will forgive those who vote for the ungodly Obama in ignorance and selfishness. Yet, even as I know these things, I still put out my plea to unseat this man who has continually lied to us from promises of a balanced budget to new jobs that he only managed to give to the many new czars he placed in charge of his many new committees. Please be led by the Spirit of God and not by the spirit of selfishness or greed that would make it okay to believe the report of a liar instead of the report of the Lord. I am convinced in my spirit that it would be a grave mistake to bring the man in for another four years. I believe he will walk away with information that will create damage even with a lost election, but I believe it will be even worse if he maintains his commandeering position. (One former high-ranking official from the Pentagon even warned that if Obama wins this election, it will be the last free election we know in this country. I don’t claim to know prophetically if this is true or not, but I do believe in the depths of my heart that we are in danger from the first election and will be in even more danger from a repeat.) Please do not be one of the blind that needs to repent later when our country ends up in bondage and those like me are saying, “We just knew it.”
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