At the Gates of Yerushalayim; A Search for Messiah


Breaking the Bad  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

 

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Revelation 12:11

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.[6]

                         As I sit here, in my prayer chair, I realize that everyone should have a place where he or she meets the G-d of heaven.  Moses had his tent of meeting, some have a prayer closet, some a shawl, some can just withdraw into themselves and meet G-d in that place.  Me, I have my chair; it is here I come to meet Yahveh and let the Ruach [7] have His way with me, to teach, to preach, to pour out my heart.  I hope to introduce myself with my story…

       What is testimony?  Well, my friend Noah Webster in his 1828 dictionary defined it as:

“...tes•ti•mo•ny  1 : evidence based on observation or knowledge 2 : an outward sign : symbol 3 : a solemn declaration made by a witness under oath esp. in a court syn evidence, confirmation, proof, testament...” 

If we want to bring it into a spiritual context, there are plenty of examples, as a quick search through Nave’s will show:

....Religious:  1 Chr. 16:8, 9; Psa. 9:11; Psa. 18:49; Psa. 26:6, 7; Psa. 119:27,172; Psa. 145:11, 12; Isa. 12:4–6; Isa. 32:4; Isa. 43:10 Isa. 44:8. Isa. 45:24; Jer. 51:10; Mark 4:21 Matt. 5:15; Luke 8:16. Mark 5:16, 19, 20; Luke 8:38, 39; Luke 12:8, 9 Matt. 10:32. Luke 24:48; John 4:28–30, 39, 41, 42; John 15:27; Acts 1:8, 22; Rom. 10:9, 10; 1 Cor. 1:5, 6; 1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Cor. 13:1; Eph. 5:19; Phil. 3:7–14; 1 Tim. 6:12, 13; 2 Tim. 1:8; Heb. 2:3, 12; 1 Pet. 3:15; 1 Pet. 5:1; Rev. 12:11 See Confession.

Religious, Exemplified:  Job 19:25–27; Psa. 16:5–9; Psa. 18:2, 3, 35, 36; Psa. 22:22; Psa. 23:1–6; Psa. 26:12; Psa. 27:1–6, 13; Psa. 28:6–8; Psa. 30:1–6; Psa. 34:1–4, 8, 9; Psa. 35:28; Psa. 40:1–3, 9; Psa. 54:7; Psa. 57:7–9; Psa. 62:1, 2; Psa. 66:16–20; Psa. 71:15–18, 24; Psa. 73:23–26, 28; Psa. 77:12; Psa. 89:1; Psa. 91:2–13; Psa. 116:1–14; Psa. 119:13, 26, 27, 46, 67, 71; Psa. 145:4–7, 10–12; Dan. 4:1–3, 34–37 vs. 1–37.; John 9:17, 30–33; Acts 2:4–11; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:18–20; Acts 5:31, 32; Acts 13:31; Acts 26:12–23 Acts 22. 1 Cor. 15:15; 2 Cor. 4:13, 14; 2 Cor. 5:1; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:4–14; 2 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 4:7, 8; Tit. 1:1, 2; Tit. 3:3–7; 1 Pet. 5:12; 2 Pet. 1:16; 1 John 1:1–4...[8]

                         But what exactly is a testimony?  It is, I believe, what we do, what we are, along with what we say.  In searching out a meaning for testimony, in Vine’s and Smith’s Bible dictionaries, they both referred me to “witness”.  And what is a witness?  Someone who sees, someone who has firsthand knowledge of an event or occurrence.  It is also actions, examples, all those little minute details of our lives that give color to it, to reveal to others and ourselves who we are and what we believe in.  Someone once said to me that integrity is what you do when no one else is watching.  Isn’t this our witness, our testimony also?  What we do when we think no one is watching truly defines our character, our moral compass. 

                         So.  What is all this about?  Do I just sit down in this chair and ramble on, as if no purpose is in mind?   No, I have a tale to tell, a testimony of what I know and have seen.  It involves the act of learning to do the will of G-d, but in a real sense, the seeds that have been planted in me and that I share with others, lack the knowledge of whether they ever return a harvest. With that in mind, I pray that is the purpose of this, my testimony, so others can see the journey and bring glory to G-d.

                         As with any tale, it always has a beginning, and this is the part I have struggled with. To tell this tale, requires speaking about the subject of it. How much does one reveal about themselves, without it becoming a story more about them and overshadowing the real goal of giving honor to G-d?  A mighty man of G-d once told me that his past was worth only 15 seconds of his testimony because the real importance of his story was what Messiah Yeshua had done for him, not what he was rescued from.  In a way, I can totally agree with this, for that is the real issue, what Yeshua did for me, but there again, do I not need to reach out with my story, to show others that instead of despair, they can have hope also? Our lives, where we came from and where we are now may be the only sermon we ever speak to another. Do we not need to let them identify with us, to show them that we were all just like them, lost in our sins, our worries, our troubles, and that hope lives?  Is it important that our testimony show that no matter how far away from G-d you think you are He is as close as your knees?  This is the struggle of a testimony, to not be all about self, but tell enough to let those you witness to, know that you were there once yourself and Yeshua Ha’Machiach[9] redeemed you from that life of death and that there is another way. So, here I sit, I write as the Ruach Ha’Kodesh[10] dictates and let us get to the matter at hand.

                         Many out there know the efforts, the costs, the sacrifices that have been laid down to do the will of the Father.  What most do not see is the result of that work. 

My story has a beginning that extends back over five decades.  I was molested by a stranger at the age of 13; this one act changed a boy, took away all he had ever known and turned him toward the only relief for the pain, the shame, and anger of this deed he could find; he found his relief in rage and drugs. A nightmare of drug use and abuse that would span over the next forty years of his life.  I kept it all inside, my secret, so no one knew what had happened to me. Honestly, I did not know how to articulate it.  I was too young to understand what had occurred and I ended up blaming myself for what had occurred. To ease that burden, I then blamed my parents and eventually G-d for it was better to find someone else to blame. By the age of sixteen I was addicted, I became a heavy drug user. My only way out of the mess I was in was to enlist in the military at seventeen. By eighteen I was a life taker and by twenty-one I was totally lost to this world and fully embraced the ways of the enemy. I joined an outlaw motorcycle club, became a “cook” (manufacturing meth) and was simply the type of man you would cross the street to avoid.

My life continued to spiral downhill at breakneck speed. I got married, divorced, then married again. I have four sons, (all men now), but my addiction had marred their childhoods. Things got so bad that I abandoned my family and began been living on the streets. For three years, I lived the life of homelessness, separated from wife and children, divorced from life, without hope.  The drugs had ravaged me, turned my life upside down, and all I wanted was for my heart to finally stop beating, for the drugs to end my pain. 

                         Then, one night, someone spoke to me three words, three words that broke a dam in the heart.  At a homeless feed under a bridge, a small ten- or eleven-year-old boy ran up to me with a can of soda and a blueberry muffin and spoke these words:

 “Jesus loves you.”

 These three words spoken on a wintry night in January, led to the next three words that saved a soul.  In the darkness, surrounded by pain and despair, with no hope, those words led me my knees to say the next three words:

“G-d help me.”

 Six words changed a life.  A life that would not have been moved if the Ruach had not caused a young boy to speak the first three.  In that moment, the heavens opened, and the right hand of G-d descended and touched a broken lost heart. 

One does not always know if what they do has an impact.  I am here to say, what each of us does has the potential to change a life. For eternity. Three words were spoken, words that usually are thrown out there just as an afterthought.  Understand this; never deny the power in those words.  When you speak them, know that they carry life, that G-d’s hand extends at that moment to the one you speak these words to. 

My journey did not stop there. It took G-d to lead the way, but finally on my fifty-third birthday, forty years in the wilderness ended when G-d gave me these words:

 Deuteronomy 8:1-3 (NKJV)
8     “Every commandment which I command you today ayou must 1be careful to observe, that you may live and bmultiply, 2and go in and possess the land of which the Lord 3swore to your fathers.

2 And you shall remember that the Lord your G-d cled you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and dtest you, eto know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, fallowed you to hunger, and gfed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall hnot live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. [11]

What the Father began, Yeshua[12] finished. I discovered His mitzvot[13], I discovered the Hebraic Roots to my faith, I discovered that the name of my Messiah was Yeshua. I learned that I was to walk by Torah as defined by Yeshua in the Brit Ha’deshah[14]  and my life truly began when all was laid down at His feet in 2008.

This testimony is meant for all who labor to lift others up. It is meant to encourage you to not give up.  This testimony is meant to give to Yahveh Elohim all the glory, all the honor and praise for a life saved.  Learn the holy language, the lashon kodesh[15] so that praise can be lifted on high as it is meant to be. This testimony is to say thank you to that young man,  and to encourage all to speak those three words of life, “…Yeshua loves you…” because if they could change my life, they can change anyone’s.

It was the power of the Living G-d that Broke the bad, for it is truly that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony.  I have had for the first time in my life freedom in my Lord.  No pain, no depression, no drugs, no guilt, no shame.  Delivered and redeemed, all glory be to G-d.  Thank you, Father.  Thank you Yeshua. It is truly a blessing to be part of a family, the family of G-d.

May the Father richly bless you all this day My Beloved.

Amein

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[3] Author’s note: This site is for education only and is not affiliated with any institution, organization, or religious group. It is the sole production of its editor. Use of information from Jewish-themed websites (or any other source material) should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed.

[4] Author’s note:  Throughout this study I will be using the NET Bible® and the NET Notes®: within the notes you will see symbols like this: ( א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NET Bible® for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NET Bible®) used in translating the New Testament. Please go to https://bible.org/netbible/ and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.

[5] Author’s Note: In these studies, I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of God. I give you the notes as they are written by the authors of the material I cite from, so that you can see the information contained within them. It truly is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if requested. That is not to say I should not challenge something I believe might contradict the truth of God’s word; that I will do in the main body of my epistles for that is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most (but not all) of the differences will come when I quote from a source that displays a decidedly Western/Greek mindset, as opposed to a Hebraic perspective. I must be intellectually honest – I am biased toward the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and His son, Yeshua the Messiah. I pray then we all can find common ground as we study the Scriptures.

[6] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[7] Ruach – Hebrew for “Spirit”

[8] Swanson, James, New Nave’s Topical Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1999, c1994.

[9] Yeshua Ha’Machiach: Hebrew for “Jesus the Messiah”

[10] Ruach Ha’Kodesh: Hebrew for “Holy Spirit”

a  Deut. 4:1; 6:24

1  observe to do

b  Deut. 30:16

2  increase in number

3  promised

c  Deut. 1:3; 2:7; 29:5; Ps. 136:16; Amos 2:10

d  Ex. 16:4

e  [John 2:25]

f  Ex. 16:2, 3

g  Ex. 16:12, 14, 35

h  Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4

[11]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Yeshua: the Hebrew name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth

[13] Commandments

[14]Brit Ha’deshah: Hebrew for “Renewed Covenant”

[15] lashon kodesh: Hebrew for “sacred tongue” or “sacred language”