Author Archives: NLLEx

A Branch Detached From The Vine

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (Joh 15:5-7)

We have come upon a time that is like it was during the days of Noah where every man does what he think is right in his own eyes. Sad to say that those who call upon the name of the Lord have been carried away in the same unfolding drama. The quote above often times we as men quote it and particularly verse 7 without understanding the context, which is clear in verse 5. It is the vine that provides nourishment to the branch, and if we find ourselves detached from the vine then we will find ourselves unfruitful, unable to do anything, and withered. The end of such a man is to be thrown into the fire and burned.

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (Joh 15:9-14)

So here is where many of us may get off course, if we don’t understand the message Yeshua is sharing with his disciples. So check this out carefully. Here at the beginning of this passage it sounds as though Yeshua is giving a new commandment separate from that of his father. He is stating that he has kept his fathers commandments and he is now telling his disciples to keep his. However, take note that he tells us how he has kept his Father’s commandments and then he goes on to say we are to love one another as He has loved us. So the question is how was his love expressed unto us? It was expressed to us through how he kept his Father’s commandments and therefore we are to do likewise if we are to express our love back towards him. If we understand that there are certain things that love does. Love doesn’t speak uncharacteristically against God, love keeps all its dates with the object of its love (the Sabbaths), love doesn’t dishonor those who brought them into this world, doesn’t have sex with someone elses spouse, doesn’t murder, lie, cheat, steal, or covet. Anyone who does these things we can agree is not walking in love. The commandments of God had to be hand written because the heart of man was and without God still is bent on doing evil. It has been that way since the first Adam and without a change of heart is destined to stay that way until the last breath.

When I started this study on what it means to be the branch on Yeshua’s vine I begin to better understand the very real illustration that Yah revealed to me a couple of weeks ago as I witnessed in the natural what happened to my peach tree that broke from its vine. When I finally was able to get my peach tree to grow I noticed that all my peaches were growing on one branch. It was so full, yet so weak that it broke from the vine. As it lay hanging on the ground, heavy with only a small piece still connected to the vine I watched it stop growing. It didn’t wither until I took it completely off but I didn’t see any progress in it either just barely hanging on. Which is exactly the point we have to be all in with Yeshua or we are stagnate neither growing nor dying. Sort of reminds me of another scripture where Yah says he would rather we be hot or cold, but because we are neither he spews us from his mouth. (Rev. 3:15-16)

So many of us in our walk with God are on the edge like that branch we are barely hanging on and just the right move in the wrong direction will break us from the protection and nourishment that comes from eating from the tree of life in Yeshua. The scary thing about that branch falling over is while the vine is what provides the nourishment it is the branch that holds the fruit. This may be why we are warned not to lose the fruit that we bare. (Rom 1:13, 7:4) The vine nourishes the branch, but the branch holds the fruit. This is also why we are admonished to pray for leadership as we do because if you smite the shepherd the sheep for sure will be scattered. (Matt 26:31) So many people leave the Lord not because the Lord did something wrong as He can never do anything wrong, but because those of us who represent him in leadership misrepresent Him and what is all us, He gets blamed for.

There is a greater work we are called to do as believers and with that work comes responsibility. It is important that as we lead others to the Lord that we do so in the same similitude that He led us. With compassion, patience, and a firm and unwavering hand. While we should never back out or down from the truth we are admonished to share the truth in love, considering ourselves and the frailty that we deal with in the flesh. However, with that in mind we can’t forget that we stand by the will and hand of the Messiah’s vine which holds us and if we should split or be broken from the vine then we will surely wither and any fruit on our branch will wither with us.

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It Gets old

We are told in scripture to put on the full armor of God. What happens when your armor gets worn in the natural? Finding and assembling the perfect armor doesn’t come easy. David understood that armor wasn’t one size fits all and fancy doesn’t mean effective, nor guarantees comfort or function. Most things get worse with time.

I remember my first pair of SAS shoes and my first pair of skechers. They made me feel like I was walking on air and I wore them both until they could not be worn any more. Primarily because they were so comfortable, but I made the mistake many of us make after that first pair. I assumed that over time things would not change with them. That the same quality I received from the first pair would continue with my next pair.

Like a drug dealer things start out real cheap to get you started, but become real expensive once hooked. My skechers when I first bought them were $11, by the time I wore those out another pair would cost me $80. Yet the $80 shoe was not nearly as durable or comfortable as the $11 pair.

Start up companies tend to be that way they start out with the customer in mind, get you hooked then without notice it switches from customer focused to dollar focused. Not sure if manufacturer change as popularity increase or if companies really believe people are so stupid that if we’re drawn to a company based on quality that once the name gained fame the quality could diminish and we’d keep buying it?

Well I have been in search of that first pair of shoes from both companies, and my SAS shoes are way too expensive to make my first mistake twice so I have put them down altogether. Point I’m making is this, time doesn’t make things better not for people, not for products, not the world. A renewed mind can make for a better spirit man, but time insures that your physical state may increase, but your Spirit man doesn’t operate on that principle the potential for your Spirit to get better with time is great, as we build our armor with experience with God and understanding of his word. Your physical strength, your hair, your teeth, anything you use or have will continue to move downward. Yet we in the technological age would rather believe things are progressing. Contrary to scripture and nature itself we continue to believe things are getting better when the evidence just beneath the surface of the beautiful decor reflects the holes and cracks we so eloquently hide. Having no evidence to the contrary we believe the first millennium man was archaic and less advanced yet he lived 930 years when we barely make it to 70 and many of those who make it to that age suffer from health issues that suggests existence but barely could call it living.

The world needs Yah, a life without hope in Messiah YeHoSHua is just existence without purpose. We become days of output and put in like machines accomplishing something, but life having no meaning. We are lost, wretched and miserable without Yah. We are like those first pair of SAS shoes we start out floating on air in this life but with time we recognize we are in need of a new life and we make the mistake of thinking we can find that through our original supplier only to discover they are coming up short. Only the new man in Christ can have purpose, understand this nonsensical world and elevate to floating on air by a means beyond the natural man.

Thus we are admonished to put on the new man and to take off the old. Only in Christ is the remedy resolved by the new rather then the old, yet He has been the answer from the beginning and his remedy is not new, but we have to be renewed to see it.

Try A Lot of Gentleness

The truth of the matter is most of us can’t handle the truth straight, like our medicine we require a little sugar coating to make the yucky but effective stuff go down easier. For many to attempt to take it without it could choke us. This is the sentiment of so many scriptures that guide us in this area of being gentle. Letting our speech be with grace, seasoned with salt. (Col. 4:6) For many years my thought process has been to avoid taking the medicine if it couldn’t be sugar coated and this is not the will of God either. Equally as out of balance is to apply too much sugar such that it drowns out the medicine needed and thus your therapeutic purpose is diluted and becomes ineffective.

 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Pro 11:30) 

I am sure we can all agree that the fruit of the Spirit is definitely in the category of righteous and when we are matured in it the evidence of it is revealed in what it produces. This is why gentleness is so important, if you yank a piece of fruit off a tree you stand the risk of bruising it.  If you weren’t planning on eating it right away you just accelerated its ripening state and risk a greater chance of wasting its potential.   While Jud 1:23 warns us that there will be many that will be pulled out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted from the flesh there are many more who won’t have to be bruised to be set free.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (Jas 3:17)  

This last word in James is important to note and so often while trying to pull the mote in our brother’s eye we become blind to the beam that exist in our own. (Mat 7:3) This ought not to be, but rather we should consider ourselves whenever we speak to others. We should apply the same gentleness with them, considering ourselves, recognizing our own frailness and susceptibility to sin. (Gal. 6:1)

The outflow of a gentle heart is compassion. Compassion comes naturally to those who recognize that they were sinners who have been saved by grace. Those who have a forgetful mind that all their paths are not right and their ways are not straight foolishly believe their life of piety has exempted them from the need of an atoning sacrifice to rescue them from their sin. (Rom. 3:23) This is how you can have a self-righteous Pharisee who looks down upon a bleeding hearted Publican. (Luk 18:9-14) What the Pharisee failed to understand is YHVH doesn’t care about all the good we do until we confess and forsake all the wrong we have done and acknowledge, accept, and embrace the sacrifice of the Son He gave. We must first be forgiven before we can be rewarded. Repenting is our part, and as we do our part, forgiving is God’s part and He is always willing to do His part, waiting even. (2 Pet 3:9)   This is a revelation that Peter fully had come to understand about YHVH. As it was Peter that had to have the vision of unclean beasts and the confrontation of Paul later on to understand the heart of God for those who were not in the natural bloodline of Abraham. Like many of us it took a few encounters with truth to move him fully into the plan of God.

That is why gentleness is one of those significant fruits that has its seasonal benefits. When we experience it in its due season we can indeed taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Patience Has A Perfect Work

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (Jas 1:4)

When you really think of it joy, peace, patience and all of the rest of the fruit of the Spirit can only work by the fruit of love.  As it takes love to have patience, this is how a mother can withstand the constant and incessant cries of her baby feverishly looking for the cause of the eye leak until a solution is found.  Love is the vehicle by which the others can spring forth and blossom.  Today we will discuss the importance of letting patience have its perfect work in your life.

In our got to have it now generation. patience feels like pulling teeth, real slow with rusty pliers.  Yet the scripture above points out the importance of understanding that patience has a work to do within us.  Work as we know it can take at least 65 years before we finally retire, and in that time we are expected to save or accumulate enough wealth that will allow us to enjoy our retirement years.  How we spend those years are entirely up to us, but there is a penalty assigned for wasting time.  However, if we remain faithful and maintain our focus on Yah in due season we reap our reward if we faint not.

Patience is what is required to understand the ways of YHVH, as an impulsive person reveals a lack of trust in YHVH.  This is what Moses tapped into, this was how he could be entitled to being called humble.  Because his patience when the people was tempting to drive him crazy was his full reliance and close relationship with YHVH.  Patience is a part of the package just like it’s a part of the fruit.   Studying His word and praying for understanding of how to live out His word is how we allow longsuffering, another word for patience to have her perfect work in us.  Because we build our faith that the same God who brought out our forefathers from the clutches of death has redeemed us from having to fear death through His Anointed Son.  Then we realize we no longer have to fear death, but rather fear the One who can put both body and soul into the fiery furnace forever and ever.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28)

Longsuffering is exactly the way it sounds it means we are to suffer long and clearly having to wait, deny ourselves, deprive ourselves of anything is challenging.  But anything worth having is worth waiting for, I can’t think of anything being more valuable then the reward that is available for those of us who patiently await the coming of the Lord and His glorious appearing, can you?  What makes death scary is that it is apart of the unknown for the world.  However, for the children of the Most High it is a gateway to our reward if we are found faithful.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
(1Co 15:54-55)

This is the peace that every believer can walk in knowing and though eternal life is the beginning it is not the whole of salvation otherwise we wouldn’t have anything to workout.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Php 2:12)

We have a mission that has been given to us as believers that if we are on it God provides the roadmap to the goal.  This is why Paul having been afflicted in this life can have patience through troubled waters knowing he would come out on the other side because he understood that he can’t leave till mission complete.  He understood patience had a perfect work yet to be complete in him.  Abraham who could wait on the Lord until he was 100 years of age to have the son promised to him through Sarah could trust that the promise that he wouldn’t see in his lifetime concerning his seed would be fulfilled.    Consider Job?  We are told to have the patience of Job in James 5:11 a man who endured the struggle and the hardship of losing all but his life, yet still held on to the Lord in the valley of the shadow of death.  Patience like faith is not something you need until you need it.  For instance I don’t need faith to believe for something that I have.  I don’t need patience to achieve something that is already possessed.

So what is the work of patience?  Above are examples of patience, but lets really examine its meaning because that is key to how you get it.  The definition indicates its not something you master over night.  It’s not something that matures instantly but like any fruit its through work, toil, and time that it blossoms and matures.  Like faith, patience requires consistency, staying on guard and not giving up on following the path that leads to life.  It requires you not becoming weary in doing well through the process, but staying on task and fully vested.

I am still finding areas where I have to work on this in me, and what I am finding out is what patience is not, and that is impulsive.  When we fill hurried or pressed to make a decision we are easily in danger of falling prey to impulsive action.  This action is the result of moving before God in a given situation rather then waiting on him.  Patience is what is produced with consistent reliance on God in every situation not just in tight ones.  This is not to be confused with procrastination or complacency because one thing that both Abraham and Moses teaches us in their life is that in order to move in the will of God you have to be willing to move when he says move, and that moving is not always going to be when the environment is conducive to it.  It is clear that Moses decision to deliver the people from Egypt was not conducive to the need Pharaoh had to enslave them.  It was terribly inconvenient for Egypt, but right on time for the Father.  This is the difference between impulsivity and faith, impulsiveness is moved by circumstances and faith is moved by the spoken word of the Almighty.  When the Almighty moves us whether it takes forty years or forty days it doesn’t matter we will be ready to move forward, and we will have patience to wait until our change comes.

If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.  (Job 14:14)

The Hebrew word for patience is “YaChaR” and when you put the characters together they paint the picture of the “work of the outside man”.  Think of a Master Builder who may have a blueprint from day one of construction, but like Noah the fruition of the blueprint can take years to complete.  Both faith and patience is required to see the construction to its inevitable end. Where are we in our walk with YHVH?  This is why we are admonished not to give up, lose heart, to faint not, because the process of patience having her perfect work in us will not be an overnight success, a winning lottery ticket away, but through hard work, persistence, and perseverance we see the faithfulness of God in the challenges, through the trials.  He is maturing us and as tempting as it may be to take a shortcut, the shortcut will cause you to miss the blessing.  Lot took the shortcut, the path already taken the road already paved because convenience doesn’t require any commitment from you.  But the lesson we should take from Lot is that foregoing the process can cost you your family, and what it does salvage becomes perverted.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:9)

The next fruit of the Spirit we will discuss will show us how to Try A Lot Of Gentleness.  While these lessons I had hoped to complete before Pentecost 2018, its truth is always right on time.  If you are finding yourself challenged with these fruit in your life, remember we are admonished that in all our getting to get an understanding.  Our lack of understanding can cause us to lose heart in the struggles of life and become weak in exhibiting strength in this fruitful venture.  Love you all and may YHVH richly bless every reader.

The Ugly Truth of American History

This video provides some facts that we just simply didn’t get in the history books. I encourage you to watch. Knowledge is powerful. I realize the topic is one that most of us would prefer to leave buried and hidden, but if we are ever going to understand the impact our past has on our present its going to require getting an understanding about the root of the sin of this nation and the biblical truth that the love of money indeed is the root of all sorts of evil.

Hold Your Own Peace

In a world that is constantly getting worse holding your peace can seem impossible. However scripture doesn’t encourage us to embrace the temperature of the world for regulating our internal thermostat. Rather we are given something the world cannot have.  A peace that comes from out of this world, but like the garden of Eden our ability to live in this peace requires our willingness to embrace it.

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

How good it is to know that as the world spirals out of control we can overflow with the fruit of peace in abundance.  One of the greatest benefits of eternal life is that the greatest fear of the world doesn’t have to be ours, death.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1Co 15:53-57)

Corinthians gives us comfort in knowing that we have victory over mankind’s greatest enemy on earth.  Those of us in Christ, while we aren’t rushing to our demise can take comfort in knowing that our demise on this end leads to eternal bliss on the other.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:4)

Therefore when we see the end of the reign of tyranny of humanity we can rejoice in the beginning of the millennial reign and beyond of our Messiah.

In Hebrew the word for peace is “Shalom” and when you look at the characters of this word in the Ancient Hebrew it paints a very poignant picture for us of what peace does for us and to us.  The first character in Hebrew for Shalom is “sheen” and this character resembles two teeth, and it means to destroy or consume.  As it is the natural result of what occurs when we chew.

The second character is “lamed” which is the picture of a shepherds staff.  This character means authority as we see in the case of Moses who uses his staff to turn into a serpent, water into blood, and to dry up Red Seas.  No small wonder this is the weapon of choice by the Almighty to wield before the enemy to reveal His authority in the earth with.  The third character is “vav” which is the picture of a nail and with a nail we establish a wall, secure a building add on to an existing structure.  We know from our faith that our salvation was established by the nails that pinned our Messiah to the post that would be necessary to secure our eternal home.

Finally, the last character is “mem” which is the picture of waves.  This character for the Hebrew people was associated with the flood of Noah and as a result carries the meaning of chaos in addition to its principle meaning of waves.  These waves represent so many thing to us as believers as we see them in water, but science reveals that waves also exist in sound, and light as well.  These meanings when put together reveal that we have peace when we allow him, the King of Glory to “Destroy the Authority that Establishes Chaos” as we “Consume the Authority of His Established Word”.

 

Joy Does The Heart Good

“Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;” Deut 28:47

Deut 28:47 reveals that Yah doesn’t just care about our outward obedience but also cares about the Spirit in which we serve Him. Anyone who has children can appreciate this. If you have chores you require your children to do but they do it with the infamous “attitude”, it doesn’t exactly make you want to buy them that new iPhone they’ve been begging for. Why? Because attitude matters, it matters to us and to Yah. The way he knows we love Him is the way we know our children love us. After all the greatest of the fruit is love. The eight other fruit reveal our love for him.

If we are not in a place where we can serve Yah with joy we may need to question if we are in the place He called us. Throughout scripture joy was the natural response his people gave to Him giving them the victory over battles that they faced. It is easy to have joy when we are winning, but fruit doesn’t stop being what it is based on circumstances. Getting to a place where we recognize the world didn’t give us our joy, therefore it can’t take it away is now. The Holy Spirit gave us our joy and God forbid we get to a place where the Holy Spirit should need to take it away or that we give it away.

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (Luk 6:22-23)

Messiah instructs you to leap for joy when you are hated and separated from men’s company, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of man’s sake.  Wow!  We lose our joy just when someone cut in front of us in traffic, or we get skipped in line, but not the Apostles.

Joy should never be based on what we do or don’t get, but rather in the saving grace of knowing YeHoshua is ours. The fact that our eternity is secured as we remain in the hands of the Most High should be what we rejoice in.  Misplaced joy or misunderstanding what joy is and how it is received is what makes it easy for our joy to be robbed from us.  Because if you believe your joy is derived from someone or something then that someone or something can be taken from you and your misplaced joy will be stolen with it.  But if your joy is from the Lord then it becomes your strength through the challenges of life and will never be misplaced or stolen from you because it comes from a place that man cannot touch.  A place from within you.

Scripture tells us to not be weary in well doing, I believe we can get to a comfortable place in our blessing and our joy gets replaced with a sense of loss. (Gal. 6:9) The monotony leads to depression and the familiarity breeds contempt. Once the weariness occurs we continue to carry out our obligations but not with the same joy we once did before. Its like the wind being knocked out of you. That is why we are admonished to mount up on the wings of eagles, to run and not be weary to walk and not faint. (Isa 40:31) There is no greater joy then knowing you are in the center of the will of the One who created you. The joy of YHVH can strengthen you.

Have you ever felt tired and weak, but when you heard praise music or beautiful singing you felt revived? Because the Lord can renew our strength. Joy of heart can change the trajectory of our compass such that our South turning can be North pointing.
There is great joy that we walk in when we walk in obedience to the Lord. Unlike the fading or temporary happiness that occurs when we get that thing we want, achieve the goal we shoot for, or get that promotion we worked for. All those things brings a happiness that comes and goes, it’s fleeting. But when we walk with God and know He is pleased with us we can be cheerful givers, not always expectant receivers. We can walk in lasting victory regardless of our circumstances.

The joy of Yah is strength unto us, how many are weak today? (Neh. 8:10) Do you lack joy? Perhaps the remedy to your sickness is joy and what better way to get it then with music, which would explain why scriptures that we read associated with joy accompany the sound of praise. Praise is an effective warfare against the enemies attack against our minds and bodies. The blessing is we don’t have to wait until we see the victory to walk in the joy and take part in the praise.

Stress is one of the causes of dementia related diseases. Isn’t it amazing to know that those who walk in the fruit of the Spirit decrease their chances of losing their mind? Meditating on the word is like watering the tree that feeds your fruit, and praising Yah with a thankful heart is like the sunshine which provides nutrients to the inside of the fruit.

Hannah understood this as it says in 1 Sam 2:1. Hannah is one who saw the salvation of Yah in her life he redeemed her womb from death that she brought forth life. This is what Yah does for every believer we were dead in our sins and he redeemed us from destruction and gave us a life free from it. This is why Paul could say how after being free from sin how dare we return to it again. (Rom 6:2) We are called to live a life in Messiah and a life in Him is a sinless one. If we be in Christ we should have joy if for no other reason then he redeemed our lives from the destruction our lifestyle paid the price for. We are NOT getting what we deserve though he got what he didn’t deserve and we can rejoice forevermore in the finish work of Christ.

Now that you didn’t allow someone to steal your joy its time to Hold Your Own Peace.  The next Fruit of the Spirit in the Walking in the Spirit series.