by John and Ruth Greene
Millions of Christians are sitting in church buildings where ministers may be reading the words of’ God’, but they are not staying true to His Word. Instead they use their own opinions, faulty doctrines and misunderstandings based on lack of context, as well as mistranslations of scripture. Christians are increasingly confused and frustrated by the apparent lack of truth. In this age of ‘information,’ the conventions of authority have been discovered and uncovered. Political leaders and religious leadership have struggled with adapting religion for their own purposes and ‘modern needs’ for nearly 2,000 years. The good shepherd teaches the Word of YHWH as it is written, compared directly with the original language text. He will teach that Word using accurate knowledge, a seeking attitude of being set apart to Elohim, and becoming new with the help of the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit]. How do you know a spiritual shepherd or minister is filled with the Holy Spirit? Quite simply, a minister teaches YHWH’s Word as part of advancing His work. (Matthew 3:8, 14-17; “Beware of False Teachers & Disciples“; “The False Shepherd and the True Shepherd“; “Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“)
Spiritual ministers exist to assist in the gathering of Messiah, not to run the show in every respect. A spiritual leader is a spiritually mature brother or sister, an encourager and minister to the gathering. A mature minister of the Messiah reminds all to read the Bible, to encourage an open and honest attitude of seeking after YHWH by Name, a life of frequent prayer and trust in YHWH over all things, even to admonish all to be baptized in water and Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the Teacher, your Counselor, not a pastor! A personal commitment to YHWH through Yahshua [Jesus], rather than a pastor, is your salvation and everlasting reward. Your service is to YHWH as you exercise brotherly love and rightly divided teaching, not simply bowing to an earthly organization of men. Yahshua [Jesus] is your High Priest, a very dangerous thing to a world of men that seek their own well being and control. (Ephesians 2:4-10; “Holy Spirit 101“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “Truth About the Modern Concept of Pastor“)
Like John the Baptist, disciples of the Messiah are to urge people to prepare as they point to His Return. In this way, unbelievers can come to a saving knowledge of the Messiah as they set their lives in order through the fruits of the Spirit. This is living by trust, firmly rooted in accurate knowledge, growing through to spiritual maturity. You must personally seek YHWH’s Word. (Ephesians 2:1-3, 19-22; “The Real Power Behind Baptism“)
The penalty of sin and its’ power over disciples is a gigantic destroyer of life. That sin is broken through the personal and intimate knowledge of Messiah through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through Messiah, disciples are forgiven. YHWH does not take you out of the world or make you into a robot. He goes through life’s trials with you through the Holy Spirit, the One that binds you, your seal to Elohim’s Kingdom. (1 John 2:4) Before you were a disciple, you were slaves to sin, dead to its knowledge, and spiritually dead as well. Through Yashua [Jesus] the Master, you are alive! (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:2-23) You have the power to live as disciples now! (Ephesians 1:3-14, 18-19, 2:6) As far the Master is concerned, His disciples are sitting with Him in the Heavenly Realms now! Those are His plans for you! You have all the benefits of knowing YHWH as you live your belief, trusting fully in Him! (“Understanding Sin“; “The Unpardonable Sin“; “Spiritual Growth or Spiritual Death“)
Rooting your understanding exclusively on what a pastor or religious leader says handicaps you spiritually, especially when you look at him as your significance. This does not teach you or other members of the body the value of YHWH’s Word. By reading the Bible, you will be drawn to that Word to live it as your own. The Holy Spirit will enable you to do this. YHWH, your Heavenly Father, guides your life through the teaching of Messiah and through action of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26; 16:13; Isaiah 11:2; John 14:25-27; 15:16; 16:23; “Discipleship is Renewal“; “Spiritual Fruit & Renewing Your Mind“)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.” – John 14:12-14, NKJV
When you abide in Him, YHWH abides in you with all the power that you will believe Him for. (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 4:20; Matthew 10:1; Mark 16:17-18; John 14:12, 16-17; 15:26; 16:8, 13-14) The Holy Spirit will be with disciples forever, even though the world does not accept Him. He will abide in those that know about Him and receive that knowledge through Him. Millions of Christians have not received the Holy Spirit or know how He operates. They know little or nothing about Him because they are not taught or fail to learn about Him and His ministry through the teaching of bad shepherds. Ignorant Christians that are not taught fully about the operation of the Holy Spirit are not baptized through water and Spirit, or at least they don’t know about how this works. (Matthew 3:13-17; 1 Corinthians 1:1, 6-20) The Holy Spirit teaches, reproves, judges, encourages, guides and gives honor to Messiah and our Heavenly Father. He is the fountain of YHWH in the life of a committed disciple. To believe otherwise is to be undermined by spiritual immaturity and unbelief, the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit. (“The Beginning of Life Renewal“; “Life Healing and Belief“; “How to Receive the Holy Spirit“)
The devil and his agents will fight you tooth and nail to keep you apart from YHWH. He wants you to believe that a relationship is impossible, that you are forever separated from Elohim, just as he is. People that don’t believe in proper functioning of the Holy Spirit may bad-mouth the Holy Spirit and His operation to others. Those that put down the Holy Spirit are subject to putting down sanctified Spirit-filled disciples as well. For example, I had family members tell me I that was demon possessed because I willingly spoke in tongues. (Mark 16:17; Acts 2:1-16, 10:44-46, 11:15; 19:2-6; 1 Corinthians 12:1, 8-11, 28-30; 14:9) Speaking in tongues is established Kingdom language through YHWH’s Holy Spirit in you, used for the benefit of others and yourself, increasing rare in a ‘modern world’ that does not understand or believe in YHWH’s refining fire. (Luke 3:16; Joel 2:28-29) Satan wants to corrupt this knowledge so many will avoid it and misrepresent it. Those people that do not have a full understanding of the Holy Spirit or the knowledge of what He is about are in spiritual trouble. (Hebrews 2:3-4, 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:2; Isaiah 28:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:12) Why? The Holy Spirit is not the devil. You are to operate as a fountain of your Heavenly Father, filled with His power, just as Yashua [Jesus] and the disciples were. There is no mystery about it. (John 14:12-13; Matthew 10:8; Revelation 1:5-6; “What Does Your Church Teach About Satan the Destroyer?“; “Spiritual Authority & Satan’s Wheels of Destruction“)
A disciple resists the Holy Spirit at his or her own spiritual peril. If you are not filled with His power, you are limiting the power of Elohim in your life. (1 Corinthians 14) A congregation of YHWH’s people that do not operate in proper spiritual order cannot be properly spiritually strengthened. Why? They do not acknowledge the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 11:1-33; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Mark 16:20; 1 Kings 19:10-13) Father, Son and the Holy Spirit seek to bring disciples the personal completion of the Word of YHWH in a corrupt world. An academic, intellectual belief that Satan and the demons have does not result in salvation. (James 2:19; Mark 5:7) When you don’t believe it, you certainly won’t bear the fruit or gifts of the Bible and you will be judged accordingly. (Luke 16:27-31; “The Truth About the Rich Man and Lazarus”; “A Doctrine of Demons“)
The Apostle Paul admonishes the disciples of Corinth how easily they were led astray before his discussion of the spiritual gifts. “You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.” (1 Corinthians 12:2, NKJV). He reminded them of their carnality, their lack of spirituality. (1 Corinthians 3:1) They were unable to discern between the Holy Spirit and false spirits. (1 Corinthians 2:15) They did not discern because they were ‘babes in Christ.’ They were full of carnality (1 Corinthians 3:1) and their exercise of the gifts were self-induced by their flesh, false spirits instead of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are typically better used by mature disciples. Otherwise, through ignorance or outright deception, spiritual gifts can be distorted and misrepresented. Since a Christian’s use of a spiritual gift might not be in line with the Bible (in the opinion of some), many have banned the practice, even though mistakes can be made in the flesh through the exercise of any gift. Since this is the case, are we going to ban preaching as well? For how many bad shepherds are there in the world and yet teaching about the Messiah is not forbidden. (“Discernment the World Doesn’t Have“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“)
“Men, brothers, let me speak boldly with you to say to you as to the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is among us until this day. For he was a prophet, and he had known the oaths that Elohim had sworn to him, that of the fruit of your loins I shall establish a king upon your throne. Foreseeing, he spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah, ‘That His soul was not left in sheol, nor did His corpse see corruption.’ This Yahshua, YAHWEH raised up, of which we all are witnesses. Then being exalted to the right of YAHWEH, and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into Heaven, but he says, ‘YAHWEH said to my Adonai, sit at My right hand until I place those who are enemies to You as a footstool for Your feet.’ Then assuredly, let all the house of Israel acknowledge that YAHWEH made known this same Yahshua whom you crucified, He is both YAHWEH and Messiah. And hearing, they were touched in the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men, our brothers, What shall we do? And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, each of you in the name of Yahshua YAHWEH for the forgiveness of sins, that you may receive the gift of the Spirit of Holiness. [Set Apart Spirit]” – Acts 2:29-38, HRB
How can anyone learn what is not taught in the church? How can you learn when you don’t have knowledge? That is why you must be a seeker of Bible truth, willing to look beyond what the casual observer sees when a pastor or minister preaches. A healthy ‘spiritual community’ attracts people to the gathering of the Messiah with brotherly love, a rightly divided word and submission to the Holy Spirit. A gathering of Messiah that is activated by the Holy Spirit will grow spiritually and prosper. What are you doing to attract and make disciples? You have a part in this through active living trust in YHWH. You don’t split Him or willingly mix truth with falsehood. You receive His Spirit (Abba Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) in entirety, not rejecting His Spirit in fear. (“What is YHWH’s ‘Church’?“; “Opposing Fear“)
In Ephesians 4:25, Paul indicates that disciples must put off falsehoods and speak truthfully to one another. Some religion says that all disciples are as a single body of Messiah, yet different denominations continue to teach His Word differently from what that Word actually means. When ministers mislead through dishonesty they rob from YHWH and create open spiritual warfare within the body of the Messiah. This destroys trust and creates conflicts, which is exactly what has happened. The result is what you see today, with an increase in deception taking place. (“Spiritual Warfare: “Genetics” That Rule Your Life“; “YHWH’s Protection in Difficult Times“; “Living in an Apostate World“)
The old way of life before belief in the Messiah, the Master, must be in the past. You need to be made new through the Holy Spirit and shed the old man like old clothes to be thrown away. This is a life-long continued commitment that agrees with the Bible, the salvation through Messiah. (Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:17-24; “Seeking a New Spirit“;”Disciple of Messiah: Live Your Belief“) Disciples must begin to put on the new man through the Holy Spirit to be successful.
You are a disciple through YHWH’s grace, not as the result of your most wonderful effort. Your love for the provision of your Heavenly Father moves you to obey and minister the Word to others as you continue to mold your life to His Will and purpose instead of the will of the world. You do this through accurate Bible knowledge and through the power of the Holy Spirit as your life expression lines up with scripture. (“A Matter of Grace“)
The trial of Yahshua [Jesus] when he was in the desert (Matthew 4:4-10) was an important demonstration of both his lack of sin and the powerful roots of His earthly ministry. He gave you an example to follow when you, the honest-hearted disciple, are tempted. When the devil tried to twist scripture, Yahshua [Jesus] contested him. He did not give in. In the same way, you are not to give in when trial and temptation swarm about you.
Knowledge and examination of yourself is critical in your success. Knowing critical factors of defeat will help you to be aware before you step into temptation: physical needs and desires, possessions and power, and pride.
Knowledge of scripture will help to keep you strong and properly directed. Looking to someone else for all the answers does not truly ground you in YHWH’s Word. Knowledge of the Bible is the sword to use in spiritual combat. Knowing Bible verses and principles helps you to resist the devil’s attacks. Note that Satan memorized scriptures that he recited to Yahshua [Jesus], but he failed to obey them. Knowing and obeying the Bible helps you to obey YHWH instead of the devil. (1 John 3:8; “Battling Satan With the Word“; “Overcoming Satanic Attack“; “Strength to Overcome Any Challenge“)
“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” – Ephesians 4:28, NKJV
Contrary to popular opinion, Paul is not discussing working a job to support your family or yourself. The context of this passage indicates the context of spiritual warfare, that you are not to steal from the Father’s Kingdom or His sanctified people. Otherwise, the evil of the devil that works through you will destroy your trust and relationship with other disciples and the cultivation of Elohim in your life. It will destroy the order of the gathering of Messiah. Disciples are to work together in unity for the same purpose using different gifts among them to serve YHWH. Unbelief and conduct that goes along with that unbelief grieves the Holy Spirit. Yahshua [Jesus] was baptized in the Holy Spirit as a demonstration for all disciples. You are to function spiritually in the same manner, not as cheap substitutes or earthly tares among the wheat. You are baptized symbolically with water and literally with His Spirit when you are properly informed. When you know about the Divine Counselor, you know better than to reject Him so you can continue to grow and prosper in ‘faith.’ (“Overcoming Fear during Tough Times“; “Holy Spirit 101“; “The Christian Prepper: How Prepared Are You?“)
Each disciple must do something useful with his trust in Elohim so that he has something to share. To move forward in that trust, you must equip yourself with scripture and the Holy Spirit to give you an understanding of His Word, His provisions for you and all His beloved. This is required to successfully combat Satan and the world. (Romans 12:1-4) An unwholesome language and conduct rooted in bitterness, anger and the lack of forgiveness, bad attitudes against others and strife end only in defeat. Just as YHWH forgives you, you are expected to forgive. You grieve the Holy Spirit when you fail to live according to the Word of YHWH. Are you grieving or pleasing Him with your attitudes and actions? (“Are You Useful to YHWH?“; “Disciples: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“)
Act in love toward your brothers and sisters and speak Bible truth. This is the new nature in Messiah, (Ephesians 5:8) part of an ongoing process as a sanctified disciple. The Holy Spirit within you is a seal or guarantee that you belong to YHWH. (Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit binds you to Elohim’s Kingdom as He counsels you. Contrary to other opinions, the Holy Spirit is your Teacher, the Teacher that you need to look to instead of the religious opinion of the day. He alone is your personal Counselor along with your strong foundation in Bible knowledge, as you trust in YHWH alone and enjoy His tender loving-kindness. (“A Branch of the Vine through Trust“)