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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Ninety-Seventh ("Benign" Things)

This week is going to be a sort of continuation of last week in that we’re going to take a moment to focus on some things that are growing in popularity among believers and non-believers alike, but are not in keeping with scripture.  We mentioned a few of them last week, and hit on the fact that you really must be spending your time diligently studying scripture so that you are not deceived into believing them.  After all, we know that 100% of us will stand before YHWH and Yeshua at the end and explain why we did what we did in this life (Romans 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 20:11-13).


I don’t know if you’ve been seeing or feeling the same things I have lately, but it seems like there is a lot of people learning and sharing truth out there right now.  However, in the same way that knowledge of the truth is growing, there is deceit growing along with it.  This is truly a wheat and tares season that we are in (Matthew 13:24-29).  There are many sons of the evil one taking advantage of this movement of truth in the world, and just like their father, they spread lies that seem innocuous and even have a shred of truth in them, but they come from a place of blasphemous thoughts that grow in your mind if you accept them.


When you look at the parables Yeshua gave around the wheat and the tares parable, they all seem to tie together into a whole picture of what to expect from Yeshua’s time until the end.  He started with the sowing of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 13:3-9), which is the spreading of the message of the gospel (Matthew 13:18-23).  The crop Yeshua’s talking about is a growing of the kingdom by more people hearing and believing the gospel.


Right after this, Yeshua tells the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-29), but in this parable the crop is people.  The wheat represents those that are in the kingdom, the children of YHWH, and the tares represent those that look like they’re in the kingdom but are not.  They are actually the children of Satan (Matthew 13:36-43).  If you recall, others have been called the children of Satan, with their defining characteristic being lying (John 8:44).  The thing is, tares look a lot like wheat, but when you look closely you are able to differentiate the two.


Yeshua goes on to tell the parable of the mustard seed, where the seed, which again represents the message of the gospel, grows into the largest plant in the garden (Matthew 13:31-32).  In this parable, birds come to nest in the branches, and we can see this same imagery elsewhere in scripture.  A judgment by YHWH on Pharaoh, given to him by Ezekiel, shows us that this is a representation of peoples or nations using what the tree produces for their own purposes (Ezekiel 31:1-6).  In the case of the prophecy given by Ezekiel, the tree represented Egypt, and the birds are the nations that took advantage of what Egypt was able to produce by trading with it and using those goods to grow their own economies.  The same goes for the mustard tree as the message of the gospel.  The birds of the air are the various religious groups that use that message to their advantage and grow themselves, but inevitably that message gets twisted by them and other things get incorporated into it just like the goods from Egypt were transformed into products that those nations made and sold.


Immediately following this mustard seed parable, Yeshua takes the imagery to what those birds are doing with the message of the gospel.  He says the message is like leaven that gets mixed in with flour until it’s all leavened (Matthew 13:33).  To say that this leaven somehow means something good is to ignore all other scripture that shows leaven represents sin (Leviticus 2:11, 6:17, Matthew 16:6-12, Luke 12:1, 1 Corinthians 5:1-8).  Even the feast of unleavened bread, which commemorated the exodus of the Israelites, represented a removal of sin because it was connected to the killing of the Passover lamb, which is a representation of Yeshua (Exodus 12:15, 13:6-7).

 

So, this leaven represents a distorted view of the gospel, one that has been twisted by the birds that have been using it to their advantage to sell their own, evil goods.  That’s exactly what we see today when we see these mystical and new age beliefs and views use scriptural truths to promote their heretical views.  If they can use a hint of truth, a hint of something that you find in scripture, they can cause believers to slowly erode the actual truth and develop a belief that, “we all worship the same god,” for example.  Or, that there are many different paths to salvation.


We know that there was a tree of life in the garden of Eden that enabled Adam and Eve to live forever, and that there will be trees of life in New Jerusalem (Genesis 2:9, 3:22, Revelation 22:2).  New age and mysticism has appropriated that truth and attached it to things like sacred geometry, including a belief that meditating on it can bring healing.  It is depicted as various things, including the image of an actual tree, which can be tempting for Christians to be interested in and then include in their life by wearing jewelry with it or hanging it on the walls of their home.  This is an abomination however, since the fundamental parts of that tree of life is a belief that you can get wisdom from it, get guidance from “higher realms,” grow and evolve spiritually with it, promote balance and harmony in your mind, body and spirit, etc.  This is all idolatry, and if you actually get anything from it, you certainly won’t be getting it from anything spiritually good.


Another thing that has infiltrated a majority of at least our corner of the world, although it originated much further East, is the practice of Yoga.  Even in the way we talk about it, as a “practice,” it gives a hint that it is more than just an exercise to increase strength and flexibility.  The truth is that Yoga comes from Hinduism, which is an Indian religion that includes various beliefs, including ancestor worship, karma, and multiple gods.  The goals of Yoga are to still the mind and gain “insight,” leading to unity with the divine or with yourself.  The positions a person puts their body in while doing Yoga are based on various gods of Hinduism.  


A believer in Yeshua has absolutely no business practicing Yoga.  Even if you claim you’re not doing it for the Hindu gods, you’re just doing it for exercise, the whole purpose of this “exercise” originated from paganism.  Also, let’s just assume for a moment that at this point we’re so smart as humans and have everything figured out so we know that body positions and other things you do in Yoga are nothing more than physical things you do with your body and have no spiritual consequences.  How do you think YHWH feels when His children are doing these things?  Well, we have His word to tell us exactly how He feels!  For His chosen people, the Israelites, He told them not to plant trees near an altar to Him because there is a pagan worship of trees (Deuteronomy 16:21).  He also told them not to put up a pillar, which was a reference to another pagan practice, because he hates it (Deuteronomy 16:22).


Now let’s bring ourselves back to reality and acknowledge that things we do in the physical, whether they be words or actions, have an effect in the spiritual.  YHWH told the Israelites not to do these things because they actually mean something spiritually, not because they’re just physical things in this world.  He told them to speak blessings and cursings (Deuteronomy 11:29) because they actually do something spiritually, not because they’re just words or even just vibrations in the air that our vocal cords produce.


This actually leads into a popular new age belief of vibrations, which includes crystals and is closely associated with the “law of attraction.”  It’s part of something called the twelve natural laws of the universe, and these “laws” come from various pagan belief systems, some of them going back even to ancient Egypt.  The “law of vibration,” is the idea that everything has a specific vibrational frequency and we can adjust our frequency to help us do certain things like manifesting things that we want, helping us navigate situations and managing our emotions.  


As with many of these pagan beliefs and practices, they involve a bit of truth that then gets people to think, “yeah, I think that belief is plausible.”  There is certainly an effect that vibration has on us and our surroundings.  Looking at videos of earthquakes, which are just relatively low frequency vibrations of the earth, tells us vibration affects things.  It’s also true that thinking about certain things has an effect on us.  If that were not the case, Paul would not have written to the Philippians that if they think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and good the God of peace will be with them (Philippians 4:8).  There would not be multiple verses to say that those who meditate on YHWH’s Law are blessed and whatever they do prospers (Psalm 1:1-3, Joshua 1:8), if meditating didn’t do anything.  


Just because these things are true separately, doesn’t mean that they have anything to do with each other.  Meditating on something doesn’t necessarily change your vibration or attract things you want, but it obviously does do something or we wouldn’t be told by scripture to do it.  If you notice though, nowhere in these “natural laws” do you see YHWH or Yeshua.  People are really into these things though, and they’ve even made movies, basically propaganda, about them.  So, if you do try to utilize this “law of vibration,” or “law of attraction,” and you end up manifesting the things that you desire, who do you think is actually bringing those things to you since YHWH and Yeshua are not involved?


There are many other things out there, like hypnosis, psychics, astrology, etc., and we don’t have time this week to go through it all, but really that’s the point, isn’t it?  All these things come from evil, and engaging in them invites evil into your life.  We know that YHWH created us with the ability to choose, and as a result, the things we say and the things we do choose who we worship and who we serve.  If we don’t know the origin of what we’re engaging in, especially when it’s endorsed and even encouraged by the world, we can unwittingly choose evil.  


The same goes for teachings of pastors.  If we don’t have a foundation in, and constant study of, YHWH’s word, we can unwittingly fall into false teaching.  A verse here and a verse there gets built up into a whole architecture of a belief system that no longer represents Yeshua’s teaching.  The Roman Catholic Church is the expert in this, in part due to its longevity giving it the ability to perfect its technique.  One verse in a whole conversation between Yeshua and Peter turns into a basis for the Church's authority (Matthew 16:18).  Another verse, along with two very weak supporting verses, turns into a basis for Mary, the mother of Yeshua, being completely sinless prior to conceiving Yeshua (Luke 1:28, 35, Genesis 3:15).  These are just two of many false beliefs, but over time, through men of authority in the church, they have become accepted as truth.  


Study to show yourself approved to YHWH (2 Timothy 2:15) and not fall for false teachings or what the world claims are harmless beliefs or actions.  When we stand in front of YHWH, we don’t want to be trying to explain that we did what we did because someone told us to, even though we had His word that told us it was wrong.  Shabbat shalom and YHWH bless you!


-Rob and Sara Gene

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