I’m Rethinking the Apostle Paul…

“Paul is hard to understand.” Like me, you probably hear this all of the time. I finally had to start rethinking Paul.  Whatever position I arrived at, I knew that it had to agree with the Apostle Peter.

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. [15] And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, [16] as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. [17] You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. [18] But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

2 Peter 3:14-18

Peter clearly admits Paul is ‘hard to understand’, but also admits that his writings fit with ‘the other Scriptures.’ I decided that I must be missing something or not seeing Paul correctly.  I had to rethink or re frame him.

Recently we had a comment here on the blog and a portion of that comment expresses exactly what has me concerned. And they are not alone in this difficulty.

“Since we know that Paul’s teachings/letters have done huge damage in getting people off track, as they are truly stumbling blocks, then why do so many messianic pastors try to ok his teaching against Torah and try to ok it? Yeshua warned us that the false tare words would remain till the end! And they sure have. Our Abba didn’t allow mixture then and He doesn’t allow it now. We had better be careful when we use Paul’s mixed teachings. I want nothing to do with stumbling blocks!.” 

Part of my concern is that many in the Torah walk have minimized or even outright rejected Paul’s letters! This is a very dangerous thing to do! Supposedly, Paul upheld and taught the Torah. Is it possible we misunderstand Paul because we are looking through the wrong lens? 

One thing that I think we often forget when we read Paul is one of the most basic rules of Bible study. CONTEXT IS KING. We often consider the surrounding context of Scripture, but we fail to understand the circumstantial or cultural context of his audience.  So let’s consider the context of Paul and his writings. 

Continue reading “I’m Rethinking the Apostle Paul…”

Restoring kol Israel: The ‘lost’ first post…

I’m sitting here staring at my screen.  Writing feels a bit like blood letting. Yet, my brain is totally full and I have no idea where to begin, which string to pull first so the dam will beak.

For weeks, months even, I have been pondering the many facets of the restoration of kol Israel. One might call it a minor obsession because it is where my thoughts go when nothing else pressing is at the forefront.  Among those thoughts, I have been juggling the hot potatoes that few have the courage to touch, subjects that draw extreme ire and irrational unbiblical pushback. Post titles float across my mind, titles like Feminism and the Destruction of Western Culture, or Patriarchy, God’s Solution that Everybody Hates, or Where have all the Men Gone and Why don’t they Care?

Most whom I have conversations with concerning the restoration of Israel, the return of the whole House of Israel and what it will look like, have a lilting dreamy character to their voice until they understand that to be successful, we must divorce ourselves from Western Greek influences.  It is one thing for most to erase Christmas or Easter and the many unbiblical elements absorbed from the nations, but it is another matter entirely to realize that future Israel will Continue reading “Restoring kol Israel: The ‘lost’ first post…”

Our focus for the next Torah cycle…

Opportunities abound in each new journey through the Torah and now is the time to prayerfully ask Abba what He may have for you.

Free Torah Portion cards available through FFOZ.

As most readers know, we are just a couple Shabbats away from returning to the beginning and again taking up the annual journey through the Torah portions. Each year I seek what the Father would have me focus on as an overarching theme. In some years I have shared from those studies and in others it has been a more personal matter.

Well, this year, I will be paying special attention to elements of headship, patriarchy, marriage, roles of men and women as well as how this all plays out in community with a goal of understanding more about the restoration of kol Israel at the family and then clan levels. Blog co-author, Jeremy, and I have the ambitious goal of releasing a weekly blog post sharing some of what we are learning from each Torah portion.

We hope you will seek the Father and see what His focus would be for you, and if He leads you to join us on this journey, we ask you to participate in comment and discussion after each weekly post. Pray for us and walk with us in this critical journey.

Paradigm shift: BE the Kingdom v. TO the Kingdom

Recently, Al McCarn and I have been road-less-traveledhaving a really good running conversation discussing some changing thoughts on the nature of the Millennial Kingdom.  As we continue to study and grow, we continue to re-evaluate the traditions we inherited from our fathers and try to bring them more into line with Scripture.  I will reserve the Millennial discussion for another day because it will be quite long and I have more to sort out.  Suffice it to say that I am experiencing another paradigm shift…

In our most recent exchange, Al said something very profound that immediately brought clarity to that portion of our conversation.  He said,

All this time we [Christendom] have focused entirely on getting to the Kingdom.  If this is so, then our focus should be on how to BE the Kingdom.  It’s the greatest paradigm shift of all.

(brackets and emphasis mine)

Wow! That is a mouthful and enough of a thought to make one’s head explode.  I think back over decades of living in Christendom and the last six years as a Torah-keeping believer in Yeshua and I can tell you, the statement rings true!!

In general there has always been a focus on head knowledge Continue reading “Paradigm shift: BE the Kingdom v. TO the Kingdom”

Surviving the End Times requires a three legged stool…

Has anyone noticed the crazy acceleration of events in the last few months?  Seriously!  If in the last few years the world looked like it was coming unglued, today, there can be no 3 legged stooldoubt.  Much like an engine over revving, the faster/farther we go, the smaller the hiccup required to cause this spinning top to completely explode!

Events in the US alone indicate that this economy/culture/society are on the brink of disaster, but Europe is in total meltdown and the Mideast continues to boil at an ever more violent rate.

While discussing current events with a close friend, I made the comment, ‘You know, survival takes a three legged stool?’ An interesting discussion ensued.

Honestly, none of us are prepared, though many have a good start.  Here are some thoughts that each of us need to consider Continue reading “Surviving the End Times requires a three legged stool…”

Steps Toward Unity (and community…)

Recently, I have been distracted from regular posting by a couple books and a major page I am writing titled How to: Messianic.  (Watch for it…)

Anyway, two items of interest have come across my vision in the last hour that I wanted to share because both are ‘action steps’ toward unity in the Body and are building blocks toward community.

First, my second and third sons just came back from an awesome week at Camp Yeshua.  A friend shared a video with us giving a taste of what the week was like.  As I watched, it

occurred to me that 375 Messianic teens from all over the country building relationships and tearing down some of the division in the Body is a terrific step in the right direction!  I know my second son has Continue reading “Steps Toward Unity (and community…)”