DO YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH YESHUA?
Les Aron Gosling, Messianic Rebbe
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Copyright © BRI 2013 All Rights Reserved Worldwide by Les Aron Gosling
Messianic Lecturer (BRI/IMCF)
“My love for the Lord is not measured by the things I am willing to do for Him, but the things I am not willing to do for Him.”
“Don't tell me what I do right. I know that! What I need to know is what I do wrong” - Albert Einstein.
We are told plainly that there is only ONE WAY by which humankind may enter into the heavenly calling of God the Father. Speaking of Our Lord Yeshua the apostles made it clear: “Neither is there salvation in any other [i.e., any other Person]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4.12
That name is Yeshua! It is not Siddhartha Gautama Sakyamuni (or Gautama the ascetic Sakya, or Saxon). It is not Mahavira, or Mohammed, or Lao Tze, or Confucius. It's not the new Pope Frankie, it's not President Obama, and it's not the Dalai Lama who talks a lot about compassion and has Nazi friends. It's Yeshua, the Jewish Mashiach.
And this is simply because God has come to save human beings in the form of an Authentic Man, a sinless Man, a very lonely Jewish carpenter who never could communicate His love to fellow human beings apart from those who knew (and knew they knew) the terrible depths of their “lostness” and their need for a spiritual cleansing of their tripartite being. Small wonder his best friend was a complex little prostitute shunned by society who never knew how to respond to his very personal outgoing, outflowing concern.
In my opinion, one of the most beautiful songs ever rewritten by Tim Rice was I Don't Know How to Love Him
. (I have said “rewritten” because it was originally a 1967 song called Kansas Morning
. Rice and an agent for Andrew Lloyd Webber had purchased the rights to the ballad from Southern Music for a very small sum.) The song poured out the forbidden love that existed in the heart of Miriam Magdalit as she longed for her would-be lover Yeshua to reach out and to consummate her affections for him in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar:
The song itself has enormous personal meaning for this humble teacher of the biblical revelation.
For millennia people have been told that they must “believe” in “Jesus Christ” in order to be saved. So people accept Jesus Christ and think their job is done. Now, of course, there are those who are zealous and they want to share their “Jesus” with other folk, and so they pursue their fellow human beings down that path feverishly sometimes to the point of persecuting others with the Gospel. And as a result their churches start to grow. Churchianity is reduced to a numbers game. The cheap, watered-down Gospel of the denominations of Christianity has been long criticised by Christian scholars. The necessary “belief” in Jesus cherished by the “Bible thumpers” has also been challenged by these same scholars (Jacques Ellul, A.W. Tozer, etcetera). The mantra “Believe in Jesus” has virtually become a religious fetish if not a magic talisman. Even the introduction to the Amplified Version
admits that the word “believe” has “long since ceased to convey, if it ever did, the sense of the original.”
Unfortunately the world has largely been given an abbreviated, overtly simple, and sanitised version of the true Gospel. Because when the Bible speaks of the need to “believe” in Yeshua the Messiah in order to be saved, the Greek word for our English term believe is pisteuo
and this means to believe AND have trust in, to rely on, adhere to, cleave to, to have faith in his Person
. One can believe something or someone with a certainty, but the rest – trust, adherence, clinging and having faith in him – these are features which must develop and grow THROUGH RELATIONSHIP and for most of us this takes YEARS. We are talking of an absolute personal reliance upon Yeshua the Messiah as our personal Saviour.
In other words if Yeshua is our personal Saviour, it is because he saves us personally – and THAT means that he must get to know us personally in order to save us, just as we need to get to know him in a deeply personal way too in order to truly KNOW who it is that is saving us.
Matthew tells us that at the advent of Yeshua there will be Christians who will be rejected by the Messiah, and yet they have led lives filled to the brim with activities involving the display of powerful miracles (Matthew 7.22,23
). They even call him “Lord.” But Yeshua's response is to reject them adding, “I never knew you!”
Moreover, Yeshua adds in Luke 6.46
, “Why do you keep calling me Lord, Lord and do not do the things I command you to do?” Again, “Not everyone that says to me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom coming from heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in the heavens” (Matthew 7.21
He does not say, “I knew you once, but we have drifted apart.” He tells them flatly that there was never a relationship with him. They were constellating around miracles and signs and wonders – not his Person. They were accessing, tapping into, holy Spirit POWER, but not the holy Spirit PERSON. “The Lord is that Spirit” said Paul (2 Corinthians 3.17
Obviously, hell is not something anyone would want to go through. Yeshua had more to say about the subject than any prophet of God previously. He gave it a vitally important emphasis in his teachings. Nobody in their right mind would deny it.
In one way of looking at it, a tremendously difficult and temporary hell experience for those who continue in their defiant will to oppose the love of God, is for the intention of subjugating the carnal rebellious human will to God's self-emptying will. Purification of the intent and the will would be the purpose of Gehenna fire. God is a God of purpose. An eternity of hell would be utterly purposeless.
But, look to heaven and what do we see? God's Grace and love and wisdom, mercy and redemption. Look at hell and what do we see? God's Grace and love and wisdom, mercy and redemption. A noted Christian teacher has posed the question: “Why is one heaven and the other hell?” He answers, correctly, that the difference is solely one of relationship. It is a relationship that is outworked and experienced in THIS life. Equally, it will be for others a relationship that is also outworked and experienced during the Great White Throne Judgment period (epoch/aeon). We are all granted a period of time (the “firstfruits” NOW and “the harvest” a thousand years later) in which to outwork that relationship.
This knowledge has not been understood by the church for at least 1500 years. Probably longer, for the church early threw the Jewish baby out with the Jewish bathwater very soon after the infamous Council of Nicea (325 CE) around which time the Jewish festivals and seventh day Sabbath were abandoned, not merely literally but even in a theological sense. In this age we need to restore the lost recognition that in hell, as in heaven, the cross of Christ will be equally present in both dimensions because God is LOVE. The cross is ever, only and always the symbol of redemption. Why then has it become the symbol of dread and condemnation? The One who thereon cruelly perished did so to REDEEM a fallen humanity, not to condemn them. He became on that bloodied instrument the TOTALITY of sin and humanity's Representative Man. He represented each of us and died for all of us. He became all of us. He metamorphosed into sin itself. There was no greater horror than this.
Please remember this fact: God is a God who wishes to communicate with His/Her creations. Since the dawn of time God has sought ways, even created ways, to enter into dialogue with humankind. God is referred to as the WORD for more than one reason. The existence of sin has not deterred Him. He has relentlessly pursued the lost of his creatures like the proverbial “Hound of Heaven.” Yeshua spoke of His Father as One that searches for the lost coin, and the lost sheep, and who gives everything he possesses to gain the pearl of great price. The opening pages of the biblical revelation speak of our first parents being driven away from the Tree of Life in Paradise only to close those same pages with humankind having direct access to that same Tree (Revelation 2.7; 22.2,14
As a pertinent aside, I find it interesting that the Greek word translated “healing” (therapeia
) in Revelation 22.2
is translated “household” in Matthew 24.45
and Luke 12.42
. Now, we obtain the idea of medical “therapy” from this Greek word.
Why is it translated “household” in the Gospels?
Greek dictionaries inform us that the first century understanding of therapeia
included the idea of a large household with an employed staff of servants keeping the place running efficiently and smoothly. Without doubt, a family is usually the place where emotional and psychological disturbances are formed – but it is also usually the very place where healing occurs through a collective network of supportive intimate UNITY. The Family of God can actually create terrible circumstances and situations in which emotional turmoil as well as torpor can be experienced. People have departed from Christian assemblies because of deep-seated hurts. But if that ekklesia
is truly of God a return to that place of family unity can also, with therapeutic understanding, love and expressed forgiveness, be a spiritual balm of healing and nurture and growth.
So it is that in the Apocalypse
we find the leaves of the Tree of Life will be therapeutic (or an effective service), for the new civilisation in the new earth. Henry Morris has suggested that as “the fruits of the tree will... contain many nutrients for happy vigorous service by Christ's servants in the ages to come... so its leaves will contain a complex of chemical substances useful in the occupations and general economy of those ages.” There probably is some truth to his speculation. The biblical revelation may well support such a notion.
Whatever the case, when it comes to Yeshua (the authentic cosmic Tree of Life) Christians are divided into two camps. On the one hand there are the vast multitudes (hundreds of millions in fact) who “believe” in their Saviour – but they have no relationship with him. Rather, he is nothing more than a nice cosy belief; a “doctrinalised” Saviour who is located in a dogmatic and exclusive “salvation-system.” He is somebody who made certain claims about divinity and salvation which are recorded in the four Gospels but he only comes in handy when there is a sudden major crisis or when trouble appears to be looming on the horizon or when we want a parking spot in the local super-market car park. Many of these folk who are thus imprisoned are also escapists. They want out of their personal hell but cannot find the key to unlock the prison gates. As an example, we know people who relentlessly pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge... but deep down inside they are escaping the call of God. They do not want to be exposed to others as insipid weaklings either. They are using their precious time to “duck behind” what they believe is esoteric understanding rather than come out in the open and be counted as a true disciple. They do not have the guts to do so. They are largely a walking, talking sham.
Then there are those who have developed a working relationship with Yeshua – and they are experiencing a REALLY intimate in-depth walk with God. They walk with him, they pray to him – they open their hearts to him in such a way that they know and know that they know that he is real and always available and listening and they expect him to respond to their sincere and respectful requests. Prayer becomes a two-way street. God the Father shares with them as they open up to Him. They are fully confident in Yeshua because they stand IN his WILL.
“If you [claim to] love me,” said Yeshua, “keep [obey] my commandments” (John 14.15
To use a well-worn cliché, “this is where the rubber hits the road.” How many of us show a daily willingness to follow Mashiach's instructions about how to live? And even more-so, how to love? Yeshua went on to say,
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them” (John 14.21
). Yeshua added, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14.23
Obeying God, not in the way we may desire to obey but in the way God wants us to obey – unreservedly – opens the DOOR or GATE to heaven's blessing. Please note the association between loving obedience and the sense or promise of therapeia
: “and make our home with them.”
Yeshua said, “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love” (John 15.10
Some Christians want God in their life – their way. There is no evidence of loving surrender to God's will. They talk about loving God. The wife of a pastor once said to me in front of our assembly: “I just love the Lord. My children love the Lord too. I've brought them all up to love the Lord. It's good to love the Lord. My dog and cat love the Lord. My canary loves the Lord. I just want to love the Lord, not be burdened down obeying laws.”
OK, so I have amplified her statement a little bit. But the apostle John's response?
“In truth, this is love for God that we keep his commandments, AND HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT A BURDEN TO OBSERVE” (1 John 5.3
). “We know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2.3
). “This is love, that we walk in obedience to his commandments you have heard from the beginning, his expectation is that you walk in love” (2 John 1.6
Yes, to walk in love is to express in our life the expectations God has of each of us. The Torah is a way of Grace for the people of Grace. The Decalogue tells us plainly the commandments that express love. The first four teach us to love God, and the last six tell us how to love our neighbour. When was the last time we read the ten commandments and really thought about them?
A son and daughter of God who is in the will of God expressing a decided obedience to God's expectations of them knows that his or her prayers are heard when they are uttered. It is written in Hebrews for our encouragement that we can “come fearlessly and confidently and BOLDLY before the Throne of Grace... to obtain mercy, and find Grace to help appropriately just when we need it” (Hebrews 4.16
). “This is the confidence we have in approaching God! That if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And, if we positively know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know with settled and absolute knowledge that we have granted as our present possession what we asked of him” (1 John 5.14,15
Recall what Yeshua himself is recorded to have said in Mark 11.24
? “What things soever you desire, when you pray, visualise receiving them, and they shall be yours!”
Yeshua meant what he said. Of course, apparent stony silence from heaven can be discouraging, especially when we have put all before God's Throne of Grace and think we need a response in a hurry. Remember though, that there is NO URGENCY in God's economy. And silence may be needed as God takes his time in bringing the entire universe into an alignment with his will for you in the matter you presented in prayer to him.
What do I mean by this statement?
Is it not written, “ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28
)? If “all things” are to be arranged into a working order to bring about your petition then this means that God is reordering THE ENTIRETY OF THE UNIVERSE
to achieve that result you require!
So God may not be denying your prayerful request, only delaying it. The timing of an event is never in your hands, but in the hands (intention, plan and purpose) of God the Father. God always has a perfect TIMING for any outcome in his will (Acts 7.17
Again, Yeshua meant what he said! Trouble is very few of us believe that such a blessing as answered prayer could be ours to attain. We reduce our expectations in prayer to a mere and somewhat shallow “hope.” Paul countered such an attitude when he declared,
“Don't allow negative anxiety to dominate your outlook! Express to God every detail of your particular need with earnest expectancy along with appreciation and thanksgiving (as if you already have received God's loving and positive response) and the peace of God that transcends human understanding will protect your hearts and minds as they rest in Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 4.6,7
“As a matter of fact the answer [to prayer] may be long in coming, but as a matter of faith it is ours at the time of our asking” (Roy L. Laurin).
To enact this kind of faith which Yeshua demands, and for which the apostle Paul calls, and the late Dr Laurin elucidates concerning, in one's life, is a sign of authentic wisdom. Indeed, true wisdom “is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon her” (Proverbs 3.18
). As a GATE of God we welcome the abiding presence of our Mashiach who is the ultimate expression of that same LIFE and wisdom. “It is because of God that you are in Messiah Yeshua, who from God is made unto us WISDOM” (1 Corinthians 1.30
). It is that LIFE living itself over again through us that saves us. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall we saved by his life” (Romans 5.10
). His holy Spirit, living his life over again in each of us, brings forth the fruits (the fruits of the Tree of Life – the identifying characteristics) of the Father's children: “the fruit of the Spirit [or as in some mss
, Light] consists in all sorts of goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5.9
) for “the fruit of the righteous is a Tree of Life” (Proverbs 11.30
). A life lived fully to God is a life that will in some way or another result in a response of warmth and authentic fellow-feeling [Gk., koinonia
] to all who encounter it.
A life filled with answered prayers is a life filled with revitalised energy and vigour. This is because we tend to become positive and confident and fulfilled in ourselves and in the hope of our calling. As it is said, again in Proverbs
, “when desire is attained, it is a Tree of Life” (Proverbs 13.12
). And such a successful life lived to the full creates new brainwaves and neural pathways – because science has now discovered that we create entirely new cells with our THOUGHTS. The Buddha said, centuries ago, “With our THOUGHTS we make our world.” He was right.
The quality of our thoughts becomes paramount if we desire a life lived to the full IN God. THINKING on God's THOUGHTS enables us to become more like him in all that we put our hands forth to achieve and experience. God's thoughts in us can multiply as we seek a closer more spiritual walk with him, and I would not be surprised if one day some scientist from some place discovers heavenly cells being mass produced in the brains of believers (I mean authentic believers). While this is sheer speculation on my part, it is intriguing that in recent days scientists have discovered that “cells from other individuals are to be found in the brain” (See PubMed.gov [US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health]
report entitled Male microchimerism in the human female brain
. The lead article in found in Scientific American
, Dec. 4, 2012 edition). Why not also actual hardcore evidence of God's SPIRIT?
While we may be a long way off such an accomplishment, essential changes in our Mindscape are reflected in our SPEECH. Our speech is affected by our thoughts. We have all known people who have not as yet learned to control their thoughts and what they think automatically bubbles out in embarrassing speech. Sometimes “those people” are actually us! Alcoholics, sadly, all too often put their foot (and sometimes both feet) in their mouth! “A wholesome tongue is a Tree of Life” (Proverbs 15.4
). Based on this assessment Paul advised, “Let your speech be governed by Grace at all times and seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4.6
Our mantra “What we want wants us” is largely predicated upon the extent to which we discipline our THOUGHTS. Yes, it can be trying and stressful to maintain a certain discipline. But the alternative is summed up in the following true story.
“Carl Walenda was a well-known tightrope walker and circus performer. He said, 'My whole life is high-wire walking.' But one day as he was on the wire, something snapped in his brain and he fell to his death. His wife said, 'All he thought about for three months before was falling.' He had concentrated on failure, on falling, rather than on walking” (Roy B. Zuck, The Speaker's Quote Book. Over 5000 Illustrations & Quotations for all Occasions
, Revised & Expanded, 1997, 2009, 182).
Failure! How many apparent Christians have turned their walk with Yeshua into a life of moral oblivion because of one excuse or another. A sense of personal failure certainly heads the list. Yet consider the life of this young American:
At age 22 he failed in his business activities. At age 23 he ran for legislature. At age 24 he again failed in his business enterprise. At age 25 he was elected to legislature. At age 26 his true love died. At age 27 he suffered a devastating nervous breakdown. At age 29 he was defeated for Speaker. At age 31 he was defeated for Elector. At age 34 he was defeated for Congress. At age 37 he was elected to Congress. At age 39 he was defeated for Congress. At age 46 he was defeated for the Senate. At age 47 he was defeated for the office of Vice President. At age 49 he was again defeated for the Senate. At age 51 he was elected President of the United States. Such is the record of Abraham Lincoln.
You see, when God the Father enters your life YOU START TO MOVE
AT HEAVEN'S DIRECTION.
You become surrounded by angels. And we must learn to walk among them.
This lecture is the first in a series of motivational messages to challenge each of us into a closer walk with God.
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