Hebrew Roots
Exploring the Hebrew Roots of the Faith 
Issue 96-3; Vol 1, No. 3   September/October, 1996

~ Featured Inside ~

"If I Make It..."

The Season of Our Joy

Shemimi Atzeret

Food for Thought

The Roots of Our Faith

Jerusalem: A Cup of Trembling

Iron Sharpens Iron


A View From
Beit Shalom
Go up in peace to your house. 
1 Sam. 25:35; 

Shalom Aleichem,

         Peace be unto you through our Father in heaven, and His Son, our Saviour, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ).
         This is issue number three of Hebrew Roots and we are beginning to learn what is involved in publishing a newsletter of this magnitude. Although it is a lot of work, it is also very rewarding to hear from those of you who are finding this publication to be of value in your spiritual life. Of course we receive other kinds of letters also. Only a few so far. Mostly they are from people who object to our position that Jesus was a Jew and lived as a Jew of the first century. Some seem to take this to mean that we are teaching modern rabbinic Judaism. This is simply not true. The unsettling thing about these letters is the feeling of hatred toward the Jewish people that emanates from many of them. Without a doubt there is a lot of anti-Semitism extant in the world today, and unfortunately it is not just in society at large, but also in the Christian Community. We must do all we can to fight this attitude. There are a great many fine Jewish people and they, as a people, have suffered a lot over the last two thousand years, but especially in this 20th century of ours. Of course there are scoundrels who are Jewish, just as there are scoundrels among the English, Irish, Germans, Italians, Africans, Hispanics, etc., etc., etc. Evil knows no boundaries when it comes to race, color or creed. The same is true of goodness. You will find good people of every race, color, nationality and creed. It is long past time for Believers to put an end forever to prejudice against other people. We are to love all of our neighbors as ourselves. Even if one were to believe the rabid stories about the Jewish people, (which are just not true) if one is a Believer in Yeshua as the promised Messiah then he is to love all people, including his enemies.
         A friend has suggested to us that Hebrew Roots is looked upon by some as being merely an intellectual exercise that has no real meaning in our walk with God. This could be true if you wish to treat it that way. But this can also be true of any Biblical teaching. The universities and colleges are full of people who study into the scriptures; who know Greek and Hebrew and are masters at proclaiming doctrine. Yet for some of them, it is all merely an intellectual exercise, for they teach but do not do. The apostle Paul wrote: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Tim. .3:16-17). It is our desire that the teachings contained in Hebrew Roots take root in the very depths of your soul, and enable you to more fully understand what the Messiah Yeshua was teaching. If this happens then each of you will come closer to the true worship of our Creator in heaven.
         In reviewing the last issue in which we covered the concept of Teshuvah (repentance) as it relates to Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, it seems apparent that if one were to follow these teachings it would certainly impact their very life. Going to one’s brother or sister and seeking forgiveness is definitely not just an intellectual exercise.

         Some of our readers have asked if we accept donations to assist in the producing, printing and mailing of Hebrew Roots. The answer is yes. In fact, there would never have been a first issue of Hebrew Roots if it had not been for the financial support of a number of people who responded to the initial letter that was sent out. The same holds true today. Each issue is funded by the generous gifts of our readers who want to see this publication and tape program continue. It is all very humbling to say the least.
         At this time all moneys received by Hebrew Roots are put back into the publication in some way. We are not taking any money out for salaries or personal expenses. This may not be the case forever, for as the mailing list expands, the tape program grows, and letters needing a personal response are received, the time commitment needed to accomplish all this work also expands. Our situation is such that after the Feast of Tabernacles, (Sukkot) Dean will be seeking outside employment. It is hoped that work can be found that can be done from the home, so that hours are not wasted in long commutes.
         As to current needs for Hebrew Roots, we are really in need of good quality recording equipment and a high speed tape copier. So far, all of our tapes have been recorded and copied on a “boom box.” (Those of you who called or wrote to say you received tapes that did not reproduce very well, should have received your replacements by this time.) We are striving to improve the quality of the tapes we produce, and we thank you for your patience. We are currently shopping for the equipment we need so it can be purchased as the funds become available.
         It is our policy to keep enough money ahead to pay for the actual printing and postage costs for the upcoming issue. By going to bulk mailing in the United States we have been able to reduce the general mailing costs for each issue by a considerable amount. However, Hebrew Roots is not just a United States publication. From the very beginning we have had subscribers in other countries. All of these mailings must be sent by first class mail. The cost for the foreign mailing of issue number two was nearly as great as for all of the U.S. It may be difficult for readers in other countries to send funds to cover the cost. For example, a simple check drawn on a Canadian bank not only loses value because of the exchange rate but also because of the fees the banks charge to process the check. We have had to return some contributions because we did not feel it fair to the person sending the money to have most of it go to the banks. That money can be better used in a local congregation. if any of our foreign subscribers can help out, please be aware that the best way to send funds is to obtain a money order in United States funds. Those documents can be cashed here without penalty.
         As of this writing, Hebrew Roots has not filed for non-profit status. We have talked to a number of people and some have encouraged us to not file for non-profit status while others who have encouraged us to do so. We are still exploring this issue. There is no guarantee that if we incorporate as a non-profit corporation that moneys donated to us will receive IRS exemption and be tax deductible on individual U.S. tax returns. Apparently the rules for exemption are becoming more stringent. If we were to form a church and then have the church publish Hebrew Roots there would be no question, donations would be deductible. However, we have no desire to start another church or gather a following. We merely wish to teach others the truths, both scriptural and historical, that God has helped us to learn. Let us know if you have strong feelings on this issue, it will help if we know what you, our readers want us to do.
         In this issue we continue our series on the Festivals of the LORD. This time the topic is the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and the Eighth Day (Shemini Atzeret). It is hoped this issue will be in your hands before you leave to attend the Feast so that the information can be studied and applied during the Feast. Roots of Our Faith, Part II continues the abridged story of mankind as given to us by God in the Holy Scriptures. We hope this scriptural synopsis will be helpful to those who do not have a good grasp of the history of God’s people from ancient times to the present. - In the article: If I Make It... we explore a deep psychological problem that hampers so many of God’s people from attaining a right relationship with their Father and their God. The regular features; Food for Thought, Jerusalem; A Cup of Trembling, Iron Sharpens Iron and Endnotes complete the issue.
         As the Feast of Tabernacles draws near we here at Hebrew Roots sincerely pray that you will have “the best Feast ever.” Drop us a line and let us know what the highlights were of your feast. Above all, prepare for the Feast by drawing close to God in prayer and study so that you are in the proper frame of mind when the appointed day arrives. Remember, that Sukkot is to be the “season of our joy.” By understanding all that this festival pictures one will be better able to rejoice. It is not just a time to “eat drink and be merry,” it is a time for joyful fellowship with your brethren.
         As in the last issue, we have provided a listing on the ‘non-aligned’ Feast sites in our Endnotes section. This is not to say that other ‘aligned’ sites are not worthy of your attendance. We are sure that all the people who are working hard to sponsor a Festival are striving to make their site the best it can be. It is our policy here at Hebrew Roots not to promote any particular groups, therefore, we have chosen to list only those who proclaim themselves to be ‘non-aligned.’
         Let us all continue to bless and praise God for all that He has done and is doing for each one of us, the members of His dear family.

                  May the shalom of God
                  be with you always,

                  Dean & Susan Wheelock

      Hebrew Roots is supported entirely by the prayers and freewill donations of it’s subscribers. It is published several times a year by Dean & Susan Wheelock. Subscriptions are free (based on availability of funds) to anyone who sincerely desires to "...grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ..."
(II Pet. 3:18)

      Those wishing to assist financially in this teaching ministry can do so by sending a check or money order, payable in US funds, to:

Hebrew Roots
P0 Box 98
Lakewood, WI 54138

Copyright October, 1996
All rights reserved.



“If I Make It...”

“Watch out, brothers, so that there will not be in any one of you an evil heart lacking trust, which could lead you to apostatize from the living God! Instead, keep exhorting each other every day, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will become hardened by the deceit ot sin. For we have become sharers in the Messiah, provided, however, that we hold firmly to the conviction we began with, right through until the goal is reached.”
(Hebrews 3:12-14) JNT

         There is a phrase that is often heard in the Church of God. It begins as follows: “If I make it into God’s Kingdom...” and then goes on to say something about what that person hopes to be able to do or accomplish or how they want to be when that glorious day arrives. There is a problem, however. By opening ones statement with the words; “If I make it... one is implying that the possibility exists that they may not be in the Kingdom of God when Yeshua HaMashiach returns to set up the government of God over all the earth. It makes people feel uneasy, that they can never relax, never really enjoy their relationship with God, because if they make one little mistake, well; “God’s gonna get you for that.”

         The source of this phrase may lie in our cultural background. We often begin statements with the word “If.” “If it doesn’t rain tomorrow I’ll cut the grass...,” “If I pass this course then I can get into the program I want...” and various kinds of similar statements. However, there is also a deeper and more troubling aspect to this phrase as it applies to our eternal life in the Kingdom of God. It implies that God may not finish what He has seen fit to begin in us; that somehow it depends on our efforts, our goodness, and our righteousness as to whether we will be a part of that privileged number.
         Rest assured, that unless you turn your back on God) you are going to “make it.” Of this there should be no doubt, for you have been called by God to be one of His very ‘elect.’

         “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
(I Thess. 5:24)

         Peter also taught that those called of God were a special ‘election’ and were therefore sanctified.

         “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered ... Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:”
(I Peter 1:1-2)

~ Election ~

         We have been elected by the foreknowledge of God the Father. He knows that we can and will make it into His Kingdom. He would not have chosen us if we were destined to fail. It is not God’s business to call people to failure, for He is choosing a family to join Him in eternal life.

         “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (margin = purchased) people; that ye should shew forth the praises (margin = virtues) of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:...”
(I Pet. 2:9)

         Oh yes, it behooves us to “...show forth the virtues of him who has called you...,” to be the finest example of obedient children that we can be. But to think that God is just looking for an excuse to purge us out of the family into which He has called us is ludicrous.

         “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
(Luke 12:32)

         “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may bave everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
(John 6:39-40)

         “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”
(John 10:27-30)

         No man can ever take away your salvation. That is a free gift from God and will be fully accomplished when Yeshua returns. Yet for some, the doubt remains. They feel they are just not good enough to ever “make it” into the Kingdom of God.

~ Works, Grace or Both? ~

         The truth of the matter is, you are not “good enough” to “make it” into God’s Kingdom, and if you are left to your own strength you never will be “good enough.” For the work that God is working in you is not your work, it is the work of God the Father and the Messiah, Yeshua. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to achieve the righteousness needed to “make it” into God’s Kingdom without God’s help.
         The prophet Isaiah was inspired by God to write about the righteousness of man:

         “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stireth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”
(Isa. 64:6-8)

         The phrase “filthy rags” in the original Hebrew means menstrual cloths. Our righteousness, of and by itself, is no better than a soiled cloth from a woman’s monthly cycle.
         If this be true then how can there be even an inkling of hope for any of us, even the most righteous among us? The answer, of course, is that we must rely on God for everything, especially our righteousness.
         Abraham was considered to be a righteous man. Abraham did many great works during his lifetime. He was said to be the most hospitable man who ever lived. He sat outside his tent by the roadside so that he might stop any stranger who happened to pass by and invite him into his tent to rest and be refreshed. It was Abraham who rescued Lot, who attempted to talk God into sparing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if only a few righteous could be found therein. It was Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac if that was what God required. Yet none of these acts, in and by themselves were counted to Abraham as righteousness.

         “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”
(Rom. 4:1-3)

         It was not the works of Abraham that accounted him to be righteous but rather his faith that made him so. Likewise, it is our belief, our faith, our confidence, our trust in the blood of the Messiah Yeshua, that accounts us righteous before God.

         “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
(Eph. 2:8-9)

         Our righteousness before God, as well as our salvation into eternal life, comes entirely from God, it is a free gift.

         “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(Rom. 6:23)

         We cannot earn our salvation through works or by our own righteousness. It can only be obtained from God Himself as a result of our acceptance of Yeshua’s blood in payment for our sins. This is called Grace, or unmerited pardon.
         Since we are saved by grace shall we just forget about doing any good works? Of course not. Now we have all the more reason to glorify God by behaving towards others in like manner as He behaves towards us.

         “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
(James 2:20)

         We need to be learning how to behave as legitimate members of God’s Family, following Yeshua’s perfect example.

~ God is a Father ~

         Now that God has called us into His family, forgiven us of our sins, buried our old nature in the death of Yeshua, and raised us up as a new child of God in the resurrection of Yeshua, why would He want to cast us away? Is the very life blood of Yeshua not worth any more to Him than that? Can you see how the attitude implied in the phrase; “If I make it...” could be an affront to God? Here He has done all of these things to bring us into a Father/child relationship with Him and we are afraid that He is going to kick us out of the family.
         Many of you readers are parents. All of us are children, although our parents may be deceased. All of us were imperfect parents and all of us were imperfect children. The same holds true of our parents, they too were imperfect. Yet it is my educated guess that very few of you were ever disowned by your parents or ever disowned any of your children. Even if you did disown your children, they are still your children. There is no escaping that fact. The same is true with God. We are His children if we have accepted the sacrifice of His perfect Son, Yeshua, as our personal Savior (Yeshuah) and been immersed (baptized) in His name. There is no escaping that fact, But God is the perfect parent. Where we failed, He succeeds, where we chastised in anger, He chastises in love, where we made profound mistakes, He makes profound correct decisions. How then can we imagine that God will allow the good work that He has begun in us to fail? It just cannot happen...except in one way.

         “For if we (are continuing to) sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord, And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
(Heb. 10:26-31)

         If we despise our position in the Family of God so much that we are willing to continue to live a life of sin, not caring about God’s desire to see us perfected, then it is possible to abort yourself out of His very family. But if we find ourselves making mistakes and falling into sin, hut hating the condition of sin and sincerely desiring to go to the “the throne of grace” for forgiveness, then we have not even come close to committing the “unpardonable sin.” Only we can take ourselves out of the Family of God. God has placed us in it and He will never forsake us.

         “Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
(Heb. 13:5)

         “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
(I John 1:8-9)

         “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
(Isa. 55:7)

         “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Heb. 4:14-16)

         It is not difficult to understand what our position is in the Family of God. It is really quite simple. We have been begotten (some would say born -- let’s not argue about semantics at this point) into the very Family of God. We are already members of that family although we have not been fully completed. That will take place at the resurrection when we are changed from mortal into immortal. God is perfect, so by extension one can conclude that His family must also be perfect. But we are human beings and are not yet perfect. So how can we be a part of a perfect family? It can only be done through the perfect sacrifice of the first of the Firstborn, Yeshua HaMashiach. Through His blood we are cleansed of all our sins and made perfect in the sight of God. Now we are members of His perfect Family.

~ Sin and Forgiveness ~

         But we still sometimes sin, transgress the law, miss the mark, and not follow our Father’s instruction as laid down in the Torah. (First five books of the Bible.) So how can we continue to be a part of the perfect Family of God when we fall again into sin? As we saw in the scriptures quoted above, we need to go to God and ask forgiveness for our transgressions and He will forgive us again. After all, did you kick your child out of the house the first time he disobeyed you? Or the second, or the third? Of course not, and neither does God, the righteous father, do so to us.

         This process continues all of the days of our physical lives. We miss the mark by sinning so we go to the Father for forgiveness through the blood of Messiah. Hopefully, in the process, we learn some things, and we improve over our early years so that our sins become less frequent and less flagrant. This is called, “growing in grace and knowledge...” (II Pet 3:18), and “...the perfecting of the saints...” (Eph. 4:12). It is a process, designed and initiated by God so that He can bring “...many sons into glory...” (Heb. 2:10).

         “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
(Prov. 4:18)

         There can be no question that you are going to make it because you are under grace (unmerited pardon) and not subject to the law of sin and death. Does this mean that you cannot sin? NO, of course you can still sin. The instruction book still exists (the Torah) and its rules (laws) are still in effect. Shaul (Paul) addresses this very idea:

         “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”
(Rom. 6: 14-17)

~ Faith ~

         What is required of you is complete trust and confidence (i.e. faith) that God will accomplish in you what He has already begun; to believe that He can and will do what He has promised to do. Faith was the very thing the children of Israel lacked when they refused to trust God to take them into the promised land. As a result they suffered forty years of wandering in the wilderness and those who refused to trust were not allowed in, they all died in the wilderness. When we say “If I make it...” we are acting just like those faithless Israelites, we are not trusting the great God of the Universe to accomplish His good work in us.
         But where can we obtain this complete confidence, trust and faith? Even that comes, not from us, but from God.

         “...let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...”
(Heb. 12:1b-2a)

         Yes, even our faith is a gift from God. All we really provide is the willing vessel with which God works. Everything else is God’s doing. We find ourselves in trouble when we try to take over the plan ourselves, when we try to do it our way instead of the way God wants us to do it. Have you not seen your own children suffer and chaff under that same kind of attitude, unwilling to do it the way you have instructed them, but wanting to do it their way instead? We are just like little children before God. What we need to develop is not childhood rebellion, but that beautiful quality of openness to learning that a very young child has, childhood faith.

         “...Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matt. 18:3)

~ Overcoming ~

         Some may object to this positive interpretation of the process of salvation. After all, do nor the scriptures say:

         “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
(Rev. 21:7)

         “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
(I Pet. 4:18)

         But the above passage goes right on to give us the true and faithful answer;

         “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
(I Pet, 4:19)

         Yes, we must be overcomers, but the overcoming, just like our faith, is authored and accomplished in us by the power of God, the Holy Spirit that indwells us.
         How does one go about overcoming? Is it by being scared to death if we break even the minutest rule? Or is it by allowing the Spirit to lead us into all righteousness? It is not a question of the need to overcome our sinful natures, rather it is a question of how we are to accomplish the overcoming. One is a salvation by works, where it is entirely up to us to live sinless lives, the other is salvation “by grace through faith.” We must have a confidence wherein we trust God to give us the power we need to accomplish the task. The first is doomed to failure, the second is destined for success.

         “So, then, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us, too, put aside every impediment -- that is, the sin which easily hampers our forward movement -- and keep running with endurance in the contest set before us, looking away to the Initiator and Completer of that trusting, Yeshua -- who, in exchange for obtaining the joy set before him, endured execution on a stake as a criminal, scorning the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Yes, think about him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you won’t grow tired or become despondent. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in the contest against sin.”
(Heb. 12:1-4) JNT

~ The Leading Spirit ~

         If you are a true son or daughter of God Almighty, then the Holy Spirit of God indwells you. This indwelling Spirit is the earnest payment, the guarantee from God, that He is going to accomplish that which He has set out to do.

         “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
(II Cor. 1:21-22)

         We can choose to follow the Spirit of God or to follow our own minds and hearts. However, to do the latter puts us in jeopardy because then we are denying that part of us which has been made holy. Thus, the scriptures tell us:

         “Quench not the Spirit.”
(I Thess. 5:19)

         Or we can act in a way that brings grief to God through the Spirit that seals us and makes us holy (set apart).

         “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemtion. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
(Eph. 4:29-32)

         When the urge comes over you to do good -- DO IT! That is the Holy Spirit leading you. On the other hand, when the urge comes over you to do wrong or speak evil of another -- DON’T DO IT! That is either your own carnal nature talking to you or the Adversary himself needling into your mind.

         “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.”
(Psalm 37:27-29)

         When we are tempted to do wrong, to sin, to miss the mark; immediately we need to ask our Father in heaven, for assistance to overcome the temptation and to put the evil urge out of our mind and heart. He will answer our prayer.
         To live in the Spirit is to live with God and for God, not being mindful of our present circumstances or conditions. Perhaps we are where we are -- not because of sin, but because God is teaching us something that will be with us throughout all eternity and will prove to be a blessing for us and for others at another time and place. So be open to discipline.

         “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
(Heb. 12:6)

~ Faith ~

         To live in the Spirit is to totally trust God that He; “...will never leave us or forsake us.” (Heb. 13:5)

         To live in the Spirit is to have total and complete confidence in God that He will complete in us the work that He has begun to do.

         This is FAITH!!!

         Sometimes the Children of God feel worthless and of no value to God or man. That was true when they were living in the flesh, according to the ways of the world. It is definitely not true when they live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

         “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
(Rom. 8:1-2)

         “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: (the death of our old sinful nature) that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
(Rom. 6:4)

         Our old man has been crucified with Messiah, therefore we should now be walking in “newness of life,” living our lives in such a way as to be pleasing to God. He has given us the instruction book on how to live our lives; it is called the Bible. We need to obey these instructions in the way that our Saviour Yeshua, has shown us, following His example and teaching.

         “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
(John 1:17)

         “For what the Torah could not do by itself, because it lacked the power to make the old nature cooperate, God did by sending his own Son as a human being with a nature like our own sinful one. God did this in order to deal with sin, and in so doing he executed the punishment against sin in human nature, so that the just requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us who do not run our lives according to what our old nature wants but according to what the Spirit wants. For those who identify with their old nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit. Having one’s mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one’s mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom. For the mind controlled by the old nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God’s Torah -- indeed, it cannot. Thus, those who identify with their old nature cannot please God.”
(Rom. 8:3-8 - JNT)

         “... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
(John 10:10)

         Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
(John 10:27-28)

~ Attitude ~

         The whole question here is one of attitude. How do we look at ourselves? Do we see ourselves as still the fleshly son of Adam? Or do we see ourselves as the begotten child of God? How we answer that question will have a profound impact on the way we conduct our lives. If we see ourselves as a child of God we will want to act as one of His. If we see ourselves as the fleshly son of Adam, living according to our old sinful nature, we will be constantly trying (but never able) to overcome sin by our own strength.
         God cannot raise us to our full potential as His child as long as we live by our old sinful nature. True, that was what we used to do, but now we are a child of God, begotten by the Holy Spirit, the very power of God that indwells us. Not only that, but our very own fleshly body is the Temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells.

         “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
(I Cor. 6:19-20)

         We look forward with great anticipation to the day when our physical body will be raised or changed into an immortal body, when we will never sin again. In the mean time we can say:
         “When I make it fully into the very Kingdom and Family of God...”

                  DEW & SAW