|Teaching the disciples|
by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect the authority of the Word of YHVH through your tradition, which you have handed down. And many such things you do." Mark 7:13
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after the Messiah." Colossians 2:8
Shortly after marrying some years ago, my new wife announced she wanted to do "church" as all her girlfriends were want to do. So it was with a humble spirit that I accompanied her to the latest "happening" of folks gathering in a local denominational institution. Settling into the balcony section because of the crowd of people in the main arena below, my wife was all "giddy" with excitement and anticipation of what was to happen. The music had begun to play when she leaned into my ear and whispered that, now that she was here, she wanted to learn all there was about everything she was witnessing. She then pointed at the platform below us and asked, "Where is the pulpit mentioned in scripture and what is its significance?" Hesitating, I replied, "Well, it isn't found in scripture." "Oh," she said but, undaunted, went right into the next question - "well, then, what about the pews? Where in scripture does it refer to them and why they are arranged this way?" Again, hesitatingly, I said, "Uh, well - they aren't in scripture either." She just looked at me. She was determined, however, to learn as much as possible about everything they were doing and so it was that she went around the entire sanctuary asking about everything taking place along with the accoutrements associated with it all - from the choir to the stained glass windows to the manner of preaching to the architecture of the building. With each item she asked about, I continued to inform her that those things could not be found in scripture. Finally, after exhausting her barrage, she turned to me and asked in a simple, naive voice, "Then, why are we doing them?" I had no answer - none. I was as perplexed as she - but, I came away from that incident with a desire to find out why we do these things. What I discovered from subsequent research was that almost all of what is accepted as the normal way and manner in which religion is exercised is nothing more than traditions handed to us by those we learned from who, previously, had accepted those same traditions as the normal way of behaviour handed down to them - "and many things of this kind you are doing" (Mark 7, above). We have trusted those who have come before us to have done the necessary digging to find out what this "stuff" is - and have found ourselves wanting. Words mean things and there is no substitute for viewing the words of scripture from the Hebrew perspective they were written in. Otherwise, like the Pharisee, we will find ourselves simply going along with rituals handed down to us for centuries that, subsequently, nullify the Words of YHVH. (see what it means to walk in Light - click on highlighted words to view content).
The English word translated as tradition comes from the Greek word, paradosis and means, "a giving up, giving over, the act of giving up, a giving which is done by word of mouth or in writing, i.e. tradition by instruction, narrative, precept, etc., objectively, that which is delivered, the substance of a teaching, of the body of precepts, especially, ritual." The Greek word translated as the English Word in the verse in Mark above is the same Greek word, logos, appearing in John 1:14 and means, "of speech; a word uttered by a living voice which embodies a conception or idea". This scripture is telling us that by embracing the tradition of men, Yeshua said we give up the Power of His Life operating in us and through us. We trade off His Power when we settle for what others would have us to believe instead of doing the work necessary for ourselves to verify what we think He is saying through comparison to the only words we have been given. The Power Yeshua exhibited in this external realm while among us came from, emanated from, the Virtue He cultivated and embraced in His Life (Luke 6:19). That Virtue came from His association with and His intimacy in knowing His Father, YHVH (John 17:3). If we are to walk in the Power of ruach hakodesh (Hebrew for the spirit of holiness) in the same manner in which He walked, we must, in like manner, embrace the same essence of the Father He manifested in His Life. This is why His Life as chronicled in scripture becomes the benchmark by which we measure everything including other scripture and prophecy - not by what we are taught by other men or what we "think" scripture to be defined as but by what it actually says. When we embrace the tradition of men we "give up" the excellence of His Spirit and the inherent Power that Virtue brings to our lives. We overcome the enemy in our lives by the testimony of the Power His Virtue brings to our life (Revelation 12:11).
Prayer and Healing are areas where many have embraced tradition and have been left wondering why the Power He exhibited in His Life is not seen in theirs. It is because there is a difference between an incantation and a prayer. A prayer is communication between two people that love each other. An incantation is calling upon the name of someone or something to exert their power to intervene in the affairs of another or to influence circumstance and is generally associated with sorcery. Coming out of a life steeped in sorcery into the movement of YHVH's spirit was, at first, very confusing to me because of seeing a similarity in operation in both spirit realms - the "mechanics" if you will.
Believing "in faith" is not believing on something we "want" to see happen. Faith is hearing what the Father speaks and expecting Him to do what He said He will do. Scripture tells us that healing rises in YHVH's Wings - not ours (Malachi 4:2). The source of healing rests in the Present Presence and unless the Father speaks the word of healing as He did to create the universe, there is none. YHVH is the Source of Life, which is Light. The Hebrew word translated as the English "sun" in Malachi is shemesh which means "brilliant". Hence, it denotes the brilliance of the Light of YHVH's Righteousness arising in our lives by which healing comes (not the Son of God as has been popularly portrayed inaccurately). It becomes supremely important, then, that we first hear what it is the Father has for our life before we embark on a course that might cause us to land in a place different from what He is wanting to work in us. The "faith" for that healing comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of YHVH (Romans 10:17). YHVH is the Word and if HE does not speak the Word of healing, we can believe until the cows come home - but it won't happen. Consequently, since we do not see it happen, we then begin an unrelenting assault on the citadels of the Kingdom, attempting to annoy YHVH into action having been taught that the way to obtain the Kingdom is by force. This response on our part places us in a category of being a violent person sealing judgment upon ourselves. We forget that the desires we have for our life and those of our loved ones were placed there by Him to begin with and that He wants to see them fulfilled in our lives MORE than we do (see who is the Real Enemy).
Praying (whether it is in tongues or in the natural) is not a magic wand or supernatural elixir. Praying is designed as a means of communication in the Spirit with YHVH so as to clean our temple so as to build our faith so as to confront the difficulties we face in our life with the confidence that He is Good (Jude 1:20) - nothing else. Whenever we start to use our prayers to create something, even though that something might be for what we think would be good for people - we have moved. We have crossed the line between the realm of the Kingdom and the realm of witchcraft - our motivation betrays us. There are many believers today who are praying prayers of self-imposition over others because they see them struggling in some manner and wish to ease their discomfiture. They have invested themselves into the traditional theology that this walk in the Spirit is to be one free of obstacles and without pain. They do so, not understanding the Will of the Father for our life. A paradigm shift in our thinking and from what we have been taught traditionally is required in order to understand how YHVH looks at these short, brief lives we live. What is mostly lacking is an understanding of how He sees this 'breath' of a life we have here on earth and what it is intended for. We want it to be as comfortable, convenient and painless as possible. Elohim looks upon it as a short span containing an opportunity to learn of Him and to make some choices, accordingly, that will result in our station for eternity. He knows we are all going to die physically (Luke 13:4-5). Everyone dies - even all the people Yeshua healed, died. Consequently, He is not as concerned with our external circumstances as we are. For the unbeliever, He uses the external things of life to bring them to an end to themselves that they might seek Him. For the believer (those who seek Him in Purity and Truth), however, He uses the external to fashion us, shape us and to mold us into His image (Romans 5:1-5, Matthew 5:45). While it makes good copy and sells a lot of books, this notion of a "comfort theology" is just not consistent with Yeshua's Life or the lives of the disciples (Hebrews 11:35b-40). That they "accepted not deliverance" means there was a deliverance available and they refused it - all to obtain a "greater resurrection". Yeshua constantly emphasized that if we are to come after Him, we are to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him or we are not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:38). Taking up our cross and denying ourselves is not some spiritual anthology - it is real, just as His Life was real.
There are those who will read this article and come away with the idea that it implies we are not to pray for one another and that YHVH doesn't heal. To those I would say, please re-read the article because that is NOT what is being conveyed here. Are we to pray for the saints? Absolutely (1Timothy 2:8). But, our prayers should be as Yeshua's - the highest prayer we can pray for one another, that He use the circumstances in our lives to bring us into a true knowledge of Him. Are we to pray for ourselves? Absolutely - but in the manner in which He prescribed, not as a rote recitation of the words, but as an active involvement with ruach hakodesh in bringing those words to Life within us (Matthew 6:9-15). Does Elohim heal us? Absolutely - I have been healed and restored of too much in my life to not believe that YHVH is the One Who Heals (Exodus 15:25-26). However, it is in examining our life and then measuring it against the Life of Yeshua that we come into the true knowledge of Who He Is. We would all be served well by setting aside what we have come to believe as true from those whose motive is to keep us in the clutches of tradition that it might benefit them (see "What Authority") and, instead, embrace the Truth of Yeshua's Life as it is simply recorded.
Part One - Prayer and Healing
Part Two - Walking In Light
Part Three - I Am Prayer
|"You, YHVH, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years have no end." Hebrews 1:10-12|
Please feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.